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6 posts from July 2013

When Arab Spring Becomes All Out War: Tisch Photography Exhibit Explores the Human Cost of Unrest in Syria

Jul 25, 2013

HusampostcardThe sleepy summer term tableau of in the main TSOA Building foyer contrasts sharply with the hustle and bustle of regular term-time. All the more reason to venture through the lobby, behind the elevators, to take in Bridget Auger’s powerful photo and text exhibit, “This is Not Me: Enduring Syria’s War.”

Sponsored by the Tisch Department of Photography and Imaging, the exhibition subject matter couldn’t be timelier. But its main strength lies is the deftness with which it tells the tale of two friends as they experience the ongoing conflict in Syria from inside and outside their homeland.

Auger, a Tisch Photography alumna (BFA, ’06) and the 2012 Tierney Fellowship award recipient from the Department of Photography & Imaging, both lovingly and realistically depicts her subjects as they register the range of emotions provoked by the events from 2011 to the present: excitement, hope, terror, disillusionment, isolation and despair. Coupled with the images are verbatim quotes, rounding out a compact exhibition that provides the viewer with both a complex and nuanced portrait not only of the situation in present day Syria, but of the hubris and disappointment that encompass revolution.

Continue reading "When Arab Spring Becomes All Out War: Tisch Photography Exhibit Explores the Human Cost of Unrest in Syria" »

Gallatin's Duncombe Opens Up More's 'Utopia'

Jul 23, 2013

Sir Thomas More headed out of this world on July 6, 1535, but left behind one of western civilization’s most recognizable texts, Utopia, which describes a mythical society that More sharply contrasts with his 16th-century Europe.

More, who was executed for running afoul of King Henry VIII, was a vociferous opponent of the Protestant Reformation as Lord Chancellor of England.

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In Cleveland, the Improbable becomes the Probable

Jul 18, 2013

"That things improbable oft will hap to men. For what is improbable does happen, and therefore it is probable that improbable things will happen."

Or so wrote Aristotle more than two thousand years ago.

While the Greek mathematician’s perspective undoubtedly applied to countless events in ancient Greece, he most certainly was not thinking about baseball, which wasn’t invented until the 19th century.


Yet, Aristotle’s words rang true this past weekend in Cleveland when fan Greg Van Niel grabbed four balls during a single game at the home-town Indians’ Progressive Field.

Van Niel’s accomplishment—or good fortune—immediately raised the question: what’s the probability of nabbing four foul balls at a major-league baseball game?

One estimate put it as a one in a trillion chance. But we decided to dig deeper using one of our own experts: Courant Professor Charles Newman, a probability expert who directed the institute from 2002 to 2006.

Image courtesy of Schyler at en.wikipedia

Continue reading "In Cleveland, the Improbable becomes the Probable" »

During Heat Wave, NYU Helps ConEd and NYC with Energy Curtailment

Jul 17, 2013

Like Shakespeare in the Park or the Washington Square Summer Music Fest, it’s become a summer ritual: NYC braces for a heat wave, and NYU students and employees start looking for ways to reduce their energy usage by turning off non-essential lights and mechanical systems across the University. If you have ever been through a black-out – and many of us in the NYU community have – you’ll understand why people willingly comply: as Con-Edison tells us, these efforts will help reduce the chance of brown-outs, black-outs, and damage from over-heating to the city's electrical system.

In ways large and small NYU is doing its part.


A NYU engineer checks the main circuit breaker control panel in the CoGen plant.  The red lines at the top indicate ConEd’s electrical grid; the blue lines at the bottom indicate NYU’s electrical grid.  Looping lines of both colors represent where the two grids meet, and they indicate that the two electrical power grids are in synch.


Continue reading "During Heat Wave, NYU Helps ConEd and NYC with Energy Curtailment " »

An Egyptian Evacuation

Jul 12, 2013

NYU TravelerIn October 2012, NYU – like most of Lower Manhattan – had to deal with the impact of Hurricane Sandy: housing, feeding, and helping a community of many thousands for several days when the electricity went out. But as a university with a global presence, we need to be prepared for more than what happens in our neighborhood or city.

That brings us to what occurred last week in Egypt.

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Tech and Entrepreneurship

Jul 10, 2013

Entrepreneurs festivalThe NYU Entrepreneurs Festival

Since Professor Samuel F. B. Morse (inventor of the electric telegraph) joined NYU in 1831 as one of the 14 founding faculty members, entrepreneurship has long been a defining aspect of NYU’s character. But for a long time it seemed that anything remotely hip or cool in technology had one source: Silicon Valley. Honorable mentions often went to Austin, Seattle, and Boston.

Now, just as new markets emerged over time along the Silk Road, serious tech innovation is finally being associated with New York City—and especially NYU.

Continue reading "Tech and Entrepreneurship" »

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