Very Interesting Professor Dinner Series David Fishman '14

Hillel has continued to host its monthly "Very Interesting Professor" dinners. These dinners serve as a forum for the Jewish student body to discuss intriguing research that Washington and Lee faculty is working on during the year. Hillel hosted its first VIP Dinner of the year, on October 18th at the Sheridan Livery. The featured guest was Professor Arthur Goldsmith of the Washington and Lee University Economics Department. After a little candid schmoozing, Professor Goldsmith discussed with the students a piece of research he and Professor Diette are working on. Their research investigates how the psychological impact from traumatic events at different points in an individual's youth affects one's likelihood to drop out of school. Due to the clear link between education and success, implications from the research are valuable.

Moreover, the Livery, as usual, provided an environment conducive to discussion along with delicious meals. Hillel hosted its second VIP Dinner of the year, on November 15th at Niko's. The featured guest was Professor Simon Levy of the Washington and lee Computer Science Department. He currently serves as the department head as well as the faculty advisor to Hillel. While the students enjoyed the Greek cuisine, the discussion centered around Professor Levy's work in defense-primarily, artificially intelligent defense drones. The insightful conversation inevitably took a brief digression to George Orwell's work, "1984," but the general concept of artificially mindful drones is certainly profound. We also discussed an app he designed for a French toy, along with his experiences at other universities... Obviously, the Washington and Lee Student Body was astoundingly superior and much more ethical! But, that did not surprise anyone.

Hillel is excited to have the opportunity to host Professor Angela Smith of the W&L Philosophy Department in January. Prof. Smith's research is primarily in political and moral philosophy. These topics are very conducive to discussion and relevant to contemporary societal issues. As political, social, and economic disparities continue to expand, the Hillel student body is looking forward to hearing an academic analysis from an individual so well-versed in the field. We are expecting both a great turnout and a continued trend of lively discussions!