Posts Tagged 'University of Minnesota'

The Physics of Watchmen

The big new superhero movie Watchmen has a connection to the University of Minnesota physics department.  How?  Why, through Prof. Kakalios, author of The Physics of Superheroes, of course!
Prof. Kakalios served as the science consultant for the movie, based on a graphic novel (that I had never heard of).  For a taste of how he extracts real science from obviously fantastical storylines, check the youtube video below:

Rather than simply blowing off the fantasy as incorrect science, why not use it as a jumping off point to talk about some real interesting phenomena?  Depending on your taste, it may seem a little contrived, but it’s all about appealing to a certain audience.  You’ve already gotten their attention — they think the stuff going on in the comic book is cool — so use that hook to get them interested in a similar real phenomenon.

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Disbanding the University of Minnesota Graduate School

Unexpected news this week: the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota is no more.  Instead, there will be an Office of Graduate Studies under the Provost’s Office.

So this is supposed to be big news.  There have been front-page articles in the Minnesota Daily, several mass emails, an emergency meeting, and even an article in Inside Higher Ed.

But to a first-order approximation, I see this having NO effect on my life as a graduate student.  Sure, some forms and bureaucracy might change, but I don’t think the changes in my day-to-day life as a student merits all this hand-wringing.

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