Members discuss co-exchange issue

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) continued to discuss the co-exchange program and explored ways it could partner with Notre Dame’s student government at its meeting Wednesday.   Last week, SGA held a forum regarding co-exchange, which was meant to allow student voices to be hear, student body president Rachael Chesley said.  But she said many students did not feel the administration listened to what they had to say. “I think in the upcoming weeks, we are going to stay on the administration because I don’t want them to think that we’ve forgotten about this and that students are suddenly OK,” she said. Chesley encouraged SGA to consider creative ways for the administration to make up for the lack of co-exchange meal ticket availability. SGA also created a new finance committee, which will be responsible for creating the budget, as well as working with clubs and organizations for sponsorship purposes. In the past, much of SGA’s meeting time was spent discussing whether or not to give clubs money, which hindered productivity, Chesley said. “Now, the finance committee will take care of that end of things,” she said. SGA also discussed several partnership opportunities with Notre Dame’s student government. Chesley said there were two opportunities to work directly with the University’s student leaders. SGA planned to co-sponsor an event where attorney C.L. Lindsay would visit the community and to co-sponsor a program that reaches out to local businesses and creates a partnership so students can receive discounts. “It will encourage students to go out to the local businesses, which will help them, and it’ll help students because it will be more cost-effective to go out,” Chesley said. “Also, it’s going to benefit the community.”last_img read more

Professor honored with IBM award

first_imgEarlier this month, IBM awarded its Watson Solutions Faculty Award to Notre Dame computer science professor Nitesh Chawla. The IBM award recognizes the work of faculty on the forefront of big data and analytics and applying that work to social problems as well as incorporating it into curriculum, according to a University press release. Chawla, who currently serves as director of both the Interdisciplinary Center of Network Science and Applications and the Data, Interference, Analytic and Learning Lab, was honored for his work with the research of big data and healthcare innovation to examine possible solutions for the future of the healthcare field. “Big data is becoming a cornerstone of the modern economy,” he said. “A lot of my research has been around data, data mining, machine learning, network science and applications, and so my Watson Faculty Award was a recognition of that work and a recognition of the curriculum.” Chawla created a multidisciplinary course at Notre Dame called Healthcare Analytics, which uses his research ideas in part as a basis for the curriculum and includes majors from multiple colleges, he said. “It may be one of the more multidisciplinary courses on campus,” Chawla said. “Students from each discipline then are focused on how we can think about data and healthcare, how data in healthcare can lead to more personalized healthcare, more cost-effective healthcare.” The South Bend healthcare community has been responsive to the research and the class, Chawla said, and many local leaders in the industry have worked with the class, including executives from Michiana Health Information Network and the chief information officer of Beacon Health System. Chawla said this kind of outside interest and involvement is important to the class as well as demonstrating why IBM was so interested in his work, especially with the creation of its new initiative, the artificial intelligence machine known as Watson. IBM popularized its Watson machine by pitting it against top human competitors on the television game show “Jeopardy!”, but its capabilities are much greater than that, Chawla said. “[The class] is sort of emblematic of the work that Watson is doing. The machine is a cognitive system which brings in data and information from a variety of sources, processes it and delivers it in a viable form,” Chawla said. “That’s what we are trying to create in the classroom environment, where you have people from different disciplines, different backgrounds, different expertise working on projects together and then delivering it in a way that would make a difference to healthcare.” The class is split up into several groups that work on semester-long projects with the goal of operating at the intersection of medicine and big data research, Chawla said. Project topics include studying patient scheduling issues, readmission rates and global health partnerships. Contact Kevin Noonan at [email protected]last_img read more

Lecture kicks off World War I centennial series

first_imgIn order to commemorate its centennial, Dan Lindley, associate professor of political science, spoke about the First World War in the Annenberg Auditorium on Wednesday. Lindley’s discussion of World War I, started off a five-part lecture series, hosted by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.“The question is what’s changed from then to now,” Lindley said. “Who cares about World War One anymore? It’s very important in history; it was known as ‘The Great War,’ [and] ‘The War to End All Wars.’ Unfortunately, that did not turn out to be the case.”Beginning with the very start of the war in 1914, Lindley reviewed the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and the effect of tight alliances and all-or-nothing mobilization on the war’s frontier.“Nationalism is another factor here …  it’s taken to hyper-nationalism with strong doses of social Darwinism,” he said. “The idea that nations have to fight each other to show their worth … Would we have a war if we thought fighting was good?”Lindley described the conflict as being of a scale and scope simply unimaginable in contemporary times.The first day of the war is a good example, as the British army lost the equivalent of one percent of their country’s total population, he said.“Imagine if in one battle, we lost 3 million people,” he said. “It’s unfathomable. At Verdun, [the French and Germans] started that battle with 37 million artillery shells … [it’s] rather unbelievable.”Lindley also compared the damage done by World War I’s artillery campaigns to the impact of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, showing pictures and describing how they leveled cities to a very similar degree.“We talk about the human cost, but there’s a permanent cost to the beauty which is Europe, and the lovely history that was there,” he said.Lindley introduced a tool of his own creation, the ‘Lindley War Prediction Table,’ which is available on his website. He said the table features a variety of categories to diagnose relations between two nations and the chances of a conflict arising. Such groupings include rapidly shifting power, scapegoating and ethnic brethren abroad.Midway through the lecture, Lindley played a three-minute snippet of Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 film Paths of Glory, an anti-war piece set in the trenches of the Western Front. This was part of an effort to emphasize the brutality of the combat and its Sisyphean nature with days spent fighting over feet of terrain, he said.Dan Graff, the director of undergraduate studies in the department of history, said the lecture series exemplifies the intellectual life of Notre Dame, one where faculty are personally connecting with students in an intimate way. Moreover, he said he stresses the inter-disciplinary nature of the series, which is highlighted by the history department as an “Exploring History” event.The next lecture of the five-part series will be delivered by Dr. Tait Keller of Rhodes College at 4.30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 8th. The lecture, along with the following three lectures, will take place in the Annenberg Auditorium of the Snite Museum of Art.Tags: dan lindley, Nanovic Institute, WWI, WWI centenniallast_img read more

Lecture examines origin of “Blessed are the poor”

first_imgNotre Dame law professor John Finnis posed the question, “Who Said, ‘Blessed are the Poor’?” in a lecture Friday at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture’s 15th Annual Fall Conference entitled “Your Light Will Rise in the Darkness: Responding to the Cry of the Poor.”Finnis said the answer to the lecture’s titular question can be found by exploring the differences between the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.“The firm answer [to the question, who said, “Blessed are the Poor?”] is given by the Gospel [of] Luke,” Finnis said.Finnis said Jesus clearly that addresses not only the poor, but also his disciples, when he compares the destitute and hungry to the rich.“What [Jesus] promised the poor was not social justice,” Finnis said. “What he was — and is — holding out is the short hope of a place of Kingdom of God — not now, but as a great reward in heaven.”Finnis said “blessed are the poor” with “blessed are the poor in spirit” are found in distinct accounts of the gospels.“The Gospel according to Matthew describes similar blessings in the Beatitudes,” he said.  “Notice in his account that the poverty in the third and fourth Beatitudes are spiritual. Do not care for riches. Lay up your treasures in heaven. You cannot serve two masters in God and wealth.”Luke cautions readers of his gospel about the vices wealth may spawn.“In the context of warning, [Luke] cautioned against avarice,” Finnis said.  “… The poor in Luke’s straightforward sense is what the poor in spirit are to experience, that is the good news of the gospel — there is a treasure in heaven.“So, did Jesus say, blessed are the ‘poor’ or ‘poor in spirit?’ The two evangelists are reporting the same sermon.  Both contain —in the same order — love your enemies, judge not others, but it seems clear one account is not derived from the other and they’re not from the same source.  Two different reports on one sermon.”Finnis cited theologian John Chapman and said, “There is no reason to doubt that Jesus on inaugural sermon said both.”“While Luke’s Beatitudes may represent the fiery, original words, Matthew spiritualized them, making them applicable to the spiritual needs of others,” Finnis said. “Gospels are not eyewitness testimonies all the time, but each evangelist has arranged the accounts to address the spiritual needs of the community they are a part of.“One can forge a good argument from discontinuity for the core Beatitudes — in spirit can represent the Beatitudes in the communities. As for the other Beatitudes, they are parallel to the form and function of the work of Jesus.“Those Beatitudes may be referred to be authentic.”Tags: beatitudes, blessed are the poor, blessed are the poor in spirit, Gospel, Luke, Matthew, poor, poor in spiritlast_img read more

Run to raise awareness for eating disorders

first_imgTags: eating disorder, Fun Run, Kathryn Schultz, Molly Cullinan, NEDA, NEDA Fun Run The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) two-mile Fun Run and Walk takes place Friday at 1 p.m. in front of Rockne Memorial. The run is free for all participants.NEDA, founded in 2001, is the United States’ leading non-profit organization aimed at raising awareness of eating disorders, according to its website. NEDA works to support those affected by eating disorders, work toward the prevention of eating disorders and improve access to treatment for those affected.The run will begin at the Rockne and continue to Angela Boulevard and around Main Circle.Juniors Katie Schultz and Molly Cullinan are part of the student team that planned out the logistics of the run.“We’ve been working on [the run] for about a month,” Cullinan said. “We originally wanted to do the lakes … but that wasn’t feasible. Mapping the run and figuring out an actual feasible distance was the hardest part of it.”The NEDA Fun Run coincides with the University’s Love Your Body Week, as well as National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.“We’re trying to raise awareness for eating disorders, because it’s a problem that is widespread but not talked about often,” Cullinan said.Schultz said one of NEDA’s goals is to focus on and debunk misconceptions about eating disorders — for example, that eating disorders affect only females and not males. According to NEDA’s website, approximately 20 million women and 10 million men are affected by an eating disorder in their lifetime.“There’s a general stigma [that] people have a choice [on whether or not they have an eating disorder], but there are biological, genetic and environmental factors,” Schultz said. “It’s not something intrinsically wrong with the person.”According to NEDA’s website, eating disorders are mental illnesses and not lifestyle choices. In comparison with other mental disorders, anorexia has one of the highest mortality rates.Cullinan said there is a difference between exercising to maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercising to lose weight.“Exercise is great and part of a healthy lifestyle, but our focus is running to be healthy [to gain] cardiovascular benefits and not to lose weight,” Cullinan said.Schultz said the NEDA run helps promote this healthy mentality of exercise as a long-term investment as opposed to a short term weight-loss goal.“This happens every year and is solely for the point of raising awareness,” Schultz said. “We want the run to emphasize … that there is a huge support system here.”The run will begin with speeches about NEDA’s mission and end with all participants receiving free food such as Kind bars, fruit and Einstein Bros. products.The run will also promote awareness of resources for combatting eating disorders, including the University Counseling Center, Cullinan said.“We want this to be an open discussion. It’s not anything to be ashamed of,” Cullinan said. “[The run is] really just to raise awareness and [to say], if you have a friend, or if you yourself are struggling, get help.”last_img read more

University receives $128 million in research funding

first_imgNotre Dame received $128 million in research funding for fiscal year 2016, the second highest total in school history, according to a University press release.This year was topped only by the 2015 fiscal year, in which the University received $133 million in research funds.“The research, scholarship and creativity of Notre Dame faculty continues to make a difference in multiple ways across our country and around the world,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “The growth in external funding is a tangible testimony to the importance of their work.”According to the release, funded research projects cover a variety of disciplines, including energy, economics and everything in between.For example, Alan Seaubaugh, chair professor in the College of Engineering, and his research team won a $5.8 million award to support the Center for Low Energy Systems (LEAST), a Notre Dame-led initiative working to devise new concepts for energy-efficient devices to reduce power in electronic systems.For his research on advancing the empirical study of global religion in mainstream academia, sociology professor Christian Smith received a $4.9 million award from the Templeton Religion Trust.Faculty from the College of Science and College of Engineering — led by Frank Collins and Scott Emrich — received a $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support Vectorbase, a bioinformatics database that provides web-based resources to the scientific community on invertebrate vectors of human pathogens.The University supports research in more than 20 facilities and in each of Notre Dame’s colleges, according to Notre Dame Research’s website.This year, 57 percent of awards came from federal funding, along with 16 percent from foundations and 15 percent from industry sponsors, according to the release. Local and state governments, foreign entities and nonprofit organizations also sponsored various research projects.“This was another strong year for Notre Dame Research and it reflects the talents of our faculty and students,” Robert Bernhard, vice president for research, said in the release. “Due to their hard work and great achievements, we are celebrating another successful year for research funding and finished strong with the highest month of funding — nearly $23 million in June — in the University’s history.”Tags: research fundinglast_img read more

Panelists discuss next steps for American liberalism

first_imgOn Friday, panelists gathered in the Oak Room of South Dining Hall to discuss the future of liberalism, as well as the future of democracy, in an event sponsored by the Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies, the Constitutional studies minor, the department of Africana studies, and the Notre Dame College Democrats. The panelists included Tim Roemer, former Indiana congressman and former U.S. ambassador to India, Rogers Smith, professor of political science and associate dean for social sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dianne Pinderhughes, chair of Africana studies and professor of political science at Notre Dame.Roemer said American democracy has been in crisis for the past 15 to 20 years because of low government approval ratings, increasing polarization and flaws in the U.S. democracy.“In the last election, 70 percent of the American people thought the country was going in the wrong direction,” Roemer said.“Congressional approval ratings are in the teens, some in the single digits.“Imagine that — 8, 9, 10 percent approval rating. You’re in company with the leader of North Korea and cockroaches when you are at 9 or 10 or 11 percent popularity.”According to Roemer, divides along partisan, socioeconomic and geographical lines have also contributed to a crisis in U.S. democracy. Roemer said Democrats need to imitate Robert Kennedy and unite diverse groups in the working class.“We need to get back to that time of inclusive messaging,” he said of Kennedy.Roemer said he also was concerned about American democracy because the Economist Intelligence Unit “downgraded” the U.S. from its status as a full democracy to that of a flawed democracy.“We are now with Estonia, Chile, South Korea,” he said. “We are not that beacon to the rest of the world for what they all want to be like. So we have work to do.”Smith said liberals must respond to President Donald Trump’s nationalism with their own narrative about American identity.“…[In] this historical moment, and perhaps for decades to come, I think it is still necessary for those who seek to win authority to shape national policies in progressive directions, to build coalitions on shared accounts of national identities and purposes, what I call national stories of peoplehood,” he said.Smith said liberals should try to emulate the abolitionist movement of the Civil War era.“My argument today is that if liberalism is to have a future in the age of Trump, liberals and progressives must explicitly advance a rival vision of American national identity, one first set forth by the antebellum, anti-slavery Constitutionalists,” he said. “This rival vision argues that the nation’s first obligation is to its citizens, but it also insists that the nation exists in order to serve a still higher purpose: the gradual securing over time of the basic rights of the Declaration of Independence for all people, of all colors, everywhere.”Pinderhughes discussed the effects of Trump’s policies on American democracy and African Americans’ relation to liberalism.She said African Americans occupy a “distinctive space” in American politics, with the majority voting for Democratic candidates — though African Americans also critique liberalism.“The fact is, whether political activists, academics or the man in the street, many African Americans point to the presence of racist politics and policies that did not very sufficiently [work] to make a change in their lives, even when the president is a Democrat or the governor is a Democrat,” she said.Pinderhughes said Trump disregards the “rule of law” – laws and policies designed to check the president’s arbitrary power — and will have a long-term impact on American democracy and civil rights. According to Pinderhughes, ignoring the rule of law undercuts the efforts African Americans have made to have their civil and political rights recognized.“If there’s no rule of law for some people, there’s no rule of law for anyone,” she said. “That includes African Americans. So, the assumptions that people have been operating under are being challenged.”Tags: Africana Studies, Donald Trump, Future of liberalism, liberalism, political sciencelast_img read more

Faculty, staff speak on the ‘Cost of Silence’ on college campuses

first_imgMembers of the Notre Dame faculty and administration discussed their experiences with diversity and how the Notre Dame community might encourage it on campus during the Cost of Silence Faculty and Staff panel Thursday night.Timothy Matovina, the chair of the theology department and former co-director of the Institute of Latino Studies, said people should not make assumptions about others, especially Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students and Latino students.“Don’t presume because someone is here from a certain background that they’re a diversity admit or that they have a lower SAT score than everyone else,” he said. “ … In my experience, they achieved at the very highest levels at the schools they’re in, which is our policy.”Matovina also said students should consider the implications of politics on some students’ personal lives, especially in light of last year’s national election.“The political is very personal,” he said. “ … [Students who came to talk to him] had no idea what the repercussions would be, and there’s still a tremendous fear. It wasn’t just a matter of political disagreement.”Brian Collier, the director of the American Indian Catholic Schools Network, said disrespecting Native Americans and their culture is not something of the past, as evidenced by two students dressing as Native Americans for their Halloween costumes during a football game this season. The students’ costumes included the headdress that is a religious symbol in some cultures, Collier said.“It’s not that people want trouble,” he said. “People don’t want their religious symbols appropriated.”Collier also said students should say something whenever they see someone misusing a culture’s symbols.For the LGBT community, Sara Agostinelli, the assistant director for LGBTQ Initiatives at the Gender Relations Center, said things are “just okay” for LGBT students on campus.“Something I hear a lot is that here at Notre Dame students feel very tolerated,” she said. “There’s not these daily acts of hate or things we might see at other institutions across the country, but there’s not a sense of welcoming, embrace and celebration.”To remedy this problem, Agostinelli recommended that students recognize the importance of allies and to reach out to students to check in on how they are doing, especially when hateful acts happen on other campuses.For an admissions perspective, Don Bishop, the associate vice president of undergraduate enrollment, said Notre Dame has made great strides in becoming more diverse due to new recruiting tactics. These tactics, Bishop said, include expanding the spring visitation program, going to new schools and working with community-based organizations.“Rather than waiting for kids to instantly know enough about Notre Dame and apply, we’re trying to go out and seek them and get a conversation with them,” he said.As a result of these efforts, Bishop said Notre Dame is on par with diversity with the average of the top 30 most selective private institutions in the U.S. He said the only categories in which Notre Dame falls behind is with Asian Americans and international students.Mary Galvin, the William K. Warren Foundation dean of the College of Science, spoke about her personal experiences. Though she is an accomplished scientist who has a Ph.D. from MIT, she said she oftentimes felt stupid since a third-grade teacher had told her parents she “wasn’t college material.”Due to her background, Galvin said she understands that many students who come to Notre Dame from schools that may not have offered AP science classes may begin to feel they are falling behind in their science and engineering courses. She said students must share their experiences with others to help them not feel bad about themselves.“If you went through the struggle of not thinking you were smart but then got out of it, be willing to talk about it,” she said.Jay Caponigro, the director of community engagement in the Office of Public Affairs, said to help solve social issues today, students must build relationships with others. To develop these partnerships, Caponigro said you must listen to people and ask them about their stories, especially by asking the question, “Why?” Caponigro also said allies must teach others to do things for themselves as well.“An ally isn’t someone who just does stuff for other people,” he said.Tags: allyship, Cost of Silence, DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, LGBT, racelast_img read more

University, College of the Holy Cross create collaborative program in data science

first_imgNotre Dame, in partnership with the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, has created a new collaborative degree between Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science, the University announced in a press release Friday.“Integrating online professional-graduate education with an undergraduate liberal arts experience is a new frontier,” Elliot Visconsi, associate provost and chief academic digital officer at the University, said. “Notre Dame is thrilled to partner with the College of the Holy Cross to explore innovative educational models, deepen our shared commitments and welcome superbly trained Holy Cross students into the Notre Dame family.”The program will allow College of the Holy Cross undergraduate students to begin Notre Dame’s online data science courses, which are supported by AT&T, during their senior year. Following their graduation, students will continue in Notre Dame’s online Master’s program and receive their graduate degree the following spring from the University. “This partnership helps Holy Cross to expand our curriculum in a high-demand field and connect our liberal arts model with professional graduate training, all while maintaining the deeply residential quality of the undergraduate experience,” Margaret Freije, provost and dean of the faculty at College of the Holy Cross, said. “We are delighted to collaborate with Notre Dame to support our students in achieving their post-graduate goals and to cultivate ‘three-dimensional’ data scientists.”Tags: college of the holy cross, data science, master of sciencelast_img read more

Campus Dining unveils new meal plan with Flex Point roll over, more swipes per semester

first_imgThis report was updated Feb. 5 at 9:18 p.m.The standard Notre Dame meal plan is getting a facelift.After more than 20 years of using a week-based meal plan, Campus Dining is unveiling a semester-based block meal plan to begin in the fall of 2020. The number of swipes will be allocated at the beginning of the semester for its entirety.Courtesy of Chris Abayasinghe Extra meals will not roll over from the first semester to the next, but beginning next fall, Flex Points will roll over to the next semester.The new default plan will consist of 250 swipes per semester and $500 in Flex Points. This year’s default “Gold Plan” amounted to 238 swipes over the course of the semester.For upperclassmen, more meal plans will be available. Students can opt to have fewer swipes or varying amounts of Flex Points each semester. Upgrade plans cost more, while plans with fewer swipes will award students a credit back towards tuition.The two plans with the fewest number of meal swipes, and the largest tuition credits, are reserved for seniors. The Block 180 plan offers 180 swipes and $1,000 in Flex Points for a $228 credit each semester. The Block 150 plan, for 150 swipes and no Flex Points, comes with a $1,540 credit per semester.The new plans are only available for on-campus students. The options for off-campus students will not change.“We will do this for the first year so we can see how it works,” Chris Abayasinghe, director of Campus Dining, said. “Then there’s the opportunity to tweak it based on what our learnings are because I’m definitely open to that.”When asked the total price of the plans during a listening session Tuesday, Abayasinghe did not specify a total price but did say the per-meal price.The cost per meal is $10.40, which would bring the total cost of the default Block 250 plan to approximately $2,600. Notre Dame does not separate the costs of room and board on its website, so whether the price of the meal plan is increasing could not be confirmed.Abayasinghe did not respond to a request for clarification.Editor-in-Chief Kelli Smith, Managing Editor Natalie Weber and Sports Editor Connor Mulvena contributed to this report.Tags: Campus DIning, Chris Abayasinghe, flex points, meal planlast_img read more