CS Fellows Use Algorithms to Solve Today’s Problems

Seniors Tucker Williams, Corinne Alini and Phillip Wang

Several computer science majors have fellowships this summer through Bowdoin to devote themselves to finding solutions to real-world problems. They’re devising programs and algorithms to automatically detect archaeological looting, to make homes more energy efficient, or to better predict coastal flooding as the climate becomes more unstable.

Each summer, Bowdoin awards grants to more than 240 students to pursue academic, scientific or artistic projects, or internships, across the disciplines. Read about three computer science majors and their summer projects at Bowdoin News.

Sophie de Bruijn ’18 Jokes Her Way to an Honor’s Project on Comedy and Politics

Sophie de Bruijn doing stand-up last spring

Sophie de Bruijn is funny, and at some point she started taking that seriously: performing comedy for audiences rather than just spontaneously amusing family and friends. But this summer she is taking comedy seriously in a new way. In preparation for her senior thesis she is researching the way comedy can subvert power.

The rising senior has a Micoleau Family Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts from Bowdoin to begin investigating the relationship between comedy and politics for her upcoming yearlong honor’s project. She plans on writing a thesis paper and also developing a one-woman show.

To lay the groundwork for this undertaking, she is reading everything from ancient Greek and Roman texts to modern gender theory. “As far as form goes, the first-ever comedy was political comedy, making fun of people in positions of power,” she said, explaining her book list, which includes Aristophanes and Aristotle. “That has always been the crux of what comedy is.” Read the full story on Bowdoin News.

Six Bowdoin Professors Appointed to Named Chairs

(Top row, l. to r.) Jackie Brown, Belinda Kong, Robert Morrison. (Bottom row, l. to r.) Brian Purnell, Allen Springer, Birgit Tautz

Six members of the Bowdoin faculty have been appointed to named chairs at the College. The appointments were made by President Clayton Rose on the recommendation of the now-departed Interim Dean for Academic Affairs Jennifer Scanlon, and after consulting with senior members of the Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure. Holders of named chairs are entitled to additional research funds. Read more in Bowdoin News.

Dorn Essay ‘What Is College Good For? (Hint: More Than Just a Job)’ in Chronicle of Higher Education

Charles Dorn

In an essay published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Charles Dorn, professor of education and associate dean for academic affairs, shares a personal account of his family’s encounters with the question: “What, exactly, is college good for?”

Against a backdrop of higher education’s occupational advantages, Dorn explores other aspects the college experience has to offer, including the pursuit of self-improvement, and that of becoming useful citizens.

Read Dorn’s essay, “What Is College Good For? (Hint: More Than Just a Job).”

Dorn is the author of the book For the Common Good: A New History of Higher Education in America (Cornell University Press, 2017), in which he argues that we can’t understand what’s going on with colleges and universities today until we examine where they have come from, why they were founded, and how society has viewed their function at different points in time.