Friday, December 25, 2015

University of Utah

Here are some photos my friend Joe Brennan took at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Shown in the first photo is Gardner Hall, which houses facilities for the School of Music.

Shown to the right is the George S. Eccles 2002 Legacy Bridge, a structure allowing people to walk above, rather than have to cross, a busy thoroughfare below. The bridge was built in advance of the 2002 Winter Olympics, some of whose festivities were held on the Utah campus.

One can also faintly see the top of the bridge's main pillar (known as a "pylon") in the panoramic view below. It appears on the left-hand side of the picture, in between the group of trees on the far-left and the trees in the center.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

University of British Columbia -- Robson Square

I recently attended an academic conference in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The combination of rainy weather and a busy schedule kept me from visiting the main campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC), which is several miles from downtown.

However, I did pass by the small UBC Robson Square campus downtown.

As the close-up of the sign indicates, UBC-Robson Square provides adult-education programs: Continuing Studies, Executive Education, and Certificate Programs.

From another angle, one sees some of the many downtown skyscrapers, along with signs marking the 100th anniversary of UBC becoming an independent university (it previously had been linked to the Montreal-based McGill University).

UBC-Robson Square is also adjacent to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Friday, October 02, 2015

University at Albany (State U. of NY)

My friend Joe Brennan, with whom I go back 20+ years to when we were both at a research institute in Buffalo, New York, recently started a new job at the other end of the Empire State, namely at the University at Albany. Within the SUNY system, Albany is one of four research-intensive "university centers" (along with Binghamton, Buffalo, and Stony Brook). Joe posted some Albany photos on Facebook and kindly has allowed me to reprint them here.

Albany has multiple campuses, including the large Uptown campus and small Downtown campus. The Uptown campus is relatively new, having been around for approximately 50 years. A sign of the modern architecture is the administration building, University Hall.

The Downtown campus includes Dewey Library, shown below from the outside and inside.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Penn State Erie/Behrend College

Kim Corson, a Texas Tech Ph.D. recipient and previous contributor to this site, has taken a new faculty position at Penn State Erie/Behrend College. Kim was kind enough to share some photos of the campus, which are shown below.

In the Penn State system, the flagship is the large University Park campus (in the adjoining town of State College). Nineteen other schools are known as PSU Commonwealth campuses; 14 of these are two-year institutions that allow students to transfer to the PSU flagship. The other five schools, including Erie/Behrend, have over the years developed four-year degree options.

The Penn State campus in Erie is also known as Behrend College, in honor of the land for the campus having been donated by a member of the Behrend family (from the Hammermill Paper fortune). Although Erie has historically been a manufacturing/heavy-industry city (like nearby Cleveland, Ohio, and Buffalo, New York), the PSU Erie campus looks quite rustic.

Shown first is Erie Hall. According to the book Historic Erie County, "In addition to being used as a gymnasium, the new Erie Hall.. served as an assembly hall, a theatre for dramatic and musical productions, and an armory for the ROTC."

Turnbull Hall, home of the initial PSU Erie library, now serves as the site of psychology labs.

Shown next is the Reed Union Building (RUB).

Finally, we have the Metzgar Admissions and Alumni Center.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Purdue University

I think it's pretty clear from this website that I love visiting college campuses. However, I have a special fondness for schools in the Big Ten Conference, which includes the subject of today's posting, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Following my late-June swing through several Chicago schools (see postings below), I was fortunate to be able to fit in a trip to Purdue, combining business and pleasure.

Purdue is best known academically for science and engineering, including a rich history with the space program. As you'll see, the campus is very green, with lots of tradition. Reminders of the school's athletic nickname, the Boilermakers, in terms of railroad and steelworker imagery are seemingly everywhere. The adjoining commercial district appears smaller than those in other Big Ten towns such as Ann Arbor and Madison, but there are still plenty of places to get some pizza and other favorite foods of college students. Photos of all these Purdue features -- and more -- are shown in the sections below.

Engineering and the Space Program

On the north end of campus sits Purdue's engineering complex, featuring the Gateway to the Future arch.

Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), the first person ever to set foot on the moon, is a Purdue alumnus and accordingly is featured prominently on the campus.  There is a Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering (whose design borrows a little too much from the In-N-Out Burger logo for my taste)...

...with a statue of Armstrong in front.

In addition, Armstrong's famous quote upon walking on the moon is depicted on the plaza near the statue. I lacked the photographic equipment to capture the full quotation in one shot in a way that would be readable (this photo I found online doesn't portray a fully readable quote either). Therefore, I photographed the quote in four parts, which allowed me to get close to each part. I then cropped each part and stuck the parts together after the fact. The background is a schematic of the plaza. The final product looks pretty amateurish, I know, but at least you can read the full quote (especially if you click on the picture to enlarge it).

(As a side note, the "a" in "One small step for a man..." is of questionable audibility in the recording of Armstrong's statement. You can check for yourself from an audio clip on the Wikipedia page for Neil Armstrong. As many observers have pointed out, without the "a," then "man" in that context is conceptually equivalent to "mankind" at the end of the quote, ruining the distinction Armstrong was trying to create.)

In all, nearly two dozen Purdue alumni have served as astronauts, including such well-known ones as Gene Cernan and Gus Grissom. An official list appears here, from which it can be seen that all majored in engineering or closely related scientific fields.

Another part of the vast engineering complex is the Materials Science and Electrical Engineering building...

Basketball's John Wooden

Not too far from the area recognizing Armstrong is a monument, of sorts, to another famous Purdue alumnus, the legendary basketball coach John Wooden. In 2010, the university named a street on campus after him, John R. Wooden Drive. I took a picture of the street sign and added it to the Wikipedia page for John Wooden (see "Honors" section).

Student Union

The Purdue Memorial Union (below) has many features common to Big Ten student unions, including a bowling alley (not shown), a hotel (shown on the right)...

 ... and traditionally appointed meeting/study rooms.

Among the food-service options in the Union is Pappy's Sweet Shop.

Another neat feature, located in the lobby, is a detailed model of the campus, shown first with its case and then through the glass for more of a close-up.

Other Parts of Campus

Expansive lawns, towers, statues, sculptures, and fountains abound on the Purdue campus. My favorite is the "Unfinished P," which symbolizes that learning is always a work in progress.

Another popular feature is Loeb Fountain, also known as the "Walk-In Fountain." On the day I went by this fountain, a number of families had brought their children to escape the heat.

Next to Loeb Fountain is Beering Hall (Liberal Arts and Education)...

The Purdue Bell Tower (sometimes also referred to as the Clock Tower) stands within a large grassy area...

Elsewhere, picnic tables are available for enjoying the verdant setting...

Some of the additional academic buildings that caught my eye include the new Bailey Hall for music...

...and Pfendler Hall (Agriculture)...

A lunch spot apart from the Union is the Boiler Bistro. I wonder if the menu includes a Boilerplate? Purdue is one place "boilerplate" presumably would not be a pejorative!

Adjoining Town/Commercial District

One thing Purdue/West Lafayette has in common with Ann Arbor and Madison, however, is that the main drag is State Street.

The bookstore is just off-campus on State Street...

Two venerated establishments nearby are Harry's Chocolate Shop (actually a bar; notice the neon beer logo on the right of the lower picture)...

...and Triple X (or Tri-Chi), actually a burger place...

I'm always on the lookout for some good plain-cheese pizza and Mad Mushroom (known as "Mad Mush") filled the bill...

There's a lot of new-apartment construction taking place a few blocks from campus, perhaps signaling enrollment growth...

All I can say at this point is "Boiler Up!"

Sunday, August 02, 2015

University of Chicago

Today's posting closes out my four-part series (displayed sequentially below in separate postings) of visits to different Chicago college campuses during my late-June trip to the Windy City.

Situated in the South Side neighborhood of Hyde Park, home to President Barack Obama, is the University of Chicago. Before we get to the pictures I took in late June, this online self-rotating slideshow provides an aerial shot, showing the U of C's location relative to downtown Chicago. Even though the photo makes the university seem adjacent to downtown, in reality it is seven miles south.

U of C is an elite academic institution, on a par with Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and others of that echelon. According to the Wikipedia, "89 Nobel laureates have been affiliated with the university as visiting professors, students, faculty, or staff, the fourth most of any institution in the world. In addition, Chicago's alumni include 49 Rhodes Scholars, 9 Fields Medalists [an award for top mathematicians under age 40], 13 National Humanities Medalists and 13 billionaire graduates."

Chicago does not appear to be as well-known to public as other elite schools, however, perhaps because it does not compete in Division I athletics. Chicago once did, as a member of the Big Ten conference. The first Heisman Trophy winner, Jay Berwanger, played for U of C, and one of the all-time great football coaches, Amos Alonzo Stagg, plied his trade there. In the 1930s, however, President Robert Maynard Hutchins eliminated football, claiming it to be incompatible with scholarly excellence (the sport was later restored at the lower-key Division III level).

The architecture alone is a treat at U of C, the Collegiate Gothic style all around. The history of the style is reviewed in this article, entitled "How Gothic Architecture Took Over the American College Campus."

To the left is Lawson Tower, part of the former Chicago Theological Seminary and now part of the conversion to the Saieh Hall for Economics (including the Becker-Friedman Institute for Research in Economics). Further architectural and historical background on Lawson Tower is available here.

Below is the Rockefeller Chapel (the university's founding was aided by the financial contributions of John D. Rockefeller), showing two wings of the building. The Chapel hosts a number of events, as detailed on its homepage. A beautiful shot of the interior is available here.

Among the more modern structures at U of C is the Oriental Institute Museum, a virtual tour of which is available here...

Nearby is the Main Quadrangle, combining lush lawns and gardens with yet additional attractive architecture (Eckhart and Rosenwald Halls are shown below)...

Traveling west, one exits the Quad by walking through a tunnel on the first floor of Edward H. Levi Hall. Levi was a legal scholar, U of C president, and Gerald Ford's U.S. Attorney General in the aftermath of Watergate (Wikipedia page). Levi Hall is the main university administration building, rededicated in his honor in 2013.

Upon exiting the Quad through the Levi passageway, one finds the U of C bookstore...

While I was in the bookstore, the previously moderate rain showers escalated into a torrential downpour, and I ended up getting soaked as I walked back to the Metra train to go back downtown. Still, it was a great experience!