Browsing: Social Sciences

In 2017, Stony Brook graduate student and ethnomusicologist Jay Loomis and assistant professor of computer science Roy Shilkrot teamed up to secure a grant to create 3D printed replicas of ancient wind instruments. The goal? To give museum-goers an opportunity to interact with rare instruments rather than merely viewing them through a glass enclosure. Loomis had been interested in wind instruments since he was a boy in Wisconsin, when he was struck deeply by flute music wafting from his car radio. After he moved to Long Island, his thirst for playing dovetailed with an insatiable curiosity about indigenous musical instruments. He hoped…

It was a perfect June morning on the East End of Long Island. Breeze flowing off the water, clouds providing a slight scrim for the sun trying to push through. Sitting at a remote picnic table (although not quite remote enough to keep away several “Hi Bobby, I love your new show” fans) with television star and celebrity chef Bobby Flay, I shared our plans and set-up for the opening night keynote address he would be delivering for the 3rd Annual Food Lab Conference. It would be delivered that evening on the water’s edge at the School of Marine and Atmospheric…

Hannah Mieczkowski ’17 discovered psychology in ninth grade when she read Malcolm Gladwell’s best-seller Blink — a book that suggests that spontaneous decisions may be preferable to well-planned ones. “It was the first time I realized that the scientific method I had practiced in various science classes, such as chemistry and biology, also applied to other subjects with which I connected,” she said. Thus began a fascinating series of research experiences en route to a 4.0 GPA. In Professor Susan Brennan’s Communication Lab, Hannah collected and analyzed data for multiple experiments regarding eye movements, theory of mind and interpersonal deception. In the spring…

When pro ballers indulge in late-night tweetstorms, they aren’t just courting controversy: they could also be impacting their performance on-court. A new study led by Stony Brook researchers suggests that NBA players had worse personal statistics in games that followed a late-night tweet. Players scored on average about 1 point less in games following late-night tweets, and their shooting accuracy dropped 2.5 percentage points compared with their performance in games that did not follow late-night tweeting. After a late-night tweet, players also took fewer shots and had fewer rebounds, steals and blocks. “Using late-night tweeting activity as a proxy for…

Writer, artist, runner and licensed wildlife rehabilitator — this is how Erica Cirino ’15 identities herself. Perhaps survivor should be added to the description. Her childhood memories are dominated by discord. Voices escalate in anger and accusations; a door slams, followed by the sound of a woman sobbing. A car starts up in the driveway; a man is bound for who knows where. When the little girl wakes up in the middle of the night, she sees her father on the couch. Again. The days that follow bring more of the same — ongoing family drama that no child could be…

The fossil-rich sedimentary rock basin of Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya was set upon almost 50 years ago by renowned paleoanthropologist and Stony Brook professor Richard Leakey. To build on decades-long and groundbreaking fieldwork and research, Leakey and Stony Brook University founded the Turkana Basin Institute (TBI) in 2006 to provide the crucial infrastructure needed to facilitate future research and discovery in the remote desert region, now known to be the most complete and important repository in the world for human fossils. Supported entirely through private philanthropy, the kinds of discoveries possible at TBI are manifest in a recent find…

As she completes the finishing touches on her honors thesis, Diana Hernandez remarks: “It’s the first big paper that I’ve ever done like this. And it was a really incredible experience!” On track to graduate with honors in Comparative Literature in May 2017, Diana is completing an honors thesis that focuses on a 1933 work written by Salvadoran author Salarrué called Cuentos de Barro (Tales of Clay), a collection of folktales about the everyday lives of El Savador’s “campesinos” or impoverished farmers. Working under the mentorship of Professor Timothy August of the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, Diana…

At Stony Brook University, Matthew Henninger ’16 took great risks and found big rewards. Matthew, who grew up in Farmingville, only 20 minutes away from the University, moved to Brookfield, Connecticut with his family when he was eight years old. He grew to love the relative seclusion and natural beauty of his new surroundings and vowed he would never return to densely populated central Suffolk County. His academic interests, however, lured him back. “The friends I remained close to on Long Island who attended Stony Brook raved about the immense opportunities and impeccable education they were getting there,” he says. “At…

Lynn Lewis-Bevan ’17 has some advice for freshmen feeling pressured to declare a major — don’t. Lynn, who credits her father with encouraging her to “see the science behind everything,” was introduced to a Jane Goodall documentary in third grade and she was hooked on studying the natural world. Initially, she wanted to become a veterinarian but surrendered that dream because she didn’t want to euthanize animals. She almost gave up her science dreams because she was advised by administrators in her North Carolina high school, who told her that they didn’t see her doing well in science. The reason?…

In a new article in the Yale Daily News, “The Dark Side of Diversity,” Stony Brook Professor and LDS Faculty Director Todd Pittinsky asks why the media confuses a plus from an ampersand. When Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd, announced his “Us + Them” tour, with “a story that’s about whether love trumps everything,” Pittinsky noticed that the media kept calling it the “Us and Them” tour. This struck home because Pittinsky’s recent book, Us Plus Them, was also constantly referred to as Us and Them. In its small way, says Pittinsky, this mistake shows how hard it is for people…

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