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Commitment to Excellence in Sciences Reaches New Level with Opening of Science Building

Free Concert, Tours, and Lectures Set for Opening of The Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation on September 23

Mark Primoff
The Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation at Bard College  Image Credit: ©2007 Bilyana Dimitrova
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—As part of its ongoing effort to provide students with world-class educational and research opportunities in the sciences, Bard College announces the opening of The Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation. Designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, the dramatic 49,000-square-foot building significantly expands the amount of campus space devoted to science education and features state-of-the-art biology and computer science research laboratories, as well as teaching laboratories and general use classrooms. On Sunday, September 23, Bard will celebrate the opening of the center with “Science at Bard,” a series of public events featuring tours of the new building, workshops, research talks, and a panel discussion with leading scientists concerned with the issues of science and education in the 21st century. "Nothing is more important to democracy and the role of education in a democracy than the understanding of science, both its power and limitations," said Bard College President Leon Botstein. "This building will make it possible for Bard to take a leadership role in the way we inspire young people to become imaginative and socially responsible scientists. These young scientists will prepare the rest of our citizens for a world in which many of the crucial decisions regarding public policy will be connected to questions of science." Bard’s new science center includes “smart” classrooms, set up for multimedia sound and computer projections and videoconferencing; and 10,000 square feet of laboratory space that lines the entire western side of the building. The large amount of laboratory space will provide students with an opportunity to pursue the research-based, hands-on study of the that is the identifying factor of Bard’s science programs. Many of the laboratories will be shared by faculty and students conducting research. The dynamic tension of this learning style illustrates Bard’s signature approach to scientific exploration, while the windowed rooms represent a significant contrast to the traditional lab format of small rooms behind closed doors. The building includes specialized research areas such as instrument centers, a zebrafish facility, an intelligent systems and media lab (in which computers recognize sounds and voices), and a robotics lab, all of which will support projects that Bard faculty are currently undertaking. The center is the new home for the Computer Science and Biology Programs and supports a curriculum that offers multiple research opportunities for science students at all levels. The center anticipates the important connections that will be made between the biological sciences and the computational sciences in the 21st century. The east side of the building contains an inviting lobby/common space in which three elliptical-shaped classrooms and an egg-shaped auditorium capable of seating 65 people are situated. “The new building will become the intellectual spine of the campus,” says Mark Halsey, associate professor of mathematics and associate dean of the college, adding that the central location of the science facility, with its plentiful, light-filled, and comfortable study areas, will draw students from all disciplines. “I think it will have a dramatic impact on the life of the campus.” The Reem and Kayden Center is part of the Bard Science Initiative—a comprehensive campuswide enterprise aimed at invigorating science education in the context of the liberal arts. Among the initiatives are a student and faculty exchange and shared course work with The Rockefeller University, one of world’s premier research institutions, and award-winning interdisciplinary science courses such as Environment and Disease. The opening of the new building coincides with the creation of a new set of distribution requirements obliging all students to take at least one laboratory science course, and integrating student research and direct involvement in lab work into all four years of a science concentration. Development and construction of the Reem and Kayden Center is the result of the generosity of two physicians who have specialized in medical research and education and share a longtime passion for the arts. Though neither is, or is related to, a Bard graduate, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden became interested in Bard’s science program because of its interdisciplinary nature and because of its unique collaboration with Rockefeller University. Reem is a professor in the New York University School of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology, member of the Harvey Society, and fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, American Association for Cancer Research, and American Association of Immunologists. She is from Israel, brought up in Palestine before the creation of the Jewish state, and received an M.D. from the University of Basel. She worked at Goldwater Memorial Hospital and spent 10 years at Memorial Sloan-Kettering as a clinical doctor before taking a post in NYU’s pharmacology department, where her research interests include the mode of action of immunosuppresive drugs. A native New Yorker, Kayden attended Columbia College and then entered an accelerated M.D. program at the NYU School of Medicine. As a physician he saw duty during World War II, including at Okinawa. In subsequent years, Kayden split his time between patient care and research supported by the National Institutes of Health. In 1960, he began focusing solely on research, specifically lipoprotein research. His work helped lead to treatments for individuals who, because of genetic abnormalities in lipoprotein synthesis, develop vitamin E deficiency and, as a result, suffer from neurological problems. He is a past president of the New York Academy of Sciences. Reem and Kayden have been married for more than five decades and have two adult children and two adult grandchildren. Science at Bard Sunday, September 23, 2007 The Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York 9:45 a.m. WELCOME East entrance, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation Activities in the center 10:15 – 10:45 a.m. CLASSES, HANDS-ON LAB WORKSHOPS, AND RESEARCH TALKS 10:45 – 11:30 a.m. TOURS AND POSTER SESSION 11:30 a.m. – noon CLASSES, HANDS-ON LAB WORKSHOPS, AND RESEARCH TALKS 1:00–2:30 p.m. PANEL DISCUSSION, “EDUCATING FUTURE SCIENTISTS” Featuring Darcy Kelley, professor of biological science at Columbia University and 2002 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor; Leon Lederman, 1988 Nobel prize winner in physics and former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and Jeanne Narum, director of Project Kaleidoscope, a science education advocacy group; moderated by Leon Botstein, president of Bard College Location to be announced. 3:00 p.m. THE BARD COLLEGE CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC CHAMBER ORCHESTRA Guillermo Figueroa conducts works by Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky; featured soloist, Weigang Li, violin Sosnoff Theater, The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts All events and programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Office of Special Events at 845-758-7504 or visit (09.07.07)

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This event was last updated on 10-25-2007