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img March 09, 20185:47 pmimg 0 Comments

ALMA (Advanced Lunar-Mars Architecture), a recent design by CSI RASC-AL – distant relative of Alma mater?

Today, Bwog Science brings you a clubhop on Columbia Space Initiative (CSI), “a group of students and professors dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge in near-space, space, and beyond.” Although the club is relatively new (started in 2015), it has already accomplished much, attending national competitions at Cape Canaveral and sending a stuffed animal Roaree up 100,000 feet into the atmosphere.

Once thought impossible, space exploration is a definite reality of our present time, with initiatives such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX (goal to settle Mars) and NASA’s ongoing investigations into life outside of Earth. Columbia Space Initiative represents an eclectic group of individuals united by a passion for space, who engage in a wide variety of activities that allow them to explore their interests. The club meets in Mudd 233 from 4-6pm on Fridays (with additional meeting times for various projects).

I recently sat down with four leaders of CSI: Current Co-President Leon Kim (SEAS ‘19), Incoming Co-President Leena Chen (BC ‘20), Outreach Director Cleo Payne (BC ‘21), and Co-Leader of CSI’s RASC-AL competition team Aaron Pickard (GS/JTS ‘20). Representing different schools and diverse majors (from engineering to pure math to the humanities), the four of them illustrated a vibrant community that has something to offer to anybody, from any background, with an interest in space.

Kim described CSI’s goal as “spreading the love of space within and outside of the Columbia community,” joking that they were building a “community of space nerds.” The board members emphasized CSI’s nature as an engineering club, focusing on tangible hands-on missions and projects, rather than as a science club, which largely focuses on research and literature review. Established in 2015, CSI is still relatively new, but has already accomplished impressive feats. The group successfully launched a stuffed animal version of Roaree into space, and designed a commercially viable space station that won them a trip to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Alumni from CSI have gone on to work in aerospace, including startups such as Infinite Orbits.

The board stressed the interdisciplinary nature of their club. Members have all sorts of interests, from education to hands-on projects for competitions, with skills as diverse as the ability to perform complex math derivations as well as effective communication for community outreach. The club primarily consists of students majoring in mechanical engineering, physics, computer science, and electrical engineering, but all students of any field are welcome (Payne, an ancient studies major, emphasized this fact).

Click here to read about the cool projects CSI is doing!



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img March 04, 20182:00 pmimg 0 Comments

friday’s snowstorm would have been picnic weather on neptune

We’re back with Science Fair, Bwog’s weekly curated list of interesting STEM-related talks, symposiums, and events happening on campus. For science and non-science majors alike, our list will bring you events that will satisfy your scientific curiosity for anything from astronomy to zoology, and everything in between.

For anyone, related-majors and non-majors alike:

  • Alien Weather” Columbia Astronomy Outreach Stargazing and Lecture Series (Friday, March 9, 7pm, Pupin Hall)
    • “Weather on the Earth is driven by energy from the Sun and influenced by Earth’s oceans and continents. What are weather and climate like on a world such as Neptune, which has a bottomless atmosphere and receives a comparatively tiny amount of sunlight?”
  • Sexuality, Disability, and Aging: Queer Temporalities of the Phallus (Monday, March 5, 6:30-8:30pm, Buell Hall “Maison Française”)
    • “The talk brings together crip theory, feminist aging studies, queer temporality, psychoanalysis, and anecdotal theory. It considers how disability that begins in midlife and/or the entrance to middle age are lived as a threat to one’s sexuality and one’s gender, but also how these perspectives can supply us with alternative models of sexual temporality.”
  • Free Screening of “That Way Madness Lies”… a New Mental Health Documentary Film (Tuesday, March 6, 7:30-10pm, Jerome Greene Hall)
    • Presented by the Columbia Health Law Association – “In this documentary Sandra Luckow, the filmmaker, tracks her brother’s battle with paranoid schizophrenia and his attempts to navigate the complex mental health legal system. There will be a panel discussion following the film.”

Click here for more science!



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img March 02, 20181:00 pmimg 0 Comments

tank top and bikini weather! iced coffee! the MCAT! hooray!

Bwog Science is back with Science 101, our regular column which brings you tips and tricks on navigating science at Columbia. In this week’s edition, Bwog Science Editor (and token pre-med) Alex Tang provides ideas for ways that pre-meds can spend the summer.

With the warmer weather and the agonizingly oh-so-close approach of Spring Break, we’re reminded of the presence of that benevolent behemoth, summer vacation, lurking in the distance. Ignoring the constant bombardments of “what are you doing this summer?”, keep in mind that there are countless ways to spend the break, as long as you’re being intellectually stimulated and emotionally refreshed from the long prior semester. With that being said, here are some summer ideas tailored especially for our pre-med audience.

  • Columbia has resources! If you feel stuck and want some guidance regarding your personal circumstances, speak with the Center for Student Advising! I especially recommend setting up an appointment with Megan Rigney, Director of Preprofessional Advising, whom you may know as the woman behind the pre-med email listserv. Together, you can discuss your own career interests and background, and she’ll be able to highlight a lot of options for you. Also, click here for some summer/extracurricular recommendations offered by Columbia advising.
  • Research is an activity that a lot of top medical schools want to see, and it seems like more and more pre-meds are gaining experience with it. Working in a research lab, you’ll be able to see up close how science is conducted, and apply many of the concepts that you’ve learned about in class, and which will come in handy in medicine. Summer is a great time to do research because you’ll be able to devote most of your time to it, without this pesky thing called “classes” in the way.
    • Check out Bwog’s first Science 101 post: How to get started with undergraduate research.
    • Now’s a perfect time to start contacting professors about working in their lab over the summer. If you’re not from the tri-state area, and want to go home for the summer, think about contacting professors from labs in universities near your home. Be prepared to send out lots of emails, but don’t give up (especially if you follow our tips in the link above).
  • MCAT Prep: Are you applying to medical school next year (as in the summer after this one)? If so, you’re probably planning on taking the MCAT soon. The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is around 7 hours 30 minutes in length, and will test you on your knowledge from gen chem, bio, orgo, physics, psychology, and critical analysis/reasoning. Having a solid study plan for this massive test is absolutely required, and will take a few months of dedicated studying. The summer is the perfect time to grab some prep books, review some old courses, and build up your confidence for this test.

Click here for more ideas!



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img February 25, 20181:00 pmimg 0 Comments

as interdisciplinary as it gets!

We’re back with Science Fair, Bwog’s weekly curated list of interesting STEM-related talks, symposiums, and events happening on campus. For science and non-science majors alike, our list will bring you events that will satisfy your scientific curiosity for everything from astronomy to zoology, and everything in between.

For anyone, related-majors and non-majors alike:

  • House for King and Slave: Patients and Medical Practice in the Medieval Islamic Hospital” (Monday, February 26, 6pm, Heyman Center for the Humanities)
    • “This lecture series will explore the enigma of how what we write relates back to the experience of bodies in different stages of health and disease. Our speakers will explore how the medical humanities build on and revise earlier notions of the “medical arts.” At stake are the problems of representation and the interpretation of cultural products from the past and present through medical models.”
  • Film Screening: “A Dangerous Idea” (Tuesday, February 27, 7:45pm, 501 Schermerhorn)
    • “A documentary about genetics, eugenics, and the American Dream,” film screening organized by the Research Cluster on Science and Subjectivity (RCSS), free snacks!
  • Transparency, Fairness, and Privacy challenges with targeted advertising in social medias” (Tuesday, February 27, 2:30pm, CS Conference Room)
    • “In this talk, we present three key challenges with social media advertisement platforms: (i) Transparency: how can users learn what data is known about them and how it is being used? (ii) Fairness: can advertisers target users in a discriminatory manner and if so how can we detect that? (iii) Privacy: does the advertisement platform leak personal information of users? For each of these challenges, we present initial solutions and discuss remaining open questions.”
  • Women in Sustainability: Navigating Your Career” (Tuesday, February 27, 5-6pm, Faculty House) – RSVP at link
    • “This event focuses on how women navigate careers in sustainability, exploring the female perspective on professional development and advancement in this growing field. The panel features an impressive group of women working in diverse sustainability roles, including sustainable finance, corporate sustainability, and green building.”

But wait, there’s more!



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img February 18, 20181:00 pmimg 1 Comments

are you a generation 2 up-type quark? cause you’re quite the charmer! ;)

We’re back with Science Fair, Bwog’s weekly curated list of interesting STEM-related talks, symposiums, and events happening on campus. For science and non-science majors alike, our list will bring you events that will satisfy your scientific curiosity for everything from astronomy to zoology, and everything in between.

For anyone, related-majors and non-majors alike:

  • “Playing with Anger: Racial Literacy and Health Interventions for Black Boys and Men,” presented by Columbia’s Center for Justice
    • Thursday, February 22, 4-6pm, The Heyman Center for the Humanities, 2nd Floor Conference Room, RVSP at link
    • “Dr. Howard Stevenson, Professor of Urban Education at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss “the challenges and ramifications of culturally relevant interventions for men of color… Understanding how the unique life experiences of Black boys and men can be integrated into the intervention protocols and measurement of randomized and quasi-experimental trials is the focus of this talk. Two mental health research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health examine the benefits of racial literacy.”
  • Student Townhall With The Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change
    • Wednesday, February 21, 1-2pm, Faculty House, RSVP at link
    • “Like many nations around the world grappling with climate change and threats to the natural environment and public health, Canada is taking action to address these challenges, including ratification of the Paris Agreement and a pledge to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by thirty percent in 2030 from 2005 levels… Minister McKenna will offer brief remarks focused on Canada’s work in climate change, but most of the time will be devoted to answering students’ questions.”
  • Extreme Engineering – Astronaut Appearance: Peggy A. Whitson
    • Thursday, February 22, 6:30-8:30pm, Davis Auditorium, 412 CEPSR
    • Attend this talk, given by Dr. Peggy A. Whitson, a NASA astronaut! “Whitson completed two six-month tours of duty aboard the International Space Station, the second as the station commander for Expedition 16 in April 2008. This was Whitson’s second long-duration spaceflight. She has accumulated 377 days in space between the two missions, the most for any woman. Whitson has also performed a total of six career spacewalks, adding up to 39 hours and 46 minutes.”

Click here for Columbia Astronomy Outreach and a science-themed musical!



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img February 16, 20181:30 pmimg 0 Comments

if you found this article helpful and get published in nature one day, please cite bwog in the acknowledgments section! k thanks!

This week in Science 101, we’ll be talking about reading scientific literature, a crucial skill for any science student. Biology major, Alex Tang, and astrophysics major, Briley Lewis, are here with some advice for tackling those articles with intimidating-sounding titles.

Scientific research is conducted by a broad international community, a network of university labs, research institutes, and industrial companies around the world. Like any community, scientists have to communicate with each others, in this case via published articles in scientific journals. These papers document the latest experiments, methods, and advances in a given area, and are critical for staying on top of current research in any scientific field.

If you are working or volunteering in a research lab on campus, or enrolled in a research seminar, you’ll have to delve deep into the scientific literature of your field. Oftentimes, the articles you’ll find are dense and filled with terms or concepts you aren’t quite familiar with. Here are some tips and strategies that a budding scientist could use when initially tackling published science articles.

Focus on the abstract, figures, and conclusions.
Research papers vary in length, but some of them can be quite long and difficult to wade through. The abstract is a paragraph-long summary that will give you the purpose and results of a paper, and is useful to skim over quickly when looking to find papers that are relevant to your objectives. When you do find a paper that you want to read carefully, pay particular attention to the figures and conclusions sections. Together, these sections will give you the data and experimental results, the most important part of any research project.

Circle recurring words and concepts that you don’t know.
Chances are, if you see a certain phrase repeated over again, it’s important. Each area in science uses a specialized language that will take time to get acclimated to. A few quick Google searches can clear up a lot of confusion when understanding a paper. If you find a paper that seems particularly significant to you, make sure you understand the experimental methods used in the project. It’s always a good idea to learn about the latest and most significant procedures and methods in your field.

Think big picture.
Everyone tends to notice the huge breakthroughs in science (think CRISPR or Higgs boson), but most of science happens in small increments of progress. Lots of papers tend to be extremely specific, dealing with particularly narrow projects that focus on a manageable scientific inquiry. Make sure to search for the broader significance of every research project you’re engaged in, as well as the projects of the papers you read. For example, ask how the project is contributing to humanity overall, and how the science could be applied to something that could be of practical use in the long run. Thinking big picture is a great way of maintaining your enthusiasm for science, and for asking the important research questions.

More tips and tricks below!



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img February 11, 20181:00 pmimg 0 Comments

Let’s make Earth our valentine forever and always! (stop global warming)

We’re back with Science Fair, Bwog’s weekly curated list of interesting STEM-related talks, symposiums, and events happening on campus. For science and non-science majors alike, our list will bring you events that will satisfy your scientific curiosity for everything from astronomy to zoology, and everything in between. (Also, if you’re part of a student-led STEM club at Columbia and want your event advertised on Science Fair, let us know at!)

For anyone, related-majors and non-majors alike:

EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2018

  • Tuesday, February 13, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM, Pulitzer Hall (World Room), register at the link above
  • “Please join the Center on Global Energy Policy for a presentation by John Conti, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, of the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018. The Annual Energy Outlook provides modeled projections of domestic energy markets through 2050, and includes cases with different assumptions of macroeconomic growth, world oil prices, technological progress, and energy policies. CGEP Fellow John MacWilliams will moderate the discussion following the presentation.”

Data Science Institute Talk: “Data For Good,” presented by Dr. Sharyn O’Halloran, Columbia University

  • Friday, February 16, 12:00-1:30pm, CEPSR 750 (Costa Engineering Commons)
  • “For all the hype, “big data” and machine learning do hold immense promise to better people’s lives, whether in education, energy, healthcare, or the environment. But data-driven decisions can be bad decisions, and many people are developing and applying data analytics with little consideration of the ethical implications. This spring, we invite you to join us for a series of one-hour talks in which distinguished speakers will grapple with the challenge of ensuring data science serves the public good.”

“The Politics of Search and Rescue Operations: A View from the Mediterranean,” presented by Dr. Craig Spencer, Columbia Medical Center

  • Thursday, February 15, 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM, IAB 1219
  • “Craig Spencer MD MPH is the Director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. He divides his time between providing clinical care in New York and working internationally in public health. He has worked as a field epidemiologist on numerous projects examining access to medical care and human rights.”

Click here for chemistry, physics, and computer science!



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img February 08, 20181:20 pmimg 1 Comments

Once, I had a nightmare that i couldn’t find my assigned exam seat in Havemeyer 309

Welcome back to Science 101, Bwog’s weekly column where we share tips and tricks on navigating STEM at Columbia. In this week’s column, Bwog Science Editor Alex Tang shares his tips for succeeding in large, introductory science courses. He draws from his experiences in gen chem, Mowsh bio, and gen physics.

Many students claim that the introductory lecture courses are the toughest part of being a science student. Just picture a large lecture hall (does Havemeyer 309 or IAB 417 strike fear in your heart yet?) and potentially hundreds of classmates (so much for the small class sizes touted by Columbia’s admissions department). We’ve compiled some tips that you’ll hopefully find helpful, whether you’re in gen chem or orgo, Mowsh bio or Physics 1402. You might find some of these tips obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how ahead of the curve you’ll be if you follow every single one of them.

Figure out what type of student you are, and work towards your strengths:
Some students are auditory learners, and learn best during live lectures. If this is you, make attending lecture your priority. This might mean signing up for a lecture at a reasonable time (maybe not an 8:40?). Others prefer to learn by reading (including yours truly). For these types of learners, reading the class notes or textbook may be sufficient, and might be more helpful than merely going to lecture. Note that we’re not condoning that people skip lecture! Just analyze your learning style and organize your time accordingly.

Do the assigned problems (the most important tip):
If you chose to ignore every tip except for one, follow this one! Introductory lecture courses tend to be straightforward; the questions that you encounter in your assignments will be very similar to the questions that you encounter on exams. For every practice problem you encounter in your textbook assignments, practice tests, or additional problem sets, circle the ones you don’t get right the first time. Return to them before the exam, and make sure you know how to do them. This may mean doing the same problem twice or thrice. (And even if you don’t end up getting through every problem until a couple of nights before the exam, it’s still good practice.)

Be mindful of details and know the exceptions:
This is particularly pertinent in biology and chemistry. Your professor will introduce a concept to you, and will test you on how well you know the details. Easy detail-oriented questions might ask about certain exceptions to concepts. Gen chem, in particular, tends to come with lots of exceptions to rules.

Never walk into a test or quiz intending to drop it:
Just don’t. The material invariably gets harder.

Click here for more tips!



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img February 04, 20181:30 pmimg 0 Comments

Does Grey’s Anatomy count as the “literary imagination”?

We’re back with Science Fair, Bwog’s weekly curated list of interesting STEM-related talks, symposiums, and events happening on campus. For science and non-science majors alike, our list will bring you events that will satisfy your scientific curiosity for everything from astronomy to zoology, and everything in between.

For anyone, related-majors and non-majors alike:

  • The Medical Imagination: Literature and Health in the Early United States
    • Monday, February 5, 6-7:30pm, The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room
    • “In this lecture, Sari Altschuler [Assistant professor of English at Northeastern University] will be talking about her new book on the history of the medical imagination… In reframing the historical relationship between literature and health, The Medical Imagination provides a usable past for our own conversations about the imagination and the humanities in health research and practice today.”
  • Director of Experiments: The Science Behind Democracy and Political Campaigns
    • Monday, February 5, 1-2pm, International Affairs Building
    • “As an expert in political psychology and research methodologies, in 2007, Nickerson helped establish the Analyst Institute, a center that conducts field experiments on campaign strategies. This experience prepared him to help both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with their campaigns. Join Professors Donald Green and Paul Lagunes in a conversation with Professor Nickerson about the use of advanced data analysis in politics.”
  • Data, Algorithms, and their Consequences for Society
    • Tuesday, February 6, 2:30 PM, Schapiro CEPSR Davis Auditorium
    • “Cathy O’Neil earned a Ph.D. in math from Harvard, was a postdoc at the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry… She is a regular contributor to Bloomberg View and wrote the book Weapons of Math Destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy.”

Click here for more science!



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img January 31, 20187:00 pmimg 0 Comments

gssc to get swoll?

As per usual, Bwog brings you a summary of last night’s General Studies Student Council (GSSC) meeting. Highlights include an upcoming fitness challenge and important initiative updates. 

General Studies Student Council kept the second meeting of the semester short and sweet (about 30 minutes). As a reminder, GSSC meetings happen each week on Tuesday evening, and are streamed live on the GSSC Facebook page.

The council announced the upcoming GSSC Fitness Challenge, which will be underway soon. The challenge will consist of three separate phases. Phase 1 will emphasize a variety of exercises to do at home (body weight exercises, etc), and will include several instruction videos. Pawel Maslag, GSSC member, promised to complete weekly challenges (including doing one push-up for every like on the instructional videos). Phase 2 will involve collaboration with other groups on campus, and will include matching up workout buddies at Dodge, and mock workout plans. Phase 3 will feature a day of challenges on campus, including jumping jack and push-up challenges, as well as a fun run.

Click here for more announcements from the council



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img January 28, 201812:45 pmimg 0 Comments

Schrödinger had quite the imagination

Today, we bring you the very first edition of Science Fair, Bwog’s weekly curated list of interesting STEM-related talks, symposiums, and events happening on campus. For science and non-science majors alike, our list will bring you events that should satisfy your scientific curiosity for everything from astronomy to zoology, and everything in between.

For anyone (STEM-majors and non-majors alike):

  • Panel talk: “Urban Sustainability Measurement in China: Fostering a Race to the Top”
    • Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018: 6pm to 7pm in Low Library, Faculty Room (RSVP at the link above)
    • “Sustainability is now widely recognized as an essential component for development in China, with the Chinese government setting ambitious environmental and social targets… This event will explore the importance of a standardized system to assess sustainability at the local level.”
  • 2018 Energy Symposium
    • Thursday, February 1, 2018 – Friday, February 2, 2018 (all day) in Faculty House, 64 Morningside Dr
    • “The 13th Energy Symposium on February 1-2, 2018 will convene thought-leaders and practitioners from across the energy sector, representing industry, government, civil society, and the broader Columbia and New York community to explore key challenges and drivers impacting the energy system.”
  • “Swim Team”: A Medical Humanities Film Series
    • Monday, January 29, 2018: 6pm in Heyman Center for the Humanities, Second Floor Common Room
    • “A film screening of ‘Swim Team’, an award winning feature documentary about a New Jersey YMCA based, community swim team made up of kids on the autism spectrum. The film follows three of team’s star athletes, boys on the cusp of adulthood, when government services become scarce.”
    • Hosted by Explorations in the Medical Humanities: As a set of disciplines, the humanities face the challenge of how to write about embodied experiences that resist easy verbal categorization such as illness, pain, and healing. The recent emergence of interdisciplinary frameworks such as narrative medicine has offered a set of methodological approaches to address these challenges.

CLick here for more science events!



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img January 26, 20188:01 pmimg 6 Comments

no, it’s not a mondrian painting. this is a microbiome bacterial heat map, one of the techniques used to determine the most significant types of bacteria

Bwog Science Editor, Alex Tang, attended the Bio Department’s Horwitz Prize Lecture, and introduces us to the role of the gut bacteria in childhood nutrition. Among his gathered insights: glycobiologists are a valuable, endangered species, and poop can tell us a lot about ourselves. More seriously, a viable solution to childhood undernutrition could be simpler than we think.

There’s a fascinating city within each of us, located specifically within our stomach, and inhabited by a population of bacteria many orders of magnitude greater than New York’s. These bacteria aren’t made by us – they’re foreign guests of our gut, who engage in a symbiotic relationship with us. We give them the safe home and resources they need to survive, and they produce invaluable nutrients that we wouldn’t be able to produce on our own. We call this city the gut microbiota.

Yesterday, Columbia’s Department of Biological Sciences invited Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in Missouri, to give the Horwitz Prize Lecture, an honor bestowed on researchers who’ve done amazing work in the life sciences. Gordon’s talk, entitled “The Gut Microbiota and Childhood Undernutrition: Looking at Human Developmental Biology from a Microbial Perspective,” provided a fascinating glimpse into the complex ecosystem that our guts contain, and suggested a tantalizingly efficient solution to undernutrition, a condition that’s plagued humanity its entire history.

Gordon began his lecture with a deceptively simple hypothesis: impaired development of the microbiota is related to childhood undernutrition. Sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gordon’s team identified specific types of bacteria that seemed to be instrumental in the development of a healthy child’s gut, and produced therapeutic foods that, when fed to young children, aided in healthy development and reduced long-term risks of malnutrition.

CLick here to read about the methods of Gordon’s research



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img January 24, 20189:28 amimg 0 Comments

We’re proud of our very own (almost) alumnus: Timothée Chalamet!

Happening in the World: Earlier this month, a woman managed to evade airport security and board a flight from Chicago to London without a boarding pass. This isn’t the first time she’s managed to sneak onto a flight. (The New York Times)

Happening in the US: Oscar nominations are out! This year’s nominees for Best Picture include “Call Me By Your Name,” “Lady Bird,” “The Shape of Water,” “Dunkirk,” and “Get Out.” (The Los Angeles Times)

Happening in NYC: Have time to go off campus this weekend? Here are some of Bwog’s recommended art exhibits (free with a Columbia/Barnard ID)!

  • Items: Is Fashion Modern? (MoMA) – This exhibit “explores the present, past—and sometimes the future—of 111 items of clothing and accessories that have had a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries—and continue to hold currency today.” Sunday is the last day to see this exhibit!
  • David Hockney (The Met) – This exhibit features contemporary artist David Hockney, who’s most famous for his iconic depictions of Southern California. Highlights of the exhibition include Hockney’s duo portraits and his visual explorations of gay sexuality.
  • Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer (The Met) – This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition has brought together many of Michelangelo’s best works. His ink drawings are particularly awe-inducing; you have to see it to believe it.

Happening on Campus: “Reflections on the UN Human Rights Committee: 40 Years of Practice” will be happening in Fayerweather Hall from 4-5pm. Kretzmer who formerly served as a member and a Vice-Chair of the Committee will discuss his work and the impact of the body in advancing and protecting human rights. Check out more details here.

Overheard: “I can’t go to Ferris with you. I’m on a 3-day juice cleanse.”

CC Boy via Rotten Tomatoes



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img January 20, 20181:30 pmimg 1 Comments

Bwog does outreach in NoCo, an (alleged) gathering space for STEM students

Attention all SEAS students, pre-meds, bio majors, physics majors, students in FroSci who actually enjoy FroSci, and anyone at Columbia/Barnard who studies and/or is interested in STEM subjects:

Bwog is pleased to announce that, starting this semester, we will be featuring a greater amount of science-related coverage. In other words, we’d like to better represent the experiences and interests of Columbia’s STEM community.

Here are some new features that you can expect from Bwog this semester:

  • Science Fair: Similar in format to Where Art Thou and Bucket List, Science Fair will be a curated weekly list of STEM-related events happening on campus or in New York City. Examples of events might be talks by prominent scientists, research symposiums, or networking events with other scientists.
  • A regularly occurring advice column for STEM students: We get it. STEM subjects are difficult, and there’s a whole culture that STEM students are expected to assimilate into. Bwog will provide advice (gained from interviews with upperclassmen and professors) for topics such as getting involved with on-campus research, study tips for large science lecture classes, and life in graduate school.
  • Coverage of Columbia’s diverse STEM community: Bwog will be be exploring the various science-related clubs, research labs, and events around campus, and publish posts that introduce the broad variety of science life at Columbia. Such posts might be about the ground-breaking research that a specific lab at the medical school is involved in, one of the many free astronomy nights that the astronomy department hosts, or a club-hop. The idea is that all readers, science and non-science students alike, will be able to learn something new about science. You might even discover a new lab or club that you might be interested in joining!

Finally, Bwog is still recruiting writers who study science! We value the perspectives and experiences that STEM students will bring to Bwog, in terms of helping us cover science events and writing about issues that relate to STEM students. As a science writer, you’ll have the opportunity to get first-hand access to various events around Columbia, as well as practice and improve on your ability to write about science. No prior experience in journalism is necessary. If interested, please email, or come to one of our open meetings at 9pm on Sundays in Lerner 510.



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img December 06, 201711:44 amimg 0 Comments

what better place to show off your favorite holiday sweater than at tomorrow’s holiday sweater party?

Bwog’s GSSC (General Studies Student Council) Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, brings us a recap of last night’s meeting, the last one of the semester!

This week’s eventful GSSC meeting, the last one of the semester, included a visit by the new incoming dean of GS, updates on the reorganization of the GSSC elections process, and speeches by new council nominees.

The meeting began with a presentation and Q&A with the new dean of the School of General Studies, Lisa Rosen-Metsch, who will take over Dean Awn’s role in January. The incoming dean arrived early, greeting council members and meeting attendees. Introducing herself as an alumna of the GS Jewish Theological Seminary Joint Program, Rosen-Metsch will be the first GS dean who is also a GS graduate. Trained as a sociologist, Rosen-Metsch worked at the Mailman School of Public Health, focusing on the social determinants of health, specifically on issues such as HIV prevention and substance use prevention. Rosen-Metsch highlighted the unique identity of GS, with “no other school like it in the Ivy League or in the world,” and emphasized her desire to maintain a close relationship with GSSC.

When asked about what she sees as being the biggest challenges that GS faces, Rosen-Metsch mentioned the limited availability of financial aid for GS students, as well as affordable housing and food insecurity. During her first semester as dean, Rosen-Metsch plans to meet as many students and faculty as possible. Rosen-Metsch encouraged GSSC to share student concerns with her as often as possible, noting that the student council is a place for the dean to present initiatives and to get genuine student feedback.

Read about the new elections process and meet the new council members!

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