Event Calendar

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wed, Apr 3, 2013

Isosteeple

Mark Santilucito '13 & Steph Robinson's new sound/video installation Isosteeple will be on display at Stearns Steeple in front of the Mead Art Museum. The piece senses the movement of museum visitors to generate an idiosyncratic sound accompaniment to their movements and the architecture.

“Art in Place / the Place of Art” is a one-year interdisciplinary arts series at Amherst College which explores the myriad relationships that the arts have with place, and how artistic practice helps to shape our senses of place, identity, communities, cultures, institutions, and conversations. It is organized by faculty from the Departments of Art & the History of Art, Music, and Theater & Dance, as well as the Mead Art Museum and the Frost Library. Support has been provided by the Copeland Colloquium, the Amherst Arts Series Fund, and the Dean of the Faculty.

"Musical Quests for Heimat"

Peter W. Shea, baritone, and Monica Jakuc Leverett, on piano, will perform selected songs by Franz Schubert paired with excerpts from Ernst Krenek's 1929 song cycle "Reisebuch aus den Österreichischen Alpen," with readings by James Yaro '14.

All are invited. Light refreshments will be served after the concert.

This event is sponsored by the Department of German, the European Studies Program, the German House and the Lamont Fund.

Cathy McGeoch: "Experimental Evaluation of an Adiabatic Quantum Computer"

I will describe experiments to evaluate the performance of a quantum computing system (hardware plus software) for solving NP-hard combinatorial optimization problems.

This unusual computing platform is manufactured by D-Wave Systems of Burnaby, Canada. It comprises a Linux front end with an analog hardware chip that contains up to 512 quantum bits (qubits) capable of quantum superposition. The hardware chip solves optimization problems by a process known as quantum annealing (QA), based on the principles of adiabatic quantum computation (AQC).

Performance comparisons included three conventional solvers-- IBM CPLEX, an open-source implementation of Tabu Search and a branch-and-bound solver that performed well in a recent satisfiability competition. The solvers were tested using instances from three NP-hard optimization problems: Quadratic Unconstrained Boolean Optimization (QUBO), Weighted Max 2-SAT (W2SAT) and the Quadratic Assignment Problem (QAP).

On general problems, the hybrid software/quantum hardware solver was competitive with, and sometimes outperformed, the conventional solvers. On "native" instances that can be solved directly in hardware, the quantum system found optimal solutions 3,000 times faster than CPLEX. (Recent tests on a newer chip suggest that speedup factors of 10,000 or more are possible.)

I will also describe some tests to learn how performance of the quantum hardware depends on input properties.

This is joint work with Cong Wang of Simon Fraser University.

Chess Club Practice

Valentine Dining Hall, Conference Room

Come enjoy a game or two while you have dinner! Open to anyone interested!

Spanish Film Festival: "Amerikanuak"

More than half a century ago, many Basques left Spain to look for a better life working as sheepherders in the American West. In "Amerikanuak," Nacho Reig looks at the lives of some of the last remaining Basque sheepherders in the United States. The documentary takes place under the vast blue skies and bleak but beautiful winter landscape of the small town of Elko, Nevada. Through the reflections of immigrants such as Juan Juaristi “Parrillas,” an 83-year old boarder at a Basque boardinghouse called the Star Hotel of Elko, we hear about the difficulties that many of these immigrants faced in forging new lives in a foreign country, as well as their nostalgia for what was left behind. The Basque group Audience created the soundtrack specifically for the film, and the sounds of traditional American folk music resonate throughout the tracks, providing the perfect background for this film about overcoming hardship, adaptation, courage, community and a way of life that will soon be gone forever.

Lip Sync is Here!

The grandest competition of them all is upon us. No not the Super Bowl. Not the Olympics. Not the Hunger Games. Lip Sync. That's right, everyone's
favorite (faux) singing and dancing competition has arrived, and the rights to Room Draw Glory will be on the line. Come see your closest friends and unknown peers strut their stuff, procure their props and sync their lips so they can turn that bottom-pick dud into a top-of-the-list stud.

Wednesday Rosary Prayer & Spiritual Fellowship

Chapin Hall, Lounge

Newman Club members lead a Rosary Prayer in the peaceful, candle-lit chapel. Guides, rosaries and personal instruction is offered. We close with personal prayers of petition to our loving God. All are welcome to come for silent participation or to pray aloud. Join us on Wednesdays of weeks when classes are in session.

Ongoing Events

Campus Challenge Fill-A-Truck Food & Educational Supply Drive

Form a friendly competition among teams, join a "tabling" group, or donate individually. We will be happy to accept nonperishable food items and school supplies. Drop-off sites include Barrett Hall, the Cadigan Center, Chapin Hall, College Hall, Converse, Fayerweather, Frost Library, Merrill Science Center, Pontypool, Pratt, Seelye Mudd and Smith House.

Be counted! Register your donation to Campus Challenge-sponsored drives or to ANY organization addressing poverty and/or educational opportunity. Complete a participation form online at http://www.amherst.edu/go/campuschallenge. The form may be submitted anonymously. Bonus: every participation form is entered into a drawing for $200 to be made at the end of April. Even though our major drives this year were scheduled for spring, we made significant progress in the fall. We can reach our goals for the year. The Campus Challenge Committee invites you to join them in making positive expressions of ways that Amherst staff, faculty and students relate with neighbors.

Finding Place

Fayerweather Hall, Eli Marsh Gallery

A multimedia exhibit exploring the realm of physical space and place, featuring local artists from around the Pioneer Valley. There will be a gallery talk on Thursday April 4th at 4:30.

“Art in Place / the Place of Art” is a one-year interdisciplinary arts series at Amherst College which explores the myriad relationships that the arts have with place, and how artistic practice helps to shape our senses of place, identity, communities, cultures, institutions, and conversations. It is organized by faculty from the Departments of Art & the History of Art, Music, and Theater & Dance, as well as the Mead Art Museum and the Frost Library. Support has been provided by the Copeland Colloquium, the Amherst Arts Series Fund, and the Dean of the Faculty.

Junior Jumpstart Series: Three Topics, Three Events!

Juniors, are you interested in getting a job, attending graduate or professional school or taking part in a fellowship program after you graduate? Do you want to know what you should be doing this spring and summer to set yourself up for success during senior year? These are workshops you don't want to miss!

1. "Kickstarting Your Job Search" | Career Center | Tuesday, April 2, 5 p.m.
Don't wait for senior year to get on track with your job search. Join Dean Ursula Olender and get a head start on researching and evaluating employment opportunities. Learn about hiring timelines, on-campus recruiting, networking with alumni and what you can do this summer to make your job search effective.

2. "Applying to Graduate School" | Career Center | Monday, April 8, 4 p.m.
Join Dean Debra Krumholz as she discusses decision-making, the application process and timelines and how you can start thinking about IF you want to go, WHEN you want to go and WHERE you want to go.

3. "The National Fellowships Application and the Fellowships Experience" | Cole Assembly Room (Converse Hall) | Tuesday, April 9, at 4:30 p.m. and Thursday, April 11, at 7 p.m.

April 9: Join Denise Gagnon, director of fellowships; Tony Claudino, director of Fulbright Student Program outreach; and panel members Evan Braun '10 (Fulbright Scholar 2010), Lindsay Stern '13 and Keri Lambert '13 (Watson Fellows 2013-14), who will provide information about the Fulbright and Watson experience and application process.

April 11: Join Gagnon, Jordan Krall '01 (Rhodes Scholar 2001-02) and Clare Howard '10 (Gates Scholar 2010-11 and Fulbright Scholar 2011-12) who will discuss the fellowship experience and provide information about the application process for the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Gates and Luce Scholarships. Gagnon will give an overview of the fellowship opportunities available through the Office of Fellowships. David Schneider, professor of music, will offer guidance and advice about how to ask for and receive strong letters of recommendation from faculty.