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EXCELSIOR

Recognizing Faculty Scholarship in theCollegeof Arts and Sciences Fall 2012


From the Dean
Faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences are actively engaged in research and various forms of creative and
scholarly pursuits. These include publication of books, journal articles, and novels, as well as artistic productions.
Excelsior (ever upward) is a newsletter devoted to sharing their achievements with the general public. In addition to
this publication, the College hosts a periodic Scholars Forum, a public gathering of scholars from the campus and
outside, to engage in discussions of topics of general interest.
Roman Sznajder, Professor of Mathematics
On August 19-24, 2012, I participated in the 21
st
International
Symposium on Mathematical Programming (ISMP), which convened in
Berlin, Germany. The ISMP is the most important meeting of the
mathematical optimization community around the world. It is a triennial
event and the sites alternate between Europe and the Americas. The
next meeting is planned to take place in Pittsburgh, PA.
This was the most attended event in its history; there were more than
1,700 registered speakers and 21 plenary and semi-plenary lectures,
including 5 history of mathematics lectures. There were 40 parallel tracks
running three times a day, Monday through Friday. It was a shame that it
was impossible to attend all of the sessions one would have liked to
attend. There even were several concurrent sessions with the same name (e.g., conic programming, combinatorial
optimization). The hot topics at the conference included: variational analysis, implementation and software, conic
programming, combinatorial optimization, to name a few. I presented a talk, Complementarity properties of linear
transformations on product spaces via Schur complements, in the Complementarity and Variational Inequalities session.
Looking back to the previous (20
th
) ISMP meeting in Chicago, one can observe a certain paradigm shift. Mathematical
Optimization is a rapidly expanding discipline increasingly geared towards various practical applications. These include
medical applications such as data mining, radiation therapy, and computer tomography, among others. Nowadays, these
applications have solid theoretical foundations.
The afternoon history of math sessions featured several well-known mathematical figures, including Gottfried Leibniz,
Leonhard Euler, Carl Weierstrass, and Hermann Minkowski. These were mathematicians either working in Berlin or in
some way connected to this city. The greatest interest was in the session describing the work of Konrad Zuse who in
May 1941 finalized the invention of the first working, freely programmable machine using Boolean logic and floating-
point arithmetic. In 1949, he created the first company which commercially produced computers. The presentation was
made by Dr. Horst Zuse, the oldest child of Konrad Zuse, and a computer scientist himself.


I would like to commend the organizers for virtually flawless arrangement of talks, schedule of accompanying events,
and very friendly atmosphere.
It is wonderful to see and interact with the top experts in ones field at one place at the same time! Neither e-mail
exchanges nor regular mail are as effective as interpersonal, face-to-face contact. One gets inspired by the enthusiasm
and creativity of ones colleagues and new ideas flow freely. One refreshes old friendships and makes new ones.
Dr. Sznajder is an outstanding scholar and prolific author with numerous publications in prestigious journals.
Additionally, he is a regular peer-reviewer for journals in mathematics.
Dr. Fred Mills. Professor, Department of History and Government
Dr. Fred Mills is very prolific scholar. He published seven articles on public policy between March and October 2012. A
few of his latest articles are as follows:
Mills, F. A phenomenological approach to psychoprosthetics. Disability &
Rehabilitation, 2012; Early Online: 17 2012 Informa UK, Ltd. ISSN 0963-8288
print/ISSN 1464-5165 online. DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2012.708819
The phenomenology of human embodiment can advance the practitioners
understanding of the lived human body and in particular, what it means to incorporate a
prosthetic device into ones body. In order for a prosthesis to be incorporated into the
lived body of the patient, the prosthesis must arguably be integrated into the body
schema. This article uses the phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and others to
identify three of the necessary conditions of embodiment that determine the body
schema: corporeal understanding, transparency and sensorimotor feedback. It then
examines the structure of each of these conditions of embodiment and how other
artifacts.
Education reform gets high marks in El Salvador. Council on Hemispheric Affairs (March 5, 2012)
After just three years in office, the left of center Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) Administration of
President Mauricio Funes is receiving high marks for its achievements in the area of education reform. A February 2012
national poll by La Prensa Graphica Datos gives Funes a 71.4%approval rating. According to the poll, his
Administrations principle successes include the government provision of uniforms, shoes and supplies to public school
children and assistance to low income persons. In order to put these public perceptions and the initial outcomes of the
education reforms in perspective, this article analyzes the political context, the state of education back in March 2009,
and the philosophy behind the education reform program.
Dr. Kehbuma Langmia. Associate Professor, Department of Communications
Dr. Langmia has several books to his credit. His is an outstanding scholar who continues to raise the bar of excellence in
the area of scholarship. A synopsis of some of his recent works is as
follows:
The secret weapon of globalization: Chinas activities in sub-Saharan
Africa. Journal of Third World Studies, Vol. 28 (2), 2011
Of late, we have come to realize that if it is not the West digging up gold,
diamonds and elephant tusks from Africa, it is China struggling to maintain
its foothold in the continent. These two forces, operating under the banner
of globalization of world trade and technology, are now becoming the


replica of Western imperial forces that scrambled for Africas natural rich resources before and after the First and
Second World Wars. The question that is often asked is who really wants to help the struggling continent of Africa
compete in the world stage of global politics and development and who is using camouflage to further cripple the
continent to its knees? This paper, therefore, seek to unravel this mystery with particular attention on Chinas role in
the economic, political, and technological development of sub-Saharan Africa and that of its predecessors the European
colonizers.
Traditional Cultures and Their Effects on Globalization: An African Perspective (A book chapter in Kirk St. Amant and
Bolanle Olanirans Globalization and Digital Divide, 2011. Cambria Press, New York.
Traditional cultures have defined and differentiated people over the years. Globalization has helped to offset this
diversity by creating more confusion. Indigenous cultures, especially in the developing world, are gradually being eroded
by the wind of so-called global culture. This global culture, in essence, is a whirlwind that is crushing development and
burgeoning traditional modes of expressions, particularly in Africa. For global culture to gain roots in Africa, the
theoretical concepts of Africana critical theory and Afrocentricity should be the starting point. Eurocentricity, the
dominating conceptual framework, is used time and time again when referring to Africa, and this practice seems to be
the issue affecting globalization and digital divide as it relates to Africa. This chapter examines this phenomenon in
greater detail by demonstrating the importance and value of local cultures in Africa, and Cameroon in particular, that
have been ignored by global technology and how globalization can succeed to address these issues.

Dr. George Acquaah, Dean/Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Acquaah published the 2
nd
edition of one his critically acclaimed textbook Principles of Plant Breeding and Genetics
in summer 2012. The 1
st
edition was not only translated into Farsi, but was judged by a
panel at the world premier Wageningen University in Holland, as the best in its class, after
reviewing 13 other books! Translation into Farsi is in progress. Two others of Dr. Acquaahs
seven textbooks are in multiple editions. One of them, Understanding Biotechnology, was
translated into Chinese.
Dr. Acquaah was also featured in the prestigious International Innovation, a European
magazine devoted to disseminating science, research and technology in their fall 2012 issue.
The primary topic of the article was an NSF project he co-authored with Dr. Alan Anderson,
Assistant Prof of Chemistry at BSU. His talks about his innovative STEMing the TIDE
(promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Through Integrated and
Diversified Experiences) initiative.
DR. Mario Fenyo, Professor, Department of History and Government
Dr. Fenyo has been a fixture at Bowie State University since 1988. He represents the ethnic diversity of the institution in
microcosm, having lived, worked, taught and studied in Europe (Eastern and Western),
Africa (Nigeria, Sudan, Namibia), Asia (Korea), the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Trinidad)
and, of course, various regions of the United States. He has served as President of the
Association of Third World Studies.
Dr. Fenyo teaches world civilizations, history of the United States, history of Europe
and, occasionally, African-American and Latin American history as well. He writes
books, essays and articles on a variety of topics, but his favorite ones include the Third
World (compared), and 20
th
/21st century East-Central Europe, particularly Hungarian
history.
Some of his book length publications include Hitler, Horthy and Hungary (Yale
University Press), Literature and Political Change (Philadelphia: American Philosophical
Society). He is also a co-author of PanAfricanism/Caribbean Connections, and Law and Politics at the Grassroots (both


by Universe Inc). He has published about fifty articles, chapters in books and essays, including some on pedagogy. He is
best known for the twenty-two monographs he was commissioned to translate (mostly for Columbia University Press
and the authors). Professor Abdul Karim Bangura of the African Institute has published a collection of his articles under
the title Mario Fenyo on the Third Worlda Reader
Dr. Fenyo is collaborating with Ms. R. Bailey (Dept.of Fine and Performing Arts) on an analysis of the life, politics and
poetry of the late Puerto Rican patriot J ulia de Burgos. He is also working on the application of fractals to the analysis of
Ousmane Sembene's (the Senegalese writer and director) novel "God's BIts of Wood" in French.
Prof. Bob Bartlett, Assistant Professor, Department of Fine and Performing Arts
Professor Bob Bartlett, a noted playwright and director, has authored numerous plays that have been performed to
audiences at prestigious venues including The Kennedy Center, Active
Cultures, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festivals. His play Whales was runner-up
winner of the ACTFs 2011 David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award
and the Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting. The play was also semi-
finalist for the 2012 ONeil Playwright Competition and finalist for the 2011
Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition. On October 28
th
, 2012, he
directed the Arhol Fugard play Blood Knot, along with the noted Danny
Glover as guest director. It was night to remember!
Bob Bartlett (standing) and Danny Glover in center
Dr. Jie Yan, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science
Dr. Yan is at the forefront in the field of artificial intelligence. She has two patents to her credit. She is interested in
facilitating student learning through the use of animated pedagogical agents to engage students. One of her current
projects is on the development a life-like animated virtual tutor embedded learning module. She presented her work to
an audience of her peers in July in Nevada:

Yan, J., Agada, R., Life-Like Animated Virtual Tutor Embedded Learning Module, in the proceeding of The 2012
international conference on E-Learning, E-Business, Enterprise Information Systems, and E-Government, July 16-19,
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 2012, Page(s):225 228

In recent years, converging evidence indicates that learning gains can be achieved by
designing computer programs that use pedagogical agents that foster social agency.
Research has shown that learning programs with well-designed animated pedagogical
agents engage and motivate students, produce greater reported satisfaction and enjoyment
by students, and produce greater learning gains than programs without these agents. We
believe that comprehension of speech produced by a lifelike computer character with
accurate visual speech and simultaneous expressive head and face movements will produce
better comprehension and learning than listening to the auditory message alone. In this
research, in order to engage students in their learning experience, a life-like animated virtual
tutor enhanced learning module that controls learning interactions with students was
presented. This module is designed to present scientific lectures to students in optimal ways
through narrated animations and to provide interactive support to students as they learn
science expositions, and to assess and train comprehension through question-answer dialogs
with a life-like animated virtual tutor. Results show that animated virtual tutor with life-like facial expressions and head
movements has great impact on students impressions and engagement in the learning process.

Strive To Succeed, Not Because Of, But In Spite OfGeorge Acquaah