Maryland Moments, September, 2004
(Rankings, New Programs, Awards)
The Robert H. Smith School of Business ranked No. 1 in management consulting and No. 3 in technology/telecommunication/internet categories. It again is ranked among the premier business schools. UM earned a No. 4 ranking under the heading, Top North American Business Schools, Regional.
(The Top 5 Regional Schools (44 ranked): 1. Purdue University; 2, Vanderbilt University;
3, Ohio State University; 4. University of Maryland; 5. Brigham Young University.
UM ranked No. 21 in the Top Colleges for African Americans ranking published by Black Enterprise magazine; within the ranking UM trails only the University of North Carolina among the nation's leading public universities.
The leading schools among traditionally white institutions: Stanford University No. 7; Columbia University No. 8; Harvard University No. 9; Duke University No. 10; Georgetown University No. 11; University of North Carolina No. 14; Oberlin College No. 15; Williams College No. 16; Emory University No. 18; Wesleyan University No. 19; University of Maryland No. 21; University of Pennsylvania No. 23; Cornell University No. 24; University of Michigan No. 25) In the last two Black Enterprise rankings, UM moved up ten places from No. 31.
President Bush named 57 young researchers to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The National Science Foundation supported 20 of the PECASE winners, including a record 12 women. UM's Elisabeth Smela, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Konstantina Trivisa, associate professor of mathematics, are NSF honorees. Stanford University claimed three of the 20 awardees; matching UM's total were the University of California-Berkeley, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Carnegie-Mellon University.
Maryland state and university leaders broke ground for UM's Bioscience Building, which will house state-of-the-art research facilities for university faculty and their graduate and undergraduate students. The $60 million building is scheduled to open in summer, 2006. Built with funding approved by Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. and the Maryland General Assembly, the Bioscience Building will contain research space for as many as 35 principal investigators. The major areas to be studied in the new building will have "real life connections to the work that biotech businesses in Maryland are doing," said Norma Allewell, dean of the College of Life Sciences.
Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams took on a new role -- fund raising for the university's scholarship program. Williams got the effort off to a momentus start by pledging $500,000 of his own money. UM announced Williams will co-chair the scholarship drive and will help in the effort to raise $200 million. President C.D. Mote Jr. said the university was fortunate to have Williams volunteer. He called Williams a "leader and a motivator, and a winner."
The University System of Maryland wanted state lawmakers to invest $24 million to make Maryland a leading center of nanotechnology research. Chancellor William Kirwan hoped to use the money to build new research facilities and recruit star scientists working in the emerging field, which involves manipulating individual atoms and molecules to manufacture materials at scales less than 100 nanometers, a few billionths of an inch. Kirwan's plan called for research to be spread among several USM campuses, including the flagship College Park campus. The Baltimore Business Journal reported: "Each would take leadership roles where an area of expertise already exists. Biomedical systems and clinical applications would be centered at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, for example. College Park would oversee the most critical piece, integrating nano-biotech systems into actual devices and products."
UM hosted a media briefing on the technological challenges ahead in the war on terror at the National Press Club. C-Span and the tech media were on hand to hear James Hendler, professor of computer science; Lee Strickland, director of the Center for Information Policy; William Lahneman, coordinator of the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland; Amy Weinberg, associate professor of linguistics and co-director of the Laboratory for Language and Media Processing; and Rama Chellappa, professor of electrical and computer engineering.
Ira Berlin, distinguished university professor of history, received an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his history of slavery, Generations of Captivity. Cleveland Plain-Dealer: "In Generations of Captivity, Berlin paints the sweeping landscape of African-American slavery over 300 years, describing periods in its evolution and noting regional differences in relationships between slaves and slaveholders. He presents the peculiar institution from the perspective of those who were exploited by it. 'Knowing that a person was a slave does not tell everything about him or her,' he writes. 'Put another way, slaveholders severely circumscribed the lives of enslaved people but they never fully defined them.' "
Naomi Ehrich Leonard, who earned both her master's and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering at UM, received a MacArthur fellowship of $500,000 for her work in control theory. The Princeton University faculty member and undergraduate alumna developed mechanisms to control 5-foot-long unmanned submarines-- "robotic submersibles that have sensors on them," as Leonard put it--designed to glide undersea for months at a time, collecting data on water temperature, salt concentrations and other factors affecting undersea life.
Cynthia Moss, professor of psychology, and Kaushik Ghose, doctoral candidate in psychology, earned first place in the Multimedia-Interactive category of the Science & Engineering Visualization Contest, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The researchers used slow-motion video, animation and sound to demonstrate how a bat uses its acute acoustic senses to survive.
Science & Technology
A study on the proposed inter-county connector, which would connect I-270 in Montgomery County to I-95 in Prince George's County, is released by Hani Mahmassani and a team from the Maryland Transportation Initiative. A professor of civil and environmental engineering, Mahmassani was at the center of a media blitz. Washington Post: "Maryland transportation officials released a study yesterday supporting their contention that a proposed highway linking Montgomery and Prince George's counties would add jobs, save travel time and protect businesses. The east-west highway, known as the intercounty connector, would encourage the creation of nearly 17,000 jobs, according to the study commissioned by the Maryland State Highway Administration. Residents and businesses would save as much as $300 million a year, thanks to more efficient travel, the report said..... The study was done by a team at the University of Maryland, chosen as an independent party to allay concerns that the report would favor proponents of the connector."
Professor Jocelyne DiRuggiero's Lab and its research staff earned media attention for their NASA-funded research on the microbe Halobacterium. NASA: "You can learn a lot from a microbe. Right now, a tiny critter from the Dead Sea is teaching scientists new things about biotechnology, cancer, possible life on other worlds. And that's just for starters: This microbe, called Halobacterium, may hold the key to protecting astronauts from one of the greatest threats they would face during a mission to Mars: space radiation."
Steven Tretter, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the M.S. program in telecommunications, and Michael Delommo, advisor and lecturer in the telecommunications program, work with the firm TeleContinuity, as part of the Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program. The National Institute of Standards & Technology: "When a major disaster--man-made or natural--takes down the phone system, who ya gonna call? No one, 'cause the phone's dead, right? Not if you're using a novel emergency communications system under development by the Maryland start-up TeleContinuity Inc....The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, severely disrupted phone service at the attack sites, particularly in New York.... During this time, however, Internet links, utilizing different lines and network architectures, operated continuously. TeleContinuity's founders realized that short-term, emergency phone service could be activated quickly, on any scale, by cross-linking surviving phone system links and Internet links as necessary, a technique they called 'shoelacing.' "
UM is part of a NASA research team that tests new equipment in the high desert near Flagstaff, Ariz. that could be used when man returns to the moon or travels to Mars. The Desert Research and Technology Studies team semantically morphs into "RATS." Joining UM in the effort were NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.; the NASA Research and Education Network team; Oceaneering Inc.; Hamilton Sundstrand Inc.; ILC/Dover Inc.; the University of Cincinnati; and Worchester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass." Heading the research are Johnson Space Center, Houston, and the Glenn Research Center, Cleveland.
MTBE, the gasoline additive which is polluting ground water and causing conservation concerns, could be eliminated from the fuel with the help of huskless barley being developed with the help of UM, Virginia Tech and the Department of Agriculture. Maryland farmers, particularly from the Eastern Shore, are pushing ethanol as an alternative energy source that would not pollute in the way MTBE does.
The Baltimore Sun reported Claudio Filipponne, faculty research scientist in aerospace engineering, is seeking $2 million for the testing of his device which he says would cool down nuclear reactors without increasing radioactive waste. Filippone's pursuit of funding led him to the U.S. Department of Energy where he hit a wall of disinterest. "Those who know him say he's talented and tenacious -- and his reactor design appears worth pursuing."
The work of Charon Birkett, assistant research scientist at the Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center, spurred a NASA program to monitor the level of the world's lakes and reservoirs. "The satellites (TOPEX/Posiedon and the Jason-1) were designed with oceanographic objectives in mind, so the fact that they can be used for lakes and rivers are an added bonus," said Birkett.
The most widely used animals for studying human aging are rodents. But a paper co-authored by UM professor Mary Ann Ottinger, which appeared in a special section on aging in the journal Science, said primates are a better species for giving researchers the best information about human aging. In Aging in Rhesus Monkeys: Relevance to Human Health Interventions, Ottinger and her co-authors, who use rhesus monkeys in aging research for the National Institute on Aging, say aging primates have the most parallels of any species to aging humans and should be used for future studies of human aging and evaluating interventions that could prolong and improve human life.
Kenneth Hunter, director of professional programs at the Institute for Global Chinese Affairs, and Dennis Pirages, Harrison Professor of International Environmental Affairs, are new co-directors of the board of the World Future Society, which publishes Futurist magazine.
Society & Culture
From the New York Times to the Portland Oregonian, from the Chicago Tribune to the Miami Herald and a hundred newspapers in between, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at UM was the benchmark for learning about the youth vote in 2004. Page one of the New York Times: "The pool of potential young voters is substantial -- about 40.6 million Americans ages 18 to 29, or one in five eligible voters, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement or Circle, a nonprofit research group that has concentrated on the youth vote. 'This is a bigger group than 50- to 65-year-olds,' said Carrie Donovan, the youth director at Circle, which is based at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and financed by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Carnegie Corporation of New York."
Education Week: "Scholars and practitioners last week proposed mending the No Child Left Behind Act to better address the needs of students with disabilities and those learning English. The law's accountability requirements pose unique challenges for such students and the schools that serve them, contributing to many schools' identification as inadequate. A central problem, said Margaret McLaughlin, a professor of education at the University of Maryland, College Park, is what it means to 'close the achievement gap' for students with disabilities, who, by definition, have problems learning.... 'To assume that this subgroup of students can or should learn the same content at the same levels within the same time frame as their nondisabled peers flies in the face of what we know about many of these students,' Ms. McLaughlin said at a Sept. 14 meeting sponsored by the Washington-based Center on Education Policy to explore fixes to the law."
The Program on International Policy Attitudes in the School of Public Policy released a poll done in conjunction with the Canadian firm GlobeScan. The results revealed residents from 30 of the 35 countries surveyed approving a Kerry victory in the presidential race. "It's absolutely clear that John Kerry would win handily if the people of the world could vote," PIPA Director Steven Kull told the International Herald Tribune.
Researchers at the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) developed a set of warning signs to spot teenage use of marijuana. State education and juvenile services officials applauded the release of warning signs, according to the Washington Post. "This is important because it's the first time we've been able to scientifically determine the signs and what can result from marijuana use," said Erin Artigiani, a spokeswoman for the center. "We found that teenagers really do rely on their parents to shape their attitudes on drugs. We encourage parents to talk to their kids about drugs, to understand that drug use is a mistake and to be prepared for their responses."
The National Diet Library, located next to the parliament building in Tokyo, will reproduce on microfiche children's books from a U.S. collection, originally published in Japan during the post-World War II occupation. The Prange Collection, housed in UM's University Libraries, is the work of Gordon Prange, history professor and chief of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's historical staff in Japan (1946-1951). He assembled an unparalleled collection of post-war Japanese publications.
The Washington Post described the appearance of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company to start UM's arts season "a coup for the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center." Susie Farr, director of Clarice Smith, called Cunningham "the most important living choreographer." According to the Post, the intimacy of the Kay Theatre "suited the two works on the program, 1995's Ground Level Overlay followed by last year's Split Hairs."
More Maryland News in September
The Maryland student sportsmanship committee asked the school band to stop paying Gary Glitter's Rock and Roll, Part 2 song at basketball games, less than a month after it requested that the song be eliminated from the school band's play list for football games. Lauren Spates, the chairwoman of the sportsmanship committee and the liaison between the athletic department and the Student Government Association, said that while the song created an intimidating atmosphere for the opposition, it also offended a large part of the Terrapins' fan base.
CBS's The Early Show came to campus to assess how college students are eating (pizza, pizza, pizza, of course). Freshman Jackie Albert was worried over what is called "Freshman 15," the burst of weight freshmen are liable to incur when no one is telling them to "eat your string beans." An outside nutritionist and Pat Higgins of Dining Services dispensed diet knowledge to Albert, who lives in an era when you can call a dorm delivery service for fatty substances 24 hours a day. The program also contained a warning of the most destructive diet destroyer: alcohol.
Charles Lowry, dean of the University Libraries, received a proclamation honoring President Ronald Reagan, former sportscaster at WOC, Davenport, Iowa, at the Library of American Broadcasting dinner in New York City. (Founded in 1972 as the Broadcast Pioneers Library, LAB was housed in the headquarters of the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington, D.C., until 1994, when it became part of the University of Maryland Libraries.)
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