Princeton’s newest freshman cohort symbolically entered the campus through FitzRandolph Gate Sept. 7 at the annual Pre-rade. The Class of 2018, 1,312 students strong, hails from 46 states and the District of Columbia, and includes international students from 50 countries outside of the United States. Kathryn Moore ’15 captured images of the colorful procession for PAW.
(Courtesy Outdoor Action)
As this year’s Outdoor Action groups return from the trails, we dial back the clock a few years to September 2008, when nearly 700 freshmen in the Class of 2012 bonded on hiking, climbing, and canoeing trips to eight states. A PAW Online slide show captured scenes from several of those “frosh trips,” including this one in the Catskills. Director Rick Curtis ’79 said that the record-high participation rate — 55 percent of the class — was spurred partly by a new program that provided free trips to students on financial aid.
Read more about OA’s history and see another great Throwback Thursday photo in this post from March 2014.
This week, Beloit College’s annual Mindset List noted several interesting tidbits about members of the incoming Class of 2018: Since most were born in 1996, their lives never overlapped with those of Tupac Shakur or Carl Sagan; the terrorist attacks of 2001 happened when they were in kindergarten; and they’ve never known a world without The Daily Show.
But what was happening at Princeton when the Class of ’18 was still in diapers? Quite a lot: 1996 is the year when the Tigers upset UCLA in men’s basketball and said farewell to Pete Carril; President Bill Clinton delivered the Commencement address as Princeton celebrated its bicenquinquagenary (250th anniversary); and alumnus Richard Smalley *74 shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of a novel type of carbon molecules.
The Pyne Prize that year went to Derek Kilmer ’96, now a U.S. Congressman from the state of Washington, and Daniel Walter ’96, who went on to earn a Ph.D. from Princeton’s physics department. Kilmer’s Congressional colleague Jared Polis ’96 also was on campus. PAW wrote a column about his ambitious course load, which included 25 classes in his first two years (just over six per semester). Continue reading
A faculty committee is recommending that Princeton reverse course on its 10-year attempt to curb grade inflation that has been widely unpopular with students. The University should drop numerical targets for A’s, which are too often “misinterpreted as quotas,” and instead allow departments to set their own grading standards, the committee said. The changes could be voted on by the faculty as early as October.
The faculty voted in 2004 to adopt a policy recommending that each department limit A grades to 35 percent for undergraduate course work and to 55 percent for junior and senior independent work. The percentage of A’s dropped from 47 percent in 2001-04 to 41.8 percent in 2010-13.
But the policy raised a number of concerns, and few colleges followed suit. In his fourth month in office, President Eisgruber ’83 appointed a group of nine faculty members to review the policy and determine whether it meets the University’s goals with as few negative consequences as possible.
The group’s report was released Aug. 7. In a statement, Eisgruber praised the committee for “a set of recommendations that I fully support.” Continue reading
Amanda Bock GS
“Artificial Light: Flash Photography in the Twentieth Century,” an exhibit curated by Amanda Bock GS.
Dates and Location:
May 24 – Aug. 3, 2014, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Main Building, the Lynne and Harold Honickman Gallery. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and until 8:45 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.
The Curator: Bock was a Goldsmiths Fellow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for three years and today is project assistant curator in the department of prints, drawings, and photographs. She also is a Ph.D. student at Princeton working on her dissertation in art history. Continue reading
By Mark Alpert ’82
Where do scientists go on their summer vacations? While many fled to the beach or some other getaway last month, several hundred physicists came to Princeton to discuss string theory, which is a topic you won’t find on most beach-reading lists. For the five days of Strings 2014, the latest in a series of annual conferences, the theorists eschewed sun and sand in favor of exploring the weightiest of questions: Can we construct a mathematical framework that explains the fundamental nature of the universe?
Participants at the Strings 2014 conference. (Amaris Hardy, Office of Communications)
Princeton was the perfect venue for this year’s conference because so many string theorists work in the University’s physics department and at the Institute for Advanced Study. “No other institution is as closely associated with string theory,” said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a physicist at the Institute (and one of the stars of the recent documentary Particle Fever). “Princeton was the incubator for the field for many years.” Continue reading