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College of Arts and Sciences Archives

Where you live may influence your baby’s behavior

Babies lying down.Infants from rural families tend to display negative emotions such as anger and frustration more frequently than their urban counterparts, according to a recent study in the Journal of Community Psychology.

Babies born in big cities, on the other hand, typically are less fussy and not as bothered by limits set by their caregivers.

The study, led by WSU psychologist Maria Gartstein and » More …

Dr. Universe: How was popcorn discovered?

Dr. UniverseThere’s nothing quite like making popcorn: the snapping kernels, the warm buttery smell, and the knowledge that a delicious snack will be ready in minutes. It gives you some good time to think and wonder: how did humans first start doing this?

To find out where popcorn came from, I visited my friend Erin Thornton, an archaeologist at WSU. Archaeologists study how humans lived in the past—including the things they ate. To learn the story of popcorn, we have to trace the history of maize. » More …

Doctoral students pack years of research into three minutes

Three minute thesis contestants with Dean Jockers.Why people cannot regenerate lost appendages the way some frogs and other animals do is the question at the heart of Robyn Reeve’s doctoral research in biological sciences. Explaining her work clearly in a mere three minutes won her both first place and the “People’s Choice” award in the College of Arts and Sciences’ (CAS) recent qualifying event for WSU’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Contest of 2020.

For her presentation, “Leptin: integrator of immune response and regeneration,” Reeve will » More …

Creating space for art and justice

A group of students listening to a presentation by faculty.The second annual Art for Social Change showcase featured works by WSU students and members of the Pullman community which highlight the role of art in advancing social justice.

As part of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at WSU, the goal of the competition is to call attention to the importance of recognizing the vast inequalities that persists in the world today, and “to dream, to envision, to » More …

Dynamic art project gives students fitting, real-world experience

Wall art made with wooden cogs. Title reads, "Discovery".Like the gears in a finely tuned machine, donor contributions keep many non-profits – including the Palouse Discovery Science Center – running smoothly. So when digital media students at WSU were asked to visually represent donor support for the PDSC, the idea of interconnected gears quickly emerged and became, quite literally, the perfect fit.

Seventeen undergraduates in Reza Safavi’s introductory Digital Design and Fabrication course last spring worked individually and as a team to create a 7-by-7-foot interactive art installation composed of 22 precision-cut » More …

I, scientist

Hypatia illustration.Angela Jones (’94 English) is the CEO of Washington STEM, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with communities, businesses, and educators to ensure youth have equitable access to STEM education. They work with ten regional STEM networks across the state to help direct resources and scale successful programs that aim to ensure that there is cradle to career support for STEM skills. This means working to strengthen math skills for the state’s youngest students so they can start » More …

Rockin’ the stars

Dean Karr.During his thirty-year career, Dean Karr (’88 fine arts) has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business and collected all kinds of keepsakes—from VIP passes and platinum records to props and guitars signed by the likes of Judas Priest and Slayer’s Kerry King. Exploring Karr’s 1926  Spanish-style home in the Hollywood Hills is like walking through a museum of rock-and-roll’s recent history. From his first-floor studio to his upstairs office, souvenirs tell the story of his work, which he sums up simply:  “I just like making cool stuff.” » More …

Origins of Leap Year

Playing leap frog.With 2020 being a Leap Year—a once-every-four-years manifestation created to deal with our imprecise notion of a year being 365 days—WSU experts looked back on the development of the modern calendar.

Ancient civilizations depended on the cosmos above to guide their decisions, said Michael Allen, a senior instructor in physics and astronomy.

“We know from things like Stonehenge that ancient peoples were aware of the motion in the sky and » More …

Four music ensembles to present showcase in Spokane

4 images: A trumpet player, a full orchestra, a group of vocalists, and cast of performers on stage.Jazz, opera, orchestra and choir—like a four-course feast for the ears, the musical showcase by WSU students and faculty on March 3 at the Fox Theatre in Spokane will serve up an array of aural treats.

Four ensembles from WSU’s School of Music in Pullman will travel to the Lilac City to perform selections from several well-known composers and some original music by » More …

WSU students named finalists in NFL data competition

If you’ve never watched American football, it can look like organized chaos. But for WSU graduate students Namrata Ray and Jugal Marfatia, looking at data snapshots of plays allowed them to find hidden data inside the chaos. That eventually lead the duo to a trip to the 2020 National Football League’s Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Ray, a doctoral student in sociology, and Marfatia, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in economics, entered the NFL’s 2020 Big Data Bowl competition to answer » More …