Thursday, December 22, 2016

University of California, Santa Barbara

I made a brief visit to California in October for a cousin's wedding in the Solvang-Buellton area north of Santa Barbara. The UCSB campus was not exactly on the route from Los Angeles for our Saturday afternoon drive, but I managed to prevail upon my family to detour through UCSB for a drive-by photographing.

UCSB appears to have a great deal of modern architecture, including the Engineering Science Building near the entrance we drove through.

Among the funky architecture is the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics complex, home to several Nobel Prize winners.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Cal Poly -- San Luis Obispo

Described as "halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco," near the California coast, is California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (also known as Cal Poly-SLO, Cal Poly, etc.).* The host city also goes by a variety of names, including "SLO Town," and offers a wide array of outdoor activities. One final piece of trivia is that "Weird Al" Yankovic, the master of parody song lyrics, went to Cal Poly-SLO.

Every summer, my brother Steve, an elementary-school teacher in the Los Angeles area, travels up to SLO for a conference on teaching physical education, and he took some pictures of the campus this year. Shown first is the Cal Poly-SLO student union.

The next two photos, consistent with the topic of the conference, are the kinesiology building...

...and the basketball gym.

A school with "Polytechnic" in its name should be strong in engineering and SLO definitely is. The school is ranked in a tie for fifth in the nation by U.S. News for undergraduate engineering programs (among non-doctoral-granting institutions).

Thus, if you're seeking a good workout for both your mind and body, Cal Poly SLO may be just the place.

*There is another Cal Poly campus in Pomona. However, more observers would probably associate the term "Cal Poly" with SLO (founded in 1901) than Pomona (founded in 1938).

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Columbia University

Let's go back-to-back with New York City institutions, Columbia University in the present posting following NYU in the previous one. Texas Tech student Orlando Parrales visited Columbia over the summer and provided a couple of pictures. Columbia, a member of the Ivy League, is considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

The first photograph is of Butler Library, famous for its list of great authors across the facade. You'll have to click on the photo to enlarge it, so you can see the authors' names.

Because all the listed authors are men, people have hung banners commemorating great women authors, as well.

The second photo shows another "library," known as Low Library. However, the building hasn't housed books for some time. "No longer a library, Low houses the Visitors Center and the Office of the President, and is used for campus events," according to a university webpage.

Barely perceptible at the top of the facade is a reference to "King's College" (close-up below). According to a page on the school's history, "Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of King George II of England."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New York University

Today, I'd like to welcome a new guest contributor to this site, New York University professor John Jost. I learned through Facebook that John took campus photos and he agreed to make his collection -- focused on East Coast schools -- available for this site. Let's start out with John's own school, NYU.

NYU is a prestigious private university, located in Greenwich Village near the southern tip of Manhattan. The campus is inextricably linked with Washington Square Park, recognizable by its famous arch (far left side of picture).

According to the Wikipedia page on Washington Square Park, "Most of the buildings surrounding the park now belong to New York University, but many have at one time served as homes and studios for artists. Some of the buildings have been built by NYU while others have been converted from their former uses into academic and residential buildings."

NYU has some of its commencements in Washington Square Park, the graduation gowns creating a sea of violet, the main school color. (As an aside, NYU also has held graduation at Yankee Stadium, including in May 2012.)

Based on this NYU campus map, searches of NYU buildings in Google Images, and the use of Google Earth, I've developed the following legend of buildings corresponding to the above photo.

The "1 University Place" building has apartments at several different price-points, starting at around $2,500 a month for a studio, that is. For those of us who will have to get the NYU experience vicariously, here's a nice photo essay on one of the surrounding areas.

One of the buildings framing the park is the Stern School of Business. Here is the entrance of the brick-colored wing of the Stern School, which is adjoined by a more modernistic wing.

Finally, we have a rainbow shot looking out over the city.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Oxford University

I am pleased to display photos from Oxford University, one of the world's most famous institutions of higher learning, taken by my Texas Tech colleague Natalia Velikova on a visit to England. According to the Wikipedia page on Oxford, "While having no known date of foundation, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096..." Oxford is composed of 38 "self-governing" colleges. The residential-college system, which is used at Oxford, Cambridge, and elsewhere in Great Britain, has also been in adopted in the U.S. at some Ivy League schools and at Rice University in Houston, Texas, to name a few places. On to the Oxford photos!

We start out with the Oxford Museum of Natural History. Built in the mid-1800s, the museum is very young in relation to the university's founding! Video tours inside the museum are available here.

Next is a structure known as Radcliffe Camera, a former library that now hosts undergraduate reading rooms. This building is a little older, having been constructed in the mid-1700s.

The next few pictures show some of the colleges at Oxford. First is University College...

...followed by Magdalen College.

Next is Christ Church College...

...with Christ Church's Cathedral appearing in the background of the next photo, beyond Tom Quad...

Finally, we have the Bridge of Sighs, connecting buildings within Hertford College...

Thursday, June 09, 2016

University of California, Berkeley

My faculty colleague Dana Weiser visited UC Berkeley (also known as "Cal") a while back and was kind enough to provide photos of the campus. Berkeley is one of my favorite campuses; I've visited it several times, but all before I started operating this blog.

From its strong academics (here and here) to its left-wing politics, Berkeley is one of the most famous universities in the U.S., if not the world. Campus architectural icons include Sather Tower (also known as the Campanile) and Sather Gate, shown in the following photos...

One can see the tower in the background from much of the campus...

As noted on the following plaque, Berkeley was the first University of California campus, opening in 1873...

The California Golden Bear mascot (coinciding with the bear symbol on the California state flag) is ubiquitous on campus...

The next several photos show a range from very old to moderately old to very new buildings. South Hall is an original building on the Berkeley campus...

Vigorous discussion is common on campus and the University Library (also known as Doe Library) is no exception. Opened in 1911, the Library currently is embroiled in a debate over whether to maintain the book stacks of the past or move forward in the digital era.

Next is what appears to be a former home of the Department of Psychology. Tolman Hall, which has housed Psychology from 1963 to the present, looks nothing like the building pictured below. In fact, Tolman also will be going by the wayside, with a new facility scheduled to open in 2017 or 2018.

Berkeley has also been constructing new buildings, of course. Stanley Hall (below) houses several programs in science and technology. One is "QB3," short for the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, a multisite program with UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, and non-university entities.

The Haas School of Business has a somewhat funky low-rise layout...

The following piece of public art is adjacent to the Haas Business School...

Next are the major athletic facilities. First is the renovated Memorial Stadium (football), whose additions included a new press box (shown on far-right of picture). A close-up of the bear outside the stadium is also shown...

Below is Haas Pavilion (basketball; formerly known as Harmon Gym)...

The campus also features some interesting historical markers. The Free Speech Movement, which began during the Fall 1964 semester in an attempt to lift restrictions on students' on-campus political organizing and campaigning, is now honored with a cafe...

There are also murals that were funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a New Deal program under Franklin Delano Roosevelt...

Finally, the campus features some rustic areas, which I don't recall from my visits to Cal. These are located in the Strawberry Creek area.

Below is Anthony Hall, formerly known as the "Pelican Building."

(I have lightly edited the text to update the locations of some of the structures discussed above, based on information from Dana Weiser.)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Temple University (Philadelphia)

Philadelphia's Temple University sits a bit north of Center City (downtown), as the photo on this university webpage depicts. Texas Tech graduate student Mansour Alansari recently was at Temple during a conference and very generously took some pictures for this blog.

Broad Street is perhaps the best-known street in the city, taking in Temple in north Philly (see arrow in photo below), City Hall downtown, and going all the way south to the Sports Complex, which includes the venues for the city's professional sports teams (Phillies, Flyers, 76ers, and Eagles).

Ubiquitous around Temple is the school's distinctive "T" logo, as shown in the next two shots...

Of greatest historical significance is the pair of Broad Street buildings shown next. To the left is Mitten Hall, which nowadays can be rented out for weddings and other events. The building on the right is the Performing Arts Center, a converted old Baptist Temple. This website shows a close-up of the Performing Arts Center -- note the inscription on the building "THE TEMPLE." That is where the name of the university comes from.

The founding of the university dates back to Russell Conwell tutoring students in the Temple during evenings. The students became known as "Night Owls," leading to the contemporary nickname for Temple's athletic teams, the Owls (see the university's Wikipedia page for further historical background).

Like the "T" logo, the Owl mascot is readily depicted on campus, in the following statue and, in the picture after, proclaiming "Owl Country." 

Temple's architecture appears to fall into three categories. There are several new (or newly renovated) buildings, such as the Howard Gittis Student Center...

...Morgan Hall, a new high-rise dormitory complex with a funky window scheme...

...and the Tech Center.

Then there are the older, more functional-seeming buildings, such as the Paley Library...

...and the Law School.

Finally, there are the vintage older buildings, such as Conwell Hall (named after the university's founder) and Carnell Hall...

...and the following building, which I could not identify, despite extensive Internet research.

Let's conclude with some Temple University trivia. Daryl Hall and John Oates, members of the popular musical duo Hall and Oates, both attended Temple, although they first met outside of the university. Before his Hall and Oates days, Daryl was in a group called the Temptones. One might guess that the group's name was a tribute to the Temptations, the legendary Motown group with which Hall had stylistic and professional ties. However, Temptones was actually a reference to Temple University. Hall discusses his musical history, including his time with the Temptones, in this interview with Dan Rather.