Dictionaries provide us with descriptions of word meanings, helping us to answer the question: “What does this word mean?” Adam Sennet, a professor of philosophy, seeks to answer a different question: “What gives this word or utterance meaning?”
Katia Vega, an assistant professor of design, is breaking ground in creating the “interactive body.” Her recent research has included bio-sensitive tattoos that give information about body chemistry, conductive makeup that allows one to turn lights on and off with the blink of an eye, and paying for purchases though microchips attached to fingernails.
“I’m interested in creating seamless technology; the goal is to make it indistinguishable from our body,” she says.
Hand-written notes on a teenager’s calendar. Remembered whispered confidences. Letters of support signed by wealthy acquaintances. Letters of non-support signed by wealthy lawyers. Therapist records. Rate My Professor scores. The recent Kavanaugh hearings, and the broader #MeToo movement in which it unfolded, were less a contest of he-said/she-said and more a battle over evidence.
The sexual assault and child pornography conviction of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. The child sex abuse scandal of Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. Hundreds of priests accused of sexual misconduct that took place over many years. These and other shocking cases — in addition to shattering public confidence in once-trusted officials and the institutions that employed them — raised the question in people’s minds: How well can anyone remember events that happened years, and even decades, earlier?
With the midterm elections just a few days away, several faculty members provided insights into how messy, self-reflective and fact-free political conversations can get online; ways art can help us understand the magnitude of social media on elections; and how easy it is to hack voter information.