October 4, 2008

Duke University — Part One

Since August 1, 2008, I've been on Sabbatical — make that in the Advanced Graduate Research Program — at Duke University, famously home of the Duke Blue Devils:

Duke Blue Devil Weather Vane on top
				   of the Divinity School

(This picture would be less disturbing if the weather vane wasn't sitting on top of the Divinity School.

So far, it's been fun, and yes, I've gotten a lot of work done, with a minimal amount of distraction from the home office. I've even managed to take a bunch of pictures, some of which I'll show here. (If you want more, feel free to ask.)

The main campus at Duke is actually the West Campus, dominated by the Duke Chapel:

Duke Chapel

If this was a Catholic University, the Chapel would be a cathedral. It's not, though, as you can see by looking at the statues adorning the portal. At the top is John Wesley, the Methodist founder:

John Wesley Statue at Duke Chapel

(Sorry about the lighting.) He's flanked on by, on his right, Girolamo Savonarola (why, I have no idea), Martin Luther, and John Wycliffe (behind the door):

Martin Luther and others, Duke
    Chapel Portal

and on his right by Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, and Sydney Lanier (no, I never heard of him, either).

The Gothic theme of the Chapel carries over to other parts of the campus, including the dorms, like Cromwell Quad,

Cromwell Quad, Duke University West

the medical school classrooms

Part of the Medical School at
    Duke University West Campus

and, in a modern Gothic form, at the Terry Sanford Institute, a Duke think-tank:

Terry Sanford Institute of Public
    Policy, Duke West Campus

The motif doesn't carry over to where I work, at Hudson Hall,

Hudson Hall, Duke West Campus

part of the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department, where I'm collaborating with Stefano Curtarolo and his group.

Near the Science/Engineering section of campus is this interesting sculpture:

Knut Schmidt-Nielsen and the Camel,
    Duke West Campus

Duke being a in a tobacco town, if assumed that this had something to do with a certain cigarette, but no. The statue, titled Scientist and Nature, commemorates the career of biologist Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, who taught at Duke from 1952 until his retirement in the '80s.

OK, admit it. When you hear Duke, the first thing that pops into your head isn't Divinity School, think tanks, engineering, or even camels. No, here's what you're thinking of:

Knut Schmidt-Nielsen and the Camel,
    Duke West Campus

That's right, Cameron Indoor Stadium, one of the Meccas of College Basketball (behind Allen Field House, Pauley Pavilion, Rupp Arena, Madison Square Garden, and The Palestra, IMHO), home of Coach K and company. Just so you don't forget, there are a couple of other places near Cameron that highlight who lives here:

Krzyzewski Center, Duke West Campus Krzyzewskiville, Duke West Campus

There's also an Emily Krzyzewski Family Center, but that's off campus in downtown Durham, so I don't have a picture.

That's probably enough for now. Stay tuned for Duke University, Part Two, coming soon to a website near you.

©2008. Michael Mehl. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.Creative Commons License

Current URL: http://www.rcjhawk.us/duke/duke01.html

              Valid XHTML 1.0!

Hosted by AwardSpace.com