The Duke Digest - July 2, 2012
In Today's Issue:
- Duke's Senior Research Officer: Universities Vital for Economic Growth
- President Brodhead: Allow International Grads to Stay in U.S.
- Duke Humanities Dean: Defending the Humanities
- Looking for the Elevator? There's an App for That - Duke Engineers Develop Indoor GPS
- Duke Social Entrepreneurship Prof: How to Take a Social Venture to Scale
DUKE'S SENIOR RESEARCH OFFICER: UNIVERSITIES VITAL FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH
A senior Duke research officer urged congressional leaders Wednesday to maintain the federal-university partnerships that have been a "cornerstone of the success that the United States has achieved as a nation."
Testifying before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, James Siedow, Duke University's vice provost for research, emphasized the vital role that research institutions play in national security and economic prosperity.
In Congressional Testimony, A Word About the Value of Research Institutions (duke.edu)
Photo Album (facebook.com)
PRESIDENT BRODHEAD: ALLOW INTERNATIONAL GRADS TO STAY IN U.S.
Duke President Richard Brodhead and the heads of more than 75 other leading American research universities called Tuesday on the White House and Congress to work together to provide top international graduates with a clear path to a green card, enabling them to stay and create new jobs in the United States.
In a joint letter tied to a new research report from the Partnership for a New American Economy, the university leaders stressed the importance of foreign-born inventors in promoting innovation.
Allow International Grads to Remain in U.S., Brodhead Says (duke.edu)
Partnership for a New American Economy - University Letter (Renewoureconomy.org)
DUKE HUMANITIES DEAN: DEFENDING THE HUMANITIES
Peter Burian, a professor of classical studies and dean of the humanities at Duke University, writes in a column in Inside Higher Ed:
"Today’s undergraduates are the first generation raised on the Internet and social media. Connected from early childhood to vast streams of information and entertainment, they flit freely among them and expect their technologies, mobile and omnipresent, to answer every question...Everything in their world seems to encourage speed, multitasking and perpetual connectivity. The vast proliferation of data only a click away invites surfing rather than digging deep, cutting and pasting rather than reflecting and evaluating. Students are eager to get to the "bottom line" and then go on to the next thing.
Humanities education offers the opportunity to slow down, to savor, to feast the mind at leisure, but fewer young men and women want to take us up on it.
We will not prosper in the long run by saying we offer better job training, though indeed many of the skills one can learn in the humanities classroom (clear writing, careful analysis, cogent argumentation) are crucial to success in the world outside. Nor can we claim to offer solutions to the world’s problems, though we can say they will hardly be solved without the help of the sort of critical, open-minded and open-hearted thought that the humanities uniquely promotes.
What we must do is insist — loudly and repeatedly — that liberal education aspires to make people not merely successful but also fulfilled, not merely autonomous thinkers but also contributing citizens, engaged and creative participants in the community. We must show how grounding in the humanities can put political and social issues into perspective and provide new perspectives on our values and beliefs."
Defending the Humanities (InsideHigherEd)
LOOKING FOR THE ELEVATOR? THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT - DUKE ENGINEERS DEVELOP INDOOR GPS
GPS has been a tremendously successful technology for positioning users in outdoor environments. But attaining GPS-like accuracy indoors has eluded telecommunication researchers for years. That is, until now, according to a Duke University researcher.
The ability to achieve precise indoor localization can open up a host of mobile apps, said Romit Roy Choudhury, associate professor of computer engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering and principal investigator for the Duke research team. For example, shoppers at stores could learn more about products in front of them using their phones, or parents could locate their children in malls.
In the last few years, several companies and research teams at universities like Duke also have attacked the problem. Practical solutions are converging, and a localization application is expected to be in the market soon. The Duke team's work was supported by the National Science Foundation and Google.
Looking for the Elevator? There's an App for That (duke.edu)
DUKE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROF: HOW TO TAKE A SOCIAL VENTURE TO SCALE
Paul N. Bloom, an adjunct professor of social entrepreneurship and marketing in the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, writes in a Harvard Business Review blog post:
For a social entrepreneur with an innovative solution, the holy grail is scaling it-that is, taking it to a level where the new approach operates efficiently and effectively to achieve significant mitigation of a social problem.
For the past several years, I have been studying the successful scalers to discover how they made the leap from local to large-scale impact. The answer isn't as simple as we might wish: their leaders have pursued a variety of strategies, and there is no single "best practice" formula for scaling a social venture. But the good news is that there are common elements-seven organizational capabilities that can be developed and combined in different ways to take a promising innovation to the next level.
How to Take a Social Venture to Scale (blogs.hbr.org)