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Honors Outside of the Classroom: Science in the City

Publication date

March 07, 2018 6:00 PM


Katie Fitzpatrick

World War 2 Museum Stem Gallery

Science in the City visits to the STEM Gallery at the World War II Museum. 


In a world gripped by progress, it is important to harness the forward momentum of technology and use it to the make the best of the world of which we are a part. The Wall Society, “Science in the City” does just that. Their goal is to explore how innovation is transforming New Orleans in a variety of ways. In 2013, the Atlantic published an article entitled “The Big Comeback: Is New Orleans America's Next Great Innovation Hub?” New Orleans has, in fact, demonstrated a great commitment to innovation in the post-Katrina era, with organizations such as the Idea Village, the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, and Propeller providing opportunities and support for start-ups and burgeoning entrepreneurs.

Dr. Michelle Lacey, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Adjunct Associate Professor of Biostatistics, regularly leads Tulane Honors students on outings around the city as the Wall Fellow for “Science in the City”.

Included in this year’s events have been a trip to the STEM Innovation Gallery at the World War II museum. The Gallery “focuses on how problems were solved during World War II through ingenuity and innovation,” according to Public Health Senior and RA for this Society, Matthew Hu. Matthew also explains, “The Science in the City Society is comprised of bright, driven students who are interested in science and innovation. The Society has students studying a variety of disciplines. During our trip to the WWII Museum’s STEM Gallery, the students were able to see how scientists and innovators were able to develop technology that had a large impact on history.”

Also in early February, members of this Society attended a panel discussion on artificial intelligence in Freeman Auditorium. The panel featured Paula Boddington, a philosopher from Oxford University; Jason Furman, an economist from Harvard University; Peter Stone, a computer scientist from the University of Texas–Austin; and Wendell Wallach, an ethicist with The Hastings Center and the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. The Society also participated in Novel Tech Challenge Kick-Off and PitchNOLA at Propeller which focused on educational initiatives.

The Wall Society is now preparing for New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the Mardi Gras of entrepreneurship according to USA Today. Professor Lacey says this event “is a fantastic opportunity for our members to hear from innovation leaders as well as learn about a broad array of technological developments.” With the city’s tercentennial festivities well under way, cutting-edge ideas are sure to abound with Tulane Honors students leading the way.