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  • richardmitnick 11:32 am on August 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Climate scientist on UN report-Just as bad as we expected", , , , , , Harvard Gazette (US),   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) and Harvard University John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (US) : “Climate scientist on UN report-Just as bad as we expected” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)

    and

    Harvard University John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (US)

    At

    Harvard University (US)

    August 12, 2021
    Ryan Mulcahy

    1
    Melting icebergs and the retreating ice cap are visible in Ilulissat, Greenland, where climate change is causing irreversible damage. Credit: Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via AP.

    Peter Huybers of SEAS says global response should include satellites, alternative-fuels research, and a commitment to food security, education.

    In a major United Nations report released Monday, the more than 230 scientists who make up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change described “unprecedented” climate change over the past century and warned in similarly unambiguous language that the world will descend further into catastrophic warming absent rapid and aggressive action to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. We asked Peter Huybers, a professor of Earth and planetary sciences, about the research behind the report, the panel’s first since 2013, and the harrowing details contained within it. The interview was edited for clarity and length.

    GAZETTE: Can you talk first about the climate effects the report identifies as irreversible?

    HUYBERS: Irreversibility means that even if other conditions were returned to a baseline condition, the system would not recover. An example is tipping a table until your soup bowl spills, and the fact that returning the table to level doesn’t put the soup back in the bowl.

    Studies indicate that the melting of the Greenland ice sheet is irreversible in the sense that, after the ice sheet melts, it would not regrow even if we otherwise returned the climate to pre-industrial conditions. The ice sheet is a vestige of a colder climate deeper in Earth’s past that is maintained, crucially, by high rates of accumulation on its flanks and cold temperatures atop that its own height affords. In this sense, the melting of Greenland and the consequent rising of sea level are irreversible.

    The IPCC report also uses the term “irreversible on centennial to millennial time scales” in describing melting of permafrost as well as the warming, acidification, and deoxygenation of the ocean. Permafrost is slow to regrow and the deep ocean adjusts over centuries to millennia, so in this sense these systems will not fully recover over societal timescales even under the optimistic scenario of returning the atmosphere to a pre-anthropogenic state.

    2
    “Every year since 2013 has been warmer than it was in 2013 and every year prior in a record that dates back to 1880,” said Peter Huybers of the Harvard John. A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Credit: Eliza Grinnell/SEAS.

    GAZETTE: The Sixth Assessment Report uses stronger language than previous assessments to address the influence of human activity on climate change: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land.” Are there specific findings, historical or otherwise, that have made this connection even clearer than it was eight years ago?

    HUYBERS: Yes, this report uses language that is more strident and confident. One contributing reason for this change in tone, I suspect, is the simple fact that in the eight years that elapsed between AR5 and AR6, the climate continued to change, in keeping with predictions for warming, loss of ice, rates of sea level rise, and changes in storms. I’ve seen more than one news piece suggesting that climate change is worse than we expected, and perhaps that is the case with regard to certain consequences, but with regard to overall physical changes, they are as the scientific community generally expected, and which to me seem plenty bad enough to motivate action.

    This situation can be contrasted with AR5, which was released at a time when it wasn’t clear if the climate had warmed in the preceding 10 years at rates that were consistent with our predictions. This so-called hiatus in global warming turns out to have been exaggerated by artifacts in how global temperature trends were estimated — for example, excluding much of the fastest warming regions in the Arctic. Moreover, every year since 2013 has been warmer than it was in 2013 and every year prior in a record that dates back to 1880. It’s clear that the warming trends expected in response to rising greenhouse gases are materializing at the expected rates.

    Another factor is that there were several studies that the scientific community was contemplating around the time of AR5 that suggested rather low values of equilibrium climate sensitivity, a measure of how much the Earth would ultimately warm in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Very low ranges have been ruled out now, along with some tightening on the higher end, giving a likely sensitivity range of 2.5°C to 4°C as compared with 1.5°C to 4.5°C in AR5.

    GAZETTE: With an eye on the clock, are there certain areas of climate research and/or policymaking where global leaders should concentrate resources?

    HUYBERS: Sometimes climate change is treated like the sky is falling, which implies a final crash. In fact, the composition of the sky is being steadily altered to trap more heat, and we need both short- and long-term strategies for bringing the climate back into equilibrium. The imperative to act doesn’t go away if — and, I’m afraid, when — we allow Earth’s surface temperature to warm by more than 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius. For example, widespread electrification of ground vehicles is plausible in the near term because price and performance are competitive with fossil fuel-based alternatives, but we also need a longer-term solution for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from air travel. Alternative ways of making jet fuel and capturing CO2 from the atmosphere are currently costly possibilities — can we make these cheaper or find another way?

    Additional research to improve prediction of climate change is also still warranted because, for example, there are big differences in the consequences of 2.5 versus 4°C per doubling of CO2 concentrations. There are notable opportunities to increase our rate of learning about the climate system by developing a constellation of satellites to monitor the flow of energy in and out of the Earth system. Another constellation of satellites could monitor greenhouse gas fluxes for purposes of better holding nations accountable for their emissions.

    Let me also highlight a broader issue: that no one can be expected to prioritize reducing greenhouse gas emissions absent a just standard of living. In some places that means helping adapt to the consequences of climate change, such as rising sea level, but more often it means things like ensuring food security, providing access to education, and working for peace.

    GAZETTE: What is the best-case scenario for humankind if leaders were to start acting tomorrow on the findings in the assessment?

    HUYBERS: Many world leaders, to their credit, are attempting to address the issues raised in the assessment. One best-case scenario is for world leaders to agree to policies that will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, scheduled for November in Scotland. Another, more general best-case outcome is for world leaders to build upon our shared interests in stabilizing climate to promote greater well-being and stability generally. Of course, political leaders can only get so far out ahead, such that any best-case scenario implies ample foresight and willingness on the part of people generally.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Through research and scholarship, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (US) will create collaborative bridges across Harvard and educate the next generation of global leaders. By harnessing the power of engineering and applied sciences we will address the greatest challenges facing our society.

    Specifically, that means that SEAS will provide to all Harvard College students an introduction to and familiarity with engineering and technology as this is essential knowledge in the 21st century.

    Moreover, our concentrators will be immersed in the liberal arts environment and be able to understand the societal context for their problem solving, capable of working seamlessly with others, including those in the arts, the sciences, and the professional schools. They will focus on the fundamental engineering and applied science disciplines for the 21st century; as we will not teach legacy 20th century engineering disciplines.

    Instead, our curriculum will be rigorous but inviting to students, and be infused with active learning, interdisciplinary research, entrepreneurship and engineering design experiences. For our concentrators and graduate students, we will educate “T-shaped” individuals – with depth in one discipline but capable of working seamlessly with others, including arts, humanities, natural science and social science.

    To address current and future societal challenges, knowledge from fundamental science, art, and the humanities must all be linked through the application of engineering principles with the professions of law, medicine, public policy, design and business practice.

    In other words, solving important issues requires a multidisciplinary approach.

    With the combined strengths of SEAS, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools, Harvard is ideally positioned to both broadly educate the next generation of leaders who understand the complexities of technology and society and to use its intellectual resources and innovative thinking to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

    Ultimately, we will provide to our graduates a rigorous quantitative liberal arts education that is an excellent launching point for any career and profession.

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:55 am on August 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Mark I- rebooted", Harvard Gazette (US), Rear Admiral Grace Hopper-a mathematician.   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) : “Mark I- rebooted” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)

    At

    Harvard University (US)

    July 23, 2021
    Alvin Powell

    ‘Progenetrix’ computer moves to its new home at Science and Engineering Complex in Allston after a pandemic delay.


    Mark I on the move. Video by Kai-Jae Wang.

    7
    1944 Computer History: IBM ASCC “Harvard Mark 1” world’s largest electro-mechanical calculator.

    Computer History Archives Project
    Original 1944 film footage of IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC) aka the “Harvard Mark 1″ world’s largest electro-mechanical calculator. Uploaded with improved audio, video, narration and new music soundtrack! (4 mins) Hope you enjoy!

    Photos and film courtesy of IBM and U.S. Naval Archives

    Music score Courtesy of”The Frozen Goat Band”
    Russ Lassonde: Rhythm Guitar
    Ed McCarthy: Drums
    Matt Greenia: Lead Guitar
    Bob Habereni: Bass

    Narration, Patrick Phillips
    Compilation by Computer History Archives Project

    —- ASCC Bits and Trivia—-

    -designed in 1937 by Harvard Graduate Student, Howard Aiken to solve advanced math & physics problems;
    -built by IBM for Harvard University, completed in 1944;
    -over 51 feet long, 8ft. tall, with 500 miles of wiring;
    -operated by U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships;
    -world’s largest electro-mechanical computer (not electronic);
    -utilized switches, relays and 765,000 electromechanical
    components;
    -input from 24-channel punched paper tape;
    -design included 78 adding machines linked together;
    -operated from 1944 to 1959;
    -overall cost nearly $300,000

    Uploaded by: Computer History Archives Project, Sep 8, 2018

    It is just 1.8 miles from Harvard’s Science Center in Cambridge to the new Science and Engineering Complex in Allston. The trip, from the Oxford Street building through Harvard Square and down North Harvard Street, should take about 10 minutes by car — about half an hour if you walk.

    So taking a year is bad, even considering Boston-area traffic. But there is a legitimate excuse for why it took so long to get the Harvard IBM Mark I Automatic Calculator — a computing milestone described in 1950 by Time magazine as “a progenitrix, a sort of mechanical Eve” — to its new home: the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Among the world’s first programmable computers, the Mark I — originally the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator — represented a key step forward in the global digital evolution. Before it began operation in 1944, computing machines (some of them faster than the Mark I) each had to be designed to solve a specific problem, The Mark I, however, could use punched cards and punched paper tape to store data and instructions that could address an array of problems.

    “It was such a first for its time,” said Sara Schechner, the David P. Wheatland Curator of Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, which counts the machine among its most treasured holdings. “We have lots of very significant items, but it ranks up there as a special thing.”

    It’s also the collection’s largest item. The original Mark I weighed five tons and was 50 feet long. It was the brainchild of a Harvard graduate student, Howard Aiken, who designed it in 1937, building on decades-old inspiration from British engineer and inventor Charles Babbage. Aiken shopped the idea around until IBM took interest. The machine itself, developed in collaboration with company scientists, was delivered to Harvard’s Cruft Lab in 1944, in time to lend a hand in the nation’s World War II effort, including the development of the atom bomb, missile trajectories, and the design of radar facilities.

    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    [There is text available for each of these images at the full article. Harvard has chosen to not make this text available for copying.]

    The project was run by the U.S. Navy and overseen by a crew headed by Aiken, who had enlisted and served as the project’s commander. Among those who played key roles was Lt. Grace Hopper, a mathematician. Hopper, who would rise to the rank of rear admiral, played a key role as an early Mark I programmer — making her one of the world’s first.

    She compiled a book on how to program the machine, which became the world’s first such computer manual, Schechner said.

    Hopper’s notes provide important documentation of those days, whose echoes can be heard today in now-familiar terms used routinely in talking about computers, Schechner said. A repeating “loop” for the Mark I was an actual loop of punched paper instructions that fed into the machine continuously. A software “patch” for the Mark I referred to the paper patches applied over erroneously punched holes on a program tape or card. Once patched, it could be repunched with the correct instruction. The Mark I’s “library” was where all the punched paper tapes and cards that held the Mark I’s programming instructions were stored. And, though the term “bug” was already in use for hard-to-find mechanical problems, the Mark I saw it applied to computers, Schechner said. Hopper’s notebook contains a tongue-in-cheek reference to the term, an actual moth that was the cause of a malfunction in the next generation machine, the Mark II. Hopper taped the dead insect to the page, noting that the mythical “bug” had been observed at last.

    With a computation speed of 3 hertz — today machines run at a relative breakneck pace of billions of hertz — the electro-mechanical Mark I was driven by a physical driveshaft connected to its clattering mechanical relays and was actually slower (in some cases a lot slower) than other computing machines of its time, some of which used less reliable but faster vacuum tubes. But the Mark I was built using proven, off-the-shelf business components from IBM wherever possible and was more accurate and reliable. Those qualities were valued, and the machine would continue to churn out answers until 1959 despite the development of newer, faster versions, including the Mark II, III, and IV, also developed by Aiken at Harvard. After its retirement, the machine was dismantled, with roughly half remaining at Harvard and two other pieces going to IBM and the Smithsonian Institution.

    The machine’s new home, the Science and Engineering Complex, will house labs and classrooms for the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), where Harvard’s computer science programs reside. The long-anticipated move of offices and labs for about half the School’s faculty into the new building was about to shift into high gear when the pandemic struck, putting on hold both the move and finishing work on the building. The move-in resumed last fall and School officials expect the SEC to be fully operational in September when students return to campus. The Mark I relocation was planned and carried out by teams from the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments and SEAS, led by SEAS Assistant Dean for Campus Planning Pamela Choi Redfern and organized by the project’s senior manager, Michael Noll, Schechner said.

    “It is gratifying to have this groundbreaking machine that links back to the dawn of the computer age ensconced in the new home of Harvard’s burgeoning computer science programs,” said SEAS Dean Francis J. Doyle III. “Surrounded by cutting-edge research — from artificial intelligence and machine learning to quantum devices and networks — the Mark I will be on public display to educate and inspire future generations of engineers and scientists.”

    Even at half its original size, Schechner said the Mark I is not only the largest item in the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, it is also the largest thing whose move she’d ever overseen. The Mark I had been in Harvard’s Science Center since the 1990s, when its home in what was then the Aiken Computation Laboratory was demolished to make room for the Maxwell-Dworkin Lab. In preparation for the current operation, Schechner said they examined photographs of that earlier move, seeking clues about the best way to dismantle and transport the massive machine. The move to Allston and the SEC had been long planned — Schechner said she spoke to architects during the SEC’s design phase about the need to accommodate the Mark I’s considerable weight in its new home in the building’s atrium. A more leisurely dismantling and reassembly had been planned for the summer of 2020, with more time for cleaning and documentation, but COVID intervened. This time, the desire to get the new exhibit in place and the building ready for students led to a compressed, two-week timeframe for the move, which was completed in early July.

    To achieve the chore, the Harvard team brought in five professional riggers to augment the collection’s staff. The machine was carefully dismantled in stages and packed for the truck ride to the SEC.

    Schechner said she hovered over the dismantling “like a nervous parent,” photographing and documenting the operation. “There’s a kind of beauty to it. There’s so much wiring and soldering, so many connections bundled and almost knit.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:10 am on August 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Harvard-led researchers document quantum melting of Wigner crystals", , , Eugene Wigner-how a metal that normally conducts electricity could turn into a nonconducting insulator when the density of electrons is reduced., Exciton spectroscopy, Harvard Gazette (US), , , Quantum phase transitions, This is right at the border of matter of changing from partially quantum material to partially classical material., Wigner crystal observed for the first time in 1979.   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) : “Harvard-led researchers document quantum melting of Wigner crystals” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)

    At

    Harvard University (US)

    June 30, 2021
    Juan Siliezar

    Study marks major step to creating a system to study quantum phase transitions.

    1
    A schematic of a quantum phase transition from an electron liquid to a bilayer Wigner crystal. Each ball represents a single electron. Credit: Ella Maru Studio in collaboration with Hongkun Park and You Zhou.

    In 1934, physicist Eugene Wigner made a theoretical prediction based on quantum mechanics that for decades years went unseen.

    The theory suggested how a metal that normally conducts electricity could turn into a nonconducting insulator when the density of electrons is reduced. Wigner theorized that when electrons in metals are brought to ultracold temperatures, these electrons would be frozen in their tracks and form a rigid, non-electricity conducting structure — a crystal — instead of zipping around at thousands of kilometers per second and creating an electric current. Since he discovered it, the structure was coined a Wigner crystal and was observed for the first time in 1979.

    What’s remained stubbornly elusive to physicists, however, has been the melting of the crystal state into a liquid in response to quantum fluctuations. At least, it was: Now, almost 90 years later, a team of physicists co-led by Hongkun Park and Eugene Demler in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has finally experimentally documented this transition.

    The work is described in a new study published in the journal Nature and marks a big step toward creating a system for studying these kinds of transitions between states of matter at the quantum level, a long-sought-after goal in the field.

    “This is right at the border of matter of changing from partially quantum material to partially classical material and has many unusual and interesting phenomena and properties,” said Demler, a senior author on the paper. “The crystals themselves have been seen, but this, sort of, pristine transition — when quantum mechanics and classical interactions are competing with each other — has not been seen. It has taken years.”

    Led by Park and Demler, the research team focused on observing Wigner crystals and their phase transitions in the study. In chemistry, physics, and thermodynamics, phase transitions happen when a substance changes from a solid, liquid, or gas to a different state. When quantum fluctuations near absolute zero temperature drive these transitions, they are called quantum-phase transitions. These quantum transitions are thought to play an important role in many quantum systems.

    In the case of a Wigner crystal, the crystal-to-liquid transition rises from a competition between the classical and quantum aspects of the electrons — the former dominating in the solid phase, in which electrons are “particle-like,” and the latter dominating in the liquid, in which electrons are “wave-like.” For a single electron, quantum mechanics tells us that the particle and wave nature are complementary.

    “It is striking that, in a system of many interacting electrons, these different behaviors manifest in distinct phases of matter,” said Park. “For these reasons, the nature of the electron solid-liquid transition has drawn tremendous theoretical and experimental interest.”

    The Harvard scientists report using a novel experimental technique developed by You Zhou, Jiho Sung, and Elise Brutschea — researchers from the Park Research Group and lead authors on the paper — to observe this solid-to-liquid transition in atomically thin semiconductor bilayers. In general, Wigner crystallization requires very low electron density, making its experimental realization a major challenge. By constructing two interacting electron layers from two atomically thin semiconductors, the researchers created a situation in which the crystallization stabilized at higher densities.

    To see the transition, the researchers used a method called exciton spectroscopy. This uses light to excite an electron in the system and bind it to the electron vacancy, or hole, it leaves behind, forming a hydrogen-like electron-hole pair known as an exciton. This pair interacts with the other electrons in the material and modifies the other electrons so they can be seen.

    The findings from the paper were largely accidental and came as a surprise, according to the researchers. The Park group initially set out in a different direction and were puzzled when they noticed the electrons in their material displayed insulating behavior. They consulted with theorists from Demler’s lab and soon realized what they had.

    The researchers plan to use their new method to continue to investigate other quantum phase transitions.

    “We now have an experimental platform where all these [different quantum phase transition] predictions can now be tested,” Demler said.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:12 pm on July 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New imaging technique may boost biology and neuroscience research", , , Harvard Gazette (US), , , , The system called De-scattering with Excitation Patterning (or DEEP) is believed to be the first of its kind .   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) : “New imaging technique may boost biology and neuroscience research” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)

    At

    Harvard University (US)

    July 7, 2021
    Juan Siliezar

    Scientists hope it will let them see inner workings of complex systems.

    1
    Dushan Wadduwage works with a laser in his Northwest lab where he does research on deep tissue imaging. Credit: Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer.

    Microscopists have long sought a way to produce high-quality, deep-tissue imaging of living subjects in a timely fashion. To date, they have had to choose between image quality or speed when looking into the inner workings of complex biological systems.

    A better imaging system would have a powerful impact on researchers in biology and in neuroscience, experts say. Now Dushan N. Wadduwage, a John Harvard Distinguished Science Fellow in imaging at the FAS Center of Advanced Imaging, along with a team from MIT, has detailed a new technique that would make that possible in a report in Science Advances.

    In the paper, the team presents a new process that uses computational imaging to get high-resolution images 100 to 1,000 times faster than other state-of-the-art technologies using complex algorithms and machine learning. The method can shorten a process that often takes months into a matter of days.

    3
    TFM and DEEP-TFM images of a mouse muscle specimen at a 190-um-deep imaging plane. The blue and red channels are respectively nucleus (stained with Hoechst 33342) and F-actin (stained with Alexa Fluor 568 Phalloidin). Courtesy of Dushan N. Wadduwage.

    The system called De-scattering with Excitation Patterning (or DEEP) is believed to be the first of its kind and may one day lead to new understanding of how complicated processes, such as those in the brain, function, because DEEP can capture images other microscopes cannot.

    Because the new system has the potential to actually speed up what they can image along with how fast they can do it, “scientists will be able to image fast processes they haven’t been able to capture before, like what happens when a neuron fires or how the signals move around in the brain,” Wadduwage said. “Also, because it’s technically faster, you can image a larger volume of area at one time, not just a small field of view as you would with a slower imaging system. It’s like being able to look at a much larger picture, and this is very important for neuroscientists and other biologists to actually get better statistics as well as to see what’s happening around the area being imaged.”

    The system works like many other animal-imaging techniques. Near-infrared laser light is used to penetrate deep through biological tissue that scatters the light. That light excites the fluorescent molecules the researchers want to image, and these emit signals that the microscope captures to form an image.

    There have been two main ways these types of images are taken. Point-scanning multiphoton microscopy can penetrate deep into a specimen and capture high-quality images, but this process is extremely slow because the image is formed one point at a time. Capturing a centimeter-sized image, for example, can take months. It also limits studies of fast biological dynamics, such as neurons firing. The other method is called temporal focusing microscopy. This is much faster and can capture images at a wider scale, but it is unable to capture high-resolution images at anything deeper than a few millionths of a meter. The fluorescent light scatters too much, causing the image to degrade when the camera detects it.

    DEEP, however, allows for wide-scale and quick tissue penetration, and produces high-resolution images. The system projects a wide light into the subject as in the temporal microscopy method, but that laser light is in a specific pattern. The computational-imaging algorithm that knows the initial pattern takes in the information gathered to reverse the process when it gets scattered and then reconstructs it, de-scattering the image. This is especially notable since it takes the reconstruction of structural features from millions of measurements to tens and hundreds. DEEP can image hundreds of microns deep through scattering tissue comparable to point-scanning techniques.

    DEEP is still in its early years of development, but is emerging from its proof-of-concept phase.

    “We showed that we can image about 300 microns into the brains of live mice,” Wadduwage said. “But since this is only the first demonstration, almost all aspects of the technique have room for improvement.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:38 pm on July 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Harvard-led physicists take big step in race to quantum computing", , , Harvard Gazette (US), Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms,   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) : “Harvard-led physicists take big step in race to quantum computing” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)

    At

    Harvard University (US)

    July 7, 2021
    Juan Siliezar

    1
    Dolev Bluvstein (from left), Mikhail Lukin, and Sepehr Ebadi developed a special type of quantum computer known as a programmable quantum simulator. Ebadi is aligning the device that allows them to create the programmable optical tweezers. Photos by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer.

    A team of physicists from the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms and other universities has developed a special type of quantum computer known as a programmable quantum simulator capable of operating with 256 quantum bits, or “qubits.”

    The system marks a major step toward building large-scale quantum machines that could be used to shed light on a host of complex quantum processes and eventually help bring about real-world breakthroughs in material science, communication technologies, finance, and many other fields, overcoming research hurdles that are beyond the capabilities of even the fastest supercomputers today. Qubits are the fundamental building blocks on which quantum computers run and the source of their massive processing power.

    “This moves the field into a new domain where no one has ever been to thus far,” said Mikhail Lukin, the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics, co-director of the Harvard Quantum Initiative, and one of the senior authors of the study published today in the journal Nature. “We are entering a completely new part of the quantum world.”

    According to Sepehr Ebadi, a physics student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the study’s lead author, it is the combination of system’s unprecedented size and programmability that puts it at the cutting edge of the race for a quantum computer, which harnesses the mysterious properties of matter at extremely small scales to greatly advance processing power. Under the right circumstances, the increase in qubits means the system can store and process exponentially more information than the classical bits on which standard computers run.

    “The number of quantum states that are possible with only 256 qubits exceeds the number of atoms in the solar system,” Ebadi said, explaining the system’s vast size.

    Already, the simulator has allowed researchers to observe several exotic quantum states of matter that had never before been realized experimentally, and to perform a quantum phase transition study so precise that it serves as the textbook example of how magnetism works at the quantum level.

    These experiments provide powerful insights on the quantum physics underlying material properties and can help show scientists how to design new materials with exotic properties.

    The project uses a significantly upgraded version of a platform the researchers developed in 2017 [Nature], which was capable of reaching a size of 51 qubits. That older system allowed the researchers to capture ultra-cold rubidium atoms and arrange them in a specific order using a one-dimensional array of individually focused laser beams called optical tweezers.

    3
    Dolev Bluvstein looks at 420 mm laser that allows them to control and entangle Rydberg atoms.

    This new system allows the atoms to be assembled in two-dimensional arrays of optical tweezers. This increases the achievable system size from 51 to 256 qubits. Using the tweezers, researchers can arrange the atoms in defect-free patterns and create programmable shapes like square, honeycomb, or triangular lattices to engineer different interactions between the qubits.

    “The workhorse of this new platform is a device called the spatial light modulator, which is used to shape an optical wavefront to produce hundreds of individually focused optical tweezer beams,” said Ebadi. “These devices are essentially the same as what is used inside a computer projector to display images on a screen, but we have adapted them to be a critical component of our quantum simulator.”

    The initial loading of the atoms into the optical tweezers is random, and the researchers must move the atoms around to arrange them into their target geometries. The researchers use a second set of moving optical tweezers to drag the atoms to their desired locations, eliminating the initial randomness. Lasers give the researchers complete control over the positioning of the atomic qubits and their coherent quantum manipulation.

    4
    6
    The researchers can use optical tweezers to position individually laser-cooled atoms in programmable geometries. Shown are fluorescence images of individual atoms after rearrangement into Harvard shields.
    Courtesy of Lukin group.

    Other senior authors of the study include Harvard Professors Subir Sachdev and Markus Greiner, who worked on the project along with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) Professor Vladan Vuletić, and scientists from Stanford University (US), the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Innsbruck [Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck] (AT), the Austrian Academy of Sciences [Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften](AT), and QuEra Computing Inc. in Boston.

    “Our work is part of a really intense, high-visibility global race to build bigger and better quantum computers,” said Tout Wang, a research associate in physics at Harvard and one of the paper’s authors. “The overall effort [beyond our own] has top academic research institutions involved and major private-sector investment from Google, IBM, Amazon, and many others.”

    The researchers are currently working to improve the system by improving laser control over qubits and making the system more programmable. They are also actively exploring how the system can be used for new applications, ranging from probing exotic forms of quantum matter to solving challenging real-world problems that can be naturally encoded on the qubits.

    “This work enables a vast number of new scientific directions,” Ebadi said. “We are nowhere near the limits of what can be done with these systems.”

    This work was supported by the Center for Ultracold Atoms, the National Science Foundation, the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Office MURI, and the DARPA ONISQ program.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:51 am on June 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Humanizing technology", Harvard Gazette (US)   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) : “Humanizing technology” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)

    At

    Harvard University (US)

    June 23, 2021
    Ralph Ranalli

    1
    Credit: Getty I-Stock.

    New Harvard lab will work to ensure tech serves the public interest.

    In a world increasingly concerned about how technology is harming us—diminishing privacy, exacerbating divisions, perpetuating racial and other forms of bias, and more—a new Harvard laboratory will focus on how technology can best serve people and society.

    The new Public Interest Technology Lab will offer scholars practical technology tools and experience to help them reimagine how technology can be used by governments and civil society for public good. The lab will be housed at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and is supported by a $3 million grant from the Ford Foundation.

    The new lab, announced Wednesday, is a collaboration among faculty across Harvard, and will also work with the Public Interest Technology University Network, made up of scholars at more than 40 American universities who are studying ways to advance public interest tech.

    The effort is led by Latanya Sweeney, the Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and Technology at the Kennedy School and a pioneer in the fields of data privacy and algorithm fairness. Sweeney founded the Technology Science program within the Harvard University Department of Government, was the first Black woman to receive her PhD in computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), and brings an important regulatory perspective as former chief technology officer at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

    She says the role of the new lab will be to pull together the important work that’s been done at Harvard and elsewhere and to enlist the help of others to magnify and expand on it.

    “Now we’re putting that all out for the world to help us,” Sweeney says. “I see the lab as a transition point between a lot of the work that’s built up over the last decades and the transition to a brighter future.”

    Shorenstein Center Director Nancy Gibbs, the Visiting Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice of Press, Politics, and Public Policy, said Sweeney’s qualifications blending computer science, teaching, and government service make her the ideal person to launch the new venture.

    “The new lab will be an important addition to Kennedy School initiatives that have deepened teaching, scholarship and action-oriented public policy research on digital and related technology,” Gibbs says.

    Sweeney has already been working with students and faculty on a range of public interest technology projects focused on using technology to enhance democratic participation and vaccine access and to address other societal challenges. That work has already influenced government regulations and prompted technology companies including Facebook and Airbnb to change some of their practices.

    Examples of initiatives that have resulted from collaborations with Harvard students and colleagues include VoteFlare, a service in Georgia that monitors voters’ registration status in real time and alerts them via email, text, or phone if something has changed (if they have been purged from a voter list, for example), giving them time to make corrections before election day.

    Another project, called MyDataCan, is designed to take control of personal data from technology companies and give it back to users. When people use apps and web-based services that are affiliated with MyDataCan, they can view, delete, share, or privatize their data using encryption, depending on their privacy preferences.

    Students carried out some of this work through the Data Privacy Lab, which Sweeney established while based in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. The Journal of Technology Science, which Sweeney founded and serves as editor in chief, has been a channel for sharing information about these projects.

    But even as the public interest tech successes were achieved, Sweeney says, the need to expand from a purely Harvard-based, undergraduate program was becoming clearer. “It was realizing that, in any given year, we were leaving more problems unsolved than we could address,” she says. “We needed a way for students to get to do this work, not only at the undergraduate level, but at the graduate level as well.”

    Sweeney said the new lab will give students, scholars, and faculty across the Kennedy School, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and other parts of Harvard University experience working directly with technology, including algorithms, programs, tools, devices, and more. Ultimately, the lab will have three overarching goals: creating, developing, and providing technologies in the public interest; enabling research; and providing ways to share knowledge about public interest technology across institutions and disciplines.

    All of that effort, Sweeney says, will be guided by a desire not just to foster technology that serves some people, but that serves everyone. “As we go, as we’re shaping the future, we want to make sure that we’re also expanding the opportunities and advancing equity — making sure we’re bringing others along with us,” she says.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
    • Sathyashree 12:09 pm on July 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, please stop my subscription to this blog! Super annoying with so many posts! I don’t want to see any of your posts again!

      Like

      • richardmitnick 6:56 pm on July 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry, you will have to stop the posts yourself. Depending on how you get them. If direct, remove yourself from the email list. If by RSS, remove the feed. I am sorry you no longer wish to be a part of the community of over 1000 readers, but that is your choice.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sathyashree 9:59 pm on July 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply

          Yeah, but can’t this be customised to just one mail per day? Whatever blogs you are about to post, you can assimilate them all into one email and send that as a post to your readers, probably every once in *the duration each person chooses*. That would be really nice.

          Like

          • richardmitnick 10:59 am on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

            Sorry, I work the way I choose to work and over 1,000 readers approve of how I work. You may disengage depending on how you get the blog posts. Full stop.

            Like

    • Sathyashree 4:27 pm on July 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll miss your blogs though 😦

      Like

  • richardmitnick 9:51 am on June 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Backing high-risk, Andrew Davies: Assessing the future of human; wildlife; and livestock in African savannas., Harvard Gazette (US), high-reward", Jonathan Abraham: Profiling the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein., Julia Mundy: Building a platform for faultless quantum computing, Kaighin McColl: Tracking wildfires in a warming world., Roger Fu: Probing seismic hazards and earthquake physics., Sophie Helaine: Tackling antibiotic persistence during infection., Women in STEM-Sophie Helaine; Ya-Chieh Hsu; Julia Mundy, Ya-Chieh Hsu: Can mammals regenerate? Lessons from the skin.   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) : Women in STEM-Sophie Helaine; Ya-Chieh Hsu; Julia Mundy “Backing high-risk, high-reward” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)

    At

    Harvard University (US)

    June 11, 2021
    Leigh Carlisle

    Predicting COVID-19 variants. Forecasting earthquakes. Promoting regeneration in mammals. These are the kinds of high-risk, high-impact quests Harvard researchers are taking on, with help from the Star-Friedman Challenge for Promising Scientific Research. Established in 2013 with a gift from James A. Star ’83 and expanded funding from Josh Friedman ’76, M.B.A. ’80, J.D. ’82, and Beth Friedman, the challenge provides generous, critical seed funding for ambitious projects in the life, physical, and social sciences that might not otherwise receive grants.

    “This year again we received a large number of exciting proposals to the Star Friedman Challenge from various Schools across the campus,” said Catherine Dulac, Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Lee and Ezpeleta Professor of Arts and Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and chairman of the faculty review committee awarding this year’s winners, which she called “inspiring and cutting-edge projects that address a great diversity of scientific questions.”

    On Wednesday, faculty members leading the seven projects selected for funding this year — Jonathan Abraham, Andrew Davies, Roger Fu, Sophie Helaine, Ya-Chieh Hsu, Kaighin McColl, and Julia Mundy — will speak about their research in a virtual event open to the Harvard community.

    The researchers provided the Gazette with a glimpse into their work, its potential impact, and why funding “challenges” like this are so crucial for research.

    Profiling the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

    1
    Jonathan Abraham is examining the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 sequence to better predict mutations most poised to emerge among circulating variants.

    Abraham, an assistant professor of microbiology, and his Harvard Medical School research team will use Challenge funds to predict the COVID-19 mutations that may be the likeliest of the existing variants to emerge.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be turning a corner, and thankfully, most vaccines seem to working against variants that are circulating across the globe. We have to be proactive and do our best to anticipate what might be coming next in terms of mutations that might make drugs and vaccines ineffective,” said Abraham. “This award comes at a critical time for our lab and will allow us to carry out an ambitious, high-risk project in which we try to better predict how SARS-CoV-2 can mutate to escape antibodies either used in the clinic or elicited by vaccines. This means we would be better prepared with next-generation countermeasures if such changes in the virus happen.”

    Assessing the future of human; wildlife; and livestock in African savannas.

    2
    Using drone-based remote sensing, Andrew Davies is tracking how shifts in herbivore communities affect African savannas and impact the biodiversity of its plants. Credit: Anina Apablaza.

    Is it environmentally sustainable for wildlife and livestock to live together on the African savannas? Davies, assistant professor of organismic and evolutionary biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), and his group are investigating how competition with livestock, habitat loss, and overharvesting are impacting the large herbivores native to the area. His group will collect drone-based remote sensing data in Kenya to measure how the introduction of domesticated livestock affects plant and vegetation diversity, key predictors of whether humans, wildlife, and livestock can coexist without significant consequences for the ecosystem.

    “African savannas hold some of the last remaining megafauna communities on earth. These iconic species have been thrown into an unprecedented state of flux. These data will enable some of the first insights into how these new assemblages will affect the way ecosystems function and the future of African savannas,” said Davies. “I believe that this award will open the door to many new and exciting discoveries highly relevant to understanding and mitigating the rapidly ongoing changes in African savannas and other ecosystems worldwide.”

    Probing seismic hazards and earthquake physics.

    3
    Using magnetic imaging on faults in California and Nevada, Roger Fu is measuring the magnitude of ancient earthquakes to more accurately evaluate seismic hazards in a given area.

    The most destructive earthquakes occur on faults that rupture at intervals of hundreds or thousands of years. Fu, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences in FAS, and graduate student Sammy Paiscik are looking at long-dormant fault systems to better estimate the magnitude of ancient earthquakes and understand the physics behind them. Using samples and investigating faults in Nevada and California, the team is using high-resolution magnetic imaging to quantify the intensity of past ruptures and create heat profiles that measure the friction on the fault during the event.

    This level of accuracy is currently unavailable for most fault systems that host strong earthquakes and would provide critical seismic hazard information for regions such as southernmost California, where the next devastating earthquake has no historic precedent, Fu wrote. “This usage can have direct applications in protecting communities in earthquake-prone areas,” he says.

    Tackling antibiotic persistence during infection.

    4
    Sophie Helaine is developing a model that characterizes bacterial persisters, hoping this unprecedented lens can be used to improve therapeutics and counteract antibiotic resistance.

    In her work tackling microbial infections and resistance to antibiotics, Helaine, assistant professor of microbiology at Harvard Medical School, is researching the physiology and survival of stubborn infections, called “persisters,” and better ways to control them. Her group has developed systems to study antibiotic persistence in vivo, similar to the conditions that bacteria encounter in an infected host. They hope what they learn can be used to create improved treatments.

    “We have experienced over the last year or so the terrible consequences of a pandemic; this is only a taste of what life will be in the coming years if we do not develop new antibacterials to slow the spread of antibiotic resistance,” Helaine said. “This provides us with a fantastic opportunity to dive right into a risky and exciting research avenue that we think will ultimately contribute to improving human health by increasing our arsenal against difficult-to-treat infections. It is also a formidable recognition of our boldest ideas and encouragement to continue exploring without limits.”

    Can mammals regenerate? Lessons from the skin.

    5
    Studying the mysteries of regeneration in animals, Ya-Chieh Hsu is hoping his research could unlock its potential in people, fundamentally changing how we treat injury and chronic wounds. Credit: Jon Chase/Harvard file photo.

    Hsu, the Alvin and Esta Star Associate Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology in FAS, and her colleague Jason Buenrostro, assistant professor of stem cell and regenerative biology, are unwinding the mysteries of regeneration in mammals. Their work in skin has suggested that some mammals may carry the innate ability to regenerate organs, but that this ability is blocked in fetal development. The research group seeks to study the transition from regeneration to scarring, which happens within days of birth, and the mechanics behind it. Their research could help lay the foundation for breakthroughs in treatments of wounds, like critical burns.

    “This award is enabling us to pursue novel and creative approaches to identify new strategies that change how severe injury is treated,” said Hsu.

    Tracking wildfires in a warming world.

    6
    Kaighin McColl is researching how climate change impacts dry lightning and the risk of wildfires, one of the most pressing environmental threats in the western United States. Photo by Alex Griswold/Harvard University Center for the Environment.

    Lightning without rainfall is the primary cause of natural wildfires in the U.S. McColl, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences and of environmental science and engineering in FAS and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is measuring whether dry lightning will become more frequent with global warming, a dramatic implication for fire risk and management. California saw this in 2020, when an unusual episode of dry thunderstorms across the state ignited several hundred new wildfires.

    “Funding from the Star-Friedman Challenge will allow us to pursue a high-risk project that would be unlikely to get funded through conventional channels,” said McColl. His team will track the larger-scale, land-atmosphere conditions that foster dry thunderstorms and use climate models to project how those conditions will respond to climate change. They aim to provide the first analysis of the impact of global warming on dry lightning, including tracking potential trends in recent decades and crucial data for local and federal agencies combating wildfires.

    Building a platform for faultless quantum computing.

    7
    Julia Mundy is constructing a superconductor that could form a platform for faultless quantum computing, leading to breakthroughs in everything from biochemistry to astronomy.

    Assistant Physics Professor Mundy her group are seeking to advance their construction of a novel topological superconductor that could serve as the foundation for faultless quantum computing. They are building on their recent advances in thin-film synthesis to create new superconductor technology and potentially lay the groundwork for a new computing paradigm with insights on everything from understanding the complex biochemical reactions that underpin life to the detection of dark matter and dark energy.

    “We are particularly excited to have the opportunity to engage a postdoctoral fellow, graduate student and undergraduate researcher in this direction,” says Mundy. “My group is very excited to pursue our proposed research.

    Hear from the winning faculty members as they discuss their projects during an online panel on Wednesday, 3:30–4:45 p.m. (ET).

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:52 pm on May 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Mapping the quantum frontier one layer at a time", , , Harvard Gazette (US), , Schrödinger’s equation   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) : “Mapping the quantum frontier one layer at a time” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)

    At

    Harvard University (US)

    May 19, 2021
    Caitlin McDermott-Murphy

    1
    Kang-Kuen Ni and her team use ultra-cold chemistry to test quantum theory against actual experimental data.
    Photo by Jon Chase/Harvard.

    Researchers design new experiments to map and test the mysterious quantum realm.

    A heart surgeon doesn’t need to grasp quantum mechanics to perform successful operations. Even chemists don’t always need to know these fundamental principles to study chemical reactions. But the workings of the atomic and subatomic world is fundamental to our lives and for Kang-Kuen Ni, the Morris Kahn Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and of Physics, exploring it is, like going into space, a quest to discover a vast and mysterious new realm.

    Today, much of quantum mechanics is explained by Schrödinger’s equation, a kind of master theory that governs the properties of everything on Earth. “Even though we know that, in principle, quantum mechanics governs everything,” Ni said, “to actually see it is difficult and to actually calculate it is near-impossible.”

    With a few well-reasoned assumptions and some innovative techniques, Ni and her team can achieve the near-impossible. In their lab, they test current theories about chemical reactions against actual experimental data to edge closer to a verifiable map of the laws that govern the mysterious quantum realm. And now, with ultracold chemistry — in which atoms and molecules are cooled to temperatures just above absolute zero, where they become highly controllable and more visible — Ni and her lab members have collected real experimental data from an unexplored quantum frontier, providing strong evidence of what the theoretical model got right (and wrong) and a roadmap for further exploration into the shadowy next layers of quantum space.

    “We know the underlying laws that govern everything,” said Ni. “But because almost everything on Earth is made of at least three or more atoms, those laws quickly become far too complex to solve.”

    2
    Kang-Kuen Ni (left) and postdoc fellow Matthew A. Nichols do a hands-on consult in their lab.

    In their study reported in Nature, Ni and her team set out to identify all the possible energy state outcomes, from start to finish, of a reaction between two potassium and rubidium molecules—a more complex reaction than had been studied in the quantum realm. That’s no easy feat: At its most fundamental level, a reaction between four molecules has a massive number of dimensions (the electrons spinning around each atom, for example, could be in an almost-infinite number of locations simultaneously). That very high dimensionality makes calculating all the possible reaction trajectories impossible with current technology.

    “Calculating exactly how energy redistributes during a reaction between four atoms is beyond the power of today’s best computers,” Ni said. A quantum computer might be the only tool that could one day achieve such a complex calculation.

    In the meantime, calculating the impossible requires a few well-reasoned assumptions and approximations (picking one location for one of those electrons, for example) and specialized techniques that grant Ni and her team ultimate control over their reaction.

    One such technique was another recent Ni lab discovery: She and her team exploited a reliable feature of molecules — their highly stable nuclear spin — to control the quantum state of the reacting molecules all the way through to the product, work they chronicled in a recent study published in Nature Chemistry. They also discovered a way to detect products from a single collision reaction event, a difficult feat when 10,000 molecules could be reacting simultaneously. With these two novel methods, the team could identify the unique spectrum and quantum state of each product molecule, the kind of precise control necessary to measure all 57 pathways their potassium rubidium reaction could take.

    Over several months during the COVID-19 pandemic, the team ran experiments to collect data on each of those 57 possible reaction channels, repeating each channel once every minute for several days before moving on to the next. Luckily, once the experiment was set up, it could be run remotely: Lab members could stay home, keeping the lab re-occupancy at COVID-19 standards, while the system churned on.

    “The test,” said Matthew Nichols, a postdoctoral scholar in the Ni lab and an author on both papers, “indicates good agreement between the measurement and the model for a subset containing 50 state-pairs but reveals significant deviations in several state-pairs.”

    In other words, their experimental data confirmed that previous predictions based on statistical theory (one far less complex than Schrödinger’s equation) are accurate — mostly. Using their data, the team could measure the probability that their chemical reaction would take each of the 57 reaction channels. Then, they compared their percentages with the statistical model. Only seven of the 57 showed a significant enough divergence to challenge the theory.

    “We have data that pushes this frontier,” Ni said. “To explain the seven deviating channels, we need to calculate Schrödinger’s equation, which is still impossible. So now, the theory has to catch up and propose new ways to efficiently perform such exact quantum calculations.”

    Next, Ni and her team plan to scale back their experiment and analyze a reaction between only three atoms (one molecule is made of two atoms, which is then forced to react with a single atom). In theory, this reaction, which has far fewer dimensions than a four-atom reaction, should be easier to calculate and study in the quantum realm. Yet, already, the team has discovered something strange: The intermediate phase of the reaction lives on for many orders of magnitude longer than the theory predicts.

    “There is already mystery,” Ni said. “It’s up to the theorists now.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:21 am on May 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Earth may have been a water world 3 billion years ago", According to the researchers’ calculations the amount of water that could have gone down into the Earth’s mantle could potentially be as much as all the present-day oceans combined., , , , , , Harvard Gazette (US), , Mantle water storage capacity, The primordial ocean could have flooded more than 70; 80; and even 90 percent of the early continents.   

    From Harvard Gazette (US) : “Earth may have been a water world 3 billion years ago” 

    From Harvard Gazette (US)

    At

    Harvard University (US)

    1
    Calculations show that Earth’s oceans may have been 1 to 2 times bigger than previously thought and the planet may have been completely covered in water. Credit: Alec Brenner/Harvard University.

    Harvard scientists calculate early ocean may have been 1 to 2 times bigger.

    April 30, 2021
    Juan Siliezar

    In 1995, Universal Studios released what was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever made: Waterworld, a film set in the distant future where the planet Earth was almost completely covered in water and its remaining inhabitants could only dream of mythic dry land. Well, take away the future part, the exorbitant budget, the chain-smoking pirates, and the gill-sporting Kevin Costner and the movie may have been onto something.

    According to a new, Harvard-led study, geochemical calculations about the interior of the planet’s water storage capacity suggests Earth’s primordial ocean 3 to 4 billion years ago may have been one to two times larger than it is today, and possibly covered the planet’s entire surface.

    “It depends on the conditions and parameters we look at in the model, such as the height and distribution of the continents, but the primordial ocean could have flooded more than 70, 80, and even 90 percent of the early continents,” said Junjie Dong, a Ph.D. student in Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, who led the study. “In the extreme scenarios, if we have an ocean that is two times larger than the amount of water we have today, that might have completely flooded the land masses we had on the surface of the early Earth.”

    The research was published in AGU Advances earlier this month. It challenges long-held assumptions that Earth’s ocean volume hasn’t changed too much since the planet’s formation. At its root, the paper delves into understanding the origins of water and the history of how its bodies have evolved.

    “In the geology community, biology community, and even in the astronomy community, they are all interested in the origins of life, and water is one of the most important key elements that has to be considered,” Dong said.

    Researchers weren’t looking for signs of liquid water, but its chemical equivalent, oxygen and hydrogen atoms, which bond to the interior of the planet. They compiled all the data in the scientific literature they could find on minerals that hold these signs and used the figures to calculate how much water there could be in the Earth’s mantle, which makes up the bulk of the planet’s interior. That number is referred to as the planet’s mantle water storage capacity. It changes as the interior of the planet continues to cool.

    The group calculated what that number could be today and how much could have been stored a few billion years ago to see how the number had changed. The capacity back then was significantly less.

    Scientists then compared those numbers to geochemical estimates of how much water is in the mantle today. Analysis found that the actual water content today is likely higher than the maximum water capacity of the mantle a few billion years ago, meaning the water today wouldn’t have been able to fit in the mantle billions of years ago. This suggests the water was someplace else — on the world’s surface. According to the researchers’ calculations the amount of water that could have gone down into the Earth’s mantle could potentially be as much as all the present-day oceans combined.

    “There has been water falling into the Earth’s interior over time, which makes sense because with plate tectonics you have some of the plates on the Earth’s surface that subduct and go down into the interior and bring water down with them,” said Rebecca Fischer, the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the study’s other lead author. “There’s not really anywhere that water could come from besides the oceans on the surface, so that implies that the oceans had to have been larger in the past.”

    The study isn’t the first to suggest Earth could have been a water world, but the researchers believe it to be the first offering quantitative evidence based on the water storage capacity of the mantle.

    The researchers point out some caveats in the study, the main one being that data on the minerals used to determine the amount of water in the planet’s mantle is limited when it comes to its deeper parts, which go down thousands of kilometers.

    In their next project, Dong and Fischer are looking toward Mars. They plan to use a similar model to determine the amount of water that could have been stored in its interior.

    “Evidence seems to point out that the early Mars had a significant amount of water on its surface,” Dong said. “We want to investigate whether that surface water had some relations with the water that could possibly have been stored in its interior.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University (US) is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s bestknown landmark.

    Harvard University (US) has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University (US)’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University (US)’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University (US) has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University (US) was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University (US) has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University (US)’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University (US) became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University (US)’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University (US)’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University (US) professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University (US) classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University (US) has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University (US).

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University (US)’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
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