Thirty years

Thirty years on the Dartmouth faculty.

David Kotz 1994, Dartmouth College

Today marks the 30th anniversary of my return to Dartmouth to join the faculty. In July 1991 I became an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, one of only a handful of computer scientists on the faculty. In those early years I repeatedly experienced two odd reactions when I met other faculty on campus: (1) they mistook me for a grad student, or (2) they thought I was from the computing services (I.T.) organization and worked maybe at the help desk or as a programmer. Indeed, at the time, few on campus even recognized “computer science” as an academic discipline.

Dartmouth (and I) have changed a lot in three decades – my original office building (Bradley) was torn down years ago, along with the central computer center (Kiewit); Mathematics and Computer Science are now two separate departments; I am now the most-senior member of the CS faculty; and nobody seems to mistake me for a student any more. ;=)

Today also happens to be the day that I return to my fourth tour of duty in the administration, this time to spend a year as Interim Provost. I look forward to the opportunity to give back to an institution that has given me so much for so many years.

Gingerbread express

Another masterpiece from the Hanover Inn.

Every year, the creative chefs at Dartmouth’s Hanover Inn painstakingly construct a massive gingerbread-and-fondant creation, each year on a different theme. It’s always a marvelous sight, on display in their lobby throughout December. This year, the theme is The Polar Express.

It’s about ten feet long, with incredible attention to detail. It involves a massive number of ingredients!

Dartmouth’s tree

’tis the season.

I happened to be walking along the Green in Hanover at the moment when Dartmouth was raising its annual Christmas tree. This year’s tree was selected from a tree farm in Wallingford, VT. Soon it will be decorated with lights and adding cheer to this quiet campus!

raising the tree…
settling the tree into its underground base.

The event was also covered by the Valley News.

Freshman Trip

A picnic Freshman Trip at the Lodge.

Dartmouth has a tradition of “Freshman Trips” (now “DOC Trips”) going back almost a hundred years. Before the new first-year students begin life on campus, they spend three days in the New Hampshire wilderness backpacking, biking, canoeing, etc., in small groups. On the last night they converge on Moosilauke Ravine Lodge for a grand evening of dining, dancing, and stories. It is a truly special program, and every year more than 90% of incoming students participate, along with hundreds of upper-class leaders and staff. Totally student run, totally amazing way to begin the Dartmouth experience.

This year, of course, is different. My son Andy is entering Dartmouth as a freshman – but this year, there are no traditional Freshman Trips. So Andy and I walked up to Moosilauke Ravine Lodge for a picnic dinner at sunset. Mara ’22 was the Loj Croo 😉. It was a beautiful evening.

Continue reading “Freshman Trip”

Mystical India

Two lovely weeks touring northern India with Dartmouth Alumni Travel. Magical! More stories, and photos, in this blog post.

I’ve just returned from India, where Pam and I had the opportunity to host a Dartmouth Alumni Travel group for a two-week tour of the history, architecture, culture, and arts of northern India.   We joined a wonderful group of 12 interesting individuals, and an outstanding tour guide from Odysseys Unlimited, for a bustling tour of Delhi, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra, and Varanasi.  I think what struck me most about the agenda was its fascinating mix of the sights (palaces, temples, mosques, etc.) with the culture (villages, markets, families. religion) and arts (dance, music, weaving, pottery, jewelry, stonework, carpets, and even paper).  Read on for a summary of our journey, and for a sampling of the many photos!

Continue reading “Mystical India”

Timberframe workshop

Dave uses an antique boring machine to drill mortises in one of the king posts.
Using an antique boring machine to drill mortises in one of the king posts.

I spent six beautiful days at Moosilauke Ravine Lodge with a team of wonderful chubbers & friends who were there for the timber-framing workshop hosted by Dave Hooke ’84 and his TimberHomes crew.  In the span of six days we learned how to lay out, cut, and raise timber posts, bents, braces, struts, and all manner of heavy wooden contraptions.  Amazing that Dave et al. actually entrusted us with a variety of sharp tools and valuable timbers!  We were guided by a team of excellent instructors, and managed to put up the main part of the frame (porches to be added later) and lay down the first course of roofing.  It looks like a bunkhouse!  It is located in a new clearing beyond Bicentennial and behind the ’74 Bunkhouse.

Thanks to the Class of ’66 for their generous donation, to the Lodge Crew for the amazing food, and to Dave, Josh, Skip, Shannon, Andrew, and Helen for their outstanding instruction.

Check out the photo gallery and the timelapse video.

Timberframe workshop at Moosilauke - Class of 1966 bunkhouse. (Photo by David Kotz '86.)
Timberframe workshop at Moosilauke – Class of 1966 bunkhouse. (Photo by David Kotz ’86.)

 

Dartmouth College Grant

The Second College Grant is 27,000 acres of wilderness at the very northern tip of New Hampshire.

John and I spent a long weekend in Dartmouth’s Second College Grant, staying at Peaks Cabin, after three glorious days of summer-like weather with late-fall colors.   The afternoon temperatures were nearing 80.  With bright sunshine and blue skies the hills were ablaze with color, a bit past peak but the yellows and oranges were nonetheless brilliant.  I have not been to the Grant, other than mid-winter, in over 15 years; what a treat! Read on…

Dead Diamond River, halfway to Hellgate. Second College Grant.
Continue reading “Dartmouth College Grant”

Great Bear cabin

Great Bear cabin is one of the DOC cabins on Mount Moosilauke.

We spent two nights of our four-day MLK weekend on the snowy slopes of Moosilauke, visiting Great Bear cabin with our friends.  Great Bear cabin is a log cabin built and maintained by the Dartmouth Outing Club, and it is one of my favorite winter cabins because of its snug design and its close accessibility.  It is located on the southwestern slopes of Mount Moosilauke, my favorite mountain in the world, and this weekend it was surrounded by many feet of fresh powdery snow.  

Great Bear ski weekend.

We had two nights and a nice long day in between.  On that day, it was sunny and reasonably warm, so we set out for a daytrip skiing up some old logging roads. To get there we had a tricky bushwhack through the woods, and to break trail up the logging road.  The sunshine and powdery snow made for a really pleasant ski.  Unfortunately, some of the kids were pretty tired, and Andy was under the weather, so we turned around well short of our goal of reaching Mud Pond.

Andy got sick when he returned to the cabin, but I have to give him huge credit for doing all that skiing despite being dizzy and nauseous throughout! 

We had a fine time in the cabin, stoking the woodstove, playing cards, and doing lots of cooking.  It’s always a lot of fun and very relaxing to spend time at DOC cabins with friends. 

See the photo gallery.


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