Trinity College Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Make National and Regional News

Articles Featured in The Atlantic, WIRED, USA Today College, and More

Hartford, Connecticut, August 8, 2016 – Several national and regional media outlets have recently published articles featuring faculty members, staff members, and alumni of Trinity College. The topics range from discussions about masculinity and a “Theory of Deliciousness” to American politics and radioactive decay. 

In its article, “Campus men's groups explore what it means to be a dude,” USA Today College wrote about groups on college campuses across the country grappling with the question: What does it mean to be a man? The article said, “At Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., dissecting that question is the chief order of business for members of the Masculinity Group, a student organization created last year by Abdul Staten, who works in the school’s Women and Gender Resource Action Center.”

Chef, restaurateur, and founder of the Momofuku restaurant group David Chang ’99 wrote the cover story for this month’s WIRED magazine, “David Chang’s Unified Theory of Deliciousness - The Secret Code to Unleashing the World's Most Amazing Flavors,” in which he described what he learned at Trinity from Brownell Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Howard DeLong. “…Recently I started seeing patterns in our most successful dishes that suggested our hits weren’t entirely random; there’s a set of underlying laws that links them together. I’ve struggled to put this into words, and I haven’t talked to my fellow chefs about it, because I worry they’ll think I’m crazy. But I think there’s something to it, and so I’m sharing it now for the first time. I call it the Unified Theory of Deliciousness,” Chang wrote. “This probably sounds absolutely ridiculous, but the theory is rooted in a class I took in college called Advanced Logic. A philosopher named Howard DeLong taught it; he wrote one of the books that directly inspired Douglas Hofstadter to write Gödel, Escher, Bach. The first day, he said, “This class will change your life” … he was right. I would never pretend to be an expert in logic, and I never made it all the way through Gödel, Escher, Bach. But the ideas and concepts I took away from that class have haunted me ever since.”

The Atlantic’s “How American Politics Went Insane” cited work by Diana Evans, professor of political science. The reporter wrote, “Like campaign contributions and smoke-filled rooms, pork is a tool of democratic governance, not a violation of it. It can be used for corrupt purposes but also, very often, for vital ones. As the political scientist Diana Evans wrote in a 2004 book, Greasing the Wheels: Using Pork Barrel Projects to Build Majority Coalitions in Congress, “The irony is this: pork barreling, despite its much maligned status, gets things done.”

A Fulbright International Education Administrator Seminar Award won by international student adviser Katie Clair was the subject of an article in the Hartford Courant. “South Windsor Resident Travels To Japan On Fulbright Award” said, “The Fulbright International Education Administrator Award is given to 10 educators and allows them to spend 12 days traveling in Japan, speaking with students, touring colleges, and meeting with Japanese higher education officials. Clair, 33, who grew up in East Windsor and now lives in South Windsor, was awarded the opportunity after applying for the first time. She went to Japan in June.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently published an article, “Research provides regimen for healthy brain,” written by Susan A. Masino, Vernon Roosa Professor of Applied Science, who studies links among metabolism, brain activity, and behavior. “…Alzheimer's disease, mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, and more are all-too-common. We need more research, and we also need to be more proactive: Keeping a brain healthy and resilient will benefit the body, as well,” Masino wrote. “It's time to go on the offense with explicit recommendations for brain health during health-care conversations and as part of treatment plans…”

Physics World featured work by Mark Silverman, Jarvis Professor of Physics, in the article, “Radioactive decay of manganese-54 is not affected by the seasons, says physicist.” According to the editor of physicsworld.com, Hamish Johnson, “A new study of the radioactive decay of manganese-54 counters previous measurements that suggest that the rate of decay is influenced by Earth's orbit of the Sun. Mark Silverman of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, analysed decay-rate data taken over a three-year period and found no evidence for an annual variation to within one part in 104 Radioactive decay is a quantum-mechanical process whereby the probability that a nucleus will decay is a fixed value for that specific isotope. This means that for a sample containing a large number of identical nuclei, the rate at which decay events occur will fall exponentially as time progresses.”