Ellen Handler Spitz on UMBC In The Loop

by Phillip Witteveen on December 11, 2012

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Ellen Handler Spitz, author of Illuminating Childhood, was featured on UMBC’s In the Loop video series, which showcases new and interesting ideas in academia. For this episode, Professor Spitz, who teaches Humanities, met with Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Professor Govind Rao, to discuss the relationship between the sciences and the arts, which are, as it turns out, have more in common than is widely thought. “You were describing art ad building new forms” said Professor Rao, “I think that’s very much the soul of engineering also”.

Developing technology in Rao’s lab is a highly creative process, and indeed technology itself, as Professor Spitz shared, comes from “the Ancient Greek word for art, [which] is techne”. Some out-of-the-box solutions to some of Rao’s projects, for example, have been affordable life support systems to prevent infant mortality, and less intrusive ways to measure blood sugar for diabetics.

Throughout the interview, Professors Rao and Spitz look at the creative process in both art and science, where it differs, and often where it is similar. Regardless of what field it is practiced in, Spitz said that “curiosity is the most precious resource.”

You can check out the full interview here.

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