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Type of Event

Event Calendar

November 2019

Fri, Nov 1, 2019

Vulnerabilities of Data Analysis: From Political Spin to Data Manipulation

"Vulnerabilities of Data Analysis: From Political Spin to Data Manipulation" presented by Scott Alfeld
The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2019-20 presents a lecture titled "Vulnerabilities of Data Analysis: From Political Spin to Data Manipulation" presented by Scott Alfeld, assistant professor of computer science.

https://www.amherst.edu/mm/33214

Learn how to bypass a state-of-the-art security system with sugar cubes and a slingshot. New security vulnerabilities have arisen with the growing use of machine learning in decision-making systems. In this talk I discuss the field of Adversarial Learning — the study of using machine learning techniques when the input data may be corrupted by an attacker. I’ll cover various techniques hackers employ and defenses again them. We'll then get our hands dirty attacking a learner at training time and see what finesse is needed when manipulating even the simplest of learners.

Faculty Colloquium events are sponsored by a group of faculty colleagues who meet informally with the purpose of supporting and promoting the College’s commitment to faculty research. Colleagues interested in joining this endeavor are welcome and should contact us by email: adsarat@amherst.edu . Faculty, staff, and members of the administration are cordially invited to attend these presentations.

2020 Summer Science and Math Path To Research Forum

1:45 pm - 4:00 pm Science Center, Lipton Lecture Hall

Attention First-Years and Sophomores:
Campus resources for summer science and math research opportunities are abundant at Amherst College! Join us for a dynamic forum on summer possibilities. Many positions are paid or provide living accommodations.
Sign up: https://forms.gle/3ZghhQtnjxirPhsy6
Sponsored by the Offices of Global Education, Community Engagement, Science Center, Loeb Center, and Writing Center.
If you have any questions contact sbuhl@amherst.edu (Sarah Mattison-Buhl).

Registration Required
Event poster featuring triangular photos and images of Tchaikovsky, sheet music and Russian architecture

"Tchaikovsky in Context": Pre-Concert Conversation

Join us throughout the 2019-20 season of AMHERST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, “RUSSIAN MASTERS,” for pre-concert talks at the Amherst Center for Russian Culture (ACRC), featuring performers as well as scholars of music and Russian cultural history.

Join the ASO’s Director of Instrumental Music and Senior Lecturer in Music Mark Lane Swanson and Associate Professor of Russian Boris Wolfson as they explore the cultural and musical contexts of Tchaikovsky’s life and art.

Stay for the ACRC Family Weekend reception at 4:30 p.m.

And then come to the ASO’s second concert in the series, featuring two works by Tchaikovsky—the First Piano Concerto and the Fifth Symphony—on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall.

More information about the concert: https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/music/events/node/750253

Professor Russell Williams ’72 of Wheaton College: “Economics of Race and Racism: Reflections on the History and Future of Economic Thought”

The Department of Economics welcomes Professor Russell Williams ’72 of Wheaton College to speak at our annual economics presentation for Family Weekend. He will speak on “Economics of Race and Racism: Reflections on the History and Future of Economic Thought.”

This event is open to everyone. A reception with light refreshments will follow in Converse lobby.

Mon, Nov 4, 2019

Professor Lee Spector to Speak on “Evolutionary Computation”

In the same 1950 article in which Alan Turing described his “imitation game” test for artificial intelligence, he also described ways in which ideas from evolutionary biology might help us to develop AI. It took time for these ideas to be refined, and it took advances in computing infrastructure for them to bear fruit, but now “evolutionary computation” methods are solving scientific and engineering problems that are beyond the reach of other forms of AI.

In this talk, Spector will introduce the general concepts of evolutionary computation and illustrate some of its applications. He will also describe a contribution to the field that he and his students have recently made, demonstrating that the speed and success of adaptation can be boosted by using random sequences of challenges, rather than overall performance, as the basis for parent selection in evolving populations. This approach increases the problem-solving power of evolutionary computation, and it also raises broader questions about the role of specialists in communities and in evolution.

Bio: Lee Spector is a visiting professor of computer science at Amherst College, a professor of computer science at Hampshire College, and an adjunct professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received a B.A. in philosophy from Oberlin College, a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Maryland, College Park, and the highest honor bestowed by the National Science Foundation for excellence in both teaching and research, the NSF Director’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars. His areas of teaching and research include evolutionary computation; quantum computation; and intersections of computer science, cognitive science and the arts. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines (published by Springer).

Charles Drew Health Professions Society: A Talk with Dr. Rankin

Dr. John A. Rankin will share his unique life story about how he carved his own path in the field of medicine. Dr. Rankin started his medical path matriculating at a medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico, and then transferred to Rush Medical College. He completed his internal medicine residency at Rhode Island Hospital, and was later accepted at Yale’s 3-year fellowship training program. He shares his life story as a testimony to encourage students that there are no correct paths to any career, and looks forward to answering your questions during the session.

Tue, Nov 5, 2019

Michael Lubell, City College of New York: "Navigating the Maze: How Science and Technology Policy Shape America and the World"

Science and the technologies it has spawned have been the principal drivers of the American economy since the end of World War II. Today, economists estimate that a whopping 85 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) growth traces its origin to science and technology. The size of the impact should not be a surprise, considering the ubiquity of modern technologies.

Innovation has brought us the consumer products we take for granted: smartphones and tablets, CD and DVD players, cars that are loaded with electronics and GPS navigating tools and that rarely break down, search engines like Google and Yahoo, the Internet and the Web, money-saving LED lights, microwave ovens and much more. Technology has also made our military stronger and kept our nation safer. It has made food more affordable and plentiful. It has provided medical diagnostic tools, such as MRIs, CT scanners and genomic tests; treatments for disease and illness, such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation; minimally invasive procedures, such as laparoscopy, coronary stent insertion and video-assisted thoracoscopy; and artificial joint and heart valve replacements.

None of those technological developments were birthed miraculously. They owe a significant part of their realization to public and private strategies and public and private investments. Collectively the strategies and investments form the kernel of science and technology policy. "Navigating the Maze" is a narrative covering more than 230 years of American science and technology history. It contains stories with many unexpected twists and turns, illustrating how we got to where we are today and how we can shape the world of tomorrow.

"Job Rebuked by His Friends": illustration of Job kneeling near his wife while three other men point at him angrily

Edward L. Greenstein: "Translating 'Job' to Make a Difference"

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Fayerweather Hall, Pruyne Lecture Hall (Room 115)

The Book of Job, regarded by some as the greatest poem ever written, has been misunderstood in many details and in some of its major themes and thrusts. E.L. Greenstein’s new translation of Job draws on decades of painstaking work on the language, argument and poetics of the book. In this lecture, Greenstein will explain how he has sought to change our understanding of Job on both the micro and the macro levels. Edward L. Greenstein is professor emeritus of biblical studies at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and a prolific, world-renowned scholar in many areas of biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies.

This event is free and open to the public. Special thanks to the Smith College Department of Religion, Amherst College Department of Religion and Willis Wood Fund for sponsoring this event.

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Point/Counterpoint: "Is Progress in Our Genes?" with Stephen Carter and Nicholas Christakis

The Point/Counterpoint conversation series features an Amherst College professor and guests engaging in thoughtful discussion and attempting to bridge the growing ideological divide in our nation. Series information is available on the Amherst College website.

Join Professor of Philosophy Nishi Shah for a discussion on "Is Progress in Our Genes?" A Q&A will follow, with books available for purchase through Amherst Books.

Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale Law School, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1982. Among his recent courses are "Contracts," "Evidence," "Law and Religion," "The Ethics of War," "Slavery and the Law" and "Libertarian Legal Theory." He is the author of 15 books, including, among others, The Violence of Peace: America’s Wars in the Age of Obama (2010); God’s Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics (2000); Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy (1998); The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty (1998); The Confirmation Mess: Cleaning up the Federal Appointments Process (1994); and The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion (1993). His most recent volume, published in 2018, is Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer who Took Down America’s Biggest Mobster. He recently delivered the W.E.B. Du Bois Lectures at Harvard, which he is writing up for publication.

Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., is a sociologist and physician who conducts research in the areas of social networks and biosocial science. He directs the Human Nature Lab. His current research is mainly focused on two topics: (1) the social, mathematical and biological rules governing how social networks form (“connection”), and (2) the social and biological implications of how they operate to influence thoughts, feelings and behaviors (“contagion”). His lab uses both observational and experimental methods to study these phenomena, exploiting techniques from sociology, computer science, biosocial science, demography, statistics, behavior genetics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology and other fields.

The Point/Counterpoint series is based on a course of the same name. The course and associated event series received special funding through a generous gift from 36 members of the 50th Reunion Class of 1970.

Wed, Nov 6, 2019

Event poster showing a spiral design in various shades of blue

Math Colloquium: “Turán’s Problem and an Introduction to Sums of Squares” by Annie Raymond

What is the maximum number of edges in a graph on n vertices without triangles? Mantel’s answer in 1907—that at most half of the edges can be present—started a new field: extremal combinatorics. More generally, what is the maximum number of edges in an n-vertex graph that does not contain any subgraph isomorphic to H? What about if you consider hypergraphs instead of graphs? I will introduce the technique of sums of squares and discuss how it can be used to attack such problems.

Mastering the Internship Interview

Internship interviews can be stressful, but they don’t have to be. Join us to learn how to best prepare for interview day, to answer challenging questions and to present yourself in a professional manner. *This workshop will fulfill the Internship Preparation Workshop requirement for the Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program.*

Thu, Nov 7, 2019

Thumbnail, Faithfully Christian Faithfully Queer

Faithfully Christian, Faithfully Queer: A Conversation with Protestant Advisor Rev. Anna Woofendenon

Join Religious and Spiritual Life and the Queer Resource Center in a conversation led by Rev. Anna Woofendenon centering queer identities and finding and supporting queer affirmation in Christian faith and community. While focusing on the affirmation of queer Christian life, people of any or no faith are welcome to participate. Food will be provided.

Cover of Holly Jackson's book "American Radicals"

“American Radicals: How Nineteenth-Century Protest Shaped the Nation” with Holly Jackson

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

Holly Jackson, associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston, will read from her new book, American Radicals: How Nineteenth-Century Protest Shaped the Nation (Crown, 2019).
On July 4, 1826, as Americans lit firecrackers to celebrate the country’s 50th birthday, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were on their deathbeds. They would leave behind a groundbreaking political system and a growing economy—as well as the glaring inequalities that had undermined the American experiment from its beginning. The young nation had outlived the men who made it, but could it survive intensifying divisions over the very meaning of the land of the free?
“In the tradition of Howard Zinn’s people’s histories, American Radicals reveals a forgotten yet inspiring past.” —Megan Marshall, Pulitzer-Prize–winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast

Event banner featuring a headshot of Professor Jason G. Irizarry of the University of Connecticut

“From Silencing to Survivance: LatxinxEducation in Shifting Cultural Contexts”

Fueled significantly by a growing Latinx population, the racial/ethnic and linguistic texture of the United States continues to change. Despite their increased presence, Latinx students from K-12 through college continue to be underserved by schools. Foregrounding the oft-silenced perspectives of Latinx students, this presentation critically examines the challenges they face navigating educational institutions that rarely, if ever, affirm and more often ignore or malign their identities. It highlights students’ struggles for survivance—ways of recovering, bolstering and sustaining their cultural identities—and pursuit of equitable educational opportunities, concluding with empirically based strategies for improving the educational experiences and outcomes for Latinx students.

Boston University and Harvard Law Schools

Understanding Transcripts and LSAT Scores on Law School Applications

Nefyn Meissner, associate director of admissions at Harvard Law School, and Anne Taylor, an admissions representative from the Boston University School of Law, will be on campus together to speak in depth about the quantitative aspects of the law school application, including transcripts, GPA and LSAT scores.
Boston University School of Law combines extraordinary teaching with a forward-thinking curriculum, offering over 200 courses and seminars in 18 areas of legal study, more study abroad opportunities than almost any US law school, and one of the widest selections of clinics and externships among the nation’s top 50 law schools.
Founded in 1817, Harvard Law School is the oldest continuously operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. HLS faculty has developed seven programs of study: Criminal Justice; International and Comparative Law; Law and Business; Law and Government; Law and History; Law and Social Change; and Law, Science, and Technology. The curriculum of more than 260 courses and seminars covers a broad range of traditional and emerging legal fields.
Attend this information session to learn more about each school’s program and how to successfully apply!
Presented by Harvard Law School and Boston University.

Fri, Nov 8, 2019

Alumni-in-Residence

Alumni-in-Residence: Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work, with Jay Gilliam ’04

Jay Gilliam ’04, Director of the Global Program at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), leads this program, which works alongside advocates, organizations and movements around the world, to advance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people everywhere.
He majored in political science during his time at Amherst and then went on to gain his master’s in peace studies at International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan.
Prior to joining HRC, Gilliam served in the Obama administration at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for nearly five years, working in the Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning, the Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs, and in the Office of the Senior LGBTI Coordinator. In these roles, he shared how the Agency does more effective work and maximizes its impact in the development space; led USAID communications and public engagement efforts on LGBTI inclusive development work; and developed stories about the hard work done around the world to end extreme poverty.
Gilliam will speak candidly with students about his journey in both government and non-profit work and in mission-driven organizations focusing on how he faced bringing his authentic self to the workplace, as well as the challenges he faced as he moved through his career. He will discuss the intersection of his own identities and discuss strategies for students to bring their own authentic selves as they begin their career journeys.
Please be sure to register via Handshake.

Registration Required
Professor Suzanne Bart standing outdoors

Cheminar: “Utilization of Redox-Active Ligands in the F-Block: From Lanthanides to Uranium and Beyond”

Professor Suzanne Bart of Purdue University's Department of Chemistry will give a seminar titled “Utilization of Redox-Active Ligands in the F-Block: From Lanthanides to Uranium and Beyond.”

Alumni-in-Residence

Alumni-in-Residence: The Global LGBTQ+ Movements: A Conversation with Professor Javier Corrales and Jay Gilliam ’04

4:45 pm - 6:30 pm Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Seminar Room

Join Amherst alum and LGBTQ advocate Jay Gilliam ’04 (Human Rights Campaign) in a conversation with Professor Javier Corrales (Chair of the Political Science Department, Latinx & Latin American Studies) as they discuss global LGBTQ movement work...the progress made and challenges still ahead for LGBTQ equality in many places around the world. Come learn about recent successes like decriminalization efforts in India and Botswana and same-sex marriage in Taiwan and Bulgaria as well as persistent problems facing LGBTQ communities in places like Chechnya, Tanzania and Central America, as well as Professor Corrales’ work developing the “LGBT Rights in the Americas Timeline,” a digital humanities and history project that will be based at Amherst.

Sun, Nov 10, 2019

Secular Chapel: What Greta Thunberg Means to Me

Secular Chapel: What Greta Thunberg Means to Me

“Secular Chapel: What Greta Thunberg Means to Me” is a gathering for Amherst College students, faculty and staff hosted by Professors Jen Manion and Michael Kunichika and choir director, Professor Martha Umphrey. There will be a light reception. For inspiration and more information, see link below.

Mon, Nov 11, 2019

yMusic

M@A Parallels Masterclass: yMusic

yMusic’s performers work with Amherst College students on new compositions. The masterclass is free and open to the public.

Advent International Information Session

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity firms. With offices on four continents, the firm has established a globally integrated team of more than 200 investment professionals, focused on buyouts and growth equity investments in five core sectors.
Since initiating its private equity strategy in 1989, Advent has invested $46 billion in over 350 private equity investments across 41 countries, and as of June 30, 2019, managed $54.3 billion in assets. The firm partners with management teams to build long-term value in companies by accelerating revenue and earnings growth through operational improvements, strategic repositioning and market expansion, both domestically and internationally.
Attend this information to learn more about Advent International’s full time and summer internship opportunities!

Tue, Nov 12, 2019

Eduardo H Da Silva Neto

Despite three decades studying superconductivity in cuprate-based materials, we are still left with an incomplete understanding of how their superconducting state at unexpectedly high temperatures emerges from a “soup” of multiple broken-symmetry phases (i.e. ordered states). Although states of broken translational symmetry (i.e. charge order) were known to exist in some cuprates, only recently have we realized [1,2] that charge order could be the missing piece of the high-Tc puzzle. To understand how charge order fits in the puzzle, we require a suite of new measurements to specifically address: What does the charge order ‘look’ like? Is the charge order, like superconductivity, ubiquitous to all cuprates or just a material-specific accident? Is it helpful or harmful to superconductivity? Which electronic orbitals form the ordered patterns? Is it related to the mysterious pseudogap phase? Do the electron spins participate in the charge order phenomenon?
In this talk, I will discuss how we pushed the limits of scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/S) and resonant (inelastic) x-ray scattering (R(I)XS) to address some of these questions [2-5]. In particular, I will focus on how STS can be used to ‘take pictures’ of charge order patterns with atomic resolution in solids and how soft RXS has emerged as an extremely sensitive technique to detect charge order in quantum materials.
[1] G. Ghiringhelli, et al. Science 337, 821 (2012).
[2] E. H. da Silva Neto, et al. Science 343, 393 (2014).
[3] E. H. da Silva Neto, et al. Science 347, 282 (2015).
[4] E. H. da Silva Neto, et al. Science Advances 2 (8), e1600782 (2016).
[5] E. H. da Silva Neto, et al. PRB, Rapid Comm. 98, 161114(R) (2018).

Event poster featuring a photo of a crowd of people standing on the Berlin Wall, and four small photos of Amherst faculty panelists

Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Fayerweather Hall, Pruyne Lecture Hall (Room 115)

The Departments of Political Science and German at Amherst College will host a panel discussion commemorating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This event is free and open to the public.

The panel members are as follows:
William Taubman, Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science, Emeritus
Catherine Epstein, provost and dean of the faculty and Winkley Professor of History
Christian Rogowski, G. Armour Craig Professor in Language and Literature in the Department of German
Gustavo Salcedo, Karl Loewenstein Fellow and visiting assistant professor of political science

This panel will be moderated by Javier Corrales, Dwight W. Morrow 1895 Professor of Political Science.

Ill Erotics: The Politics of Care and Self-Making Among HIV-Positive Black Caribbean Women

Ill Erotics: The Politics of Care and Self-Making Among HIV-Positive Black Caribbean Women

Carney, Sandoe & Associates Information Session and Resume Review

Want to use your degree to make a difference for the next generation? Join Carney, Sandoe & Associates for an info session about working in K-12 private, independent schools across the country. CS&A is an educational recruitment firm that can help recent college graduates get started as a teacher or coach in the rewarding word of independent schools—no education degree or teaching certification required.

A CS&A representative will explain the process and benefits of the organization's free educational placement service, discuss what it’s like working at independent schools, and share resume and job search advice.

Whether you become a master teacher or pursue a different career down the road, CS&A believes that independent schools are a great place to work, coach, and even live. Students of all majors who are looking for a first teaching job, an opportunity to work with kids, or a way to translate a love of one or more areas of study into a rewarding job are encouraged to attend this session and learn more!

Wed, Nov 13, 2019

Event poster featuring photos of Angelina Aspuac and a crowd of women and babies, all wearing brightly colored traditional clothing and blankets

“Art as Territory: The Story of Maya Weavers Advocating for Collective Intellectual Property Rights in Guatemala”

Angelina Aspuac will give a talk titled “Art as Territory: The Story of Maya Weavers Advocating for Collective Intellectual Property Rights in Guatemala.” This talk, sponsored by the Department of Political Science at Amherst College along with funding from the Lamont Funds, is free and open to the public.

Black-and-white headshot of Joseph O'Neill

CHI Salon: Joseph O'Neill Reading and Book Talk

4:30 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

Ploughshares at Emerson College called Good Trouble, Joseph O’Neill’s new book of short stories, “[f]unny and fierce ... [a]n essential book, full of unexpected bursts of meaning and beauty.” O’Neill also wrote the novels The Breezes, This Is the Life, The Dog and Netherland, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. He has also written a family history, Blood-Dark Track. He lives in New York City and teaches at Bard College.
Childcare and refreshments will be provided at the reading.

Inside Admissions: Perspectives from the Yale School of Medicine

The Yale system of medical education remains unique among medical schools for a number of reasons. In this information session, Amherst alum Dr. Michael J. Sernyak Jr. ’83, who is a professor of psychiatry at Yale, as well as deputy chair for Clinical Affairs and Program Development within its Department of Psychiatry, will discuss how key features of Yale’s medical education plays a role in the educational mission and how they translate to the admissions process at the Yale School of Medicine. The session will also allow time for questions and answers.

TEDx Amherst College

TEDx Amherst College

Amherst College plays host to TEDx on the theme “changing worlds.” TEDx brings the spirit of TED’s mission of ideas worth spreading to local communities around the globe and provides the opportunity to be a part of the narrative. Our lineup includes two Amherst College students and two Amherst College professors.

Tickets Required
Registration Required

Thu, Nov 14, 2019

Food for Thought with Bill Ackerman ’88: An Unconventional Career Path in Business

Bill Ackerman ’88 epitomizes how the Amherst College liberal arts education prepares you to think innovatively, constantly seek new opportunities and explore different career paths. He will be speaking at the Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning Food for Thought Lunch. Come learn more about his career and how his liberal arts education at Amherst College led to his unique career path in business including roles in financial management, journalism, corporate audit, sales, strategy, investment advice, and now as the head of human resources at Fidelity Investments.
Ackerman is passionate about identifying and solving business opportunities and problems in unique ways rather than the easy way. He believes that an organization’s strongest assets are often their people and that for an organization to thrive, it is important that every person in the organization feels valued. He has brought this philosophy to his latest opportunity, and his first stint in HR, as the head of human resources at Fidelity Investments. He is eager to share his insights and perspectives on how your liberal arts education can lead you on a path not only of self-discovery, but also a constant weaving path of learning and new opportunities (in and out of business). His full biography is below.
Full biography for Bill Ackerman ’88:
Bill Ackerman is head of human resources (HR) for Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and other financial products and services to more than 26 million individuals, institutions and financial intermediaries. During his tenure with the firm, Ackerman has held a variety of leadership positions across several of the company’s divisions. He was named head of human resources in 2014 and currently oversees the HR function, the Fidelity Real Estate Company, and Enterprise Events & Corporate Sponsorships. Prior to this role, he led the firm’s Strategy and Planning Office.
Ackerman has acted in strategic operating roles in various parts of Fidelity, including the company’s Personal Investing and Workplace Solutions divisions. In addition, he held several leadership positions within Fidelity’s COLT Telecom Group in London, including COLT Finance & Planning, COLT Marketing Development and COLT eBusiness. He also held the roles of senior vice president, business development and chief financial officer for Fidelity Ventures Telecom Group in Boston and Tokyo.
Prior to joining Fidelity, Ackerman worked at General Electric (GE) where he held a number of business and finance-related roles at GE business units around the world. He is a graduate of GE’s Financial Management Program and Corporate Audit Staff. Ackerman was a journalist in California and a freelance writer for other publications.
Ackerman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College where he majored in economics. He earned his master’s degree in Communications from Stanford University.
Lunch will be served. Please register in advance through Handshake. Space is limited and a waiting list will begin once the seats are filled.

Loeb.NYC Entrepreneurial Internship Information Session

Startup studio Loeb.NYC is continuing its commitment to entrepreneurial internships in NYC. Michael Loeb ’77, P’21 (serial entrepreneur, founder of Loeb Enterprises/Loeb.NYC, and co-founder of Priceline), along with Nicole Williams (founder of portfolio company ‘WORKS’, three-time bestselling author and regular talk show guest), have collaborated to bring you the Loeb.NYC Summer Internship Program for the fourth year in a row.
Loeb.NYC’s 10-week internship program provides training and first-hand NYC startup experience to approximately 40 bright undergraduate students with an enthusiasm for business and innovation. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to learn about entrepreneurship and make a difference at a startup. Attend this information session to learn more about the internship program and how to successfully apply to be part of the Summer 2020 cohort!
The internship kicks off in early June, when interns join Michael and Nicole at Michael’s Southampton house (if you’ve seen Billions on Showtime, it’s that Hampton house), where they are immersed in a one-day training program. The next day, the CEOs of the startup companies selected for the summer program pitch their businesses and summer projects to the interns. After individual meetings between the startups and the students, each intern is matched with a company that closely fits their skills and interests. To ensure this program is a success for interns and companies, company CEOs create defined assignments with meaningful work and oversight.
The internship program is supportive and comprehensive. Each intern receives a subject matter introduction to business and entrepreneurship, obtains support throughout the ten weeks, and is provided with resources enabling them to succeed. Every week, interns visit the Loeb.NYC home office for our version of an evening ‘Ted Talk’ featuring world class entrepreneurs discussing, well, just about anything they want to. In addition, interns participate in a weekly roundtable where progress is reviewed and concerns discussed.
Students who are selected for this internship will receive a stipend from the college to facilitate their participation.
*This internship is a part of the Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program. Students must enroll in the Houston Program first before applying. Visit the Loeb Center website to learn more about applying to the Houston Program or send an email to internships@amherst.edu.

Event poster showing the two hosts of "Still Processing" sitting outdoors

“Still Processing” at Amherst College

Join the Black Student Union for a special live edition of The New York Times’ award-winning culture podcast Still Processing. Hosted by Jenna Wortham, a spectacular culture writer at the NYT Magazine, and Wesley Morris, the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning critic at large, Still Processing is, in the words of The Atlantic, “vital, mandatory listening.”

Always compelling and sometimes goofy, the podcast is a discussion between two ridiculously intelligent people about culture, pop culture and current events.

We’re looking forward to what will surely be an incredible evening.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Event, 11/14,  8 p.m., Ford Hall 107

The Entrepreneurial Spirit: An Amherst Alum’s Roadmap to Success

Mark your calendars! Next month we are having our fall community event, “The Entrepreneurial Spirit: An Amherst Alum’s Roadmap to Success.” This event is open to all students, faculty, staff and local Amherst community members.
The first portion of this event will be a panel-style Q&A with all of the alums, then for the second half of the evening, each attendee will be able to pick from three workshop options each one facilitated by a pair of alums. Each workshop will have a theme and the alums will cover that topic as it relates to their specific business. This will be a great way to ensure people get to hear more from any alum they choose and learn about aspects of their businesses that may not have been covered in the Q&A.
We are thrilled to have these well-established Amherst alums join us for this event! Below is a list of each alum who will be joining us, and a brief description of them and their business.
Cait Scudder, business coach and success catalyst
“My mission is to equip ambitious, visionary women with the structure, systems and support you need to launch and lead a wildly profitable business and have a good time doing it. I’ve taught hundreds of women and counting how to leverage their unique gifts and boldly rise into next level, pack-leading entrepreneurs from self doubt and burnout straight into boss babes earning between $10K-$50K in a matter of months.”
Brendan McKee, Silver Therapeutics
Brendan McKee ’07 is the co-founder and CFO of Silver Therapeutics, a vertically integrated cannabis company with locations in Boston, Orange and Williamstown. Our mission is to provide enjoyment and wellness through our locally curated craft cannabis products. ST opened the second stand alone adult use retail on the East Coast and is the only group in the city of Boston with a vertically integrated Host Community Agreement. As a company, ST continues to embrace the #ILOVESOCIALEQUITY campaign and exceed the states expectations to be inclusive and provide opportunities to groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. ST is one of the few locally owned and operated cannabis groups in MA with plans to expand their repeatable model to contiguous states and beyond.
Carlissa & Laken King, Worldgirls
Inspired by their upbringing in Brooklyn, New York, twin sisters Laken and Carlissa King sought to create dolls that spark creativity and celebrate togetherness. With rich storytelling that’s aspirational and engaging, each Worldgirls doll embodies a specific archetypal trait—Warrior, Healer, Explorer, Rebel, and Scholar—so that children can identify with the dolls unique passions rather than their looks. More than just dolls, Worldgirls is the ultimate team representing girls from different countries and backgrounds who come together to learn, break down barriers, and have fun while doing it!
Parker Holcomb, CoLane
CoLane is a truckload broker automating time-consuming tasks with AI and robotic process automation with a superpowered coworker we call Archie. The more information Archie processes, the more patterns and behaviors he can identify and respond to. This includes information with drivers and dispatch, track & trace, driver empty updates, and handing many of the other endless communications taking place in truck brokerage.
Chloe McKenzie, BlackFem, Inc.
Chloe McKenzie is creating a new reality. And she is starting where it matters most, the financial institutions that typically overlook financially disadvantaged population and school districts with high concentrations of girls of color. Chloe is revolutionizing the financial services industry and education system by offering integrated, culturally-responsive financial and wealth literacy programs and interventions so that we can break the cycle of poverty. Armed with the skills, resources, and most importantly, confidence they need to succeed, our communities will be empowered to articulate and assert their worth.

Fri, Nov 15, 2019

Headshot of Professor Jason Sello

Cheminar: “Illuminating Protein Homeostasis and New Pathways for Anti-Bacterial Development with Small Molecules”

Professor Jason Sello of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Pharmacy and Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, will hold a seminar titled “Illuminating Protein Homeostasis and New Pathways for Anti-Bacterial Development with Small Molecules.”

Faith and the Environment with Rabbi Ellen Bernstein

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Ford Hall, Ford Hall Event Space

Environmental Rabbi Ellen Bernstein will be coming to help lead Hillel’s Shabbat dinner this Friday through a discussion on the connections between faith and the environment. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by dinner from Oriental Flavor. Come bring friends and learn about how faith can inform our understanding of the climate crisis! All faiths and environmental backgrounds welcome!

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Event, 11/14,  8 p.m., Ford Hall 107

The Entrepreneurial Spirit: An Amherst Alum’s Roadmap to Success

Mark your calendars! Next month we are having our fall community event, “The Entrepreneurial Spirit: An Amherst Alum’s Roadmap to Success.” This event is open to all students, faculty, staff and local Amherst community members.
The first portion of this event will be a panel-style Q&A with all of the alums, then for the second half of the evening, each attendee will be able to pick from three workshop options each one facilitated by a pair of alums. Each workshop will have a theme and the alums will cover that topic as it relates to their specific business. This will be a great way to ensure people get to hear more from any alum they choose and learn about aspects of their businesses that may not have been covered in the Q&A.
We are thrilled to have these well-established Amherst alums join us for this event! Below is a list of each alum who will be joining us, and a brief description of them and their business.
Cait Scudder, business coach and success catalyst
“My mission is to equip ambitious, visionary women with the structure, systems and support you need to launch and lead a wildly profitable business and have a good time doing it. I’ve taught hundreds of women and counting how to leverage their unique gifts and boldly rise into next level, pack-leading entrepreneurs from self doubt and burnout straight into boss babes earning between $10K-$50K in a matter of months.”
Brendan McKee, Silver Therapeutics
Brendan McKee ’07 is the co-founder and CFO of Silver Therapeutics, a vertically integrated cannabis company with locations in Boston, Orange and Williamstown. Our mission is to provide enjoyment and wellness through our locally curated craft cannabis products. ST opened the second stand alone adult use retail on the East Coast and is the only group in the city of Boston with a vertically integrated Host Community Agreement. As a company, ST continues to embrace the #ILOVESOCIALEQUITY campaign and exceed the states expectations to be inclusive and provide opportunities to groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. ST is one of the few locally owned and operated cannabis groups in MA with plans to expand their repeatable model to contiguous states and beyond.
Carlissa & Laken King, Worldgirls
Inspired by their upbringing in Brooklyn, New York, twin sisters Laken and Carlissa King sought to create dolls that spark creativity and celebrate togetherness. With rich storytelling that’s aspirational and engaging, each Worldgirls doll embodies a specific archetypal trait—Warrior, Healer, Explorer, Rebel, and Scholar—so that children can identify with the dolls unique passions rather than their looks. More than just dolls, Worldgirls is the ultimate team representing girls from different countries and backgrounds who come together to learn, break down barriers, and have fun while doing it!
Parker Holcomb, CoLane
CoLane is a truckload broker automating time-consuming tasks with AI and robotic process automation with a superpowered coworker we call Archie. The more information Archie processes, the more patterns and behaviors he can identify and respond to. This includes information with drivers and dispatch, track & trace, driver empty updates, and handing many of the other endless communications taking place in truck brokerage.
Chloe McKenzie, BlackFem, Inc.
Chloe McKenzie is creating a new reality. And she is starting where it matters most, the financial institutions that typically overlook financially disadvantaged population and school districts with high concentrations of girls of color. Chloe is revolutionizing the financial services industry and education system by offering integrated, culturally-responsive financial and wealth literacy programs and interventions so that we can break the cycle of poverty. Armed with the skills, resources, and most importantly, confidence they need to succeed, our communities will be empowered to articulate and assert their worth.

Mon, Nov 18, 2019

Conrad Kuklinsky ’21 and Matteo Riondato: “Learning Intersections of Halfspaces: Novel VC-Dimension Bounds”

Abstract: A key question in machine learning research is understanding the trade-off between the size of the training set and the accuracy of the classification function learned by the algorithm. This trade-off can be fully characterized by a single quantity: the VC-dimension of the family of functions that the algorithm may learn. Beautifully combinatorial in nature, the VC-dimension is elusive to compute exactly, but upper bounds to it are sufficient to understand the trade-off. In this talk, we report on our recent results on improved upper bounds to the VC-dimension of intersections of half-spaces in high dimensions, a very popular class of functions. We show a novel connection with convex polytopes and with planar graphs. All the terms and results will be explained without assuming any specific background in the audience.

Refreshments will be served at 3 p.m. in Science Center C209.

Theodosiou research image: depictions of spiral intestines and other tissues and organs in a fish's body

CANCELLED: Biology Monday Seminar

4:00 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall A011

This lecture has been cancelled.
Nicole Theodosiou, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Co-Director of Biochemistry Program
Union College

The digestive tracts of sharks and skates provide a fascinating model for studying the evolution of morphological asymmetries. Unique to all basal fishes is the spiral intestine, which may represent an intermediate morphology in evolution from the straight gut of lamprey to the elongated coils of higher vertebrates. The short spiral allows for a large absorptive surface area that can fit into a restrictive abdominal cavity. My lab is exploring how the spiral intestine forms during development of the little skate and the radial constraints that propagate spiraling.

"Artful Activism: Why the How of What We Do Matters"

4:30 pm - 6:30 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

How might we move beyond the conventional frame of the NGO model to re-envision community building and reclaim personal narrative? Hear what rhizomes, poetry and oil paint animation might say about this as David James Savarese discusses the making of the Peabody Award-winning documentary Deej: Inclusion Shouldn’t Be a Lottery and his artful activism project Listen2Us.

David James Savarese (Oberlin College ’17) is an artful activist who works to make literacy-based education, communication and inclusive lives a reality for all nontraditionally speaking people. A 2017-19 OSF Human Rights Initiative Youth Fellow, he is a published poet, essayist and co-producer of Deej: Inclusion Shouldn’t Be a Lottery.

This event is sponsored by the Language & Literature Fund and the Eastman Fund at Amherst College. It is free and open to the public. Please contact prangan@amherst.edu with any accessibility concerns.

Tue, Nov 19, 2019

Andrew A Geraci, Northwestern: “Hunting for Fifth-Forces and Dark Matter with AMO-Based Sensors”

We normally think of large accelerators and massive detectors when we consider the frontiers of elementary particle physics, pushing to understand the universe at higher and higher energy scales. However, several tabletop low-energy experiments are positioned to discover a wide range of new physics beyond the Standard model, where feeble interactions require precision measurements rather than high energies. In high vacuum, optically levitated dielectric nanospheres achieve excellent decoupling from their environment, making force sensing at the zeptonewton level (10-21 N) achievable.

In this talk, I will describe our progress towards using these sensors for tests of the Newtonian gravitational inverse square law at micron-length scales. Optically levitated dielectric objects and optical cavities show promise for a variety of other applications, including searches for gravitational waves and dark matter. Finally, I will discuss the Axion Resonant InterAction Detection Experiment (ARIADNE), a precision magnetometry experiment using laser-polarized 3-He gas to search for a notable dark-matter candidate: the QCD axion.

"Queer and Trans Immigrant Experiences" with Bamby Salcedo

Join the Queer Resource Center, the Center for Diversity and Student Leadership, and the Center for International Student Experience for an engaging talk given by Bamby Salcedo, a nationally and internationally recognized activist who has received numerous awards for her advocacy work in the trans and queer immigrant communities. Following the talk, there will be dinner and discussion.
If you have accessibility questions or concerns, please email cdsl@amherst.edu.

Climate Action Internship Panel

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Seminar Room

Mingle with other students interested in climate action careers and hear juniors and seniors discuss their previous summer internships related to climate action. Walk away with fresh ideas and an internship search plan for summer 2020!

Summer Psychology Research Forum

Looking for a psychology-related summer internship? Not sure where to start? Join us at the Psychology Department’s Summer Internship Panel. A panel of students will share their insights into getting great summer internships followed by a Q&A with the panel and psychology department faculty.
Dinner provided. Reserve your spot today!
Contact Research Coordinator, Sarah Mattison-Buhl, sbuhl@amherst.edu.

Students Only
Registration Required

Wed, Nov 20, 2019

students work at laptops

Teaching with Technology Lunch: Critical Analysis in Collaborative Settings with Google Apps

Please join us to learn and discuss how Amherst faculty are designing learning activities using Google Apps to promote critical analysis.
Professor Jen Manion of the history department will share how students took on an active role in facilitating discussions and collecting primary sources. Tools: Google Drive, Google Sheets.
Professor Paul Schroeder Rodriquez of the Spanish department will share how his students collaboratively annotated course texts and created reflective portfolios. Tools: Google Docs, Google Sites.

Internship Search Process

Participants will be introduced to the various experiences they can pursue over the summer and learn about the advantages and considerations for each option in order to make a smart, thoughtful decision about how to make the best use of their summer vacations. The workshop will focus on identifying internship resources and developing an internship search strategy.

Thu, Nov 21, 2019

TV Writers Studio Info Session: Long Island University’s MFA in Writing and Producing for Television

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Seminar Room

Join William Rabkin, assistant director of the MFA program in writing and producing for television at the TV Writer’s Studio, as he shares insights about the field. Rabkin of Long Island University’s TV Writers Studio, which grants an MFA in Writing and Producing for Television, is a 30-year veteran writer, producer and showrunner in television. He has worked on such shows as Monk, Psych, and Diagnosis Murder.
Rabkin works closely with Emmy Award-winning veteran screenwriter, director, producer, and showrunner Norman Steinberg to make LIU Brooklyn’s TV Writers StudioSM an environment where students experience what it is like to be a writer and producer of a TV series.
The underlying philosophy of the TV Writers Studio is that, given a well-designed curriculum, the right team of mentors, appropriate technical resources and sufficient time, a group of talented graduate student writers, working collaboratively, can develop a TV series that is broadcast worthy. It is through this process that the students will develop the full range of skills, knowledge and experience necessary to enter the profession of television writing and production.