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YC Honors Program Hosts Annual Nobel Prize Nanosecond Party

On Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program of Yeshiva College hosted its highly anticipated annual Nobel Prize Nanosecond Party.

The virtual event was introduced by Dr. Eliezer Schnall, director of the Program, and Dr. Gabriel Cwilich, professor of physics and founder of the event.

Members of the YU faculty presented six-minute talks on each of this year’s six Nobel Prize recipients.

  • Dr. Sumanta Goswami, associate professor and chair of biology, spoke about the discovery of pain receptors that merited the Prize in Medicine.
  • Dr. Gabriel Cwilich discussed the work in modeling the Earth’s climate that received the Prize in Physics.
  • Dr. Jianfeng Jiang associate professor of chemistry, explained the development of organocatalysis, which enables molecular construction, and for which the Chemistry Prize was given.
  • Prof. David Puretz, writing instructor, discussed the impact of previously little-known Zanzibaran writer Abdulrazak Gurnah and the importance of the Nobel committee’s return to honoring non-mainstream writers.
  • Dr. Maria Zaitseva, clinical assistant professor in political science, detailed the efforts of Dmitri Muratov, editor-in-chief of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and the Filipino journalist Maria Ressa, who received the Peace Prize for their work to safeguard freedom of expression.
  • Dr. James Kahn, chair of the department of economics, shared the contributions that the study inferring casual relationships from data has made to both economics and the social sciences.

Dr. Cwilich inaugurated the Nobel Prize Nanosecond Party in 2004 and recounted the development of the annual celebration that has become a Yeshiva College tradition. After attending the event, Aryeh Berman ‘23YC remarked, “It was so enriching to hear about this year’s Nobel prize winners from the professors who are so passionate about each topic, and able to provide keen insights.”

“The Nobel Nanosecond Party highlights the broad and rich intellectual life available to our students,” added Dr. Schnall, “with faculty scholars expert in biology, physics, the social sciences and the humanities sharing their knowledge of a diverse array of cutting-edge research fields.”