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Finding infant Earths and potential life just got easier

Among the billions and billions of stars in the sky, where should astronomers look for infant Earths where life might develop? New research from Cornell University’s Institute for Pale Blue Dots shows where – and when – infant Earths are most likely to be found. The paper by Blue Dots research associate Ramses M. Ramirez and director Lisa Kaltenegger, “The Habitable Zones of Pre-Main Sequence Stars,” is forthcoming in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Article

Strogatz helps students find the magic in math

Math, to a mathematician, is an aesthetic, creative endeavor. But for too many high school students, math has become a reviled, boring subject.

It doesn’t have to be that way, as Steven Strogatz aims to show the students in his new College of Arts and Sciences course, Mathematical Explorations. The course fulfills the math distribution requirement and has attracted seniors who put off taking a math class as long as they could, as well as freshmen intrigued by the course’s title.

 Sally Wen Mao

Article

Sally Wen Mao: A honey badger of a poet

The fearless honey badger steals lions' prey and gobbles cobras for dinner. Tenacious and determined, it devours honeycombs despite countless bee stings. This is the totem animal of Sally Wen Mao, MFA '13, and an inspiration for her first book of poems, "Mad Honey Symposium," published in May by Alice James Books.

Article

Class examines Cornell past and future

“Welcome to Cornell Ruins National Park,” Adam T. Smith tells his students. “We’re lucky today. We have a cache of objects to examine discovered in the ruins of McGraw Hall.”

This “Rise and Fall of ‘Civilization’” class examines traditional archaeological topics, like kingship and the origins of cities, partly by looking at our current civilization through the lens of a single site – the Cornell campus as it would look 1,000 years from now.

 Doctors at work

Article

A passion for justice and concern for patients shape this alum's life

A poor childhood in Guyana spent watching his mother get pushed around gave Frank Douglas, Ph.D. '73, M.D. '77, an early awareness of injustice. At age 12 he was challenging his school principal on fairness, despite the risk to his academic future.
 The Kalmar Nyckel, a maritime educational vessel

Article

Tall ship sailing is ongoing research project for Captain Lauren Morgens

Captain Lauren Morgens '02 stands on the quarterdeck surveying her ship, red sash around her waist and a tall feather in her pirate hat. It is a cloudy August afternoon in Lewes, Del.; her crew has finished scrubbing the Kalmar Nyckel's deck, and the last sailor has come off the rigging. Once the tall ship clears the shallows, Morgens' command to "set the mizzen" rings across the ship in a sing-song cadence that seems as old as the sea itself.

 James R. Michaels '68

Article

Government is excellent prep for rabbinic career, says Michaels '68

James R. Michaels '68, a member of Cornell's 100th graduating class, always knew he wanted to be a rabbi. He dutifully chose a philosophy major when he entered Cornell but found that the department's emphasis then on linguistic evaluation wasn't a good fit.

 Cathy Choi

Article

Cathy Choi '93 used her major in theater as training for running a business

Cathy Choi '93 entered Cornell with numbers on her mind. But an English class cross-listed with theater turned Choi away from her planned math major. "I had never read a play before in my life, but I got bitten by the bug and really fell in love," says Choi. "I ended up as a theater major."

Aerial photo of white buildings at the end of a long road
LIGO Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)

Article

Hawking’s black hole theorem observationally confirmed

Saul Teukolsky and other physicists at Cornell, MIT and elsewhere have confirmed Hawking's area theorem for the first time, using observations of gravitational waves.

Article

The College Years of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, a Founder of Queer Theory

The advent of queer theory “caused a shock wave which has affected all intellectual disciplines,” as Didier Eribon, a leading French intellectual, once said. A look back at the undergraduate years of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, ‘71, a founder of queer theory, reveals a unique glimpse of where that shock wave first began.

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