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Institute for Advanced Study to host panel discussion on why universities should offer more interdisciplinary education opportunities

January 31, 2012

The Institute for Advanced Study will host a forum Monday, Feb. 13 to discuss "Questions Without Borders: Why Future Research and Teaching Will Be Interdisciplinary" from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Coffman Union, 300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis.

This panel, designed to start a conversation on the challenges of developing more interdisciplinary education in large research universities where the established disciplines have traditionally been dominant, will feature remarks by Myron Gutmann, assistant director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), with discussion by David L. Fox, Department of Earth Sciences, College of Science and Engineering; J. B. Shank, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts; and Dominique Tobbell, Program in the History of Medicine, Medical School. The forum will also be moderated by U of M provost Karen Hanson.

Dr. Gutmann heads NSF's Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. He is a distinguished demographer and economic historian whose interests include interdisciplinary historical population studies, especially relating population to agriculture, the environment and health. He also studies ways that digital materials can be properly preserved and shared, and how the confidentiality of research subjects can be protected when data about them is made available for secondary use. He is an expert on historical demography and the social, demographic and economic history of Europe and the Americas.

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