Jamshed Bharucha Speaks at Yale University

February 21, 2012

President Bharucha on Alignment and Synchronization of Brain States through Music

President Bharucha on Alignment and Synchronization of Brain States through Music

Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha delivered the second of the 2012 Shulman Lectures in Science and the Humanities at Yale University on Tuesday, February 21. His talk, entitled “The Alignment and Synchronization of Brain States through Music,” is organized in conjunction with the Yale College seminar on music and human evolution. The seminar explores the development of human capacities for music-making in light of recent advances in evolutionary science and theory.

Aside from his role as Cooper Union’s twelfth President, Dr. Bharucha is a cognitive neuroscientist and classically trained violinist. He has written extensively on the cognitive and neural underpinnings of music and has been awarded grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health for his work. He has taught at Dartmouth and Tufts, and most recently at The Cooper Union World Forum—a unique interdisciplinary class that brought students from all three of Cooper Union’s schools to explore the topics and discourse of globalization.

Dr. Bharucha's visit was highlighted today in the Yale Daily News as he spoke about productively synthesizing academic disciplines in pedagogy and scholarship. An excerpt and a link to the full text follow.

As an active musician, Bharucha said that the interplay between the sciences and the humanities is the future of academics.

“Historically, the disciplines [of science and the arts] have been treated as fairly isolated and represented by different departments in universities,” Bharucha said. “But the ideas themselves are becoming a lot more interconnected across disciplines. There are tremendous numbers of very interesting relationships yet to be explored.”

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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.