In this issue of OMNIA, our cover story, “A Virtual World for an Ancient Society,” explores a digital world that recreates and populates pre-Columbian agricultural societies. In “Prospecting Playbills,” we follow researchers as they create an archive of centuries-old playbills, and in "Breaking the Bank," an economist discusses the hot topic of cryptocurrency. It's all part of how Penn Arts and Sciences is using technology as a means to advance knowledge.
Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde, Professor of Economics, discusses the potential—and pitfalls—of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Mecky Pohlschröder, Professor and Undergraduate Chair of the Department of Biology, on gaining insights into the workings of microscopic ecosystems.
Angela Duckworth, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology, explores why perseverance matters.
Clark Erickson, Professor of Anthropology, has made a career of studying humans’ effect on their physical landscapes—past and present.
Michael Gamer, Professor of English, and Scott Enderle, Digital Humanities Specialist at Penn Libraries, are designing a database to classify historical playbills.