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The Brown University Seal
|Latin: Universitas Brunensis|
|Motto||In Deo Speramus (Latin)|
|Motto in English||In God We Hope|
|Endowment||US$ 3.2 billion (2014)|
|Chancellor||Thomas J. Tisch|
|President||Christina Hull Paxson|
|Provost||Vicki Leigh Colvin|
|Academic staff||736 full-time
163 Life/Medical Sciences
197 Physical Sciences
159 Social Sciences
|Other students||463 (medical)|
|Location||Providence, RI, US
143 acres (579,000 m²)
|Newspaper||The Brown Daily Herald|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I – Ivy League, ECAC Hockey, EARC/EAWRC|
|Sports||38 varsity teams|
|Mascot||Bruno the Bear|
Founded in 1764 as "The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," Brown is the seventh oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges established before the American Revolution. The University comprises The College, the Graduate School, Alpert Medical School, the School of Engineering, the School of Public Health, and the School of Professional Studies (which includes the IE Brown Executive MBA program). Brown's international programs are organized through the Watson Institute for International Studies. The Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program, offered in conjunction with the Rhode Island School of Design, is a five-year course that awards degrees from both institutions.
The undergraduate acceptance rate (8.6 percent for the class of 2018) is among the country's most selective. At its foundation in 1764, Brown was the first college in America to assert in its charter that "Sectarian differences of opinions, shall not make any Part of the Public and Classical Instruction." Its engineering program, established in 1847, was the first in what is now known as the Ivy League. In 1971 Brown's coordinate women's institution, Pembroke College, which had been founded in 1891, was fully merged into the university. Brown's present-day defining characteristic is the New Curriculum—sometimes referred to in education theory as the Brown Curriculum—which was adopted by faculty vote in 1969 after a period of student lobbying. The New Curriculum eliminated mandatory "general education" distribution requirements, made students "the architects of their own syllabus," and allowed them to take any course for a grade of satisfactory or unrecorded no-credit.
Brown's main campus is located in the College Hill Historic District in the city of Providence, the second largest city in New England. The University's neighborhood is a federally listed architectural district with a dense concentration of ancient buildings. On the western edge of the campus, Benefit Street contains "one of the finest cohesive collections of restored seventeenth- and eighteenth-century architecture in the United States". The University buildings surrounding its oldest greens display the full palette of college architecture over a century and a half—Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Ruskinian Gothic, Venetian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Beaux-Arts.
The school colors are seal brown, cardinal red, and white. The school mascot, chosen in 1904, is the brown bear or Kodiak bear and is named "Bruno." Two large statues of Bruno—on the College Green and at the sports complex—are frequent subjects of tourist photography. The latter statue, a colossal fourteen feet tall, is the work of famed British animal sculptor Nick Bibby and was installed in November 2013. People associated with the University are known as Brunonians.
Main article: History of Brown University
The Foundation and the CharterNewport, Rhode Island, drafted a petition to the General Assembly of the colony:
"Your Petitioners propose to open a literary institution or School for instructing young Gentlemen in the Languages, Mathematics, Geography & History, & such other branches of Knowledge as shall be desired. That for this End ... it will be necessary to procure a place for the erecting, & to erect a public Building or Buildings for the boarding of the youth & the Residence of the Professors."The three petitioners were Ezra Stiles, pastor of Newport's Second Congregation Church and future president of Yale; William Ellery, Jr., future signer of the Declaration of Independence; and Josias Lyndon, future governor of the colony. Stiles and Ellery would two years later be co-authors of the Charter of the College. The editor of Stiles's papers observes that, "This draft of a petition connects itself with other evidence of Dr. Stiles's project for a Collegiate Institution in Rhode Island, before the charter of what became Brown University."
In 1762 there is further documentary evidence that Stiles was making plans for a college. On January 20, Chauncey Whittelsey, pastor of the First Church of New Haven, answered a letter from Stiles:
"The week before last I sent you the Copy of Yale College Charter. ... Should you make any Progress in the Affair of a Colledge, I should be glad to hear of it; I heartily wish you Success therein."The Philadelphia Association of Baptist Churches also had an eye on Rhode Island, home of the mother church of their denomination, the First Baptist Church in America, founded in Providence in 1638 by Roger Williams. The Baptists were as yet unrepresented among colonial colleges—the Congregationalists had Harvard and Yale, the Episcopalians had the College of William and Mary and King's College (later Columbia), and the Presbyterians had the College of New Jersey (later Princeton). Writing in 1784, Isaac Backus, historian of the New England Baptists and an inaugural Trustee of Brown, described the October 1762 resolution taken at Philadelphia:
"The Philadelphia Association obtained such an acquaintance with our affairs, as to bring them to an apprehension that it was practicable and expedient to erect a college in the Colony of Rhode-Island, under the chief direction of the Baptists; ... Mr. James Manning, who took his first degree in New-Jersey college in September, 1762, was esteemed a suitable leader in this important work."Manning arrived at Newport in July 1763 and was introduced to Stiles, who agreed to write the Charter for the College. Stiles's first draft was read to the General Assembly in August 1763 and rejected by Baptist members who worried that the College Board of Fellows would underrepresent the Baptists. A revised Charter, written by Stiles and Ellery, was adopted by the Assembly on March 3, 1764.
In September 1764 the inaugural meeting of the College Corporation was held at Newport. Governor Stephen Hopkins was chosen chancellor, former and future governor Samuel Ward was vice chancellor, John Tillinghast treasurer, and Thomas Eyres secretary. The Charter stipulated that the Board of Trustees comprise 22 Baptists, five Quakers, five Episcopalians, and four Congregationalists. Of the 12 Fellows, eight should be Baptists—including the College president—"and the rest indifferently of any or all Denominations."
The Charter was not, as is sometimes supposed, the grant of King George III, but rather an Act of the colonial General Assembly. In two particulars the Charter may be said to be a uniquely progressive document. First, where other colleges had curricular strictures against opposing doctrines, Brown's Charter asserted that "Sectarian differences of opinions, shall not make any Part of the Public and Classical Instruction." Second, according to University historian Walter Bronson, "the instrument governing Brown University recognized more broadly and fundamentally than any other the principle of denominational cooperation." The oft-repeated statement that Brown's Charter alone prohibited a religious test for College membership is inaccurate; other college charters were also liberal in that particular.
James Manning was sworn in as the College's first president in 1765 and served until 1791. In 1770 the College moved from Warren, Rhode Island, to the crest of College Hill overlooking Providence. Solomon Drowne, a freshman in the class of 1773, wrote in his diary on March 26, 1770:
"This day the Committee for settling the spot for the College, met at the New-Brick School House, when it was determined it should be set on ye Hill opposite Mr. John Jenkes; up the Presbyterian Lane."Presbyterian Lane is the present College Street. The eight-acre site, in two parcels, had been purchased by the Corporation for £219, mainly from Moses Brown and John Brown, the parcels having "formed a part of the original home lots of their ancestor, Chad Brown, and of George Rickard, who bought them from the Indians." University Hall—known until 1823 as "The College Edifice"—was modelled on Nassau Hall at the College of New Jersey. Its construction was managed by the firm of Nicholas Brown and Company, which spent £2844 in the first year building the College Edifice and the adjacent President's House.
The Brown family—Nicholas Brown, his son Nicholas Brown, Junior, class of 1786, John Brown, Joseph Brown, and Moses Brown—were instrumental in moving the College to Providence and securing its endowment. Joseph became a professor of natural philosophy at the College, John served as its treasurer from 1775 to 1796, and Nicholas, Junior, succeeded his uncle as treasurer from 1796 to 1825.
On September 8, 1803, the Corporation voted, "That the donation of $5000 Dollars, if made to this College within one Year from the late Commencement, shall entitle the donor to name the College." In a letter dated September 6, 1804, that appeal was answered by College treasurer Nicholas Brown, Junior, and the Corporation honored its promise: "In gratitude to Mr. Brown, the Corporation at the same meeting voted, 'That this College be called and known in all future time by the Name of Brown University'." Over the years, the benefactions of Nicholas Brown, Junior, would total nearly $160,000, an enormous sum for that period, and included the buildings Hope College and Manning Hall, built 1821-22 and 1834-35.
It is sometimes erroneously supposed that Brown University was "named after" John Brown, whose commercial activity included the transportation of African slaves. In fact, Brown University was named for Nicholas Brown, Junior—philanthropist, progressive, founder of the Providence Athenaeum, co-founder of Butler Hospital, and, crucially, an abolitionist. Under the guidance of his uncle Moses Brown, one of the leading abolitionists of his day, Nicholas Brown, Junior, became a financier of the movement. (The opposing attitudes to the slave trade within the Brown family—from John Brown's unapologetic participation, to Moses and Nicholas Brown's activist opposition—are described in Ricardo Howell, "Slavery, the Brown Family of Providence and Brown University" (2001, published online at Brown.edu), and in Charles Rappleye, Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution (New York, 2006)).
In the fall of 1776, with British vessels patrolling Narragansett Bay, the College library was moved out of Providence for safekeeping. On December 7, 1776, six thousand British and Hessian troops under the command of Sir Peter Parker sailed into Newport harbor. In a letter written after the war, College president Manning said:
"The royal Army landed on Rhode Island & took possession of the same: This brought their Camp in plain View from the College with the naked Eye; upon which the Country flew to Arms & marched for Providence, there, unprovided with Barracks they marched into the College & dispossessed the Students, about 40 in Number.""In the claim for damages presented by the Corporation to the Unted States government," says the University historian, "it is stated that the American troops used it for barracks and hospital from December 10, 1776, to April 20, 1780, and that the French troops used it for a hospital from June 26, 1780, to May 27, 1782." The French troops were those of the Comte de Rochambeau.
The New CurriculumIn 1850, Brown President Francis Wayland wrote: "The various courses should be so arranged that, insofar as practicable, every student might study what he chose, all that he chose, and nothing but what he chose." Adopted in 1969, the New Curriculum is a milestone in the University's history and is seen as the realization of Wayland's vision.
The curriculum was the result of a paper written by Ira Magaziner and Elliot Maxwell titled "Draft of a Working Paper for Education at Brown University." The paper came out of a year-long Group Independent Study Project (GISP) involving 80 students and 15 professors. The GISP was inspired by student-initiated experimental schools, especially San Francisco State College, and sought ways to "put students at the center of their education" and "teach students how to think rather than just teaching facts."
The paper made concrete proposals for the new curriculum, including interdisciplinary freshman-year courses that would introduce "modes of thought," with instruction from faculty brought together from different disciplines. The aim was to transform the traditional survey course—often experienced passively by first-year students—into a more engaging process, an investigation of the intellectual and philosophical connections between disciplines. A grading option of Satisfactory/No Credit would be introduced to encourage students to try courses outside their grade-point comfort zone. In practice, this grading innovation of the New Curriculum—sometimes misunderstood and mischaracterized—has been its most successful component, responsible, in the decades since its adoption, for uncounted career-changing decisions—studio art swapped for neuroscience, biology swapped for anthropology, mathematics swapped for playwriting (and Pulitzer Prizes).
- Modes of Thought courses for first-year students
- The introduction of interdisciplinary courses
- The abandonment of "general education" distribution requirements
- The Satisfactory/No Credit grading option
- The ABC/No Credit grading system, which eliminated pluses, minuses, and D's; a grade of "No Credit" would not appear on external transcripts.
CampusJewelry District. The College Hill campus was built contemporarily with the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century precincts that surround it, so that University buildings blend with the architectural fabric of the city. The only indicator of "campus" is a brick and wrought-iron fence on Prospect, George, and Waterman streets, enclosing the College Green and Front Green. The character of Brown's urban campus is, then, European organic rather than American landscaped.
Further information: List of Brown University buildingsThe main campus, comprising 235 buildings and 143 acres (0.58 km2), is on College Hill in Providence's East Side. It is reached from downtown principally by three extremely steep streets—College, Waterman, and Angell—which run through the Benefit Street historic district and the campus of the Rhode Island School of Design. College Street, culminating with Van Wickle Gates at the top of the hill, is especially beautiful, and is the setting for the Convocation and Commencement processions.
Main article: Van Wickle GatesThe Van Wickle Gates, dedicated on June 18, 1901, have a pair of smaller side gates that are open year round, and a large central gate that is opened two days a year for Convocation and Commencement. At Convocation the gate opens inward to admit the procession of new students. At Commencement the gate opens outward for the procession of graduates. A Brown superstition is that students who walk through the central gate a second time prematurely will not graduate, although walking backwards is said to cancel the hex. Members of the Brown University Band famously flout the superstition by walking through the gate three times too many, as they annually play their role in the Commencement parade.
Adjacent to this older campus are, to the south, academic buildings and residential quadrangles, including Wriston, Keeney, and Gregorian quadrangles; to the east, Sciences Park occupying two city blocks; to the north, connected to Simmons Quadrangle by The Walk, academic and residential precincts, including the life sciences complex and the Pembroke Campus; and to the west, on the slope of College Hill, academic buildings, including List Art Center and the Hay and Rockefeller libraries. Also on the slope of College Hill, contiguous with Brown, is the campus of the Rhode Island School of Design.
Main article: John Hay LibraryThe John Hay Library is the second oldest library on campus. It was opened in 1910 and named for John Hay (class of 1858, private secretary to Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State under two Presidents) at the request of his friend Andrew Carnegie, who contributed half of the $300,000 cost of the building. It is now the repository of the University's archives, rare books and manuscripts, and special collections. Noteworthy among the latter are the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection (described as "the foremost American collection of material devoted to the history and iconography of soldiers and soldiering"), the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays (described as "the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind in any research library"), the Lownes Collection of the History of Science (described as "one of the three most important private collections of books of science in America"), and (for popularity of requests) the papers of H.P. Lovecraft. The Hay Library is home to one of the broadest collections of incunabula (15th-century printed books) in the Americas, as well as such rarities as the manuscript of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and a Shakespeare First Folio. There are also three books bound in human skin.
Main article: John Carter Brown LibraryThe John Carter Brown Library, founded in 1846, is administered separately from the University, but has been located on the Main Green of the campus since 1904. It is generally regarded as the world's leading collection of primary historical sources pertaining to the Americas before 1825. It houses a very large percentage of the titles published before that date about the discovery, settlement, history, and natural history of the New World. The "JCB", as it is known, published the 29-volume Bibliotheca Americana, a principal bibliography in the field. Typical of its noteworthy holdings is the best preserved of the eleven surviving copies of the Bay Psalm Book the earliest extant book printed in British North America and the most expensive printed book in the world. There is also a very fine Shakespeare First Folio, added to the collection by John Carter Brown's widow (a Shakespeare enthusiast) on the grounds that it includes The Tempest, a play set in the New World. The JCB holdings comprise more than 50,000 early titles and about 16,000 modern books, as well as prints, manuscripts, maps, and other items in the library's specialty.
Main article: Haffenreffer Museum of AnthropologyThe exhibition galleries of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown's teaching museum, are located in Manning Hall on the campus's main green. Its one million artifacts, available for research and educational purposes, are located at its Collections Research Center in Bristol, RI. The museum's goal is to inspire creative and critical thinking about culture by fostering interdisciplinary understanding of the material world. It provides opportunities for faculty and students to work with collections and the public, teaching through objects and programs in classrooms and exhibitions. The museum sponsors lectures and events in all areas of anthropology, and also runs an extensive program of outreach to local schools.
Maya Lin-designed water-circulating topographical sculpture of Narragansett Bay, to be installed in 2014 next to the Institute for the Study of Environment and Society.
Pembroke campusThe Women's College in Brown University, known as Pembroke College, was founded in October 1891. When it merged with Brown in 1971, the Pembroke Campus was absorbed into the Brown campus. The Pembroke campus is centered on a quadrangle that fronts on Meeting Street, where a garden and monument—with scale-model of the quadrangle in bronze—compose the formal entry to the campus. The Pembroke campus is one of the most pleasing spaces at Brown, with noteworthy examples of Victorian and Georgian architecture. The west side of the quadrangle comprises Pembroke Hall (1897), Smith-Buonanno Hall (1907, formerly Pembroke Gymnasium), and Metcalf Hall (1919); the east side comprises Alumnae Hall (1927) and Miller Hall (1910); the quadrangle culminates on the north with Andrews Hall (1947) and its terrace and garden. Pembroke Hall, originally a classroom building and library, now houses the Cogut Center for the Humanities.
Bryant University. In 1969, as Bryant was preparing to move to Smithfield, Rhode Island, Brown bought their Providence campus for $5 million. This expanded the Brown campus by 10 acres (40,000 m2) and 26 buildings, included several historic houses, notably the Isaac Gifford Ladd house, built 1850 (now Brown's Orwig Music Library), and the Robert Taft House, built 1895 (now King House). The area was named East Campus in 1971.
Thayer Street runs through Brown's main campus, north to south, and is College Hill's reduced-scale counterpart to Harvard Square or Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue. Restaurants, cafes, bistros, tavernas, pubs, bookstores, second-hand shops, and the like abound. Tourists, people-watchers, buskers, and students from Providence's six colleges make the scene. Half a mile south of campus is Thayer Street's hipper cousin, Wickenden Street. More picturesque and with older architecture, it features galleries, pubs, specialty shops, artist-supply stores, and a regionally famous coffee shop that doubles as a film set (for Woody Allen and others).
Brown Stadium, built in 1925 and home to the football team, is located approximately a mile to the northeast of the main campus. Marston Boathouse, the home of the crew teams, lies on the Blackstone/Seekonk River, to the southeast of campus. Brown's Warren Alpert Medical School is situated in the historic Jewelry District of Providence, near the medical campus of Brown's teaching hospitals, Rhode Island Hospital, Women and Infants Hospital, and Hasbro Children's Hospital. Other University research facilities in the Jewelry District include the Laboratories for Molecular Medicine.
Brown's School of Public Health occupies a landmark modernist building overlooking Memorial Park on the Providence Riverwalk. Brown also owns 376-acre (1.52 km2) the Mount Hope Grant in Bristol, Rhode Island, an important Native American and King Philip's War site. Brown's Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology Collection Research Center, particularly strong in Native American items, is located in the Mount Hope Grant.
Main article: List of Presidents of Brown UniversityBrown's current president Christina Hull Paxson took office in 2012. She had previously been dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a past-chair of Princeton's economics department. In 2014 and 2015 Paxson will preside during the year-long celebration of the 250th anniversary of Brown's founding. Her immediate predecessor as president was Ruth J. Simmons, the first African American president of an Ivy League institution. Simmons will remain at Brown as a professor of Comparative Literature and Africana Studies.
Main article: The College of Brown UniversityFounded in 1764, the College is the oldest school of Brown University. About 6,400 undergraduate students are currently enrolled in the College, and 79 concentrations (majors) are offered. Completed concentrations of undergraduates by area are social sciences 42 percent, humanities 26 percent, life sciences 17 percent, and physical sciences 14 percent. The concentrations with the greatest number of students are Biology, History, and International Relations. Brown is one of the few schools in the United States with an undergraduate concentration (major) in Egyptology. Undergraduates can also design an independent concentration if the existing programs do not align with their curricular focus.
35 percent of undergraduates pursue graduate or professional study immediately, 60 percent within 5 years, and 80 percent within 10 years. For the Class of 1998, 75 percent of all graduates have since enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program. The degrees acquired were doctoral 22 percent, master's 35 percent, medicine 28 percent, and law 14 percent.
The highest fields of employment for graduates of the College are business 36 percent, education 19 percent, health/medical 6 percent, arts 6 percent, government 6 percent, and communications/media 5 percent.
The language of the College Charter has been interpreted as discouraging the establishment professional schools. Brown and Princeton are the only Ivy League colleges with neither business school nor law school. Brown recently developed an Executive MBA program in conjunction with one of the leading Business Schools in Europe; IE Business School in Madrid. In this partnership, Brown provides traditional coursework while IE provides most of the business-related subjects.
Brown/RISD Dual Degree ProgramBrown's near neighbor on College Hill is the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), America's top-ranked art college. Brown and RISD students can cross-register at the two institutions, with Brown students permitted to take as many as four courses at RISD that count towards a Brown degree. The two institutions partner to provide various student-life services and the two student bodies compose a synergy in the College Hill cultural scene.
The Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program, among the most selective in the country, accepts 13 to 15 students each year from more than 700 applicants. It combines the complementary strengths of the two institutions, integrating studio art at RISD with the entire spectrum of Brown's departmental offerings. Students are admitted to the Dual Degree Program for a course lasting five years and culminating in both the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree from Brown and the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree from RISD. Prospective students must apply to the two schools separately and be accepted by separate admissions committees. Their application must then be approved by a third Brown/RISD joint committee.
Admitted students spend the first year in residence at RISD completing its "foundation course," and the second year in residence at Brown. Another year at each school ensues, with the fifth year spent according to the student's electives. Program participants are noted for their creative and original approach to cross-disciplinary opportunities, combining, for example, industrial design with engineering, or anatomical illustration with human biology, or philosophy with sculpture, or architecture with urban studies. An annual "BRDD Exhibition" is a well-publicized and heavily attended event, drawing interest and attendees from the wider world of industry, design, the media, and the fine arts.
Brown's theatre and playwriting programs are among of the best-regarded in the country. Since 2003 seven different Brown graduates have either won (four times) or been nominated for (five times) the Pulitzer Prize—including winners Lynn Nottage '86, Ayad Akhtar '93, Nilo Cruz '94, and Quiara Alegría Hudes '04; and nominees Sarah Ruhl '97 (twice), Gina Gionfriddo '97 (twice), and Stephen Karam '02. In American Theater magazine's 2009 ranking of the most-produced American plays, Brown graduates occupied four of the top five places—Peter Nachtrieb '97, Rachel Sheinkin '89, Sarah Ruhl '97, and Stephen Karam '02.
The undergraduate concentration (major) encompasses programs in theatre history, performance theory, playwriting, dramaturgy, acting, directing, dance, speech, and technical production. Applications for doctoral and masters degree programs are made through the University Graduate School. Masters degrees in acting and directing are pursued in conjunction with the Rep MFA program, which partners with one of the country's great regional theatres, Trinity Repertory Company, home of the last longstanding resident acting company in the country. Trinity Rep's present artistic director Curt Columbus succeeded Oskar Eustis in 2006, when Eustis was chosen to lead New York's Public Theater.
The many performance spaces available to Brown students include the Chace and Dowling theaters at Trinity Rep; the McCormack Family, Lee Strasberg, Rites and Reason, Ashamu Dance, Stuart, and Leeds theatres in University departments; the Upstairs Space and Downstairs Space belonging to the wholly student-run Production Workshop; and Alumnae Hall, used by Brown University Gilbert & Sullivan and by Brown Opera Productions. Production design courses utilize the John Street Studio of Eugene Lee, three-time Tony Award-winner.
Writing programsWriting at Brown—fiction, non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, electronic writing, mixed media, and the undergraduate writing proficiency requirement—is catered for by various centers and degree programs, and a faculty that has long included nationally and internationally known authors. The undergraduate concentration (major) in literary arts offers courses in fiction, poetry, screenwriting, literary hypermedia, and translation. Graduate programs include the fiction and poetry MFA writing programs in the literary arts department, and the MFA playwriting program in the theatre arts and performance studies department. The non-fiction writing program is offered in the English department. Screenwriting and cinema narrativity courses are offered in the departments of literary arts and modern culture and media. The undergraduate writing proficiency requirement is supported by the Writing Center.
Author prizewinnersAlumni authors take their degrees across the spectrum of degree concentrations, but a gauge of the strength of writing at Brown is the number of major national writing prizes won. To note only winners since the year 2000: Pulitzer Prize for Fiction-winners Jeffrey Eugenides '82 (2003) and Marilynne Robinson '66 (2005); British Orange Prize-winners Marilynne Robinson '66 (2009) and Madeline Miller '00 (2012); Pulitzer Prize for Drama-winners Nilo Cruz '94 (2003), Lynn Nottage '86 (2009), Quiara Alegría Hudes '04 (2012), and Ayad Akhtar '93 (2013); Pulitzer Prize for Journalism-winners James Risen '77 (twice, 2002, 2006), Mark Maremont '80 (twice, 2003, 2007), Gareth Cook '91 (2005), Peter Kovacs '77 (2006), Stephanie Grace '86 (2006), Mary Swerczek '98 (2006), Jane B. Spencer '99 (2006), Usha Lee McFarling '89 (2007), James Bandler '89 (2007), Amy Goldstein '75 (2009), and David Rohde '90 (twice, 1996, 2009).
Computer scienceTeaching of computer science began at Brown in 1956 when an IBM machine was installed and computing courses were offered through the departments of Economics and Applied Mathematics. In January 1958 an IBM650 was added, the only one of its type between Hartford and Boston. In 1960 Brown's first computer building, designed by Philip Johnson, was opened on George Street and an IBM7070 computer installed the next year. It was given full Departmental status in 1979. In 2009, IBM and Brown announced the installation of a supercomputer (by teraflops standards), the most powerful in the southeastern New England region. The Hypertext Editing Systems, HES and FRESS, were invented in the 1960s at Brown by Andries van Dam, Ted Nelson, and Bob Wallace, with Nelson coining the word hypertext. Van Dam's students were instrumental in the origin of the XML, XSLT, and related Web standards. Brown alumni who have distinguished themselves in the computer sciences and industry are listed in the Notable people section, below. They include a principal architect of the Macintosh Operating System, a principal architect of the Intel 80386 microprocessor line, the Microsoft Windows 95 project chief, a CEO of Apple, the current head of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the inaugural chair of the Computing Community Consortium, and design chiefs at Pixar and Industrial Light & Magic, protegees of graphics guru Andries van Dam. The character "Andy" in the animated film Toy Story is taken to be an homage to Van Dam from his students employed at Pixar. Van Dam denies this, but a copy of his book (Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice) appears on Andy's bookshelf in the film. Brown computer science graduate and Heroes actor Masi Oka '97, was an animator at Industrial Light & Magic.
The department today is home to The CAVE. This project is a virtual reality room used for everything from three-dimensional drawing classes to tours of the circulatory system for medical students. In 2000 students from Brown's Technology House converted the south face of the Sciences Library into a Tetris game, the first high-rise-building Tetris ever attempted. Code named La Bastille, the game used a personal computer running Linux, a radio-frequency video game controller, eleven circuit boards, a 12-story data network, and over 10,000 Christmas lights.
The Joukowsky Institute for ArchaeologyThe Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World pursues fieldwork and excavations, regional surveys, and academic study of the archaeology and art of the ancient Mediterranean, Egypt, and Western Asia from the Levant to the Caucasus. The Institute has a very active fieldwork profile, with faculty-led excavations and regional surveys presently in Petra, Jordan, in West-Central Turkey, at Abydos in Egypt, and in Sudan, Italy, Mexico, Guatemala, Montserrat in the West Indies, and Providence, Rhode Island.
The Institute's faculty includes cross-appointments from the departments of Egyptology, Assyriology, Classics, Anthropology, and History of Art and Architecture. Faculty research and publication areas include Greek and Roman art and architecture, landscape archaeology, urban and religious architecture of the Levant, Roman provincial studies, the Aegean Bronze Age, and the archaeology of the Caucasus. The Institute offers visiting teaching appointments and postdoctoral fellowships which have, in recent years, included Near Eastern Archaeology and Art, Classical Archaeology and Art, Islamic Archaeology and Art, and Archaeology and Media Studies.
Egyptology and Assyriology
Facing the Joukowsky Institute, across the Front Green, is the Department of Egyptology and Assyriology, formed in 2006 by the merger of Brown's renowned departments of Egyptology and History of Mathematics. It is one of only a handful of such departments in the United States. The curricular focus is on three principal areas: Egyptology (the study of the ancient languages, history, and culture of Egypt), Assyriology (the study of the ancient lands of present-day Iraq, Syria, and Turkey), and the history of the ancient exact sciences (astronomy, astrology, and mathematics). Many courses in the department are open to all Brown undergraduates without prerequisite, and include archaeology, languages, history, and Egyptian and Mesopotamian religions, literature, and science. Students concentrating (majoring) in the department choose a track of either Egyptology or Assyriology. Graduate level study comprises three tracks to the doctoral degree: Egyptology, Assyriology, or the History of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity.
The Watson Institute for International Studies
Main article: Watson Institute for International StudiesThe Watson Institute for International Studies is a center for the study of global issues and one of the leading institutes of its type in the country. It occupies an architecturally distinctive building designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. The Institute was initially endowed by Thomas Watson, Jr., Brown class of 1937, former Ambassador to the Soviet Union, and longtime president of IBM. Institute faculty presently include, or formerly included, Italian prime minister and European Commission president Romano Prodi, Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Chilean president Ricardo Lagos Escobar, Mexican novelist and statesman Carlos Fuentes, Brazilian statesman and United Nations commission head Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Indian foreign minister and ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao, American diplomat and Dayton Peace Accords author Richard Holbrooke (Brown '62), and Sergei Khrushchev, editor of the papers of his father Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union.
The Institute's curricular interest is organized into the principal themes of development, security, and governance—with further focuses on globalization, economic uncertainty, security threats, environmental degradation, and poverty. Three Brown undergraduate concentrations (majors) are hosted by the Watson Institute—Development Studies, International Relations, and Public Policy. The Institute is also home to various centers, including the Brazil Initiative, Brown-India Initiative, China Initiative, Middle East Studies center, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS). In recent years, the most internationally-cited product of the Watson Institute has been its Costs of War Project, first released in 2011 and continuously updated. The Project comprises a team of economists, anthropologists, political scientists, legal experts, and physicians, and seeks to calculate the economic costs, human casualties, and impact on civil liberties of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan since 2001.
The School of Engineering
Main article: Brown University School of EngineeringEstablished in 1847, Brown's engineering program is the oldest in the Ivy League and the third oldest civilian engineering program in the country, preceded only by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1824) and Union College (1845). In 1916 the departments of electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering were merged into a Division of Engineering, and in 2010 the division was elevated to a School of Engineering.
Engineering at Brown is especially interdisciplinary. The School is organized without the traditional departments or boundaries found at most schools, and follows a model of connectivity between disciplines—including biology, medicine, physics, chemistry, computer science, the humanities and the social sciences. The School practices an innovative clustering of faculties in which engineers team with non-engineers to bring a convergence of ideas.
The Pembroke Center
Main article: Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on WomenThe Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women was established at Brown in 1981 by Joan Wallach Scott as a research center on gender. It was named for Pembroke College, the former women's coordinate college at Brown, and is affiliated with Brown's Sarah Doyle Women's Center. It supports the undergraduate concentration in Gender and Sexuality Studies, post-doctoral research fellowships, the annual Pembroke Seminar, and other academic programs. The Center also manages various collections, archives, and resources, including the Elizabeth Weed Feminist Theory Papers and the Christine Dunlap Farnham Archive.
The Graduate School
Main article: Brown University Graduate SchoolEstablished in 1887, the Graduate School has around 2,000 students studying over 50 disciplines. 20 different master's degrees are offered as well as Ph.D. degrees in over 40 subjects ranging from applied mathematics to public policy. Overall, admission to the Graduate School is most competitive with an acceptance rate of about 18 percent.
Alpert Medical School
Main article: Alpert Medical SchoolThe University's medical program started in 1811, but the school was suspended by President Wayland in 1827 after the program's faculty declined to live on campus (a new requirement under Wayland). In 1975, the first M.D. degrees from the new Program in Medicine were awarded to a graduating class of 58 students. In 1991, the school was officially renamed the Brown University School of Medicine, then renamed once more to Brown Medical School in October 2000. In January 2007, Warren Alpert donated $100 million to Brown Medical School, in recognition of which its name was changed to the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
In 2014 U.S. News & World Report ranked Brown's medical school the 5th most selective in the country, with an acceptance rate of 2.9 percent. U.S. News ranks it 29th for research and 28th in primary care.
The medical school is known especially for its eight-year Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME), inaugurated in 1984 and one of the most selective programs in the nation. Each year, approximately 60 high school students matriculate into the PLME out of an applicant pool of about 1,600. Since 1976, the Early Identification Program (EIP) has encouraged Rhode Island residents to pursue careers in medicine by recruiting sophomores from Providence College, Rhode Island College, the University of Rhode Island, and Tougaloo College. In 2004, the school once again began to accept applications from premedical students at other colleges and universities via AMCAS like most other medical schools. The medical school also offers combined degree programs leading to the M.D./Ph.D., M.D./M.P.H. and M.D./M.P.P. degrees.