YDS and the world: An interview with Jan Hagens

an-Lüder Hagens is Director of International Student Exchange Programs at Yale Divinity School as well as Director of the School’s Visiting Fellows Program. YDS interviewed him about his work and these international dimensions of life on the Quad.

YDS: A big part of your work is overseeing international exchanges. Tell us about those programs. What opportunities does YDS offer to our students to study abroad?

JLH: We currently support student exchange programs with eight universities abroad, all of which have distinct features that appeal to different student applicants from YDS. At Cambridge, Westcott House offers the opportunity to study and live in a unique Anglican theological college and its liturgical community. Our three German partner universities (Heidelberg, Tübingen, and Freiburg) are theologically first-rate and among the most famous in Germany; they have 600-year traditions and sit in picture-perfect historic towns. With Copenhagen, we have an informal exchange arrangement that dramatically reduces tuition fees for students from either institution. This coming Fall, we will start an exchange with Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel’s premier academic institution. In Hong Kong, we collaborate with the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, the only theological education institution operating within a Chinese public university. And in Singapore, our students attend Trinity Theological College, which offers a specific Southeast Asian perspective and is a gateway into all of Southeast Asia. For the future, we envision additional exchange programs with universities in South America and Africa.



Data for Sale

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologizes about misuse of data and CEO of Cambridge Analytica Alexander Nix explains how data can be used.

An industrial revolution is underway with big data driving efficiency and innovation. More than half of US companies report using big-data analytics compared with 17 percent just two years ago, reports Forbes. “News reports that Cambridge Analytica swept up details on millions of Facebook users – then used details for targeted political advertising in many countries – jolted industry, regulators and users,” writes Susan Froetschel, editor of YaleGlobal Online. Yet consumers have a choice on how much data to share and with whom, and technology companies are generally upfront about the hunger for data in terms-of-service agreements and privacy policies. “With up to 5,000 data points on over 230 million American voters, we build your custom target audience, then use this crucial information to engage, persuade, and motivate them to act” and also “produced decisive results for campaigns and initiatives throughout the world,” explains Cambridge Analytica’s website. Big-data analysis is shaping communities, and even the most cautious among us cannot escape the consequences. – YaleGlobal

Yale Greenberg World Fellows Class of 2018

World Fellows 2018

A South Korean army major, a Russian opposition party politician, and an Iraqi historian who bore witness to ISIS atrocities in Mosul are among the 16 men and women who have been selected as 2018 World Fellows.

This cohort brings the total number of World Fellows since the program’s start in 2002 to 327 Fellows, representing 90 countries. This year marks the 17th cohort of World Fellows.

“I am honored to announce the 2018 World Fellows,” said Emma Sky, director of the Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows Program. “The talent, bravery, and resilience of these individuals is quite extraordinary. They are amazing role models for Yale students.”


Yale and other schools file amicus brief on legality of rescinding DACA

Yale has joined 16 other universities and colleges in filing an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief in a case before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals addressing the legality of the September 2017 action of the Department of Homeland Security rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.

The case was initially filed in the federal district court for the Eastern District of New York and is one of several across the county contesting the DACA rescission. Yale also joined in the amicus briefs in the cases filed in California and the District of Columbia.

In their brief, Yale and the other schools state that they share a mission to educate the next generation of leaders with the talent, creativity, and drive to solve society’s most pressing problems. In pursuing that common mission, the schools have admitted undocumented students who benefitted from the protections and opportunities provided through DACA.

Like their classmates, these young people were valedictorians, student government leaders, varsity athletes, inventors, academic award winners, accomplished artists, and role models for younger children in their communities,” the amici (schools filing the brief) note.

Through DACA — which protects participants against near-term deportation, allows them to work lawfully, and enables them to travel abroad — these students have been able for the first time to access educational and life opportunities on nearly equal terms with their peers.

The September Memorandum rescinding DACA deters young people from pursuing higher education and precludes the remarkable students enrolled at amici institutions from deriving the full benefit of their time on our campuses,” the brief states.

Not only does the government’s action threaten amici’s ability to attract and educate the most talented individuals and undermines their educational missions, the brief explains, but it also “deprives the United States of the benefit of DACA students’ considerable talents.”

Read the amicus brief (PDF).


Ronald Coifman wins 2018 Schock Prize in Mathematics

Ronald Coifman posing with a computer.

Yale mathematician and computer scientist Ronald Coifman has won the 2018 Rolf Schock Prize in Mathematics, one of the highest honors in the field of mathematics. He will receive the award at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts on Oct. 15.

Coifman is being recognized for “his fundamental contributions to pure and applied harmonic analysis.” The Royal Swedish Academy of the Sciences, the awarding body for this prize, writes of his scholarship:

Ronald Coifman has made outstanding contributions to harmonic analysis. He has proven several important classical results and has recently dedicated his research to applied harmonic analysis and related areas. Along with Yves Meyer, he has played a crucial role in the development of the theory of wavelets, which has important applications in image compression, signal processing, and computer vision. He and his collaborators have recently initiated diffusion geometry, bringing the opportunity to create methods for finding structures in large data sets.”


Conference on the Next Frontier of Peacekeeping

The Next Frontier of Peacekeeping

The MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and the Department of Political Science at Yale University are pleased to host an international conference, ‘The Next Frontier of Peacekeeping,’ April 27-28, 2018. This event will advance a new research agenda at an historic moment of reform, as the African Union and United Nations revise their peace and security architectures. In the wake of the UN High-Level Implementation Panel on Peace Operations and Santos Cruz reports, the time is ripe to harness the tools of evidence-based and theoretically-grounded research to match the challenges of 21st century peacekeeping.

The conference will convene leading policymakers and academics to explore how social scientists can make a meaningful contribution to the study and practice of peacekeeping. The conference will feature four thematic sessions fusing peacekeeping policy and scholarship to address critical questions such as: Whom does peacekeeping serve? How do contemporary peace operations enhance or inhibit civilian security? Why does sexual abuse by peacekeepers persist and what can be done to end it? What research hypotheses do practitioners believe scholars should test? What methods can scholars usefully deploy to support the work of practitioners?


INCAE Team Wins Global Network Security Analysis Prize


A team from INCAE Business School won the Security Analysis Prize in the third annual Global Network Investment Competition on March 1.

The team, Incatraz Investments, won the $3,500 prize for its work analyzing the stock offering from Cemex Latam Holdings, a firm investing in cement products. Alpha Omega, a team from the National University of Singapore Business School, was the runner-up in the competition, winning $1,500.

The competition, sponsored by the Yale School of Management’s International Center for Finance and Bloomberg, started with more than 20 teams. Each of the four finalist teams, which also included two teams from the School of Management, Fudan University, presented an analysis of a security issued by a company in its home country. A panel of judges evaluated their analysis of the company’s potential exposure to risks, its potential for growth, its capital flows, and other factors.