Event Calendar

Tomorrow - Sat, Apr 19, 2014

Family Fun Day

Family Fun Day at the Mead Art Museum

The third Saturday of every month is Family Fun Day at the Mead! Join the Mead’s educators for drop-in craft activities between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and a gallery talk at 1 p.m. intended for ages 3+ that includes a picture-book reading related to artworks on view. Family Fun Day is free and open to the public.

Sun, Apr 20, 2014

Mon, Apr 21, 2014

Inspiring Our Future: Teaching as Life’s Work - Conversations with the alumni recipients of the Class of '54 Commitment to Teaching Fellowship.

Charles Pratt Hall, Common Room

All are invited to join us for an inspiring conversation with the recipients of the Class of ’54 Commitment to Teaching Alumni Fellowships. These committed teachers will share stories of their schools, their students, and the work that they do to help their students break the chain of poverty. This year's awardees are Delano Asante ’05, 8th grade English and Language Arts teacher at Harlem Village Academies – Harlem, NY; Ron Espiritu ’06, History and Ethnic Studies teacher, Animo South Los Angeles Charter HS – Los Angeles, CA; Ellen Ferrin ’07, Special Education teacher in integrated co-teaching classroom, Bronx Community Charter School – Bronx, NY; Monty Ogden ’09, English Teacher, Kensington CAPA High School – Philadelphia, PA; Jessica Ross ’04, 6th grade Math and Science Teacher, PS839 – New York NY; and Matthew Yellin ’09, Social Studies teacher and Curriculum Coordinator, Hillside Arts and Letters Academy – Jamaica, NY. This panel discussion will take place in the Charles Pratt Common Room on the first floor, near the Writing Center. Refreshments will be served.

Amanda Gibson '08, Ph.D. Candidate, Indiana University

"A Phylogenetic Test of the Red Queen Hypothesis: Outcrossing and Parasitism in the Nematode Phylum”

Merrill Science Center, Lecture Room 4

Amanda Gibson '08 is a Ph.D. candidate in the Evolution, Ecology and Behavior Program at Indiana University. Her talk is titled, "A Phylogenetic Test of the Red Queen Hypothesis: Outcrossing and Parasitism in the Nematode Phylum.”

Research Summary: The Red Queen Hypothesis argues that the eukaryotic preference for sexual reproduction all comes down to parasitism. It proposes that antagonism between hosts and parasites selects for 1. rare host genotypes that can escape their rapidly adapting parasites and 2. rare parasite genotypes that can keep up with these escaping hosts. Outcrossing can generate a diversity of these rare genotypes and should thus be favored, while cloning or selfing tends to propagate static, common lineages that fail to rapidly adapt. Broadly, Gibson’s dissertation work tests basic predictions of the Red Queen Hypothesis. She uses a diversity of approaches, from fieldwork in natural populations to experimental evolution in the lab. Here, she’ll focus on the Nematode phylum, where she uses phylogenetic comparative methods to determine if sexual outcrossing is more strongly favored in lineages of parasitic nematodes relative to free-living lineages.

City Streets

Valentine Quad

City Streets is the spring celebration for the Amherst College community. This is an international event with flags representing all of our students' nationalities, food tents featuring international flavors and several truck vendors. There will be entertainment and music. Students, staff, faculty and their families are all welcome.

Tue, Apr 22, 2014

Alcohol Screening Day

The Counseling Center will hold a free Alcohol Screening on Tuesday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Keefe Campus Center Atrium. All students are welcome to complete the survey and get feedback from Counseling Center staff. The first 100 students to complete the survey will receive a free National Screening Day T-shirt.

Mindfulness Meditation Group Meeting

Chapin Hall, Chapel

Whether you have meditated a long time or have never meditated, come join us for this time of practice together. Come to relax and quiet your mind, to learn how to experience less suffering and stress in your life, to explore Buddhist philosophy and psychology, or to talk about what it means to awaken in this life and to live from compassion and awareness. Or come just because you are curious!

Janet Echelman

Janet Echelman: "Imagination Taken Seriously: Reshaping Urban Airspace"

Fayerweather Hall, Pruyne Lecture Hall

Janet Echelman, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, has worked with NASA, Autodesk and mechanical engineering and computer modeling companies to create her technologically generated signature netlike sculptures that float peacefully (some have said sublimely) over publicly trafficked urban spaces in nearly 20 metropolitan areas across the globe. Animated with such natural forces as wind, rain and sunlight, her dynamic sculptures are realized through the highly interdisciplinary effort of her studio, mechanical engineers, software designers, architects and urban planners.

Visit her website at http://www.echelman.com/ for her long bio and works, and her TED talk at http://www.ted.com/talks/janet_echelman.html.

Echelman has collaborated specifically with Autodesk, a company that has been developing a tool that enables her to design textile nets and exert the forces of gravity and wind on them. On the collaboration, she explains: "'[C]omputer-aided' design has been around for about 30 years, but it seems that it used to be just about computers aiding documentation after designing was done. With this new tool, the computer is giving me feedback in real time that informs my design decisions."

Recently, Echelman used topographical laboratory data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to spatially realize an artistic rendering of 2-D representations of the 2010 Chile Earthquake. During the event, which measured a 8.8 on the Richter scale and lasted for over 90 seconds, rapid movement of the ocean floor generated a tsunami that affected the eastern half of the Pacific Ocean. Scientists with the NOAA used data from a network of specialized ocean buoys to generate a map illustrating increased wave amplitude resulting from the earthquake. This map served as the initial form generator for the sculpture. An outline, created by isolating the area from the NOAA map most affected by the tsunami, was extruded downward, cinched at the center, and subjected to gravity forces. Effectively, Echelman translated the tsunami’s numerical data into public space, memorializing the tragic event through its specific empirical attributes.

"So, You Want to Be a Biology Major?"

Merrill Science Center, Lecture Room 4

This information session is for all underclassmen considering majoring in biology. A group of seasoned veteran majors will discuss what the major entails, great classes to take in the department depending on your interests, and how to decide between biology, neuroscience, biochemistry/biophysics, etc.

Ongoing Events

Mother fox and her kit

“Landscapes and Nature” by Thomas Stratford

Frost Library, Mezzanine Gallery

Come see the new photo exhibit at the Frost Library Mezzanine Gallery by Amherst College staffer Thomas Stratford, featuring campus landscapes, local nature and portrait-quality images of wildlife. The exhibit is free and open to the public through June 2014.