Who Knows: Astronomy Professor George Greenstein and the first photographic evidence of “Extrasolar Planets”

It was a discovery some thought might not occur for decades:  the first photos – blurry yes, but photos nonetheless – of planets orbiting stars other than the sun. Not surprisingly, the discovery has excited the astronomy community around the world. George Greenstein, the Sidney Dillon Professor of Astronomy at Amherst, happens to be teaching a course this semester titled The Unseen Universe. He spoke with Public Affairs Director Peter Rooney recently to offer insight on these no longer unseen planets.

Who Knows: Professor Adam Honig on Market Meltdowns

Adam Honig’s seminar this semester about financial crises in developing countries has an added dose of relevance, now that the United States is experiencing a financial crisis of its own that could impact the financial future and career prospects of many Amherst students.

Honig, assistant professor of economics and an expert on financial crises in developing countries, fielded some questions from Director of Public Affairs  Peter Rooney about his course, implications of the financial crisis in the United States, and his thoughts on where things are headed.

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Who Knows: Professor Kannan Jagannathan on the Large Hadron Collider

Built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland, and opening officially in October 2008, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a 17-mile long underground particle accelerator – the largest such machine to date. Amid concerns about its high price tag and possibly world-ending ramifications, Samuel Masinter ’04  sat down with Bruce B. Benson ’43 Professor of Physics Kannan “Jagu” Jagannathan to straighten out misconceptions about dragons, cosmic rays and the fundamental quest of science.


Who Knows: Economics Professor Geoffrey Woglom

Submitted by Caroline J. Hanna

Marjan Hajibandeh ’09E talks about downturns, gas prices and bubble phenomena, among other things, with economics department chair Geoffrey Woglom, the Richard S. Volpert ’56 Professor of Economics, for our new “Who Knows” series. Feel free to log and add comments.

MH:  What is a recession? Are we in one now?


Who Knows: Political Science Professor Tom Dumm

Submitted by Caroline J. Hanna

Next up for the “Who Knows” series is Tom Dumm, professor and chair of the political science department. Dumm, who will teach Amherst’s The American Presidency course during the Fall 2008 semester, spoke with John D’Angelo ’10 about the class and the final stages of this year’s presidential campaign.

JD: Do you only teach this course during election years?