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July 2014 Issue
Undergraduates look under the hood of democracy in the new Penn Program for Opinion Research and Election Studies.Susan Ahlborn
From opinions of the Hobby Lobby decision to top contenders in the 2016 presidential race, we’re peppered daily by poll results, many produced by biased sources. Citizens may be jaded, confused, or just exhausted by all the information, but Associate Professor of Political Science John Lapinski argues that polling plays a vital role in democracy.
Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy James Aguirre looks deep into the history of the night sky.Blake Cole
Imagine the universe billions of years ago as a lump of Swiss cheese. About 400,000 years after the Big Bang, it had cooled enough to produce hydrogen atoms—the “cheese.” As stars began to form, they emitted radiation that ionized these hydrogen atoms, a process which caused the holes to appear.
English graduate student Jason Zuzga’s summer course tackles aliens, monsters, and what it means to be human.Lini Kadaba
In The Botanic Garden, 18th-century poet and naturalist Erasmus Darwin juxtaposed lyrical, erotic poetry about plant reproduction against dry, technical prose based on Linnaeus’ classification system, all to teach the populace a thing or two about botany.
Three 2014 College grads are finishing their movie with money they raised on Kickstarter.Susan Ahlborn
Most college students wonder how they’ll handle the future: whether to follow an established path, or to live a life that is free-form but risky. Jason (Jay) Jadick, C’14; Dylan Hansen-Fliedner, C’14, ENG’14; and Dane Mainella, C’14, ENG’14, explored the quandary by making a movie. Now, just two months after graduation, they’ve raised enough on Kickstarter to finish their feature.
Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World doctoral candidate Lucas Stephens uses an advanced aerial photography system to map an ancient city.Blake Cole
When Lucas Stephens needed assistance in surveying the Gordion archeological site in central Turkey, he turned to a revolutionary technological ally: the Phantom 2 Vision + Quadcopter.
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