Middlebury College was recently awarded a grant from the Enduring Questions program of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which will enable development and implementation of a sophomore-level course focused on the enduring question “What is the good life and how do I live it?“. The grant leadership team consists of Patricia Zupan (Italian), Brett Millier (English and American Literatures), Deborah Evans (American Studies), and Jonathan Miller-Lan (Education Studies). Campus-wide discussion about the sophomore-year experience contributed to the evolution of this project; the new Commons-based course will be taught at least twice during each of the next three years by the four project leaders as well as by other faculty who will participate in developing the common syllabus. A testament to the efforts of the project leaders is the fact that NEH has posted a copy of Middlebury’s proposal on the Enduring Questions website as one of the samples that this year’s applicants may want to consult. http://www.neh.gov/files/grants/middlebury_college_course_on_what_is_the_goiod_life.pdf
Susan Watson(Physics) and collaborators at Harvard University have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Physics at the Information Frontier (PIF) program to conduct research in the field of quantum information processing, in which the unusual features of quantum physics are harnessed to allow the rapid encoding and manipulation of information. The team of researchers will exploit the unique properties of carbon nanotubes, which are themselves newly understood and are a forefront area of fundamental physics, to create and investigate quantum bits – the fundamental building blocks of quantum computation. Over the course of three years, at least 6 undergraduates will be involved in this research effort. Project title: Carbon-based long-coherence quantum bit.
The National Science Foundation has awarded a Major Research Instrumentation grant to Middlebury College for acquisition of an integrated system of instrumentation to be used in lake-studies research conducted by faculty and students.
Under the direction of geology professors Patricia Manley and Thomas Manley, this grant will fund purchase of a multi-beam sonar system and an acoustic Doppler current profiler.
This equipment will be mounted on the College’s new research vessel, currently under construction, but can be transferrable for use by other vessels in the region. This new system will expand the range of research and curricular projects on Lake Champlain, involving other members of the geology department as well as faculty in biology and environmental chemistry