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ReUnion Set for May 4 Through 7

Posted on Apr 28, 2000

Though recent weather may suggest otherwise, it's
time for picnics and lots of outdoor fun as the College celebrates ReUnion
2000 on May 4 through 7. Events will include a golf tournament, Minerva's
footrace, family picnic, alumni parade and fireworks. All members of the
College community are encouraged to participate. Contact Alumni Relations
for details.

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Faculty, Staff Works Listed

Posted on Apr 28, 2000

Megan M. Ferry, Luce Junior
Professor of Chinese, gave a paper, “Feminine Histories: Imagining
the Female Literary Canon in Modern China” at a recent conference
“Contested Modernities: Perspectives on 20th Century Chinese
Literature,” at Columbia University.

Dianne M. McMullen, assistant
professor of music, has received a grant from the Franckesche Stiftungen
in Halle, Germany, for research this summer. She will work at Halle and
Berlin with archival materials related to Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen's
Geistreiches Gesangbuch, considered the most important collection
of Lutheran arias published at the time of Johann Sebastian Bach. Last
fall, she gave a paper in German at a conference held at the University of
Halle. She also spoke on the significance of melodic and harmonic changes
made to particular arias in the first four editions of Freylinghausen's Geistreiches
which was first published in 1704 and enjoyed 19 editions
through the middle of the century. At the same conference, she provided
previously-unpublished music and oversaw the performance of the Halle Boys
Choir in concert.

Brenda Wineapple, Washington
Irving Professor of Modern Literary and Historical Studies, delivered a
talk, “You're an Outlaw Until You're a Classic” at the
Museum of Contemporary Art last fall as part of the Chicago 1Humnaities
Festival's 10th anniversary celebration, “Old and New.” The
title of her talk is taken from Gertrude Stein's essay,
“Composition as Explanation.” Wineapple also delivered a paper,
“Spaced Out Stein,” on Stein's early work, at the CUNY
Graduate Center conference, “Stein in a New Space,” last
December. Her new introduction to Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet
was recently published in the Signet reissue of that novel.

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‘Bon Voyage’ From Brad

Posted on Apr 28, 2000

How do you get 53 students and faculty to Missoula,
Mont., for NCUR 2000?

Well, for starters, you get them up really early. As in
4. As in a.m.

“I'm not used to being up at that hour,”
said Brad Lewis, associate dean for undergraduate education, who gave a
pep talk to the first of three groups as they boarded the College's
trolley near Old Chapel for their 6 a.m. flight.

Professors Jim Adrian and Megan Ferry, who accompanied
the first group, wisely showed up with coffee and doughnuts.

Lewis, up late the night before at the “Forum for
Change” with Schenectady economic development leaders, noted that
students arrived with the “usual assortment of stories:” the
student who was making slide copies at Kinko's an hour before departure,
another up all night with a roommate, and the one who offered $200 to
anyone who would switch with him for a later flight. (No takers, Lewis

Indeed, Lewis said he suspects a number of students hadn't
even gone to bed yet. “A lot of them get to bed at that time anyway.
For some we were just postponing their sleep with the flight.”

It seems that the Union group is so large that travel
agents had to book their flights in three blocks. Lewis also saw off the
other two Union groups, one at 6:55 a.m., the other at the coveted 1:10

“I really enjoyed seeing them off,” Lewis
said, adding that the early departure hour provided an “esprit de
corps … in an odd sort of way.”

For details on NCUR 2000, check the Web at www.umt.edu/ncur2000/about2.htm.

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Like Trane, Prof. Rosenthal Pushes at Boundaries

Posted on Apr 28, 2000

for a huge poster of saxophonist John Coltrane, the walls of Prof. Kimmo
Rosenthal's office are nearly bare.

The jazz icon has been an inspiration for Rosenthal, he
says, because Trane was never satisfied with where he was musically,
shifting from bebop to the more obscure avant garde, sometimes to the
dismay of his once-loyal fans.

“At any point in his career, he could have said,
'That's it,'” says Rosenthal, a student of jazz and host of Dr.
Kimmo's Jazz Brunch Sundays at 9 a.m. on WRUC. “But Coltrane was
always interested in saying something new.”

So perhaps it should not be surprising that Rosenthal,
professor of mathematics, is looking to say something new in his own
field. Just as his idol did with his musical improvisations, Rosenthal is
interested in mathematics that pushes some of the boundaries.

Rosenthal will deliver a faculty colloquium titled
“Can We Do Mathematics Without Classical Logic?” on Thursday,
May 4, at 11:30 a.m. in the Olin Auditorium.

His talk will explore his field of category theory,
referred to by some mathematicians as “abstract nonsense” or not
suitable as a foundation for mathematics, in some sense equivalent to the
skepticism regarding abstract art or avant-garde music, Rosenthal says.

Category theorists study all fields of mathematics for
certain constructions that are universal across different fields. These
investigations have led to considering a rather unorthodox
“intuitionistic logic.”

Rosenthal was introduced to category theory and
intuitionistic logic through an undergraduate course in algebra taught by
William Lawvere at SUNY Buffalo, who eventually would supervise Rosenthal's
Ph.D. thesis.

Unlike classical logic, which relies on the law of an
“excluded middle” — every statement is true, or its negation
is true — intuitionistic logic allows for a middle ground, abandoning
the excluded middle rule that most practicing mathematicians would say has
to be there.

To illustrate these ideas, Rosenthal will teach a
freshman calculus proof the way it would have been taught by German
philosopher Gottfried Liebniz in the late 1600's using some
infinitesimally small numbers that would “not be legal if you insist
on staying in the realm of classical logic.” Then, using
intuitionistic logic, he will discuss how that calculus proof is valid.

“Just as some discount abstract art or avant-garde
music, intuitionistic logic doesn't fit into the preconception of how
mathematics works,” Rosenthal says. “I hope to provoke some
interest into the question of intuitionistic logic and the foundations of
mathematics, but I don't necessarily expect to win any converts.”

Rosenthal, at Union since 1979, holds a bachelor's,
master's and Ph.D. from SUNY Buffalo. He is the author of two books – Quantales
and the Applications
(1990) and The Theory of Quantaloids
(1996) – and numerous articles. He has a range of college service to his
credit including acting director of AOP, Middle States Review Committee on
the Mathematics Major, department chair, director of General Education,
Faculty Review Board and FRB chair, and Student Affairs Council chair.

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Calendar of Events

Posted on Apr 28, 2000

Friday, April 28, 4:15 p.m.
Humanities 213.
Philosopher Susan Haack, Cooper Senior Scholar in
Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami and the visiting
Spencer-Leavitt Resident Professor in a public lecture on An
Epistemologist in the Bramble Bush: At the Supreme Court with Mr.

Friday, April 28, through Monday, May 1, 8 and 10 p.m.
Reamer Auditorium.
Film committee presents The Hurricane.

Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Achilles Rink.
UCARE Day 2000, student-sponsored fun fair.

Tuesday, May 2, 7:30 p.m.
Reamer Auditorium.
Philosopher Susan Haack, visiting Spencer-Leavitt Professor, on
“Science, Literature and the 'Literature of Science'.”

Wednesday, May 3, 12:30 p.m.
Reamer Auditorium.
General faculty meeting.

Thursday, May 4, 11:30 a.m.
Olin Auditorium.
Faculty colloquium with Prof. Kimmo Rosenthal, “Can We Do Mathematics
Without Classical Logic?”

Through May 13.
Arts Atrium Gallery.
Steinmetz Symposium Art Exhibition featuring the works of several

Through May 21.
Mandeville Gallery, Nott Memorial.
“Separate & Together,” an exhibition by painters Wolf Kahn
and Emily Mason focusing on the husband and wife's common influences,
inspirations and approaches.

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