Archive for the ‘Seen on Campus’ Category

The Cantor gives the devil his due

August 20th, 2014
Jerome Witkin's The Devil as a Tailor

The Devil as a Tailor, by Jerome Witkin, is part of the Cantor Center’s exhibition “Sympathy for the Devil.”

Jackson Pollock’s important painting Lucifer is coming to the university as part of the Anderson Collection at Stanford University. In preparation, the Cantor Arts Center has opened “Sympathy for the Devil: Satan, Sin and the Underworld.”

The 40-work exhibition, which opened Wednesday, explores the visual history of the devil and his realm. Based upon the collections at Stanford and augmented by several loans, the exhibition traces the dominant Western tradition over approximately four centuries. A variety of prints, drawings, sculptures and paintings – including works by Albrecht Dürer, Hendrick Goltzius, Jacques Callot, Gustav Doré, Max Beckmann and Jerome Witkin – reveal how artists visualized Satan and his infernal realm and drew inspiration from religious sources and accounts by Homer, Dante, Virgil and Milton.

“As the keepers of the Rodin Sculpture Garden’s Gates of Hell, we thought it would be interesting to explore the visual history of the devil and his realm,” says BERNARD BARRYTE, the Cantor’s curator of European art. “We found that artists have had great freedom in their depictions of the devil. The Old Testament and the Christian gospels offered little specificity – only that he was a powerful, deceiving adversary of God.”

Learn more about the exhibition, which closes in December, on the Cantor website.

Stanford welcomes Hollyhock teaching fellows

July 22nd, 2014

Nearly 100 teachers from high poverty, hard-to-staff high schools have been named inaugural Stanford Hollyhock teaching fellows.

The teachers, representing 39 districts in 17 states and the District of Columbia, arrived at Stanford Sunday for the beginning of their professional development program.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this cohort of teachers who are dedicated to teaching underserved populations,” said JANET CARLSON, executive director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching, which runs the program.

Established this year, the Stanford Hollyhock Fellowship for Teachers supports early-career high school teachers for two years with an intensive institute on campus during two consecutive summer sessions and year-round online coaching.

Irene Kim, David Hansen and Kyle Svingen of Oakland International High School in Oakland.

Irene Kim, David Hansen and Kyle Svingen of Oakland International High School in Oakland.

The fellowship, funded through a $4.5 million gift from an anonymous donor, is free for participants, and includes accommodations and meals during the two-week summer workshops on the Stanford campus.

The 99 teachers selected this year come from public and charter schools nationwide. On average, the teachers have 3.6 years of teaching experience and 78 percent have earned master’s degrees. The schools they teach in are low-resourced and more than 80 percent of the students they teach qualify for free or reduced lunch rates.

Research shows that nearly half of all teachers leave the classroom within five years, and in high poverty schools, the turnover rate is even higher.

Kristin Richardson and Frances Pasternik of Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma

Kristin Richardson and Frances Pasternik of Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“Every year, thousands of early career teachers leave the classroom just as they are on the edge of developing more skilled practice and increasing their impact on student learning,” said PAM GROSSMAN, the faculty director of CSET. “If we are to improve outcomes for students, we must try harder to keep talented teachers in the classroom long enough to make a difference for their students. By treating teaching as a revolving door occupation, we shortchange both our students and our schools. This program is designed to stop the revolving door.”

The fellows, who will be on campus until Aug. 1, are broken into four subgroups: science, math, English and history. Each fellow applied to the program with at least one colleague from his or her own school to ensure school support and commitment.

Mayra Chavolla and Vivian Delgado of Latino College Preparatory Academy in San Jose, California

Mayra Chavolla and Vivian Delgado of Latino College Preparatory Academy in San Jose, California

Stanford instructors from the GSE and departments university-wide will teach in the content areas. They include: Carlson, Grossman, HILDA BORKO, BRAD FOGO and BRYAN BROWN of the GSE; NOAH DIFFENBAUGH of the School of Earth Sciences; CHRIS CHIDSEY of chemistry; DEBORAH GORDON of biology; and HELEN QUINN, emeritus professor of physics.

The fellows will also hear presentations from Stanford PRESIDENT JOHN HENNESSY on why teaching matters; Stanford’s dean of admissions, RICHARD SHAW, on how to better work with students applying to college; and others.

The fellows’ time on campus will be complemented with a day-visit to San Francisco where they will visit the Exploratorium, the de Young Museum, Alcatraz Island and other points of interest.

To read more about the fellows and their projects, visit the CSET website.

—  BROOKE DONALD, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Our war on food: Stanford lecturer Maya Adam offers a prescription for making peace

July 17th, 2014

MAYA ADAM is a medical doctor who has taught at Stanford since 2009. Her courses on child health and nutrition are offered through the Program in Human Biology. At TEDxStanford in May, she talked about our unhealthy relationship with food.

Stanford students get their hands dirty in ‘Science of Soils’ class

July 15th, 2014

In his perennially popular Science of Soils class, SCOTT FENDORF, professor in Earth sciences, encourages his students – from freshmen to graduate students – to get their hands dirty while learning about the essential properties of soil for life on Earth. In this video, courtesy of the School of Earth Sciences, Fendorf and his students share their experiences.

Stanford football works to make an impact on and off the field for local youths

July 10th, 2014
Drew Miraglia, equipment assistant for Stanford Football, fitting a YIP participant.

Drew Miraglia, equipment assistant for Stanford football, fitting a YIP participant.

Last week more than 100 students from local middle schools were greeted on campus by Stanford football players and staff, representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps and teachers from the Ravenswood Unified School District.

They are participating in the Youth Impact Program (YIP), a three-week summer program in academics and life skills for at-risk youths, presented by the San Francisco 49ers and hosted by Stanford.

The YIP participants take morning STEM and English classes on the Stanford Campus taught by local Ravenswood Public School teachers and current Stanford student athletes. In the afternoon, the YIP participants learn essential life skills on nonviolent conflict resolution, bullying, self-confidence and courage in decision-making.

“For the fourth consecutive year, Stanford University and the Stanford Football program are honored and privileged to participate in the Youth Impact Program,” said Associate Athletic Director MATT DOYLE.

Twelve student athletes from the current Stanford football team serve as coaches and mentors for the students. Through an academic program developed in part by teachers from the Ravenswood School District and the Lockheed-Martin aerospace company, a leadership curriculum extracted from U.S. Marine Corps ethics and a football plan developed by the Stanford football coaching staff, the boys are taught to lead and follow principles that are effective on the field, in the classroom, and in life.

“One of the most enjoyable aspects for us is that our student-athletes get to learn and grow right alongside the kids in the program,” Doyle added.  “It’s a ‘win-win’ for all involved.”

Read the full story on the Athletics website.


This is computer music: Ge Wang at TEDxStanford

July 1st, 2014

At TEDxStanford on May 10, GE WANG, assistant professor at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, offered a primer on computer music. He invited the audience to join him in “geeking out,” as he wrote code. He showed the audience a speaker array created out of salad bowls from Ikea. He made a variety of sounds using parts of a gaming controller. He played chords with an iPhone.

Wang’s research focuses on programming languages and interactive software design for computer music, mobile and social music, laptop orchestras and education at the intersection of computer science and music. He is the author of the ChucK audio programming language, as well as the founding director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) and the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra (MoPhO). He also is the co-founder of Smule (which makes social music-making apps and has more than 100 million users) and the designer of the iPhone’s Ocarina and Magic Piano.

And while the technological aspects of his talk were compelling on their own, the overarching theme was about human expression and connection.

“Computer music isn’t really about computers.” Wang said in closing. “It is about people. It’s about how we can use technology to change the way we think and do and make music, and maybe even add to how we can connect with each other through music.”

In addition to being avialable on the TEDxStanford website, Wang’s talk now is available on .

The art of saying goodbye: Isabel Stenzel Byrnes at TEDxStanford

June 23rd, 2014

ISABEL STENZEL BYRNES has lived with cystic fibrosis for 42 years. She received a lung transplant at Stanford Hospital 10 years ago. In a talk she gave at TEDxStanford May 10, Byrnes, a bereavement counselor, described her illness journey and the lessons she has learned about grief and loss. Before the death of her sister, Anabel, who also had cystic fibrosis, the twins, both Stanford alumnae, published a memoir titled The Power of Two, which inspired a documentary film of the same title. At the close of her 2014 TEDx talk, Byrnes played the bagpipes to celebrate her lung donor.

To view more of this year’s TEDxStanford videos, visit the YouTube playlist.

What better way to spend an afternoon than letting gooey cornstarch ooze between your fingers?

June 17th, 2014
Brothers Reid and Quinn Adams experimented with the quicksand made of cornstarch and water at Bio-X Kids' Science Day. (Photo: Linda Cicero)

Brothers Reid and Quinn Monahan experimented with the quicksand made of cornstarch and water at Bio-X Kids Science Day. (Photo: Linda Cicero)

What better way to spend a sunny Friday afternoon than letting a gooey cornstarch slurry ooze between your grubby fingers? Perhaps investigating the bacteria of your nose (the outside) is more of an end-of-the-week treat. Or, as in the case of some visitors to the 10th annual Stanford Bio-X Kids Science Day, maybe high-fiving a long-suffering robot appeals.

Whatever the future scientist’s interest, 15 booths of interactive activities held something for all of the close to 200 kids who showed up to the Clark Center courtyard June 13. In the 10 years of this event, HEIDEH FATTAEY, executive director of operations and programs for Bio-X, said that around 2,000 kids have come to learn about science and have fun – and by extension, to discover that learning about science is fun.

Other booths had an array of magnets to investigate, pools of water with a collection of toys for learning about mass and volume and a demonstration of the 50-cent paper microscope developed by MANU PRAKASH, assistant professor of bioengineering, and his lab.

Every 20 minutes or so, an explosion from an air-powered, T-shirt-shooting robot interrupted the festivities (finders, keepers on the T-shirt). In the center of the courtyard, undergraduate student TONY PRATKANIS  stood watch over the PS2 personal robot, not far from a bubble machine that held several kids in thrall.

The robot had, on another day, made an independent coffee run for the lab of J. KENNETH SALISBURY, professor (research) of computer science and of surgery. On this day, the robot was set to dole out high-fives and, importantly when dealing with a throng of small children, to move its rotating robotic limbs away from touch. Or from kicks, depending on the child’s high-fiving style.

The afternoon is intended not just to abuse robots, play with goo, get wet and end up with a balloon, painted face and Popsicle. It’s about encouraging the next generation of scientists who will be picking up biomedical innovation where today’s Bio-X faculty leave off. Case in point, Fattaey said she talked with a high school student who is will be doing a summer internship in a Clark Center lab.

“He said seeing all the kids have fun brought back memories of when he attended Kids Science Day,” she said.

—By Amy Adams

How do you Wacky Walk?

June 16th, 2014

Watch members of the men’s and women’s Ultimate Frisbee teams build a collaborative Commencement prop for ‘Wacky Walk.’

From Stanford magazine: What you might not know about Stanford’s barber

June 6th, 2014
Headshot of Carmelo Cogliandro, Stanford barber

Carmelo Cogliandro (Photo by Shaun Roberts for Stanford magazine.

For the past half-century, CARMELO COGLIANDRO has had clippers and comb at the ready as one generation after another has taken a seat in his chair at Stanford Hair, the barbershop he now owns. Cogliandro, 73, has counted some of the biggest names on the Farm as friends and clients, including the past six Stanford presidents and enough Nobel Prize winners to field a softball team. If he has his way, he won’t be leaving anytime soon.

College cuts run in the family

As a kid, Cogliandro swept the floors in his dad Antonio’s 14-chair barbershop in Harvard Square before the family moved to Palo Alto. In 1955, the elder Cogliandro set up shop in the new Town & Country mall across from campus. “He always worked around educated people,” Cogliandro says. “It’s the best clientele.”

Communication is key

Cogliandro instructs his staff to be like good detectives to find out what customers really want. One tactic: shock. If a new customer asks for it short, which could mean any of a dozen lengths, you reply with “Like a Marine boot-camp cut, right?” he says. That usually prompts a quick clarification. In general, he says, a barber’s ears matter even more than his or her hands. “If you’re a good listener and you ask enough questions, you’ll be successful.”

Music was his first love

As a keyboardist and vocalist, Cogliandro dreamed of a music career. He eventually majored in music at San Jose State, and he sang tenor with the San Jose Civic Light Opera for years. His dad, though, had urged him to have something to fall back on, so Cogliandro first went to barber college. He arrived at Stanford as an apprentice in 1961, working in the basement of Encina Hall. A year later, the shop moved to the brand-new Tresidder Union. He’s been there ever since.

He could write a book  – but won’t

Cogliandro has cut the hair of every Stanford president dating back to J. E. WALLACE STERLING. Provost JOHN ETCHEMENDY is a regular, as are a dozen or so Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners. Alumna CHELSEA CLINTON used to stop in, as did political science and business Professor CONDOLEEZZA RICE. After JIM HARBAUGH, former head football coach,  left Stanford, he asked Cogliandro to make a trip to the 49ers headquarters to cut his hair. A campus author once asked the barber if he’d consider co-writing a book about his experience. “Are you out of your mind?” Cogliandro responded. “I would never do that. I wouldn’t even tell my wife,” he says.

Times have changed   – and he has too

In the early ’60s, his male customers all asked for some version of extremely short—be it crew cut, flattop or Ivy League. Then the Beatles hit. Cogliandro remembers the day things began to change: A student came in and insisted that his ears remain covered, a request that made the barber practically gasp. “I was thinking to myself, ‘Boy, in this business, you get every kind of weirdo there is,’” Cogliandro says. “I had the hardest time leaving it.” Five years later, he had hair “down to here” himself.

Gerhard Casper has great hair

Cogliandro keeps his secrets, though he freely divulges that of all the Stanford presidents he’s worked with, GERHARD CASPER had the best hair “bar none.” The well-coiffed German-born scholar returns the compliment: “He does not only understand hair but also human nature.”

 — BY SAM SCOTT, Stanford Magazine