Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

January-February 2011


The psyche, kindergarten, more mushroom verse

The College Pump

Chester M. Pierce, professor of education and psychiatry emeritus, lecturing in the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Apollo stands behind him.

Steven Coit's portraits diversify Harvard's walls, and the 1947 football team defies racism.


The Inuit artist who created this dogsled from carved ivory, leather, and sealskin is unknown.

For centuries, a simple technology permitted people to survive the Arctic.

In this Issue

A skull session with human evolutionary biologist  Daniel Lieberman in the fossil room at the Peabody Museum.  Millions of years  of natural selection have shaped the human head. From left to right: a  Neanderthal; <i>Homo erectus; Homo habilis;  Australopithecus africanus; Pan troglodytes</i> (common chimpanzee);  <i>Homo sapiens</i> (human).  “Gonzo,” a Neanderthal skeleton, stands in the back.

Daniel Lieberman tracks the evolution of the human head.

Kermit "Kim" Roosevelt in 1950

Brief life of a Harvard conspirator: 1916-2000

Bernardo Flores, Rafael  Tapajós, and Hannah Horowitz ’11 learn how to analyze data  gathered from a weather balloon under the supervision of  Professor Steven Wofsy

Students grapple with the fate of the rainforest in a changing climate.

Matthew Nock sits in his lab’s control room, where researchers record subjects’ behavioral and physiological responses during experiments. For example, they might measure whether people who engage in self-injury show greater emotional distress, in response to frustrating tasks, than people who do not. (Nock’s lab manager and a postdoctoral fellow are seen in the adjoining room through one-way glass.)

Understanding suicide and self-injury

Right Now

Hyman professor of  chemistry Charles Lieber has created a transistor so small it can be used to  penetrate cell membranes and probe their interiors, without disrupting function. The transistor (yellow) sits near the bend in a hairpin-shaped, lipid-coated  silicon nanowire. Its scale  is similar to that of intra-cellular structures such as  organelles (pink and blue orbs) and actin filaments (pink strand).

Chemist Charles Lieber and his colleagues have developed a nanoscale transistor so small it can enter, probe, and communicate with cells without harming them.

When poverty is defined as living on $1.25 or less a day, about 40 percent of both Ethiopians and Uzbekistanis are considered poor. But by multidimensional measures that capture living standards, almost 90 percent of Ethiopians live in poverty, while only a small percentage of Uzbekistanis do.

A multidimensional poverty index, based on the ideas of Amartya Sen, reveals a different map of the world's poor.

A screen shot from the therapeutic video game RAGE Control (Regulate and Gain Emotional Control)

At Children's Hospital Boston, a video game offers emotionally explosive youths methods of self-control.

New England Regional

Massage is among the healing arts Cynthia Ann Piltch studied for a new career.

For third-agers, changing careers is exciting, scary, and challenging.

<i>CoExist</i> by Roberto Mighty is displayed at the Arnold Arboretum.

Winter happenings at and around Harvard

Warm colors and innovative culinary combinations in Inman Square

Cambridge restaurant East by Northeast offers multisensory delights.

John Harvard's Journal

President Drew Faust and Senior  Fellow Robert D. Reischauer discussing the governance changes on December 5

The senior governing board revises its "composition, structure, and practices."

Mike Way

A new squash coach has arrived from Canada.

Elena Kramer

Highlights from a recent report on faculty development and diversity

A quarter of the eligible senior faculty accept Harvard's retirement offer.

Leaders of research libraries, foundations, and national cultural institutions gathered at Harvard to discuss the feasibility of creating a national digital library.

The Task Force on University Libraries recommends a coordinated management structure for the entire system.

Headlines from Harvard history

The University's annual financial report portrays an institution adapting to an era of reduced revenues and expenses.

The University's offerings will refinance debt and finance various capital projects.

FOGG FACADE. The Fogg Art Museum renovation, seen in December, has now reduced the building to a three-sided shell, into which Renzo Piano’s new design for expanded  facilities will be fitted.

HBS building boomlet and innovation lab, Rhodes and Marshall Scholars, HMS Center for Primary Care, studying "institutional corruption," and other University news

The Undergraduate and her law-student mom ponder career choices.

Recognition for three distinguished contributors

Quarterback Collier Winters completed 13 of 16 passes against Yale. His longest throw, a 46-yard pass to receiver Marco Iannuzzi, set up Harvard’s first score of the day. Back in action after breaking a collarbone in the season’s third game, Iannuzzi returned the second-half kickoff for a game-changing touchdown.

A spectacular kickoff return inspirits another triumph over Yale.


In <i>Black Swan</i>, Natalie Portman's character dances the role of the Swan Queen and her dark rival in <i>Swan Lake</i>. Here, Portman as the White Swan.

A tense thriller, with ballerinas

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

Four New York firefighters with John Weidman and <i>Sesame Street</i> character Elmo in 2001.

Librettist John Weidman writes books for the best.

"In Motion: The Experience of Travel," by Tony Hiss, makes the case for mindful attention to one's environs—even the most ordinary.

Amos Doolittle cheekily depicted the passions over ratification in this 1787 engraving with watercolor, with “Federals” (business interests), left, and agrarian “Antifederals,” right, differing over currency and Connecticut’s debts: a mired wagon being pulled in opposite directions.

The great experiment in constitution-making

Sassetta,<i>The Ectasy of Saint Francis,</i> 1437-44, Villa I Tatti, Settignano. From <i>Blessed and Beautiful,</i> by Robert Kiely.

Recent books with Harvard connections

David Berkeley

Singer David Berkeley's songs glow with a strange light.


Avi Steinberg has faith in the power of books and writing to help transform lives.

Avi Steinberg's memoir of life as a prison librarian

An update on alumni on Capitol Hill

A three-day summit draws more than 400 participants from across six decades.

The fourth annual gathering focuses on the global economy in the Middle East.

Harvard's Cuban-American Undergraduate Student Association hosts its first alumni conference.

Early information on Commencement

Shared Interest Group winter events

Constance Adams gets a real-world feel for the conditions faced by some of her clients.

Constance Adams seeks creative solutions for extreme problems, and new ideas for this planet.

Daniel Rasmussen’s revised and enlarged senior thesis will be published this January.

Daniel Rasmussen's new book rescues the forgotten facts of the largest slave revolt in U.S. history.

Her Campus founders Kaplan, Hanger, and Wang

Stephanie Kaplan, Windsor Hanger, and Annie Wang founded and run the popular Internet site Her Campus.

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