Event Calendar

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wed, Nov 15, 2017

Writing Retreat for Faculty and Staff

9:00 am - 12:00 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

The Writing Center supports faculty and staff in their own writing projects by hosting two weekly morning retreats. Our retreats are designed to encourage a regular writing practice, to emphasize healthy and sustainable approaches to productive writing and to support a community of writers at the College. Retreats will be held Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until noon. Attend regularly or drop in when you can.

Russian Table

The Russian Table is an opportunity for all interested in conversing in Russian to meet regularly with Russian faculty and students. We'll meet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays on the Mezzanine level in Valentine Dining Hall. Russian speakers at all levels are very welcome!

Wall Street Journal Wednesdays

Please join Stephanie Hockman, Loeb Center program director for careers in business and finance, for a weekly, informal discussion on any of your favorite Wall Street Journal articles. This informal lunch group will meet every Wednesday from noon - 1 p.m. in Terrace Room B on the lower level of Valentine Hall. Grab some lunch and join the discussion!

Food for Thought: Grace Chung Becker P'19

Join Grace Chung Becker P’19 for lunch and a conversation about her career in public service. Lunch from The Works Bakery Café will be provided. Space is limited, R.S.V.P. in Quest.

Grace Chung Becker served in the all three branches of the federal government for fifteen years before continuing her public service in the non-profit arena. In 2007, Ms. Becker led the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. She was the recipient of the “Outstanding Civilian Service Medal” for her performance in the U.S. Army’s Inspector General’s review of allegations that American soldiers killed hundreds of South Korean civilians during the Korean War. Earlier in her career, she clerked for Judge James L. Buckley on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She also served as a prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, as Criminal Counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, as an Assistant General Counsel at the U.S. Sentencing Commission and as an associate at the law firm of Williams and Connolly.

Ms. Becker obtained a Bachelor of Science in Economics, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of Finance and a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Hamilton in France Info Session in McCaffrey

Considering studying in Paris? Come meet with Professor Martine Guyot-Bender, Hamilton in France resident director for next year! Hamilton in France offers students a an exclusive French environment to strengthen your proficiency while enjoying all Paris has to offer. There are program-sponsored courses and the opportunity to enroll in Parisian universities, including Sciences Po!

Professor Martine Guyot-Bender will be visiting Amherst on Wednesday, November 15 at 1 p.m. for an information session - get your lunch from Grab n' Go and join us in McCaffrey Room in the Keefe Campus Center.

If you can't make the 1 p.m. meeting, Prof. Martine Guyot-Bender will take short appointments starting at 4 p.m. with interested students. Email jbehrens@amherst.edu to make an appointment. More information about the program is available online at https://www.hamilton.edu/france.

David Choffnes '02, ReCon: "Identifying and Controlling Privacy Leaks from Mobile Devices"

David Choffnes '02 is an assistant professor in the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University. His research is primarily in the areas of distributed systems and networking, focusing on mobile systems, privacy and security. He earned a B.A. in physics and French from Amherst College and a Ph.D. from Northwestern and completed a postdoc at the University of Washington prior to joining Northeastern. He is a co-author of three textbooks, and his research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, Google, the Data Transparency Lab, Comcast, M-Lab and a Computing Innovations Fellowship.

To see Harvest, a short documentary film using ReCon, visit this link: https://vimeo.com/189449163

Abstract:
Mobile systems have become increasingly popular thanks in part to their rich sensors and ubiquitous Internet access; however, recent studies demonstrate that software running on these systems extensively tracks and leaks users' personally identifiable information (PII). I argue that these privacy leaks persist in large part because mobile users have little visibility into PII leaked through the network traffic generated by their devices, and have poor control over how, when and where that traffic is sent and handled by third parties.

In this talk, I describe ReCon, a cross-platform system that reveals PII leaks and gives users control over them without requiring any special privileges or custom OSes. Specifically, our key observation is that PII leaks must occur over the network, so we implement our system in the network using a software middlebox. We then use a machine-learning approach to to efficiently and accurately detect users' PII without knowing a priori the content that is PII. Further, we develop techniques to block, obfuscate or ignore the PII leak, by displaying leaks via a visualization tool and letting the user decide how the system should act on transmitted PII. I discuss the design and implementation of the system and evaluate its methodology with measurements from controlled experiments and flows from a user study with more than 300 volunteer participants worldwide.

Last, I present results from our experience with the system, including how we found (and helped fix) plaintext password exposure vulnerabilities, passwords being sent to unauthorized third parties, surprising levels of user tracking, and unexpected differences between information gathering across platforms for the same online service. Through responsible disclosure and public outreach, we are trying to help users by exposing today's privacy problems and giving them tools to protect their personal information going forward.

Black-and-white photo of people standing at the entrance of a building with enormous Russian lettering on the wall

"Commemorative Strategies and Museum Practices in Contemporary Russia": Talk by Ekaterina Boltunova

4:30 pm Webster Hall, Center for Russian Culture

Through an analysis of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center, a memorial complex opened in Yekaterinburg in 2015, Ekaterina Boltunova will discuss the formation of collective memory in relation to Boris Yeltsin, the first president of the Russian Federation, and its roots in commemorative strategies that emerged in Imperial Russia and persisted through the Soviet period.

Ekaterina Boltunova is associate professor at the Faculty of Humanities, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, and director of the graduate program Cultural and Intellectual History: Between East and West. Professor Boltunova was a 2008-2009 Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University; a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2009); and a participant in multiple international research projects. Her research interests include cultural and political history of the Russian empire and the USSR, topography and semiotics of power, imperial discourse of war, historical memory, and Soviet and post-Soviet reception of the imperial space. She is the author of "Peter the Great’s Guard as a Military Corporation" (Moscow, 2011, in Russian); "Reception of Imperial and Tsarist Spheres of Authority in Russia, 1990s-2010s" (Ab Imperio 2 (2016): 261-309); “Russian Officer Corps and Military Efficiency: 1800-1914” (Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 16, no. 2 (2015): 413-422); “Imperial Throne Halls and Discourse of Power in the Topography of Early Modern Russia (late 17th – 18th centuries)”; "In the Emperor's House: Palaces from Augustus to the Age of Absolutism" (Berlin : De Gruyter, 2015: 341-352), and many other works.

Pumpkin Bi

Join the Queer Resource Center and the Women's and Gender Center for Pumpkin Bi, a social event for students who identify as bisexual, pansexual and/or fluid. This is a closed space for people who identify within these groups or who are exploring their identities. Pumpkin pie, cider and other fall treats will be provided as we discuss community aspirations for future programming around these identities. For more information, please contact wgc@amherst.edu or qrc@amherst.edu

Students Only

First Year Loeb Seminar: Finding Your Foundation

First year students, the Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning is part of your journey here at Amherst, from start to finish. We expect you to start your journey this fall through this fun and interactive workshop. You can get to know other first year students, identify your skills, understand how your values, culture and family influence your thinking about work and careers and also prepare for meaningful summer experiences such as internships, research, summer jobs, studying abroad, volunteering and more. R.S.V.P. required. Don’t miss out!

A chipotle burrito, with chips and salsa.

Belonging & Burrito Bowls

First-year experience invites you to Belonging & Burrito Bowls! Help us foster a greater sense of belonging for first-years at Amherst by sharing your opinion on the strengths and challenges of the Amherst community and social life. The discussion will be followed by an optional video project, in which you can share a sentence or two that may benefit future first-year students. Food from Chipotle will be provided! This event is worth 20 points.

QTPOC GROUP

QTPOC Affinity Group, Wednesdays 6:30PM QRC

Amherst Queer and Trans People of Color Affinity Group seeks to support students, staff and faculty in the five colleges who identify as queer/trans/genderqueer people of color. This closed QTPOC Affinity seeks to provide a safe space for queer people of color to build community, to celebrate all facets of our identities, and to engage in meaningful discussion.

Every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the QRC

Film & Education Policy Discussion with Grace Chung Becker P’19

8:00 pm - 9:30 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

Join Grace Chung Becker P’19 for a screening and discussion of the NOVA documentary School of the Future, which explores the role of scientific research and technology in pedagogy and the classroom.

Grace Chung Becker served in the all three branches of the federal government for 15 years before continuing her public service in the nonprofit arena. In 2007, Ms. Becker led the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. She was the recipient of the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for her performance in the U.S. Army’s Inspector General’s review of allegations that American soldiers killed hundreds of South Korean civilians during the Korean War. Earlier in her career, she clerked for Judge James L. Buckley on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She also served as a prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, as Criminal Counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, as an assistant general counsel at the U.S. Sentencing Commission and as an associate at the law firm of Williams & Connolly.

Ms. Becker obtained a bachelor of science degree in economics, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of Finance and a bachelor of arts, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Ongoing Events

Rotherwas Room, photo by Maria Stenzel

Study at the Mead!

Throughout the week, we will have lots of art activities to help you destress from finals period. We also have comfy chairs, plenty of outlets, great lighting, and extra tables to give you an inspirational place to work and study.

Closed on Mondays, but open until Midnight on school nights!