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The Year’s Best from SCU’s Biggest College

A choral composition with musical accompaniment by smartphones and a forecast of climate-change’s effect created with the help of beetles.

Those are just two of the projects to be spotlighted this week at the College of Arts and Sciences’ end-of-year College Showcase.

The event will take place Tuesday, May 17, in the California Mission Room of the Benson Center. The reception will begin at 5:15 followed by a program at 6. The event is open to all; RSVP here if you’d like to attend

The showcase celebrates the best work of the year by students and faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, which is Santa Clara’s largest academic unit, comprising 60 percent of undergraduate enrollment. Posters and media presentations from all 25 departments and programs will be on display, and the faculty and students involved will be on hand to answer questions. 

You can read more about the event in an article by college dean Debbie Tahmassebi.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:

Beetle-based predictions
Biology professor Elizabeth Dahlhoff, Cori Granger ’16 and other members of “Team Beetle” used observations of the willow beetle to predict how populations of different species will grow and decline as climate change affects habitats.

California history unearthed
Lee Panich of the anthropology faculty conducted archaeological excavations that uncovered relics from the University’s own Mission Santa Clara de Asís and a 19th century Native American village site in Marin County, California.

Painting Willow Glen
The City of San Jose commissioned art professor Kelly Detweiler to paint a mural at 1041 Lincoln Ave. in the city’s Willow Glen retail district. He ended up collaborating with several Santa Clara grads on the mural and then painted a second mural on the Starbucks at the corner of Lincoln and Minnesota.

Smartphone musical
Music faculty Scot Hanna-Weir and Bruno Ruviaro created Sympathy, a live choral performance of Paul Larence Dunbar’s poem of the same name. The work incorporates electronic sounds produced by an ensemble of people holding smartphones. See a video of it being performed in SCU’s Mission Church.

A magazine a century in the making
The editorial board of the Santa Clara Review, said to be the first literary magazine of the West, will share recent editions. Read about the publication’s colorful history, which began in 1869. A future lead guitarist for the seminal ’60s band Jefferson Airplane wrote for the Review, which is one of the only professional literary magazines in the country operated entirely by undergraduates.

The math of wallpaper
Princeton University Press published Creating Symmetry: the Artful Mathematics of Wallpaper Patterns by mathematics and computer science professor Frank Farris. Scientific American called the book a “beautifully illustrated guide to fusing mathematical and artistic creativity to generate fascinating and visually appealing designs.”



Kelly Detweiler (right) works on a mural in the Willow Glen district of San Jose. Photo by Joanne Lee