How Much Do We Know About the Brain?

Read this article in the Indiana Daily Student here....
Neuroscience is sexy - don't believe the hype.
Neuroscience, the scientific study of the nervous system, has allowed us to understand how our brains work.

In addition, with our ever-increasing knowledge of social and behavioral sciences, we have gained a lot of insight into human behavior. And neuroscience gives us empirical evidence (verified through scientific experiments) for how the brain influences that behavior. But the brain isn’t simple, and neither is our behavior.

A Modern Look at Science's Anglophonia

Don't cross the streams: Mark Twain messing around in Nikola Tesla's laboratory in 1894. Twain's fascination with technology lead him to engage in many amazing conversations with the physicist-engineer. The literature and writing covering Tesla's work (from the oscillator, the lightbulb, and the alternating current), much like the rest of science, wouldn't be the same without an English-driven nature of science.
During the summer after my freshman year, I was given the wonderful opportunity to study plant biology at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University. To my surprise, I ended up working in a lab with entirely Chinese scientists. Most of them casually communicated in their native language with each other. Apart from awkward lab lunches and some difficulties communicating about the research, it wasn't a big issue for me. (Of course, some of my mentor's programming notes were, to my disadvantage, written in Chinese). But I realized how much of a struggle it is for non-English speakers to become scientists. Though my family is from India, I had the luxury of growing up multilingually (in a household that spoke English, Hindi, and Arabic), but for the aspiring researcher in Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia, or Malaysia, the English-driven, or Anglophone, world of science is a struggle.

A Philosophy of Life at IU: On Volunteering, Leadership, and Well-roundedness

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think." - David Foster Wallace
When David Foster Wallace addressed the graduating seniors at Kenyon College (like he has done so at several other universities), he made sure to instill ideas of personal growth and meaning in the way we live our lives. Much more important than the actual content we know or the money we make, he encouraged students to embrace the uncomfortable ideas, question ourselves, and develop a keen critical awareness. These skills, many of which of central to the liberal arts education, help us in whatever future careers we choose.

Douglas Hofstadter's perpetual search for beauty

"Hofstadter's butterfly, showing the energy levels, E, of Bloch electrons in a magnetic field.In the limit of weak modulation, shown here, the inverse magnetic flux ratio Φ0/Φ determines the internal structure of a Landau band. For example, at Φo/Φ = 1/3, a Landau band splits into three sub-bands." 
Rarely do you find people so influential across disparate fields who would rather explore those interests with alacrity, celerity, vim, vigor, and vitality than the typical duties of a professor.

Are You a Bromide? Find out with These Three Easy Questions!

1. Which of the following would you most likely want to form a bond with?
a.) Aluminum
b.) A Texas Carbon
c.) Texas
d.) Probably someone who is both reliable and interesting

2. Do you care about culture or the arts?
a.) Nah.
b.) Yeah!

3. Have you ever wanted to attack a primary carbon attached to an ideal leaving group?
a.) Of course.
b.) No way!