Explore Lasky-Barajas Dean’s Innovation Fund’s work

first_img Read Full Story Thanks to the generous support of Mitchell Lasky and Cecilia Barajas, the Lasky-Barajas Dean’s Innovation Fund supports original projects at the forefront of digital arts and humanities at Harvard University.Explore each project (links below) to learn more about their scholarly contributions and to witness intimate portraits of the work of the digital humanist. The Lasky-Barajas Dean’s Innovation fund website focuses on the craft of the digital humanities and defines an apprenticeship model for future generations of faculty and students. Close exploration of each project reveals how digital modes of discovery and analysis expand humanities scholarship and teaching, and how they can inform and inspire other disciplines of knowledge.Medieval Scrolls, Principal investigator: Thomas Kelly, Morton B. Knafel Professor of MusicA Homer Commentary in Progress, Principal investigators: Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University; Leonard Muellner, Professor of Classical Studies, Brandeis University & David Elmer, Professor of the Classics, Harvard UniversityHarvard and the Ancient Near East: The David Gordon Lyon Diaries, Principal investigator: Peter Der Manuelian, Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology at Harvard University, Director of the Harvard Semitic MuseumAnimating Musical Analysis, Principal investigators: Ingrid Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music & Alex Rehding, Fanny Peabody Professor of Musiclast_img read more

A sunny day and even brighter futures

first_imgHarvard’s annual daylong Commencement ceremony welcomes alumni, confers degrees, and presents speakers who strive to make sense of a complex world. Those are major and meaningful aspects of a long-awaited day. But the festive spirit is also evident in the smaller, personal moments among the thousands of graduates, alumni, family, friends, and workers attending. Here is a sampling of the joyful and wistful moments in Tercentenary Theatre.Reflections from the oldest, a JFK classmateThe oldest Harvard alumnus in attendance was 97-year-old Leon Starr from Rye, N.Y., who matriculated in 1940, the same year as the late President John F. Kennedy. “The place has changed incredibly, the mix of students,” said Starr as he waited to process into Tercentenary Theatre for the Afternoon Program. “The women,” quickly added his wife, Jacqueline, who was seated next to him in the Old Yard.At 97 years old, Leon Starr of Rye, N.Y., carries the title as the oldest Harvard alumnus in attendance at today’s Commencement. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerIn a letter last year to President Drew Faust, Starr recalled that when he arrived on campus, then-President James Bryant Conant was “trying to make it into a national university instead of a parochial New England-, New York-, Philadelphia-oriented academy. Now when I come here, I see 17 percent of people from all over the globe, women taking classes … the world has changed, much for the better.”Starr’s favorite Harvard memories involve lots of tennis and squash, and a standout tutor, Daniel J. Boorstin, who became a famed American historian and the 12th librarian of the United States Congress. “He was terrific. He had just come from Oxford, and he gave me a lot of time, challenged me, and really helped me in many ways.”An afternoon tea with the presidentAs she processed through Harvard Yard for the Afternoon Exercises, Harvard Marshal Suzanne Skipper ’86 recalled how she was pranked as an impressionable freshman living in Pennypacker Hall.Told by an upperclassman that it was tradition for the younger students to invite Harvard’s president to tea, she and her friends did just that, asking Derek Bok to join them for an afternoon. Bok accepted, and she and her classmates enjoyed tea and conversation with the University’s top official. Only afterwards was she told, “That was a total joke, no one ever does that” — until they did.A mother’s joy and prideOn the day that Ivie Tokunboh, Empress Elabor’s only daughter, graduated from Harvard College, the mother was overwhelmed with joy.“It’s the happiest day of my life,” said Empress Elabor, whose only daughter, Ivie Tokunboh, graduated today. At the Winthrop House diploma presentation, a family portrait is taken with Femi Tokunboh (from left), Kenny Tokunboh, Ivie Tokunboh, and Empress Elabor. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer“It’s the happiest day of my life,” said Elabor, who hails from California.Tokunboh, who lived in Winthrop House, studied human developmental regenerative biology, with a secondary in global health and policy. While at Harvard, she joined Expressions, a student-run dance company, volunteered with Alzheimer’s Buddies, and helped organize a dance marathon to raise money for a local hospital.“She’s so dedicated, hard-working, and loving,” said Elabor. “She’s a blessing for me and for those around her.”‘So much pride in the boys’After receiving his College diploma at the afternoon ceremony at Eliot House, Asante Gibson received a heartfelt hug from his brother Stanley, who just a few days before had graduated as well.“It’s a blessing,” said Stanley after their father snapped their picture. “It’s all my parents’ hard work. They always took good care of us. They made sure we did everything we needed to do to succeed.”Gibson’s mother begs to differ. For Adriana Gibson, who works as a Navy intelligence officer, seeing her two oldest sons graduate — Asante, with a degree in neuroscience; Stanley, in biology and psychology — in the past two weeks has been overwhelming.“Everybody says that I did a good job,” she said emotionally. “I didn’t. The boys did a good job. They are good athletes and hardworking, and they have stayed away from negative things. I have so much pride in the boys.”Khurana looks back, and forwardAt the end of the academic year, as administrators, faculty, and students reflect on the most memorable events of the academic year, Danoff Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana was not shy about confronting issues that stirred disagreement on campus, including those involving racism, sexual assault, and membership policies around the finals clubs.“You’ve not always seen eye-to-eye with each other — or with me — on how we can best shape this community that we love,” Khurana told seniors during Class Day celebrations Wednesday afternoon. “These notions of inclusion and belonging that have occupied us this year are not part of some technical exercise confined to Harvard or college campuses. They have real implications for the world we live in. … Not too long ago, many of us who are here today would not have been welcome on this campus or at this event because we were born the wrong gender, worshipped the wrong God, or loved the wrong person.“The path Harvard as an institution has taken and we as individuals have taken to reach this moment has oftentimes been rocky, complicated,” and has resulted from “decisions made by people who were seeking to balance tradition and change and by people … who stood up and insisted that this community, along with the world around it, take a step into the future.“The reality of our world is our destinies are intertwined,” Khurana told students, and referenced the words of his former college neighbor, the late astronomer Carl Sagan: “‘What we share here on Earth is so much greater than what divides us,’ and what we share here at Harvard is so much greater than what divides us.”The Morning Exercises keeps the steps of Widener Library filled. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerSister lessons Mather House senior Michelle Lee was at the end of the line of soon-to-be College grads filing from the Old Yard into Tercentenary Theatre. From her vantage point near Hollis Hall, though, she could look backward at the future, sort of. Her sister Sophia, standing nearby with their parents, will enter Harvard as a freshman in the fall.“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Lee, a social anthropology concentrator, said about finally reaching Commencement. She and a group of friends stayed up late knowing their days together were numbered. “I’m a bit tired. … We knew we had to get up early but we also knew that the moments left to spend time with friends are few.”And with Friday move-out looming, their last night at Mather will likely be another long one. “I do think we plan to stay up all night tonight,” Lee said.The younger Lee is excited to get her own Harvard experience going. Her sister, set to begin work at a local health-care nonprofit in August, will be close enough to visit and offer advice about negotiating freshman year, but far enough to give her space to make the experience her own.“It’s really exciting, it’s sort of a snapshot of what’s ahead for me,” Sophia said.British smiles England’s Massey family came a long way to sit under some trees near Houghton Library, seeking shelter from the heat. Still, Ray and Christine Massey were overjoyed to watch their son, Tim, graduate from the Business School. (Tim’s wife, Jen, took a much shorter journey, from the couple’s Cambridge apartment.)Harvard Extension School graduate Ed Hebert is surrounded by son Andrew, 5, Andrew’s twin sister, Genevieve (right), and Grace, 7. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerWhile it was fun to see the tradition and how Harvard’s ceremonies compare with those in England, Ray said that the scenery was of course just a sideshow to Tim’s achievement and its reflection on those who love him.“It’s a proud moment for the family,” Ray said.A for effortDavid Enriquez Flores, who received a master of liberal arts from the Harvard Extension School, has to be in the running for students who logged the most air miles in obtaining their degrees.Flores earned a degree in sustainability and environmental management over four years. He spent a year and a half taking classes on campus — while working on another master’s at Boston University — and then completed the degree requirements over the past 2½ years while working in the U.S. embassy in Mexico City.He took two classes online and, while working on his capstone project, returned to campus once a month. He said it was nice to have finally completed the program, which was a challenge despite its flexibility.“Working a full-time job, planning my wedding next month, and working on the capstone and coming once every three weeks here, it’s been a challenge,” he said. “And so being able to finally graduate is an accomplishment that I’m really looking forward to.”Crimson-speakEach year, the Latin Salutatory gives a graduating senior a chance to dust off her or his Latin. This year Anne Power offered a humorous take, not on language but on words.The translation printed in the program allowed students and family to follow along and laugh at the appropriate times. In it, Power reflected on the unique Crimson jargon that suffuses the University — from “Harvard time” (late) to “Pinocchio’s” (pizza) to “concentration” (what you lack on a Friday morning … or your major) to “New Haven” (home of the enemy).But Power also gave classmates a fearful peek at the new lingo they’re going to have to know, like “rent” and “job.”“‘Oh Jupiter,’ you want to cry: ‘Why is there no shopping week for life?’”That’s what we think she said, at least.After she receives her degree at Winthrop House, Kirin Gupta is congratulated by her mother Devika. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerInequality in a spider biteCan the problem of global inequality be seen in a spider’s bite? Jiang He thinks so.He, who grew up in a village in rural China, described in the Graduate English Address his mother’s reaction to a poisonous spider bite when he was a child. She used folk medicine that involved wrapping his hand in a wine-soaked cloth and setting it on fire.He, receiving a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology, knows now why that remedy worked on the poison, but questions why it was necessary.Modern science should not only engage in the pursuit of new knowledge, he told students and family members gathered in Tercentenary Theatre. It should also communicate those findings to places like his hometown. Thousands of villages, he said, are not just poor, but lack the knowledge that would offer alternatives to treating spider bites with fire.“Fifteen years later, I’m happy to report my hand is fine,” He said.Golden opportunityEven as the Yard brimmed with University officials, dignitaries, distinguished alumni, and honored guests, easily the most popular people on campus were Joe Devlin and Tom Michienzi. That’s because on a steamy, summer-like Commencement morning, the pair controlled access to eight kegs of frosty and refreshing golden goodness. That’s right, the beer.Harvard President Drew Faust (from left) watches Steven Spielberg help Fernando Henrique Cardoso with his gown. Both men received honorary degrees later that morning. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerVeterans of the last few Harvard graduations, the two manned the free beer stand that’s set up in front of Grays Hall each year. As Morning Exercises began winding down, they stood among 30-lb. bags of ice, gently fielding anxious appeals from a stream of hot, thirsty visitors eager to get the taps flowing even though it was barely 11 a.m. Finally, as filmmaker Steven Spielberg received his honorary doctorate, Devlin and Michienzi took pity on the crowd forming around their table. Heeding advice from Class Day speaker Rashida Jones, they “pulled the levers,” swiftly filling cups with Sierra Nevada Summerfest and Pale Ale for a very grateful Harvard community.Proud to be here Elizabeth and Rudolph Olivier were asking passersby for directions to the Widener Library to be near their son, Gerrel, who was graduating from the Business School.The Randolph residents, who had never been to campus, were a bit lost among the huge crowds in the Yard. When they arrived at their destination, having breathed a sigh of relief, they were eager to talk about their son’s accomplishment.“I’m the happiest woman today,” Elizabeth said. “My son is so much to be proud of.”Gerrel’s father, who works at Home Depot, shared the sentiment. “It’s the best day of my life,” he said.‘Be strong and of good courage’Fans were whirring, programs were waving, and more than a few heads were nodding at the service for seniors at Memorial Church, the first official event of Commencement day. Just after 8 a.m., Professor Jonathan Walton, the Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, welcomed the crowd to the “beautiful ritual of senior chapel,” joking that Harvard officials pick “the balmy, muggy time of year to bring you in in extra clothes, to welcome you and pack you inside of this chapel so that you can feel sweltering heat; to remind you that when you leave this place … we expect you to live a quality, good, and righteous life.”Professor Jonathan Walton, the Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, begins the day with humor and wisdom. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerKeeping with his annual tradition, Walton snapped a selfie with the crowd before Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg offered the graduating class some parting thoughts.“You have beheld a universe of wondrous complexity, and amazing possibility in this University, and now it is for you to share with the world some scintilla of what you have seen, and imagined, and created here,” said Steinberg. “Be strong and of good courage. Humility and reverence have their place, but on the verge of a world so very much in need, if there is a proper prayer for you in this moment, it is that you will dare to be upstanding and that you will be generous and courageous in imparting far and wide something of your vision from this place.”In and out of class, an educationPforzheimer resident Nabil Daoud ’16 was a little late for the Memorial Church service, having stayed up into the wee hours to socialize with friends and family. He was tired, he admitted, but excited for the day ahead. His proud parents were among the thousands in Tercentenary Theatre waiting for Morning Exercises to begin and celebrating his graduation as a first-generation college student; they emigrated from Ethiopia in 1987. An economics concentrator with a secondary concentration in African studies, Daoud will volunteer with Phillips Brooks House this summer and hopes to work in finance in the fall. Daoud said some of his favorite Crimson memories were formed not in class but in the dining halls, where he reveled in making friends laugh. As he leaves campus Daoud said he would keep two key lessons from his College career in mind: “Don’t be afraid of the unknown,” he said, and “resiliency through struggle.”The Rev. Professor Jonathan Walton and Rabbi Jonah Steinberg speak to the Class of 2016. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerStrike up the bandDaniel Rhodes graduated from Harvard in 2001 and he, and his trumpet, haven’t missed a Commencement since. Each year former players help fill out the ranks of the Harvard University Band, which puts in a full day at morning and afternoon events. “I always love this day,” said Rhodes, a Watertown resident who works as an actuary in health care consulting. “I just love all the pomp and ceremony and it brings back good memories.” One of those memories involved reactions to media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who spoke at Commencement in 2013. “We have all these professors who were almost giggling at the sight of her … people that have probably met heads of states and celebrities. They were melting in front of Oprah.”Chaos managementAsa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany Donald Pfister was at the podium in front of Harvard Hall bright and early as the Commencement Day caller, tasked with corralling the crowd of dignitaries, alumni, students, and families swirling through the Old Yard on their way to Tercentenary Theatre. “President’s division, we need you in order,” Pfister called politely, later urging them a little more firmly to line up. “Madame President, Sheriff, we need order in the president’s division.” Pfister took up the position two years ago from longtime caller Frederick H. Abernathy, Gordon McKay Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering. The “champion” caller, said Pfister, was Mason Hammond, a classics scholar who held the post for half a century.“It’s order out of chaos,” said Pfister as he prepared to make his way into Tercentenary Theatre. “Now we do the next part, see if we can get them seated.”Mixed emotionsIt was a bittersweet moment for Hendriawan Selamat’s family.Selamat, who hails from Singapore, graduated with a master’s in human development and psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He and his family will go back home in early June.Sitting near Widener Library, his wife, Shifaa Mohamed Amin, reflected on the time passed.“We don’t want to go,” she said. “We made so many good friends who have become family.”Witness to change Making her way through the Old Yard into Tercentenary Theatre was Mary Lothrop Bundy, from the Radcliffe class of 1946. In her 70 years since graduating, Bundy said she has seen welcome change on Harvard’s campus.“I was an Overseer, the second woman to be elected, which is pretty exciting because Radcliffe couldn’t vote for Overseers in my day, they were women and they didn’t count,” said Bundy, whose late husband, McGeorge Bundy, served as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.In a true Harvard tradition, the sheriff of Middlesex County brings Commencement to order.One of the greatest changes in recent years, said, Bundy, is “Harvard’s wonderful spirit of inquiry. Drew Faust has done such a fantastic job of getting different disciplines to work together. I think that is a huge thing she has done for the University.”Keeping things tidy On regular days, Harvard landscaper Tiago Pereira cuts grass, mulches plant beds, and trims trees. In the wintertime, he spends most of his time cleaning snow off campus.But on Commencement Day, Pereira was busy picking up trash in the Old Yard while the graduation ceremony was taking place at the Tercentenary Theatre. He didn’t mind.“I love it,” said Pereira, who on his own typically fills about 50 heavy-duty bags on Commencement Day. “It’s fun. It’s crazy. It’s like a party.last_img read more

Harvard launches data science initiative

first_imgA statistician and a computer scientist have been named co-leaders of Harvard’s new Data Science Initiative, the Harvard University Office of the Vice Provost for Research announced today.A University-wide program that will aid cross-disciplinary collaboration, the initiative will be led by Francesca Dominici, professor of biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and David C. Parkes, George F. Colony Professor and area dean for computer science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.“With its diversity of disciplines, Harvard has access to large data sets that record a staggering array of phenomena,” said Provost Alan Garber. “Researchers in our Schools of medicine, public health, business, law, arts and sciences, government, education, and engineering are already gaining deep insights from their analyses of large data sets. This initiative will connect research efforts across the University in this emerging field. It will facilitate cross-fertilization in both teaching and research, paving the way to methodological innovations and to applications of these new tools to a wide range of societal and scientific challenges.”As massive amounts of data are generated from science, engineering, social sciences, and medicine — and even from digitally augmented daily lives — researchers are grappling with how to make sense of all this information, and how to use it to benefit people. Data science applies the theory and practice of statistics and computer science to extract useful knowledge from complex and often messy information sources. Applications span health care, the environment, commerce, government services, urban planning, and finance. The initiative will make it possible to take methodology and tools from one domain to another and discover new applications. Data science for a new era Related A Q&A with co-directors of emerging Data Science Initiative Until now, Harvard’s growth in data science has been organic, occurring in distinct domains and an increasing array of applications. The initiative will unite efforts. A steering committee chaired by Vice Provost for Research Rick McCullough led the planning, and involved 55 faculty members and many of Harvard’s data science leaders,The initiative already has launched the Harvard Data Science Postdoctoral Fellowship program, which will support up to seven scholars over two years, whose interests are in data science, broadly construed, and include researchers with a methodological and applications focus.The first cohort of fellows will arrive in the fall; they will direct their own research while forging collaborations around the University. The program will offer numerous opportunities to engage with the broader data science community through events such as seminar series, informal lunches, mentoring, and fellow-led and other networking opportunities.The initiative has also launched the Harvard Data Science Initiative Competitive Research Fund, which invites innovative ideas from those with interests that span data science, including methodological foundations and the development of quantitative methods and tools motivated by application challenges.In addition, three master’s degree programs have been approved. The Medical School offers a master’s degree in biomedical informatics, and the Harvard Chan School has a master’s of science in health data science. A master’s in data science (Faculty of Arts and Sciences) and jointly offered by Computer Science and Statistics is planned for the fall of 2018.“The ability to apply the power of new analytics and new methodologies in revolutionary ways makes this the era of data science, and Harvard faculty have been at the forefront of this emerging field,” said McCullough. “Our researchers not only develop new methodologies, but also apply those methodologies to incredible effect. I am delighted that Francesca Dominici and David Parkes will be co-directing this new effort. They are both extraordinary scientists and exemplary colleagues.”Dominici specializes in developing statistical methods to analyze large and complex data sets. She leads multiple interdisciplinary groups of scientists addressing questions in environmental health science, climate change, and health policy.“Harvard’s Data Science Initiative will build on the collaborations that already exist across the University to foster a rich and cohesive data science community that brings together scholars from across disciplines and schools,” Dominici said. “I am delighted to be a part of an effort that pushes the frontiers of this important discipline and extends our ability to use data science for the good of people everywhere.”Parkes leads research at the interface between economics and computer science, with a focus on multi-agent systems, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.“The Data Science Initiative will strengthen the fabric of connections among departments to create an integrated data science community,” Parkes said. “Through these efforts, we seek to empower research progress and education across the University, and work toward solutions for the world’s most important challenges. I look forward to being a part of this exciting work.”The Data Science Steering Committee, in addition to Dominici and Parkes, includes: Alyssa Goodman, professor of applied astronomy, Faculty of Arts and SciencesGary King, director, Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science;Zak Kohane, chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School;Xihong Lin, chair of the Department of Biostatistics, Harvard Chan School;Anne Margulies, University chief information officer;Hanspeter Pfister, professor of computer science, Harvard Paulson School;Neil Shephard, chair of the Department of Economics and of Statistics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.For more information about the initiative, visit datascience.harvard.edu.last_img read more

The Scarlet F: Why fat shaming harms health, and how we can change the conversation

first_img“Headless fatty photos have got to go,” says Monica Kriete, M.P.H. ’18. “The message they send is so harmful.” A student of social and behavioral sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Kriete is also a passionate activist. Last fall, she helped mobilize student support for striking Harvard dining hall workers, talking into a bullhorn, her corkscrew curls bouncing.But despite her outspokenness, Kriete, who identifies as fat, has long been attuned to the cultural signals, both subtle and blatant, that her body is not acceptable. After immersing herself in fat activism blogs as an undergraduate biochemistry and women’s studies concentrator, she’s come to the School to acquire the tools to help change the conversation around weight and health. A key part of that is attacking stigma and shame.Kriete describes weight stigma as a toxic exposure, like air pollution. The more you breathe it in, the more it puts your physical and emotional health at risk — from depression to hormonal changes that can lead to long-term physical damage. It can come from a nasty comment on the street, a blunt physician, or a family member practicing “tough love.” And there’s mounting evidence showing that it’s not just cruel, it’s also counterproductive.One might think fat shaming would be trending down as the size of the average American has gone up, but perceived weight bias is actually rising. Among women, it’s now even more common than racial discrimination, according to work by Rebecca Puhl and colleagues at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. They and others have found that most Americans see weight as a matter of personal choice and willpower—and people with larger bodies as undisciplined and lazy. Being formerly obese does not make one immune to biased thinking about people who still carry excess pounds, Puhl has found. It can even make newly thin individuals more likely to feel contempt, because having successfully lost weight themselves, they may be more likely to scorn those who have not. According to Puhl’s research, the factor most likely to protect against biased attitudes toward overweight is having a friend or loved one with obesity. The young woman strides down a city sidewalk gripping a textbook and folder. Maybe she’s worrying about missing class, but probably not about being photographed. Nevertheless, she is caught in a camera’s viewfinder. The lens zooms in, focusing on the body part that will come to define her — a fold of belly revealed by her tight top. Her head is cropped out of the resulting photograph, which will go on to be picked up by news sites across the internet. You can now see her body next to headlines like “Too Fat to Graduate” and “Junk in the Trunk” — an anonymous symbol of disgrace. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Harvard acquires new work by Kara Walker

first_imgIn 2007, the Harvard Art Museums mounted an exhibit by contemporary American artist Kara Walker in honor of the inauguration of Drew Faust, the University’s 28th president and a historian of the Civil War. “Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)” combined a series of lithographic reproductions from an 1866 anthology with Walker’s evocative silhouettes.An online description noted that the work showed that “the roots of racism in the United States were hardly eradicated with the abolition of slavery.” Ten years later, as Faust prepares to step down, Walker remains one of the most powerful and culturally relevant artists in the U.S., holding up a mirror to a country in which high democratic ideals exist alongside the lowest expressions of racism and hate. And now, her work is once again at center stage at Harvard.On Tuesday, the museums announced the acquisition of “U.S.A. Idioms,” a massive drawing and collage and the largest drawing in a collection of approximately 250,000 works. Walker created the image this past summer. The work depicts a series of figures, both African-Americans and their oppressors. Some are woven through the branches of a dead tree; others perch atop a dark stump. A torn Confederate flag waves from one branch. What appears to be a white flag waves from another.“This is a powerhouse of a work — provocative in its subject and scale and also, as a drawing, incredibly beautiful and technically exhilarating,” said Martha Tedeschi, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums. “Given the teaching and learning mission of the Harvard Art Museums, and our legacy as a site for the study of great drawings from across time and place, it feels especially appropriate for us to bring this new and compelling work to Cambridge.”Kara Walker’s “U.S.A. Idioms”  “… is a powerhouse of a work — provocative in its subject and scale and also, as a drawing, incredibly beautiful and technically exhilarating,” said Martha Tedeschi. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund, 2017.220. © Kara Walker; image courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New YorkCurators expect the piece to attract interest from across the University and beyond, including scholars focused on issues of race, history, contemporary politics, and nontraditional American narratives.“Walker’s willingness to foreground ‘contentious images and objectionable ideas,’ to use the artist’s own words, challenges us to not look away,” Tedeschi said.Sarah Lewis, an assistant professor of history of art and architecture and of African and African-American studies at Harvard, said the new acquisition is both an exceptional work of art and an extraordinary teaching tool.“This is a work that I think has embedded within it a way to teach about the structure of racial hierarchies and racial formation through aesthetics,” said Lewis. “Whether it’s because of the iconography of the tree or the various different tropes, and how she’s engaging with the Confederate flag, there are many ways that you could parse that one object and treat it as an object of study for weeks.”Walker was unavailable for an interview, but her remarks accompanying the recent New York exhibit that featured “U.S.A. Idioms” garnered almost as much attention as the show itself.“I roll my eyes, fold my arms and wait,” Walker wrote. “How many ways can a person say racism is the real bread and butter of our American mythology, and in how many ways will the racists among our countrymen act out their Turner Diaries race war fantasy combination Nazi Germany and Antebellum South.”The artist has been a regular visitor to campus in recent years. In 2014 she spoke at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. In October, she received the W.E.B. Du Bois medal “for art that refuses to tell a simple story about this country’s history or present,” said Tedeschi, who introduced the award.“I seemed to have made a reputation for saying a lot on paper and not a lot out loud,” said Walker during the event. “I will keep that tradition alive. But I do want to thank you very much for this honor.”In 1997, Walker was awarded a “genius” grant from the MacArthur Foundation, which praised her installations as “graphic and violent tableaus that explore the vestiges of sexual, physical, and racial exploitation in a challenging manner.”One example of that vision is “A Subtlety,” Walker’s 2014 installation in a defunct Domino sugar refinery in Brooklyn, N.Y. Crafted from 80 tons of granulated sugar, the work — a giant sculpture of a naked black woman in the pose of a sphinx — drew thousands of art lovers to New York and inspired countless online viewings.Harvard holds several early works by Walker, including prints, textual prints, silhouette works, a pop-up book, and a linocut, but nothing to match the scale or technique of the newly acquired piece.“Kara Walker has been on my top five list forever,” said Mary Schneider Enriquez, the Houghton Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, who, with curator Edouard Kopp, helped the museums secure “U.S.A. Idioms.”The piece is a “masterpiece of intimacy and scale,” she added.Kopp noted Walker’s sense of art history. “U.S.A. Idioms,” he said, pays homage to Francisco Goya’s “The Disasters of War,” a series of 82 prints created between 1810 and 1820 that depict scenes of death and despair.Similar sensibilities link the two artists, Kopp said. While Goya was considered an artist of the Enlightenment, he “looked not just at the light but the darkness of the human spirit, and [at] what can happen when reason sleeps. Something similar could be applied or brought to the reading of Walker’s work.”Curators are still finalizing a plan for installation of the new piece. It will likely be displayed on its own, said Enriquez. “There are only a couple of places in our building where the ceilings are high enough.”last_img read more

‘If you remain mostly upright, you are doing it well enough’

first_imgGAZETTE:  Anything else you’d want to share with the Harvard community?COSTIKYAN: Know that there are resources out there if you need someone to talk to. Contact Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program for both practical and emotional support. The EAP is now offering access via chat and telehealth functions. It’s free and confidential, local, 24/7, and with a dedicated Harvard phone line: 877.327.4278. We all deserve help right now in our collective efforts to take a breath, and rebalance, and begin again. When we feel a little shaky, the EAP can provide some of that help.Interview has been lightly edited. GAZETTE: What are some tips for managing stress at home?COSTIKYAN: This is a time when many people will feel isolated or trapped, liberated from their commute or held hostage by their digital devices, grateful for the solitude or mourning the social matrix of the workplace. I’ve been hearing about keeping a 6-foot distance from other household members who may be particularly at risk for complications from COVID-19. That can be startling to hear, since there is a sense of greater security when hunkering down at home, and it is easier to contemplate a 6-foot distance from strangers than it is from loved ones. I personally feel that paradigm shifts are being hurled at me by the world on a daily basis. It’s increasingly hard to keep balancing on one fatigued foot. But every day I begin again.Tools and rules help. Rules like regular schedules, regular meals, regular exercise, and regular sleep patterns are essential. I’m struggling with all of these at the moment, but another rule is simply to begin again each day. I rely on mindfulness tools; these are increasingly available for free, like Harvard’s own Mindfulness at Work series of classes — now on Zoom — which are now being expanded to address our current crisis.It can also be helpful to provide creature comforts in your new home office. If you program your thermostat to turn down the heat during the day, reprogram it. Not only do we all deserve comfort at time like this, but a Cornell study found that warm workers actually work better. Establish break times for a cup of tea, some stretching, reading poetry, or playing Angry Birds. Whatever works for you. Make sure your new set-up is ergonomically correct. Find an object or photo that has deep meaning for you, something that represents hope, resilience, comfort, and place it near your work station for a visual reminder not to spin off into places of despair.GAZETTE: What are some additional strategies for self-care?COSTIKYAN: Don’t forget to make time for the things many of us skip. Make a chart and timetable for self-care and safety tasks: wiping down surfaces, taking stretch breaks, washing your hands, or eating a proper meal at a proper time. Share it with others — maybe establish a buddy system for mutual time checks and reminders. We all need to find ways to exercise even as we social-distance; why not use your usual commute time to go for a vigorous walk when the sun is just right?Look to your community — either known to you or not. Seek ways to foster and maintain connection. Find something larger than yourself. Find something larger in yourself. Practice compassion for others. Washing your hands for 20 seconds is a great way to center yourself and cultivate goodwill to others. So is simply leaving a “thank you” sign out to your postal worker or delivery person, to let them know how much you appreciate the work they are doing.It can be hard to do, especially as we sit at our computers with so much information at our fingertips, but it’s really important to limit your intake of frightening information in terms of time and sources, even information from reputable sources. Limiting intake doesn’t mean shutting it out, though; we need to stay informed. The Harvard Coronavirus website is one of my top go-to sources. We also need to be aware of the feelings these inputs trigger, and choose positive inputs as well — from colleagues and friends, movies, art, poetry — that can also be in the mind’s eye along with whatever images of doom we might carry. Harvard coronavirus survey: How’re we doing? Not bad so far Despite distrust in coronavirus leadership, public confident they can keep themselves safe Efforts across the University aim to reassure, entertain, connect Online forum aims to teach how to deal with pandemic stresscenter_img Related As COVID-19 spread across the world, many businesses and organizations, including Harvard, moved their work online. In Massachusetts, the number of people working from home rose even higher on March 23, when Gov. Charlie Baker ordered nonessential businesses to close for two weeks.For many, the transition to virtual work has been one filled with new stressors and challenges, particularly when viewed against the backdrop of a growing pandemic. The Gazette spoke with Nancy Costikyan, director of the Office of Work/Life at Harvard, to learn some strategies for being productive, adjusting expectations, and staying healthy in mind and body while honoring the call to self-quarantine.Q&ANancy CostikyanGAZETTE:  How can individuals strive for work/life balance as more and more of us find ourselves working in our homes, alongside all of the responsibilities of our home lives?COSTIKYAN: Most work/life practitioners dislike “work/life balance” as a term and a concept. Work/life scholars lack a common definition, and few people seem to think that they have achieved anything like it. The concept seems static to me, and one that sets an impossible standard for, say, working parents, or people with adult-care responsibilities, or leaders facing an ever-increasing set of demands … or for any employee anywhere who skipped lunch or lost sleep or missed their kid’s game, all because there is no rule book on how to have it all and be balanced. As far as I have been able to tell, the only “all” we get is all the guilt over what feels like impossible trade-offs. But maybe we can shift our expectations and think of balance as a verb, not a noun.Try standing on one foot for a minute or so. As long as you remain standing you are not balanced so much as you are “balancing” — you will feel micro-adjustments being made automatically by the bones, tendons, muscles in your foot, ankle, and other parts of the body that keep you upright. That’s happening even when you are standing on both feet. You aren’t conscious of it, the body just does it for you. Every moment in everyday life is like that. Tiny, unconscious adjustments are taking place as you reconsider that testy email you just wrote, smile at a neighbor, call a colleague for support, reach for a child in distress. All this is balancing. And if you remain mostly upright, you are doing it well enough.GAZETTE: Should organizations adjust their expectations during these difficult times?COSTIKYAN: I think most of us are standing on one foot right now. And feeling shaky. But it’s stunning how quickly we have come to accept each other’s sometimes-wobbly practices as we get up to speed on telework.Two weeks ago, Harvard’s flexwork guidelines said that people couldn’t provide dependent care while teleworking. Now, some are beginning Zoom meetings by noting that at any minute a 4-year-old might come crashing through the room. President Larry Bacow commented that children are making our Zoom meetings some of the most entertaining in University history.We’re also encouraging managers to skip the guidelines’ recommendation of a 30-day trial period at the beginning of a new flex arrangement. Telework at such a large scale is new for all of us, and we’ll be making adjustments from the micro to the macro every day as we go along. In effect, every day is a trial period.“Tools and rules help. Rules like regular schedules, regular meals, regular exercise, and regular sleep patterns are essential,” says Nancy Costikyan. Photo by Nan LittletonGAZETTE: How should individuals communicate their own unique challenges to colleagues and managers?COSTIKYAN: For several years we’ve been instructing managers never to ask someone why they are proposing a flexwork arrangement; no one should have to disclose personal information of any kind — especially health-related information. That principle still holds and extends to those who may have personal reasons that make work from home impossible. They don’t need to explain that to their manager. But they may need to talk with HR about alternatives, which could include taking advantage of our temporarily enhanced leave policies.GAZETTE: Do you have any recommendations for how teams can best adapt shared expectations collaboratively, so that everyone is on the same page?COSTIKYAN: Everyone is improvising all over the place, and that is both where we shine and where we stumble. We’ve just posted a new Telework Continuity Tool Kit on the HR coronavirus site. We’ve called out practices that were previously restricted in our flexwork guidelines but are encouraged now. Between those two documents we’ve identified steps to define communication goals, protocols for using formal and informal communication tools and methods, and shared expectations around behavior in terms of deadlines, accountability, and even conflict. We also stress the importance of maintaining the social connections of the workplace in a time of stress. Teams should agree to try to simulate the environment of the workplace. Maybe that means saying hi each morning in some way, interrupting each other, chatting with a work buddy by phone over lunch.Teams should agree up front that they are all learning new ways of working in a challenging time and that people will make mistakes. Technology won’t work as planned. A spirit of goodwill and generosity during shaky, one-footed missteps will be essential as we all learn together.GAZETTE: How do you suggest managing taking care of young children with working?COSTIKYAN: If you have other adults or older teens in the home, start by mapping out a strategy and enlist their support. How will you set boundaries? Try working with young kids on making friendly “do not disturb” signs that you then use very judiciously. Give them their own special “work” assignments to do — paid or unpaid, goofy or challenging. Some kids will benefit from regular, brief check-ins with lots of praise for having let you do your work assignments while they did theirs. Others will do better without interruption from you. You’ll figure it out.You’ll likely need to talk with your manager about your strategy. For example, with very young kids, you may need to alternate between providing child care and doing Harvard work. That might extend your day, so you’ll need work-arounds for the impact on communication and collaboration with colleagues. And every meeting might need to begin with a disclaimer that there is a little one in the home and you might be interrupted.But it’s not just about kids. Sometimes the incursion will be caused by a four-footed furry little one. Or it might be a two-footed older one. Harvard provides subsidized and vetted in-home back-up child and adult care for staff and faculty. Right now, though, some may feel more comfortable using the self-directed, local caregiver search on the digital platform through [email protected] with the support of new, detailed guidance on caregiving in the context of coronavirus. Others will choose to rely on a person in their natural network — perhaps a family member. Harvard has associated but lesser-known programs as well, such as the WATCH Portal. “I personally feel that paradigm shifts are being hurled at me by the world on a daily basis. It’s increasingly hard to keep balancing on one fatigued foot. But every day I begin again.” Chan School session breaks down what it is, what it looks like, and ways to ease it Bringing (virtual) normalcy to the communitylast_img read more

An ionic forcefield for nanoparticles

first_img Nanoparticles shine with customizable color “The great thing about ionic liquids is that every small change you make to their chemistry results in a big change in their properties,” said Christine Hamadani, a former graduate student at SEAS and first author of the paper. “By changing one carbon bond, you can change whether or not it attracts or repels proteins.”Hamadani is currently a graduate student at Tanner’s lab at the University of Mississippi.The researchers coated their nanoparticles with the ionic liquid choline hexenoate, which has an aversion to serum proteins. Once in the body, these ionic-liquid coated nanoparticles appeared to spontaneously attach to the surface of red-blood cells and circulate until they reached the dense capillary system of the lungs, where the particles sheared off into the lung tissue.“This hitchhiking phenomenon was a really unexpected discovery,” said Mitragotri. “Previous methods of hitchhiking required special treatment for the nanoparticles to attach to red blood cells and even then, they only stayed at a target location for about six hours. Here, we showed 50 percent of the injected dose still in the lungs after 24 hours.”The research team still needs to understand the exact mechanism that explains why these particles travel so well to lung tissue, but the research demonstrates just how precise the system can be.“This is such a modular technology,” said Tanner, who plans to continue the research in her lab at University of Mississippi. “Any nanoparticle with a surface change can be coated with ionic liquids and there are millions of ionic liquids that can be tuned to have different properties. You could tune the nanoparticle and the liquid to target specific locations in the body.”“We as a field need as many tools as we can to fight the immune system and get drugs where they need to go,” said Mitragotri. “Ionic liquids are the latest tool on that front.”The research was co-authored by Morgan J. Goetz. Related Tracking nanoparticles Samir Mitragotri harnesses blood cells to help nanoparticles cross biological barriers Findings could help in developing treatment for pulmonary disease Hitchhiking his way to better drug delivery Display screens, security tags may benefit from control and color creation Nanoparticles are promising drug delivery tools, offering the ability to administer drugs directly to a specific part of the body and avoid the awful side effects so often seen with chemotherapeutics.But there’s a problem. Nanoparticles struggle to get past the immune system’s first line of defense: proteins in the blood serum that tag potential invaders. Because of this, only about 1 percent of nanoparticles reach their intended target.“No one escapes the wrath of the serum proteins,” said Eden Tanner, a former postdoctoral fellow in bioengineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).Now, Tanner and a team of researchers led by Samir Mitragotri, the Hiller Professor of Bioengineering and Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at SEAS, have developed an ionic forcefield that prevents proteins from binding to and tagging nanoparticles.In mouse experiments, nanoparticles coated with the ionic liquid survived significantly longer in the body than uncoated particles and, surprisingly, 50 percent of the nanoparticles made it to the lungs. It’s the first time that ionic liquids have been used to protect nanoparticles in the blood stream.“The fact that this coating allows the nanoparticles to slip past serum proteins and hitch a ride on red blood cells is really quite amazing because once you are able to fight the immune system effectively, lots of opportunities open up,” said Mitragotri, who is also a core faculty member of Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.The research is published in Science Advances.,Ionic liquids, essentially liquid salts, are highly tunable materials that can hold a charge.“We knew that serum proteins clear out nanoparticles in the bloodstream by attaching to the surface of the particle and we knew that certain ionic liquids can either stabilize or destabilize proteins,” said Tanner, who is now an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Mississippi. “The question was, could we leverage the properties of ionic liquids to allow nanoparticles to slip past proteins unseen.”last_img read more

For the first time, a Native American may oversee U.S. policies on tribal nations

first_imgIf she wins Senate approval, Democratic Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico will become the first Native American Cabinet secretary. But perhaps more importantly, as secretary of the Interior, the enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna would also become the first Native person to oversee federal policies involving the 574 federally recognized tribal nations as well as the national parks and public lands. For many, her selection brings history full circle.After learning of her nomination, Haaland, a 35th-generation New Mexican who in 2018 became one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, tweeted, “A voice like mine has never been a Cabinet secretary or at the head of the Department of Interior.” The Gazette asked some members of the community for their thoughts on the historic nomination.,Victor A. Lopez-Carmen, M.D. ’23Enrolled member of the Crow Creek Sioux TribeStudent at Harvard Medical SchoolBefore Medical School, I got to clerk for the Natural Resources Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, a committee Rep. Haaland is the vice-chair of. Working with her and her staff on committee hearings and legislation, especially those concerning missing and murdered Indigenous women, was an experience I will always be grateful for. This is because Congresswoman Haaland exemplifies the powerhouse nature of Native American women. The extent to which Native American women lead, guide, and build our communities, as they have done for millennia, has too often gone unrecognized.Many of America’s most dignified and noble leaders have always been, and always will be, Indigenous women. Now soon-to-be Secretary Haaland — a confident, contemporary political leader — shows young Indigenous girls and girls of color how high they can go, which will positively impact this country for generations to come.,Heidi Brandow, M.Des. ’21Diné/Kanaka MāoliStudent at Harvard Graduate School of DesignIt’s a historic first for Native people. Frankly, it’s a move in the right direction, especially given the fact that the nominee is a female Native leader. Native representation at the Department of Interior is long overdue. It’s an exciting silver lining, given the challenging events over the past year.Rep. Haaland has a thorough understanding of the needs of Native people and communities. As a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe and a longtime community organizer, she is familiar with issues affecting Native Americans and is committed to fighting for Indigenous communities.Under Trump, the Department of Interior sold and leased formerly protected lands at record numbers, thereby deteriorating environmental protections and often thrusting sacred landmarks and national monuments into the hands of developers. Often, lopsided land sales and leases of formerly protected lands were near or within tribal boundaries. Haaland’s nomination and her presence at the helm of the Department of Interior will help re-establish trust and a continued commitment among respective Native nations working with the department.,Eric Henson, M.P.P. ’98Citizen of the Chickasaw NationAdjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of GovernmentRep. Deb Haaland’s likely ascension to the position of secretary of the Interior is welcome news throughout Indian Country. Her nomination sends a strong message that the incoming administration believes Native people deserve a seat at the table when many of the most important discussions take place at the highest levels of the U.S. government.Seeing a proud, strong Native woman in such a senior position will brighten my day every day, and I expect her tenure as secretary to be far more than merely symbolic to those of us who care about Native inclusion at the top of the federal government. Since her election to Congress, Rep. Haaland has been very active, lending her name to more than 50 draft bills. This potential legislation showcases some of the areas in which she is likely to remain a force for tribal people and issues that Native America cares about. This is not nearly an exhaustive list, but so far, she has used her drafting pen to work toward greater wilderness preservation, and she is a strong advocate for expanded broadband access on tribal lands, which is a longstanding problem that has become even more crucial as we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic while simultaneously attempting to educate thousands of Native children via distance learning, often in remote rural settings. Furthermore, Rep. Haaland has consistently spoken out about the need to address the lingering harms of the Indian boarding school era, and she intends to implement an aggressive policy to overturn many of the offensive place names that still exist throughout the U.S.; place names that by their very nature insult tribal people on an ongoing basis.,Megan HillCitizen of the Oneida Nation of WisconsinProgram Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentI heard a collective cheer across Indian Country when Rep. Deb Haaland was tapped to lead the U.S. Department of Interior by then-President-elect Biden. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were alive with posts celebrating the announcement, highlighting her groundbreaking career of service and leadership, filled with “firsts.” But, mostly, the cheers were of collective honor: She is one of our own. As a citizen of Laguna Pueblo, her success shines light on and gives voice to Natives across the country.Once confirmed, she will step into a department with a legacy of anti-Indian policies engineered to dispossess Indigenous peoples of land and resources. While she will have Cabinet-level decision-making power, she will face competing interests from protecting the environment and elevating Indigenous priorities to managing demands from big oil and climate change deniers. Indian Country may need to adjust expectations, and she will need our continued support. I am reassured, though, that for the first time in history, the Department will be led with Indigenous values and integrity. In a statement she said, “I will be fierce for all of us, for our planet, and for all of our protected land”… And I believe she will.,Amy Besaw Medford, Ed.M. ’02Enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Nation and of Menominee descentResearcher at the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic DevelopmentWhen I was a young girl, it was hard to see female leadership outside my tribe as I was raised on military bases. But I saw the important role that women played within my tribe and within my family. The older I got, the more I saw the generation above me filling in leadership roles, whether it was tribal leaders on a regional or national scale. But it was usually in the tribal context: Indians supporting Indians.When I entered the Ed School’s master’s program, there was just one senator who was Native: Ben Nighthorse Campbell [senator from Colorado from 1993 to 2005]. Now, there is not just one Native woman in Congress, there are three! And they can support each other and be part of that great alliance of women of color and their allies. As a mother, it gives me hope for my daughter and my son, who can see what is a clear recognition of the roles that women can play on a national scale.As secretary of Interior, Haaland will be the first Native woman who will be responsible for policies that will affect Native American communities. That’s very powerful. She’s better able to represent the interests of Indigenous communities. As a Native person, Haaland doesn’t have to be given an Indian 101 course, or be taught about tribal sovereignty. She doesn’t have to be given the history of treaties between the U.S. government and the Native nations, and how the government failed its responsibilities. Haaland also knows from direct experience how Native nations govern themselves. She was a tribal administrator: She gets the nuances that exist in Indian country. As the first people of this land, I love that we have her protecting our land. For Native people, it’s inspiring, prideful, and empowering to see Haaland, a strong woman fighting for our rights and for the protection of our land. It is going to be a tough job; she won’t be able to please everyone. But I have faith in her leadership and I think she will serve our nation well.,Meredith VastaMember of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa IndiansCollections Steward at Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard UniversityAs a Turtle Mountain Chippewa woman and museum professional, the appointment of Haaland is significant for several reasons. First, it is long overdue that the Indigenous communities most directly impacted by the success or failure of the Department of the Interior has someone with both lived experience of these impacts, as a citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, and policy experience as a Western legislator. This division is responsible for meeting the trust obligations of the federal government with hundreds of Native Nations, like my own, with whom they have entered into solemn political agreements, or treaties.As a museum professional, this division also funds the repatriation efforts of tribes through the Tribal Historic Preservation program, a critically important obligation tribes have to bring their relatives home. This division is woefully underfunded, making it hard for tribes to fully research and return their ancestors to their homelands or engage in necessary consultation with the museums that may hold them.As a Native woman, soon-to-be Secretary Haaland’s advocacy for missing and murdered Indigenous women underscores for me her connection to issues directly affecting Native communities, and I am certain that advocacy will continue in her new role.Interviews were edited for length and clarity “A Conversation with Congresswoman Deb Haaland,” moderated by Linda Bilmes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Lecturer of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, is available for viewing on the Institute of Politics website.last_img read more

The Future Starts Here

first_imgData is growing at an exponential rate. The traditional siloed methods of managing and delivering storage cannot sustain this explosive data growth, as the associated operational costs will continue to rise at prohibitive rates. At the same time, public clouds have shown that by standardizing and virtualizing their infrastructure, it is possible to simplify, automate, and achieve extreme operational economics. While public clouds do solve some customer pain points, they introduce new constraints, such as requiring customers to move their data off-premises and forcing them to use “one-size fits all” for all their data storage needs.Given the transformations occurring in our industry, we asked enterprise customers what they wanted from their storage solutions, and a common set of concerns quickly came to the forefront. Customers want to lower their operational costs — especially in the presence of massive data growth — and they want to run their complex environments efficiently, without giving up their choice of IT infrastructure, the one that they believe best meets their business needs.Enterprise customers are also clear that they want to attain the economics of public cloud infrastructure without public cloud constraints. As a result of these customer conversations, the need for EMC ViPR became increasingly obvious.As the leader in the storage industry, we realized that we had to reexamine the way we manage and deliver storage in multi-vendor environments that consist of commodity and specialized storage arrays with both traditional and new interfaces. There are important lessons to be learned from the public cloud. I experienced them first-hand while building and running Microsoft Azure. To solve the hard storage problems and to remove the imposed public cloud constraints, we need to push the boundaries of innovation. Only then can we address the immediate problems that our customers are facing today, while simultaneously laying a foundation that will provide customers a path to a future with no compromises.ViPR’s design brings together what we heard from our customers and the lessons learned from the public cloud. EMC ViPR is our solution to what customers requested and — even more importantly — it lays the groundwork for the future. Being built as an open platform, ViPR allows others to innovate and enables us to work together as a community to fundamentally redefine how storage should be managed and delivered. As part of this community, we invite you to begin your software-defined storage journey by creating your own personal experience at ViPR Central.last_img read more

Prescribing Cloud

first_imgHealth IT executives attending HIMSS15 are working on the frontlines to realize the promise of accountable care.  We’re excited for the opportunity to come together to share new ideas and lessons learned.In the end, the ultimate driver in healthcare is outcomes.  Hybrid cloud improves IT outcomes by driving down costs.  Once more cost is taken out of infrastructure, it can be reinvested in innovation. That, in turn, improves patient care outcomes.And that sounds like a good plan. It’s good to have a plan.Healthcare data is growing faster than ever before.  At 48 percent each year, it’s one of the fastest growing segments in the Digital Universe.  This data is coming from many sources – clinical applications, compliance requirements, population health, and FutureCare-enabling technologies for cloud, Big Data, mobile, and social – just to name a few.Health IT needs a plan to manage and take advantage of all this information.  More than ever before, a hybrid cloud model needs to be part of that plan.On the Road to CloudAccording to a recent MeriTalk and EMC report, in 2015, 62 percent of health IT leaders are increasing cloud budgets to provide more coordinated, cost-effective care.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCVBA72zDj4Where should they focus their IT budget?  A hybrid cloud lets you place the right applications in the right cloud with the right cost and performance.  And, it lets you protect and secure protected health information (PHI).  The goal – eliminate data silos to gain a 360 degree view of the patient, in real-time, at the point of care.A hybrid cloud consolidates and eliminates inefficient silos.  Healthcare providers can balance clinical and business workloads in an enterprise hybrid cloud which incorporates private, managed private, and trusted, public clouds.As Health IT starts this journey,  other organizational objectives can get jump started.  For example, Health IT is then better equipped to deploy a data lake for clinical collaboration, and an agile data and analytics platform for storage, management, and analysis, by bringing together data from different sources across multiple protocols.As a result, you have the opportunity to deploy clinical predictive analytics for managing population health, reducing readmissions, and optimizing patient treatment plans.And, with just 18 percent of providers running EMR applications partially or fully in a hybrid cloud today, opportunity lies ahead.  To take advantage, Health IT organizations can begin with a converged infrastructure, which provides a fast track to an enterprise hybrid cloud computing by combining compute, network, and storage resources.last_img read more

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