New report examines U.S. incarceration rates

A newly released report from the National Research Council examines why the United States has the highest incarceration rates in the world and makes recommendations for bringing those numbers down. Brown faculty members Glenn Loury and Dr. Josiah Rich sat on the panel that authored the report, which can be read and purchased online.

Students ‘bootstrap’ algebra from video games

Building a simple yet surprisingly engaging video game may require lots of difficult-sounding things: Cartesian grids, the Pythagorean theorem, square roots, and computer coding. Middle school and high school students can learn much of that in stride when they have an attractive goal in mind.

Brown University Oncology Research Group

Twenty years of cancer treatment trials

Since 1994 cancer doctors affiliated with the Alpert Medical School have had a place with funding, administrative, and collegial support to develop and test novel cancer treatments: The Brown University Oncology Research Group.

R.I. nitrogen cycle differs in bay and sound

A new study reports that anammox, a key process in the nitrogen cycle, is barely present in Narragansett Bay even though it’s a major factor just a little farther out into Rhode Island Sound. Scientists traced that to differences between bay and sound sediments, but that raises new questions about what’s going on in the Bay to account for those.

Sidebar

Marsh death unleashes stored carbon

Mark Bertness and his students have traced marsh die-offs along the Northeast coast to excess herbivory by Sesarma crabs left unchecked by predators because of fishing. Now they warn it may be more than just a local environmental problem. It may also mean more greenhouse gasses are entering the atmosphere. (Return to release)

Passages

Gerald S. Guralnik
Chancellor’s Professor of Physics

Physicist Gerald Guralnik, a member of the Brown University faculty for 47 years, died Saturday, April 26,  2014. A paper Guralnik co-authored 50 years ago predicted the existence of what became known as the Higgs boson, discovered by scientists in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. (Read President Paxson’s note to the community.)

Programming the smart home: ‘If this, then that’

Homes already have intelligent devices beyond the TV remote — garage door openers, coffee makers, laundry machines, lights, HVAC — but each has its own arcane steps for programming. User research now shows that “trigger-action programming” could give users a reliable and simple way to control everything, as easy as “If this, then that.”

A statement from President Paxson

Aggressive steps to ensure campus safety

In a message sent to all members of the University community today, Brown University President Christina Paxson addressed the issue of sexual assault on campuses and described the University’s ongoing efforts at prevention, education, and policy review. The text of the President’s message follows here.

Financial aid: Not by the numbers

The numbers are impressive: Undergraduate financial aid is the fastest-growing part of the University”s budget, averaging 9.4 percent in annual growth over the last decade. Approximately 44 percent of Brown undergraduates receive need-based financial aid,with an average scholarship of $35,823. But beyond those numbers are hundreds of stories.

Achebe Colloquium May 1-3

Achebe Colloquium to explore African literature

The 2014 Achebe Colloquium on Africa will bring together an international group of academics, activists, African government officials, and writers to examine the impact of the late Chinua Achebe’s writings on modern African literature. The colloquium will be held at Brown University Thursday, May 1, through Saturday, May 3, 2014.

Kenyon elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Richard Kenyon, the William R. Kenan Jr. University Professor of Mathematics, has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest learned societies. Members elected in 2014 will be formally inducted into the Academy on Oct. 11, 2014, in Cambridge, Mass.

The 246th Commencement

Nine Brown alumni to receive honorary degrees

Brown University continues the 250th anniversary celebration of its founding by awarding honorary degrees to nine University alumni. The degrees, to be conferred at the 246th Commencement on Sunday, May 25, 2014, will honor the achievements of music educator Lee Berk ’64; teacher Beatrice E. Coleman ’25 (awarded posthumously); author Jeffrey Eugenides ’82; physician Arthur Horwich ’72, M.D.’75; electrical engineer Mary Lou Jepsen ’87, Ph.D. ’97; entertainment executive Debra Lee ’76; author Lois Lowry ’58; ecologist Nalini Nadkarni ’76; and Thomas Perez ’83, U.S. secretary of labor.

Earth Week 2014: It’s all about sustainability

It started small, with LED light bulbs, rolled through a food waste project at the Ratty, and is headed for Sunday’s Earth Week Community Fair on Simmons Quad. It's Earth Week, a series of events that are fun and aimed squarely at awareness of sustainability issues. Full schedule online.

Media Advisory

Symposium to honor Anne Fausto-Sterling

Experts on feminism and science will gather for an afternoon symposium and exhibit Friday, May 2, 2014, to honor Anne Fausto-Sterling, the Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Biology and Gender Studies, for her decades of scholarship on biology and gender in science and society.

Pages