Tag Archive | "college of arts and sciences"

Neil Johnson Named ACC Distinguished Lecturer


Neil Johnson Named ACC Distinguished Lecturer

Special to UM News

With dean Leonidas Bachas at his side, Neil Johnson accepts his AAC Distingyished lecturer certificate from Provosot Thomas J. LeBlanc.

Dean Leonidas G. Bachas, left, and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, right, present physicist Neil Johnson with his ACC Distinguished Lecturer award.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 17, 2015) – Neil Johnson, professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Distinguished Lecturer for the 2015-2016 academic year.

“I’m very excited about being named a distinguished lecturer, as it presents a great opportunity to spread UM’s message about intellectual aspirations, while also building collaborations and providing an additional outlet when presenting my own research,” said Johnson.

Each year, five outstanding faculty members are chosen as an ACC Distinguished Lecturer and are invited to make special presentations by other ACC universities. As an ACC Distinguished Lecturer, Johnson will receive a research stipend and be invited to lecture at other ACC institutions. The collaboration across the ACC provides unique expertise to the host campuses and recognizes outstanding faculty in their fields of study, while also allowing for research collaborations and wider grant funding.

“Dr. Johnson’s expert knowledge in physics, his research in complex systems, and dedication to expanding the minds of our students have made him truly deserving of being recognized as an ACC Distinguished Lecturer,” said Leonidas G. Bachas, dean of the college.

The ACC Distinguished Lecturer program is now in its second year. The 2015-2016 Cohort includes Florida State, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, and Miami.

“Dr. Johnson’s interdisciplinary research in physics and complexity allows for a variety of presentations and lecture opportunities at our partner institutions,” said Thomas J. LeBlanc, University provost and executive vice president. “The University is thrilled at the opportunity of having Dr. Johnson represent our entire research faculty as an ACC Distinguished Lecturer.”

LeBlanc selected Johnson as an ACC Distinguished Lecturer on Bachas’s recommendation. Johnson received his B.A. and M.A. at Cambridge University, and later completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University as a Kennedy Scholar. Prior to joining the UM faculty in 2007, Johnson was professor of physics at Oxford University.

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Center for Computational Science to Host 2nd Annual VizUM Symposium November 12

By Megan Ondrizek
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 5, 2015) – In the digital, social media world of 140-character messages and 15-second video uploads, data visualization gives new meaning to the idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Data visualization started out as a primarily academic field but has become much more widely practiced and visible, thanks in part to modern browsers, increased practice of JavaScript and HTML5, and online forums for displaying the work.

On November 12, the University of Miami’s Center for Computational Science holds its second annual VizUM Symposium, a data visualization celebration with game-changers from Google and OpenVis. Presenters Lynn Cherny, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg are each pioneers in the field of data visualization and continue to forge new ground in the domain.

“Visualization, especially interactive visualization, engages people in a way that a long text article or paper doesn’t, at least at first glance,” said Cherny, Visiting Knight Chair for the Center for Communication, Culture, and Change at UM’s School of Communication. “Sometimes a great visual piece will pull people into a longer story, or make them curious about the data and lead them on a quest to learn more.”

At VizUM, Cherny will present an overview of interactive visualization design techniques to give the audience a feel for what goes into designing one of these interactives. As design principles for interactives differ from those of static infographics, the examples will make for a more engaging demonstration for the audience and showcase the educational work Cherny oversees with the Center for Communication, Culture, and Change.

“Interactive visualization in journalism often presents a prepared story and then opens up an exploratory space for the reader to look further for things of more personal relevance,” Cherny said. “In scientific work, interactive visualization is a key exploratory method for finding ‘results’—visualizations of data help us find patterns, outliers, errors in the data, and direct the next path of statistical inquiry. Science doesn’t happen without visualization, and great journalism can be enhanced with great visualization.”

Other speakers include Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg, leaders of Google’s “Big Picture” data visualization research group, which invents new ways for people to understand and explore data. Viégas and Wattenberg are well known for their global contributions to social and collaborative visualization, and their visualization artwork has been exhibited at museums worldwide.

The event includes introductory remarks by Sawsan Khuri, director of Engagement for the Center for Computational Science, and Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism for UM’s School of Communication. The symposium is sponsored by the Knight Foundation, UM’s Center for Computational Science, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the School of Communication’s Center for Communication, Culture, and Change.


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College of Arts and Sciences Hosts ‘Making Sense of the Colombian Peace Process in Havana’ on November 19

The College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Geography, International Studies Program, and the Latin American Studies Program invite you to a panel discussion on  “Making Sense of the Colombian Peace Process in Havana” at 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 19. Speakers will include UM faculty members Bruce Bagley, Elvira Maria Restrepo, and Lilian Yaffe. Annette Taddeo, a former candidate for U.S. Congress, will moderate the discussion, which will be held at the School of Communication, International Building, room 3053.

The event is open to the public. Light refreshments and a Q&A will follow the discussion.


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World Bank Report Details Challenges Still Facing Haiti

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World Bank Report Details Challenges Still Facing Haiti

UM News

World Bank Forum

Louis Herns Marcelin, right, associate professor of anthropology at UM, discusses the World Bank Report “Haiti: Towards a New Narrative” with audience members, while Raju Singh, World Bank lead economist for Haiti, looks on.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 15, 2015) – Despite a modest surge in its economy following the destructive 2010 earthquake, Haiti continues to be mired in economic crisis, as political instability, natural disasters, and other factors such as an unfavorable business climate continue to make the island nation the poorest in the Americas, according to the findings of a new World Bank report shared with the University of Miami community on Wednesday.

Presented by Raju Singh, World Bank lead economist for Haiti, during a 90-minute forum at UM’s School of Communication, Haiti: Towards a New Narrative examines post-earthquake reconstruction and assesses the efficiency and effectiveness of foreign aid efforts in Haiti five years after the temblor that killed more than 200,000 people and destroyed much of the capital city of Port-au-Prince’s infrastructure. Read the full story

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UM Forum to Address Post-Earthquake Reconstruction and Foreign Aid Efforts in Haiti

Join the College Arts and Sciences and the School of Communication on Wednesday, October 14, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. for an interactive academic forum that will examine post-earthquake reconstruction in Haiti and assess the efficiency and effectiveness of foreign aid efforts in the island nation five years after the destructive temblor.

Raju Singh, World Bank lead economist for Haiti, will share the findings of a new report, Haiti: Towards a New Narrative, that addresses key opportunities and constraints to faster sustainable and inclusive growth in the country. Singh’s presentation will be followed by remarks from Louis Herns Marcelin, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, who has conducted extensive research in Haiti.

The forum, which will be held at the School of Communication International Building, Room 3053, will also feature welcome remarks by Leonidas Bachas, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Gregory Shepherd, dean of the School of Communication, as well as a special message from Felicia Knaul, director of the Miami Institute for the Americas.

To reserve a seat, contact Dina Moulioukova, of the Department of International Studies, at d.fernandez20@umiami.edu.

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