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For Birthday Parties or Legal Parties; Dividing Things Fairly is Not Always a Piece of Cake

Posted on Aug 7, 1999

You want to cut a cake fairly? Take a knife, count the people at the party, cut the slices and hand them out. Even if the pieces are a bit uneven, who cares? What person above the age of 10 would have the nerve to stop a party and complain that his slice wasn't as big as someone else's? Welcome to the field of fair division. It is full of incipient party poopers: mathematicians, economists, political scientists and mediators who care deeply about cake-cutting, down to the frosting and rosettes.

The field doesn't end with cake. It extends to heirs fighting over their inheritance, ex-spouses haggling over property in a divorce, children shirking chores, pirates splitting their loot, warring parties partitioning land and companies merging.

You would think this kind of thing would have been boiled down to a science by now. Splitting booty, after all, is as old as the Bible. In “The Win-Win Solution: Guaranteeing Fair Shares to Everybody,” Steven J. Brams and Alan D. Taylor recount one of the earliest documented cases of the algorithm (or step-by-step method) for splitting known as “I cut, you choose.” Lot and Abraham are arguing over grazing land. Abraham cuts the land into north and south with this proposal: “Let us separate: If you go north, I will go south; and if you go south, I will go north.” And Lot chooses. The problem of fair division is thousands of years old, but the mathematical theory is still young, according to “Cake-Cutting Algorithms: Be Fair if You Can,” a book by Jack Robertson and William Webb that surveys the known methods of cake cutting. These include moving-knife algorithms (somebody shouts “Stop!” when he thinks a knife that's moving across a cake is hovering over his fair share), dirty-work modifications (for dividing up things nobody wants) and divide-and-conquer algorithms.

The formal theory of fair division began in the 1940's, when three Polish mathematicians — Hugo Steinhaus, Stefan Banach and Bronislaw Knaster — came up with a brilliant question: What happens when it's not two people fighting over a cake, but three? This stumped the world for 20 years. “They realized that it got complicated quite quickly,” said Mr. Taylor, the Marie Louise Bailey Professor of Mathematics at Union College. They found a way to cut the cake proportionally, so that every person would feel that he or she got at least one-third of the cake. But they couldn't insure that one of the cake-eaters would not want to swap his or her piece of cake for someone else's.

This was the problem: Say Tom, Dick and Ann set out to cut a cake into thirds. Tom might cut a slice that he thinks is at least one-third of the cake and then watch as the rest of the cake is split so that Dick gets a bigger piece than his and Ann a smaller one. Tom might feel that he got his proportional share but still envy Dick. The slice would be, in the lingo of fair division, “proportional” but not “envy-free.” It was not until 1960 that two mathematicians, John H. Conway and John L. Selfridge, found a way to guarantee envy-freeness (and proportionality) for three people. (All envy-free solutions are proportional.) Their method also guaranteed crumbs.

Tom cuts the cake into what he thinks are three equal slices. Then Dick sizes up the situation. If he doesn't think the slices are even, he trims the largest slice until he thinks it's same size as the next largest slice. Then the slices are claimed in this order: first Ann, then Dick (who must take the piece he trimmed if Ann didn't take it), then Tom. The problem is what to do with the trimmings. Should they be divided in the same manner? And when do trimmings become worthless crumbs? A variant of the trimming procedure was used after World War II, according to “The Win-Win Solution.” When the Allies partitioned Germany into zones, Berlin was viewed as too valuable a piece to hand over to the Soviet Union even though it was in the Soviet zone. Thus Berlin became the trimmings, leftovers to be further divided.

In the 1990's, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Brams came up with an envy-free way to divide cake among — yes — four people. And if you can cut a cake for four people in an envy-free way, Mr. Taylor says, you can do it for millions. When Mr. Taylor was asked if he could explain it, he said, “Whoa! Not easily.”

Basically it involves cutting extra slices. As the number of cake-eaters increases, the number of slices you have to cut increases exponentially. For four cake-eaters, cut five slices; for five eaters, nine slices; for six, 17 slices; for 22 eaters, more than a million. The trimmings and additional slices are distributed later in an even more complicated way. For all the muss, these algorithms don't always produce satisfied customers. Say one person likes frosting and cake, but another person finds frosting nauseating. If a cake is divided with equal parts frosting and cake for all, the frosting-hater will see that the person who likes both cake and frosting is happier. The frosting-hater doesn't want the other person's slice; he wants that person's happiness with his slice.

That is, there is more to a truly great cut than envy-freeness and proportionality. There's the gloating quotient. If you really want to be fair, you have to insure that no one feels happier with his slice than anyone else. (This is called an “equitable” distribution.) And if you want to dole out the maximum amount of happiness, you should also make sure no other division would make things better for one party without making it worse for another. (This is called an “efficient” division.)

Oddly enough, the more people disagree about what's tasty in a cake, the easier it is to make everyone happy. If one person adores frosting but not cake and the other loves cake but not frosting, you can make both happy by giving one frosting, the other the cake.

The question is how to produce wonderful cuts where some tastes overlap and others don't. The first step is to stop talking about cake. Instead of looking at a single item, like a cake, look at piles of things, like property in a divorce.

In “The Win-Win Solution,” Mr. Brams and Mr. Taylor describe their new algorithm to help two parties — countries, divorces, siblings, companies — divide in a way that's envy-free (and thus proportional), equitable and efficient. It is called adjusted winner, or A.W., and the authors have already patented it, just to avoid getting into a little property dispute of their own. (As far as the authors know, this is the first patent for a method of resolving disputes.)

This is how A.W. works. Two parties list all the items and issues to be divided. Each one gets 100 points to spend on the things listed, spending the most points on those things the player values most. Each player wins (at least temporarily) the items that he has placed more points on than his opponent. Then the adjustments begin. Both players add up the number of points they have spent for the things they have got. If one party has more, they start transferring items back and forth (and sometimes dividing them or cashing them in for money) until their point totals are identical.

“Generally, it pays to be honest about what your valuations are” when using this algorithm, said Mr. Brams, a professor of politics at New York University. And of course it also pays to keep your valuations a secret from your opponent. Otherwise he could spite you by, say, putting just one more point on something he knows you want.

“The more different the preferences, the more both gain,” Mr. Brams says. Applying the A.W. method to Donald and Ivana Trump's divorce, Mr. Brams and Mr. Taylor calculated that both would have won nearly 75 percent of what they wanted because their preferences were so different. She wanted the Connecticut estate and the Trump Plaza apartment. He wanted the Palm Beach mansion and the Trump Tower triplex. If A.W. had been applied to the Camp David peace talks, Egypt and Israel would have each gotten about 65 percent of what they wanted.

That sounds wonderful, but fittingly for a field that deals with disputes, there is some dispute about whether A.W. really promotes harmony. Roger Fisher, who wrote “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” with William Ury, is troubled. “A point system,” he said, “takes the articles in conflict as fixed, and that's not necessarily good for any relationship.” In mediation, he says, “emotional needs are often more important than material wants.”

For example, in a diplomatic dispute, perhaps one country wants an apology rather than land in a diplomatic dispute. In an estate settlement, maybe one person wants the summer house only for July and another person wants mother's dress only for her wedding. Mr. Taylor said that it doesn't matter what is being divided up — apologies, sovereignty or wearing mother's dress for a day — as long as everything is put on the list.

Mr. Fisher still has doubts. He said that a point system can help heirs divide antiques but doesn't produce creative solutions for complicated political conflicts. “Apologizing and showing respect, tolerance, understanding and openness to the ideas of others,” he said, “are not units to which partisans can easily assign mathematical points.” The adversarial and secretive nature of the method can work against peace too. In negotiation, it's better to ''play with the cards face up,” to make all your wants clearly known, he said. “The biggest concern is to eliminate the idea that your partner in negotiation is your enemy.” “Most of the world is not made better by dividing things,” Mr. Fisher says. All the secretiveness and jockeying is okay if the parties are going to “live on different planets,” he says. But it's no way to produce harmony and end war. “God bless them if they can find a mathematical solution for that.” Cake, anyone?

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Union names 628 to dean’s list

Posted on Aug 2, 1999


Schenectady, N.Y. (August 2, 1999) – Union College has named 628 students to the dean's list for the 1998-99 academic year.

In order to be named to the dean's list at Union, a student must have attended classes for the entire academic year and completed three courses during each of the three terms with no fewer than eight courses in the index. He or she must have maintained an overall index of 3.35 or greater.

Students are listed by state (or country), county, and city.


Madison County
Owens Crossroads: Barry M. Eisenberg


Los Angeles County
Diamond Bar: Aakash Agarwala
Norwalk: Anup J. Patel
Rosemead: Pakk-Shing Hui

Orange County
Fountain Valley: Michael F. De Micco

San Diego County
La Jolla: Claire C. Currie, Irene O. Kan
San Diego: Avishkar Tyagi

Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara: Kirsten B. Lauber


Pitkin County
Aspen: Kelly E. Stewart


Fairfield County
Fairfield: Andrew P. Stone
Shelton: Maureen C. Farrell
Stamford: Kathleen M. Ruggiero
Weston: Robyn M. Polansky
Westport: Peter J. Castiglia
Wilton: Harry K. Welsh

Hartford County
Avon: Kate E. Golden
East Hartford: Mark Lee Anderson
Farmington: Kimberly A. Rohback
Manchester: Andrew G. Dorin
Newington: Sarah J. Shoemaker
Simsbury: Robert L. Lindholm
West Hartford: Pamela M. Green, Michael S. Pilo, Wayne L. Roffer, Michael J. Slitt

Litchfield County
Torrington: Matthew J. Simmons
Watertown: Matthew J. Mauriello
Woodbury: Katherine M. Anthony

Middlesex County
Chester: Fenna M. Calder
Cromwell: Daniela A. Chiulli
Middletown: Michelle R. Tardif

New Haven County
Cheshire: Marin E. Richardson, Michael P. Votto
Guilford: George W. Kosturko
Madison: Jamie M. Manganello, Lisa A. Pertoso, Lindsay I. Simon
Waterbury: Christina A. Biello
Woodbridge: Charles E. Clark, Natasha K. D'Souza

New London County
Colchester: Philip B. Herman
Old Lyme: Sarah K. Rosen

Tolland County
Tolland: Averi E. Pakulis

District of Columbia
Washington: Vanvimon Saksmerprome


New Castle County
Hockessin: Cristina M. Baldassari


Collier County
Naples: Jeremy A. Lynch, Kathleen A. Meloney

Indian River County
Vero Beach: Farhan J. Khawaja

Palm Beach County
Boynton Beach: Rosalie K. Barr

Pinellas County
Tarpon Springs: Ravikiran Korabathina

Sarasota County
Sarasota: Caroline R. Hepner


Cobb County
Marietta: Kimberly A. Kilby


Cook County
Chicago: Carrie J. Middleton
Glenview: Jonathan H. Chung, Adam-Paul Smolak

Kane County
St. Charles: Kathleen M. Klemm

Saint Clair County
East Saint Louis: Jay T. Varady


Marion County
Indianapolis: Risheet R. Patel


Framingham: Whitney B. Davis

Barnstable County
Brewster: Cori M. Kautz
Centerville: Sarah B. Rome
Orleans: Katherine B. Porter

Berkshire County
Adams: Jill E. Grant, Jaime L. Lapine, Glenna M. Malcolm
Dalton: Kevin P. Carter, Corey W. Mathis
Lee: Alan M. Hebert
North Adams: Jennifer M. Breen, Peter J. Melito
Pittsfield: Amanda J. Carr, Jamie L. Finkelstein, Tania Magoon, Debra T. Pellish

Bristol County
No. Easton: Jessica A. Goveia
North Attleboro: William H. Servant
North Easton: Michael K. Yoon

Essex County
Andover: David M. Chapin, Bridget C. Fallon, Randi J. Spiegel
Beverly: George N.J. Sommer
Gloucester: Elizabeth W. McNeill, Susanna D. Ryan
Groveland: Jeffrey T. Guptill
Haverhill: Regan M. Buckley, Kellie J. Forrestall
Lynnfield: Lauren A. Brecher
Marblehead: Jennifer M. Chapman, Cass A. Ciavarra, Mindy A. Cohen, Randi H. Dupont, Monica A. Greenman, Emily M. Sparks
North Andover: Diana Voskoboynik
Peabody: Fioravante L. Leo, Eric M. Nathanson
Salem: Jeffrey R. Simard
West Newbury: Christopher E. DiStefano

Franklin County
Erving: Tara L. Noyes
South Deerfield: Nicole C. Rabideau

Hampden County
Feeding Hills: Andrew E. Markowski
Hampden: Autumn H. Renn
Longmeadow: Jaclyn F. Brittman, Jason M. Kellman, Emily V. Sturgis
Springfield: Erin L. Fitzpatrick, Shannon C. Powers
West Springfield: Shana M. Dangelo
Westfield: Scott D. Halla, Bethany M. Machacek, Julia M. Naftulin, Candice H. Tillman

Hampshire County
Southampton: Catherine O'Reilly

Middlesex County
Ashland: Natalie Gulden, David E. Waldstein
Chelmsford: Jennifer L. Medeiros
Concord: Jacob Allen-Fahlander, Johanna E. Gluck, Jessica L. Grande
Framingham: Louisa D. Stephens
Lexington: Maura R. Woessner
Lincoln: Sarah E. Kanner
Littleton: Christina A. Rizzitano
Natick: Timothy C. Lane, Sherry H. Moskowitz, Rachel B. Parnes
Newton: Garrett B. Brown, Peter A. Flynn, Lindsay J. Goodman, Jessica S. Jackson
Stoneham: Kafi N. Sanders
W. Newton: Evan P. Apfelbaum
Watertown: Alfred C. Papali
West Newton: Sorelle B. Berger
Westford: Meghanne McClendon
Weston: Devon L. Ciampa

Norfolk County
Avon: Amanda J. Famolare
Braintree: Jennifer B. Pelose
Brookline: Caroline L. Hardy
Holbrook: Kathleen C. Robins
Milton: Gillian M. Blake, Ryan D. Martinson
Needham: Amy B. Gersten, Peter A. Malaspina, Jason M. Rosenstock
Sharon: Raffaella R. Murano
Walpole: Brooke M. Barylick
Westwood: Meredith J. Chace, Devon M. Flaherty, Jorie A. Kelly

Plymouth County
Belmont: Erica J. Fisher
Bridgewater: Jonathan J. Kelson
Brockton: Sarah E. Burman
Brookline: Mireille A. Blau
Chestnut Hill: David A. Gould
Hingham: Lisa P. Blaustein, Robert M. Petrie
Marshfield: Susan L. Joyal
Mattapoisett: Hilary L. Prouty
Needham: Donald T. Duvall, Dana Linde, Marissa G. Reisman
Norwell: Meghan K. O'Keefe
Scituate: Jon M. Tower

Worcester County
Northborough: Beth A. Gabriel
Princeton: Sean R. Spindler-Ranta
Westborough: Beth L. Syat
Worcester: Carin Litani, Molly H. Shaner


Harford County
Bel Air: Jessica L. Stephens

Howard County
Ellicott City: Heather H. Campbell

Montgomery County
Potomac: Julia L. Barkin, Jeffrey M. Movshin, Nandini D. Patel, Joshua A. Varon


Aroostook County
Fort Kent: John W. Carbone

Cumberland County
New Gloucester: Abigail M. Marks

Kennebec County
Waterville: Hilary M. Fitts

Lincoln County
Pemaquid: Robert D. Rapp

Oxford County
Rumford: Pamela D. Saxton

Sagadahoc County
Bath: David M. Searles

York County
Cape Neddick: Courtney E. Audet


Midland County:

Midland: George R. Verghese

Washtenaw County:

Ann Arbor: Alissa B. Riba: Mary K. Aspnes, Colin R. Breyer



Dakota County:

Saint Paul: Michelle J. Stein

Hennepin County:


Wayzata: David S. Poindexter


: Martiqua L. Post: Hillary R. Olk



Saint Louis County:

Saint Louis

 : Melissa A. Sullivan: Leah A. Kalfas

North Carolina:




New Hampshire:

Belknap County:



: Remigiusz R. Drozd

Laconia: Kathryn A. Johnson

Meredith: Leigh A. Moriarty


: Julie A. Seymour


: Molly E. Hood


: Thomas J. Higgins

Pelham: Bryan E. Groulx


: Christopher C. Heath

Concord: Jessica M. Audet, James D. Cahill, Emily F. Gewehr, Courtney L. Randall


: Sharon A. Pozner

 : Shira A. Ackerman

New Jersey:

Bergen County:



: Alexander L. Panlilio, Joelle A. Tisch

Fair Lawn: Steven M. Borer, Anna Kertser

Harrington Park: Jamie B. Bunchuk


: Susan L. Drossman


: Henri C. Clinch


: Rachel E. Dominguez, Amanda L. Graye


: Melinda Colon

Saddle River: Michelle F. Feingold


: Elizabeth Glidden


: Orit A. Manham

Wyckoff: Allison J. Bergman, Edward B. Wallace



Bordentown B: Cameron E. Sutter

Marlton: Amie B. Csiszer



Cherry Hill: Floren S. Robinson


: Benjamin E. Parker

Irvington: Anthony B. Ndu


: Lawrence J. Gutman



Califon: Rebecca Schwartz




: Richard J. Simmons


: Thinesh Dahanayake



East Brunswick: Spencer A. Wanderer

North Brunswick: Jared E. Schulman




: James N. Rozakis


: Mani A. Daneshmand

Marlboro: Corey S. Greenhouse



Mendham: Charles W. Robertson


: Jennifer Trotts


: Joshua R. Elias


: Pamela Grover, Chad B. Simon




: Joseph Attanasio




: Sarah F. Ahart: Heather L. Clements, David F. DeMase, Kathleen L. Farrell, Jody E. Frampton, Ivy S. Ip, Liam B. Joynt, Stephen J. Kampf, Shannon J. Lawlor, Charity McManaman, Michael T. Mulligan, Colleen E. Strait, Justine M. Willey


New York:

Albany County:



: Paul A. La Crosse


: Duncan C. Crary, Michael J. D'Aleo, Katherine F. MacDowell


: Jessica A. Sengenberger


Stephen D. Ayers


: Maria Stamoulis, Caley A. Vagianelis


: Annette M. Grajny, John R. Popp


: Joellen M. Gadomski, Deana M. Grattan, Mary H. Hayes, Lori B. Malinoski, Sarah P. Sportman


: Elaine V. Borja, Mario Cruz, Kemoy K. Foster, Midys Inoa, Julissa M. Rosario


: Michalena M. Skiadas


: Christine E. Douglas, Erica M. Schwarzbauer, Heather L. Weisenfluh


: Jennifer K. Brate


: Katherine G. Brady, Thomas A. Jenne


: Alexander W. Chase

Plattsburgh: Roger L. Noyes


: Jill L. Weiner


: Ryan T. Almstead, Francesco A. Queirolo


: Erika M. Mancini


: Andrew T. Coats


: Seville M. Meli

LaGrangeville: Jesse J. Prisco

Pawling: Paula M. Denema


: Julian E. Goldstein

Red Hook: Yvonne M. Turchetti


: Michaela A. Cautela, Michael Monarchi

Verbank: Sara B. Place


: Rachel M. Bukowski


: Christine M. Bower


: Kellie A. Downey

Orchard Park: Emilie A. Ruglis


: Sarah L. Harsh


: Claire E. Cantwell

Tupper Lake: Danielle M. Marquis


: Tracy L. Fogarty


: Loren E. Cole, Anna E. Hurst, Amy M. Pedrick, Bella A. Prumo, Calvin R. Robinson, Alissa M. Ryder

Saint Johnsville: Richard L. Hart, Sara A. Hart




: Mary C. Nichols


: Erika A. Migliaccio


: Mary B. Grose


: Allison D. Graziadei, Francis P. Maxwell, Samuel J. Salamone


: Radney H. Wood




: Clare E. Canal, Amanda Diamondstein, Adam D. Jacobowitz, Ricardo A. Laremont, Sofia Mazo, Bernice Polanco


: Shannon E. Arthur, Neal C. VanPatten

De Ruyter: Jill C. Bowden


: Crystal A. Hilton




: Ilana A. Eck, Richard J. Fox, Gregory P. Fox


: Daniel A. Cox, Sonia K. Gupta, Ryan S. Lee


: Rachel A. Lawrence, Kurt W. Martel, Leah A. Oliveiri, Michael R. Webb




: Cregg M. Brown, Kristie M. Centi, Melanie M. Douglass, Jeremy R. Newell, Amber L. Vosko

Esperance: Deidre L. Palmer


: William A. Smullen

Fort Plain: Carrie L. Heroth


: Kylie S. Petterson



Albertson: Julie S. Senreich


: Jacqueline H. Eatz


: Ryan P. Nespeca

Glen Cove: Lilith Amado, Shannon E. Pryor


: Li-Hsin Wang

Malverne: Caroline E. Fink

Massapequa Park: George C. Edwards, Kristin M. Thomson


: Gary S. Schwartz


: Shana A. Kleinman

New Hyde Park: Aimee C. Zullo

Oceanside: Raquel A. Millman


: Devaraj Pyne

Port Washington: Janci L. Karp

Rockville Centre: Kate Cimini, Roger L. McShane


: Puja R. Mahindra, Sameer A. Sayeed, Sloane B. Silver

Roslyn Heights: Farah N. Lalani


: Olivia Leong


: Melissa M. Horowitz, Nidhy S. Paulose, Dana M. Weinkranz

Valley Stream: Thomas S. Marino


: Dina B. Bronstein




: Rebecca A. Grant, Jennifer M. Graziosa, Jean-Paul N. Jones, Eric Houle, Kwong Man Lee, Michelle A. Leimsider, Tina B. Lewis, Ewa Maryniak, Andrea A. Miller, Ariadne Papagapitos, Marisa S. Schneer, Sloane E. Schuster




: Patrick J. Fortin

Camden: Zea M. Wright


: Jennifer A. Palladino

New Hartford: Steven F. Baumgartner, Nishant Bhatt, Jeffrey M. Hoerle, Kathleen E. Virkler


: Mathew P. Barry, Rachel Getty, Jennifer L. Mungari


Mara V. Ladd, Shaun P. Montana, Kristen E. Nobles, Colleen A. Quigley


: Brett E. Farrow




: Nancy A. Landsberg


: James E. DeWan


: Matthew E. Bazydlo, Mary F. Bronchetti, Alison Xuan Ha




: Robert J. Senska


: Jason R. Allen, James E. Tyner


: William R. Johnson


: Nora W. Perkins




: Jason A. Matousek, Christopher J. Serotta


: Jamie C. Greenwald


: Stephanie D. Wilson


: Henry J. Michtalik


: Jennifer E. Chick


: Mary D. Furey, Marisa P. Marks




: Kerry A. Barrett


: Adam C. Cappel, Emily A. DeSantis




: Jason L. Bowers, S. Jennifer Setlur, Kaelyn E. South


: Anastasios P. Karabinis

Richfield Springs: Lacie L. Quintin


: Austin P. Wingate




: Jaison James


: Erin M. Rosenberg


: Elina Tabenshlak


: Ioana Calin, Corlie McCormick, Cequyna J. Moore, Joanna C. Tai


: Michelle S. Torres


: Richard A. Paulis




: Dena L. Whitesell


: Kasey E. Keenan

Mechanicville: Aaren Hatalsky, Nicholas R. Meyer, Tara K. Morcone, Kirsten M. Owad, Denise J. VanKempen


: Christopher B. Harrington


: Jeff A. Hoffman

Sand Lake: Shane P. Cahill


: Jessica A. Brearton, Angela M. Farina, Heath A. Heilpern

Wynantskill: Erin L. Aloan


: Matthew J. Modderno, Amy A. Pandya




: Dana L. Maselli, Michelle P. Tham


: Jessica L. Henry

West Nyack: Joanna L. Cohan, Victoria V. Hargreaves, Michael R. Iger



Canton: Jodi B. Mace, Aaron M. Noble


: Ian R. White


: Stephanie A. Sienkiewicz


: Philip M. Haynes, Kelly D. Marx, Jessica A. Paige


: Mark R. Kostuk, Kimberly R. Springer, Rachel L. Strader

Clifton Park: Brandy B. Bryden, Lee E. Kaufman, Michael F. Panayotou, Jeremy P. Spiegel


: Bryan E. Roy


: Jennifer A. Jakubowski


: Janelle E. Harnick

Greenfield Center: Darcy A. Tuczynski


: Karen L. DeVito

S. Glens Falls: Melissa A. Johnson

Saratoga Springs: Stephanie E. Davis, Courtney A. Hayden, Colleen E. Kyler

Stillwater: Tina M. Canary


Ellen M. O'Clair




: Heather M. Leet


: Anne E. Blankman, Thomas P. DePasquale, Christopher S. Hallenbeck, Amy C. Kilmer, Emily B. Morse, Nathaniel N. Strosberg

Rotterdam Junction: Frank C. DeLorenz


: Faried M. Anwari, Julia M. Chan, Sonia P. Coppola, Ryan A. Crowley, Spass S. Dimitrov, Robert P. Fontaine, Umber M. Gold, Timothy J. Hulihan, Jihyun LaRose, Jonathan D. Nieman, Michael G. Parisi, John G. Piccirillo, Hemwatie Ramasami, Christian Roessler, Vikramjit S. Sangha, Preeti Upadhya, Edward L. Valachovic, Orlando J. Zuluaga


: Neil E. Buhrmaster, John M. Cahill, Tanya R. Leet, Ryan H. Mackey, Jason M. Slater, Caroline S. Welch, Peter J. Zannitto




: Seth C. Madison


Heather M. Germann


: Michael R. Mosall




: John P. Houghton




: Quinlan D. Murphy




: Alyssa A. Forslund

East Setauket: Maura C. O'Keefe, Randi N. Scherz

Huntington: Jessica L. Moss

Islip Terrace: Lisa M. Stanek

North Babylon: Jennifer E. Miller

Northport: Lindsay D. Schwartz


: Jessica-Wind P. Abolafia


: Daniel J. Kelmanovich


: Elizabeth E. Schmitt

West Babylon: Matthew A. Raso


: John P. Betjemann



Bloomington: Rachel R. Lutke

Ellenville: Kathleen G. Healy

Gardiner: Melynda E. Ihrig

Highland: Barry M. Baker


: Phoebe Burr


: Kristopher J. Lovelett


: David F. Ott




: Jennifer L. Huntington

Glens Falls: Peter M. Casola


: Kimberly L. Bolster, Robert J. Moser, Eric M. Wisotzky




: Christopher T. Ellis

Greenwich: Robert J. Fruchter



Ardsley: Neeti B. Parikh

Armonk: Emily G. Simon, Michael J. Winn

Dobbs Ferry: Lesli S. Heffler

Goldens Bridge: Paul A. Stewart-Stand

Katonah: Sloan E. Miller


: Jonathan A. Gasthalter, David P. Polizzi

Peekskill: Loralynne Krobetzky

Pound Ridge: Catherine J. Janiga


: Lindsay H. Deak, Jeremy D. Sack, Alissa L. Schaps


: Stefan Bagnato, Michele Mosa

White Plains: Jay B. Comerford



Bliss: Elizabeth L. Perry




: Alison E. Prestia:



Franklin County


: Dana M. Masser:


Muskogee County

Muskogee: Susan S. Yoo:



Washington County


: Marie Maurer


: Lagen A. Biles:



Adams County


: Miranda F. Feldmann




: Michelle A. McKinlay




: Hugh A. Meyer, Simon P. Storm



West Wyoming: Michelle M. Nerozzi



Abington: Emily E. Wood

Collegeville: Michael G. Jessup


: Mary E. Garofolo




: Ariel R. Torsone



Delmont: Jeffrey T. Ferraro:


Rhode Island:

Bristol County


: Ross G. Guida, William T. Humphreys, Amanda Jackson, Sarah A. Rankowitz



East Greenwich: Lisa E. Carbone, Derek B. McCowan



Portsmouth: Jessica B. Zuehlke




: Matthew M. Gendron, Lori J. Greene, Jessica B. Miller

Providence: Loranah S. Dimant


: Margit S. Conopask

Saunderstown: Lara E. Parish:



Harris County


: Courtney L. Feeley, Daniel M. Pesikoff:



Fairfax County


: Olabosipo O. Sawyerr:



Addison County

Middlebury: Erin Q. Wittes


: Veronica L. Sack




: Devon L. Gershaneck

Dorset: Christy L. O'Leary




: Rebecca C. Butterfield, Jennifer P. Tobin




: Leah J. Nero, Kate M. Nero




: William R. Desrochers


: Ben M. Gauthier


: David C. Bernat::



King County


: Sara M. Hasson: Shayna C. Roberts: Ishita Islam, Shaker Choudhury


Other Countries:


Nassau, Bahamas






: Craig S. Gilmore


: Frederic Cyr

Willowdale, Ont.: Mark R. Will: Alvertos Diamantopoulos: Chloe M. Roumain: Nikhil Sudan






Petion Ville





: Naemmah S. Tan: Satyajit Bhardwaj



Kuala Lumpur


: Kah Mun Low: Dipankar Basnet: Saima Husain: Lesley R. Ritter





Karachi Cantt







Montreal, Quebec





Windsor County


Windham County


Rutland County


Bennington County




Washington County:

Hope Valley


Providence County

Newport County

Kent County


Westmoreland County


Pike County


Montgomery County

Luzerne County

Bryn Mawr

Delaware County

Berwyn: Abby A. Jeffords


Chester County






Yates County

Wyoming County




Westchester County


Washington County


Brant Lake

Warren County

New Paltz

Mount Tremper


Ulster County




Port Jefferson


Suffolk County


Steuben County


Seneca County


Howes Cave:


Schoharie County





Schenectady County



Greenfield Center



Ballston Spa

Saratoga County:

Ballston Lake



Saint Lawrence County


New City

Rockland County

Richmond County:

Staten Island




East Greenbush

Averill Park

Rensselaer County




Forest Hills


Floral Park

Queens County




Otsego County



Oswego County


New Windsor





Orange County



Clifton Springs


Ontario County




Onondaga County






Oneida County

New York City

New York County



Sea Cliff





Great Neck

Franklin Square


Nassau County


Fort Johnson


Montgomery County




Monroe County

North Brookfield

Madison County:



Kings County


Little Falls

Herkimer County:


Greene County:



Genesee County


Fulton County:


Franklin County:

Saranac Lake

Essex County:




Erie County:




Dutchess County:

Hyde Park

Cortland County:




Columbia County:


Clinton County:

Lyon Mountain

Chenango County:



Chemung County:


Broome County:


Bronx County:






Feura Bush




Warren County


Union County


Pine Brook


Morris County



Monmouth County

Middlesex County

Princeton Junction


Mercer County

Hunterdon County

Short Hills

Essex County:

Glen Ridge

Camden County

Burlington County




River Edge





Merrimack County:



Hillsborough County:


Cheshire County:



Scott County:


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Union Bookshelf

Posted on Aug 1, 1999

The Union Bookshelf regularly features new books written by alumni authors and other members of the Union community. If you're an author and would like to be included in a future issue, please send us a copy of the book as well as your publisher's news release. Our address is Office of Communications, Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. 12308-3169.

James Baar '49

James Baar, author of Understanding Willietalk and Other Spinspeak, says, “You probably thought you once knew the meaning of formerly straightforward words and phrases such as 'sexual relations,' 'process,' and 'customer care,' but that is no longer so. From the White House to the school house, manipulators of once common-sense language are seeking to obscure the negative and enhance the undesirable.” Baar, a veteran public relations executive who lives in Providence, R.I., helps with such definitions as ethnic language competence (“incapacity to speak English”), wiggle room (“cutespeak for speaking with forked tongue”), and deeconstruction (“political rewriting of history to position the losers as the winners”). Baar believes that language pollution should be identified and exposed. His book, an Internet publication by 1stbooks Library, is available at http://www.omegacom.com/willietalk.htm

Steven Zuckerman '62

New Cliches for the 21st Century is chock-full of “Zuckerisms,” from Steve's experiences as a medical doctor to thoughts on his Jewishness. For example: “When my ninety-year-old patients ask me, 'How'm I doing, Doc?', I say, 'You're above ground, aren't you?' ” and, “The most powerful tool for enhancing communication is the appropriate and frequent use of the words 'Thank you.' ” Zuckerman, who has lived in Minneapolis for the past twenty-six years, returns to his native New York frequently to keep his Brooklynese alive and well. The book is available by contacting Zuckerman at szucker@isd.net.

Robert Skloot '63

Robert Skloot, a professor in the Department of Theatre and Drama and the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, drags us into a survivor's hellish memories in the second edition of The Theatre of the Holocaust, a collection of plays by Roy Kift, Leeny Sack, Bernard Kops, Donald Margulies, George Steiner and Howard Brenton. A sample: “In the cattle car she gave the Ukrainian guard her jewelry, her dowry, the last material possessions for a cup of water. 'Give it to me first,' he said. She didn't think he'd bring it, but he did … People write about the camps but they don't know anything. If you weren't there, you can't know ….” Skloot also serves as an associate vice chancellor for academic affairs with a special interest in undergraduate education. This book is available from University of Wisconsin Press at jtstrasb@facstaff.wisc.edu.

Steven Glazer '85

Steven Glazer, who lives with his wife and daughter in Patagonia, Ariz., has been an elementary educator, arts administrator, school director, and co-founder of two educational organizations. For his first book, he has collected the thoughts and writings of such important teachers and spiritual leaders as the Dalai Lama, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and others in The Heart of Learning. The essays give thoughts on how learning can be much more than an intellectual process and provide inspiration and practical insights for infusing today's classrooms with spirit and passion.

Paul Peter Jesep '86

Paul Peter Jesep's most recent accomplishment, Rockingham Park 1933-1969, is the tale of the glory days of gambling in New Hampshire. Specifically, it's the story of Lou Smith and his wife, Lutza. Lou brought gambling to New Hampshire and, whether or not one liked the idea of gambling on horses, his racetrack brought revenues of more than $100 million to the state's general fund. Smith used his gains to distribute millions of dollars to charities through the Lou and Lutza Smith Charitable Foundation, which supported the publication of this book. Jesep, a resident of Portsmouth, N.H., is a freelance writer and political commentator on local and national issues. His first and second books, Lady — Ghost of the Isles of Shoals and A December Gift from the Shoals, introduce children to New England folklore while underscoring the importance of faith, friendship, and persistence. Both were illustrated by John Bowdren, and both were published by Seacoast Publications of New England.

Melissa Stewart '90

A senior editor of the science division at Grolier Children's Publishing, Melissa Stewart '90 has two new books. In Life Without Light, A Journey to Earth's Dark Ecosystems, the author looks at the amazing environments and incredible array of living things found in the sea, in caves, and aquifers, and far below Earth's surface. Geared for ages fifteen and above, the book asks the question, “Could some of these bizarre creatures help us understand how life arose on Earth and possibly on other worlds?” Science in Ancient India, for ages ten through twelve, credits ancient Indians for their basic understanding of gravity and atomic theory, the origins of yoga, some modern drugs, surgical techniques, and the development of the system of counting we use today. This book is part of a series on the examination of science in other cultures.

Stewart has been writing about science and health on a freelance basis for almost ten years.

Lawrence Hollander
Lawrence Hollander, the former dean of engineering at Union, has collaborated with several other authors to produce the Handbook of Electric Power Calculations, Second Edition. The book is a “how-to” for calculation procedures to solve more than 300 commonly encountered problems. Hollander created sections on “DC Motors and Generators,” “Single Phase Motors,” “Electric Power Networks,” and “Short Circuit Computations.” The handbook is published by McGraw Hill. Hollander retired as dean in June 1993.

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Greg Angus ’90

Posted on Aug 1, 1999

For Greg Angus '90, a Watson fellowship spent studying how people use toys in education confirmed his true calling: teaching.

“I don't remember deciding to become a teacher. By the end of my fellowship, I realized I was going to be a teacher,” says Angus, now a third-grade teacher at Arlington Elementary School in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

As an undergraduate, Angus went on a term abroad in China and was struck by the way in which Chinese children played together, the toys they played with, and the ways that their play seemed in a way to mirror national identity. “I couldn't help but notice the objects that were available to children in China,” he says. There were great differences in toys available in the countryside and the city, and he recognized a difference in the way that children played in these areas due in part to the toys that were available to them.

At the urging of Byron Nichols, professor of political science, and Bill Thomas, professor of French and director of international programs, Angus applied for a Watson Fellowship, which supports one year of research outside of the U.S. Traveling to the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, and China, he observed hundreds of children at play with their toys. Though he began with a focus on toys as tools for passing on cultural ideas and values, he eventually began to concentrate on how toys are used in education and physical therapy, especially for special needs children.

He was particularly struck by the ways in which toys were used in rehabilitation. For example, an art project for children in a burn unit at a hospital in Scotland required “every possible modification to a paintbrush so that the children could paint,” he says. “The best part was that whole ceiling was covered with the paintings so that the children could see them from their beds,” he says. “If that's not a child-centered approach, I don't know what is.”

Angus was similarly impressed with a toy library in Zimbabwe where children could sign out toys like books in a library. The toys were categorized by what skills they foster in children, such as hand-eye coordination or problem-solving, so that they would be both entertaining and educational for each child.

The challenge Angus found in working with children convinced him to become a teacher. He went to graduate school and began teaching in Boston before moving to his current position in the Hudson Valley.

“It's very exciting to be able to teach someone how to learn,” he says. “The content, though interesting, is really secondary.” What drives him is seeing his students understand — seeing the lightbulb go off in their heads, so to speak. “You can see on their faces when they understand,” he says. “I strive to have them become aware of their own learning process and how to recognize the moment of understanding. Even the kids refer to it as 'the lightbulb.' ”

Angus also serves as the arts in education coordinator at his school, working with artists, storytellers, songwriters, and authors to bring the arts into the classrooms. In the summer he directs the music program at Camp Hillcroft, a nearby summer camp. “Kids don't realize until later that creating lyrics teaches language arts through music. They're usually too busy laughing.”

After having studied a world of toys, Angus praises perennial favorites such as Legos, Etch-a-Sketch, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, and other open-ended toys because they encourage creativity, but he is troubled by the increasing popularity of toys such as movie and television action figures, which call for simple reenactment rather than imaginative play.

“The amount of creative control and risk-taking involved in play is diminishing,” Angus explains. “As a teacher I see how that translates into their work and problem-solving at school. I often see students who are frustrated if they don't know exactly how to do something immediately. Personally, I believe that this is related to how much practice children have being creative. When a family limits their child's play by choosing only one-dimensional toys, they limit the practice.”

Angus is limited in his use of toys in his classroom by the requirements of a state curriculum, but he does encourage play as a learning experience. He uses block play to teach math skills and has discovered that many of his third-graders this year are interested in chess (last year it was origami). “We also tend to do a lot of things where you create your own game,” he says. And it's not rare that he sees the same kind of imaginative play in his classroom that he observed in Zimbabwe, China, and Scotland.

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Michael Roban ’88

Posted on Aug 1, 1999

When Michael Roban '88 was at Union, there was almost no information about how to get involved in the film industry.

The independent film lawyer now is making sure that the situation is different for current students.

After reading an article in Union College magazine about film director George Hickenlooper's visit to campus, Roban contacted Charlotte Eyerman, assistant professor of visual arts, who sponsored Hickenlooper's visit. “I have wanted for some time to get involved with Union on some basis to establish more awareness with undergraduates about career opportunities in the motion picture business,” he says. “The article about George Hickenlooper turned the lights on, so to speak.”

Working with Eyerman and other faculty members who incorporate film into their curricula, Roban hopes to begin to provide the contacts that are necessary for students who hope to break into the film world. The first step came this spring, when Roban spent a day on campus talking with students. He advised them about getting screenplays read, whether or not to go to film school, and how to further their education in film while still at Union.

A political science major, Roban knew that (1) he liked film and (2) he wanted to become a lawyer. Once he discovered that he could become a film lawyer, he was determined to succeed. “When you have a passion for doing something, you have no choice but to do it,” he says. “It wasn't easy, but I did it.”

He attended the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University and learned about entertainment law by poring through legal volumes in the library and studying industry contracts. He then began providing free services for struggling filmmakers through the nonprofit organization Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts while working as a real estate lawyer. “I liked being a lawyer and dealing with clients, but I wasn't interested in the basic business of the firm. But then I got lucky, and a studio executive friend of mine eventually threw me a film.”

That was the key to his entry into the film world, and today he represents writers, directors, producers, actors, and cinematographers. He describes what he does as “basically dirty, roll-up-your-sleeves work. But I love dealing with creative people and being able to bridge the business aspects of the film world with the creative. I am good at being a lawyer, but I also understand the creative process.”

Roban's Manhattan office sums up what his work is all about. It is filled with legal volumes and videotapes of his favorite films (“I'm one-half lawyer and one-half film geek”), and he attends or screens, on the average, five or six films a week. “I've always enjoyed stories, and film is just a great story-telling medium,” he says.

Roban is working with faculty to plan a symposium on independent film in the fall of 2000 that will include several days of screenings as well as numerous opportunities for students to interact with professionals in the film world. “I've always thought that Union would be a great place for a film arts program to thrive,” Roban says. “I hope that this might be a good first step.”

Alumni interested in getting involved are encouraged to contact Roban via e-mail at mroban@sprynet.com.

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