Two University of Pennsylvania professors, Charles L. Bosk and Charles Yang, have been awarded 2018 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships. They are among 173 scholars, artists and scientists selected from nearly 3,000 applicants.
Dr. Bosk, professor of sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences, a professor of anesthesiology and critical care in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, and Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, researches the social and cultural dimensions of health care. He will use his fellowship to work on his forthcoming book, Mistakes Were Changed: An Ethnographic History of Medical Failure, which explores the tension between professional and managerial definitions of “error,” analyzes why improvements in patient safety and the quality of care have been elusive and suggests new strategies for reducing harm to patients beyond the vague conception of reducing “system error.”
Dr. Yang, professor of linguistics and computer science in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, is also the director of the Cognitive Science Program at Penn. He will use his fellowship to support a new line of research exploring how children learn to count and how they develop the conceptual understanding of numbers. He plans to study children’s counting in several languages with varying degrees of numerical complexity, including American Sign Language, where counting is done by hands but also follows linguistic rules.