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Homer on a flash drive

Grigar in her computer lab.Plato is sitting at the feet of his mentor Socrates, writing down what the old philosopher says. What Socrates is saying, ironically, is that writing is bad for you: It rots your memory. Preserved in Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates’s opinion of the then-emerging technology sounds strange to us now—until you recall that that’s pretty much exactly what pundits in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have been saying about TV, video games, and texting.

Dene Grigar, director of Washington State University Vancouver’s program in Creative Media and Digital Culture, laughs and nods. She’s also the president of the Electronic Literature Organization, an international team of scholars and artists dedicated to creating, preserving and evangelizing “born-digital” art and literature. » More …

Discovery for modifying diamonds could change computing

Marc WeberPULLMAN, Wash. – A group of WSU researchers has discovered a way to modify diamonds that opens up important applications in the field of quantum computing and in radiation detection.

Kelvin Lynn, professor of physics and of mechanical and materials engineering, and his team were using very thin strips of diamond inside a particle accelerator when they made an intriguing scientific discovery — by accident. » More …

WSU joins National Nuclear Security Administration Center of Excellence

National Nuclear Security AdministrationPULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University is part of a new $12.5 million National Nuclear Security Administration Actinide Center of Excellence devoted to research in actinide and nuclear chemistry.

Based at the University of Notre Dame, the Actinide Center of Excellence (ACE) is tasked with research that is important for stockpile stewardship — the certification that the nation’s nuclear weapons are secure and operational. » More …

Researchers honored for work on environmental DNA

Collecting water samplesWSU researchers Caren Goldberg, Katherine Strickler, and Alex Fremier are being honored this week for their use of a technique that can detect minute amounts of DNA to see if at-risk species are in an area.

The researchers took the Project of the Year for Resource Conservation and Resiliency award during the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program Symposium. » More …

‘End of progress’ focus of philosophy talks

55th Potter Memorial LectureSocial progress is a complex and controversial concept in current philosophical and political debates—rejected because of its links to ideologies of colonialism and imperialism while also defended as important for achieving emancipatory social goals, said Matt Stichter, associate professor in the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs. » More …

Making sense of big data

colorful icons connected with dots and linesPeople, businesses and institutions are collecting more and more data, but often don’t know what to do with it. That’s where mathematics comes in. Bala Krishnamoorthy, associate professor and program leader of mathematics and statistics at WSU Vancouver, is participating in a project funded by the National Science Foundation that he describes as follows: “The grant is about applying mathematical techniques to make sense of the loads and loads of data that people are collecting.” » More …

Criminal justice & criminology department newsletter, November 2017

screenshot of e-newsletterIn this latest issue of Criminal Justice News, you’ll find highlights from a productive 2016-17 along with exciting plans for the academic year. Faculty and graduate students continue to collaborate on research with various agencies and organizations. And with more than 900 undergraduates in our program, the department is offering—and filling—more classes than ever before. Read the full newsletter on the department website >>>

WSU music director, Greg Yasinitsky, nominated for Pulitzer Prize

Greg YasinitskyGreg Yasinitsky, Regents professor and director of the WSU School of Music, has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition Jazz Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.

“There is almost no way to describe it,” Yasinitsky said of his nomination by two independent musicians. “For me, it’s the biggest, most important musical award in the country.” » More …

Art Club focuses on techniques

kira Walters experiments with gradation and color.The Art Club’s focus this year is to participate in more hands-on practices like their recent Watercolor Workshop.

The WSU Art Club began last year, with a major focus on fundraising for the first few months, Vice President Sidney Westenskow said. The club also wants to increase the amount of collaborative art projects.

“Once you’re out in the real world, it’s harder to make friends and do communal projects or exhibits,” Westenskow said. “As an aspiring artist, you have to have a community developed when you’re learning in college.” » More …

Charting wealth inequality across millennia

Researchers at Washington State University and 13 other institutions have found that the arc of prehistory bends towards economic inequality. In the largest study of its kind, the researchers saw disparities in wealth mount with the rise of agriculture, specifically the domestication of plants and large animals, and increased social organization.

Their findings, published this week in the journal Nature, have profound implications for contemporary society, as inequality repeatedly leads to social disruption, even collapse, said Tim Kohler, lead author and WSU Regents professor of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology at WSU. » More …