Penn Arts & Sciences

The University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences forms the foundation of the scholarly excellence that has established Penn as one of the world's leading research universities. We teach students across all 12 Penn schools, and our academic departments span the reach from anthropology and biology to sociology and South Asian studies.

Members of the Penn Arts & Sciences faculty are leaders in creating new knowledge in their disciplines and are engaged in nearly every area of interdisciplinary innovation. They are regularly recognized with academia's highest honors, including membership in prestigious societies like the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, as well as significant prizes such as MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships.

The educational experience offered by Penn Arts & Sciences is likewise recognized for its excellence. The School's three educational divisions fulfill different missions, united by a broader commitment to providing our students with an unrivaled education in the liberal arts. The College of Arts and Sciences is the academic home of the majority of Penn undergraduates and provides 60 percent of the courses taken by students in Penn's undergraduate professional schools. The Graduate Division offers doctoral training to over 1,300 candidates in more than 30 graduate programs. And the College of Liberal and Professional Studies provides a range of educational opportunities for lifelong learners and working professionals.


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 966
  • Publication
    Team Foundation and Outsourcing Preparedness
    (2007-04-27) Milliken, Robert N
    This thesis describes CDR International's first board sponsored and senior executive approved and organized effort to leverage the labor arbitrage and service and performance opportunities existing in the global marketplace. I describe the initial phases of the formation of the outsourcing team, the challenges and political obstacles overcome and the decision making phase of this important organizational project. I argue that key factors for success of this initiative included a solid foundation of research, best practices, lessons-learned from comparable organizations, and most important, the formation of standard tools and methods for identifying and evaluating opportune functions for consideration. The development of these toolsets and methodologies has and continues to directly impact the decision making process. In correlation with the development and implementation of these standards and methods, and consistent with almost any organizational role, the importance of leveraging the organizational dynamics across the association was also vital. Accordingly, factors to success emanated from proper expectation setting, solid written and verbal communication skills, political and business savvy, and thoughtful and constructive organizational alliances. Although useful across a wide range of organizational roles, the mere importance and sensitivity of the outsourcing charter and its implications to bottom-line savings, top-line growth and the net effect to our career-minded employees, heighten the significance of those aforementioned traits.
  • Publication
    A Study Of The Effect Of Altitude And Local Biologies Upon Nunoan Breast Milk Content
    (2019-01-01) Schafrank, Lauren A
    As a readily available substance and primary source of nutrition for infants, breast milk serves as a reasonable window into adaptive human physiology and human growth differences in physiologically stressed environments. Prior studies in Tibet show a considerable buffering of breast milk composition at high altitude but imply that economic status and cultural differences in breastfeeding practices influence milkfat content significantly. With an elevation of over 4000 meters above sea level, relatively low levels of socioeconomic status, and variability in women’s schedules resulting in high variability of breastfeeding patterns, Nunoa, Peru provides an excellent location for investigating altitudinal and sociocultural impact on the nutritional value of breast milk. A mid-feed, self-expressed collection of breast milk was completed for 23 mothers. The samples were aliquoted into sterile vials within 30 minutes of collection and then frozen prior to analysis, ensuring maximum preservation of the macromolecules. Participants completed a detailed survey assessing sociodemographic characteristics, diet, and infant feeding practices. For some mothers, observations of breastfeeding behavior occurred, providing additional evidence for feeding variability. Significant variability in breastfeeding patterns and composition was observed. Primarily, in comparison to prior observations in highland Tibet, Nunoan mothers fed more frequently and for shorter bursts, impacting total volume and overall feeding time. Furthermore, Nunoan mothers produced milk with lower lactose levels (6.01 ± .89 g/100mL compared with 7.25 ± 0.35 g/100mL in Tibetan High Nubris). Nevertheless, breast milk fat composition in high-altitude populations of Nunoa (4.56.78 g/100mL) was similar to that observed previously in the Tibetan highlands, and represented higher breast milk fat content than that seen in other comparative milk composition studies at lower altitudes. Our results suggest that individual anatomical indices of lower trunk fat are not the strongest predictors of milk fat levels. Instead, the Nunoan data suggests that relative distribution of anatomical fat is a more reliable predictor of milk fat concentrations. Specifically, maternal waist-to-hip ratio may in fact be a more reliable measurement to predict milk fat rather than the general measurements of adiposity currently used. This indicator provides a new method for predicting breast milk composition and opens the door for future studies of breast milk content in physiologically stressed populations and elsewhere.
  • Publication
    Stock Spam Emails: Proliferation and Impact
    (2008-04-01) Baskin, Ernest
  • Publication
    Micromoments Matter: Finding Agency and Connection Through a Micromoments Mindset
    (2020-08-01) Chou, Cindy; Masters, Amanda J
    As humans, our tendency is to reduce uncertainty, leading us to want to hold things still rather than accept the inevitable change that comes (Langer, 2009). However, psychological and behavioral attempts to do so can result in clinging to outdated and erroneous information, limiting our perspectives and narrowing opportunities for meaningful choice. In this paper, we merge Western psychology and Eastern wisdom traditions and build upon conceptions of mindfulness from both perspectives, to present our theory of the micromoments mindset as a tool for well-being. We define a micromoment as both the instant opening into conscious awareness of the present moment, as well as the brief stretch of experience that follows, until awareness recedes. A micromoments mindset is the cognitive prioritization toward these openings. It serves as both an entryway into mindfulness and the experience of being more mindful within the micromoment. We argue that tapping into micromoments throughout our days can facilitate factors of well-being, particularly agency and connection, so that we have more tools for living with intention in the world of uncertainty and flux in which we find ourselves. We also present the PEACE framework for optimizing well-being within micromoments.
  • Publication
    A Business Analytics Approach to Corporate Sustainability Analysis
    (2014-01-01) Wen, Jeff
    Sustainability has become increasingly important to corporations, as stakeholders have called for increased transparency and as corporations have recognized the benefits of considering corporate sustainability. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in disclosure both through corporate statements and through annual reports in which companies will describe the environmental activities in which they are involved. These documents and reports are of interest to researchers because they represent a wealth of information that can be studied and analyzed. In the past, the contents of these reports have been studied through manual methods; however, there is a great potential for automatic analysis of these reports. This paper will document the methodology taken to produce an automated analytics software that produces outputs that can further be used in analysis. Specifically, the program is meant to calculate the word frequencies of certain words and phrases that are of interest and it also extracts the sentences in which these words or phrases are contained. In this research, the output of the program is used in 2 applications. One regresses the sustainability word frequencies against a published sustainability score and another application uses a simple form of sentiment analysis to analyze the positive and negative sentiment of the extracted sentences. Human methods are usually used to perform tasks such as sentiment analysis and frequency count. The program created in this research provides a first step toward future computational analysis work. While the program is able to perform the tasks for which it was designed, improvements can be made to produce a more comprehensive and versatile program.
  • Publication
    Neighboring Development, Distant Goals: Competing Visions for Philadelphia’s Chinatown North/Callowhill in Light of the Reading Viaduct Redevelopment
    (2016-01-01) Marcus, Emily
    Philadelphia’s Chinatown has had a long history of land loss. Projects like the Vine Street Expressway and Philadelphia Convention Center have created contention between Chinatown and outside developers. Most recently, this conflict has come to a head over the proposed redevelopment of the Reading Viaduct, an abandoned rail viaduct from Philadelphia’s industrial age. Friends of the Rail Park, a non-profit organization, seeks to transform it into an elevated park, and Phase 1 of the project is located in Chinatown North/Callowhill. This proposal has brought back old hard feelings and created a debate over the true identity of the neighborhood. Rail park proponents want to see a diverse community unified around a modern and high-end park, while Chinatown advocates wants to see an increase in affordable housing and community space. Despite the vast differences in these visions, both sides are poised to make them a reality; the Rail Park is in its final round of fundraising, and Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, a community development corporation in Chinatown, is set to break ground on a mixed-income residential and recreational space this June. With both sides working separately but effectively to realize their visions, development in Chinatown North/Callowhill complicates the traditional gentrification narrative and serves as an example of development without displacement.
  • Publication
    Characterization of Genomic Variation Related to Hair and Skin Phenotypes in the Khoesan Speakers of Southern Africa
    (2023-04-26) Da Costa, Nicole G.
    The Khoesan speakers are indigenous peoples in southern Africa, consisting of many different ethnic groups that do not speak Bantu languages. They are foragers with a complex history: they descended from the earliest diversification event for Homo sapiens, interacted with neighboring populations through migrations, and grappled with colonization. To investigate the Khoesan’s adaptation to their local environment, we analyzed genomic variations of Khoesan individuals with scans of natural selection, and identified variants that may be targets of selection in the Keratin (KRT) gene family. We examined a potential regulatory variant in KRT78, rs7307165, and conducted a dual luciferase reporter assay to determine if rs7307165 influenced gene expression. Results showed rs7307165 significantly affected enhancer activity in keratinocytes for KRT78. Missense mutations in KRT74 and KRT71 were also identified and appear to be compelling candidates for a mouse model experiment. Studying genetic variation in the Khoesan and other African populations can help us better understand human health, adaptation to local environments, and human history.
  • Publication
    Strengths Building, Resilience, and the Bible: A Story-Based Curriculum for Adolescents Around the World
    (2014-01-01) McDaniel Seale, Dana
    Depression is the leading cause of illness and disability in adolescents worldwide. Resilience training, founded on principles of positive psychology, is correlated with lower depression and substance misuse in U.S. adolescents and military personnel. However, resilience training has focused primarily on secular interventions using western material. Religion is strongly correlated with lower depression and also with well-being in developing countries. Ninety percent of adolescents live in developing countries, and at least two-thirds are oral learners who prefer learning through stories and drama. This paper proposes a Bible story based curriculum that trains students in problem solving skills, character strengths, and both spiritual and secular research-tested principles for resilience and well-being. The Bible is available by audio recording in 751 languages and offers a broad base of archetypal stories for teaching resilience. The program is easily reproducible, culturally adaptable, respectful of all religions, and specifically crafted for oral learners. Through audio recordings to maintain fidelity, train the trainer programs for dissemination and support of national and community leaders, the proposed curriculum for Global Resilience Oral Workshops (GROW) has potential to lower depression and lift well-being in adolescents around the world.
  • Publication
    The Affair or the State: Intellectuals, the Press, and the Dreyfus Affair
    (2008-04-01) Rimoch, David
    In his introduction to The Age of Revolution historian Eric Hobsbawm considers "a few English words which were invented, or gained their modern meanings, substantially in the period" between 1789 and 1848. The list includes 'capitalism', 'socialism', 'aristocracy', 'liberal', 'conservative', 'nationality', 'crisis', 'journalism', and 'ideology'. For Hobsbawm, "To imagine the modern world without these words (i.e. without the things and concepts for which they provide names) is to measure the profundity of the revolution which broke out between 1789 and 1848, and forms the greatest transformation in human history since the remote times when men invented agriculture and metallurgy, writing, the city and the state." This analysis is relevant when thinking of the Dreyfus case. To imagine the Affair without words such as 'capitalism', 'aristocracy', 'nationality', 'crisis', or 'ideology', is not hard, it is impossible.