At the 2013 Summer Institute, these twelve students were selected by their peers to present the assignments they had developed.

George Aumoithe



George Aumoithe is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the history department. He specializes in 20th century U.S. history and the history of public health.

George's assignment is a research project based on newspaper archives. He plans to use Mediathread to create a collaborative space for his students to import article images, arrange those images in chronological or thematic groups, tag their entries to bring together classmates working on similar topics, and provide additional annotations on classmate's work.
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Liane Carlson



Liane Carlson is a doctoral candidate in philosophy of religion. She is writing her dissertation on the theological roots of a typically overlooked understanding of contingency that takes as its paradigm neither uncaused, chance historical events, nor a simple logical opposition to necessity, but, rather, the unmasterable flux of emotions and the unstable connection of self and world in touch

Liane's assignment is based on a reading of Hannah Arendt's analysis of Eichmann's trial, and a viewing of footage of the trial. She plans to use a survey and free writing assignment to collect initial student impressions of the trial, and then she will create a class wiki and have the class collaborate on a single document presenting the class consensus opinion of the trial and Arendt's analysis. A comparison of the class's initial thoughts and this document will be used as a springboard for discussion about agency and collectivity.
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Michella Chiu



Michella Chiu just received her M.A. in East Asian Languages and Culture (Chinese History track) from Columbia University and will proceed to Ph.D. studies at Princeton in Fall.

Michella's assignment has students outline and annotate historical questions related to primary materials from Chinese history assigned by the instructor. The students will use Social Book to organize their work and to present their findings to the class.
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Eleanor Ferguson



Eleanor Ferguson is a field geologist studying structural geology and the evolution of continental collision in Bangladesh and northeast India.

Eleanor's assignment has students use Google Earth to explore different environments and produce a geologic map. For a more advanced class, students would also turn in a geologic cross-section showing their interpretations of the sub-surface geometry.
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Carmen Ferreyra



Carmen Ferreyra is an MA student in Critical and Curatorial Studies in Modern Art at Columbia University.

Carmen's assignment is designed to have students located in different cities share visual reports (made up of photographs and videos) of locally available artworks. Her students will use Mediathread to view and comment on each other's reports.
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Benjamin Hansberry



Benjamin Hansberry has BA's in music and philosophy and an MA in music theory. His research deals in epistemological issues in music theory and analysis. In addition to music theory, epistemology, and "meta-music-theory," he is interested in Schenkerian analysis, analysis of 19th-century German art song, and philosophy of mind.


Benjamin's assignment will have students select a musical piece of their choice (any genre) and develop a bubble diagram on Variations Timeliner showing if and how they hear the piece as divided into sections and how these sections might relate to each other, perhaps forming subsections or supersections. Students will then deliver a short in class presentation of their analysis, justifying the formal analysis shown in their bubble diagram.
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Tobias Harper



Tobias Harper is a sixth-year PhD candidate in British History at the history department at Columbia. His research looks at the cultural, social and political history of the British honours system in the twentieth century.

Tobias's assignment will have his students role-play families from various classes in Victorian England. They will design household budgets and make other decisions for their families. There will be a selection of events that may occur based on the choices the students make, so that they can see the consequences of their decisions.
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Emine Seyma Kutluk



Emine Seyma Kutluk graduated from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering and also the Physics departments from Bogazici University in Turkey in 2011. Since then she has been a PhD student in Columbia University Physics department.She is currently working on scalar-tensor theories of gravity and their cosmological implications.

Emine's assignment involves creating a wikispaces site for students to digitally submit lab reports and to organize the information found in the current Lab Manual. This will help students generate better organized reports, since they need to write these reports during lab hours.
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Holly Myers



Holly Myers is a PhD student in Slavic Languages and Literatures, with a major in Russian Literature and a minor in Central Asian Cultures. Her research interests include twentieth-century Soviet literature, contemporary Russian-language literature, cinema, musicology, and gender studies.

Holly's assignment involves her students watching clips from a Russian sitcom over the course of the semester. Toward the end of the semester, students will record their own five-minute skits, playing the parts of characters from the sitcom that they are now familiar with.
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Michael O'Hara



Michael O'Hara is a PhD student in Political Science. His research interests are related primarily to national security and strategic decision making and his current research generally examines political determinants and effects of military operations.


Michael's assignment will use a closed wiki, to which only students have access. This will create a critical culture of problem solvers, who encourages students to collaborate to address challenges. He will also use Mentimeter to gauge student awareness and ability to solve various types of problems. There will be a final written assignment on a strategic problem the student is likely to encounter in her next military assignment. Students will present their progress to the class approximately two weeks prior to the deadline via MediaThread. This will permit peer review, encourage comments and questions prior to class, and enable authoring students to incorporate peer comments prior to the presentation. This step should also promote a more substantial dialog during the in-class presentation.
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John Straussberger



John Straussberger's dissertation explores the relationship between electoral politics and ethnic violence in post-colonial Guinea-Conakry. His other interests include the history of mining and resource extraction in twentieth-century Africa, trans-national West African migration, and the politics of memory in contemporary Guinea.


John's assignment has students identify an aspect of an African community that they would like to research. Students will identify a local group that they would like to interview after attending a workshop on collecting oral histories and interview methodology. Each week, they will write two paragraph entries on a class wiki.
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Julianna Van Visco



Julianna Van Visco is a first year PhD candidate in the department of Italian. She is interested in material culture in the late medieval period and its relation to the construction of Italian national identity.

Julianna's assignment involves uploading Italian works to Nota Bene where students will collaboratively work with the text. Later, the settings will be switched to private to allow students to work on the text and be evaluated individually.
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