About the Board
Students and faculty in the computer science department are very active in research. There are numerous new and ongoing student-faculty research projects, independent projects, and group projects. Students present their work at different research forums, both on-campus and off-campus, and there are several faculty research projects with active student participation.
Current on-going faculty research projects involving regular student participation include:
George Altshuler '10 blogs about his experience studying abroad in France. Expect thoughts on museums, politics, education, and history.
Maria Perille, Class of 2011, is blogging this summer on the intersection of economics and psychology. Her first post is on "The Bachelorette" TV show and choice availability.
Pujan Gandhi, Class of 2009, recently served as the Reiff Intern at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. While there, he researched Enrique Chagoya, Robert Gober, and Glenn Ligon, and and contributed to the publication that accompanied the exhibition "Confronting History: Contemporary Artists Envision the Past," which was on view February 13 through April 29, 2009.
During her semester abroad in Bali, Indonesia, Abby Hoeschler introduced three elementary schools to the Visual Thinking Strategies method of viewing art that she learned through her involvement with the Museum Assistant Program (MAP) at Middlebury. Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a research-based innovative approach used to introduce young viewers to works of art. Curator of Education Sandi Olivo employs the VTS method, which asks (rather than tells) viewers about art, in our student-led school tours at the Middlebury Museum. In Bali, I led VTS-based tours to three different elementary schools at a small fine arts museum focused on Indonesian painting.
Baylor University senior Alex Nix, a student at Middlebury's Portuguese School this summer (2009), is one five Baylor students who have been selected to receive the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. A Spanish major from Riesel, formerly of Waco, Nix will spend the 2010 academic year in Brazil, where she will assist with teaching English, while developing the study of American poetry as a way of encountering and understanding American culture.
On a typical Thursday evening, senior Christine Bachman is busy hosting students at the Queer Studies House, a residential academic interest house with a focus on queer studies. These evenings are called “Thursday Teas.” Sipping tea and eating cookies, Bachman and the four other residents of the house start informal conversations on a variety of topics related to queer studies, an emerging interdisciplinary field that critiques traditional norms of sexuality and gender. Sometimes, as many as 30 or 40 students stop by for these gatherings.
“Students get to know and relate to each other on a personal level that in turn enables a safe, open, varied discussion about issues of difference,” explains sophomore Catarina Campbell, who frequently attends these gatherings.
As co-president of the Middlebury Open-Queer Alliance (MOQA), Bachman was one of the three chief architects of the proposal for the Queer Studies House. The proposal was approved by Community Council last year.
A start-up company founded by Middlebury Associate Professor of Computer Science Tim Huang and Bevan Barton, a junior computer science major from Oakland, Calif., has received a a grant for $50,000 through the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET). Barton and Huang founded the company Appstone to create products that will help aspiring software developers learn to make applications for the Apple iPhone.
Vermont Governor James Douglas announced the Appstone grant at the fourth annual Invention to Venture Conference on April 28 at the University of Vermont’s Davis Center. A second grant was presented to the company Hoozinga, which is comprised of students and faculty from Champlain College’s Gaming and Emergent Media Program.
Aylie Baker, a senior from Yarmouth, Maine, is the latest Middlebury student to receive the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which funds a year of post-undergraduate independent study outside the United States. She begins her travels in July and plans research visits to the Maldives, the Canaries, the Chiloé Archipelago and Palau, where she will record numerous audio interviews. She hopes the recordings will have value both for the communities she visits and for her own continued research at home.
Baker says growing up in Maine, with its more than 4,000 coastal islands, gave her a deep appreciation for island life and culture. She believes the rugged challenges faced by islanders, combined with inflated costs for goods, results in innovation by necessity.
Middlebury senior Carrie Bryant of Wellesley Hills, Mass., is one of 20 college students named to the elite USA Today College Academic First Team, which was announced by the McLean, Va., based newspaper on April 29. Now in its 20th year, the $2,500 award recognizes students for outstanding intellectual achievement and leadership.
A classics major with a 3.91 grade point average, Bryant has numerous honors and awards at Middlebury College including the 2009 Jason B. Fleishman Award; the Eaton Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Classics; and Charles A. Dana Scholar for academic achievement potential for leadership and accomplishment. She will begin graduate studies in Latin language and literature at Oxford University this fall.
LAST November, extremists on motorbikes opposed to education for women sprayed acid on a group of students from the Mirwais School for Girls in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Several young women were severely burned. Yet it did not take more than a few weeks for even the most cruelly disfigured girls to return to school. Like the crowds of women in Kabul this week who protested a new law that restricts their rights, the Mirwais students demonstrate unbending courage and resolve for progress. They don’t fear much — except that the world might abandon them.
That is why President Obama’s Afghanistan-Pakistan policy speech last month and his administration’s related white paper are worrisome: both avoided any reference to democracy in Afghanistan, while pointedly pushing democratic reforms in Pakistan.
On Friday, April 17, from 1-7 p.m., more than 100 Middlebury College students will showcase the results of their recent research efforts as part of the third annual Middlebury College Spring Student Symposium. The symposium will highlight student work through a mix of lectures, performances, posters, artwork and readings. The presentations will take place in the Great Hall and various classrooms of McCardell Bicentennial Hall, located on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125). All events are free and open to the public.
The facial expressions in Angela Evancie’s new photo exhibit range from placid to cheerful to anxious. The black and white portraits of Middlebury College Dining Service employees achieve much of what she had hoped for – a humanizing portrayal of a group of people who students often overlook in the daily rush of academic life. Her photos are on display at the college’s 51 Main through Saturday, May 2.
“The dining halls are social hubs,” Evancie says, “where people gather and catch up with each other three times each day. It was important to me in this project that the staff be removed from the context in which we normally see them, in uniforms, doing a specific task that they do every day.” She asked the staff to wear their street clothes and photographed them in front of a plain background. Approximately 20 staff members volunteered to be photographed for the project.
Middlebury College students, faculty, and community partners were recognized as awardees and finalists for Vermont Campus Compact Statewide Awards at Vermont Campus Compact's Statewide Conference, Through a Civic Lens, on April 1.
Vermont Campus Compact (VCC) is a consortium of 22 college and universities aiming to catalyze the public missions of higher education. VCC seeks to transform campuses in ways that contribute to social, economic, and environmental sustainability while developing better informed, active citizen problem-solvers. VCC believes that campuses must be vital agents and architects of a flourishing democracy