Can Engineers Help Deliver Babies?

babies.jpgLast year, Kristin Myers gave a lecture to Columbia alumni returning to campus for reunion. Myers is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and her talk offered an engineering perspective on why women give birth preterm. Specifically, she explored the biomechanics of pregnancy and how engineers work with clinicians to try to understand why some women give birth before term and how we can stop it. You’re about to hear some excerpts from her talk.

Read more

Jazz, Mind, Brain

f6c905f104558bd22270b819529f0.jpgIf you haven’t heard of the Columbia Center for Jazz Studies, that’s a shame, but we can’t be too disappointed in you. After all, the center is still relatively new. It was founded in 1999 and, since then, it has been integrated into the Core Curriculum at Columbia College. That means a lot of College students are getting exposed to music that isn’t exactly topping the charts nowadays.

But the Center for Jazz Studies takes a more broad view of the genre than one might initially think. Courses at the center look at jazz as it relates to technology, community, innovation, and even neurology. It’s that last approach that you’re going to hear about in this episode.

Read more

Pomp & Circumstance (Rebroadcast)

Note: This is a rebroadcast of an episode about the 2016 Commencement ceremony.

-- 

It's my favorite day of the year. Because it's tens of thousands of people out here being excited about what our students have done. And it's awesome.

- Katharine Conway '02CC, '06TC, '07TC, '12TC
‎Chief of Staff & Secretary of the College at Teachers College

Alma.jpg

Columbia's Commencement week ended two weeks ago. New graduates moved out of University housing to start their lives off-campus and the streets of Morningside Heights have emptied out for the summer. In September, new and returning students will move in and the streets will vibrate with excitement and energy again.

But, in this episode, we're not going to look ahead. Instead, we're going to look back at the height of Columbia excitement and energy: Commencement. If you've never experienced Columbia’s Commencement, that's ok. We interviewed alumni, faculty, staff, and students to give you a glimpse at the day.

Read more

Our Brains, Ourselves

brain-banner-copy-2_cropped.jpegFor this episode, we're diving into the archives to play you excerpts from a discussion that took place in 2012. The discussion was called "Understanding Our Brains, Understanding Ourselves," and it brought together an expert panel of Columbia alumni and professors to talk about the brain.

If you've ever wondered what smell New Yorkers like the most and what smell they hate, you've definitely come to the right place.

Read more

An Essential Friendship: Buffett and Gates

Gates___Buffet.pngEarlier this year, Columbia hosted a conversation between two iconic public figures—billionaire investor Warren Buffett '51BUS and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. For that conversation, Buffett and Gates sat down with PBS and Bloomberg TV host Charlie Rose to discuss their friendship, philanthropy, business, innovation, and leadership.

Read more

BONUS: Looking for Thinkspiration

Attachment-1_(1).jpegWe enjoyed talking to the Design Studio so much that we wanted to share more of the candid conversations we had about Design Thinking (and much more).

We wanted to get a better idea of who Adam and Alice are, not just as Design Studio representatives, but as design thinkers in general. What we got was a look into how they look at the world around them and what they see in the future of design thinking.

Spoiler alert: There's a blooper reel at the end!

Read more

Think Human

Design-Studio.jpgFor this episode, we visited one of the forward-thinking initiatives taking place at Columbia. Tucked away on a side street near the Morningside campus, we found a place where thinkers, doers, and general challengers of the status quo come together to design a better future.

It's called the Columbia Entrepreneurship Design Studio and it's a project that developed through the Columbia Entrepreneurship program. The Studio brings innovators and entrepreneurs from across campus to pitch human-centered design ideas, identifying problems and dreaming up solutions for everything from micro-gardening to a dream team of surgeons in East Africa.

Read more

BONUS: Here's Looking at You, Casablanca

casablanca.jpgLast week, we heard from Professor Robert Young, an eminent humanities scholar, who gave a lecture last year at the Columbia Global Center in Amman. Professor Young recounted the story of Walter Benjamin, a German Jew who fled Nazi Germany but was caught at the border of France and Spain, where he resorted suicide rather than be sent back.

During the lecture, Professor Young played a clip from Casablanca, drawing parallels between the Hollywood story and the truth behind it. We did not have room to include his analysis in last week's episode, so we created a bonus mini-episode just for it.

Read more

The Lucky Few

2015_42_walter_benjamin.jpgWe went into the vault for today’s episode, all the way back to a lecture that Professor Robert Young gave last year at the Columbia Global Center in Amman. We chose this particular lecture because Professor Young offers a historical perspective on an issue facing today’s society: migration.

Read more

The Power of the Sun

Easy_Solar.jpgIn sub-Saharan Africa, 650 million people lack access to electricity. In Sierra Leone in particular, only 5% of the population is on the grid. That means that six and a half million people can’t study, cook, eat or work after the sun goes down except by dim candlelight or expensive kerosene lamps. To charge their mobile phones, most Sierra Leoneans have to go to public charging kiosks.

Three Columbia alumni from the School of International and Public Affairs found a solar solution to this challenge. Their startup, Easy Solar, hopes to introduce solar-powered products into Sierra Leone households, replacing the kerosene lamps that have negative environmental and health impacts.  

Read more