Maryland Moments, January, 2002
Towards Being Best:
Rankings, Numbers, New Programs
According to data published by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the University of Maryland ranks No. 1 among colleges and universities preparing African American students for medical school. Maryland is No. 6 among all schools. Among traditionally white institutions the rankings are: Harvard University, 37 admitted students; Maryland, 24; Johns Hopkins University, 20; UCLA, 17, University of North Carolina, 16; and University of Virginia, 16.
The university ranks No. 5 in the world in a ranking of institutions in the field of Systems and Software Engineering published by the Journal of Systems and Software (2001).
London's Financial Times released its annual survey of the world's premier business schools. The Smith School of Business is No. 6 in research (based on number of publications in specified journals); No. 7 in entrepreneurship (based on responses from 1998 MBA alumni); No. 8 in Information Technology (based on responses from 1998 MBA alumni); and No. 21 in North America (based on a number of criteria).
In a survey conducted by Marquette University, the public relations major in the College of Arts and Humanities ranked No. 1. Maryland received 25 votes, Syracuse University 23, University of Florida 18 and University of Georgia 16.
Faculty, Staff, Student Achievement
In the Journal of Systems and Software, Victor Basili, professor of computer science and at the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, was ranked No. 2 among top scholars in the field of Systems and Software Engineering. Basili is also executive director for the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering at the university.
Susan Bayly, a prodigious honoree throughout her long career as university legal counsel and presiding officer of region and state-wide bar associations, was named chief legal counsel for Gov. Parris Glendening. Bayly is taking a leave of absence from her post as general counsel for President C. D. Mote Jr. and will return to campus next January.
Mark Tosso, a 2001 graduate with degrees in history and communication, is one of 12 winners nationally of a Mitchell Scholarship to study in Northern Ireland. Mark was also chair of the President's Mote's Student Advisory Council.
Vivian Boyd, director of the Counseling Center, is the president of the International Association of Counseling Services, the organization that accredits university counseling systems.
A former CBS White House correspondent now teaching at the College of Journalism hosts a new TV show that features in-depth conversations with some of Washington's most influential journalists. Front and Center, hosted by Dr. Lee Thornton, debuted this season on UMTV, the university's cable TV station that airs in Prince George's and Montgomery counties. The show explores the practice, issues, ethics and politics of journalism.
Research, Signifcant Discoveries
A common water insect helped University of Maryland researchers show that the health of an ecosystem depends on the variety of species that inhabit it, a discovery that could revolutionize how scientists look at the effects of species extinction. A paper to published in the Jan. 24 issue of the journal Nature shows that when several species of caddisfly larvae live together in a stream, they get more food from the stream than when a single species is present.
University of Maryland researchers Gerald Borgia and Gail L.Patricelli, using a robot female bird dressed in alluring feathers, discovered that the most attractive satin bowerbird males are not the guys who put on the most intense display of masculinity in the Australian forest mating ritual, but those who also can respond to female moods. World wide news coverage resulted as a prelude to St. Valentine's Day.
Some people can work at a strength training regimen for months and never see their muscles get much bigger. Others who follow the same routine will end up with bulging muscles. The difference could lie in the genes, says Ben Hurley, an exercise physiology professor. Hurley is launching a new study, funded with a $2M dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health, to find how genes make a difference in the effects of exercise for those 65 and 85.
Three astronomers at the university suggest in a new report that globular clusters, collections of hundreds of thousands of the oldest stars in our galaxy, may be breeding grounds for "medium-sized" black holes that are different from the "regular" and "supersized" black holes currently known to science. The report is the first to demonstrate a mechanism for how black holes of this size might be formed.
Assistant professor Estina Thompson and professor Kenneth Beck of the department of public and community health found that in crashes serious enough to cause death, women wearing seat belts are much more likely to die than similarly restrained men. The researchers announced their findings at the Transportation Board Research Conference.
The Center for e-Service in the Smith School of Business published a report that states U.S. Internet users are more likely to visit a government Web site than bank online or trade stocks.
Jay Angle, professor of natural resource sciences, and researchers from Sheffield University in England find that alyssum, once thought to cure madness, can cure soil of contaminating metals.
University research on free-electron lasers�a remnant from Ronald Reagan's Star Wars�is featured in the journal Nature. "By creating short pulses of intense radiation, free-electron lasers will advance our understanding of biological molecules.....The Maryland free-electron-lasers, which should be ready this year, will be used to study how changes in the shape of DNA affect the way it interacts with other molecules."
Richard Greene, professor of physics and director of the Center for Superconductivity Research, led research that found that high-temperature superconductors are unlike an other known material. (One tenet of the Fermi-liquid theory is that electrons in a metal can be treated as quasi-particles whose ability to transport heat is strictly determined by their ability to transport charge. However, the new findings show that, in at least one type of superconductor, the electron system can conduct heat in a way that is largely unrelated to the way it carries charge.)
Outreach: Campus People Aiding The Community
HERO Honored by Sister, Students
The university's Center for Smart Growth held a January conference aimed at alleviating the traffic gridlock so famous in the Washington Metropolitan area. Business, civic and academic leaders from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia developed ways to make traveling easier, although no quick fixes to solve the overall problem are on the horizon.
Newsmakers: University People, Projects Earning Media Attention
University of Maryland Technology Advancement Program graduate Market Biosciences Corp. is supplying its nutritional oils to companies like Mead Johnson and Ross Products as they begin production of enriched baby formulas that are awaiting approval by the FDA. These formulas have not been available in the U.S. Martek also conducted research through the Maryland Industrial Partnership Program of the Engineering Research Center.
Vivian Boyd, director of the Counseling Center, is the president of the International Association of Counseling Services, the organization that accredits university counseling systems. She serves as national spokesperson for the group, leading to frequent appearances in the national media.
C. Fred Alford, professor of government and politics, published "Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power," and he is now widely quoted following the collapse of Enron and the actions of its whistle blower, Sherron Watkins. One of Alford's surprise findings is that executive don't want whistle blowers to act on their findings, which are of benefit to the corporation.
James Quintiere, professor of fire protection engineering, pushed for a federal probe concerning the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Now the National Institute of Standards and Technology is moving toward such an investigation. Quintiere wanted more, to treat the Trade Center's collapse as the NTSB treats airplane crashes.
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