Author Archives: BZOD

Mathematica in Education and Research

image001During this seminar, we will explore Mathematica’s use for a wide variety of practical and theoretical applications across a variety of disciplines – from exploring random walks to social network analysis. Attendees will not only see new features in Mathematica 9, but will also receive examples of this functionality to begin using immediately. No Mathematica experience is required, and students are encouraged to attend and bring questions that they would like us to address.

Date: Thursday, April 24
Time: 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM (including Q&A, refreshments at 4:15 PM)
Place: Allbritton 311

WILD Wes Landscape Design Presentation

WILD Wes crest

Come join the students of ENVS420 “Building Resilient Landscape Systems: The Intersection of Deep Ecology and Sustainable Landscape Design” (a WILD Wes student forum) in celebration of their work  revisiting the design of the WestCo Courtyard sustainable landscaping and permaculture project. This culminating event will include a presentation of new designs and future plantings, updates on WILD Wes’ work over the last three years, and a celebration of our campus landscape.

Drop in to see pin-ups of designs, plant information, and project goals; student presentations will begin at 5:30. Light refreshments will be served.

Date: April 22nd
Time: 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Zilkha South Gallery

Deadline for Summer Session Financial Aid – Wednesday, March 26


Interested in staying on campus to take classes this summer? While you can register for classes until June 1, you MUST register for at least two classes and submit your form to the Summer Session office by Wednesday, March 26 if you would like to apply for financial aid. More information on Summer Session, courtesy of their website:

Wesleyan University offers an intensive Summer Session in which students can complete semester-long courses in only five weeks; courses are offered in both June and July. Wesleyan Summer Session is open to students who feel they have the academic qualifications and stamina to complete an intellectually challenging course in a compressed schedule. Residential options are available for both Wesleyan undergraduates and non-Wesleyan students.

There will be two sessions with different classes: May 28 – June 26, and June 30 – July 30. For a full listing of courses, click here.

Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship – A Talk by Gary King

gary-kingToday, Gary King, Professor of Government at Harvard and Director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, will be speaking at Russell House. King is one of the most innovative and influential social science methodologists, much of his work probing the challenges and building solutions for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. He has pioneered research using automated textual analysis, health care evaluation, voting behaviours, international conflict, and the study of human mortality, to name just some fields in which he’s applied his methods.

King will talk about “Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship,” a recent collaborative investigation into the goals, scope, and effects of censorship by the Chinese government, an excellent exposition both of the impressive scope of big data analysis and its potential relevance to contemporary social and political understanding. There will be a reception following the event.

Date: TODAY, Thursday, March 6
Time: 4:15 PM
Place: Russell House

THE SLOTH – Tonight at 8:00 PM


Tonight, at 8:00 PM in the WestCo cafe, will be the The Sloth’s inaugural performance. Like in the rhyming podcast that wouldn’t let us use their name for our event, ten Wesleyan students will tell 4-8 minute stories related to the theme STEALING/STOLEN. These ten students are:

Sam Sikder ’14
Dylan Turmeque ’13 MA ’14
Gabe Gordon ’15
Francesca Moree ’14
Lizzie Shackney ’17
Christoper Sanders ’17
Issy Rouse ’14
Aaron Veerasuntharam ’14
Yona Roberts-Golding ’14
Jana Heaton ’14

Come watch and listen!

Date: TODAY, Friday, February 28
Time: 8:00 PM
Place: WestCo Cafe

Standing on Sacred Ground Film Screening and Symposium

Danil-SOSG-shadow1Covering eight indigenous communities, Standing On Sacred Ground exposes threats to native peoples’ health, livelihood and cultural survival. In the U.S. and around the world, indigenous people defend human rights and restore the environment in their sacred places, the original protected areas. In a growing worldwide movement, their resistance provides the path to our common future.

Produced and directed by Christopher McLeod P’17. Narrated by Graham Greene (Oneida), with the voices of Tantoo Cardinal (Metis), Q’orianka Kilcher (Quechua), Rhoda Roberts (Bundjalung) and Luana Busby-Neff (Hawai`i).

Featuring Chief Oren Lyons (Onondaga), Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe), and authors Barry Lopez and Satish Kumar.

Sponsored by the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, Center for Film Studies, College of the Environment, Anthropology Department and Department of Religion

The schedule for the event follows after the jump: 

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives – A Talk by Nicholas Christakis


Nicholas Christakis will be speaking tomorrow in Usdan 108 about social networks. For those who don’t know him, he advocates the use of quantitative analysis in the social sciences – for example, in medicine. Here’s a brief blurb about him:

On February 12th, Wesleyan will have the chance to hear one of the the nation’s most prominent advocates for shaking up the social sciences with the possibilities of quantitative methods and models. Nicholas Christakis will be here to discuss his passion for the power of social networks. His talk is called “Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives.”

In Depth: WesClimb

This is another installment in our series of interviews with student groups at Wesleyan.


For this interview, I sat down with Axel Schlossberg ’15 of WesClimb to talk about the group today, its history, and what climbing competitions actually entail.

What types of climbing does WesClimb do?

There are three main types of climbing. One is called top-roping. Top-roping is where you are climbing and someone on the ground is belaying you. In top-roping, you have the security of the harness and rope, which is attached to the top of the wall. The second type is called bouldering. This is usually short climbing without a rope, and you usually go up around 12-15 feet. Bouldering emphasizes power  rather than stamina, and tends to be harder. But at the same time, you do your own thing; you can mark your own pace. The third type of climbing is called lead climbing, which is height climbing similar to top-roping, but you don’t have the security of the rope coming from the top; you are actually carrying the rope with you. As you go up, you attach it to clips on the wall. If you fall, you fall only as far as the last clip you’ve reached.

Most of the people on WesClimb primarily do bouldering, but we have about five or six people who do top-roping. 

Art and Open Source: A Panel Discussion (Moderated by Wesleying)


In conjunction with Evan Roth’s exhibit, Intellectual Property Donor, in the Zilkha Gallery, I (BZOD) will be moderating a panel on art and open source tomorrow afternoon. The description for the event is as follows:

Once the nearly exclusive purview of lawyers and librarians, questions of copyrights, freedom of information, and open source programming now reach into the lives of everyone. From the knock-off Prada bag, to the distribution of music, to question of privacy that could impact national security–all of these issues and more come to the fore with currently available technologies. Previously accepted precepts and practices are being challenged from all sides. Moderated by students from the blog [ME!], this panel of Wesleyan faculty and students will explore these engaging issues with audience participation invited.

The panel will include Assistant Professor of Sociology Greg GoldbergDean of Social Studies Joyce JacobsenMax Dietz ’16Isabella Litke ’12, and Music Librarian Alec McLane. Each panelist will speak for five minutes on an open source issue related to their interests, and then I will ask questions to the panel or take questions from the audience. Come! It’ll be fun.

Date: Tuesday, February 11
Time: 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Place: Zilkha 106 (turn right when you enter the lobby of Zilkha Gallery)