An assistant professor of physiology at Brigham Young University has been told to stop asking students to drink what they think is urine during a class demonstration, the Associated Press reported. The professor, Jason Hansen, told the AP that he has on multiple occasions asked students to drink a secret mixture of water, vinegar and food coloring during a lesson on hydration. "This is usually a fun way to teach this concept to the class," he said. But a student reportedly complained to a local TV news station, saying she didn’t know the mixture was fake and that the lesson went too far.
Dixon Woodbury, Hansen’s department chair, said in a statement that Hansen has been told to skip the demo next time he teaches the lesson, but that no disciplinary action will be taken. "The apparent requirement of drinking someone else's urine is inappropriate, but it was neither required nor actually urine, so was considered a learning opportunity," Woodbury said.
Northwestern University plans to hire 20 new faculty members as part of a $150 million response to growing interest in computer science, the institution said on Wednesday. Ten of the new hires will be based in "core computer science areas" -- the departmental website lists artificial intelligence and machine learning, graphics, human-computer interaction and robotics, among others -- while the other 10 will be interdisciplinary hires that combine computer science with other disciplines.
Today, the computer science division of the department of electrical engineering and computer science has 27 tenured and tenure-track faculty members, according to a university spokesperson. The university noted in its announcement that the number of students who major in computer science has more than tripled in the last five years.