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Philosophical Implications of Modern Physics

“Some of the discoveries made by physicists over the last century seem to show that our common-sense views are deeply at odds with our most sophisticated and best confirmed scientific theories.” So begins the description for Philosophical Implications of Modern Physics, a new course taught this past spring by philosophy professor Keith McPartland and physics

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Professor’s App Reaches for the Stars

The objective: Sink a putt and then hurtle through an unexplored universe, avoiding asteroids and interacting with aliens until you reach the next planet, and hole, on a galactic golf course. Along the way, you’re learning about space travel and astronomy. This is Project Rocket Golfing, computer science professor Morgan McGuire’s latest video game. Over

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Finding Home in Vietnam

Inspired by a spring break trip with her history class, Rachel Nguyen ’16 is spending the summer in Vietnam, working on a documentary film about identity, displacement and community. Funded by a Russell H. Bostert Memorial Fellowship research grant, the history major will spend two months in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon),

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Educating for Happiness

Twelve years ago, Susan Engel was talking with a group of teachers who were criticizing the standardized testing model that’s now a major focus in American education. “I kept asking, ‘What do you want the kids to learn?’” she says. “The word ‘curiosity’ kept coming up.” And so began years of research that resulted in

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Modeling Mutualism

Two Williams students are spending the summer deep in Hopkins Forest, collecting samples from roughly 200 goldenrod plants as part of a three-year project to understand inter-species dependencies called “mutualisms.” The project, funded with a $244,117 National Science Foundation grant, is being led by biology professor Manuel Morales and chemistry professor Enrique Peacock-Lopez. Their goal

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Waste in Postwar Japan

A new book project by history professor Eiko Maruko Siniawer ’97 is delving into how perceptions of waste in post-World War II Japan have shaped—and been shaped by—understandings of affluence and concepts of a good and meaningful life. With a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), Siniawer will spend the next year conducting research

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Unearthing the Future

Two ancient reliefs in the permanent collection of the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) may be among the few surviving relics of a palace reportedly destroyed by the Islamic State. The reliefs are carved into panels of gypsum that are each about 85 by 40 by 3 inches and weigh 1,500 pounds. The panels and

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