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2013-14 IRCs

2013-14 Interdisciplinary Research Clusters

For more information about any of the IRCs please contact the facilitators or Carol Withers.


Centenary of World War I

Paulette Pepin, Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences
Rosa Mo, Health Professions and Science, College of Arts & Sciences

Next year (2014) will be the centenary of the start of World War I. Contemporaries saw this particular war as the “The Great War” or “The War to End All Wars,” but in retrospect World War I is seen more importantly as the shockwave that ushered in the twentieth century and the modern world. This unprecedented struggle saw the collapse of the great European empires, the advent of mechanized warfare and the senseless deaths of millions. Initial support for this conflict generated enthusiastic patriotism and nationalism, which was fostered by artistic and sophisticated propaganda. Yet the unforeseen duration of the war coupled with the continued slaughter of millions promoted pacifist reactions. In addition this war, what the Wilsonians heralded as America’s cause for entrance into the war in 1917, was “To make the world safe for Democracy,” certainly provides a multitude of avenues for scholarly research. Thus this Research Cluster will be provided with the opportunity to explore all facts of the World War I era from various political, social, economic and cultural aspects.

 Each participant will be able to choose a specific topic of exploration related to the “Centenary of World War I,” and produce a project of scholarly significance related to their individual discipline and their overall professional goals.

First meeting of this IRC will be Monday, October 7, 1:30-3:00 in Maxcy 309



Rachel Anderson-Rabern, Theatre, College of Arts & Sciences
Todd Jokl, Art and Design, College of Arts & Sciences
Stuart Sidle, Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences

We propose an ongoing, interdisciplinary exploration based on the following assumptions:

  • Creativity is the driving force behind the advancing of intellectual thought. 
  • Creativity is, and has been, an essential component to the general condition of human nature. It is vital to industry, and all academic and intellectual pursuits.  Although it may be viewed in different ways and even described by any number of adjectives or nouns, the humanities, the arts, the physical and social sciences, and even business depend on creativity for advancements and progress.   This makes it an important skill for all our students and faculty, alike.
  • However, while creativity has been considered a core element of practice within the arts, and while it is strongly emphasized and encouraged in Engineering, it is often an understated and poorly understood component of other disciplines.

With this in mind, an IRC on creativity will focus on questions surrounding the basic nature and application of creativity at the University.  For example, the IRC will address the questions:

  • What is creativity? 
  • How can we understand the practice of creativity, historically?
  • Does creativity really matter?
  • How do we access creativity?
  • How do we apply it to research and practice?
  • Is creativity a process, a product, or something else?
  • How can we encourage creativity through our curricula?

Because creativity is an essential component to every academic discipline, this IRC aims to open a robust dialogue on topics of creativity amongst faculty across the University.

Meeting schedule for the Creativity IRC:
Tuesday, October 1 at 12:05 in Maxcy 309.
Tuesday, October 22; 12:05; Bartels DeDominicus Conference Room
Tuesday, November 5; 12:05; Maxcy 309
Tuesday, November 19; 12:05; Maxcy 309
Tuesday, December 3; 12:05; Maxcy 309

Fostering Cultural Exchange and Interfaith Dialog between the US and the Middle East

Khadija Al Arkoubi, Management, College of Business

This cluster aims at creating a learning space for faculty, students and staff to interact around cultural and interfaith dialog issues.  In line with UNH vision to develop its members’ global mindset and nurture their cultural intelligence, it seeks to promote constructive and dialogic discussions and programs between the Middle East and the US. The goal is to appreciate the existing diverse identities, overcome stereotypes and prejudices and foster tolerance and acceptance.

Proposed Activities of the Group

  • Conduct research projects pertaining to the theme of the cluster
  • Write grants for research projects and cultural exchange programs
  • Organize workshops and deliver presentations to explain the culture of the Middle East and introduce Islam
  • Organize events where students can learn about the different faiths and religions and challenge their own assumptions


Perspectives of foreign-born Asian women scholars on American higher education

Eun-A (Mickey) Park, Communication, Film and Media Studies, College of Arts & Sciences
Rosa Mo, Division of Health Professions and Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

This is a continuation of the AY12-13 IRC, but new members are welcome and encouraged.

Currently, we are in the process of collecting individual experiences and suggestions for concrete agendas.  As an example, a specific plan for AY13-14 is to hold a workshop for which a couple of guest speakers will be invited. The invited Asian woman scholars and IRC members will join in discussing the intercultural experience in higher education, and have a chance to share ideas with the whole UNH community.  As the first invitee, Dr. Xiaohong He, founding chair of the International Business Department at the School of Business at Quinnipiac University pleasantly agreed to participate in the workshop (see attached).   At the workshop, each participant will have an opportunity to reflect on their personal experiences, identify challenges from the Asian women scholars’ perspectives and elucidate them through theoretical and practical frameworks for improving the environmental climate on the UNH community. Also, by providing anecdotes about academic difficulties that Asian women scholars may have faced, this research will enhance publicity on this issue and provide guidelines for Asian women scholars about how to handle relevant situations.


Parallel/High Performance Computing on an Open Source Platform

Joseph Kolibal, Mathematics, College of Arts & Sciences
Michael Rossi, Biology, College of Arts & Sciences


This is a continuation of this effort from 2012 but new members are welcome. 

The computational cluster is an essential part of developing a broader interdisciplinary program in computational science at UNH. Its activities are intended to allow faculty already engaged in highperformance computing to utilize an open source parallel computing environment, and it is designed to allow those who have no experience in this arena to learn about high performance computing, and to become familiar with developing and testing software in this environment.

This IRC provides a multifaceted introduction to parallel/open source computing built on a open source platform. The cluster participants will install, operate, and maintain an Ubuntu 12.04 based computer to be built on an Intel Xeon 55xx platform (providing 8 cores, and supporting up to 16 threads) with 48Gb 3-channel DDR3 ECC memory to maximize memory bandwidth.  The approach is designed to provide hands-on experiential learning for the faculty, so that in turn, they can provide computational leadership to their colleagues at UNH.


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