Apr 302014
 
Baker Library, Rauner Special Collections Library, Sanborn Library

Baker Library, Rauner Special Collections Library, Sanborn Library, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

The Library; the heart of any college campus. At Dartmouth, a place where students chat, study, grab coffee, cut through for warmth when it’s cold, and sometimes spend very late nights. The Dartmouth College Library is also a center for building knowledge, discovery, and creativity as students have access to over 2.5 million books and hundreds of thousands of digital resources among other items. Dartmouth has a total of nine libraries on campus, each offering unique services and resources to students of any year or major. During orientation week in September, you can learn all there is to know about the libraries on campus at the Library Open House, but until then, here are some of the best things about our libraries…

1)      Open Stacks System in Baker-Berry, our main library: An open stacks system means students can walk through our stacks and freely browse the collection for any book they may need at any time during the library’s open hours.

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Student browsing through the stacks at Baker-Berry, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

2)      Borrow Direct: Borrow Direct is a rapid book request and delivery system among eight colleges in the North East. By this system, Dartmouth students have access to the combined

library catalogs of Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, UChicago, UPenn, Princeton and Yale, providing us with an outstanding number of resources for research.

3)      Rauner Special Collections Library: Rauner holds some of the oldest, coolest, and most bizarre things you have ever seen. Rauner holds extensive rare book, manuscript, and archival collections among which are Shakespeare’s First Folio and dozens of elaborate and beautiful copies of the medieval Book of Hours. Rauner also holds originals of our school paper The Dartmouth from its beginning as well as of The Aegis, our award-winning yearbook.

Selection of old rare books from Rauner, Photo by Joseph Mehling '69

Selection of old and rare books from Rauner, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

4)      Jones Media Center: Our media library provides the tools and software for media projects and among thousands of digital resources, holds copies of 7,500 DVDs that you can check out whenever and hold a movie night with your friends, or just with a bag of popcorn.

5)      King Arthur Flour: Which we affectionately refer to as “KAF,” the best place to grab a coffee or delicious baked good as a study pick-me-up or just because. KAF is located in the lobby of Baker-Berry and is a student favorite for their baked goods and delicious brie-and-apple and roast beef sandwiches.

Students in line at  KAF, Photo by Joseph Mehling '69

Students in line at KAF, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

These highlights are only a few among so much more, and with the support of extremely knowledgeable and helpful librarians and library staff, the Dartmouth College Libraries  provide a comfortable and dynamic environment where caffeine quotas are filled and inspiration is born. We can’t wait to meet all you new ’18s in September during the open house! For more on the libraries, check out our website at library.dartmouth.edu

Mar 032014
 

Los Angeles has often been described as a culture-less wasteland, filled to the brim with both the superficial and the lackluster. Sometimes,  the comical stereotypes seem to run the city – the Starbucks-sipping yogis bouncing between Whole Foods and Lululemon, the chain-smoking, scraggly-looking artists waiting for their big break in the elusive “Industry,” and a whole slew of middle-aged professionals living as if they aren’t a blink over 25, Botox and all.

To some degree, the stereotypes, the impressions, and the reputation of this strange city-but-not-city can be justified. LA is not a conventional city with conventional norms, but nevertheless, it is one that I’ve been so proud to represent as I’ve spent my winter term interning here.

For new friends, readers, and followers, my name is Laura and I’m a ’16 who is currently pursuing an English major along with a Philosophy minor – and this is also my first post! I saw this off-term as an opportunity for respite that would hopefully be conducive to learning –  learning more about myself, about the plans I hold for my future, about how I’d like to move forward. I’m currently interning at the Getty Research Institute in the upper LA Basin in West LA, the institution adjunct to the Getty Museum. As a conservation intern, I work with private art collections that are in need of conservation/preservation aid in the Conservation Lab, along with archiving collection materials and preparing them for gallery showcasing. (So it’s pretty interesting work!)

But when the 9-5 job ends, another adventure begins. Finding myself in this strange but beautiful city has left me with so much to do and so much to explore. So for all you friends interested in potentially interning here in Los Angeles, I’ve compiled a short – and by no means exhaustive – list of the best bits of my time here thus far.

  • Produce in Southern California is amazing. Fresh herbs, fruits, veggies – what more could you ask for? Farmers Markets are varied and plentiful,  leaving little imagination left with markets’ exotic varieties.
  • Angelinos travel by car, almost solely, which seems awful when there’s traffic. But driving provides privacy, the liberty to sing at the top of your lungs when you’re driving down the freeway, and oh yes – just enough time to eat breakfast on the road.
  • Yoga, trendy cafés, outdoor exercises often go hand in hand in this lovely city that is surprisingly naturalistic.
  • Really, there is no shortage of different cuisines. Korean is best in LA’s famed Koreatown, the largest in the nation and located right here in Central LA. In West LA, where I’m living, you can find Little Armenia. However, I would say my favorite finds have been Kentro kitchens on the Westside, Shabu Shabu in Little Tokyo, and of course, the occasional Thai in West Hollywood.
  • The variety in shopping experiences – from crowded night-market-esque Santee Alley in Downtown to Rodeo Drive, one can go from bargain prices to couture very quickly.
  • The diversity! Food! Music! Religions! The people! All of this provides for an interesting time in the city, and this is my absolutely favorite thing about Los Angeles. There is an immigrant or outsider story underlying every current of the city, one full of opportunity, of diversity, of dreams being reached, achieved, realized, and more. I find it absolutely beautiful and inspiring.

Of course, with the good comes the bad. A few less-favorable things about interning in Los Angeles –

  • If you can’t drive, you’re in for a rude awakening in this city. This is the main form of transportation here due to the fact that public transportation has been made unfortunately unaccessible in some parts of Los Angeles. (There is however, and contrary to popular belief, a small subway system.)
  • I actually didn’t believe the LA stereotype that everyone is trying to make it into the “Industry,” which generally consists of singing, acting, dancing, and modeling here. But it’s actually true, and it starts to boggle your mind – and okay, sometimes annoy you – very quickly.

 

As this winter term off-campus comes to an end, I really can say that I’ve valued my time here, with all its interesting and signature-LA experiences. I look forward to making the most of my last few weeks, but until then, let the yogis continue downard-dogging, let the chain-smokers continue puffing and hacking, and let the mid-lifers continue living a life they’re 20 years too old for.

 

 

Feb 172014
 

I’ve found that engineering conjures up a different picture for just about everyone I’ve talked to, from the Dilbert-esque cubicle dweller staring at a computer screen, to Tony Stark welding together some awesome new robot suit to save the world.  In my experience as a engineering major at Dartmouth, it’s a mix between the two extremes.  Sometimes it’s long hours trying to find a misplaced semicolon in my Matlab code, sometimes it’s high-fives and hugs as an hare-brained experiment held together by duct tape and desperation finally works, and sometimes it’s even a little bit of world-saving.

First things first – the coursework part of the major can be confusing.  There are two undergrad degree programs at Dartmouth: you start with the Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Sciences, which is a standard 4-year Liberal Arts degree.  Then, about two thirds of these ‘AB’ students go on to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering degree, which traditionally takes a fifth year.  The AB as a solo degree is usually geared toward students who aren’t planning on becoming professional engineers (consulting, medicine, etc.), while the BE is geared at students who are interested in professional engineering or advanced degrees in their field.  The AB has been an awesome experience thus far, especially since it requires you to explore a variety of different engineering disciplines rather than specializing early.  You start with intro classes in math, chem, physics, and computer science, then move on to core engineering classes, usually in sophomore year.  These core classes are really cool, since you get to see how a lot of problems in seemingly different scientific areas can be modeled and tackled with the same set of problem-solving tools.  There’s also plenty of lab and project experience, even that early on.  After the core classes, you move on to distributive and gateway classes, choosing from a few different disciplines.  A lot of these classes have useful applications regardless of what you eventually want your career to be.  In my case, I’m a chemical engineer hoping to go into energy, but I still took materials science and environmental engineering classes along with the standard chemical engineering and thermodynamics courses.  From there, it’s on to higher-level specialized classes and a thesis or capstone design project.  If you plan on the BE, it’s an extra year or so of advanced classes in a concentration of your choosing (mechanical, electrical, etc.).  You can finish the BE at the same time as your AB and graduate in four years, but it’s tough.  I’m taking two extra terms next year and I’m really glad I have the chance to take more electives and liberal arts classes while I’m at Dartmouth.

This year, I’ve been spending a lot of my time working on my capstone design project:  a cheap, home-scale device to remove arsenic from drinking water in rural areas.  Like almost every other project in the engineering program, it’s in a small group, which is great because it’s a way to share ideas and learn from each other as you learn more from your own research.  These senior design projects are always in collaboration with another company or organization who is interested in bringing Dartmouth students in on the project.  We’ve been working with VillageTech Solutions, a non-profit out of California, and it’s been really incredible to do engineering work this in-depth and important this early in my career.  One of our group members even travelled to Nepal over winter break for a field study!  I still haven’t really processed the fact that this project has the potential to legitimately improve or even save lives when it’s eventually deployed, but it’s easily been my most personally rewarding academic experience of that last four years.  Hopefully I’ll post a picture in the next couple weeks when we get our full-size prototype working.

My capstone project team with the dean of the engineering school and Skip Stritter from VillageTech

My capstone project team with the dean of the engineering school and Skip Stritter from VillageTech

Another great thing about a Dartmouth education is how much the professors care about undergraduates.  I’ve had several undergraduate research experiences already, either working as a Presidential Scholars research intern (not as pompous as it sounds) building a device to measure the permeability of snow using sound waves instead of digging core samples.

My permeability sensor (remember that experiment held together by duct tape and desperation?...)

My permeability sensor (remember that experiment held together by duct tape and desperation?…)

I also spent my off-term junior year on campus doing full-time research on ice samples (I just couldn’t get enough of the Hanover winter, so I decided to spend it working in a literal freezer) and I surprisingly learned a lot about theoretical science even while a lot of the job was building things and working with my hands.

It turns out ice is really pretty when you shine some polarized light through it.

It turns out ice is really pretty when you shine some polarized light through it.

Even though engineering has been a lot of work, I’m really glad I chose to stick with it.  The opportunity to learn from amazing faculty, give back to the community, and build some really cool stuff has been completely worthwhile.  It’s also a really collaborative environment, where nobody is terrifyingly competitive or overly concerned with a few hundreths of a point on their GPA (oh hey pre-med).  It’s a real community, doing really awesome things.

Anyway, sorry for the long post, I’ll be back next week.  Happy Presidents’ Day!

 

 

Oct 112012
 

Well, unlike many of the other posts on here, my junior fall at Dartmouth is not actually at Dartmouth! I’m taking the Fall off, courtesy of the D-Plan, and working in Washington, DC. I’m interning at both the Department of State and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, for a total of at least 60 hours a week.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

I’m a DC area native so I’m living at home with my parents and taking the metro every day to commute.

I know, I’m absolutely crazy. I go to State at 8 AM and leave at 4 PM for OPIC and work until at least 8 PM there! Thankfully, all of my friends are at school or the ones in DC are also working weekdays so I get to just come home and eat a home cooked meal before crashing into bed.

So far though, it’s been an awesome experience! Both of the internships are really interesting and I’m learning a lot every day. Most days I’m so busy doing work that I look up and its 7:30 already and I didn’t even notice. I know that if the jobs weren’t as interesting the 12 hour days would be dreadful so I’m thankful they are.

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

I’ve already been able to meet with the Ambassador of Panama, help with a North African entrepreneurship program, assist with multilateral agreements like the TPP and learn about development projects around the world.

The Assistant Secretary of the Bureau I work in is actually a Dartmouth grad and was really excited to have a Dartmouth intern, so it’s just another example of the Big Green network that extends across the world. It’s crazy that I get to take things I learned about in government and economics classes at school and actually see them in action here at State and OPIC, and it helps me realize how lucky I am to be a Dartmouth student and the opportunties off-terms give me. So far, it’s all been so rewarding!

Aug 072012
 

So I’m sitting here writing this blog post for you all from the Jones Media Center, a place I was not really acquainted with until this term. Not only is it my new super secret study nook, it has unbelievable resources and technology to help you with every class. The reason I found myself in here was because the other day I was doing research for my Economics Independent Study and needed to pull up large excel sheets at the same time as Stata for data sets– Jones could do it all. Also, it is conveniently located next to the Dartmouth Map Room, another new treasure of mine. Did you know they sometimes give away FREE MAPS? I think that’s super cool. I recently acquired some for my room decorations. Today, I’m in Jones writing a paper in response to a lecture by Todd Stern ’73, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, as part of my Leading Voices Government class. Leading Voices has given me the

U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern ’73

U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern ’73 at the Hop. Photo Courtesy the Dartmouth Flickr Photostream.

exclusive opportunity to meet speakers from all part of foreign policy and ask them questions about their careers, and about pressing matters like Global Health, Nuclear Profliferation, Womens’ Rights and now Climate Change. It’s been a unique experience that reminds me a lot of the Dickey Center’s Global Issues Scholars program that I was a part of during my Freshman Year.

Just when I though I was really knee-deep into my Dartmouth experience, I realize I’m still finding new things like it’s Freshman Fall.

Apr 272012
 

David Bucci is an Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Studies at Dartmouth

Congratulations on your admission to Dartmouth! In my opinion, attending college is all about having transformational learning experiences in which you discover and nurture your true life passion.  Doing so requires ‘learning by doing.’  Dartmouth offers you tremendous and unparalleled opportunities to do just that, in part through a high level of access to faculty and their engagement both inside and (perhaps more importantly) outside the classroom.  This is because the faculty at Dartmouth are not only the ones teaching the classes, but they are the ones producing the knowledge through their research activities.  At Dartmouth you have the opportunity to work along side them in creating that new knowledge! I’d say that is a pretty good way to discover your passion.

Apr 232012
 

Professor Christopher Snyder: I teach in the Economics Department at Dartmouth.  One of my favorite parts of the job is to be able to work with students on research projects.  On one recent project, I worked with Dartmouth student Wills Begor ‘12 and an MIT professor.  The project ended up as an article published in the journal Health Affairs on which we are all three coauthors. Before getting into the details, Wills can talk about his involvement in the project.

Wills Begor ‘12: I started doing research with Professor Snyder during the winter of my junior year as part of the James O. Freedman Presidential Scholars Program, a unique program at Dartmouth that provides opportunities for juniors to work as research assistants for Dartmouth faculty.

Prof. Snyder:  My interest in this research began some years back when I worked a program sponsored by GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations) and the Gates Foundation to design an innovative solution, known as an advance market commitment, for procuring vaccines in developing countries.  Sponsors pledged $1.5 billion for a pilot program targeting second-generation vaccines for the pneumococcal disease.  Although pneumococcus is not a big killer in rich countries because we have ready access to antibiotics, it ends up killing nearly one million children in poor countries each year.  Our goal was to use the tools of economics to design the program to get the most health benefit out of the pledged fund.

Wills:  Our article in Health Affairs examined the performance of the program so far.  To gauge its performance, we compared the rollout of a first-generation pneumococcal vaccine without the advance market commitment to the rollout of second-generation vaccines under the pilot program.  You can see in Exhibit 4 that without the advanced market commitment there was a nine-year lag between the introduction of the vaccine in rich compared to poor (GAVI-eligible) countries.

On the other hand, in Exhibit 5, under the advanced market commitment, the lag between the rollout of the pneumococcal vaccine in developed and developing countries was virtually eliminated.  While time will tell the ultimate benefit of the program, it appears that the initiative had a dramatic effect.

These exhibits just scratch the surface of the work we did.  We collected all sorts of data on when vaccines were introduced in various countries, the number of vaccinations administered each year, not just for pneumococcus but for other vaccine rollouts such as for polio and measles.  We also used economics to study how alternative designs might have changed the costs and benefits of the program.

Prof. Snyder:  So you can see that the course work and research students are involved in at Dartmouth have the potential to make a real impact on broad issues like global health.  The opportunity to work closely on with undergraduates is one of the big reasons that I joined the Dartmouth faculty.

Wills and Prof. Snyder:  Congratulations Class of 2016 and welcome to Dartmouth!

Apr 172012
 

Kathy Cottingham is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth.

Dear Class of 2016:

Welcome to Dartmouth!  I hope you give us a close look!

I do research and teach ecology and biostatistics in the Department of Biological Sciences, which is housed within the wonderful new Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center.  One of the many reasons I like Dartmouth is that I am able to meld my research and teaching in new, exciting, and fun ways.  This is especially true during summer quarter, which is the busy “field” season for most ecologists – we work very hard to collect lots of data and samples during the all-too-short New Hampshire summers.

Last August, I brought the 12 students enrolled in Methods in Ecology to Lake Sunapee, one of my primary study sites.  The students learned about aquatic ecology firsthand while helping our research team to sample the sediments (the muck at the bottom of the lake) at six sites around one cove.  We had great weather and it was a win-win outing – that level of sampling would have taken our research team weeks, but instead took just two afternoons, and I think the students had a lot of fun helping out!

In addition to classroom involvement in research projects, Dartmouth offers undergraduate students numerous opportunities to conduct independent research. For example, the Honors thesis of alumna Cayelan Carey ’06 helped launch our project on nuisance cyanobacteria in Lake Sunapee and other low-nutrient lakes across northern New England.

If you’re looking for an institution where you can take classes with faculty doing cutting-edge research – and then work side-by-side on research projects with those same faculty members, Dartmouth might be the right place for you.

Hope to see you in the fall!

Mar 292012
 

A note from Senior Tour Guide Dennis Zeveloff ’12: 

Congratulations on being accepted to Dartmouth! It’s been a great place to learn–the cross-curricular scope, student-professor interactions, and world-class research have really enhanced my academic experience. I can’t think of another place where I’d be able to help publish a textbook, run experiments on the school’s fMRI, travel to Bosnia, and write reports for the government all in four years.