MEChA de Brown calls on President Simmons to denounce Arizona’s immigration law

The student group MEChA de Brown is collecting signatures for a petition against Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, which grants broad police authority to detain anyone suspect of being in the country illegally. Critics of the law, concerned with potential civil rights violations, say it essentially sanctions racial profiling.

The Brown group’s petition, which currently has over 600 signatures, states:

“As an institution that stands for the indiscriminate treatment of all human beings, regardless of race or ethnicity, it is imperative that President Ruth Simmons, as a representative of Brown, stand alongside MEChA de Brown and express public disapproval for S.B. 1070.”

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The same ten questions we always ask: Barbara Meier ’83 M.S.’87, adjunct assistant professor of computer science

After nearly a decade of studying computer science at Brown, Meier headed to Los Angeles to lend her talents to animation and visual effects production companies (her projects include Batman Returns, Toys, Fantasia 2000, Devil’s Advocate, True Lies and Michael Jackson’s iconic Black or White music video).

But Meier found, it seems, the world within the CIS building more animating than studios like DreamWorks, Cinesite and Hammerhead Productions, where she has worked as art director or senior animator. She left Tinseltown to return to College Hill, where she’s been teaching since 2003. Meier’s Intro to Computer Animation is offered this fall, but be prepared to fight for a seat in the popular course capped at 20  students (it helps to have some CS courses under your belt, or an artistic background, or good groveling skills).

Name: Barbara Meier

Age: Over 21 is all that matters Continue Reading

The same ten questions we always ask: Sarah Fox, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology

According to BrownObGyn‘s twitter account, Dr. Sarah Fox’s undergraduate course, Reproductive Health: Science and Politics, is one of the top 3 seminars (ever?!).

Name: Sarah Fox

Age: 42

Occupation: Physician

What’s your job description, in one sentence? Teaching undergrads, medical students, residents and patients about reproductive health.

What’s the best part of your job? Meeting a patient who is scared about a problem and being able to provide the information she needs to feel less scared and more empowered.

The worst? Dealing with the insurance companies.

How long have you lived in Providence? 11 years

What’s your ringtone? Chi gong

Your homepage? On my home computer –– the eruption update for the Kilauea Volcano.

What newspapers and magazines do you subscribe to? New York Times, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease

Nice Slice or Antonio’s? Fellini’s

Blue State or Starbucks? Both. I am a coffee addict!

Which three words would you use to describe Brown students? Idealistic, creative, chilled.

The same ten questions we always ask: Ken Miller ’70 P ’02, professor of biology

Ken Miller ’70 P ’02 is a professor of biology and is nationally reputed for his debates against anti-evolutionists. Miller was the plaintiff’s lead expert witness in the famous Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case in which he challenged the school board’s requirement of teaching creationism alongside evolution.

But he is more  famous among his students, Miller previously told The Herald, for his 2006 appearance on a certain Comedy Central program: “I don’t know if this is a sad commentary on the state of American higher education, but nothing I’ve done in my whole scientific career has gained me as much credibility among my students as appearing on ‘The Colbert Report.’”

The Herald gave Professor Miller a diamond back in 2004 for defending evolution as a fact witness in Selman v. Cobb County — but also a coal earlier this year for being appointed to the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (“How can we even be sure he was appointed?”). I propose that we either retract his coal, or give him another diamond for taking the time to answer these ten questions:

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The same ten questions we always ask: Peter Andreas, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies

Professor Andreas (not the 19th century astronomer!) is an expert on illicit cross-border activities. His past research includes fieldwork in Latin America, Western Europe, and the Balkans, but currently he is writing a book on the political history of smuggling in America. The book’s tentative title is Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America (this reporter thinks he should keep the title).

Name: Peter Andreas

Age: Almost middle-age

Occupation: Professor

What’s your job description, in one sentence? Teaching, research, and writing.

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The same ten questions we always ask (Faculty edition): Pascal Van Hentenryck, Professor of Computer Science

Professor Van Hentenryck has authored 5 books and more than 170 scientific articles. He calls CS 31  (Introduction to Computer Systems) and 258 (Solving Hard Problems in Combinatorial Optimization) his “dream courses,” and believes he was “born…to work on constraint programming.”

Name: Pascal Van Hentenryck

Age: 0x2E

Occupation: Professor of Computer Science

What’s your job description, in one sentence? I teach undergraduate and graduate courses, do research with my students, and write optimization software.

What’s the best part of your job? All the above

The worst? The elevators in the CIT (Center for Information Technology) drive me nuts.

How long have you lived in Providence? 18 years, if you count Barrington as part of Providence. Continue Reading