Changes coming to Gen Ed

first_img Digital Giza Project lets scholars virtually visit sites in Egypt and beyond, and even print them in 3D Armchair travels with a purpose Related GAZETTE: How else has the Gen Ed program evolved over the years?CLAYBAUGH: This isn’t the first Gen Ed at Harvard; it’s the second. The first was inaugurated in the aftermath of the Second World War, and it sought to educate students for a “free society.” With our new Gen Ed program, we seek to prepare students for global citizenship. Individual courses grapple explicitly with the global, such as Robert Lawrence and Lawrence Summers’ “The Future of Globalization” or Sunil Amrith’s “Global Gandhi.” We have a course on the Hebrew Bible, and another on the spiritual practices transmitted throughout the African diaspora. We have a course on Shakespeare, and another on anime.GAZETTE: Among the changes to Gen Ed are new requirements for quantitative reasoning with data (QRD). What can you tell us about this change?CLAYBAUGH: QRD courses teach students how to think critically about the data they’ll encounter in their professions and contend with in civic debates. Nothing could be more essential for 21st-century citizenship. Students will learn the computational, mathematical, and statistical techniques they need to work with data. They’ll also learn how to use those techniques in the real world, where data are imperfect and incomplete, sometimes compromised, always contingent. Finally, they’ll reflect on all the questions raised by our current uses of data — questions that are social and ethical and epistemological. We’ve identified a number of courses in an array of departments, at all levels of difficulty, that do all these things — among them, Raj Chetty’s new course in “Using Big Data to Solve Economic and Social Problems.” We know students are going to learn a lot.GAZETTE: If you were a student, what course would you take and why?CLAYBAUGH: That’s a great question! From time to time, when we were reviewing courses, someone would exclaim, “I wish I could take this course!” But it was always a different course for each of us, and that’s what I’d want students to understand: There’s no “best” Gen Ed courses. There are just the courses that are right for you. Students might look for courses on things they’ve always been curious about — music? food? the pyramids? Or they might look for courses that show a familiar topic in a new light, like Susanna Rinard’s course on happiness or John Hamilton’s course on security or Maya Jasanoff’s course on ancestry. This fall, Harvard College will launch a new General Education (Gen Ed) program for undergraduates. The program features 160 courses, including some that have been restructured and many new ones. Professors Suzannah Clark and Amy Wagers, co-chairs of the Standing Committee on General Education, worked to revise the program, which begins this fall under Dean of Undergraduate Education Amanda Claybaugh. The Gazette talked to Claybaugh for a preview of what the new Gen Ed will look like, and how she and her team arrived at this milestone.Q&AAmanda ClaybaughGAZETTE: Can you give us the elevator pitch on Gen Ed, and, in particular, why the courses cross divisions?CLAYBAUGH: The General Education program is the cornerstone of the liberal arts at Harvard. Other colleges tend to organize the liberal arts around a set of distribution requirements or a list of great works, but Harvard offers a special set of courses that show the liberal arts in action. They pose enduring questions, they frame urgent problems, and they help students see that no one discipline can answer those questions or grapple with those problems on its own. Gen Ed courses call on students to synthesize what they’re learning in their other courses and apply it to the world.GAZETTE: What are the changes?CLAYBAUGH: The Gen Ed program was introduced in 2008; in 2016 it was reviewed and now a renewed Gen Ed will launch this fall. In the process, the eight original Gen Ed categories were streamlined into four: Starting this fall, students will take one course each in aesthetics and culture; histories, societies, and individuals; ethics and civics; and science and technology in society. These four Gen Ed courses are now complemented by four distributional requirements. Students will also take one departmental course each in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and the natural and applied sciences, as well as a course in quantitative reasoning with data.Once these new requirements were in place, the Gen Ed committee had to find courses to fill them. The committee, most recently under the leadership of Suzannah [a professor of music] and Amy [co-chair of the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology], worked tirelessly to reframe existing courses and recruit new ones. And colleagues from across the FAS — and across the University — stepped up and volunteered to do this unusually demanding kind of teaching.We want Gen Ed to be the kind of courses faculty have always dreamed of teaching — and the kind students never forget. Because of that, we’ve put together an incredible team of consultants who work with faculty to ensure that each course is as good as it can possibly be. There are curators who organize museum visits, librarians who create research guides, and specialists in assignment design and academic technology. “We want Gen Ed to be the kind of courses faculty have always dreamed of teaching — and the kind students never forget.” An interview with the current and future presidents of the alumni board that acts as a ‘Socratic steward of the University’ Overseeing progresslast_img read more

Campus Dining unveils renovated side of North Dining Hall

first_imgSarah Olson | The Observer North Dining Hall hosts a test lunch Friday in its newly renovated north wing.“A lot of that is part of when you work with the University’s interior designer,” he said. “What’s interesting — and they were actually planning it — a lot of the style is what you’re going to see in the [Campus Crossroads] project. They’re like, ‘You guys are going to get to show it off first.’”Kachmarik said he is happy with the new contemporary look of the dining hall, which combines modern interior design with a practical layout.“I think [one] thing we’re hearing is it’s clean, it’s bright and people like the newness of it,” he said. “ … I think, though, in terms of what we’re hearing — what we wanted was, we wanted some feedback on the kind of overall things, but then we also wanted the feedback on making sure that we ensure that speed of service.”Campus Dining tested the efficiency of the new setup by hosting multiple test lunches throughout the semester and asking for feedback from those who attended, Kachmarik said.“The number one item that I think we’re going to have to figure out is we’re going to have to prepare students for the fact that there is no fro-yo,” he said. “ … As we live in this space for the next six weeks, even though it’s temporary, they’re going to give us, I think, some great feedback that we’ll then, hopefully, be able to incorporate in when we open in August.”Chris Abayasinghe, the senior director of Campus Dining, said he is happy with the way the project has progressed so far.“The NDH team, along with our committee composed of dedicated students, faculty and staff, worked closely on the various phases of the project,” he said in an email. “I’m pleased with the progress of the renovation and the investments being made in creating a dining experience that highlights the latest culinary trends and techniques.”Kachmarik said his main goal is to keep students moving through the dining hall quickly before focusing on improving the menu’s variety.“Right now, we’re actually in only one third of the serving [area], and we’ve maintained most of the menu,” he said. “So it’s really consolidated right now. And when you think about when we have the whole thing, it’s going to be really cool because we’ll have the different stations and a lot more options available. … So I will admit there’s less variety, there’s less choice, but I want to make sure we keep it speedy for the next six weeks. Because then, when we open up the whole thing, there will be lots of variety, and you’ll be able to get in and out pretty quickly.”Kachmarik emphasized that despite the fact that services are moving into the renovated side, it is still not fully complete.“On Monday, they’ll start the demolition and everything on [the south] side, and then we’ll go through finals, and then the entire dining hall will shut down,” he said. “And then, they’ll go back and they’ll start doing all this other stuff and work and everything that we have intended. It’s a lot of the detail stuff.”The next step in the renovations, Kachmarik said, will be turning most of the south side of the dining hall into a lobby and building a new entrance on the east side of the building.“There will be seating out there, lounge space, there [are] new restrooms that are going in and then we’ll actually have a marketplace,” he said. “So think about the current Grab ‘N’ Go — it will be in that corner, and we’ll have hot food and other things in there, as well. That whole lobby area will be something you’ll walk through, and we’re actually putting a new entrance in on the east side. … So you’ll start to see some work outside now, because they’ll start knocking out the wall in that corner to put the new entrance in.”Kachmarik said the athlete-specific dining area will be discontinued next year.“Training table, after this semester, will no longer be,” he said. “We are actually working with athletics and their dieticians, and what we’ll do is we will take their menus that they’ve been providing athletes, and put them out on the lines. Athletes and anybody [else] will now be able to eat those menus.”Any hiccups in adjusting to the renovated side of the dining hall will be worth it when the entire project is finished, Kachmarik said.“We just have to get through the next six weeks,” he said. “And then, in August, this place is going to be awesome.”Tags: Campus Crossroads, Campus DIning, Construction, Food Services, North Dining Hall, renovation, renovations Students flocked to North Dining Hall (NDH) at mealtimes after Campus Dining unveiled the renovated north side of the facility Sunday morning.Director of student dining and residences Scott Kachmarik said the revamped look of the dining hall — which includes booths, high top tables and several other varieties of seating options — serves as a preview of the Campus Crossroads project.last_img read more

Race Bank Switches On

first_imgØrsted and its project partners, Macquarie and Sumitomo, officially opened the 573MW Race Bank offshore wind farm on 13 June at a ceremony in Grimsby, UK.Source: ØrstedThe launch of Race Bank boosted Ørsted’s operational offshore wind capacity in the UK to 3,047MW, adding to the combined capacity of 2,474MW that the company’s nine operational wind farms in the country produce.Located offshore North Norfolk, the Race Bank wind farm comprises 91 6MW Siemens Gamesa turbines, installed by the vessel Sea Installer at the end of last year.Ørsted collaborated with a number of UK suppliers on the project, including J Murphy, working on the onshore substation and onshore export cable installation, as well as JDR, who delivered the inter-array cables, which were installed by DeepOcean. Jan De Nul installed the export cables supplied by NKT.Engie Fabricom and Iemants supplied two offshore substations, with Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) installing the first one in August 2016 and the second in March 2017.“Race Bank is a fantastic infrastructure project and underlines Ørsted’s contribution to the UK’s energy transition. It’s also another clear signal of our firm commitment to Grimsby and the Humber, and the UK supply chain for offshore wind,” Matthew Wright, Managing Director at Ørsted UK, said.“Race Bank is a hugely significant and innovative project, featuring the first ever turbine blades to be made in Hull and becoming our first wind farm in the UK to be operated using a new Service Operation Vessel. It’s also one of the fastest projects we have ever built, with a fantastic safety record, and this is testament to the hard work of the project team and the great relationship we have with our partners.”The Race Bank wind farm is operated from Ørsted’s East Coast Hub in Grimsby, while offshore maintenance is being carried out from the Edda Passat service operations vessel (SOV) that remains offshore with technicians working shifts of 14 days on and 14 days off.The project is owned by Ørsted (50%), Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 (25%), Sumitomo Corporation (12.5%) and funds advised by the Green Investment Group, Arjun Infrastructure Partners and Gravis Capital Management (12.5%).last_img read more

Chinese technology, investments boost African farms

first_imgWith help from the Chinese government, many Chinese companies have built large farms and farming technology demonstration centers across Africa.Food shortages are a pressing challenge for many African countries. In order to guarantee the food supply and speed up their agricultural development, many African countries are hoping to expand cooperation with China.last_img