How "Unrepentant Nazis" became "Our Germans" - With Brian Crim

by eea | Monday, January 15, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Wernher von Braun’s rocket team’s journey from captivity in Germany to their brilliant “second act” with the US Army and eventually NASA began with a series of debriefings with the Army Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) in a ski chalet near Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Upper Bavaria. One of the interrogators assigned to the rocket team was thirty-two-year-old Second Lieutenant Walter Jessel. Jessel had explicit instructions from Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force to sort out, in Jessel’s words, “Nazi hangers-on and enforcers from technical staff in order to bring the latter to the US.” Jessel and his fellow officers faced a difficult task distinguishing between esteemed scientists responsible for revolutionary military technology and those who were either expendable or so tainted by accusations of war crimes that employing them was simply impossible. As candid as Jessel’s military screening report reads, his diary entries from that week in June are even more frank: “The team consists of rocket enthusiasts, engineering college graduates, professors, all unrepentant Nazis aware of their bargaining power with the Americans.” Jessel noted that German army personnel attached to the team understood “that their chances of going to the US are smaller than those of technicians. To improve these chances, they sing.”...Read More

How University Boards Work

by eea | Friday, January 12, 2018 - 12:00 PM

In How University Boards Work I argue that there should be greater alignment between the following elements in university and college plans in order to achieve optimal effectiveness:

*Criteria for board membership and the goals and strategies of the institution;

*Criteria for evaluation of the board and its leadership compared to the goals and strategies of the institutions

*Criteria for presidential selection and assessment and the mission of the institution;

*Criteria for the selection and nurturing of faculty compared to the mission and goals of the institution:

*Rewards of release time, promotion, tenure, sabbaticals, etc. and the goals for student success;

*Fulfillment of the institution’s mission and the design of General Education programs and major areas of study;

*Criteria for defining excellence in courses of study and the expectations of the institution;

*Goals for fundraising and the priorities expressed in the institution’s mission statement;

*Budgeting for institutional financial aid (tuition discounting) and the mission of the institution;

*Priorities for athletics and the mission for academic study:

*Design of classroom spaces and the philosophy of teaching:...Read More

Unnecessary Complications: A Discussion of the Tragedy of Obstetric Fistula

by eea | Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Tears for My Sisters: The Tragedy of Obstetric Fistula

L. Lewis Wall, MD, DPhil

Selina Okin Kim Conner Professor in Arts and Sciences

Professor of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences

Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, School of Medicine

Washington University in St. Louis

An obstetric fistula is a catastrophic childbirth injury in which the tissues that normally separate the bladder and the vagina are destroyed by prolonged obstructed labor. This leaves the afflicted woman hopelessly incontinent for the rest of her life, unless she can find a surgeon who can repair her injuries. Most women who develop obstetric fistulas are out of luck, because the resources to prevent and to treat them are both scarce and unevenly distributed around the world. Obstetric fistulas occur among the world’s destitute populations, not among the rich. People in the Western world are usually astonished to learn that such injuries are even possible , much less that they occur with alarming frequency among the world’s poorest women.

Childbirth in resource-rich countries like the United States is safer than at any time...Read More

Teaching Topology: A Preview of Shaun Ault's "Understanding Topology"

by eea | Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 12:00 PM

As an educator and research mathematician, I feel that my primary job is to share my knowledge and expertise, to shed light on difficult concepts, and to encourage students to continue discovering beyond what’s presented in the classroom. When I began work on the textbook, Understanding Topology: A Practical Introduction , it was with these aims in mind. Above all, I wanted this textbook to sample a wide range of topics that fall under the broad category of topology while remaining rigorous enough for students to understand how mathematicians to do real mathematics. I wanted students to encounter new and wonderfully strange topological spaces and have the tools in hand to analyze them. Furthermore, I wanted students to see how this very abstract field of mathematics could be useful to other areas of math and science.

Understanding Topology began life as stack of messy lecture notes that I had prepared for an undergraduate course in Topology at Valdosta State University. The lectures were based on material cobbled together from a variety of sources, including The Knot Book by Colin Adams, Beginning Topology by Sue Goodman, A Combinatorial Introduction to Topology by Michael Henle, The...Read More

Finishing the Blog Turned Book with Carolyn Thomas

by eea | Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 12:03 PM

A Woman's Guide to Living with Heart Disease : my Blog-turned-Book!

By Carolyn Thomas

With a splendid sigh of relief, I hit the ‘submit’ button and sent off the completed draft manuscript of A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Diseas e”, the book I’d been writing for most of 2016. I sat back and waited for a response from JHUP.

And waited. And waited.

My anticipation ended within a week via return email from then JHUP Executive Editor Jackie Wehmueller. She loved it! Even the introductory preface I’d written was described as “a masterpiece”.

The next step: the entire 10-chapter draft manuscript needed to be evaluated by JHUP internal reviewers. Since a heart attack had forced my retirement after almost four decades working in public relations, I wasn’t used to writing for anybody else but my Heart Sisters blog readers. But now I not only sent the finished product to Jackie, but the manuscript would need one more lengthy go-round from a JHUP cardiologist, the Editorial Advisory Committee, and finally the Faculty Board....Read More