Nassau notes

Einstein, Franklin biographer to discuss creativity

Walter Isaacson, an acclaimed biographer whose subjects have included Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, will speak on the connections between creativity and intelligence at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in McCosh 50.

“Einstein, Franklin and the Role of Creativity in Today’s World” is the title of Isaacson’s lecture. A frequent contributor to Time magazine, The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications, he is the author of “Einstein: His Life and Universe” (2007), “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” (2003) and “Kissinger: A Biography” (1992).

Formerly the managing editor of Time and chairman and chief executive officer of CNN, Isaacson currently serves as president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, which sponsors policy programs and leadership development initiatives with the goal of finding solutions to pressing global issues.

His talk is designated as the Walter E. Edge Lecture sponsored by the University Public Lectures Series.

‘Now Dance’ concert features works by faculty, guest choreographers

“Now Dance,” a repertory concert featuring works choreographed and/or performed by Princeton faculty and renowned guests, will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21-22, in the Hagan Dance Studio, 185 Nassau St.

See full story in this issue of the PWB.

Soweto Gospel Choir will return to the McCarter Theatre Center

Soweto Gospel Choir (photo: Oliver Neubert)

The two-time Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir will return to the McCarter Theatre Center at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17. The dynamic choir will perform its new show, “African Spirit,” featuring a mixture of tribal, traditional and popular African gospel. For ticket information, call the McCarter box office at 258-2787 or visit

Indonesia’s U.N. ambassador to speak

Indonesia and the U.N. Security Council” is the title of a lecture by Indonesia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Raden Muliana Natalegawa, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in 16 Robertson Hall.

Indonesia currently is a member of the U.N. Security Council, and Natalegawa held the council’s presidency — which rotates monthly — in November 2007. Before assuming his current role as U.N. ambassador, Natalegawa served as Indonesia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2005 to 2007.

The lecture is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

U.S.-China policy is lecture topic

Princeton scholar and former U.S. Department of State official Thomas Christensen will analyze recent trends in U.S.-China relations and make policy recommendations for President-elect Barack Obama’s administration in a lecture set for 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.

Christensen’s talk is titled “Shaping China’s Choices: Recent Lessons for the Next Administration’s China Policy.” A professor of politics and international affairs, Christensen directs the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program. His research and teaching focuses on China’s foreign relations, the international relations of East Asia and international security.

From 2006 to 2008, Christensen served as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, with responsibility for relations with China, Taiwan and Mongolia.

The event is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program.

Susskind to speak on duel waged with Hawking over black holes

Stanford University physicist Leonard Susskind will discuss his 20-year battle with cosmologist Stephen Hawking over their conflicting interpretations of the behavior of black holes in a lecture at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, in McCosh 50.

He will describe the clash and the resulting discoveries in a talk titled “The Black Hole War.”

Susskind, the Felix Bloch Professor of Theoretical Physics at Stanford, is widely regarded as one of the fathers of string theory. His lecture will be based on events and ideas in his newest book, “The Black Hole War: My Battle With Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics.” Hawking, a world-renowned theoretical physicist, is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

The intellectual disagreement between the pair centered on the question of whether quantum laws hold in black holes. Hawking argued that tiny bits of information are lost when black holes evaporate.

Susskind countered that it couldn’t be true, as such an event would violate the basic laws of physics. In fact, Susskind found the idea so disturbing that he publicly declared his opposition to the notion and set about, as he said in his book, to “make the world safe for quantum mechanics.” In his lecture, he will describe how string theory helped him resolve the conundrum.

Susskind has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the 1998 J.J. Sakurai Prize for theoretical particle physics by the American Physical Society.

The event is sponsored by the Louis Clark Vanuxem Fund, the Princeton Department of Physics and the Prince-ton Center for Theoretical Science.

Visual Arts

Artwork by junior Joe Montalbano (photo: M. Teresa Simao)

This work by junior Joe Montalbano is part of a student art exhibition, “New Paintings,” hosted by the Program in Visual Arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts. The exhibition runs through Nov. 25 in the Lucas Gallery, 185 Nassau St., and is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

‘Pitch’ contest tests student business ideas

Princeton students will compete to see who can best pitch a business plan in 90 seconds during the 2008 Elevator Pitch Competition at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, in 101 Friend Center.

During the competition, which is sponsored by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club and the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, students will have to quickly explain a business plan to a panel of judges composed of venture capitalists and a successful entrepreneur. The winner takes home $1,000.

The event is open to the public.

Tour, panel explore Gehry’s Lewis Library

An open house and tour and a faculty panel discussion will explore the newly opened Peter B. Lewis Library, designed by celebrated architect Frank Gehry, on Wednesday, Nov. 19. The open house and tour will begin at 4 p.m., followed by the roundtable at 4:30 p.m. in 120 Lewis Library.

The tour will be led by Serge Goldstein, associate chief information officer and director of academic services for the Office of Information Technology.

Panelists will speak briefly and take questions about the distinctive building, which opened this fall and brings together science libraries from across campus in a facility noted for Gehry’s bold, colorful design. The speakers will be: Stan Allen, dean of the School of Architecture; Esther da Costa Meyer, associate professor of art and archaeology; Hal Foster, the Townsend Martin, Class of 1917, Professor of Art and Archaeology; and William Gleason, associate professor of English.

The event is sponsored by the Council of the Humanities.

‘Tiger Trot’ charity 5K race planned

The Office of Campus Recreation is hosting “Tiger Trot,” a charity 5K race benefiting the Crisis Ministry of Princeton, at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21. The race begins at Dillon Gymnasium.

Members of the campus and local communities are invited to run or walk in the event. The entry fee is a nonperishable food item or monetary donation to the Crisis Ministry of Princeton.

Free shirts will be presented to the first 100 registrants, and prizes will be given to top finishers among runners and walkers. Registration forms are available at For more information, contact Jessica Ward at