A Further Archaeological Approach: Exploring Daily Life and Worship at Antiochia ad Cragum
Since 2012, St. Olaf students have accompanied Professor Tim Howe to Antiochia ad Cragum near Gazipaşa (ancient Selinous), Turkey for a month-long ongoing excavation of the acropolis, the site of one of the earliest Christian churches and baptistries ever discovered. Historically, teams of researchers and students from Turkish universities and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have excavated other classical components of Antiochia including a temple, tombs, and baths. While these sites have proven rich in historical significance and cultural material, areas concerning everyday living such as the agora (main marketplace) and houses have remained largely untouched. Last year, Leah participated in St. Olaf’s research internship on the acropolis, learned more about Antiochia and the vast nature of the site still unexcavated, and decided she had to return to Gazipaşa to pursue archaeology.
This project will go beyond St. Olaf’s current exploration of the acropolis by extending down the hillside and focusing on excavation of the houses in this area. While these structures most likely contain little in artistic value, the discoveries will go beyond the current research on elite spaces and into the mundane and everyday. Through this, the project aims to provide insight into how the people of Antiochia lived in antiquity, thus deepening understanding of everyday narratives and Antiochia as a whole. Although the proximity of the homes to the acropolis are most likely unrelated to religiosity, this project seeks to make connections between the two sites. How integrated were worshiping practices with everyday life? Is there evidence of Christianity’s burgeoning relevance—as witnessed on the acropolis—within the homes? How do the cultural materials or the integrity of the structures differ between the two sites? By exploring these questions, this research project will shed light on how worshipping practices throughout the early centuries AD evolved on a personal level.
End of project presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXS8Du2VB4o&t=1s or https://drive.google.com/file/d/17bId1suPA4hLBRpQI7138f-Jp9e6kZNz/view
Implementation of a Temperature Measurement Strategy in a High-Speed Wind Tunnel
Part of the research program of Professor Sanchez-Gonzalez involves the development of diagnostic tools to study rapidly evolving fluid flows, particularly those that involve complex phenomena such as strong gradients, non-equilibrium conditions, and chemical reactions. These diagnostic tools involve the use of laser-based measurements that can provide measurements of flow velocities and scalar quantities, such as species densities, pressures, and temperatures. Specifically, the use of Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF) methods are based on the homogeneous excitation of an area of interest using a pulsed high-power laser shaped into a sheet, followed by imaging of the resulting fluorescence using a camera. This approach permits obtaining 2-D measurements instead of a measurement at a single point in space. The development of techniques that allow these measurements with high time and space resolution is imperative to understand flows characterized by complex behavior.
The group of Prof. Sanchez-Gonzalez has recently published a feasibility demonstration of a temperature measurement approach that integrates PLIF with an imaging technique called structured illumination. This approach results in a simplified experimental setup compared to a conventional PLIF temperature measurement and has the potential of providing measurements with superior time resolution, in the order of tens of nanoseconds. This previous experimental work to obtain of a temperature measurement using PLIF and structured illumination was developed as a proof-of-principle demonstration, but implementation under realistic high-speed wind tunnel conditions would require of further studies that provide insight into the specific variables that ultimately define the applicability of the technique. The interest in the exploration of flow behavior under realistic wind tunnel conditions of a St. Olaf student [meets] the interest of a St. Olaf faculty member in the fundamental understanding of laser-based diagnostic tools. A student has presented a challenge to a faculty member to prove the viability of a measurement technique while a faculty member will challenge a student to find the limitations of the technique in order to understand the opportunities and limitations that such techniques offer in a realistic flow.
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, Music's Role in Environmental Education
Memories of Agricultural Yilan, Taiwan: An Excavation of Local Literature and Life Stories
Our student-faculty team aims to “excavate” the collective memories of agricultural Yilan in order to understand how these memories have influenced and should be factored into current economic policies. The research question the team seeks to answer is: What lessons from the past can positively influence Asian agriculture in the future? They will draw on traditional and nontraditional sources to explore the question. The team will conduct on-site interviews, study different genres of literature, and learn about Taiwanese writers of several generations. This project emphasizes a humanistic approach to economic and political issues in an increasingly global world.
This project also received funding from CURI (Collaborative Undergraduate Research & Inquiry) and LIASE (Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment).
An Alternative Possibility for Solving the Foreknowledge Problem
Surely foreknowledge by itself would not cause or compel me to do what I do; but if no compulsion is at work here, how is divine foreknowledge supposed to bind me to a particular course of action?
This puzzle has been a front-burner issue in academic philosophy of religion for the past few decades. It has drawn considerable interest from non-theists as well as theists, because in addition to its religious salience, the foreknowledge problem provides an arena where philosophers can examine contested ideas about the nature of free will. A handful of prominent responses to the foreknowledge problem exist in the literature, but none has gained the assent of a majority of philosophers. Most of these responses are rather technical, and lack the intuitive support one might hope for.
Our project is to formulate an original and intuitively satisfying response to the foreknowledge problem. Our approach is to focus on a well-known principle which says that free will requires “alternative possibilities”; that is, free will requires that when I am deciding whether to perform a particular action, both alternatives—performing it and not performing it—are genuinely open to me. This “principle of alternative possibilities” has figured prominently in debates about the nature of free will for over forty years, and it plays a key role in many formulations of the foreknowledge argument. Our central idea is (1) to use the foreknowledge problem to distinguish two different notions that tend to get lumped together under the heading of “alternative possibilities,” and (2) to show how, by disentangling these two notions, we can provide a tidy resolution of the foreknowledge problem. (In brief, our idea is that although “alternative possibilities” of a certain sort are indeed ruled out by divine foreknowledge, they are not the “alternative possibilities” that free will requires.)
Presentation outline for May 2019 celebration: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1RYIxQNYgrw3TfJ7Ajzz1OAU_ggcHjXBdX_-GxrXvaiw/edit#slide=id.p1
“We Built the Field on the Hill:” How St. Olaf’s Black Action Committee Pioneered Ethnic Studies in the Liberal Arts
What’s missing from this official history is this: In 1968-69, St. Olaf’s Black Action Committee requested the formation of an interdisciplinary program to accompany Asian Studies, which had just changed its name from Oriental Studies. In 1969, St. Olaf established American Minority Studies authorized to offer a concentration and open to students from other institutions affiliated with the American Colleges of the Midwest. Five years later, the program added a major. Today’s Race and Ethnic Studies is the current iteration of this heritage program.
Our collaborative project places these two contexts in dialogue to ask: What is RACE’s significance to the pioneering of Ethnic Studies as a field, particularly among liberal arts colleges? Toward constructing a more complete history, we will explore the inceptions of other Ethnic Studies programs during 1968-1975, paying particular attention to the field’s development at liberal arts colleges. Our work will require travel to community archives in Chicago and San Francisco and to permanent collections at institutions where Ethnic Studies first emerged. Through archival research and oral and visual historical methodologies, we will develop a 50 th anniversary exhibition and photo book detailing the distinctive history of St. Olaf’s RACE program as a liberal arts leader in the field’s formation.
Music, Race, and Gender Identity in American Frontier Culture
The study will focus primarily on the music made by women living on the Montana frontier in the 1890s. Several large cities on the frontier, including including Butte, Helena, and Virginia City, have preserved substantial archival collections that illuminate women’s musical lives. The aforementioned cities were both mining towns, meaning that by virtue of a limited economic system, each city had a uniquely stratified society that highlighted difference in gender, class, and race. Women in these cities offer a specialized window into the way music contributed to the stratification of society, especially between upper class women and sex workers (sex work was often the only form of employment given to young, single women in Montana during the 1890s). Additionally, we chose this decade, the 1890s, because during this time, the newly minted state of Montana nearly doubled its population. All of these factors offer a compelling backdrop against which music worked to reinforce and challenge common Victorian gender ideologies and identity traits.
This project was also supported by the Steen Fellowship which supported Siriana’s research in Montana in the summer of 2019.
Turning the Page on Undergraduate Literary Publishing: A Pedagogical and Editorial Assessment of Undergraduate Literary Publications in the Midwest and at Peer Institutions
The breadth of this research, which would be infeasible for any current campus publication, single semester independent study, or literary course, will help provide an overall landscape of undergraduate editorial and publishing pedagogical practices and serve as a tool for students and faculty in both creating publications and planning for long-term sustainability of publications. The study will also provide valuable insight into the creation and management of literary publications to student collaborators as they consider graduate school pathways and careers in the literary sphere.
Presentation for May 2019 celebration: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1EOgV48o5pBkCfWsuv3fXGECZOpMgDWhWu_UP0-XK2kg/edit?ts=5ccb6f37#slide=id.p
Examining gender disproportionality in the medical field from childhood to adulthood: a regional study
This study will evaluate the problematic, disproportional relationship between women in the medical field and the specialties they choose to pursue through a multi-faceted study of elementary school girls, middle/high school girls, pre-med women in college, and women within the medical field, specifically focusing on the Southern Minnesota region. Furthermore, this study will aim to gauge the age at which girls and women start to think that females belong in certain medical specialties or do not belong in the medical field at all. These aims will be accomplished in a two-fold process. First, girls from kindergarten, 3 rd grade, 7 th grade, 11 th and grade will be surveyed to determine the extent of girls’ interest in pursuing of a career in the medical field. As a part of this, surveys will also be used to obtain data regarding the perspectives and the ambitions of pre-med women at St. Olaf College. Secondly, this study will examine the types of professions within medical institutions that women pursue compared to the types of professions that men pursue in order to discover current representation statistics.
Overall, these results will provide insight to how disproportionate gender roles indicate what areas of the medical field are viewed as more advanced or specialized and how these specialties are gendered as masculine or feminine, revealing the prevalence of gender based power dynamics in medicine. Understanding these results will be imperative to deconstructing the hierarchies and power structures that prevent equal representation of women in the field of medicine. In addition, these results allow for investigation into what barriers, perceived or structural, exist in the medical fields women are not represented in. In particular, the results of the survey will be influential in further examining the correlation between age, gender, other external factors and the lack of women in professions within the medical field. Through these results, an age period can be extrapolated where educational intervention and exposure of young girls to possible careers in the STEM field can be instigated to improve equal representation and success.
PDC through PL: Interactive Text Materials for Teaching Parallel and Distributed Computing through Programming Languages
Resurrecting the Playwright: A Practical Exploration of New Play Development through Collaboration between Playwright and Performers
Synchronized EEG, EMG, and Video Analysis of Walking Gait at Various Levels of Weight-Bearing While Performing a Cognitive Task
Playing the Music History Game: Measuring Learning through Gamification
Playing the Music History Game Video Summary:
Organ Improvisation Curriculum for the Undergraduate Organist
Mapping Taipei from the Colonial Period through Modern Times: A Digital Representation of the Shifting Cityscape in Chu T'ien-hsin's Novella The Old Capital
“The idea for this mapping project originated from Modern Chinese Literature and Society (ASIAN 237) course, which used Chu T’ien-hsin’s novella The Old Capital (1997) as one of the texts. The author’s unique perspective, as a second-generation mainland émigré to Taiwan, and her nostalgia for a bygone Japanese rule reveal various layers of memories of Taipei. . . . Her lament for the absence of her old friends, both literally and figuratively, displays a Taipei that can be easily forgotten by insensitive hearts and neglected by its visitors. The protagonist’s criticism of the mangroves being blocked out by the Taipei Metro, and her sense of loss for the hundred-year-old nightshade trees being transplanted, for example, further show a deep connection between human beings and the environment.”
Breaking Silence, Making History: Stories of Hmong American Women in Higher Education
Indeed, the majority of these young Hmong American women are making history, being the first generation in their families to attend college. It is time for them to break their silence and share their stories, which, we hope, are informative and inspirational. . . . Through an ethnographic study on Hmong American women in higher education, we can start to shed some light on not only this prominent yet quiet Asian American community in Minnesota, but also the pressing issues of race, gender, and class in the United States as a whole.”
Expanding the Conversation: Expanding the Women's and Gender Studies Curriculum on St. Olaf Campus for Greater Awareness
The Presence and Practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Minnesota