Category Archives: Humanities

In the News: Andrew Fiss Interviewed on The Anthill

The Anthill, a podcast of news outlet The Conversation (UK), ran an interview with Andrew Fiss (HU) and Laura Kasson Fiss (Pavlis Honors College), as well as recordings of songs they performed as part of their presentation at the British Science Festival. Their research considers songs as science communication, in this case nineteenth-century women using parody to defend their right to study traditionally male subjects such as mathematics. See here.


In the News: Andrew Fiss (HU) and Laura Kasson Fiss (PHC) Co-Present at British Science Association

Andrew FissAndrew Fiss (HU) and Laura Kasson Fiss (Pavlis Honors College) presented at the annual meeting of the British Science Association, now rebranded as the British Science Festival, the longest-running conference for science communication in Europe. On Friday (Sept. 8) they gave a lecture/performance “The Mathematikado,” named for a 1886 parody of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Mikado” written and performed by students at the US women’s college, Vassar College. Their work was covered by The Conversation UK in a podcast called the Anthill.


Calling All Communicators: Plain Language Workshop

nickrosencrans“Speaking Your User’s Language,” an interactive workshop focusing on the benefits and challenges of communicating directly and authentically with your audience, will be presented by Nick Rosencrans, User Experience Analyst at the University of Minnesota, and self-described champion for the end user. The workshop is 9:30-11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19 in Walker 120A.

Participants will identify issues of voice and tone in their communications, consider the consequences of prioritizing specific users or audiences over others, and share their experiences with other participants.

Sponsored by the Department of Humanities.


Wicked Ambiguity Explored by Guest Speaker from Facebook

Jonathon Colman
Jonathon Colman

What’s it like to create solutions for people you won’t know in your lifetime? This wicked problem is faced by designers, artists, engineers, software developers, research scientists, information architects, content strategists—creatives of all sorts.

Jonathon Colman, product usability and lead content strategist at Facebook, offers some answers in his talk, “Wicked Ambiguity,” at 7 p.m. Monday (Sept. 18) in Walker 134.

In addition to his primary responsibilities at Facebook, Colman helps to recruit and place college interns. A Michigan Tech alumnus, Colman earned his BS in scientific and technical communication in 1997. Before joining Facebook in 2013, he worked in digital marketing and search engine optimization for REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) and the Nature Conservancy.

This even is sponsored by the Department of Humanities.




In Print: New Book by Syd Johnson

Routledge Handbook CoverThe Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics, edited by L. Syd M Johnson (HU) and Karen S. Rommelfanger (Emory University) has been published by Routledge. The handbook offers an informed view of how the brain sciences are being used to approach, understand and reinvigorate traditional philosophical questions, as well as how those questions, with the grounding influence of neuroscience, are being revisited beyond clinical and research domains.

Click here for more information.


Author Visit Highlight of Orientation Week

16231B76-6B81-4602-95B2-5DF7A215C73C-3882-000005048741D3ECA visit and lecture by author Daniel Tammet is the one highlights of Orientation Week at Michigan Technological University. Tammet, author of the bestselling “Born on a Blue Day” will speak to students as part of the Reading As Inquiry program.

Now in its 14th year, Reading As Inquiry asks first year students to read a specific book. Tomorrow, students will attend an address by the author and engage in a discussion with fellow students and a staff facilitator. “Born on a Blue Day,” this year’s required reading, is a memoir of Tammet’s life with Asperger syndrome and savant syndrome and was named “Best Book for Young Adults” in 2008 by the American Library Association.

Possessing an incredible memory and aptitude for math and numbers, Tammet holds the European record for reciting pi from memory to 22,514 digits and has the ability to learn languages in short periods of time.

Robert Johnson, professor of rhetoric, composition and technical communication in Tech’s Humanities department, explained why “Born on a Blue Day” was chosen. “The program is called ‘Reading as Inquiry,’ so we look for books that will inspire conversation,” Johnson says. He says there’s more to choosing the summer reading than whether it’s a good book. “We also have to consider their qualities of a public speaker, their availability during Orientation Week and, frankly, the cost of getting them here.”