Convening Yale Brings Leading Scholars and Thinkers to Yale SOM
When students come to Yale SOM, they join one of the world's great universities. They can take courses throughout Yale, while many of the university's best faculty come and teach at Yale SOM. They can work with students from the other graduate and professional schools on a wide variety of projects, business ideas, and student conferences. And as a recent talk at Yale SOM by Ramamurti Shankar, the John Randolph Huffman Professor of Physics, demonstrated, students can benefit from the intellectual wealth of a university that is eminent in all the major fields of knowledge.
Shankar, an expert in theoretical condensed matter physics and particle physics, spoke to students on October 12 as the first session of Convening Yale, a series of seminars that brings faculty from around the university to Yale SOM to discuss their research in intimate settings. The topic was the theory of relativity, which he said is what drew him to physics as a young man. He explained that its origins reach back much further than Albert Einstein, whose work on relativity has come to define the subject. Galileo first posited that two observers moving at constant speed and direction will obtain the same results for all mechanical experiments.
Shankar led the students through developments in the field across centuries and also discussed recent experiments, such as one that at first seemed to call the theory of relativity into question by discovering particles that appeared to move faster than the speed of light. "If that happens, then the order of events is not absolute and the world has no cause and effect," he said. "If the order between them is not sacred, we can make no sense of the world."
Convening Yale has been organized by Shyam Sunder, the James L. Frank Professor of Accounting, Economics, and Finance, and Martijn Cremers, associate professor of finance. Sunder said that the program illustrates how Yale SOM teaches students to comprehend issues of complexity, which has become more important to managers in an increasingly global workplace. "Convening Yale will bring exceptional scholars from arts, humanities, sciences, law, medicine, and social sciences to SOM to add this key dimension to Yale's MBA education," he said. "The feedback from the students I have received so far has been excellent. They've really embraced it."
Added Cremers: "These are meant to be thought-provoking, interesting, and fun, as well as highly interactive. Any deeper understanding of our world may also help them professionally: the better one's understanding, the better one may imagine what goods and services are most beneficial to provide."
Upcoming guests in Convening Yale include Marvin Chun, professor of psychology, and Charles Hill, Brady-Johnson Distinguished Fellow in Grand Strategy and senior lecturer in humanities.