Duke Digest – March 8, 2017

March 8, 2017

In Today’s Issue:

  • Global Health Savings
  • Spring Break-ing New Ground
  • Staff Rides and Mapped Lives
  • The Shape of Data
  • Millenials in Politics
  • Scientists with a Sense of Humor


new report co-authored by faculty and staff from the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) and DGHI’s Center for Policy Impact in Global Health examines opportunities to strengthen the United State government’s role in developing global health technologies.

Reversing this decline in U.S. investment and advancing policy solutions to build new partnerships, leverage expertise, and encourage investment from all sectors will save lives and increase economic opportunity in low- and middle-income countries, while also creating jobs and boosting the U.S. economy.

Invest in the Present, Prepare for the Future


Spring Breakthrough is a new academic experience from the Duke Office of Undergraduate Education, offering five-day seminars taught by some of Duke’s most engaging professors. Among the course offerings are “Exploring Climate Change on the NC Coast,” “Henry David Thoreau in the American South,” “The Politics of Hamilton,” and the “Behvioral Economics Behind Misbehaving and Free Beer.”

Spring Breakthrough!


For 10 days in early January, nearly 40 Duke undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, and alumni traced the path of the 1968 Tet Offensive through Vietnam as part of the Duke American Grand Strategy program.

“As always, something unexpected happens… and that allows you to make the important point that in military operations no plan survives contact with the enemy” said Professor Peter Feaver, former National Security Advisor to President Bush.

Their trip was an academic adaptation of the “staff ride” format the U.S. military uses to educate leaders about a specific historical campaign or conflict, examining the event and its effects from historical, strategic and political perspectives.


The number of finalists for Duke Class of 2021’s Summer Reading. Vote for your choice here.


Using his own academic background electrical & computer engineering Chris Tralie, a doctoral candidate, turned other Duke students on to big data—creating a “Data Expedition” using his method for visualizing songs as a fun and approachable way to teach undergraduates how to design data-crunching algorithms.

Tralie designed a program that analyzes the different musical parameters of a song and mathematically reduces each time point into 3D space. The resulting shape can help determine which genre of music a song belongs to and can even recognize covers of songs by other bands.

Fun with Big Data


“As Millennials start taking over political, governmental, and economic structures, a lot of this animosity among races, sexes, and religions will heal itself.”

Former North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue spoke as part of “A Nation Engaged”, a town hall event on January 11, 2017. The event was sponsored by the Center for Political Leadership, Innovation and Service (POLIS), the Sanford School for Public Policy, National Public Radio and WUNC, and was broadcast live on WUNC.

Said @ Duke 


Vincent Conitzer, Duke University Professor of New Technologies, Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Philosophy recently won The New Yorker Magazine’s Cartoon Contest.

Most of his research is on artificial intelligence (especially multi-agent systems) and economic theory (notably game theory, social choice, and mechanism design).