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News Archive

Ramachandran and Braun to Speak at Feb. 28 Academy in Context

Sohini Ramachandran and Lundy Braun are the featured speakers of the February 28, 2018, Academy in Context dinner-seminar entitled, "Approaches to Studying Race and Health." Ramachandran will discuss how current genomic studies of disease focus on homogeneous, and usually European, patient data. Braun will describe how the spirometer, a machine that measures lung function, routinely "corrects" for race in clinical and research settings. Ramachandran is an Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Computer Science and Director for the Center for Computational Molecular Biology. Braun is a Professor of Medical Science and Africana Studies. Learn more.

New Career Exploration Tool: ImaginePhD

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ImaginePhD is a free, online career exploration and planning tool designed for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in humanities and social sciences. Students can assess skills, interests and values; explore career paths; create self-defined goals; and map out next steps for careers. Developed by experts from over 50 universities, ImaginePhD offers a unique platform that teaches PhDs about popular job sectors, search strategies, and how to transfer skills across settings. A similar site targeting STEM graduate students, My IDP, has over 100,000 Ph.D. users and continues to grow. The ImaginePhD project is powered by the Graduate Career Consortium.

Financial Aid Counseling: Open Hours

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Stop by the Graduate School Offices in Horace Mann (47 George Street) to speak with Financial Aid assistant director, Peter Baron. Upcoming drop-in hours will be: January 25, 3-5 pm in room 102He can assist with guidance on the financial aid process, connect students with other financial departments at Brown (Registrar, Bursar, Loan Office), help determine eligibility for federal and private loans, and provide guidance on how to research and where to apply for grants, scholarships, and fellowships. 

Students can also either call or walk-in to the Office of Financial Aid during on-call hours to speak with a financial aid counselor. Walk-in hours are Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4:30 pm, except Wednesdays when walk-in hours start at 11 am. Students can also view when counselors are available or if the office is closed on the counselor calendar page.

MFA Students and Alum Part of Into the Breeches! at Trinity Rep

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Into the Breeches! opens on Jan. 25 at Trinity Rep and stars MFA student Meghan Leathers and alum Lynette Freeman MFA ’09. MFA student Maurice Decaul is dramaturg; he serves within the Theater Communications Group as the first official artist-in-residence as part of the launch of the Veterans and Theatre Institute. The play is set in 1942 Providence and follows the women of the fictional Oberon Playhouse, who continue to produce a Shakespearean production even though the company’s men are fighting overseas in World War II. Learn more.

Student Research: Software Enables Robots to Be Controlled in Virtual Reality

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Even as autonomous robots get better at doing things on their own, there will still be plenty of circumstances where humans might need to step in and take control. New software developed by Brown University computer scientists, including doctoral student David Whitney, enables users to control robots remotely using virtual reality, which helps users to become immersed in a robot’s surroundings despite being miles away physically.

Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Student Thesis Show

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The Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program presents its December thesis show, Neva, directed by MFA student Kate Bergstrom. Neva is set in St. Petersburg in 1905, with the Bloody Sunday riots happening in the space just beyond the stage. The play follows the rehearsal of three actors, MFA students Octavia Chavez-Richmond, Meghan Leathers, and Marcel Mascaro, who humorously dance around the topics of love and revolution. Performances run through Sunday, December 10.

Bergstrom said was drawn to the piece for its unusual blend of comedy and existential crisis. “The characters are obscene, but I love them. They are presences. The characters are asking ‘How do I deal with myself as a political body and as an artist? And as a human?’ That’s something I’m grappling with now, in our current political climate.” Read more.

B-LAB Info Session Set for Dec. 8

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Graduate students are invited to register and attend a Breakthrough Lab (B-LAB) information session on Friday, December 8 from 12-1 p.m. at Petteruti Lounge in the Robert Center. Food will be served and past participants of this summer intensive program will speak.

Race and Ethnicity Professional Development Workshops

The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA) is hosting a series of workshops designed to support graduate student research, build research community across disciplines, and aid in the professional development of Brown graduate students. They are led by Brown faculty and begin on Monday, December 4. Topics include getting published, preparing for exams, how to approach writing, reaching students through teaching, and grant writing.

Student Research: Study Reveals Earth's Mantle Varies in Composition

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New research by Brown University geochemists, including doctoral student Boda Liu, provides new insights on the scale at which Earth’s mantle varies in chemical composition. The findings could help scientists better understand the mixing process of mantle convection, the slow churning that drives the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates.

“We know that the mantle is heterogeneous in composition, but it’s been difficult to figure out how large or small those heterogeneities might be,” said Liu, a Ph.D. student in geology. “What we show here is that there must be heterogeneities of at least a kilometer in size to produce the chemical signature we observe in rocks derived from mantle materials.”

The research, which Liu co-authored with Yan Liang, a professor in Brown’s Department of Earth Environmental and Planetary Sciences, is published in Science Advances.

Student Research: ‘Bursts’ of Beta Waves, Not Sustained Rhythms, Filter Sensory Processing in Brain

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Scientists at Brown, including doctoral Neuroscience student Hyeyoung Shin, have found that people and mice alike use brief bursts of beta brainwaves, rather than sustained rhythms, to control attention and perception. To better understand the brain and to develop potential therapies, neuroscientists have been investigating how “beta” frequency brainwaves help the brain filter distractions to process sensations. A new Brown University study stands to substantially refine what they thought was going on: What really matters is not a sustained elevation in beta wave power, but instead the rate of specific bursts of beta wave activity, ideally with perfect timing.