Maryland Moments, November, 2003
(Rankings, New Programs)
Washingtonian magazine published a list of 15 private schools and the most popular college choices for their students.
The NSO held its first collegiate residency at a university, and the Washington Post describes the momentus nature of the visit: �For more than a decade the National Symphony Orchestra has traveled to various parts of the country for its annual American Residency project, an intensive, often week-long tour combining performances with educational outreach. Having traveled to states as far away as Alaska and recently the Dakotas, it was time for the orchestra to try a stint here in the Washington area."
The Dingman Center in the Smith School of Business wanted to help idealistic startup business ventures find "angel" investors by promoting communication between the two. The result was the creation of the Capital Access Network, where communication was facilitated between entrepreneurers and the instituitional investment community.
Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. announced that the Maryland Technology Development Corp. awarded separate $50,000 research grants to three companies, AlphaSight Networks Inc., of Germantown; Iktara and Associates, of Bethesda; and XMTT Inc., of Rockville. All are working in collaboration with the University of Maryland, College Park, on their respective technologies: AlphaSight in telecommunications; Iktara in data retrieval; and XMTT on a new computing platform.
Science & Technology
Frank McDonald, senior research scientist at the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, led a team that tracked the Voyager I satellite to the edge of the solar system, a place that had never been explored. Launched in 1977, Voyager's trip took it eight billion miles away from Earth to territory so unknown there was debate about if the vehicle had encountered the edge of the solar wind. McDonald's group said no, not yet, generating world-wide publicity. McDonald said, �This is sort of the Lewis and Clark space expedition. We're in the foothills and we'll soon be getting to the mountains in our view.�
Sylvain Veilleux, associate professor of astronomy and fellow researchers �have found important new evidence to support the connectedness of galaxies in the form of unexpectedly large-scale �galactic winds� blowing off of galaxies, altering their surroundings out to distances much farther than previously thought.� Among the researchers is David Rupke, an astronomy graduate student.
Elisa Harris, senior fellow at the Center for International and Security Studies at Marylan, attended a half-day symposium at the New York Academy of Sciences where she engaged in a spirited debate concerning the regulation of research on dangerous pathogens. Harris and her UM colleagues had developed a "biological research security system" addresses shortcomings in a proposal by the National Research Council. CISSM called for national licensing of researchers and institutions involved in potentially dangerous research; a global, rather than U.S.-based regulatory scheme; and more "teeth"-- in powers of enforcement, rather than guidelines.
John Steinbruner, director of the Center for International and Security Studies, accompanied the Center for Defense Information, a private research group based in Wasington, to look for signs of clandestine research and germ warfare in Cuba. Steinbruiner: "Revelation of a clandestine effort would severely jeopardize Cuba's international market aspirations. I can imagine no countervailing strategic benefit that might override that consideration."
Odexia, an optical sensor system chosen as UM�s Physical Science Invention of the Year in the spring, is the first client of a new state initiative to encourage successful tech-transfer for research done in university and government laboratories. BrainChild is a for-profit venture, which the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and private sources are underwriting with funds. Odexia is the firm headed by Balakumar Balachandran, an associate professor of mechanical engineering whose fiber optic-based optical sensor system could be used by business sectors as diverse as automobiles, defense, medicine and entertainment.
The Potomac Forum Ltd., an information technology education and training organization, donated $10,000 to set up a scholarship program for undergraduate students seeking careers in information technology. The scholarship was earmarked for an information systems management major at the University of Maryland. It will be administered by the Association for Federal Information Resources Management, a government/industry group.
Society & Culture
Most candidates pursuing the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party penned books. John Edwards, the U.S. Senator from North Carolina, utilized John Auchard, professor of English, as his author of Four Trials, in which Edwards tells the stories of four clients he represented as an attorney in negligence cases. Proceeds from the book will go to the Wade Edwards foundation, named for the canidate's son who was killed as a high school junior in an automobile accident.
The Program on International Policy Attitudes released a poll that earned widespread national and international coverage. PIPA's research found more than half of Americans felt President Bush decided to go to war in Iraq based on faulty assumptions, and an overwhelming majority--87 percent--said the Bush administration portrayed Iraq as an imminent domestic threat before the war. About as many, 84 percent, said the United States had not found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, as predicted.
The state's Smart Growth initiative may be forcing home buyers farther away from cities, according to a new study reported by the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education. "The result could be more, not less, urban sprawl," the report states. Gerrit Knaap, executive director of the non-partisan research center, said, "Local governments are making it more difficult to build in the state's priority funding areas. It's happening throughout the state, but there is strong evidence of it in the Washington and Baltimore suburbs.
More Maryland News in November
Anne Arundel County's Lost Towns Project uncovered a possible 17th century unsolved murder, and asked the Smithsonian for help in determining how the teenager of European descent died. Lab director for Lost Towns, David Gadsby, was working towards a master�s degree in anthropology. The case �penetrates your dreams,� said Gadsby.
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