Observing at Vainu Bappu Observatory, Tamil Nadu, India

During late April, I had the opportunity to observe with the 2.3-meter telescope at the Vainu Bappu Observatory, in Tamil Nadu, India. This observatory was built in the 1960’s and for a long time had India’s largest telescope. My project involved using the telescope to detect absorption lines from interstellar clouds in front of stars, […]

Talk at Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore

During my trip to India, I had a wonderful opportunity to meet with some of the staff at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore to learn more about their innovative approaches to studying the rapid expansion of India’s urban areas. The IIHS runs a Master’s program in Urban Practice (http://iihs.co.in/teaching-and-learning/mup/) , and conducts research that […]

Leonardo da Vinci exhibit in Singapore – “Everything Connects”

A few weeks ago, we took our daughter Asha to see the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit in Singapore. A few things were remarkable about the exhibit. From the beginning it emphasized the interconnections between the different aspects of Leonardo’s work, and with nature, politics, and the entire cultural milieu of his time. The theme of […]

Visit to Azim Premji University, Bangalore

During my visit to Bangalore I had the unique privilege of meeting with the faculty of the new Azim Premji University in Bangalore. Like many new universities in India, Azim Premji University has been founded by a private philanthropy – in this case from the eponymous foundation started by the founder of the Indian electronics […]

Lunar Eclipse in Singapore – April 4, 2015

The third of the tetrad of lunar eclipses was enjoyed by a lively group of about 20 faculty and 15 students on the roof of Kent Vale 2. The cloudy skies of Singapore gave way to a spectacular viewing of the moon. Shuin Jian Wu brought his telescope, and we also had our trusty Yale-NUS […]

Visit to NUS satellite laboratory

During our Yale-NUS College Astrophysics tea series, we had a chance to visit the NUS satellite lab. In this lab, students and faculty from NUS, led by Dr. Cher Hiang Goh, have been building a nano-sat called Gallissia, which contains two experiments – one to measure the electron density above Singapore, and another from the […]

Liberal Arts in India Conference Finished! #LiberalArtsinIndia #flai2015

After the conference in India I was really gratified by the wave of interest in liberal arts in India. Our hosts, Ashoka, Jindal and Shiv Nadar, were extremely gracious, and I admire the courage, energy and intelligence which as launched all three projects. Bringing all this together in India has been a wonderful experience, and […]

University of Chicago Center and Indian Liberal Arts

Our final day of the conference was perhaps my favorite. We were hosted by the University of Chicago’s New Delhi Center, and as a U of C alum (PhD Astrophysics ’85!) it was great to see the center, which seems just perfect for enabling strong engagement with India, academic collaborations, conferences and any number of […]

Future of Liberal Arts in India conference – Day 2

In the second day of the conference, we were based at a new University outside of New Delhi called the O.P. Jindal Global University. This institution was founded by a partnership between the charismatic founding Vice Chancellor, Raj Kumar, and O.P. Jindal, an Indian billionaire who made a fortune on steel and other primary resources. […]

The Future of Liberal Arts in India 2015 meeting in New Delhi

This week I am at the Future of Liberal Arts in India 2015 meeting in New Delhi. I can’t express how gratifying it is to see so many enthusiastic and brilliant educators gathering together to discuss exciting new curriculum, new universities, and new approaches to educating students in India, the US and Singapore. The conference […]