Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrodinger posed a profound question: 'What is life, and how did it emerge from non-life?' This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists ever since.
Living things are hugely complex and have unique properties, such as self-maintenance and apparently purposeful behaviour which we do not see in inert matter. So how does chemistry give rise to biology? What could have led the first replicating molecules up such a path? Now, developments in the emerging field of 'systems chemistry' are unlocking the problem. Addy Pross shows how the different kind of stability that operates among replicating molecules results in a tendency for chemical systems to become more complex and acquire the properties of life. Strikingly, he demonstrates that Darwinian evolution is the biological expression of a deeper, well-defined chemical concept: the whole story from replicating molecules to complex life is one continuous process governed by an underlying physical principle. The gulf between biology and the physical sciences is finally becoming bridged.
Works by Faculty
What is Life?: How Chemistry Becomes Biology
Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrodinger posed a profound question: 'What is life, and how did it emerge from non-life?' This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists ever since.Publication Date:2012Publisher:Call Number:QH331 .P96 2012ISBN:9780199641017
Crossing the Boundaries of Belief: Geographies of Religious Conversion in Southern Germany, 1648-1800
In early modern Germany, religious conversion was a profoundly social and political phenomenon rather than purely an act of private conscience. Because social norms and legal requirements demanded that every subject declare membership in one of the state-sanctioned Christian churches, the act of religious conversion regularly tested the geographical and political boundaries separating Catholics and Protestants. In a period when church and state cooperated to impose religious conformity, regulate confessional difference, and promote moral and social order, the choice to convert was seen as a disruptive act of disobedience. Investigating the tensions inherent in the creation of religious communities and the fashioning of religious identities in Germany after the Thirty Years' War, Duane Corpis examines the complex social interactions, political implications, and cultural meanings of conversion in this moment of German history.
In Crossing the Boundaries of Belief, Corpis assesses how conversion destabilized the rigid political, social, and cultural boundaries that separated one Christian faith from another and that normally tied individuals to their local communities of belief. Those who changed their faiths directly challenged the efforts of ecclesiastical and secular authorities to use religious orthodoxy as a tool of social discipline and control. In its examination of religious conversion, this study thus offers a unique opportunity to explore how women and men questioned and redefined their relationships to local institutions of power and authority, including the parish clergy, the city government, and the family.Publication Date:2014Publisher:Call Number:BR855 .C67 2014ISBN:9780813935522
Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age
In his bestselling Here Comes Everybody, Internet guru Clay Shirky provided readers with a much-needed primer for the digital age. Now, with Cognitive Surplus, he reveals how new digital technology is unleashing a torrent of creative production that will transform our world. For the first time, people are embracing new media that allow them to pool their efforts at vanishingly low cost. The results of this aggregated effort range from mind-expanding reference tools like Wikipedia to life-saving Web sites like Ushahidi.com, which allows Kenyans to report acts of violence in real time. Cognitive Surplus explores what's possible when people unite to use their intellect, energy, and time for the greater good.Publication Date:2010Publisher:Penguin PressCall Number:HM851 .S5464 2010ISBN:9781594202537
Shanghai Future: Modernity Remade
China is in the midst of the fastest and most intense process of urbanisation the world has ever known, and Shanghai - its biggest, richest and most cosmopolitan city - is positioned for acceleration into the twenty-first century. Yet, in its embrace of a hopeful - even exultant - futurism, Shanghai recalls the older and much criticised project of imagining, planning and building the modern metropolis. Today, among Westerners, at least, the very idea of the futuristic city - with its multilayered skyways, domestic robots and flying cars - seems doomed to the realm of nostalgia, the sadly comic promise of a future that failed to materialise. Shanghai Future maps the city of tomorrow as it resurfaces in a new time and place. It searches for the contours of an unknown and unfamiliar futurism in the city's street markets as well as in its skyscrapers. For though it recalls the modernity of an earlier age, Shanghai's current re-emergence is only superficially based on mimicry. Rather, in seeking to fulfill its ambitions, the giant metropolis is reinventing the very idea of the future itself. As it modernises, Shanghai is necessarily recreating what it is to be modern.Publication Date:2014Publisher:Hurst & CompanyCall Number:DS796.S24 G74 2014ISBN:9781849043274
Shanghai Literary Imaginings : A City in Transformation
This book draws on a wide range of methods-including approaches from literary studies, cultural studies, and urban sociology-to analyse the transformation of Shanghai through rapid growth and widespread urban renewal. Lena Scheen explores the literary imaginings of the city, its past, present, and future, in order to understand the effects of that urban transformation on both the psychological state of Shanghai's citizens and their perception of the spaces they inhabit.Publication Date:2015Publisher:Call Number:PL3032.S48 S34 2015ISBN:9789089645876
Light and Matter: Electromagnetism, Optics, Spectroscopy and Laser
Light and Matter: Electromagnetism, Optics, Spectroscopy and Lasers provides comprehensive coverage of the interaction of light and matter and resulting outcomes. Covering theory, practical consequencies and applications, this modern text serves to bridge the gap between electromagnetism, optics, spectroscopy and lasers. The book introduces the reader to the nature of light, explanes key procedures which occur as light travels through matter and delves into the effects and applications, exploring spectroscopy, lasers, nonlinear optics, fiber optics, quantum optics and light scattering. Extensive examples ensure clarity of meaning while the dynamic structure allows sections to be studies independently of one another.Publication Date:2006Publisher:WileyCall Number:QC760 .B363 2006ISBN:9780471899303
Software Engineering for Large-Scale Multi-Agent Systems: Research Issues and Practical Applications
Nowadays, engineering large-scale software systems means dealing with complex systems composed of pervasive software components that move around and adapt to nondeterministic and open environments, like the Internet, in order to achieve systems design goals through the coordination of autonomously distributed services. The agent metaphor, in particular software agents and multi-agent systems (MAS), constitutes a promising approach for covering most of the software development life cycle, from conceptual modeling and requirements specification to architectural definition, design, and implementation.
This book presents 17 carefully reviewed papers arranged in order to provide a coherent survey of how to exploit agent properties and MAS issues in today's software systems. The book offers the following topical sections:
- software engineering foundations
- requirements engineering and software architecture
- coordination and mobility
-empirical studies and applicationsPublication Date:2013Publisher:SpringerCall Number:QA76.758.S64635 2003ISBN:9783540087724
Spectacle and the city : Chinese urbanities in popular culture and art
As China becomes increasingly modern and urban, artists have responded by imagining the Chinese city at the intersections of the social, material, and political realities of modern life. This volume explores how the city-as-spectacle has been visualized and contested in art and popular culture. Featuring essays by an interdisciplinary team of scholars, Spectacle and the City is as broad as the terrain it covers: with essays by an interdisciplinary team of experts on Chinese cities, as well as leading cultural critics, it goes beyond mainland China to include cities with cultural significance, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.Publication Date:2013Publisher:Call Number:DS779.23 .S72 2013ISBN:9789089644459
Leaf in the Air : February 18 - April 3, 2015
The catalogue to accompany the solo exhibition by Shanghai based artist Barbara Edelstein, at Christian Duvernois Gallery. The interface of nature, art and contemporary life serves as the foundation for Barbara Edelstein's work. Edelstein brings to focus often overlooked elements of the natural world, and uses her various media as transformative devices. From the catalog essay by Gloria Orenstein: “Barbara Edelstein.. inspires us to re-imaging and revisit the Garden. We suddenly realize that we are not only perceiving the trees and the leaves in their material solidity, but we are also see in their anima, the invisible dimension of the life-force that flows through everything… (she) aspires to awaken our desire to put an end to the destruction of the Earth”Publication Date:2015Publisher:Christian Dubernois Landscape/GalleryCall Number:NB237.E24 A4 2015ISBN:9781845111595
The Culture of War in China: Empire and the Military Under the Qing Dynasty
Was the primary focus of the Qing dynasty really civil rather than military matters? In this ground-breaking book, Joanna Waley-Cohen overturns conventional wisdom to put warfare at the heart of seventeenth and eighteenth century China. She argues that the civil and the military were understood as mutually complementary forces. Emperors underpinned military expansion with a wide-ranging cultural campaign intended to bring military success, and the martial values associated with it, into the mainstream of cultural life. The Culture of War in China is a striking revisionist history that brings new insight into the roots of Chinese nationalism and the modern militarised state.Publication Date:2006Publisher:I.B. TaurisCall Number:DS754.15 .W34 2006ISBN:
This publication is produced on the occasion of solo exhibition of Chinese artist Zhang Jian-jun of the title 'Form . Water . Vestiges: Zhang Jian-Jun Art Exhibition' at You Ran Ya Ju, Jiangsu from December 2012 to January 2013. Throughout his artistic career, Zhang has been preoccupied by themes of existence, time, space, and transformation, and their effects on individuals and culture, which can be divided into three main stages. In the 1980s he led a daring trend of abstract art; after the mid-1980s he shifted to and was shortly engaged in figurative expression; from the 1990s onward, he abandoned the pre-existing style and started his way to conceptual art, practicing installation and performance art. From a modernist to a post-modernist, his works full of historical significance and innovative elements remain an expression of his character and his unique way of visual narration. Including a biography of Zhang Jian-Jun.Publication Date:2012Publisher:Jinxiu wen zhang chu ban sheCall Number:N7349.Z4743 A4 2012ISBN:9787545211849
与大数据同行 : 学习和教育的未来 = Learning with big data : the future of education
This book is in Chinese. Homework assignments that learn from students. Courses tailored to fit individual pupils. Textbooks that talk back. This is tomorrow’s education landscape, thanks to the power of big data. These advances go beyond the much-discussed rise of online courses. As the New York Times-bestselling authors of Big Data explain, the truly fascinating changes are actually occurring in how we measure students’ progress and how we can use that data to improve education for everyone, in real time, both on- and offline. Learning with Big Data offers an eye-opening, insight-packed tour through these new trends, for educators, administrators, and readers interested in the latest developments in business and technology.Publication Date:2014Publisher:Hua dong shi fan da xue chu ban sheCall Number:LB1028.3 V55 2014ISBN:9787567528406
Perspectives on American Law 美国法律面面观
The authors of this books are law professors from renowned American universities or Fulbright Program attendees in China, and they understand the situation in China very well. The topics in this book include American law and lawyers, the court system of the United States and judges, and topics in public and private research in American law.Publication Date:2013Publisher:Bejing da xue chu ban sheCall Number:KF384 .P47 2013ISBN:9787301217887
Women Playing Men: Yue Opera and Social Change in Twentieth-Century Shanghai
This ground-breaking volume documents women's influence on popular culture in twentieth-century China by examining Yue opera. A subgenre of Chinese opera, it migrated from the countryside to urban Shanghai and morphed from its traditional all-male form into an all-female one, with women cross-dressing as male characters for a largely female audience.
Yue opera originated in the Zhejiang countryside as a form of story-singing, which rural immigrants brought with them to the metropolis of Shanghai. There, in the 1930s, its content and style transformed from rural to urban, and its cast changed gender. By evolving in response to sociopolitical and commercial conditions and actress-initiated reforms, Yue opera emerged as Shanghai's most popular opera from the 1930s through the 1980s and illustrates the historical rise of women in Chinese public culture.
Jiang examines the origins of the genre in the context of the local operas that preceded it and situates its development amid the political, cultural, and social movements that swept both Shanghai and China in the twentieth century. She details the contributions of opera stars and related professionals and examines the relationships among actresses, patrons, and fans. As Yue opera actresses initiated reforms to purge their theater of bawdy eroticism in favor of the modern love drama, they elevated their social image, captured the public imagination, and sought independence from the patriarchal opera system by establishing their own companies. Throughout the story of Yue opera, Jiang looks at Chinese women's struggle to control their lives, careers, and public images and to claim ownership of their history and artistic representations.Publication Date:2009Publisher:University of Washington PressCall Number:PN2876.S53 J53 2009ISBN:9780295988436
Fleeting Cities: Imperial Expositions in Fin-de-Siècle Europe
Imperial expositions held in fin-de-siècle London, Paris and Berlin were knots in a world-wide web. Conceptualizing exhibitions as meta-media, Fleeting Cities undertakes a transdisciplinary investigation into how modernity was created and displayed, consumed and disputed within the European metropolis. Focusing on five such expositions – the Berliner Gewerbeausstellung (1896), the fifth Parisian Exposition Universelle (1900), the Franco-British Exhibition in London (1908), the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley (1924/25), and the Exposition Coloniale Internationale in Paris (1931) – this award-winning book examines their specific aims and aspirations, evolving forms and execution, and the public debates they engendered. Who shaped these mega-events, how were exposition venues inscribed into the urban fabric, what legacies did they bequeath? Taken as dense textures stretched over time, these expositions undergo both a close hermeneutic reading and broad spatial analysis. Fleeting Cities weaves extensive empirical research with underlying theoretical concerns, investigating their individual meanings in a new form of transnational network analysis.Publication Date:2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanCall Number:T395 .G36 2010ISBN:9780230221642