University Honors College - The Honorable mention

Spring 2020 Honors Seminar: Dreams of the New in Postwar France (Open to All Majors)

Posted by Tim on October 7, 2019 in Academics, Honors Experiences, Honors Seminars

FR 481: Dreams of the new in Postwar France
Wednesdays 4-6:40 p.m.
Room TBA…will be on north campus and likely in a seminar room
Professor Fernanda Negrete
Open to all majors….no prerequisites!
Registration #: 23546

A number of French writers, thinkers, and artists after World War II proposed radical notions of the new. They decided that the only way to revive language, space, and time, after these key elements of symbolic life had collapsed under the traumatic events of the Holocaust, was to begin creative work at “degree zero”: by starting without the guidelines and standards left behind by cultural traditions in a world that had fallen apart. In other words, these French authors, through experimental fiction, theory, cinema, and theater confront the destruction of the collective and of its very stage to ask what it means to think and write, to make an artwork, or to build and inhabit a city after it has been shattered by human acts of violence.

To think “the new” also entails asking what it means to remember, dream, and repeat. In colloquial speech we talk about “our dreams” as our great wishes and projects for the future. For its part, Freudian dream theory —where dreams refer to the productions we carry out in our sleep— claims that a dream is the fulfillment of a wish. But what happens when the future “our dreams” envision has been shattered? What kinds of wishes are left? And how do we understand nightmares here? Freud himself asked this question by thinking of (WWI) war veterans’ insistent nightmares, and discovered an important function of repetition in the unconscious, which is especially relevant when the work of remembering faces the obstacle of trauma. This unique sense of unconscious repetition was key for both psychoanalysis and the French authors who developed New Wave cinema, the New Novel, “writing degree zero,” as well as other new conceptions of community (Freud, Agamben, Nancy, Blanchot, Guattari, Oury and Guattari) and the subject of unconscious desire.

This seminar will involve discussions in different formats (roundtable, small groups) around texts, films, plays, viewings, invited lectures. Evaluation will be based on consistent attendance and participation supported by preparation, and on mid-term and final papers (5-6 pages for the midterm, 9-10 pages for the final).


Oak Ridge Institute for Higher Education (ORISE) Autonomous Driving: Education in Communication Competition…cash prizes!

Posted by Tim on October 7, 2019 in Community Announcements, Competitions, Event

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) invites undergraduate students to participate in the “Autonomous Driving: Education in Communication” competition.

For the opportunity to earn a $5,000, $3,000, or $1,000 scholarship, undergraduates are asked to develop a chart or infographic to communicate the levels of autonomous driving and sensor packages required to the public.

For more information on this competition, please visit the ORISE website at

The competition deadline is Friday, December 6, 2019.


Summer Internship to Peru for Outstanding Minority Undergrad and MA students

Posted by Tim on October 7, 2019 in Academics, Honors Experiences, Internships, Networking, Study Abroad

MHIRT Introduction

The San Diego State University Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training program (SDSU MHIRT) is a component of the national MHIRT program funded by the National Institutes of Health. We provide international training experiences to students from health disparity backgrounds with a goal of encouraging such students to pursue careers in biomedical, clinical, and behavioral health research. The ultimate mission of the MHIRT program is for MHIRT trainee alumni, through their careers as researchers and medical professionals, to work to reduce, and eventually eliminate, healthcare disparities in the United States.

The SDSU MHIRT Program is always interested in receiving applications from exceptional candidates. In addition to meeting the below criteria, we are looking for applicants with a high level of emotional maturity, professionalism, and dedication to improving the research and outcomes of populations affected by health disparities post matriculation. To be eligible for the MHIRT program you must, at minimum, meet the following criteria: You must be a US citizen or permanent resident.

  • You must come from an NIH specified minority group underrepresented in biomedical research. (Please visit our Program Overview page for more information).
  • You must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Undergraduate applicants must have junior or senior class standing at your institution. Previous undergraduate research experience is highly recommended.
  • Master’s students must have previous research experience in the area of our MHIRT training programs.
  • You must show a commitment to pursuing a career in research, public health, or another field, focused on health disparities.

Spring 2020 Honors Seminar TH 425-Media and Performance Seminar (Open to ALL Majors)

Posted by Tim on October 7, 2019 in Academics, Honors Experiences, Honors Seminars

TH 425-Media and Performance Seminar
Professor Lindsay Hunter
Registration #: 301130
Mondays and Wednesdays 3-4:20 p.m.
188 Alumni Arena

Course description: This course will consider various forms of mediated and intermedial performance in order to examine the particular habits, possibilities and affinities of performance in mediatized contexts.  Possible areas of focus include television and televisual performance, intermedial theatre, and performance in video gaming and in online contexts. 

For Spring 2020, we will consider the ways representational media’s power to dissemble and intersects with the theatrical urge toward enacting the artificial to produce the phenomenon of hoaxing, in which a constructed falsehood masquerades as true and actual. Though the concerns of this course are perhaps best demonstrated by the contemporary phenomenon of “deepfakes”—that is, video doctored by artificial intelligence so that it appears to document happenings that never occurred—the use of representational media to present the fraudulent as real is hardly new. Victorian spirit photography, allegations of faked moon landings, and purposefully misleading journalism all point to the facility media possess, even in a pre-digital era, to enact misrepresentation on a large scale. The easy manipulability of digital media, however, certainly brings concerns about hoaxing, fraudulence, and representational dishonesty into new territory, requiring us to refine our critical perspectives: what separates the hoax from mere untruth or disingenuousness, or from the artifice and illusion of theatre?  In an effort to better parse the unique possibilities and affordances of the hoax, we will investigate its performative nature—that is, its manifesting in the world through enactment—as well as the ways deception and representation collude in the hoax’s constitutive acts.


Spring 2020 Honors College Seminar Opportunity: CSE 410-Algorithms Have Arrived. What’s next? Open to ALL Majors

Posted by Tim on October 7, 2019 in Academics, Honors Experiences, Honors Seminars

Consider taking an Honors seminar this spring! There are three courses offered and they are all open to ANY major and there are NO Prerequisites for these courses for Honors scholars.

CSE 410: Algorithms have arrived. What’s Next?
registration #: Please contact Tim Matthews for registration into this course at
Professor Atri Rudra
214 Norton Hall

Algorithms make decisions in all parts of our lives, starting from the mundane (e.g. Netflix recommending us movies/TV shows), to the somewhat more relevant (e.g. algorithms deciding which ads Google shows you) to the downright worrisome (e.g. algorithms deciding the risk of a person who is arrested committing a crime in the future). Whether we like it or not, algorithms are here to stay: the economic benefit of automation provided by algorithms means companies and even governments will continue to use algorithms to make decisions that shape our lives. While the benefits of using algorithm to make such decisions can be obvious, these algorithm sometimes have unintended/unforeseen harmful effects.

This class will look into various algorithms in use in real life and go into depth of both the societal as well as technical issues. For students who are more technologically inclined, the hope is that this course will open their eyes to societal implications of technology that such students might create in the future (and at the very least see why claiming “But algorithms/math cannot be biased” is at best a cop-out). For students who are more interested in the societal implications of algorithms, the hope is that this class will give them a better understanding of the technical/mathematical underpinnings of these algorithms (because if you do not understand, at some non-trivial level, how these algorithms work you cannot accurately judge the societal impacts of an algorithm).

Overall the hope is that students who will build the technology of the future will be equipped to grapple with societal implications of their work (note that we are not saying that folks building technology need to be activists but when presented with two viable technical options they would pick one that has more societal benefits) and students who will be the future decision-makers can make more informed decisions on how algorithms can impact others (note that we are not saying that decision makers should create algorithm themselves but they should be able to understand how algorithms interacts with real life data).

Pre-requisites: Section A1 (which is for CSE majors) has a pre-requisite of CSE 331 OR CSE 474. Section A2 (which is meant for non-CSE majors) has no formal pre-requisites (besides being a junior in their major). For both sections, willingness to think beyond your usual boxes and openness to unfamiliar ideas will be crucial.

Tentative Logistics

The main graded component for the students will be a project that the students will be working on over the semester. The students will form groups of size 2-3 (depending on class size) and explore application of algorithms on some segment of society. Ideally, the group should not have everyone from the same school. The students are expected to come up an impact of the chosen algorithm in the said segment of society that has either not been studied before or has received little attention (either in popular media or academic research). The group is supposed to identify a potential research question that can be investigated further (some initial suggestions will be provided). The mini project will have three main components: (1) a written report, (2) a YouTube video and (3) a demo of a prototype. The students will submit a preliminary version of the report by the middle of the semester so that they can get feedback from the instructor that they can use towards their final report, video and prototype. Tentatively, the final report should be up to 10 pages and the video up to 10 minutes long. Each group will also meet with the instructor every week for a short (<= 10 mins) update on their progress in the last week. This is to ensure that the groups are making sufficient progress as the semester moves along.

Students in Section A1 are expected to be the main contributors in their group of building the prototype while students in Section A2 will be the primary contributors in their group to looking into the societal implications of their project. Students in two sections will be graded differently on the prototype based on their primary contributions.

Every week, the class will focus on one segment of society (e.g. criminal justice system or human resources (i.e. hiring)) and discuss the impact of algorithms on that segment of society OR will talk about a stage in the algorithm development pipeline. Students will be expected to participate in the in-class discussion. Whenever possible, we will have domain experts (e.g. someone from law school talking about the criminal justice system) come and talk during the week.

Depending on the class size, the last week (or two) will be used to screen the videos  that various student groups have submitted and the groups will answer any question or address any comments/thoughts that the class might have. All this feedback will be incorporated in the final report and prototype, which will be due in the finals week. We will use the final exam time for demo of the prototypes.

Any followup Questions?

If you would like to know more about this course, please stop by for Atri’s Honors College office hours from 2-3:20pm on Thursdays in Capen 106C. If that does not work, please feel free to email


Solar District Cup Team

Posted by Tim on October 7, 2019 in Competitions, Student experience

Join other UB students from diverse majors as they design a solar-plus-storage energy system for Ball State University as part of the Department of Energy’s new Solar District Cup competition. Contact Clayton Markham at if you are interested.


JUMP into STEM Webinars/ Internship

Posted by Tim on October 4, 2019 in Competitions, Internships, Workshops

JUMP into STEM, the Department of Energy’s building science competition for undergraduate and graduate students, has kicked off the 2019–20 season with three challenges running until November 15, 2019.

Building science experts will be hosting a series of webinars to help guide students through the inventive and developmental stages of bringing their ideas to life.

You can register for these webinars at

Webinar Schedule

  • October 7, 1-2 p.m. ET: Jim Leverette, Southern Company, “Smart Sensors and Controls for Residential Buildings”
  • October 8, 3-4 p.m. ET: Grant Wheeler, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, “Designing a Healthier and Energy-Efficient Air Distribution System”
  • October 9, 3-4 p.m. ET: Michael Kane, Northeastern University, “Smart Sensors and Controls for Residential Buildings”
  • October 14, 1-2 p.m. ET: Jeff Munk, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, “Designing a Healthier and Energy-Efficient Air Distribution System”
  • October 15, 3-4 p.m. ET: Andre Desjarlais, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, “Pushing the Envelope with Wall Retrofit Designs”

Internship Opportunity

Develop your creative idea for energy-efficient building solutions by November 15 and compete for a paid summer 2020 internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) or the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Ideas must be submitted by teams of 2-5 people with at least two different majors. An application for the Building Technologies Internship Program (BTIP) – ORNL and NREL must also be completed and submitted by November 15 to qualify for the internship opportunities.

For more information on JUMP into STEM, please visit

Happy ideation!  


New Course – ES 352 Sports Nutrition for Coaches – Spring 2020

Posted by Tim on October 2, 2019 in Academics, New Programs

Exercise Science will be offering a new course in Spring 2020 titled: ES 352 Sports Nutrition for Coaches.  This is a 3 credit course that will be offered online. The course is open to any student with a  junior or senior standingwho has completed the following prerequisites: NTR 108 Human Nutritionand NTR 109 Nutrition in Practice.  This course is well-suited to students who are currently coaching sports teams or planning to become sport coaches in the future. The course will also benefit student athletes who would like to gain a better understanding of how nutrition affects sport performance.

Course description:  The best technical instruction, coaching methods and conditioning regimens are beneficial only if an athlete’s body is properly fueled and able to operate at peak efficiency. This course will provide scientific-based nutrition information and nutritional advice that coaches and athletes need in order to improve and maintain optimal performance. This course presents nutritional concepts tailored for application by advanced athletics in any sport.


School of Management School Supply Donation Drive – October 14-15 & December 2-3

Posted by Tim on October 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

Help us reach more than 1,000 school supplies ( pencils, pens, crayons, markers, anything! ) to benefit students locally and around the globe. This donation drive supports students at Buffalo Public School 45: The International School as well as students at the Bawaleshie Elementary School in Ghana.

Supplies can be dropped off on the Jacobs 1st Floor (Alfiero) on October 14-15 & December 2-3.

Please contact Ben Makosy ( with any questions.


The Humanities Institute Sovereignty Research Workshop Presents Hannah Burdette – October 11, 2019

Posted by Tim on October 2, 2019 in Event, Research Information and Opportunities, Workshops

All events will take place in 904 Clemens Hall:

“From Nunavut to Wallmapu: Indigenous Cultural Revitalization and Inter-American Studies”

A brown bag lunch session with Hannah Burdette, California State University, Chico.

October 11 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

“Visibilizar/Visualizar: Poetic Knowledge and the Radical Imagination in Contemporary Abiayala”

From the Idle No More movement in Canada and the Zapatista uprising in Mexico to the Water and Gas Wars in Bolivia and the Mapuche movement in Chile, the turn of the twenty-first century has witnessed a notable surge in indigenous political action and literary production. Whether produced in Native languages, in the dominant European language, or both, indigenous literature forms an integral part of the struggle for cultural and intellectual sovereignty. This presentation explores the intersection between poetics and politics within that context, arguing that literature serves both to visibilizar (to render visible subjugated bodies of knowledge) and to visualizar (to envision alternatives to modernity/coloniality).

October 11 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm