Tag Archive | "college of arts and sciences"


SEEDS ‘You Choose’ Leadership Award Applications Due September 22

Applications for the SEEDS program (Scientists and Engineers Expanding Diversity and Success) “You Choose” Leadership Awards are due September 22. Targeting pre-tenure and tenured faculty, “You Choose” accepts applicants from individuals and groups. The activities are not pre-defined. Previously awarded projects include: mentoring programs, research collaborations, visits from prominent national experts, interdisciplinary seminars, and writing workshops. For more information, view the full application guidelines.


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The U’s Historic ‘Front Door’ Wins Three Preservation Awards

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The U’s Historic ‘Front Door’ Wins Three Preservation Awards

UM News

1300 Campo Sano now houses

Once the center of campus, 1300 Campo Sano now houses the Departments of Geography and Regional Studies, International Studies, and Political Science.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 21, 2014)—Once boarded up and riddled with leaks, mold, rot, and termite damage, the wooden building that served as the University’s first registration and administration center has won three major preservation awards that honor UM’s restoration of the structure’s 1947 appearance while modernizing it for 21st century use.

Known by its 1300 Campo Sano address, the two-story building long occupied by the College of Arts and Sciences has received the American Institute of Architects Florida/Caribbean Chapter’s Honor Award of Excellence for Historic Preservation, the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Restoration/Rehabilitation, and the Dade Heritage Trust’s Outstanding Restoration of a Historic Site Award.

“The building was the front door of campus, the beginning of the beginning of the modern university its founders dreamed it would be,” said noted historian and preservationist Arva Parks McCabe, a senior member of the UM Board of Trustees who wrote a book about Coral Gables and UM founder George Merrick.

Like the University’s own history, the destiny of the building that was home to the Department of Art and Art History for half a century was inextricably tied to the end of World War II, when millions of veterans seized the opportunity to attend college on the 1944 Servicemen’s Adjustment Act, or GI Bill. Almost overnight, the enrollment at UM, which was still in a temporary location on LeJeune Road to the north, nearly tripled to 5,800.

“It was an optimistic time in history,” Parks McCabe said. “We had won the war and all the GIs came back, and that is why the University of Miami became what it is.”

The heady times, though, created a quandary for UM’s first president, Bowman Ashe: How would UM accommodate the students who would flood the permanent campus?

Enter the U.S. Army, which donated the temporary wooden structures it had quickly erected for the war to universities. When the surplus buildings arrived on the UM campus by rail and in pieces, Ashe turned to South Florida architects Robert Law Weed and Marion Manley—the first woman architect in Miami and a pioneer in her field—to redesign them for the “avant-garde, international-style” they envisioned for Merrick’s “great university for a great city.”

“They integrated modernist elements: repeated large windows, a wide breezeway joining the building, and a very graphic design,” said Janet Gavarrete, associate vice president for campus planning.

The Office of the President, director of admission, and dean of the Graduate School would settle into the breezy, new space at 1300 Campo Sano, and every student would pass through it. By the late 1950s, administrators had moved on, and the art department moved in, turning the building into a hub of creativity for student artists—until 2000, when the aging structure was closed for safety.

About a decade later, the City of Coral Gables cited 1300 Campo Sano for historic preservation, and the University hired alumnus R.J. Heisenbottle, B.Arch. ’84, one of Miami’s best-known preservation architects—to preserve the building’s architecture but bring it up to modern codes and standards. It was a mammoth undertaking.

Extensive roof leaks had destroyed all of the interior finishes, and mold covered most surfaces. Termite damage and wood rot had left the structure so fragile that it had to be supported by metal braces. The mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and life safety systems no longer worked.

The contracting team from Turnkey Construction installed new impact-resistant windows and doors that matched the original ones, utilized salvaged wood for the flooring, and stripped and reinstalled the original siding. They also integrated new air-conditioning technology to minimize ductwork and allow individual temperature control in each room.

The results are remarkable. Today, 1300 Campo Sano is a peaceful yet dynamic, light-filled oasis for the Departments of Geography and Regional Studies, International Studies, and Political Science—and the winner of three awards for historic preservation.

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History Faculty to Speak at World War I Commemorative Symposium

The College of Arts and Sciences is partnering with the Knight Foundation, History Miami, and the New World Symphony to bring to Miami a remarkable and scholarly symposium in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.

“World War I: A Century Later, Origins and Legacies” will be held on Saturday, September 20, at 2 p.m. at the New World Center , 500 17th Street, Miami Beach, and will feature keynote speaker Michael Neiberg, professor of history at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and author of Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I.

Distinguished UM History professors Dominique Reill and Michael Miller will be panelists for the discussion and Q&A following the keynote address. A reception will conclude the event.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration and tickets are required. Visit firstworldwarsymposium.eventbrite.com to register.


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The Writer’s Room at the Betsy Presents Creative Writing Faculty August 27

The Writer’s Room at the Betsy presents “Escribe Aqui/Write Here: A Multicultural Reading,” featuring University of Miami Creative Writing faculty on Wednesday, August 27, at 6 p.m. in the B Bar of the Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Featured writers will include Evelina Galang, Patricia Engel, and Amina Gautier, along with poets Mia Leonin, Jaswinder Bolina, and R. Zamora Linmark. Please RSVP at artsandculture@thebetsyhotel.com.

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Network and Complexity Scientists Paint Big Picture of Cultural History

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Network and Complexity Scientists Paint Big Picture of Cultural History

By Marie Diaz-Guma
and Annette Gallagher
UM News


The visualization of birth-death network dynamics offers a meta-narrative of cultural history: Europe 0-2012 CE. [Final still of Movie S1 in Schich et al.] Copyright: Ma

The visualization of birth-death network dynamics offers a meta-narrative of cultural history of Europe from 0 to 2012 CE. Copyright: Maximilian Schich & Mauro Martino, 2014

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 31, 2014)—Quantifying and transforming the history of culture into visual representation isn’t easy. There are thousands of individual stories, across thousands of years, to consider, and some historical conditions are nearly impossible to measure.

Addressing this challenge, Maximilian Schich, associate professor of arts and technology at the University of Texas at Dallas, assembled a team of network and complexity scientists, including University of Miami physicist Chaoming Song, to create and quantify a big picture of European and North American cultural history.

Schich and his fellow researchers reconstructed the migration and mobility patterns of more than 150,000 notable individuals over a time span of 2,000 years. By connecting the birth and death locations of each individual and drawing and animating lines between the two locations, Schich and his team have made progress in our understanding of large-scale cultural dynamics.

Their research is detailed in the article “Historical Patterns in Cultural History,” published August 1 in the journal Science. Another eminent journal, Nature, produced a video about the findings.

Song, an assistant professor in UM’s Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a co-author of the study. A statistical physicist, Song’s research lies in the intersection of statistical physics, network science, biological science, and computational social science, broadly exploring patterns behind petabytes of data. Song’s role in the project was primarily data analysis and model development.

“My research approach is mainly based on statistical physics, a sub-branch of physics that helps to understand the connections between macroscopic phenomena and microscopic details,” Song said.

“The study draws a surprisingly comprehensive picture of European and North American cultural interaction that can’t be otherwise achieved without consulting vast amounts of literature or combing discrete datasets,” Schich said. “This study functions like a macro-scope, where quantitative and qualitative inquiries complement each other.”

Schich and his colleagues collected the birth and death data from three databases to track migration networks within and out of Europe and North America, revealing a pattern of geographical birth sources and death attractors.

“The resulting network of locations provides a macroscopic perspective of cultural history, which helps us retrace cultural narratives of Europe and North America using large-scale visualization and quantitative dynamical tools, and to derive historical trends of cultural centers beyond the scope of specific events or narrow time intervals,” says Song.

Other findings show that despite the dependence of the arts on money, cultural centers and economic centers do not always coincide, and that the population size of a location does not necessarily point to its cultural attractiveness. In addition, the median physical distance between birth and death locations changed very little, on average, between the 14th and 21st centuries, from about 214 kilometers (133 miles) to about 382 km (237 miles), respectively.

The topic of art and cultural history is an uncommon topic for papers in journals such as Science.

“A large amount of multidisciplinary expertise was necessary to arrive at the results we found,” Schich said. “The paper relies on the fields of art history, complex networks, complexity science, computational sociology, human mobility, information design, physics, and some inspiration from systems biology.”

“There is an increasing realization that systems across different disciplines often share similar structural and dynamic properties,” said Song. “Such similarities offer new perspectives and unique opportunities for physicists to apply their methodologies on a much broader set of phenomena.”

Researchers involved in the study came from the groups of Dirk Helbing at the ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Albert-László Barabási at Northeastern University. Current affiliations of the team include the following institutions: Central European University in Budapest; Harvard Medical School; IBM Research; Indiana University; Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich; and the University of Miami. Data was collected from Freebase.com, the Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, the Getty Union List of Artist Names, and the Winckelmann Corpus.

The research was funded by the German Research Foundation, the European Research Council, and UT Dallas.



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