Princeton Weekly Bulletin   April 7, 2008, Vol. 97, No. 22   prev   next   current

Nassau notes

Colloquium to address ‘Grand Challenges’

“The Grand Challenges: Energy, Development and Global Health” is the theme of the sixth annual Princeton Colloquium on Public and International Affairs, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 11-12, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.

The colloquium will examine key issues that are being targeted by Princeton’s Grand Challenges initiative, a joint effort by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs to tackle societal problems that cannot be solved by a single discipline.

Leading practitioners, academics and policymakers from a range of disciplines, backgrounds and countries will address causes and solutions related to issues such as global health and infectious disease; rural poverty, land use, biodiversity and water in Africa; energy, environment and security; and environmental justice.

The colloquium’s sessions are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Julie Louise Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will deliver the keynote address on “Infectious Disease in the Age of Globalization” at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Panel topics will include “The Engaged Campus,” “Energy, Climate and Security,” “Eco-Friendly Development,” “Antibiotic Resistance: When Drugs Don’t Kill the Bugs” and “Environmental Justice.”

The colloquium discussions will be webcast on the University Channel website at and will be available on the site after the event. A final report highlighting the proceedings will be published after the event.

A full schedule and list of speakers is available on the colloquium website at

photograph of

Neta Bahcall

Bahcall explores universe’s ‘dark side’

Neta Bahcall, Princeton’s Eugene Higgins Professor of Astrophysics, will deliver a lecture on “The Dark Side of the Universe” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, in A02 McDonnell Hall.

Bahcall will discuss surprising findings about the composition of the universe, which includes not only dark matter but also “dark energy” — a form of energy that opposes the pull of gravity and causes the expansion of the universe to accelerate. She will discuss recent observations of clusters of galaxies, distant supernovae and the cosmic microwave background that provide evidence that the universe includes 5 percent “normal” matter, 20 percent dark matter and 75 percent dark energy — much less matter than previously thought. These observations of the “dark side of the universe” suggest that it will keep expanding forever.

Bahcall is known for her work in cosmic cartography, divining the structure and properties of the universe on large scales from massive sets of data accumulated through deep surveys of the sky and with the Hubble Space Telescope. She has been a pioneer in developing innovative techniques to interpret astronomical data, including a statistical approach to understanding how giant clusters of galaxies are distributed in the universe. The determination of the mass density or total mass of the universe is among her most fundamental contributions to astrophysics.

The lecture, which is intended for a general audience, is designated as the annual Evnin Lecture sponsored by the Council on Science and Technology.

Sustainability is theme of lectures

“Going Green? The Science and Practice of Conservation and Sustainability” is the theme of the Maclean House Lecture Series sponsored in April by the Office of the Alumni Association.

Faculty members from various departments will talk about current initiatives and theories on the topics of global warming, energy conservation and sustainability practices. The co-founders of TerraCycle, an environmentally friendly fertilizer business started by Princeton students in 2001, also will present a talk.

The lectures, which are open to the public, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on the following Tuesdays in 10 East Pyne:

April 8: “Technology and Policy for Living in a Greenhouse” by Robert Socolow, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

April 15: “The Importance of Carbon Burial in Electricity Generation” by Michael Celia, professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering.

April 22: “Eco-Capitalism and the Power of Worm Poop” by TerraCycle co-founders Tom Szaky and 2005 alumnus Jon Beyer.

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From “Lima,” by Carlos Jiménez Cahua

Senior thesis exhibitions for the Program in Visual Arts

Senior Carlos Jiménez Cahua displays his images of landscapes and cityscapes in Lima, Perú, in his senior thesis exhibition, “Lima,” for the Program in Visual Arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts.

Photographs by Jiménez Cahua and classmate Roxanne Martinez will be on view Tuesday through Friday, April 8-11, in the Lucas Gallery, 185 Nassau St.

Lectures focus on Bible, American fiction

“The Bible and American Fiction: Melville, Faulkner and Bellow” is the subject of a series of three lectures by biblical and comparative literature scholar Robert Alter set for 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, April 8-10, in McCosh 50.

Alter will explore how the literary richness of the Old Testament served as a source for a distinctively American style of fiction, focusing on Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick,” William Faulkner’s “Absalom, Absalom!” and Saul Bellow’s “Seize the Day.”

Alter is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California-Berkeley. He is the author of several English translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, including “The Five Books of Moses” and “The Book of Psalms.” Both volumes exemplify Alter’s key ideas about biblical narrative, analyzing the original text in terms of literary techniques.

The talks, which are designated as Spencer Trask Lectures, are sponsored by the University Public Lectures Series and Princeton University Press.

Liberia’s finance minister to speak

Liberia’s finance minister, Antoinette Sayeh, will deliver a lecture titled “From Foreign Student to Technocrat to Minister: Changing Perspectives on Development” at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, in 16 Robertson Hall.

Sayeh was named Liberia’s finance minister in January 2006, becoming the second woman in the country’s history to serve in that role; the first was Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia’s current president. Sayeh previously served for 17 years at the World Bank, directing programs in Benin, Niger and Togo and working on public finance management and civil service reform in Pakistan.

Sayeh is a graduate of Swarthmore College and holds a Ph.D. in international development and economics from Tufts University. Her lecture is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Innovation Forum to feature Princeton researchers’ early business ventures

About a dozen Princeton scientists and engineers will talk about their early-stage entrepreneurial ventures at an Innovation Forum from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in 101 Friend Center.

Researchers will give short presentations describing commercially ripe ventures that spring from Princeton’s science and engineering laboratories. Among the presenters will be Jeffry Stock, professor of molecular biology, and his brother, Gregory Stock, the chief executive officer of Signum BioSciences, a company that applies the tools of molecular biochemistry to treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

At a reception following the event, forum presenters will be on hand to answer questions about their ventures and display posters that graphically explain their work.

The event is sponsored by Prince-ton’s Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, the Jumpstart New Jersey Angel Network, the University’s Office of Technology Licensing and the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

The event is free to the public, but registration is requested. To register, contact Stephanie Landers at

Shteyngart, Moody to read from work

Fiction writers Gary Shteyngart and Rick Moody will read from their work at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in the Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

Shteyngart is a visiting lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and the Program in Creative Writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts. He is the author of the novels “The Russian Debutante’s Handbook” and “Absurdistan.”

Moody’s 1994 novel “The Ice Storm” was adapted into a feature film directed by Ang Lee. His other works include the novels “Garden State,” “The Diviners” and “Purple America” and his memoir, “The Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions.”

The event is part of the Althea Clark Ward Reading Series sponsored by the Program in Creative Writing.

Novelist Díaz to discuss his work

Award-winning novelist Junot Díaz will speak about his work at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in 101 McCormick Hall.

The title of the discussion, “Dominican Tolkiens: Diasporic Nerdiness and the Quest for the Divine,” refers to Díaz’s latest novel, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” the story of an aspiring science fiction writer who hopes to become the Dominican version of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Díaz will be joined by Albert Raboteau, Princeton’s Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion, and Emily Raboteau, an assistant professor of English at the City College of New York.

Díaz, whose works also include his critically acclaimed debut novel “Drown,” has won several awards and was named one of the top 20 writers for the 21st century by The New Yorker magazine. He is an associate professor of writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The event is sponsored by the Center for African American Studies; the Council of the Humanities; the departments of comparative literature, English, and Spanish and Portuguese languages and cultures; the Office of the President; and the programs in American studies, creative writing and Latin American studies.

Princeton coaches, athletes to speak

Princeton varsity coaches and student-athletes will discuss their programs at a luncheon set for noon Thursday, April 10, in the Class of 1956 Lounge, Princeton Stadium.

Speakers will include coaches Bill Tierney (men’s lacrosse), Chris Sailer (women’s lacrosse), Bob Callahan (men’s squash) and Trina Salcido (softball).

Several students also will discuss their experiences as varsity athletes.

The event is sponsored by the Prince-ton Varsity Club with support from the Glenmede Trust Co. Admission is free for club members plus a guest, and $15 for others. To RSVP, contact Kellie Gale at or 258-6696.

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Mask of Napoleon from Faucher’s “Jeu des portraits”

The Art of Having Fun: Père Castor’s Activity Books

“The Art of Having Fun: Père Castor’s Activity Books,” an exhibition at the Cotsen Children’s Library, celebrates French author Paul Faucher’s Père Castor (Father Beaver) series of children’s activity books, which brought the Soviet avant-garde style of the 1920s to Western European children’s books.

This image shows a mask of Napoleon from Faucher’s “Jeu des portraits” of 1934, which was illustrated by Georges Cherkesoff, a Russian artist who emigrated to Paris in 1925. The exhibition runs through June 15.

(photo: Courtesy of Cotsen Children’s Library)

U-League offers summer camp

The University League Nursery School, located at 171 Broadmead St., is now accepting applications to its summer camp program, which runs from June 16 through Aug. 15.

All 3-, 4- and 5-year-old children of University faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend. The camp includes a morning and lunch session from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., with options for extended-day (until 3:15 p.m.) and all-day (until 5:30 p.m.) sessions.

For more information, contact camp director Kay Houston at 258-9777.

Broadmead Swim Club accepting members

The Broadmead Swim Club, located near campus at 184 Broadmead St., is accepting members for the 2008 season.

The club provides a 25-meter pool and a separate enclosed baby pool. The season runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

For more information and to download an application form, visit or call Noreen DiVanna at 649-3561.

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