The Academic Council approved the College of Science’s proposal to create the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics (DACMS) in its meeting Thursday. The new department will begin its programs for undergraduate and graduate students in the Fall 2010 semester, according to Gregory Crawford, dean of the College of Science.Crawford said the new department will work closely with the existing Department of Mathematics and with other departments across campus.“Statistics is so important in all disciplines,” he said.The new department was created in part to enhance the emphasis on statistics at the University, Crawford said.“We were trying to figure out how to get more statistics at Notre Dame,” he said. “If you look at [the U.S. News and World Report rankings of universities for undergraduate education], 15 of the top 20 schools have at least one statistics department. We had to do something.”Although the new department will be the first to concentrate entirely on applied mathematics and statistics at the University, it will not bring an entirely new field of study to Notre Dame.“Applied mathematicians at Notre Dame already do a lot of statistics and computational modeling,” Crawford said. “By creating a statistics department, we’re expanding on the applied mathematics and computation already going on.”Creating DACMS will not significantly affect the existing Department of Mathematics, Crawford said.“Both departments will be very well resourced,” he said.According to Crawford, the new department will have an interdisciplinary research and teaching focus.“Since statistics is so important in all disciplines, as the department starts to grow, the new department will cooperate with other departments,” he said.He cited offering statistics courses that are geared to social science, engineering and biology majors as areas in which the new department will affect undergraduates in other disciplines.Crawford said he expects DACMS to remain a relatively small department but said it will have a high number of faculty members who have joint or concurrent appointments in other departments.The planned size of the new department is consistent with statistics departments at other universities, Crawford said.“[Statistics departments] tend to be very collaborative and do more interdisciplinary work,” he said. “[DACMS] will work with other departments and colleges to hire jointly with them.”Graduate students in the new department will have a unique role that is consistent will the department’s interdisciplinary mission. Instead of only serving as teaching assistants, graduate students will also serve as collaborative assistants (CAs).CAs will be available to assist faculty members and graduate students from other departments and colleges with the statistical elements of their research.“This will stimulate the cross-disciplinary research that’s going on at Notre Dame,” Crawford said. “It’s very exciting for [the College of] Science to offer this to the other colleges on campus.”The new department will sponsor its own major in applied and computational mathematics and statistics. Students who graduate with an undergraduate degree from DACMS will have graduate school options in diverse fields, including economics, sociology, psychology, engineering and science, Crawford said.Alumni of the program will also have options in the private sector.“It’s a very applied degree, so industry is looking for applied mathematicians and statisticians, as are hospitals,” Crawford said. “Most companies are looking for people with computational savvy.”Crawford said creating the new department does not affect the College of Science’s commitment to the Department of Mathematics.“The investment is going into the new department and the existing mathematics department,” he said. “It’s very important that both departments grow together.“We have an excellent mathematics department here.”
Month: January 2021
Bystanders of all ages were invited by the ultimate team members to join in on the game, watch or just donate to the Robinson Center. Participants in the game were allowed to play as much as they wanted throughout the 12 hours and were allowed to leave and return to play as long as they wore their wristband. The teams are separated by gender and within each gender there is an “A” team and a “B” team. The ultimate frisbee club team is made up of about 70 members who are from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. The team has a long-standing relationship with the Robinson Center, and many of the team members have tutored and worked there. The ultimate team members took shifts from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to keep a 12-hour game of ultimate frisbee ongoing. Regular frisbees were used throughout the length of the day, while a light up disc was used when it got dark in order to keep the game going. In previous years, the ultimate team has had similar fundraisers for the Robinson Center, but they were located at Stepan Fields. The women’s team co-captain, senior Amy Bilek, said moving the location of the event this year helped to get more donations and more people involved in the event. She said the event was successful and a lot of fun for team members and participants alike. Fun variations of ultimate frisbee were tested out to keep the game interesting and participants on their toes, Bilek said. The team’s goal was to get a dorm rector or any students’ parents involved in the game at some point during the day. The day was mainly a way for the ultimate team members to have fun with each other and give back to the community, Bilek said. The score was not kept during the 12-hour long game because there were so many participants and team changes. The goal was to get students and non-students alike to join in on the fun and donate to a good cause. The ultimate frisbee club team and Morrissey Hall teamed up to hold an all day frisbee event Sunday on South Quad to raise funds for the Robinson Community Learning Center. “We wanted to keep [the donations] in the community and make it local, so that everyone on campus could relate to the event,” senior Megan Franke, co-captain of the girls’ team, said. She said they like to give back to South Bend, particularly to the people with whom they have relationships. The team practices twice a week and competes in local contests and tournaments in places like Las Vegas, Baton Rouge and Tallahassee, Fla. Their first tournament takes place on Oct. 2 in South Bend where roughly 40 other collegiate ultimate frisbee teams will compete.
Saint Mary’s College Student has officially kicked off African American Heritage Month (AAHM) celebrations, according to Tamara Taylor, the assistant director of Student Involvement & Multicultural Services (SIMS). The month-long celebration is a time to recognize the achievements and contributions of African Americans, both past and present. “Just like all other cultural activities at Saint Mary’s College, I hope to spark people’s attention and to put on events that are meaningful,” Taylo said. “It is important for Saint Mary’s to participate in African American Heritage celebrations to support and learn the story of others.” Taylor said AAHM is about being truly able to understand people of a different race or culture, thus becoming culturally aware and competent of the opportunity to engage in educational opportunities when offered. “My goal as the assistant director for Multicultural Services is to work with students to plan cultural events that not only require an audience to show up and hear something, but to actively engage and take away a lifelong memory,” she said. The College’s AAHM celebrations started on Feb. 1 with an exhibit and recitation of selected poems, but many other events are planned during the month of February, Taylor said. Among the upcoming AAHM events include a soul food dinner to be served by Sodexo in the Noble Family Dining Hall, a mass commemorating black history, a movie night featuring Disney’s The Princess and the Frog and Apollo Night Talent Show. Taylor said the Apollo Night Talent Show, named after the Apollo Theater in Harlem, is the most anticipated event. “It’s our highlighted event,” Taylor said. “We want to highlight the importance of the theatre in relation to African American Heritage.” Poets, dancers, vocalists and many other talented individuals will be participating in the event, but students are welcomed to submit an entry form to perform in the Apollo Talent Show. Taylor said she has high expectations for the celebration of AAHM on Saint Mary’s campus. “I would like to invite the campus to take part in as much of our programming as they can for African American Heritage Month,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to learn something new.”
The St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit is investigating an alleged rape of a student in a Saint Mary’s residence hall late Saturday, Nov. 3 into early Sunday, Nov. 4, according to Gwen O’Brien, the College’s director of media relations. “The College took immediate actions upon learning of the alleged incident and is cooperating with the investigation,” O’Brien said. “Saint Mary’s College has no comment at this time due to that ongoing police investigation.” Vice President for Student Affairs Karen Johnson said the student body did not receive an email about the incident because she was confident the alleged assailant was no longer on campus and there was no danger to the campus community. “That decision is made by me in consultation with our Director of Security and the Assistant Vice President for student Affairs,” Johnson said. “There are three levels of notification we use when an incident happens: immediate and ongoing threat to the campus community – in that case, we use our early alert system, ongoing but not immediate threat to the campus community – in that case, we send out a safety notice; and no immediate or ongoing threat to the campus community – in that case, we do a report on the safety website.” Johnson said notifications to the student body are determined on a case-by case basis and are based on level of immediacy and level of threat. “We want our students to have enough information to be safe,” Johnson said. “If we feel there is an ongoing concern or threat, we notify.”,Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) is investigating a report of sexual assault committed by an acquaintance in a South Quad men’s residence hall late last Friday, an email sent to students said. The email stated the report was made to a University administrator and warned students of the risk of sexual assault. “Anyone initiating any kind of sexual contact with another person must seek consent and not engage in sexual contact unless consent is given,” the email stated. “As the University’s sexual assault policy makes clear: ‘Sexual misconduct of any kind is inconsistent with the University’s values and incompatible with the safe, healthy environment that the Notre Dame community expects. … The perpetrator, not the survivor, is responsible for any instance of sexual assault.” Information about sexual assault prevention and resources for survivors of sexual assault is available online from both NDSP and the Committee for Sexual Assault Prevention.
On any college campus, various academic disciplines are somewhat separated. But twice a semester, Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society hosts presentations as part of the Colloquium on the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion to unite scholars from diverse fields. The Center will host one of these presentations, titled “Beyond Coping: Pentecostalism in Prison in Rio de Janiero,” on Friday. The speaker, Dr. Andrew Johnson, a former visiting scholar at Princeton University, will present on his research about religion at the margins of society, specifically the Pentecostalism movement and its presence among prisoners in Rio de Janiero, Rae Hoffman, center program coordinator said. The presentations, although focused on topics related to religious studies, also offer useful information not only for those looking to study religion but also for those wishing to participate in social research, Hoffman said. “They also talk about how they do their research and different aspects of their research, so I think for anyone that wants to do research it’s good to come and listen to the speakers to get a feel for how others do it,” Hoffman said. Every colloquium has a different topic, ranging from the idea of science versus religion to investigations of hookup culture on college campuses, she said. “I think there should be different topics all of the time so it reaches all of the audience, and it’s not just the same thing over and over again. It brings more of a crowd,” Hoffman said. The colloquium began to bring together different disciplines, she said. “[We hold them] so that communication across the disciplines becomes better, and also it’s a place for the graduate students to kind of network and get to know other graduate students in other departments,” Hoffman said. The Center for the Study of Religion and Society hopes to include all disciplines in these discussions on topics related to the study of religion, Hoffman said. “The majority of them right now are coming from the sociology department,” she said. “Our ideal is to have grad students and faculty come from sociology history, political science, theology.” Contact Caitlin Sisk at [email protected]
Saint Mary’s kept the spirit of Heritage Week moving Tuesday with the Capital Campaign presentation given by Shari Rodriguez, vice president of college relations.The College’s fundraising campaign, titled “Faith Always, Action Now,” was approved by the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees in June 2008 to raise endowment for scholarships and financial aid, enhanced student and academic experiences, professorships, academic departments, the annual fund, Angela athletic facilities and athletic fields, the science hall and the Cushwa-Leighton Library. The campaign aims to raise $80,000,000 and so far has received $78,700,000.“We had our wonderful campaign launch on Feb. 22 last year. We launched the campaign with 70 percent of our goal achieved,” Rodriguez said. “At that same time, we hired an architect to develop drawings for Angela Athletic and Wellness Facility.”Rodriguez said so far, more than 14,500 donor families have donated and 714 alumnae have given their first gift to the College because of this campaign.“I’m really proud of our alumnae and our donors for what they have done to the College,” she said. “They’re very committed to this education.”The campaign ends in December 2014, and Rodriguez said the Board plans and hopes to far exceed the goal of $80,000,000. To do so, she said, the campaign will leverage its energy around the Angela Facility.The proposed plan for the new Angela consists of a new field house with an elevated track, a café, a television and lounge area with fireplaces on each end of the entryway, new offices for the athletic coaches, and locker rooms for sports teams, visiting teams, and faculty and staff. There will also be a large training area and a new women’s health office.“The competition area is going to stay in the same spot, but everything around it is changing.” Rodriguez said. “The softball fields will be renovated, we’re putting in a lacrosse field, we have the footprint available for track and field though we aren’t going to install that yet, and we will have a new soccer field.”Currently, visitors and opposing athletic teams enter the College from the back side of campus, which appears like a “back door” of sorts, Rodriguez said.“We want the back area to be as lovely as the front to welcome people because that’s also the only view that some people will have of the College from the Toll Road,” Rodriguez said. “We are going to have a formal entryway with a walkway into the [fenced] fields. It will be a welcoming environment for our guests.”There will be group exercise rooms so that yoga, pilates and other classes can take place in a separate area. There will also be a deck outside, Rodriguez said.Head tennis coach Dale Campbell said he was excited about the renovations and additions to Angela.“With the increased space, it should allow much more convenience in terms of time and greater availability for all of the students, athletes and staff to get a workout in or participate in their favorite sport,” Campbell said. “This facility can be a wonderful additional attraction for Saint Mary’s and also help us to recruit more students and student-athletes.”Rodriguez said the Board requires 100 percent of the necessary funds to have been pledged and 75 percent of the cash in hand before renovations begin.“To date, we’ve raised $10,400,000 for the Angela athletic facility,” she said. “The project goal is $14,800,000, but honestly, I want to raise $24,000,000 so we can finish and get [the new additions] up.”Tags: Action Now”, Angela Athletic and Wellness Facility, Faith Always, Heritage Week, Saint Mary’s College, Sheri Rodriguez
Student Diversity Board and Chinese Cultural Club held its second Diversity Dinner for over 50 people in Regina South on Friday evening in an event that focused on cultural diversity and featured three speakers and small-group discussions.Senior Catherine Sullivan, international co-chair of student government, started off the night by welcoming everyone to the second Saint Mary’s diversity dinner, this time hosted by the Chinese Cultural Club.Lanzhen Li, one of Saint Mary’s visiting Fulbright Scholars, gave a cultural presentation on the importance of food in China.“The Chinese eat everything with four legs besides a table, and anything with wings besides a plane,” Li said. “There is a Chinese saying that says ‘food is heaven.’”Senior Nicole Weaver said she also appreciates the Chinese food, both for its cultural significance and taste.“I came tonight because I thought it was a great opportunity to try Chinese food,” Weaver said. “Also, Chinese food is like heaven to me.”Junior Veronica McDowell, the secretary of the Chinese Cultural Club, introduced the evening’s meal, which was a collaborative effort.“Half of the Chinese cuisine was cooked by members of the club, while the other half was donated by the Ho Ping House in South Bend,” she said.Sophomore Yaqi Song, co-president of the Chinese Cultural Club, said, “To have this dinner was a great opportunity to give students the ability to learn outside of their classes.“I think that this chance was a delicious and fun one. Eating this food reminds me of being home, which is in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China,” she said.The assistant director of global education, Alice Yang, said the dinner could also lead to a deeper engagement with Chinese culture.“Chinese classes are offered to us on Saint Mary’s campus, so it is important to take advantage of learning more about other countries, like China,” Yang said.Sullivan said, “I was so impressed with these [diversity] dinners so far. People have been responding so positively and I feel as though the community is coming together in a new way through these dinners.”Tags: Chinese cultural club, Chinese food, Diversity Dinner, Lanzhen Li, Student Diversity Board
“From a life of faith, what is important to me?” Edward Hums asked during the inaugural Fr. Ted Talk Thursday evening at Recker’s. Hums said he finds the lives of saints to hold the most importance in his faith life.Hums, a professor of accountancy in the Mendoza College of Business and a faculty-in-residence in Lyons Hall, said he holds several saints very close to his heart due to specific events they relate to in his life.“I have an informal litany of saints, saints that mean something to me. Not that it’s because this is what the saint did, but that the saint represents life events in my life of faith,” Hums said.One of these saints is St. Mark, whom Hums’ hockey coach at Notre Dame always prayed to before games. For this reason, Hums said St. Mark reminds him “of the people who helped [him] through Notre Dame.”To Hums, St. Mark is representative of the help and support everyone needs in their life.“You can never get anywhere by yourself,” he said. “You didn’t get to Notre Dame by yourself, and you will not get through by yourself. … There are so many people you owe so much to.”St. Joseph is another saint who has distinct significance in Hums’ life. Hums said the feast day of St. Joseph, March 19, coincides with the date 26 years ago when Hums had his last drink.“That was a tough time period, going through something that you needed help getting through, and St. Joseph always reminds me of that day,” Hums said.Hums said another saint in his informal litany is St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost items. When talking to students, the professor said he often notices “they are missing something.”“They’re looking for something, and that something is faith,” Hums said.Hums has experience with this, since he said he once struggled with faith himself. However, St. Anthony helped him through this time, he said.“At one point in time I think I was a little bit lost too. But I got found,” Hums said.A final saint Hums said played an essential role in his life is St. André Bessette, formerly known as Brother André of the Congregation of Holy Cross. At one point in Hums’ life, his mother was very sick, to the point that Hums said he couldn’t properly care for her anymore.After leaving her at the Schubert House, an assisted living facility, he went to a nearby statue of Brother André.“Brother Andre,” he said in prayer to the statue. “There’s nothing I can do. I’m a failure. I turn her care over to you, because I trust. Whatever you do, I know it’ll be God’s will.”In her time at the Schubert House, Hums’ mother went from a wheelchair, to a walker, to a cane, to being able to walk on her own, Hums said.“The last few years of my life, through Brother Andre, I got my mother back. They tell you miracles do happen … That’s a miracle from Brother Andre. That’s why he means so much to me,” Hums said.Hums closed by saying everyone must find time for God in their busy lives, whether it’s through a litany of saints or some other form of prayerful reflection.“Close your eyes, just relax, and into that silence, surrounded by all the business, this is where God comes in.”Tags: Catholic faith, Fr. Ted, Fr. Ted Talks, Saint Andre Bessette
Juniors Kayla Mullen, Zach Klonsinski, Alex Carson and Clare Kossler will join The Observer’s Editorial Board for next year in upper-level editing positions, incoming Editor-in-Chief Margaret Hynds announced Thursday.Mullen, who currently serves as Associate News Editor, will take on the No. 2 spot at the paper, Managing Editor. Klonsinski, Carson and Kossler, will assume the role of Assistant Managing Editors. They will officially begin their term March 13. Mullen, a junior from Philadelphia lives in Howard Hall on campus. Majoring in both political science and economics, she has previously covered changes to the Core Curriculum and student government. “I am excited for the opportunity to work with such a talented new team and I cannot wait for the year ahead,” Mullen said. “It promises to be a banner year for The Observer and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”Kayla Mullen, 2016-2017 Managing EditorKlonsinski, a junior from Knott Hall, is finishing his term as Sports Editor. A history major from Belgrade, Montana, Klonsinski has covered a wide range of Notre Dame sports teams during his time with The Observer, including football, hockey, and men’s soccer this year.“My time with The Observer has been one of my favorite and most cherished experiences at Notre Dame, and I’m excited for the opportunity to work with some of the best people on campus in an even larger role next year,” Klonsinski said. “It will be an extremely important and busy one on a number of fronts, but with a great staff in place I know we’re in a great position to take advantage of it.”Zach Klonsinski, 2016-2017 Assistant Managing EditorCarson currently serves as The Observer’s Associate Sports Editor and is a resident of O’Neill Hall. Hailing from Fishers, Indiana, Carson is a junior applied and computational mathematics and statistics major, and currently covers Notre Dame’s football, men’s basketball and women’s lacrosse teams, having formerly written on the Irish men’s soccer and hockey programs.“I’m really looking forward to assuming a larger role with The Observer,” Carson said. “I anticipate getting to work on boosting our online presence and working alongside our strong corps of writers across all departments.”Alex Carson, 2016-2017 Assistant Managing EditorKossler, who is pursuing a double major in history and mathematics, previously served as Associate News Editor, during which time she aided with coverage of sexual assault and mental health issues on campus and reported on updates to the University’s core curriculum. Kossler lives in South Bend and is currently studying abroad in Toledo, Spain. On campus, she is a resident of Pasquerilla West Hall.“With the 2016 election just around the corner, I think we have a challenging year ahead of us, but one that is also full of opportunity,” Kossler said. “I’m thrilled to be working with such a great team of writers who are dedicated to providing consistent and reliable coverage for the student body.”Clare Kossler, 2016-2017 Assistant Managing EditorTags: Editorial Board, new positions, staff
St. Joseph County police arrested a Saint Mary’s janitor Friday and charged him with nine felonies “related to the possession of child pornography and child exploitation,” according to press release from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s office. College students, faculty and staff received an email Friday afternoon from College counsel Rich Nugent notifying them of the arrest.“Building services employee Luis Morales was taken into police custody at his home yesterday for allegedly downloading and distributing child pornography from his personal computer. The St. Joseph County Police Department Cybercrimes Unit attributed the criminal activity to a single IP address on our campus. Police would later determine that Morales used the College’s wireless network during his overnight shift when he was scheduled to clean the library,” Nugent stated in the email.Nugent said the College acted promptly to identify the person responsible for the crimes. Both Nugent and the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s office stated there is no evidence that students, faculty or staff were in danger or harmed by Morales.“The charges against Morales are very troubling. Such activity is heinous and deplorable and will not be tolerated by this administration. The College suspended Morales without pay pending the outcome of our own investigation. He has also been informed that he is not to come to campus,” Nugent said.A Saint Mary’s maintenance worker was fired and arrested in April 2014 for voyeurism at the College. David Summerfield pled guilty to misdemeanor voyeurism and criminal mischief in August 2014, and he was sentenced to 30 days in prison and a 30-day probation period following his prison sentence.Tags: SMC