Aerial Norwich Campus View in early spring

SPECIAL EDITION: Thinking about COVID-19? So is Norwich faculty.

Everyone is adapting to new realities as we learn to work remotely, educate students and serve people in need and this transition has stimulated intellectual curiosities. Norwich releases a series of interdisciplinary essays featuring faculty members’ perspectives on the coronavirus to help us all think through the consequences our nation is facing.

Coronavirus pandemic reminds us that global challenges are best solved through rigorous scholarly experimentation, innovation

Over the past few weeks, Norwich University faculty have used their areas of expertise as frameworks to deliver perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented crisis. What unites these voices is their emphasis on the power of research to shed light on today’s challenges and to formulate potential solutions to global problems. As teacher-scholars engaging students in research, it is more crucial than ever that Norwich University stand by its commitment to supporting faculty research and innovative curriculum development to prepare students to find novel solutions to the world’s new challenges.

Coronavirus, global warming are parallel problems we can conquer, if we act

In my native country of India, pink flamingos descended upon the once bustling city of Navi, Mumbai, in numbers never seen before — reports say as many as 150,000 or a 25% increase. Farther north in Punjab, people can now marvel at views of the snowcapped Himalayas, something that hasn’t been possible for decades.

Left unchecked, COVID-19 could have spread in a frightening flash; math can help us calculate just how fast

The novel coronavirus permeates all quarters of worldwide daily life in the first part of May 2020. We are hunkered down at home, trying to stay safe by minimizing the number of trips out into the world. Many of us wear masks when we do venture out. The objective in doing this, of course, is to try and keep COVID-19 from spreading further than it has already. Every night on the local or national news, the continuing spread of the coronavirus is the lead story. These stories often lead with a welter of numbers, charts and graphs. Two mathematical terms are also mixed into the stories: “exponential growth” and “flattening the curve.” At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, the former is known to be bad and the latter to be good.

After gun sales spike, researchers wonder whether shootings will rise when pandemic abates, criminal justice professor says

Several news outlets reported March 2020 was the first March since 2002 without a “typical” school shooting (i.e., while there were several instances of school shootings on school campuses, they consisted of unintentional discharges, took place between adults on school property or occurred on college campuses, but did not involve students (see, for example, Lewis, 2020). Researchers and gun safety advocates are already beginning to wonder if the recent increased spike in gun sales will result in a return to high numbers of mass shootings once the pandemic ends.

Coronavirus-fighting theories deploying resistance, microwaves have roots in centuries-old fundamentals of resonance, mathematics professor says

The week before spring break at Norwich University, I was teaching my differential equations class about solutions to linear differential equations and I was teaching my calculus class about related rates, an application of the chain rule of differentiation. These topics have existed for many years, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries from the minds of Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz and Leonhard Euler, to name a few. In the year 2020, it may seem outdated and irrelevant to have students learn such “old-fashioned” mathematics. Indeed, we are teaching our students to solve mathematical problems whose solutions can be obtained by our current-day calculators, apps and software.

Global coronavirus emergency shines bright light on collective poor assumptions, bad decisions, professor says

Our infrastructure — medical, physical, educational, technological — is much more fragile than many people realized before our current global emergency. There has been an unfortunate attitude, though, that technological solutions will always come to save the day without considering that the solutions we choose have the capacity to both help and hurt.

Police adapt to keep officers healthy while keeping public safe during coronavirus crisis, criminal justice professor says

In times of crisis, we look to the police to enforce the law, maintain order, provide public services and prevent crime. Post-9/11, U.S. police departments have had to up their game to combat the threat of terrorism, which has led many departments to draft emergency preparedness plans that can adapt to multiple crises. But the speed and scale at which COVID-19 has swept across the world has meant that even these institutions of public safety have had to respond on the fly with the resources at hand.

Here are a few of the changes — and challenges — our nation’s police are facing.

Job hunters in the coronavirus crisis should think big (companies), focus on worker-thirsty industries, career development expert says

No surprise, this is not the economy of just a few months ago. This is not how new graduates expected to finish their last semester of college or launch their careers. It is, however, what we have to deal with now and for the next 12 to 18 months, according to a variety of economic experts.

Inability to gather in large groups offers chance to reconsider how we interact with, and value, shared spaces

This is a time of reconfiguration. So many aspects of our lives have changed in some way — every reader can call to mind a long enough list. And we are rightly focused on making the necessary adjustments work as well as they can for as long as we need them to. We hope and plan for better days, if not exactly for a return to normal. For when we return to our routines, we may find ourselves experiencing them anew.

Even after the coronavirus pandemic shattered patterns, academic adviser found ways to connect and guide

By the time I arrived at the NACADA Region I Conference in Mystic, Connecticut, on March 11, all but two of the opening afternoon sessions were canceled. Most presenters’ home institutions had started to restrict travel in light of the looming U.S. COVID-19 crisis. NACADA, The Global Community for Academic Advising, is the pre-eminent association for academic advisers. Its strength lies in its multiple conferences, institutes, events, continuing education and online resources.

COVID-19 pandemic raises critical question: What are we willing to do to preserve our rights at the polls?

What were the key challenges to voting before COVID-19? Long lines at polling places? Too few polling places? Not convenient? Voter ID? Now add COVID-19, a disease that spreads quickly, easily, and can be deadly, and safety measures, such as social distancing, voters and poll workers wearing masks and gloves. What will the impact of COVID-19 be on voter turnout? Can we provide safe, secure means of voting for November 2020?

What explains the disparate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans? History professor explores the reasons

In “Notes of a Native Son,” his first work of nonfiction published in 1955, James Baldwin asserted, “The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others.” This statement was, arguably, a touchstone for his challenging, insightful, and argumentative writings about race relations. Since white folk often choose to dodge conversations about race, a tactic Robin DiAngelo terms “white fragility,” they tend to ignore, dismiss, or victim blame when data demonstrate continued racial inequality.

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