Lecture Previews

Center for International Relations and Politics

Monday, April 25 at noon

Rachel Mellon Walton Room, Posner Hall

Debora Spar, president of Barnard College, will give a lecture titled “Why Women Matter.” Spar’s research focuses on issues of international political economy, examining how rules are established in new or emerging markets and how corporations and governments together shape the evolving global economy.

Spar is the author of numerous articles and books, including Ruling the Waves: Cycles of Invention, Chaos, and Wealth from the Compass to the Internet and The Baby Business: How Money, Science, and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception.

A Massacre Averted: An Armenian Town, an American Nurse, and the Turkish Army They Resisted

Monday, April 25 at 4:30 p.m.

Porter Hall 100 (Gregg Hall)

Nancy Klancher, a Ph.D. candidate in the Cooperative Doctoral Program in Religion at the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, will give a lecture on the country of Armenia and the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire’s collapse.

Her research focuses on New Testament studies, specifically its reception history as a cultural transmission, as well as its textual depictions of religious authority, religious identity, and religious conflict. From 1999 to 2010, Klancher was the director of Carnegie Mellon’s Graduate Programs Office.

America and the Arab Revolutions

Tuesday, April 26 at 4:30 p.m.

Steinberg Auditorium (Baker Hall A53)

Blake Hounshell is the managing editor at Foreign Policy, having joined in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. His lecture will focus on the various revolutions in Arab regions, specifically observing America’s involvement.

A graduate of Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Hounshell has appeared on CNN, NPR, C-SPAN, WTOP, WNYC, and Al-Jazeera. In February 2011, he returned to Cairo to cover the Egyptian revolution. He speaks some Arabic and French and lives in Doha, Qatar.

The event is co-sponsored by the Center for International Relations and Politics, the Humanities Scholars program, the department of modern languages, the professional writing program in the English department, and the Heinz College.

2011 Buhl Lecture

Friday, April 29 at 4:30 p.m.

Mellon Institute Auditorium

In his lecture, titled “Quantum Computing and the Limits of the Efficiently Computable,” Scott Aaronson will talk about what can and cannot be feasibly computed according to the laws of physics. He will explain the basics of computational complexity, including the P vs. NP problem and the Extended Church-Turing Thesis. He will then discuss quantum computers: what they are, whether they can be scalably built, and what is known today about their capabilities and limitations. Lastly, Aaronson will touch on the speculative models of computation which use closed timelike curves or nonlinearities, such as in the Schrödinger equation.

Aaronson is an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. He is also the creator of the Complexity Zoo, an online encyclopedia of computational complexity theory.