PROGRAM 2: JULY 9TH -22ND 2017

Courses Offered  

Big Data in a Pocket/Mila       

Managing Conflict and Collaboration/Richards and Mulvey 


Drawing in the 21st Century/Xenakis    




How can one think like Leonardo Da Vinci in the 21st century? Leonard Da Vinci, one of the greatest minds of all times set the principles of most modern sciences. He did it in an era in which very little information was available and experimentation and data collection were not well defined? Nowadays we live in an era in steroids when it comes to information with data coming in all forms, volumes, and means. Data is the promise for innovation for the future. In this course we will discuss what data is, the similarities and differences in data between physical and social sciences, how data and models are related to each other, and how today’s technology has created huge volumes of data, sometimes called Big Data, and blended them together in unprecedented ways. The last part of the course will be devoted to data visualization, an indispensable part of data science. The course will be delivered with lectures, videos, in-class discussion and hands on practice.



Mina Mila: North Carolina State University

Mina Mila is an associate professor at North Carolina State University where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in epidemiology, introduction to data science, and modeling in life sciences. Her research interests include identifying patterns in agriculture using diverse sources of data such as sensors and image processing, and quantifying uncertainty in biological phenomena. She graduated from the Agricultural University of Athens with degrees in Crop Science and Agricultural Economics. Soon after she was granted a full scholarship from Iowa State University to pursue a PhD in plant epidemiology. After shoveling snow for 3.5 years in Ames, IA she was happy to drive to California where she spent two years as a research fellow working in over ten different cropping systems developing predictions for pests. In 2005 she came to North Carolina State University. Her hobby, beyond discovering patterns and information in data, is painting. She has exhibited in Istanbul, Athens, Raleigh, Crete, and Riverside.


Conflict is a force for change and collaboration is a force for stability.  Both are needed in any organization but both are feared and avoided for different reasons. However, healthy collaboration between people and groups requires us to simultaneously not only accept but actually value the conflicts that inevitably occur when people work together. Likewise, healthy conflict between people needs to be based on a degree of collaboration in order for it to be constructive. But how do we engage these dynamic forces that shape every aspect of our lives and organizations, permeating every personal and group interaction? Dr. Sam Richards and Dr. Laurie Mulvey have been addressing this question by working for nearly three decades on race relations in the United States as well as on conflicts in locations such as Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Colombia, Israel-Palestine. This course will be the first time they will translate what they have learned about the ways in which larger social conflicts can illuminate day-to-day organizational dynamics. Some of the course sessions will occur through virtual-dialogues with real people immersed in their own conflict and collaboration. The rest of the sessions will be based on readings, classroom discussions and practical skill development. As a result, you will complete the course with a few solid principles that shape the forces of conflict and collaboration--along with some practical ways to manage both in different organizational settings.


Samuel Richards and Laurie Mulvey: Penn State

University/Ted Talk, 2010

Dr. Samuel Richards is an award winning teacher and sociologist at Penn State University and the instructor of the largest race, gender and cultural relations course in the United States. With over 760 students each semester and a twenty-year legacy, that course has become the subject of a proposed nationally broadcast television series called, “You Can’t Say That.” The course is currently streamed live to the world every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:35-5:50pm (EST) at Sam’s willingness to take risks and push new ideas is what led him to be named one of the “101 most dangerous professors in America.” Sam obtained his Ph.D. from Rutgers University with a focus on socioeconomic development of Africa and Latin America. His current work focuses on inequality stemming from racial and gender differences and he works to develop programs that bridge cultural divides. Arguing that empathy is the core of Sociology, his "Radical Experiment in Empathy" is one of the most widely viewed TEDx talks online, having reached over 3 million people. In that talk, he walks the audience through how an average Iraqi citizen might experience U.S. military policies in their country. As the Director of Development at the World in Conversation Center, Sam is currently co-director of a research project sponsored by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme to develop a virtual, facilitated cross-cultural dialogue tool for NATO military personnel and civilians in conflict zones. The primary goal of the project is to offer people in conflict regions opportunities to humanize their enemies. The work of Dr. Richards has been reported on in The New York Times, MSNBC, The Christian Science Monitor, and PBS, as well as many other national and international media outlets.
Dr. Laurie Mulvey is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the World in Conversation Center for Public Diplomacy at Penn State University. Under her leadership, World in Conversation has developed the largest university-based cross-cultural dialogue program in the United States. Her commitment to student-centered learning catalyzes over 3,000 peer-facilitated dialogues about contemporary cultural issues each year, with special emphasis on U.S. race relations, gender dynamics, and climate change. Laurie's "Social Conflict” course, in which she and her students examine the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by speaking virtually with citizens on all sides of the border, has been recognized for its innovative pedagogical approach. With this class as its inspiration, the World in Conversation Center has forged alliances with international partners such as the United National Development Programme, UNESCO, NATO, Islamic Development Bank, along with local and regional organizations in Pakistan, Iran, Palestinian Territories, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, China, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and twelve nations in the NATO Alliance. Much of her work revolves around post-conflict transformation through alliance building between conflicting parties to disputes. Through her ongoing research and development of a methodology for cross-cultural dialogues, Dr. Mulvey is making it possible for university students all around the globe to become the first line of diplomacy between nations, as they have conversations that begin to transform legacies of conflict into real collaboration.

TED Talk video of Sam Richards:

Lecture video of Profs. Richards and Mulvey:



How do stories of families record histories of cultures? Contemporary writers, like most of us, cannot stop telling stories of their families—and in doing so they invariably tell stories of their cultures. What happens when family members emigrate, what is the nature of home, how does memory work, how do patterns survive or change across generations, how does sexual desire create and subvert families?  We will also study the literary forms that give shape to these familial and cultural experiences—why narrative has often been conceived as a quest for origins, how mundane experience gives rise to metaphor, how allusion locates stories within larger cultural traditions. Readings will include contemporary American, English, Canadian, and South Asian fiction and (graphic) memoir—almost all written within the last twenty years.  Some possible titles: Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Alison Bechdel’s Fun HomeA Tragicomic, Roz Chast’s Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir, Alice Munro’s Runaway, and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things.



Julie Rivkin, Connecticut College

Julie Rivkin is Professor of English at Connecticut College, and earlier in her career she taught at the University of Notre Dame and (as a graduate student) at Yale University.  She teaches a wide variety of courses on American and Canadian literature, literary theory, contemporary transnational fiction, gender and literature, and topics like racial passing, commodification and waste, and family narratives across cultures. Both her Ph.D and B.A. degrees are from Yale University, where she studied with many of the theorists known as the Yale School of Criticism.  Her scholarship has focused on Henry James, and she is the author of a book (False Positions, Stanford UP) and numerous articles on his fiction, including his fictional afterlives in the writers whom he has influenced. She is currently working on a critical edition of James’s What Maisie Knew for Cambridge UP.  She has also turned her attention to the fiction of recent Nobel prize winner and Canadian short story writer Alice Munro, a new subject for both her teaching and research.  In addition, she is the co-editor of a widely used textbook, Literary Theory: An Anthology (Wiley Blackwell), which has served for many students, including her own, as a clear path into the complex work of literary theory. Just as the seminars in literature that she once took as an undergraduate at Yale University gave her life direction, the seminars in literature that she now teaches will, she hopes, spark something essential for her students.



This introductory course investigates basic principles of visual communication through traditional drawing and their applications to mobile digital media and technology. Drawing as visual language will be explored on paper to help create art works for the iPad and iPhone or technology equivalents.  The students will learn the basic elements of art and principles of composition from the sketch pad with an emphasis of adapting this information to create a portfolio of digital art. Understanding line, value, color, texture, pattern, space, perspective, and dimension in a variety of subjects will be explored. The still life, landscape, portrait and figure will be visually addressed in a variety of locations with on-site drawing. Documentation of the experience will be made through a portfolio of images in drawn and digitally saved examples. Critical analysis of these efforts will be shared and catalogued through portfolio presentations and review.



Thomas Xenakis: Georgetown University and Marymount University

Thomas Xenakis is a Lecturer in Drawing at Georgetown University and Marymount University in the Washington, DC Metro area. He has a Master’s in Art as Applied to Medicine from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a Master’s of Fine Arts in Painting from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, both in Baltimore, Maryland. He is also a two-time recipient of a Senior Fulbright Scholarship, Artist in Residence/Research Award to Greece (1994/1995 and 2000/2001). Thomas’ research focuses on contemporary applications to Medieval Byzantine media and techniques. He has teaching experience in six study abroad tenures to Greece and Italy. He maintains an art studio in Washington, DC and near Perugia, Italy. He exhibits nationally and internationally. Additionally, Thomas has taught drawing, design, painting, and cross-cultural visual language on a variety of university levels.