This fall, as THiNK Magazine mailed, Purdue kicked off its yearlong sesquicentennial celebration.
Anniversaries are occasions for reflection. We look back on 150 years of education and research that have improved lives and shaped communities. It is appropriate to look back, to celebrate our Giant Leaps, and to be informed about ways in which our successes might be even greater.
As important, though, is looking forward and envisioning what achievements the next 50, 100, or 150 years might bring. It is in that spirit Purdue is presenting its Ideas Festival as part of the celebration.
The Ideas Festival will convene discussions on Space, Artificial Intelligence, Health and Longevity, and Sustain-ability. In this issue of THiNK, we present an impressive collection of stories from the College that explore some of the ways our research and creative endeavors touch upon those topics.
Collectively, these stories demonstrate the impact and importance of our disciplines at Purdue. In an age of fast-paced technological advances, it is imperative that we recognize technology is developed by and for humans. Whether it is questions about the ethical implications of artificial intelligence, strategies for living healthier, more productive lives, or how the images of historic figures are used even after their lives are over, the centrality of the liberal arts is undeniable.
The advances we will make in the next 150 years will be more dynamic with a more meaningful reach when considerations of societal and cultural impact, a genuine understanding of the human implications, and an appreciation of aesthetics are woven into decision-making processes.
The chance to contribute to conversations about the advances Purdue will develop illuminates the unique opportunity for our College of Liberal Arts. Through our good work as educators and scholars, the liberal arts pre-pare future leaders — whether students who major in our disciplines or those who enhance their majors outside our College by taking our classes — to define the Giant Leaps Purdue University will take in the years to come.
I invite you to explore these stories and consider the ways in which this College shapes our future.
David A. Reingold
Justin S. Morrill Dean