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Three cross country skiers stand in a snowless woods dressed in race bibs

On Purpose: Portrait of Statistics

Statisticians, the original data scientists, stand ready to interpret the information of the digital age. In less than three years we will be producing over 1.7 megabytes of new information every single second for every human being on the planet. This new information, along with the vast amount of information that has already been collected, ranges from the mundane to the extraordinary.
Four faculty gather in front of a black background looking at the viewer.

On Purpose: Portrait of Anthropology

Anthropology involves the comprehensive study of human experience. The most basic questions anthropologists ask are “How are humans the same, and how are they different in all times and in all places on earth?” but also “What distinguishes the human from other species and how do different humans understand that difference?” Anthropologists explore these questions by examining people through biological, archaeological, linguistic, and social lenses.
Two graduate students stand in the newspaper archives in the basement of Wilson library.

On Purpose: Portrait of Sociology

Often it’s difficult to know whether we tell our stories or they tell us. Today’s sociologists are not only interpreting the complex social issues affecting our communities, they’re enabling us to better understand ourselves. In an increasingly diverse and ever-evolving society, sociology encourages us to see the world through a broad lens and helps us address the critical questions that shape our everyday lives.
In a library conference room a faculty person, student and reporter face the camera.

On Purpose: Portrait of Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication

In our world of unfolding and unpredictable change, the need for informed, thoughtfully engaged media professionals has never been more acute. The University of Minnesota has a 100-year history of journalism instruction. As the industry continues to change, curriculum specializations have expanded to include newswriting, broadcast journalism, magazine journalism, creative graphic arts, photojournalism, advertising, health communication, and public relations. These changes have not only increased enrollment, but also fueled faculty growth.
Three international faculty standing in garden.

On Purpose: Portrait of the International College

CLA is committed to preparing students for life in a globalized world. It is home to more than 300 faculty members across 31 academic units offering over 1,400 courses with globally-focused content. The more than two dozen languages that CLA teaches represent cultures found around the globe and in Minnesota. Through language study, our students connect to new cultures or deepen their understanding of their own past.
Art History photograph with Marilyn Chiat and Mary Lodu seated on couch

On Purpose: Portrait of Art History

Contemporary artist Xavier Tavera practices what French philosopher Roland Barthes called “the impossible science of the unique being.” He invites his subjects to stand or sit, talks to them, is curious about who they are and what they do. He coaxes a glance, elicits a gesture, waits for them to settle into position. Describing the strange and estranging experience of being photographed, Barthes writes, “I decide to ‘let drift’ over my lips and in my eyes a faint smile which I mean to be ‘indefinable,’ in which I might suggest, along with the qualities of my nature, my amused consciousness of the whole photographic ritual.” Tavera works with, rather than against, his sitters’ self-awareness and invites their decisions, all the better to stage their own invention of themselves before the camera.