Category: xltdbyltxeld

Professor’s book selected for Canto Classics series

first_imgDuring the turmoil in Uganda after the fall of repressive leader Idi Amin Dada, political scientist Robert Bates was in the field. At the time, he was widely known for his astute public policy analysis of agricultural decline in Africa. His war-zone experience led to the great concern of the latter part of his career — the study of political violence.Now one of his books on the subject, “When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa” (2008), is being published by the Cambridge University Press. It was selected for the Canto Classics series, which features the most influential titles over the past half-century. With the inclusion, Bates joins intellects such as literary critic C.S. Lewis, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, British anthropologist Jack Goody, and Harvard University colleague Theda Skocpol, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology and a faculty associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.A deep commitment to fieldwork has been paramount for Bates, the Eaton Professor of the Science of Government and professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard and a faculty associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. On his office door he has a picture of himself in long white beard and Panama hat, looking, as he does, like a restless scholar ready to set out on expedition.Since arriving at Harvard in 1993, Bates has conducted fieldwork in Brazil, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, and Ghana. His scholarship has been steadily funded by the Weatherhead Center, the largest international social science research center within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. His awards have included a Weatherhead Initiative grant of a half-million dollars for interdisciplinary work on Africa.“You can’t just apply some theory that everybody is talking about in Cambridge or London or Paris. You’ve got to get there and walk the ground and look,” Bates said. “Research support from the Weatherhead Center started, I’d say, as soon as my toe hit Cambridge soil. And it has been absolutely pivotal.”Bates was born in Brooklyn and raised in a family committed to Civil Rights and racial integration. As a high school student at the Pomfret School, he traveled to Africa for the first time. Many years later, in an essay for The Annual Review of Political Science, Bates remembered: “I came back from the trip knowing that I had connected with something that had changed me. When I left Pomfret, I knew what I wanted to do with my life: to think hard, to work in Africa, to focus on politics.”After attending Haverford College, Bates did his graduate work at MIT in behavioral approaches to the study of politics, which emphasized habits that are inculcated in people, such as traditions. When his early field research led him to reject that thinking, he grew interested in economic reasoning and models. Fortunately, his first faculty position at the California Institute of Technology drew him into an atmosphere in which colleagues were looking at the intersection between neoclassical economics and politics.His books, including “When Things Fell Apart,” have modeled his belief that, “It is crucial to have a dialogue between the nature of the problems we study and how we characterize them on the one hand, and what we see and touch on the other.”In this book, Bates locates the origins of insurrection in the actions of the government. Too many scholars and policymakers mistakenly focus on rebel insurgencies without paying better attention to the behavior of those whom they seek to drive from power, according to Bates.In Africa, he wrote, the reasons for political violence included a widespread fiscal crisis, the authoritarian nature of its states, and their rulers’ penchant for preying on the public. He said of the rulers, “By rendering their people victims, they provoked insurgencies.”Focusing on the sub-Saharan region of Africa, Bates developed data on roughly 40 countries. He combined systematic inferential work with qualitative insights. He studied many of the countries in depth — some down to the village level. “You have to go there and lift up the hood and see what’s going on to generate the numbers. That’s the only way as far as I’m concerned,” Bates said.He employs game theory, an approach for which he is known: “So what you want to do is look at the behavior that you’re witnessing in the field and figure out the logic behind it,” he said. “When you return from the field, you write the game down as you understand it and see if your theory is right. In equilibrium, do people behave the way you think you observe them behaving? If so, you may have the right game. If not, you throw that understanding away and try again.”Today Bates would like to see more of his colleagues approach contemporary political violence with a greater emphasis on the factors that lead states to breakdown. “Everybody in the academic world is looking at these insurgent groups — ISIS or al-Qaida and other groups — as if they were spontaneously assembling themselves. But they were the product of failing states. It was the way Syria was run or the way Iraq was run that made it rational for people to pick up guns and protect themselves and their families and their businesses,” he said.“When I look at what my colleagues are doing, they’re still studying these groups sui generis — as in, you know, let’s get inside them and see how they work. I hope somebody will do that but I also think if you want to understand where they are coming from, you have to step back in time and look at what drove people to that,” he said.last_img read more

Whew, that’s done!

first_imgFor many, writing a senior thesis is the ultimate academic challenge of College life. About half of Harvard students undertake this weighty endeavor, which is required only for honors students at most Schools. On deadline day, their original research, writing, and tortured all-nighters are sometimes rewarded with interdepartmental parties featuring cake and champagne.More tributes follow the March filings — at least for a lucky few — in early May with the announcement of the Hoopes Prize, which recognizes outstanding undergraduate research. A few days later, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) holds its annual Design & Project Fair, where dean’s awards are bestowed for outstanding engineering projects.Lyra Wanzer ’19, who built an electroadhesive treaded microrobot, was one of this year’s four winners. She was delighted. “I put so much work and time in this,” said Wanzer, a Vermont native who fell in love with robotics in high school. “So many hours for a whole year.”Students in the engineering bachelor’s program at SEAS are required to work on a capstone project, similar to a thesis, which aims to solve a real-world problem. Wanzer built a 6-centimeter-long microrobot with treads like a military tank. It can stick to conductive surfaces and could be used for search and rescue operations or inspecting pipes, engines, and other places where the human hand can’t reach.Across the University, the thesis is a rite of passage that students approach with mixed feelings. There is dread about the amount of work involved — each thesis must be between 10,000 and 20,000 words, 60 to 100 pages, and involve original research — but also a deep feeling of accomplishment once it’s finally done.Such was the case for David Shayne ’19, who is concentrating in social studies with a secondary in visual and environmental studies. Shayne handed in his thesis on the history of the American economic crises one hour before the deadline. He was tired after sleeping little in the previous 48 hours, but mostly overwhelmed by pride and joy.“I’m exhausted and stunned that the thesis exists and that I produced so many pages [about 100],” he said, looking a bit disheveled on the March 13 deadline. “I did my thesis by the sheer tyranny of will. It’s a weird and wonderful feeling.”,In most Schools a thesis is optional, but it is a requirement for students on the honors track. About half of all students across the College pursue honors within their concentrations; the numbers vary according to Schools and departments. Lauren Bimmler, undergraduate program administrator in the English Department, said 34 out of 48 seniors there are on the honors track.A lower percentage of SEAS students write senior theses. This year, 42 out of 140 computer science concentrators wrote one, as did 30 out of 100 students concentrating in applied mathematics.For Hyo-Won Jeon, who is concentrating in social studies, working on her thesis meant sacrifice. When she handed it in, she felt relieved.“Every day was truly a test,” said Jeon, who spent the night before the deadline at the library working on her paper on intercountry adoptees who don’t have U.S. citizenship. “The hardest part was not being able to spend time with my friends because I was working.”Students don’t undertake the challenge alone. The University offers tutorials, seminars, and workshops on how to choose a topic, do research, and write the thesis, and assigns advisers who guide students through the whole process. They may also apply for grants for research and travel.For seniors in the S.B. engineering program, SEAS requires the two-semester capstone course “Engineering Design Projects” (ES 100). This year’s projects showed a wide array of interests, from a 3D-printable implant to replace part of the ear’s canal wall to a wearable device that provides early detection of infection in pediatric patients to a portable gadget that measures atmospheric mercury levels.Seniors concentrating in applied mathematics also demonstrated a broad array of interests, said Sarah Iams, assistant director of undergraduate studies in applied mathematics.Hyo-Won Jeon (right) hands in her thesis to Nicole Dejong Newendorp. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer“It’s a cool, wide range of topics, from sports theses to economic questions to decoding Inca quipus,” said Iams.In the English Department, students can write critical or creative theses. Bimmler said creative theses, such as collections of poems or short stories, novellas, and screenplays, are on the rise. Two years ago, Obasi Shaw ’17 turned in “Liminal Minds,” the first rap album ever submitted at the English Department.This year, there were 13 creative theses and next year officials anticipate 23, said Bimmler.For many students the best part of tackling a thesis is that they can choose any topic, depending on their interests or fields of study. Among this year’s Hoopes Prize winners are works on female judges and crime in India, American country music in Italy, Nazis in America, gang violence in El Salvador, and the spread of the invasive strawberry guava in Madagascar’s rainforests.Schools have different deadlines for students to turn in their theses. In the Social Studies Department, it’s always the Wednesday before spring break to allow students enjoy the recess without any thesis-related concerns. At SEAS, it’s the last Friday of March.On deadline day, some Schools hold small parties with champagne, cake, and hors d’oeuvres to cheer on students as they arrive with the product of their labor. It’s a well-deserved celebration, said Anya Bernstein Bassett, senior lecturer and director of studies in social studies.“They take on an independent project and go through the ups and downs because there are always challenges,” said Bassett. “Your interview subjects won’t talk to you, you go to a field site and it’s not what you expected, and they have to manage through that. It says so much about who they are and how committed they are.”Senior lecturer Anya Bassett (from left) accepts theses from Layla Siddig, Rohan Shah, and Anwar Omeish. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerJuliana Rodrigues ’19, who’s concentrating in social studies, shared the sentiment.“It’s a capstone for your educational experience at Harvard,” she said. “It’s a way to reflect back on everything you’ve learned in your time here and bring that all together that speaks to who you are and what you value.”Anna Antongiorgi ’19 is concentrating in English with a secondary in Theater, Dance & Media. Her creative thesis was both an intellectual and emotional enterprise. She wrote a collection of 120 poems inspired by her love of writing and dancing.In many ways, the paper didn’t feel like homework, said Antongiorgi, who began dancing at age 5 and started writing poems in high school. At times, it was cathartic, at times overwhelming, but mostly it was enjoyable. The process has led her to ponder new possibilities.“I’m still writing,” said Antongiorgi. “It felt like it was just the beginning. I don’t feel finished.”last_img read more

Start Date For High-Risk Winter Sports In NY Pushed Back

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) WNY News Now File Image.LATHAM (AP) — The tentative start date for high-risk winter sports has been moved again for New York high schools, this time to early January, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday.Basketball, ice hockey, wrestling and competitive cheer would be able to start Jan. 4, contingent upon authorization from state health officials. Those sports were originally scheduled to start in mid-November and that date was pushed back to the end of November because of the pandemic.Dr. Robert Zayas, executive director of NYSPHSAA, said member schools had expressed concerns pertaining to the increase in COVID-19 infection rates.Low and moderate risk winter sports, which include bowling, gymnastics, indoor track and field, skiing, swimming and diving, are still on schedule to begin Nov. 30. Zayas said NYSPHSAA had proposed a prohibition on teams traveling outside the state or hosting teams from other states. He said he also proposed limiting high school athletes from participating with any other teams other than their high school teams.He said decisions about state championships would be made at a later time.last_img read more

Veggie Farm Shareholders

first_img“The buyers’ club is made up of about 30 people from around the area who want fresh,high-quality, organic produce,” Putnam said. The original cash outlay is also an obstacle for some potential customers. CSAs usually charge$500 to $1,000 for memberships. On a damp fall morning, Margaret Putnam and Cynthia Hizer hurry to gather greens from thegarden before the rain comes. The produce offered, and the opportunities for on-farm activities, may differ from farm tofarm. But all CSAs depend on a committed group of shareholders, Lohr said. Lovel said his best customers are those who like to cook and eat most meals at home. The shareholders at Hazelbrand Farms are called “the buyers’ club.” “The consumers benefit because they know where their food comes from,” she said. Each week during the growing and harvesting season, shareholders get their share of freshvegetables from the farmer. “We get money in the spring and pay it back in produce throughout the summer,” Lovel said.”One of the chief obstacles for farmers is the original cash outlay.” CSAs are as much about building community as about farming, Putnam said. “They help smallfarmers like us find people in the community who believe in what we’re doing and are willingto support us,” she said. Community Supported Agriculture allows farmers to share the business risk with theircommunity. Individuals contract with the farmer to grow vegetables for them, which thecustomers pay for in advance. They become “shareholders” in the business. “I have more turnover than I’d like on the CSA,” Lovel said. “One in eight really turns out tobe a customer that orders regularly. The others fizzle out.” “People have had CSAs for years, but they’re really growing now,” Putnam said. Shareholders expected the produce to be their main supply for the season, but ended upsupplementing the new foods with their old favorites from the grocery store. Atlanta is a prime market for CSAs because of its demographics. CSAs allow farmers to devote most of their time to producing food, rather than marketingtheir products. “CSA shareholders in the Southeast are a fairly high-income group,” Lohr said. “The CSAstructure works best in large urban areas. However, they can be structured for otherpurposes.” They own Hazelbrand Farms, an organic farm in Newton County. They, like organic farmersacross the country, are moving to a new system of doing business called CommunitySupported Agriculture. “It sounds like a lot, but it’s $22 per week for the season,” Putnam said. “Most people spendmore than that for produce at the grocery store if they have a family.” “Turnover rates from 30 percent to 50 percent aren’t uncommon for CSAs in the UnitedStates,” Lohr said. “When turnover is high, demands on farmers’ time can be overwhelming.” “Farmers benefit because they receive an immediate source of capital and are able to share therisk with a community of supporters,” said Luanne Lohr, an economist with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. They found that while many shareholders thought they wanted to try new varieties ofvegetables, the exotic vegetables didn’t appeal to their families, and many went unused. Hugh Lovel, who operates the Union Agricultural Institute in Blairsville, Ga., has had a CSAfor 10 years. It gives him the cash flow for his farm. He charges a membership fee and adeposit, which members get back in produce. UGA researchers joined seven Southeastern CSAs to find out what influenced that turnover. Recent research by Lohr and research partner Deborah Kane showed that CSAs’ biggestproblem is keeping shareholders.last_img read more

UK pension funds shy from liability-matching in favour of alternatives

first_imgUK defined benefit (DB) pension funds have slowed their shift towards risk-reducing fixed income investments while allocations to alternatives saw a bump, latest figures reveal.The data comes from The Purple Book, the most authoritative set of DB statistics, published and analysed by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).In its ninth year, The Purple Book shows the DB universe of 6,057 schemes has collated assets of £1.13trn (€1.43trn) as of the end of March 2014, with a funding level of 67% on a full buyout basis.The book showed DB schemes had begun to level out a shift from UK Gilts toward corporate fixed interest and index-linked bonds. Index-linked bonds accounted for 41.1% of the total bond allocations, an increase of 20 basis points from 2013.However, allocations increased by 8.3 percentage points between 2009 and 2013, with significant jumps year on year.This trend was at the expense of UK Gilts, which saw its share of bond investments fall by 10.5 percentage points over the same period. However, that has now increased by 10bps over the last year.Overall, scheme allocations to bonds fell by 10bps to account for 39% of investable assets.Stephen Rice, the PPF’s chief actuary, said there was no concrete reason for the levelling-out, but he suggested it might have to do with the pricing of assets.“It has been levelling off,” he said. “If I were asked to speculate as to why, I would suggest it is because [index-linked bonds] are very expensive. Real yields are pretty much negative.”He also said the slowdown in a shift from equities might also be due to the costs of switching.A trend of outflows from equities did continue, with allocations now accounting for 39.4% – an 80bps drop and the first time it has fallen below 40% since the Book’s inception.However, within equities, the shift away from UK stocks towards global and unlisted ones was also a strong trend.Private equity now accounts for 8.7% of equity allocations, having only accounted for 1.9% in 2009.Overseas equities’ share of allocations rose by 1.1 percentage points to 62.4%, with these stocks now accounting for more than double that of UK stocks, which take up 28.9%.The rise of alternatives, excluding property, continued, as hedge-fund allocations rose by 1.2 percentage points to 6.2% and ‘other’ asset classes rising 40bps to 3.9%.While risk-reduction in investment portfolios had levelled, other measures used by DB schemes were on the up.Schemes covered by the Book received around £25.6bn in deficit-reduction contributions, as the average recovery plans increased to 8.4 years.Buy-ins, buyouts and longevity hedges also reached a new peak over the year, with the 15 months from the start of 2013 seeing £24bn of these arrangements – in around 270 deals – an increase of more than a 100.Andrew McKinnon, PPF CFO, said: “The Purple Book has shown a slowdown in de-risking, demonstrating the steady decline has levelled off and could point to the end of a long-term trend.”last_img read more

Elo reorganises investment department after Grannenfelt departure

first_imgEeva Grannenfelt, head of corporate lending at Finland’s Elo, has left the pensions mutual after less than two years in her role.Grannenfelt – named Elo’s director of corporate lending, alternative investments and macro views when the provider was created from the merger of Pension Fennia and LocalTapiola in January last year – has left to pursue new opportunities, according to a company spokeswoman.Her departure has seen her responsibilities split between two other members of the €20bn mutual’s investment team.Effective immediately, director of real estate Timo Stenius will take on responsibility for private equity and corporate finance. Jonna Ryhänen, responsible for equities, fixed income and currency, will also take charge of all hedge fund investments.Both will report to Hanna Hiidenpalo, who will remain as Elo’s CIO.Prior to the two providers’ merger, Grannenfelt was CIO of Pension Fennia and also served as its director of capital markets and investment director.Last month, she was appointed to the board of Finnish software provider Solteq.last_img read more

Delfin advances FLNG project with SHI, Black & Veatch partnership

first_imgImage courtesy of Delfin MidstreamDelfin Midstream initiated cooperation with Samsung Heavy Industries and Black & Veatch in the fourth quarter of 2018 and completed a pre-FEED study for a newbuild FLNG vessel in the first half of 2019. In parallel, the parties have been developing a term sheet for a lump-Sum, turnkey engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning contract for the construction and completion of the newbuild FLNG vessel.Delfin said in its statement on Tuesday it has entered into new agreements for front-end design and engineering work with SHI and Black & Veatch.Delfin and its partners are on-track for completion of the engineering work, including a fully termed LSTK EPCIC by the middle of 2020, for the Delfin LNG project, the statement reads.Many land-based LNG export projects seek ‘economies-of-scale’ to lower their costs by developing 10 – 20+ MTPA projects. By re-purposing existing offshore pipelines and building the FLNG vessels at Asian shipyards, Delfin claims it can achieve total capital costs around 500-550 $/tpa for just 3.5 mtpa FLNG vessels.Furthermore, each FLNG vessel can be developed independently with its own commercial and financial structure. This enables Delfin to offer standard or tolling models with terms of 10 to 25 years, integrated structures or JV arrangements with offtakers, producers and/or traders.Delfin’s existing offshore pipelines connect directly to the extensive network of onshore pipeline systems, with ample supply capacity for the first 2-3 FLNG vessels.With 4 FLNG vessel slots at the Delfin project for a total of 13 mtpa of LNG export and with up to 8 mtpa expansion potential with the Avocet project, Delfin offers a large scale LNG production at the bottom-end of the cost curve.Delfin added that based on the solid technical and commercial progress and with the continuing strong support from its long-term shareholders the company is on schedule to reach FID in 2020.last_img read more

MaRINET2 Nears €5 Mln of Free Testing Access for Renewables

first_imgThe MaRINET2 project has awarded €1.3 million worth of free lab, tank and open-sea testing to 38 offshore renewable energy developers.  The results of the project’s fourth call bring the total amount provided by MaRINET2 for free testing access to €4.8 million. High-quality testing of devices and components is an essential part of accelerating the development of wave, tidal and offshore wind technologies.The next and final call is due to open in June 2020 and will raise the total allocated by the project to over €5 million.So far, the total time allocated by MaRINET2 test centres comes to nearly 400 weeks, benefiting users from 18 EU countries, as well as Australia, Canada, Norway, Brazil and the US.The MaRINET2 project coordinator, Dr Jimmy Murphy said: “Free access to test facilities gives an important boost to both individual technologies, but also the progress of the European offshore renewable sector as a whole. We are already starting to see the results of the project’s earlier calls, and the advances this testing brings to the technological state-of-the-art. We look forward to the final call next year and to sharing more testing successes as developers complete their programmes.”last_img read more

Fosu-Mensah: I’ll give my all to make it with Man Utd

first_img Loading… “So, yeah, I’m definitely eager to come back and to do well and to help the team and to give my all, my heart for this great club. “My goal is to be a regular for the club, to win so many trophies for the club, to have memorable experiences with this club. That’s the goal. read also:Here’s how Man Utd could line-up for FA Cup tie “I think that’s everyone’s goal who plays in the team for Manchester.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Timothy Fosu-Mensah believes he can make it at Manchester United. Fosu-Mensah has not played for United since the final day of the 2016-17 season against Crystal Palace, but is set to be given another chance at the club after they extended his contract to 2021 earlier this year. “Who doesn’t want to play for United?” Fosu-Mensah told the PA news agency.Advertisement Promoted ContentCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way6 Of The Best 90s Shows That Need To Come Back ASAP9 Iconic Roles That Could Have Been Played By Different ActorsThe Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love With10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do8 Ways Drones Will Automate Our FutureThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually True7 Non-Obvious Things That Damage Your PhoneThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The World6 Extreme Facts About HurricanesPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your Bodylast_img read more

Ronaldo’s penalty kicks salvage draw for Juventus against Atalanta

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo converted two penalty kicks, both awarded for handballs, with the second in the last minute on Saturday, as Serie A leaders Juventus twice hit back to draw 2-2 with Atalanta.The draw helped the defending champions to move closer to a ninth successive Serie A title. The Portuguese forward took his league tally to 28 goals this season as Juventus went eight points clear of second-placed Lazio with six matches to play.Atalanta are a further point back in third after being denied a 10th successive league win.Both handballs were clearly accidental but, under the current rules, referee Piero Giacomelli had no option but to award the penalty kicks.However, it was rough justice on Atalanta.The team, which leads Serie A in scoring, would have climbed into second place and cut the gap between themselves and Juventus to six points if they had won. Juventus, humbled 4-2 at AC Milan on Tuesday, dropped Miralem Pjanic but were quickly forced onto the back foot by a typically audacious Atalanta side.Duvan Zapata put the visitors ahead in the 16th minute.An intricate exchange of passes with Alejandro Gomez opened up the Juventus defence before the Colombian slotted his shot past Wojciech Szczesny.The visitors continued to pen Juventus into their half, enjoying 58 per cent possession and five shots to the home team’s one before half-time.They however went on to fall foul of the handball rule 10 minutes after the break. Paulo Dybala fired a cross against Marten de Roon’s elbow.Although it was at point-blank range and the Dutchman’s arm was close to his chest, the referee immediately pointed to the penalty kick spot.Ronaldo smashed home the penalty kick, scoring for the sixth game in a row.The game opened up, with Atalanta regaining the lead in the 81st minute when Luis Muriel sent a pass across the face of the penalty area to Ruslan Malinovskyi.RelatedPosts Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win Live stream Premier League, La Liga, Serie A on Showmax Pro this weekend Juve’s Pirlo gamble makes new Serie A season the most open for years He took it in his stride before firing a right foot shot past Szczesny.But lightning struck a second time for Atalanta when Gonzalo Higuain got his foot to a corner kick and deflected the ball onto Muriel’s hand.The Colombian did not have time to get his hand out of the way but, as it was outstretched, the penalty kick had to be given and Ronaldo converted in the 90th minute.Reuters/NAN.Tags: AtalantaCristiano RonaldoDuvan ZapataJuventusPaul DybalaSerie Alast_img read more