Quinnipiac University College of Arts and Sciences

Archive for the ‘Faculty’ Category

The Aesthetics of Gameplay

In Event, Faculty on March 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm


By Greg Garvey, Professor of Game Design

The ACM SIGGRAPH DIGITAL ARTS COMMUNITY (DAC) sponsored online game art show (http://gameartshow.siggraph.org/gas/) showcases recent indie digital games from independent developers that are uniquely creative in putting together striking and distinctive aesthetics with engaging gameplay. Titles like Giant Sparrow’s Unfinished Swan or Flower by Thatgamecompany included in this exhibition, immediately come to mind as representative examples with their innovative use of visual mechanics fundamental to the gameplay. While those games are now available on the Sony PlayStation Network (PSN), all games in “The Aesthetics of Gameplay” have emerged from the indie game scene.

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The House That Edison Built

In Faculty on March 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm


By Stan Rothman, Professor of Mathematics

Spring recess at Quinnipiac University means my wife Tara and I make another trip to Naples, Florida to visit our granddaughters. On Friday, March 7 we decided to visit the Edison-Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. I never anticipated what I discovered. Of course I knew about many of the inventions of Thomas Edison including the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera as well as improving the telegraph and telephone. In fact his 1,093 patents is the most by any person.

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Anatomy of Creative Writing

In Faculty, Students on March 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm


By Dawn Colomb-Lippa, Instructor of Biology

In the world of anatomy there is an expected organized exactness. Is it possible that, in the precise and historically never-changing world of anatomy, one can be creative?

It is time for the BI211 writing assignment in the organ system module. Students from many other sections of lab will be completing case studies for their projects. These are scientifically based cases based on organ system diseases followed by questions which require research and appropriately written responses. It makes sense. It is a long standing and proven way to have students think about anatomy in their writing. It’s fitting for the course. It bores me to tears.

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Hip Hop and Urban Schools

In Faculty, Research on February 25, 2014 at 5:14 pm


By Don C. Sawyer III, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Hip-hop is often blamed for the academic plight of students in urban schools. However, the use of hip-hop as a scapegoat is problematic when considering that many students in underserved areas face poverty, a lack of access to quality health care, hyper-surveillance by police, criminalization of educational spaces, faulty school reform efforts, etc. With increases in technology and student investment in popular/hip-hop culture, it is important for our understandings of urban youth/culture to be complicated and expanded. Finding ways to educate students in a manner that will keep them engaged and one that is current with new trends is a difficult task for educators (Morrell, 2002). However, an engagement with popular culture texts has the possibility of providing students with the tools to reframe, retell, or deconstruct dominant narratives as well as provide the opportunity for students to deal with existence in oppressive spaces. Schools often do not provide a space conducive to this critical development. Even though we know students are living in digital worlds outside of school, our standard school curricula do not allow students’ outside knowledge and practices to exist inside of the school setting (Vansudevan 2008; Kelner and Share, 2007).

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I Never Intended to Write a Book

In Faculty, Research on February 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm


By Stan Rothman, Professor of Mathematics

Part 1

In the spring of 2008, my colleague, Professor Larry Levine, knowing how much baseball was part of my life, suggested that I offer a course which introduces a student to the area of mathematics called sabermetrics. Sabermetrics uses statistics to replace subjective decisions in baseball with objective decisions. This course would be offered as part of our new sports minor at Quinnipiac. The idea intrigued me because it would give me an opportunity to teach an introductory statistics course wrapped around baseball data. Upon approval of the course, I began looking for a textbook. Unfortunately, although there are many books that use sabermetrics, I could not find a book that met my goal of teaching a true introductory statistics course applied to baseball data. In the summer of 2008, I began writing my lecture notes for my new course called Baseball and Statistics.

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Co-curriculars Draw Out Talent

In Faculty, Students on February 4, 2014 at 7:41 pm


By Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies

I used to find myself questioning whether students would be motivated to engage in challenging assignments in the classroom if grades were not included as an artificial catalyst. Beginning the mock trial program made me realize that our students possess both the talent and the motivation to spend countless hours devoted to meaningful and rigorous academic work regardless of grades or official credit. It also connected me with students who were willing to spend the kind of time required to prepare for an intensive academic program of study. I have already observed noticeable differences in the articulation of concepts, and a willingness to speak up, by students who began the program quiet and reserved. These students now assert their opinions rather decidedly after winning awards and praise for mastery of their performance at tournaments. In fact, the students themselves have noticed a difference in their own engagement in other classes.

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Cluster Class Redux

In Faculty, Teaching on January 28, 2014 at 4:01 pm


By Hillary Haldane, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, and Nita Prasad, Assistant Professor of History

We have run the cluster course, History 112 – The West in the World / Anthropology 101 – Local Cultures, Global Issues, for four years. Our first clusterers (C1) are seniors, and we’ve just submitted the grades for the most recent batch (C4). We would like to share a few reflections from our time teaching the cluster, and clarify what we think the value of these sorts of classes have for a college moving towards a learning paradigm.

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Teaching in China

In Faculty, Teaching on January 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm


By Keith Kerr, Associate Professor of Sociology

*The following piece documents my observations teaching sociology as an affiliated professor of sociology at Ningxia University in northwest China, and relays what happened when I connected my Quinnipiac students with my Chinese students via Skype. A highly edited version of this piece has previously appeared in Change (2013 Jan/Feb edition). The full post and others like it can be found at the blog: http://onbecomingchinese.blogspot.com

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Neuroscientists Get Together

In Faculty, Research on December 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm


By Todd H. Ahern, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience

Each fall the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) holds its annual conference. Founded in 1969, SFN boasts a domestic and international membership of 42,000 and has a four-fold mission: to advance our understanding of the brain and nervous system, assist neuroscientists in professional development, promote public awareness and understanding of neuroscientific research, and inform policymakers about how neuroscience impacts and benefits society.

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Friedrich Nietzsche Society

In Faculty, Research on November 14, 2013 at 5:23 pm


By Rebecca Bamford, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

On September 20th, 2013, a group of 60 international philosophers, students, and members of the public, gathered at University College Cork, Ireland, for the 19th International Conference of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society (FNS). This scholarly society was founded in 1990 in the United Kingdom, and aims to promote the study of the life, work, and influence of the nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. As a historian of philosophy and a specialist in Nietzsche studies, I currently serve on the FNS Executive Committee as Secretary and Website Manager. This role includes working with other committee members to develop and maintain the FNS website and to plan the society’s conference, which provides a space in which students, scholars, and members of the public meet to exchange ideas.

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