Boston University Arts & Sciences
CAS News
February 24, 2016
A Note from Dean Cudd
If our undergraduate students are the lifeblood of CAS, our graduate students are its central nervous system. Our reputation as a global research university depends on the quality and variety of our graduate programs, and the positions that our graduate students take in academia, industry, and governments around the world. We must invest strategically. Read more

Show Me the Data

Azer Bestavros, founding director of the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, was practically giddy. It was the first BU Data Science (BUDS) Day and the Photonics Center ninth-floor conference room, where the institute was hosting the event, was standing room only. Read more

Getting In: A Little Tougher Every Year

A strategic effort to raise the bar for admission to the University is yielding greater numbers of applicants to the freshman class and increasingly selective admissions. Read more

Engage Students in Arts with a BU Arts Initiative Grant

The BU Arts Initiative offers the Special Projects Grants to faculty, staff and students. These grants are intended to support projects that directly engage students in the arts. Grants can be up to $2,000 to cover no more than half of the project. Proposals for Fall 2016 projects are due Friday, March 18.

Black Lives Through the Arts

The Department of English and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program are partnering with MIT and the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies to co-organize “Black Lives Through the Arts,” an initiative that will celebrate Black lives through film, music, poetry, and dialogue. The event will take place on Thursday, March 3. More information can be found on the CAS events calendar.

Volunteer for Paid BUMC Research Study

Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine are looking for volunteers for a research study on fat and health. They are looking for healthy, 50-65 year old individuals, and the study will take about 6-7 hours. Compensation provided upon completion. To learn more about the study, please email Vijeeta Tadla. More information can be found here.

Department chairs, directors, and administrators, remember to review the CAS Chairs and Directors Guide for other important upcoming administrative responsibilities.

From BU Today

POV: Meaningful Campaign Finance Reform: Don’t Get Your Hopes Up
Why? Candidates motives, separation of powers, the Supreme Court
Stephen Prothero’s Gift of Hope to Liberals
New book shows why they “win the culture wars”
Studying Out on the Open Ocean
Two marine science majors’ SEA Semester experience
Terrorism Expert Joins Pardee School of Global Studies
Jessica Stern on how ISIS works and what we can do to stop it

From Research

Anatomy of a Blazar
BU astronomers reveal how black holes power the brightest objects in the cosmos
Ants Don’t Get Alzheimer’s
Surprising Finding on ants and aging
Michele Rucci studies tiny eye movements to understand how we see
Undergraduate Research at BU
Asking Questions and Taking Risks

Faculty News

The NSF has awarded Professor and Chair of Biology Tom Gilmore a three-year grant, “Glycan Recognition and the Role of Innate Immunity in Cnidarian-dinoflagellate Symbioses.” The grant will be used to study molecules and recognition patterns involved in immune response marine invertebrates, which may show relevance to the damaging effects climate change has over intertebrates.
Phil Haberkern, assistant professor of history, recently received a Cameron Faculty Fellowship to the University of St. Andrews for Spring 2017. During this fellowship, Haberkern will work his second book, which involves the comparative study of five cities that underwent radical reformations in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Professor of History of Art & Architecture emerita Patricia Hills has been awarded a grant by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art to support her digital humanities project, which focuses on a comprehensive database of the artistic works of Eastman Johnson.
Timothy Longman, director of the African Studies Center and associate professor of political science, will co-lead a faculty seminar, titled “
Good, Evil, and the Grey Zone: Religions Role in Genocide from the Holocaust to ISIS,” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum this summer.
The NSF has recently accepted “INSPIRE: Comparative Ionospheric Science—Earth, Solar System, Exo-Planets,” a program started at BU through the Center for Space Physics. The program, lead by Professor of Astronomy Michael Mendillo, combines over $750K of funding over three years from different divisions of NSF. Its goal is to apply modeling of the ionospheres of our planets in our solar system with those expected from the newly discovered exo-planets around nearby stars.
Cambridge University Press recently published Professor of Classical Studies Loren J. Samons II’s book,
Pericles and the Conquest of History: A Political Biography.
Professor of Political Science Virginia Sapiro wrote a blog post titled “
What Happens in Vermont, Stays in Vermont…at Least With Respect to College Tuition.” In it, Sapiro compares the future of higher education tuition through the plans of presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Living with Difference: How to Build Community in a Divided World, co-authored by Professor of Religion Adam Seligman, has been published by HarperOne Press.

Student News

Four students in the Department of History’s undergraduate honors program recently received funding for thesis research on location. Katie Angelica will be working in the National Archives in Washington, DC; Ben Gagne-Maynard in the Library of Congress; Jeremy Gray in London and Oxford; and Julia Katzmann in Jerusalem. These students have secured the funding for their research from CAS and UROP.
The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program has awared Talia Vestri Croan, a PhD candidate in the Department of English, the first Senior Teaching Fellowship for her course proposal, “Why Marry?: The History, Fantasy, and Reality of Married Sexuality.” The course will be offered to students next fall.
Matthew Morse, a PhD student in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, recently won the Best Presentation Award at the BU CISE Graduate Student Workshop with his talk “Bridging the Gap Between Center and Tail for Multiscale Processes.”
Physics graduate student Clint Richardson has received a 2015 CMS Achievement Award from the CMS experiment at CERN. The award cites Clint's "outstanding High Level Trigger work on CPU performance and online operations." Clint was one of six graduate students who got the award this year. CMS is a 4,000+ member collaboration with over a thousand students.
The New England Chapter of the Vernacular Architecture Forum has chosen Ian Stevenson, a doctoral candidate in the American & New England Studies Program, to receive the Richard E. Greenwood Young Scholar Award at their annual meeting to be held on April 2, 2016. At that meeting, Stevenson will present his paper, “Fraternity, Furlough, and Family: Maine’s Civil War Veteran Summer Cottages.”

Alumni News

Julie Ditner (GRS’14), who received her PhD in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, has been hired as the Assistant Curator of Photography for the Yale University Art Gallery. 

Keep Us In The Loop

Let us know about news or upcoming events. Announcements about upcoming events, new faculty book publications, and news items can also be submitted online. If you prefer, you can send news items to, or call Jeremy Schwab at 617-358-1056. Events geared toward students should be submitted to the

For all matters regarding your alumni, please contact Assistant Director, Alumni Educational Programs Sarah Speltz at 617-358-6275.

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