In this impressive collection, Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations, City College professor Retha Powers documents the words and lyrics of legendary African-American voices from Malcolm X to Maya Angelou. Powers discusses her eight-year research project in compiling the book and her hope in educating young people on black written and oral tradition.
Not long ago a computer was hardly a necessity, and even if its modern magic was intriguing, it was out of the reach of the average person. “There were many people who thought I was throwing away my career,” says Internet pioneer Robert E. Kahn, when he started out in the field. “In the 1960s, […]
In “Rethinking Kahn,” part of the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture spring lecture series, architectural historian William J.R. Curtis discusses the legacy of famed architect Louis Kahn, including his final project — Four Freedoms Park — a four-acre memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt that was completed posthumously as “a powerful work of monumentality.” […]
Defending her goal of transforming car-clogged streets into pedestrian plazas, the city’s transportation chief says her initiatives have boosted the number of visitors and, in the case of Times Square, have also been a boon for local businesses. “More people are spending time — eating, taking pictures and hanging out,” says Janette Sadik-Khan, who has served as commissioner of the Department of Transportation for the past five years. Sadik-Khan, in a speech, “It’s Not Impossible to Change a City,” at the 8th annual Lewis Mumford Lecture on Urbanism at City College, discussed initiatives that improve public safety and ease mobility. “Times Square was named one of the top 10 retail locations in the world — this certainly would not have been the case years ago,” says Sadik-Khan.
For every dollar earned by a man in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, a female counterpart earns 14 percent less, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. It’s a statistic that City College professor Maribel Vazquez says must change. “Women in the workforce lack strong negotiation skills, Vazquez says, “because female aggression is perceived negatively by both men and women.” Vazquez delivered the keynote address at “Women in Science: Negotiating a Successful Academic Career,” a panel discussion at the CUNY Graduate Center. An associate professor of Biomedical Engineering, Vazquez also presented her research on the use of micro and nanotechnology in the study of cell migration in the brain.
The Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge program, also known as SEEK, has been renamed in honor of the late Percy E. Sutton, a prominent black political and business leader. Sutton, from Harlem, served as Manhattan borough president from 1966 to 1977, and also as a New York State Assemblyman, where he was a pivotal force behind the legislation that established the SEEK program-which offers unique and supportive educational opportunity to students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds-and is available at each of the senior colleges of CUNY.
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Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, “Fallingwater,” originally was conceived as a vacation home in the woods, with views of a nearby waterfall — a plan Wright soon scrapped after seeing the natural beauty of the place. Wright wanted the Kaufmann family “to live with the waterfall — not just look at it,” said Robert McCarter, author of several books on Wright, at City College’s Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture Lecture Series. McCarter, a professor of architecture at Washington State University, says Wright “wanted it to be an integral part of their lives.”
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Hip-hop is part of the cultural mainstream now, but when it came on the scene 40 years ago, it was anything but. “There are a lot of myths about hip-hop and one of the most prevalent ones is that it was hijacked by corporate interests … but it didn’t go down that way,” says Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop. At City College’s Center for Worker Education Lecture Series, Charnas, in his talk, “Reading Hip-Hop: Off the Records, In the Books,” chronicles the evolution of rap music from its South Bronx infancy to a multibillion-dollar global business.
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Carol Willis discusses the creation of the skyscraper and the making of modern New York City in her lecture, “New York, New York: Place, Culture and Urbanity,” as part of a series sponsored by the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, at City College. According to Willis, the founding director of the New York City Skyscraper Museum, the assertion that Manhattan grew up because there was limited room to grow out is incorrect. “High demand for a location produces high rents that produce high-rise buildings,” says Willis, a professor of urban studies and planning at Columbia University.
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Like Zeus, the supreme god of the Olympians in Greek mythology, people will some day be able to control their own destiny, according to theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku. “Zeus could simply think about things and have them come to be; we will have that power,” says Kaku, co-founder of the strong field theory and physics professor at City College. In an interview at his office, Kaku discussed his latest book, “Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100,” and predicts a future where humans will be able to communicate with computers mentally and have access to the Internet via contact lenses.
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