Little Things and Big Things

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A Profile of Senior Theses: Part 4 of 6

Significant works of historical and literary scholarship, original scientific investigation, extended creative projects—senior theses at Bard College at Simon's Rock make for absorbing, if not light reading. All BA students at the College complete a senior thesis, a major independent project that is the focus of students' senior year. Conceived, organized, and carried out by each student with appropriate support from a faculty advisor, the thesis is the capstone of the student's liberal arts and sciences education.

Continuing a celebrated tradition, provost and vice president Mary B. Marcy offered remarks and impressions of each of the nearly 50 theses completed during the 2009–2010 academic year to an audience of graduates, staff, and faculty in May. As she does most years, Marcy crafted categories by which to distinctly organize collections of theses. This year, the theses were presented under the tent of six categories: "Building a Different World: Allegories, Folk Tales, and Design;" "Can You Hear Me Now: Identity, Communication, and Creation;" "Play or State of the Play;" "Little Things and Big Things;" "An Alternative Guide to Simon's Rock;" and "Culture Clash, Where the West Begins." Over the next six months, the Newsroom will feature theses as presented by provost Marcy within their assigned categories. This month, theses featured are collected under "Little Things and Big Things."

Christopher Grace Composite Self: The Role of Symbiosis in the Formation of Organisms
Chris looked at ecosystems by thinking about those building blocks of symbiosis and how evolution can start out as a competition.... Listen
Dan CopulskyLittle Things: A Novel in Fragments
Dan wrote a series of short stories, experimental writing and fragments that together view a group of children in different spaces.Listen
Liam Jesse SlivkaThe Effects of Solidification and Deformation Processes on the Crystal Morphology and Orientation of the Earth's Inner Core
A great example of faculty-student research come to light.Listen
Timothy KowalskiA Single Drop of Self in an Ocean of IllusionA culmination of Tim's effort to integrate art and function to understand the relationship of humans to nature.Listen
Del SlaneFault Localization in In Vivo Software Testing
An investigation of an extremely sophisticated computer science and mathematical process.Listen
Kat CorcoranLittle Things: A Study of Branchiobdellid Annelids
In the process of studying these little guys, Kat has found that she is now one of the leading experts in the world on branchiobdellids.Listen
Sarah PerkinsSociocultural Influences on the Future of Human Evolution
Sarah argues that evolution and selection pressures continue to have an effect on our most basic characteristics.Listen
Andrew Perpetua An Introduction to Intelligence and Information
Andrew explored cognition and consciousness to add to the current debate surrounding artificial intelligence and human intelligence in the human mind.Listen
Darryl Burns IIOn the Integer Quantum Hall Effect
Darryl talks about a particular field in physics that studies the influence of magnetic force...and I can tell you he was really happy he got to use liquid nitrogen in his lab.Listen
Burton GaisebLarge Carnivores and Community-Based Conservation in Namibia
His fieldwork and thesis focused on the preservation of lion, leopard and cheetah populations in Namibia.Listen

*All senior theses are bound and are included in the library’s permanent collection. They are available for review on premises or by contacting the library at