Cornell has entered the second semester of its transition from Blackboard to Canvas, with more than half of all courses now using the new learning management system. Blackboard will be unavailable after the fall 2019 semester.
When Carole Boyce Davies, professor of Africana studies and English, first began studying African and African diaspora literature and culture, the field was dominated by male scholars and writers—both as teachers and subjects of study, according to this story on the Cornell Resarch website. Boyce Davies arrived at just the right moment to make significant contributions.
Metaphysics includes big, abstract questions about the nature of reality that can’t be fully answered or investigated empirically: questions about whether or not we have free will and the nature of consciousness; about how objects or people persist through time. Are we the same people as we were as babies? Is a table the same if you inscribe your name into its surface? And what about causation, which is so central to our thinking, on what terms does one event cause another?
In the middle of the periodic table of elements, on the block that bridges the two jutting sides, is a series of elements known as transition metals. The electronic composition of transition metals makes them great catalysts for some of earth’s most life-enabling reactions. They mediate key reactions, for example, in photosynthesis and help convert nitrogen in the atmosphere so it can be used as a nutrient to sustain life.
Like human social behavior, the behavior of electrons in relation to each other is difficult to predict. In strongly correlated systems, each electron impacts how those around it act, their orientation and movement, and this leads to diverse behavior in the whole. This Cornell Research story explores this behavior.
In 1989, W.E. Moerner—a Cornell University graduate and current professor at Stanford University—discovered a method that allowed researchers to see single molecules for the first time. It was a breakthrough that opened doors for the development of an entirely new technique that would impact scientific research across disciplines, and one that earned Moerner, as well as fellow Cornell alumnus Eric Betzig (Howard Hughes Medical Institute), a Nobel Prize in 2014.
Through his writing, archaeology, and outreach, Kurt Jordan, associate professor of anthropology, works alongside Native partners to better understand the indigenous history of the Finger Lakes region.
Paul A. Fleming, German Studies/Comparative Literature, recounts an old story that’s been told and retold many times. It comes from Herodotus’ Histories, an account of the Egyptian King Psammetichus’ capture by the Persians. As part of the king’s humiliation, the Persians parade his family in front of him—first his daughter as a slave and then his son on his way to execution. While everyone else around him wails, King Psammetichus shows no emotion until a beggared old drinking buddy passes, upon which he begins to weep and lament.