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Initiatives for 2017-2018

Grace Ledbetter

Convener Grace Ledbetter (Classics and Philosophy) brings together faculty to learn about each other’s work in the Aydelotte dinner series.

Chromatic Cabinet

The Aydelotte Foundation continues our support for the Swarthmore color group which consists of faculty and staff from across the college who meet to discuss color. Their interests are broad and touch on the physics, perception, linguistics, history, sociology, literature and philosophy of color. The group (which welcomes new members) will meet every few weeks over the course of the academic year and has a blog that shares digital resources with the entire college community. Physical resources (such as books and physics demonstrations of color) will be shared in a physical cabinet that will “appear” at various locations around campus. The group also coordinates field trips to various color-related sites. Co-conveners Tristan Smith (Physics) and Logan Grider (Art) can be contacted for more information.

Faculty Dinner Discussions

“The discussion following my brief presentation really took my research and applied it in a lot of interesting ways. I also found out that some of my research is closely aligned with research that some of my friends and colleagues on campus are currently doing.” — 2017 Dinner Guest

The Aydelotte Foundation continues our support for an initiative that helps faculty get to know their colleagues’ scholarly work more deeply. Convened by Associate Professor Grace Ledbetter (Classics and Philosophy), Aydelotte Foundation Faculty Dinner Discussions occur several times over the course of each semester. At these dinners, a small group of faculty gather to discuss a short piece of published work by a colleague. Dinner conversation encompasses a brief presentation of the work by the featured author and also questions posed by the group. This is a dinner-party, Swarthmore-style.

Faculty Research Seminar: Problem Solving as Craft

The Aydelotte Foundation’s next faculty research seminar, held during Spring 2018, will bring together participants from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to consider what characterizes both routine (well defined) and non-routine (ill defined) problems across disciplines, and the development of the capacity to think about problems effectively. Co-convened by Adam Light, Ann Renninger and Kathryn Riley, discussion will be informed by research on problem solving, learning and motivation.

Second Tuesday Cafes: The Secret Life of Research: Failures, Successes, and Surprising Applications

The Aydelotte Foundation’s popular second Tuesday lunchtime cafe series continues with monthly presentations by faculty members who will give us an insider’s view of their everyday research lives. Presenters from across the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences will walk us through their personal experiences of academic research in the lab, field, library and archive, revealing how they arrive at both small moments of understanding and large discoveries. Convened by Jamie Thomas (Linguistics), this series will share the successes, failures, accidents, comic moments, and unexpected revelations at the heart of what it is your colleagues do all day. These 30-minute talks are aimed at a general audience and include plenty of time for Q&A. Listen to past cafe podcasts.