OT: Harvard esoterica

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Dec 9 15:10:38 UTC 2007

At 12/9/2007 01:36 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>No, it's not a component of the undergraduate college. I'm sorry for
>giving the implication that it is. When it reaches its full
>development, it's meant to be as distinct from the College as the Law
>School, the Medical School, etc. It couldn't compete with M.I.T.,

Actually, it's still part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, thus
separate from the College but not as separate and equal as Law or
Medicine.  It had been "Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences"
for a while, and (according to the FAS web page for "Degree-Granting
School, Departments, and Committees"), is now the "School of
Engineering and Applied Sciences" -- and the only "school" in FAS (at
least that grants degrees; I didn't find the School of Hard Knocks).

Looking at Harvard's web site, I still find it under the Faculty of
Arts and Sciences, separate from (and equal to?) "Harvard
College".  The "major schools (or 'faculties')" -- in Harvard's words
-- are (shortening their names) Arts and Sciences, Medicine,
Business, Design, Divinity, Education, Government, Law, Radcliffe
Institute, and Public Health.

>Of course, Harvard competes quite easily with the 'Tute, as
>things stand. Steven Pinker is merely the most famous of the most

I thought, when Pinker left MIT for Harvard, he lowered the faculty
quality at both institutions.

>You are correct that "Department of Applied Science" should have read
>"Division of Engineering & Applied Physics."

"Division of Engineering and Applied Physics" in olden days (into the
early 1980s, some evidence shows); "Division of Engineering and
Applied Sciences" recently.  (Some current Harvard faculty members
list their 1970s degrees under the older name.)

When I was there, long ago, it was the "Division of Engineering and
Applied Physics".  I always thought that was a strange place to get a
degree in Applied Mathematics, and a strange name for something which
really was Computer Science.  Then too it was under the Faculty of
Arts and Sciences, which is why as an alumnus I can get to withdraw
from FAS libraries (such as Widener, Music, Science, Fine Arts,
etc.), but not from Education, Law, Business, Medicine, etc.

>I went by the "insider"
>name of the library, which name I remember more easily than that of
>the name of that unit of the University.

As someone once wrote about failing families, memories all fail in
different ways.  I remember the unit more easily than the name; if
the catalog tells me a book is at, for example, Gutman or Tozzer, I
have no idea where in the Yard to find it.  (Wilson, who works better
with "insider" names, will now tell me that's because they're outside
the Yard.)

>My *impression,* is that,
>until the Division of Etc. was upgraded to a school, it was a unit of
>the College, but I wouldn't bet money on it.

Not so; even in the 50s it was a separate unit from the College, but under FAS.


>(Note that being a unit
>of the College doesn't mean that any unit is also part of the
>undergraduate school, especially when it comes to libraries.)
>On Dec 6, 2007 8:04 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> > Subject:      Re: OT:  Harvard esoterica
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > At 12/6/2007 05:38 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> > >BTW, the Department of Applied Science has been promoted to the School
> > >of Engineering and Applied Sciences. No longer will the World's
> > >Greatest University be forced to use M.I.T. as a farm club. Cf., e.g.
> > >Steven Pinker. With any luck and a few bucks, the 'Tute may well be
> > >put out of business.
> >
> > In my time, the graduate school I attended was called "The Division
> > of Engineering and Applied Physics".  When I saw the "promotion"
> > announcement, it seemed like Harvard was recycling its
> > wheel.  (Although the 2000's "Department of Applied Science" could
> > perhaps have been only undergraduate -- I haven't investigated, the
> > "School of Engineering and Applied Sciences" certainly sounds not a
> > component of the College.)
> >
> > Joel
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
>come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>                                               -Sam'l Clemens
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