MEMORANDUM

February 19, 2022

To:                   Skip Rankin

From:               Bob Wright

Re:                   Class of 1972 Teaching Initiatives

As of December 31, 2021 (the latest date for which numbers are available), our fund had an unchanged book value of $256,850 and a market value of $1,334,959 – up from $1,272,239 as of May 30, 2021.  Our FY 2022 payout (posted in July, 2021) was $50,994, and our payout for FY2023 will be at least $53,034 (4% higher than FY 2022).  

We are supporting two new courses during FY 2022, each on a one-time basis, as follows:  

(1)               an interdisciplinary course entitled “The Future of Reading”, taught by Efthymia Rentzou in the French and Italian Department investigating the ways we read now and in the future along with the cultural, social and cognitive ramifications of our reading habits.  

(2)               a course entitled “Optimization: decision-making in the age of computers”,

taught by Bartolomeo Stellato teaching how to solve decision-making problems with modern computing technologies, with students implementing these techniques on insightful practical examples, and featuring a wide range of applications in data science, supply chain finance, trasporation and robotics.  This is a core curriculum course in the Operations Research and Financial Engineering Department in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.  

Each of these courses will be taught in the Spring semester.

Funding for these courses required commitments of $17,938 and $22,937, respectively, totaling $40,875.  The remainder of our FY 2022 available funds were reinvested in our Teaching Initiatives fund.  

Through FY22 we will have supported 25 courses (including two years’ support of one of those courses), a complete list of which is attached to this memorandum.  

 

                                                                                                R.P.W.

 

 

 

TEACHING INITIATIVES SUPPORTED BY THE CLASS OF 1972

(through Fiscal Year 2022)

(1)  a course entitled “Conservation and Biodiversity, Science and Policy for an Endangered Planet”, taught by Andy Dobson of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, together with The Woodrow Wilson School; 

(2)  a British history lecture course (as reorganized), taught by Professor Frank Trentmann of the Department of History;

(3)  a vertebrate biology course offered by the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology;

(4)  a freshman seminar entitled “Sound, Image, Movement, Meaning: Collaborations in Multimedia” offered by the Department of Music; 

(5)  a course on “World Literature” offered by the Department of Comparative Literature as a “gateway” course to the Department and to the study of literature generally;

(6)  a course offered by the School of Engineering and Applied Science to demonstrate the fundamental connections among engineering, math and physics; 

(7)  a course offered by the Department of East Asian Studies to convey to Princeton undergraduates an appreciation for the study of Chinese, Japanese and Korean civilizations; 

(8)  a course offered by the Center for African American Studies, entitled “The Civil Rights Movement in the United States”; 

(9)  a freshman seminar entitled “Transformations of an Empire: Power, Religion, and the Arts of Medieval Rome; 

(10) a course offered by the School of Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering entitled “Networks: Friends, Money and Bytes.”  This was an inter-disciplinary and foundational course and the pioneer course offered by Princeton online, under arrangements with Coursera; 

(11) a course taught by David Spergel ’83, Charles Young Professor of Astronomy and Chair, Department of Astrophysical Sciences, in Fall Semester 2013 and entitled “Imagining Other Earths.” This course, based on a freshman seminar, was offered as a Coursera course, and introduced students to a range of key concepts in astronomy, physics, chemistry and evolutionary biology; 

(12) a course in the Department of Comparative Literature taught by Maria A. DiBattista entitled "Modernist Portraits: Literature, Painting, Photography, Film";

(13) a course in the Department of Sociology taught by Miguel A. Centeno and entitled "Discipline."  This course used ethnographic fieldwork and historical evidence to examine the concept of discipline as a technique through which it is possible to achieve skills, expertise and existential peace; 

(14) a course in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering taught by Egemen Kolemen entitled "Engineering the Climate: Technical and Policy Challenges."  Students studied the science, engineering, policy and ethics of climate engineering;

(15) a course taught by John Danner of the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, entitled "Designing Ventures to Change the World" which was offered as an interdisciplinary, hands-on, immersive opportunity to design services, technologies, products and ventures addressing the UN's 17 new Sustainable Development Goals; 

(16) a course offered by Alison Isenberg from the Department of History and Purcell Carson from the Woodrow Wilson School that examined Trenton in the 1960’s, race, the economy and media representation. Students made video sketches using archival sources and interviews and the course resulted in a work of historical scholarship, a documentary film and a public event;

(17) a course entitled “Foundations of Engineering I: Mechanics, Energy, and Waves”, taught by Claire Gmachl in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and melding the classical, inward-looking Physics I curriculum with outward-looking global grand challenge material, with the aim being to empower freshmen to combine fundamental knowledge about the world around them with their desire to solve societal problems and doing good;  

(18) a course entitled “Disability Studies, The Disabled Body”, taught by Gayle Salamon in the Department of English and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, analyzing the social decisions that surround and define the bodily experiences of disability and explore the premise that these decisions create a “social construction” of the disabled body in the sense that what becomes labeled as a disability is a social decision and not merely a biological fact; 

(19) a course entitled “Public Speaking” taught by Tamsen Wolfe in the Department of English, considered a “Gateway Course” available to freshman and sophomore students to help them develop the critical skill of public speaking;

(20) a course entitled “Foundations of Chemical and Biological Engineering” taught by James Link in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department providing exposure to concepts that students will explore in greater depth later in the department’s curriculum and introduce them to exciting developments occurring in chemical and biological engineering. 

(Supported twice)

(21)  a course entitled “Integrating Industrial Applications in Thermodynamics” taught by Professor Lamyaa El-Gabry in the Engineering Department (the first engineering course students take, seeking to introduce students to the applications as well as the theory).  

(22)  a course entitled “What Is A Classic?” taught by Professor Joshua H. Billings, a new gateway course in the Classics Department expanding the concept of a Classic by countering traditional exclusivity and proposing a new, forward- and outward-looking approach.

(23)  a course in the English Department entitled “Democracy and Education” taught by Professor Gorän Blix, examining the relationship between education and democracy in Western nations since the French Revolution through a study literature and social science, asking how schools prosper and fail, emancipate and discipline, and exclude and assimilate.  

(24)  an interdisciplinary course entitled “The Future of Reading” taught by Efthymia Rentzou in the French and Italian Department investigating the ways we read now and in the future along with the cultural, social and cognitive remifications of our reading habits.  

(25)  a course entitled “Optimization: decision-making in the age of computers” taught by Bartolomeo Stellato teaching how to solve decision-making problems with modern computing technologies, with students implementing these techniques on insightful practical examples, and featuring a wide range of applications in data science, supply chain finance, trasporation and robotics.  This is a core curriculum course in the Operations Research and Financial Engineering Department in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.