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American Magazine April 2014

American University is located in Washington, D.C., at the top of Embassy Row. Chartered by Congress in 1893 to serve the public interest and build the nation, the university educates active citizens who apply knowledge to the most pressing concerns facing the nation and world. Students engage with leading faculty experts and world leaders, learning how to create change and address issues including the global economic crisis, health care, human rights and justice, diversity, the environment and sustainability, immigration, journalism’s transformation, corporate governance, and governmental reform.

syllabus CHEMISTRY 150

syllabus CHEMISTRY 150 Chemistry of Cooking Julia Child meets Marie Curie in this class that introduces nonchem majors to the science behind their favorite dishes. On the menu: cookies, cheese, and gluten-free bread. “People shy away from chemistry,” says CAS professor Matthew Hartings, “but everyone’s a chemist in the kitchen.” In fact, experimenting on a stovetop is trickier than on a Bunsen burner. Take caramelization: “Start with table sugar, which is one molecule. To get caramel sauce, two competing transformations occur. First, the sugar molecules fall apart into thousands of pieces. You’ll smell the molecules floating away from what used to be table sugar. Next, the sugar molecules aggregate to get that caramel color and chewiness. “There are many variables to control that you don’t think about. If I showed you the chemical reaction behind it, you’d freak out.” Next course BIOLOGY 501 Mechanisms of Pathogenesis Bio majors put pathogenic bacteria under the microscope in this course on infectious diseases taught by Jeffrey Kaplan, director of AU’s Center for Food Studies. PHYSICS 440 Experimental Physics Science wonks craft experiments that advance their studies in mechanics, acoustics, and optics. Astrophysicist and gravitational wave expert Gregg Harry teaches. 2NaHCO 3 + Na 2 (H 2 P 2 O 7 ) —> 2 H 2 O + 2CO 2 + Na 4 (P 2 O 7 ) BAKING SODA DISODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE WATER CARBON DIOXIDE BLUEBERRY COLOR SODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE 4 AMERICAN MAGAZINE APRIL 2014

expert 3 MINUTES ON . . . Brazil Liliana Ayalde SIS/BA ’78 United States Ambassador to Brazil Brazil is the seventh-largest of care, logistics, infrastructure, disclosures have for the games and for economic power in the world. and education. issue. I don’t soccer. This is the soccer country. PELÉ PHOTO: LICHFIELD/LICHFIELD ARCHIVE/LICHFIELD/GETTY IMAGES They see themselves as having emerged as a global power. They’re certainly a regional actor and a very important economic actor. We have similar cultures, economies, and values, and we are natural partners. The country has experienced economic changes over the past two decades. It has been able to bring 36 million people into the middle class. That has tremendously improved the economic climate. People have the buying power and they also have the demands, which were illustrated in some of the protests the country experienced last summer. People want better quality Prudent economic decisions over the past decade and some very defined social programs have assisted the entry of this new middle class. Right now the president is funding a science-withoutborders program, and there’s a big emphasis on English and language training. For a long time Brazil was not looking at English as a tool, but they are now. They have geopolitical aspirations, but in business they need the human resources with the skills to be more interconnected. Still, challenges remain. The infrastructure is lagging, the tax structure needs reform. We have suffered in terms of our relationship with the National Security Agency want to paint too rosy a picture because there are challenges that still require attention. Brazil is certainly working hard on the World Cup and the Olympics. The cup is spread over 12 cities that are readying their stadiums and infrastructures. The U.S. team will play first-round games in Manaus, Natal, and Recife. The Olympics, of course, will be focused in Rio, and there’s more time there. We are confident that they’ll pull off very successful games. Both events will open the world up to Brazil. I think visitors will be impressed by the passion that Brazilians You will feel it just walking into town. It’s contagious. It’s a big thrill to be in a place where everyone’s such a fan. Coming to Brazil, people are going to be struck by how dynamic the country is. I love its diversity. They’ve gotten waves of migration from Europe, and they’ve got the natives in their communities. They’ve got the Afro descendents. That mix has made for a lot of variety and traditions. The music, dance, and food are very diverse. I look forward to leading our embassy and expanding on the United States’ terrific partnership with Brazil. LET’S TALK #AMERICANMAG 5