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February 2017

Presidential Scholars Research Symposium

February 13, 4:15 pm - 6:15 pm
Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive
New York, 10027 United States
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This event will include presentations from several of our Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience, who will discuss their current cross-disciplinary research and findings.

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Rediscovering Words and Worlds – Arabic Script Collections at Columbia University

February 16 - February 17

There is a substantial collection of "Islamic" manuscripts housed at the university's Rare Book and Manuscripts Library (RBML), as well as in some other affiliated institutions, that are either not catalogued or poorly done so. This three­day workshop will explore the many worlds of the collections, and includes a panel of librarians and paleographers discussing the issues surrounding cataloguing of multilingual collections acquired through several decades, as well as intensive workshops on paleography, codicology, and study of lithographs. The goal of this workshop is to catalyze a longer-term project to catalogue and study these collections at Columbia.

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Revisiting Philosophy’s Past, 1300-1800

February 17 - February 18
Heyman Center for the Humanities, Second Floor Common Room, New York, NY 10027 United States + Google Map

Distinguished historians and philosophers will share recent scholarship on women and other understudied figures in the history of philosophy to encourage more accurate accounts of philosophy’s past and more inclusive teaching. Sessions rethink standard stories and offer practical ideas about to incorporate understudied figures in our philosophy courses, both historical and non-historical.

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Global Perspectives in Histories of Music Theory

February 20, 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Heyman Center for the Humanities, Second Floor Common Room, New York, NY 10027 United States + Google Map

The monochord, an instrument featuring a single stretched string, is perhaps the oldest known musical and scientific instrument. Records of its usage date back to the Sumerians, and it played an important role in the mathematical and musical explorations in Greek and Chinese antiquity. This evening excavates the history of the monochord in a global perspective by drawing together concerns in measurement, classification, and craft across East Asia and Europe. Music theorists Guangming Li, Joon Park, and David Cohen each examine how early philosophers used the monochord to address musical and mathematical problems from the sixth century BCE to the fifteenth century.

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Stephanie Dick – After Math: Reasoning, Proving, and Computing in Postwar United States

February 22, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
NYU Gallatin, 1 Washington Place, Room 801
New York,
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With a focus on communities based in the United States in the second half of the twentieth century, this talk will introduce different visions of the computer as a mathematical agent, software that was crafted to animate those imaginings, and the novel practices and materialities of mathematical knowledge-making that emerged in tandem.

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Making & Knowing Laboratory Open Day

February 23, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Chandler 260, Havemeyer Hall, New York, NY 10027 United States + Google Map

Come see the Making & Knowing lab, where the project is reconstructing historical artisanal, technical, alchemical, and craft techniques from the 16th century. As a research cluster of the Center for Science and Society, the Project brings together participants from the humanities, arts, and sciences to foster new connections and insights through interdisciplinary research, teaching, and knowledge exchange.

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Matthew Jones – Reckoning with Matter: Calculating Machines, Innovation, and Thinking about Thinking from Pascal to Babbage

February 23, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Book Culture, 536 West 112th Street
New York, NY 10025 United States
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In Reckoning with Matter, Matthew L. Jones draws on the remarkably extensive and well-preserved records of the quest to explore the concrete processes involved in imagining, elaborating, testing, and building calculating machines. He explores the writings of philosophers, engineers, and craftspeople, showing how they thought about technical novelty, their distinctive areas of expertise, and ways they could coordinate their efforts. In doing so, Jones argues that the conceptions of creativity and making they exhibited are often more incisive and more honest than those that dominate our current legal, political, and aesthetic culture.

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Digital Amati: Structure and Interpretation of Classical Stringed Instruments

February 24, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Studio@Butler, Butler Library, Room 208b
New York, NY 10027 United States
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Harry Mairson, professor of computer science, Brandeis University, and amateur violoncello maker, has conducted research on type systems in programming languages and their relation to problems in logic and complexity theory.  In this lecture, he introduces the Digital Amati Project which explores the structure, interpretation, and making of stringed instruments, and how modern software can be used to represent historical practices of instrument design. The lecture discusses digital humanities tools, and the creative work done with them, and will be…

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March 2017

Neuroscience in the Body: Perspectives at the Periphery – Seminars in Society and Neuroscience

March 6, 4:15 pm - 6:15 pm
Buell Hall, Maison Francaise, Columbia University
New York, NY 10027 United States
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Moderated by a current Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience, this discussion will extend across practices distinguished by disciplinary and cultural boundaries to explore neuroscience at the periphery of the body.

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Cancer Across Cultures: Defining Disease in Integrative Oncology

March 9, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Fayerweather Hall, Room 513, 1180 Broadway
New York, NY 10027 United States
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Fayerweather 513, Columbia University As cancer types grow increasingly diverse, so do their forms of treatment. Drawing on therapies that emerged in parts of China and India, physicians render diseases legible through what is often described as “integrative medicine.” And with increasing patient demand, integrative physicians have likewise turned their attention to developing innovative approaches to cancer treatment, recovery, and prevention. Yet, among classical medical systems in South Asia and East Asia, “cancer” as a disease category did not exist.…

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