Faculty Colloquium: Haiyan Cheng

Please join us on Thursday, February 6th, at 4:10 p.m. in Ford Hall 102 for our third Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Haiyan Cheng, Associate Professor of Computer Science Haiyan Cheng

Title: Computational and Data Science for All

Abstract: Computational science uses computer’s superpower and mathematical algorithms to solve large-scale scientific problems. Data science explores information from large quantity heterogeneous datasets to gain insights and build forecast models with statistical methods. Would it be great to combine strength from both worlds?

In this talk, I will give a brief introduction of computational science and data science, then showcase some of the research projects I was involved in computational and data science applied to air quality modeling, presidential elections, predictive policing, and DNA binding hotspot forecasting. In all these projects, mathematics and computer science play important roles, together with problem-solving skills and subject knowledge from various disciplines. Inspired by those projects, I developed and taught data science classes for both CLA and AGSM data certificate programs. In both classes, student teams worked on various projects, which demonstrate that computational and data science projects are intrinsically collaborative, and are indeed relevant to all.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there. Also, remember to note the move to Thursday afternoons this semester.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Cecily McCaffrey

Please join us on Thursday, January 30th, at 4:10 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our second Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Cecily McCaffrey, Associate Professor of History

Title: “Reimagining the Old Forests of Central China: From History to Botany and Back Again.” Chinese Forest

Abstract: In the 18th century, Qing dynasty elites depicted the old forests (laolin 老林) of central China as troublesome places, a refuge of rebels and bandits. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, British and American “plant hunters” ventured into these same spaces searching for specimens of endemic species. Today the mountainous region hosts national forests and nature parks: the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre of biodiversity. This paper attempts to forge a composite image of the old forests by overlapping and layering observations from a variety of sources including local histories, travel writing, photographs, and reports of botanical expeditions. The objectives of this project are two-fold: first, to use latter-day sources to inform an understanding of place in historical terms; second, to consider the ways in which historical constructions of place intersect with contemporary formulations.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Note: There will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all schools. This is the first TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-university gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Peter Wogan

Please join us on Thursday, January 23rd, at 4:10 p.m. in Ford 204 for our first Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Peter Wogan, Professor of Anthropology Coins in water

Title: Awe and Aesthetics: Coins in Water

Abstract: Why are so many people in the U.S. and elsewhere attracted to the sight of coins lying in shallow water, such as fountains, ponds, and other “wishing wells”? My answers are based on a blend of research traditions in cultural anthropology and social psychology. First, research on aesthetic preferences has repeatedly shown a preference for landscapes with an element of mystery, a sense that more information could be gained through exploration. I suggest that, similarly, coins lying in shallow bodies of clear water present visual mystery through their novel, complicated patterns. Second, reactions to such coins subtly fit the two prototypical qualities of awe: need for mental accommodation, and perceived vastness. I argue that these aesthetic and awe reactions are particularly connected with images of social groups, as well as possible resistance to class inequality and state control.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there. Also, remember to note the move to Thursday afternoons this semester.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Additions to the Betty LaDuke Papers

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

LaDuke painting women and birds Additional materials for the Betty LaDuke papers have been processed and are open to researchers. This collection documents Betty LaDuke’s prolific career as a painter from 1950 to 2018. It includes her photography and sketchbooks from various international and domestic travels as well as materials that document her advocacy and representation of cultural traditions and women artists around the world. This collection also contains personal documents concerning her family and friends.

LaDuke has completed several large-scale projects, including multi-panel exhibitions and murals. Her creative process involves developing a series of sketchbooks and taking numerous photographs during her travels which then form the basis for her larger works and exhibitions. Other thematic elements in her work include animals, rituals, and celebrations, which she uses to illustrate similarities among geographically and traditionally disparate cultures.

LaDuke has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and is represented in many public collections, including Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art (HFMA). You can discover LaDuke’s work on campus through rotating exhibits at the HFMA and a permanent display at the third-floor of the Putnam University Center.LaDuke painting Pear Harvest

For more information about this amazing collection, please see the finding aid. You may also access additional information and resources concerning LaDuke and her art through the libguide Betty LaDuke: Social Justice Revisited. The Betty LaDuke papers were processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.


Finals Week: Extended Study Hours

The Hatfield Library will be providing extended hours for final exams this fall. Branches on snow.

Also, don’t forget about the free cookies provided by Bon Appetit and coffee provided by the library…usually the cookies are made available after 10 p.m. Cookies will be available on Dec. 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th each night until they run out.

These are the hours for the end of the term:

Friday, Dec. 6 — 7:45 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Saturday, Dec. 7 — 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Sunday, Dec. 8 — 9 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Monday, Dec. 9 – Thursday, Dec. 12 — 7:45 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Friday, Dec. 13 — 7:45 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14 — 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 15 — CLOSED

Winter break begins on Monday, Dec. 16. During the break, the library will be open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on the weekends. Also, the library (and the rest of campus) will be closed from Dec. 23 through Jan. 5. Regular hours resume on Jan. 21.


It’s a Winter Wonderland at the WU Archives

By Jenny Gehringer, Rosie Yanosko, and Stephanie Milne-Lane
Willamette University Archives and Special Collections

‘Tis the Season to share some wintery materials from the Willamette Archives and Special Collections! Our collections include many unique and fun materials that reflect a variety of winter and holiday traditions. The Archives crew have prepared three images to warm your hearts during these chilly days and long nights!

Blue Christmas invitation Holiday parties are a fantastic way to celebrate this chilly season – and an invitation to a Tom Cramer Christmas party is a coveted item! Tom Cramer, a nationally known Oregon artist, is famous not only for his beautiful paintings and wood carvings but also for his epic parties. The Tom Cramer papers include several of his Christmas party invitations, each designed and drawn by Cramer. This collection is part of the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive and is open for research.

Polar bear water Does the arrival of December have you yearning for snow? Or perhaps you’re looking for some winter fashion inspiration? The Chuck Williams Collection, which will be open for research in early 2020, has you covered on both fronts. Williams’ extensive research materials on national parks and environmental issues offer a wealth of images and information to get you through the winter months.

Star trees with lights While the beloved Star Trees on Willamette’s campus brings joy to students, staff, faculty, and Salem citizens all year long, during the holiday season they seem to shine even brighter — both literally and figuratively. Planted in 1942 to commemorate Willamette’s centennial year, the Star Trees (five Sequoiadendron giganteums) twinkle during the month of December when they are strung with lights. This photograph from December 7, 1997, captures the Start Tree Lighting Ceremony festivities. This year the Star Tree Lighting & Holiday Celebration ceremony takes place on Wednesday, December 4th. Be sure to join the fun!


Faculty Colloquium: Luke Ettinger

Please join us on Friday, November 22nd, at 3 p.m. in Ford 102 for our eighth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Luke Ettinger, Assistant Professor of Exercise and Health ScienceLuke Ettinger

Title: “Lost in Space; an Exploration into Sense of Self”

Abstract: Proprioception (proprio: own, perception: awareness) in the periphery describes our ability to locate limb position in space in the absence of visual feedback. This presentation will describe the biomechanical analysis performed on clinical populations who demonstrate movement disorders using language that is easily digestible to attendees of all backgrounds. Here, my goal is to convey the work my student collaborators and I have accomplished over the past 4 years at Willamette and to describe the trajectory of our future work.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


The Northwest Collection

Guest post by Carol Drost, Associate University Librarian for Technical Services.

The Northwest Collection was established in 1997 through a gift from Nancy B. Hunt and consisted of materials collected by her husband, Kenneth J. Hunt. Kenneth was a Willamette alum who graduated in 1942 with a degree in sociology. Throughout his life, he collected books, pamphlets, and periodicals that focused on Oregon or the Pacific Northwest as their subject matter.

Ladd & Bush QuarterlyThe majority of these titles are early and mid-20th century local historical accounts of Oregon towns and institutions, autobiographies, and fiction and poetry. Many of the books are signed by the author.

The Hatfield Library continues to add materials to this collection, building upon the rich foundation that Kenneth Hunt established. The library acquires not only recently published titles, such as Standing Tall: the Lifeway of Kathryn Jones Harrison, but also historical titles such as Ken Kesey’s Spit in the Ocean series, which was published in the 1970s. 

The materials found in the Northwest Collection can be located through the library’s online catalog, and are in a closed stack location. All library users are welcome to use the materials by appointment, from 9-4, Monday through Friday. Contact a reference librarian for further assistance.


Faculty Colloquium: Jim Friedrich

Please join us on Friday, November 15th, at 3 p.m. in Ford 102 for our seventh Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Jim Friedrich, Professor of Psychology Jim Friedrich

Title: “Removing Bias From Our Judgments: Did Ulysses Have It Right?”

Abstract: A great deal of behavioral science research has documented the various ways in which human judgment can be contaminated — influenced or distorted by factors that decision-makers prefer would not have an impact on their perceptions and choices. For example, people might agree that the physical appearance of a job applicant should not impact their hiring decision and might wish to avoid or correct any such influence. Unfortunately, this same body of research suggests that avoiding and correcting for bias can be extremely difficult and that simple awareness of one’s own vulnerability and good intentions are insufficient. Ulysses famously had his crew tie him to the mast of his ship so that he would not be seduced by the siren’s songs. Recent research conducted with and by Willamette University students suggests that we see such bias-preventing “binding strategies” as helpful for others but less necessary for oneself — a manifestation of what is sometimes referred to as the bias blind spot effect. In this talk, I will be discussing why self-correction of one’s biases is so difficult, why “binding strategies” that limit exposure to certain influences might be most effective, and why people nevertheless underestimate their vulnerability to bias and their need to engage in such protective strategies.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Digital materials available in PNAA finding aids

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

Claudia Cave sketchbook black ink drawing. Collections of artists’ papers from the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive (PNAA) are currently being processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to this amazing and unique archive. Part of this processing grant includes an initiative to digitize a selection of materials from each collection that represents the artist’s papers and his or her works. Digitization helps preserve inherently unstable media, such as photographic slides, and increases access to the PNAA collections by making portions of these materials available online.

Over the summer, Madolyn Kelm, our fantastic student assistant, digitized a variety of materials from eight PNAA collections including sketchbooks, correspondence, slides, a diary, publications, and photographs. Sara Amato, our Digital Asset Management Librarian, organized and curated the metadata collected by Madolyn into digital exhibitions that are now accessible in the following finding aids: Claudia Cave papers, Nicholsloy Studio collection, Tom Cramer papers, Nelson and Olive Sandgren papers, Judith and Jan Zach papers, Henk Pander papers, Stella Douglas papers, and Tom Hardy papers.

The Willamette University Archives and Special Collections is excited to share the PNAA digitization efforts with all library patrons and researchers. Throughout the fall and spring semesters, students will continue to digitize selected materials from the eight remaining PNAA collections. Don’t forget to check the Archives Blog for updates on our PNAA digitization project!