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Flash Seminars

Lucio Gama, assistant professor of molecular and comparative pathobiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, gives a flash seminar—an intimate, one-hour discussion led by a Hopkins professor outside of conventional classroom or office hours—on “Superstition and Why People Are Reluctant to Tempt Fate,” to a group of Homewood undergraduates.

Caleb Warren ’17, a double major in philosophy and molecular and cellular biology, and his five roommates began organizing the flash seminars in Spring 2015 as a way to prompt discussion among students from different majors who might not necessarily cross paths on campus. Based on a model started at the University of Virginia, invited professors lead a seminar on a topic of their choice (and not always in their professional area of expertise) and assign a 25-minute reading for the 14 attending students to complete beforehand. Topics have ranged from the Cuban missile crisis to poetry to virtual reality. “Everyone who is there wants to be there,” says Warren. “It’s great to see two people who didn’t know each other before the seminar stick around and talk afterwards.”

By the Numbers

  • 23 flash seminars
  • 322 participating students
  • 60 minutes per seminar