Columbia University Focuses on Big Data Analysis with Two Online Graduate Programs

In an effort to address anticipated needs in big data analysis, Columbia University will launch online versions of its Master of Arts in Statistics and Master of Science in Actuarial Science programs.

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Making Portraits Out of DNA

Questions of genetic determinism, surveillance, and privacy are brought up in the work of Heather Dewey-Hagborg, who makes life-like portraits out of DNA from strangers’ hair and fingernail clippings. On WNYC’s program Radio 360, Robert Klitzman, Director of the Masters of Bioethics Program, discusses the project and the complex issues it raises, “Genetic discrimination could happen in the courtroom, schools, even relationships…. All this genetic information is coming at us like a tsunami, and we’ve not yet thought about what it means, what we’d like to do about it.”

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Sustainability Management Program Announces Fellowship Program for Fall 2013

The Earth Institute and the M.S. in Sustainability Management program are pleased to announce the creation of the Earth Institute Sustainability Management (EISM) Fellows program. The EISM Fellows Program will provide a total of $50,000 in fellowship funding for use toward the cost of tuition for the M.S. in Sustainability Management program.

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Faculty Profile: Judy Sandford

“Sustainability management is not separate from overall business strategy; rather it is smart business. Every employee can use their expertise to uncover opportunities for greater sustainability,” explains Sustainability Management professor Judy Sandford, who is profiled in the Earth Institute's State of the Planet. She uses her experience as Senior Strategist of Sustainability Communications at Addison (a brand strategy and communications design firm) to teach the Sustainability Communication Strategy and Reporting course in the M.S. in Sustainability Management program.

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M.S. Alum Transitions from Hotel Management to Forest Conservation

Sustainability Management alum Uta Jungermann (’12) discusses the innovative work she's doing with World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led organization of companies that galvanizes the global business community to create a sustainable future for business. She says, “The program’s interdisciplinary focus helped me to understand the interconnectedness and interdependencies of ‘sustainability.’ Sustainability is often about facing uncomfortable choices and trade-offs, taking you out of comfort zones. This requires spirited action and bold decisions to ensure an equitable and sustainable world, today and in the future.”

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Weathering the Storm: Horticulture Management in Brooklyn Bridge Park in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Rebecca McMackin, Landscape Design graduate and the Park Horticulturalist for the award-winning Brooklyn Bridge Park, writes about forward-looking horticulture practices used to maintain and nourish the park after the experience of Hurricane Sandy. She explains, “Landscapes should be created with rising waters and extreme weather events in mind, and management practices for storms and floods should be researched, established, tested, and shared.” McMackin describes horiculturally-focused storm management practices, including experiments used to desalinate the flooded Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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Columbia High School Program Alumnus Nominated for Two Oscars

Columbia University High School Program in Creative Writing alumnus and director Benh Zeitlin was nominated by the Motion Picture Academy for his work on the Oscar-nominated film "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Zeitlin received nominations for directing and writing for the film's adapted screenplay, which he wrote with longtime friend Lucy Alibar. "Beasts" was also nominated for best film.

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Insights vs. Myths About the Brain

Robert Klitzman, Director of the Masters of Bioethics Program, urges us to reconsider left brain/right brain assumptions recently brought up by Jill Bolte Taylor's TED talk and book My Stroke of Insight. Klitzman discusses neuromythology and the dangers of attributing openness, spirituality, and creativity to the right side of the brain, when scientists are still discovering the interrelated complexity of the brain and human existence.

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How Do We Define Death?

In a Christian Science Monitor article on Jahi McMath, a brain-dead 13-year-old girl at the center of a tense legal battle, Robert Klitzman, Director of the M.S. in Bioethics program, discusses what constitutes death.

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Big East basketball-only presidents release statement following Friday meeting

Sports Management professor Neal Pilson will be the television consultant and advisor for the seven basketball schools who have recently announced they will be leaving the Big East to launch their own conference. Pilson is the former president of CBS sports and has negotiated TV deals for the International Olympic Committee, NASCAR, and the Rose Bowl. When the seven schools left the Big East conference last month, many television partners expressed interest in working with the new league; Pilson’s experience will certainly be utilized in this exciting new venture.

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