News of the College May 2004

Faculty news

Mark Bedau ’76, professor of philosophy and humanities, will be participating in an international integrated project, funded by the European Union, to study the foundations of programmable artificial cells. Bedau is joining with scientists from eight European countries and the U.S. to work toward the creation of autonomous cells—nanorobots—that are biochemically programmed to perform simple functions. Bedau will be a major contributor in data analysis and experimental design, along with Norman Packard ’76, of ProtoLife Srl. in Venice, Italy. Packard and Bedau were friends as freshmen, and Bedau said that “Reed helped us think that no question is too big or too hard.”

A research project on Portland Muslim history, led by Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, assistant professor of religion and humanities, was awarded $6,000 from Harvard University’s Pluralism Project. The funds will support summer research done by two Reed students, and GhaneaBassiri will use the results in a long-term project on a scholarly history of Muslim built communities. The summer research will include interviews that will contribute to an oral history of Portland’s Muslim community.

Arthur GlasfeldArthur Glasfeld, associate professor of chemistry, was awarded $174,000 from the National Institutes of Health as principal investigator in a research project on manganese binding regulatory proteins. Glasfeld and his collaborators will use x-ray crystallography, calorimetry, and fluorescence to study two bacterial metalloregulatory proteins that bind DNA in the process of manganese uptake.

Steven WasserstromSteven Wasserstrom delivered the annual Peter Craigie Memorial Lecture at the University of Calgary in January. In his lecture Wasserstrom reconsidered the “former consensus” of monotheism shared by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and suggested that developments in geopolitics and science are forcing a re-examination of that consensus. He also conducted a seminar at the university on the role played by Hermes the Monotheist in stimulating an inter-religious scientific culture. Wasserstrom, Moe and Izetta Tonkon Professorof Judaic Studies and Humanities, also gave the keynote address at Ohio State University at an April conference on religious freedom and privacy in a global context.


Geraldine OndrizekThe artwork of Geraldine Ondrizek, associate professor of art, was exhibited this winter at the Solomon Fine Art gallery in Seattle. In Obscured Elements Ondrizek continued her exploration of the meanings hidden within DNA and RNA—determinants of identity and life span— by recreating the symbols of her own family’s chromosome patterns. The sculptures and installations incorporated stitching and ink on fabric, translating both medical information and cultural iconography.

Obscured Elements by Geraldine Ondrizek
Obscured Elements by Geraldine Ondrizek

David SchiffThe Detroit Symphony Orchestra and jazz violinist Regina Carter premiered “4 Sisters,” by David Schiff, R.P. Wollenberg Professor of Music, in January. The Detroit News called the concerto “a smartly focused essay that swings.” The four movements of the piece—”Soul,” “Scat,” “Satin,” and “Sass”—refer to Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan. “Schiff’s clever profiles cast the violin in energetic, funky and certainly soulful relief against an orchestra that evoked the high-voltage spirit, if not exactly the colors, of a big jazz band,” wrote critic Lawrence B. Johnson. Another of Schiff’s works, “New York Nocturnes,” was performed by the Apollo Trio in February in Reading, Pennsylvania.


End of Article

next page next page

Reed Magazine May 2004
next page next page