Penn Libraries receives major gift of rare photographic plates by Edward S. Curtis

The University of Pennsylvania Libraries has received a rare collection of 151 interpositive glass plates by photographer Edward S. Curtis (1868–1952) from collector William H. Miller III. Appraised at $4.2 million, the gift to the Penn Libraries complements holdings across the University, making Penn a major center for research and work on Curtis, one of the most prolific American photographers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Monica Fonorow

The pioneering career of Norman Badler

The computer and information sciences professor retired in June. He chats about his recent ACM SIGGRAPH election and his expansive computer graphics path.

From the Department of Computer and Information Science

‘Cities in water’

Architect and landscape architect Anuradha Mathur and anthropologist Nikhil Anand are collaborating on questions of design and human practices to create new ways of thinking about low-lying coastal cities in India and around the world.

Kristina García

Media Contact

In the News

Discover Magazine

Don’t count on evolution to save us from toxic chemicals and pollution

PIK Professor Sarah Tishkoff spoke about how humans continue to evolve. For example, she said, a genetic variant that enables lactose tolerance didn’t emerge until somewhere between the past several hundred and 2,000 years. “When you’re talking about evolutionary time scales, that’s like a flash.”



Africans begin to take the reins of research into their own genomes

PIK Professor Sarah Tishkoff spoke about her research sampling the genes of remote populations in various African regions. “Our studies combined are just the tip of the iceberg,” she said.



Humans were drinking milk before they could digest it

PIK Professor Sarah Tishkoff spoke about the anthropological origins of dairy farming and consumption. “If you have cows, you have a source of liquid and proteins and nutrition,” she said. “As long as you can keep your cattle alive, of course.”



Ancient megadrought may explain civilization’s ‘missing millennia’ in Southeast Asia

A team led by Joyce White of the School of Arts & Sciences studied stalagmites in a Laotian cave and identified a drought that lasted for more than a millennium, one of a series of megadroughts that affected Asia and Africa between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago.



Experts question study claiming to pinpoint birthplace of all humans

PIK Professor Sarah Tishkoff said mitochondrial DNA is a poor tool for tracking ancient population history in Africa, as it only traces genes passed from mothers to children over time.


The Atlantic

The mystery of ‘Skeleton Lake’ gets deeper

Kathleen Morrison of the School of Arts and Sciences weighed in on the origins of human remains found in India’s Skeleton Lake. “I suspect that they’re aggregated there, that local people put them in the lake,” she says. “When you see a lot of human skeletons, usually it’s a graveyard.”