Event Calendar

Today - 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

Biology Monday Seminar: “Game of Guts: Spirals versus Coils”

4:00 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall A011

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.

Tomorrow - 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 Bambi 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

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!

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.

Mon, Dec 2, 2019

Foundations of Resume and Cover Letter Writing

Did you know that on average recruitment managers spend 5 to 7 seconds analyzing applications to determine if a candidate should be brought in for an interview? Come learn about the techniques needed to create resumes and cover letters that best markets your unique skills and experiences to land summer internships and future job opportunities.
*This workshop will fulfill the Internship Preparation Workshop requirement for the Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program.*

Wed, Dec 4, 2019

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!

Fri, Dec 6, 2019

Conservation Coalitions of the Future: From Landscape Approaches to a Pro-Indigenous Environmental State

"Conservation Coalitions of the Future: From Landscape Approaches to a Pro-Indigenous Environmental State" presented by Ashwin Ravikumar

The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2019-20 presents a lecture titled "Conservation Coalitions of the Future: From Landscape Approaches to a Pro-Indigenous Environmental State" presented by Ashwin Ravikumar, assistant professor of environmental science.
https://www.amherst.edu/mm/33214

"In this talk I will present new evidence concerning how ‘quality of life plans,’ tools designed to
improve indigenous people’s well-being while supporting conservation in and around
communities, have delivered on their promises in the Peruvian Amazon. In order to assess this,
I worked with a small team to carry out focus groups and semi-structured interviews with
community members, NGO professionals, and government actors working in the Ampiyacu Apayacu watershed and adjacent protected area in the Peruvian Amazon region of Loreto. Our
results show that while community members view quality-of-life plans in a largely positive light,
they do not generally use them to assert their priorities to outside actors, and see them as
conflated with other conservation and sustainable land use initiatives. I present three major
barriers for communities in using quality-of-life plans in the manner that they were intended.
Despite these issues, community members expressed that after going through the process of
creating quality-of-life plans and other activities related to managing their regional conservation
area, they no longer allow private loggers, miners, fishers, and hunters to enter their territory,
and no longer deal with them commercially. With the available evidence, though, we cannot
causally link quality-of-life plans to these changes.

Taking this analysis a step further, I ask whether quality-of-life plans can serve communities in
leveraging funds from large external conservation programs. Specifically, I examine how the
Peruvian National Forest Conservation Program’s conditional cash transfer initiative has worked
to improve people’s well-being as defined in their quality-of-life plans. I find that the Program
has not supported priorities that were found in quality-of-life plans, and has instead generated
concerning dynamics that may undermine the effectiveness of conservation. I argue that the
Program’s current approach is in fact disrupting the local subsistence economy that ultimately
favors conservation, compromising the long-standing culture of reciprocal labor and noncommodified production systems. It therefore risks undermining the existing tools of political
organizing including quality-of-life Plans. Despite these issues, I suggest some ways forward for
the Program, and argue that State initiatives may still be able to alleviate some of the barriers to
community empowerment through quality-of-life plans."

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.

Tue, Dec 10, 2019

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.*

Wed, Dec 11, 2019

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!

Photograph of Emily Dickinson

CHI Salon: Emily Dickinson's Birthday Party

We are celebrating Emily Dickinson's 189th birthday! Please join us for poetry readings, period music, tapas, wine and birthday cake! Childcare is available.

Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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!

Wed, Feb 5, 2020

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!

Tue, Feb 11, 2020

Junior Political Science Majors Thesis Informational Session

Professor Javier Corrales will be holding an informational session for junior political science majors who are interested in writing a senior thesis.

Wed, Feb 12, 2020

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!

Fri, Feb 14, 2020

Hyper Education: When Good Grades, Good Schools and Good Behavior are Not Enough

"Hyper Education: When Good Grades, Good Schools and Good Behavior are Not Enough" presented by Pawan Dhingra.

The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2019-20 presents a lecture titled "Hyper Education: When Good Grades, Good Schools, and Good Behavior are Not Enough" presented by Pawan Dhingra, professor of American studies.

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

"A recent truth in middle-class parenting is the over-scheduling of young children in extracurricular activities. Hyper-education refers to a growing trend of young children already performing well in school and yet participating in privatized, extracurricular education. After-school math learning centers and academic competitions (e.g. spelling bees) are two main types. This trend is normally associated with Asian Americans (e.g. “Tiger moms”) but is growing among whites as well. Based on ethnographic research on Asian Americans and others, I explain the motivations of this seemingly foreign practice and demonstrate that it is in line with contemporary education reforms, and as such should be expected to grow. The rise of hyper education has implications for educational inequality."

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.

Wed, Feb 19, 2020

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!

Wed, Feb 26, 2020

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!

Fri, Feb 28, 2020

Parker String Quartet

M@A Masterclass: Parker Quartet Feb. 28

Please join us for a public masterclass as M@A Chamber artists, the Parker Quartet, work with students on their craft.