Event Calendar

Monday, November 4, 2019

Mon, Nov 4, 2019

Test the Library Website: Enter to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Want to help make the Library website better? Participate in an online study (10-15 minutes) and enter to win one of three $25 Amazon gift cards! The study link is here: https://ows.io/cm/263k8802

Students Only

German Table

Enjoy informal conversations with students who have studied in Germany, the German faculty members, the German language assistants and other native speakers.

Math & Stats Table

Please join us for this informal weekly gathering of math/stat faculty and students for lunch and conversation. It’s a fun opportunity to meet other students interested in math and statistics and to get to know your professors in a casual atmosphere. We hope you will join us!


Release is an open forum for Amherst community members to talk about race, ethnicity, cultural identity, and current events impacting us at Amherst and beyond. Conversations center the experiences and voices of people of color.

Students Only

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).

Arabic Language Table for Third-Year Arabic Students

This Arabic language table is a weekly conversation group for third-year Arabic students. We meet every Monday in the upstairs seating section of the Valentine Dining Hall, and anyone who can communicate in Arabic at the third-year level is welcome to attend. Syonara Tomoum will be present as a moderator.

Students Only

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.