Dear Dr. Universe: I was wondering, how did science get its name? Who thought of it? Does it mean something special? -Jada, 10
My friend Michael Goldsby is a philosopher of science at Washington State University. He said the English word “science” comes from the Latin, scientia, which means knowledge.
In medieval times, the pursuit of knowledge included things like grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. Of course, the meaning of the word “science” has changed over time.
My friend Debbie Lee, a researcher and Regents professor of English at WSU who wrote a book on the history of science, said that, in the 18th and 19th centuries, a lot of people in Europe were going out to other parts of the world to explore.
“They came up with these huge systems of cataloging and naming the world,” she said. “Science really continued to grow out of that pursuit.”
In the Electronic Book Review, Dene Grigar, professor and director of the creative media and digital culture program at WSU Vancover and president of the Electronic Literature Organization, points to those barriers that have marginalized electronic literature in classrooms and popular culture, arguing that resistance to the form emanates from “deeply-held views of the proper relationship between humans and machines, of what constitutes the good, the beautiful and the true, and of the nature of art.” In many respects, such barriers persist, and electronic literature has generally remained marginalized among publishers, critics, and institutions of education. It has, however, crept into popular culture, and its readers don’t even know it.
At WSU Vancouver, there is a densely packed room in the heart of the campus that resembles something of a Mac museum. It is Grigar’s Electronic Literature Lab, and it holds what is possibly the greatest collection of first-generation e-lit in the Western world. Grigar has dedicated her career to ensuring that future generations know that this stuff existed — she does so because she loves it and wants to see it survive. Electronic literary history is already fractured, with many of the canon’s earliest works now rendered obsolete as a consequence of their reliance on defunct proprietary formats. The ELL contains a wide catalog of e-lit works, largely from the 1980s and ’90s, alongside the hardware required to experience them as their authors/creators/coders intended.
The Historic Trust, formerly titled the Fort Vancouver National Trust, is partnering with the Creative Media and Digital Culture program at Washington State University Vancouver in the development of a new engagement tool that will allow visitors to experience the history of Providence Academy through mobile devices.
Once the project is launched, after December 6, 2017, visitors to the site will be able to access a free app and point their smart phone or tablet toward areas outside and inside the Providence Academy. This will activate visual and auditory episodes created through augmented reality applications. “The app will bring history to life and showcase the Academy’s stories, people, and cultural significance in inventive and imaginative ways,” said Richard Burrows, Director of Community Outreach and Programs at The Historic Trust.
The WSU Vancouver class of 21 students will create ten episodes, starting with Mother Joseph, the architect and founder of Providence Academy, welcoming visitors to the building. Other virtual experiences will include ringing the bell in the tower, lighting a candle in the Shrine to the Blessed Mother, viewing buildings no longer standing on the grounds, and retracing the Sisters of Providence fundraising excursions throughout the West.
“This collaboration is representative of The Historic Trust’s commitment to new, innovative, and interactive programming that is at the forefront of technologies,” said Burrows. “Access to the visionary leadership of Dr. Dene Grigar, Director and Professor of WSU Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture, in combination with the extraordinary abilities of the students, will result in groundbreaking opportunities for the public and visitors to gain deeper understanding about our roots and history.”
The Washington State University Writing Program, directed by Victor Villanueva, Regents professor of English, has been ranked among the top 19 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its annual “Best Colleges” issue released on Sept. 12.
This ranking includes national, regional and liberal arts colleges and universities. The WSU Writing Program is the only university in the Pacific Northwest, and one of just three in the west, along with Stanford and the University of California-Davis, to earn this recognition.
“It is quite an honor to be recognized once more on this level,” Villanueva said. “We work hard to have a positive impact on students and their academic programs, and this annual ranking validates that we are known for great results.”
Five College of Arts & Sciences faculty, from four departments and two campuses, are among 12 faculty University-wide whose projects aimed at enhancing undergraduate learning will be funded by the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment.
The winning project proposals address teaching and learning issues and improvements, support WSU learning goals, such as critical thinking and communication, and reflect a commitment to resolve factors raised by recent degree assessments.
“Many of the projects detail teaching innovations designed to better support deep, life-long learning,” said Mary F. Wack, vice provost for undergraduate education. “Some tap into emerging or discipline-specific pedagogies. Others support further growth of unique projects already under way.”
The first impact of the grants will be felt by thousands of undergraduates as early as fall classes.
“As methods and results are shared with other WSU faculty and through academic publications, the ultimate impact of these WSU grants will be very far reaching,” Wack said.