Emory Report
February 25, 2008
Volume 60, Number 21

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February 25, 2008

Issues inspire Dorfman’s dance
“Issues that Dance,” a Feb. 19 Friends of Dance Lecture by renowned dancer and choreographer David Dorfman, explored socio-political themes in his choreography. The Emory Coca-Cola Artist in Residence interspersed his talk on the topics of activism and dissidence with video of his work.

His newest work, “underground,” was inspired by the Weathermen, a violent 1960s political group. Rather than praise the Weathermen, Dorfman said his work taps into their spirit of change. His dance communicates an interest in human engagement.

He says: “Art can’t answer or fix anything, but it can wrap you up and encourage you to become involved.”
David Dorfman Dance performs at Emory March 20-22. — Jessica Moore

Cleage imparts pearls of wisdom
Atlanta-based author Pearl Cleage spoke at Cannon Chapel on Feb. 20 to a group of predominately African America women as a part of the Anna Julia Cooper Lecture. Cleage read her celebration “We Speak Your Name” honoring the spirits of African American women who paved the way for those who followed.

“Our struggles have literally changed the face of America. Our demands as women and as African Americans that we be granted our citizenship rights have been acknowledged. We are free at last – free to vote and work and run for office and win or lose based on what Dr. King called ‘the content of our character,’” Cleage said.
— Kelly McLendon

Math is more than the sum of its parts
“If you want to know how a virus spreads, obviously that’s mathematics. And if you want to know how a rumor spreads, that obeys similar types of equations,” said Amnon Meir, a numerical analyst from Auburn University.

During a recent visit to Emory, hosted by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Meir spoke on “Math: What is it Good For?” The short answer: look around you. “If you’re looking at a television set or a DVD player or if you have a cell phone or an iPod, that’s all really mathematics.”

Math is increasingly emphasized in interdisciplinary research, from medicine and biology to chemistry and the social sciences, he said. High-powered computers are helping drive this trend, making it possible to conduct experiments quickly, cheaply and safely through modeling and simulations. — Carol Clark