The Many Faces of

Fascism, Part II

with Dr. Raymond Vergne

The second part of Dr. Raymond Vergne’s series will discuss fascism in 13 countries, comparing them to each other and to fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in the 1920s through the 1940s; Hungary and Romania in the 1930s and later, Austria, Spain, Portugal and Greece; and in the 1940s, Norway, Croatia, and France. Vergne’s interest in fascism originates from an unusual family experience.

Each session will begin and end with a listing of critical concepts. A narrative syllabus will be available electronically. Lectures and discussions will be illustrated with PowerPoint slides.

Dr. Raymond Vergne is a retired cardiologist who has a graduate degree in education and interests in literature, history and music. He is currently secretary of the board of directors of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and writes the program notes for the subscription concerts.

Choose between live or recorded Zoom class sessions from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, March 3, 10 and 17. The course fee is $30. Enrollment in the live Zoom option is limited.

Let’s Look at Artificial Intelligence (AI)

with Lawrence Rudner, Ph.D.

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the science and practice of systems that exhibit the characteristics we associate with intelligent human behavior.

In the first session participants will look at the question “What is AI?” How are probability models, optimization and machine learning implemented? Session two will focus on “AI and Corporate America” and some of the applications of AI in business and whether AI needs regulation. The third session will view “AI around the World” and some of the applications affecting international relations and how the U.S. should respond.

Participants will gain a practical grounding in the science of artificial intelligence. They will acquire the ability to identify, discuss and evaluate issues surrounding existing and novel AI applications.

Working in academia, government and industry over his career, Rudner received several lifetime achievements awards. His work in AI includes the design/development of the first engines for automated essay scoring and computer adaptive testing. He also developed an AI approach for documenting copyright infringements for which he received a U.S. patent. Rudner recently retired as the vice president for Research and Development at the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC®), sponsor of the GMAT® exam.

Choose between live or recorded Zoom class sessions from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, March 9, 16 and 23. The course fee is $30.

Keystone Species in Maryland

with Sammi Ocher

Learn what Keystone species are and how they make a huge impact on their ecosystems, sometimes building entire habitats for hundreds of other species to call their home. In this session, participants will learn what makes a keystone species, where the term came from, some local examples found in Maryland, why identifying keystone species is so important and how paticipants can use them to help guide conservation efforts.

Sammi Ocher works as a teacher naturalist and EcoCamp director at Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Easton. She studied animal behavior at Franklin and Marshall College and earned her master’s degree in marine biology from Northeastern University. Ocher is passionate about seabirds and bird behavior and enjoys sharing her passion for nature and science through art and writing.

Choose between live or recorded Zoom class sessions from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 11. The cost of the class is $10.

To register for courses, or for more information about Chesapeake Forum winter and spring 2021 classes, visit or Facebook.

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