Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Volume 26, Number 15| PDF

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Jay Austin, assistant professor, Large Lakes Observatory, was an invited speaker at a workshop held by the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources held in May and an invited speaker for the Minnesota Lakes and Waters Conference in Rochester, MN in May. Austin is the Keynote Speaker for the 2009 Lake Superior Youth Symposium in May and a Plenary speaker at the 2009 North American Benthological Society meeting in Grand Rapids, MI in May. All of the mentioned talks are on the general subject of Climate change and Lake Superior. Austin also received a grant from the Great Lakes Observing System in the amount of $28,000 to support mooring operations and other observations in Lake Superior during the 2009 field season.

Aydin Y. Durgunoglu, professor of psychology will present a program, “The links between the two languages of bilinguals,” at Växjö University, Växjö Sweden in May. Durgunoglu conducts research on the literacy development of both adults and children in different linguistic contexts, as well as on bilingual cognition. She is part of a team developing and implementing the adult literacy program, the Turkish Mother Child Education Foundation, which recently won a UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize.

Thomas J. Farrell is retiring from the Department of Writing Studies where he joined the faculty in 1987, being promoted to Associate Professor in 1988 and Professor in 2004. Farrell’s scholarship centers on the thought of the cultural historian Walter Ong regarding the historical development of literacy. His most well-known work is his book Walter Ong’s Contributions to Cultural Studies: The Phenomenology of the Word and I-Thou Communication (2000).

Emily Gaarder, assistant professor of criminology, was awarded the Arizona State University School of Justice Studies Outstanding Graduate Alumni Award this year. Gaarder traveled to ASU in April to present a scholarship, in her name, to a first generation graduate student.

Joe Gallian, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was the keynote speaker at the Wisconsin and Kansas sectional meetings of the Mathematical Association of America. He gave two talks at each meeting. Gallian also received a grant from the National Science Foundation to syndicate on America Public Television a documentary film about the United States team in the International Mathematics Olympiad, for which he was executive producer.
Gallian was also an invited participant in a three-day “Women in Mathematics Symposium” in Baltimore sponsored by the National Security Agency.

From Stephanie Guildford, assistant professor, Department of Biology. Although Lake Superior has excellent water quality relative to the other North American Great Lakes, lake trout have surprisingly high concentrations of PCBs. In this survey of 23 lakes, including Lake Superior, extending from northwestern Canada to the southern extreme of lake trout distribution, lake area and latitude accounted for most of the variation in PCBs. Trout in smaller and more northerly lakes had greater access to productive benthic littoral habitats for feeding and had lower PCB concentrations compared to lake trout in larger more southerly lakes where feeding was more restricted to the offshore, pelagic habitat. Guildford, S.J., Muir, D.C.G., Houde, M., Evans, M.S., Kidd, K.A., Whittle, D.M., Drouillard, K., Wang, X., Anderson, M.R., Bronte, C.R., DeVault, D.S., Haffner, D., Payne, J., Kling, H.J. 2008. PCB concentrations in lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) are correlated to habitat use and lake characteristics. Environmental Science and Technology 42: 8239-8244.

Tom Johnson, professor, Department of Geological Sciences, gave an invited talk at the European Geosciences Union Meeting in Vienna in April entitled, “IODP - ICDP Interactions: Comparing and Contrasting the Drilled Paleoclimate Records on the African Continent With the ODP Records Offshore.” In addition, another recent publication: Late Quaternary vegetation history of southeast Africa: The molecular isotopic record from Lake Malawi by Isla S. Castañeda, Josef P. Werne, Thomas C. Johnson, Timothy R. Filley which appeared in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology vol. 275 (2009) pp. 100-112. Isla was a Ph.D. student in LLO who is now a post-doc at the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research.

Eun-Kyung Suh, Department of Art and Design, has a new textile work, “We, Human Beings.” The work will be exhibited at the Studio Channel Islands Art Center, Camarillo, CA in the Focus on Fiber II, National Exhibition from May through July 2009.

M.J. Leone, recently retired executive office and administrative specialist in the Graduate School Office at UMD, has been selected as a winner of the 2009 President’s Award for Outstanding Service to the University of Minnesota.

Dan Martin, Department of Sociology presented the paper “Police, Protesters and Political Impression Management,” which he co-authored with John Hamlin, at the Pacific Sociological Association conference in San Diego, in April. The paper included the first wave of findings from their project, “The State Suppression of Dissent,” a project based upon data collected during protests at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, 2008. The project is supported by a VCAA grant.

The Precambrian Research Center, a field mapping institute jointly managed by the Natural Resources Research Institute and the Department of Geological Sciences, will be hosting the 55th Annual Institute on Lake Superior Geology in Ely, MN from May 5-10. The meeting, which will attract over 200 participants, will include two days of technical sessions and seven field trips on the geology and resources of the Ely area. Jim Miller, associate professor, Department of Geological Sciences, is the principal chairman of the meeting.

Ted Pedersen, associate professor, Department of Computer Science, will give the invited keynote address at a workshop on “Software Engineering, Testing, and Quality Assurance for Natural Language Processing.” This will be held at the Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter for the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL) in Boulder, Colorado in June 2009. The title of his address is “The Road from Good Software Engineering to Good
Science ... is a Two Way Street.” Pedersen and MS student Varada Kolhatkar (also from the Department of Computer Science) will present a demonstration of their software package WordNet::SenseRelate::AllWords at the Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL) in Boulder, Colorado in June 2009. This system assigns meanings to all words in text, and is available as free open-source software.

Two groups of students from the Chemical Engineering Senior Design class taught by Mike Rother, assistant professor, and Carol Horabik, instructor, both of the Department of Chemical Engineering, won 1st and 2nd prize at the AIChE Upper Midwest 49th Annual Symposium undergraduate poster contest on April 3rd in Bloomington, MN. The winning posters were “Process Optimization at Arkema” by Brady Clavel, Jack Keeney, Andrew Klym and Fernando Ramirez and “Taconite Harbor Emissions Control” by Nate Bosquez, Jeremy Elbers, Jason George and Stephanie Morrisette.

LeAne Rutherford of the Instructional Development Service (IDS) presented “Do Ask, Do Tell: Weaving Students’ Opinions into Optimal Teaching Practice” in April at the Academy of Distinguished Teachers Conference on the Twin Cities Campus. This workshop, based on Shelley Smith’s IDS research, modeled a process for gathering student input and weaving student-stipulated patterns of good teaching practices into issues of respect.

Shelley Smith, an associate professor and teaching consultant with the Instructional Development Service, spent a week this spring in South Africa as part of the system wide Curriculum Integration (Internationalizing the Curriculum) project. She traveled with three other professionals Anthony Albecker, assistant academic advisor, Scott Daby, associate program director, Learning Abroad Center, and Laura Dammer Hess, coordinator, Career and Community Learning Center, all from the UMTC campus, to universities and service learning sites in and outside of Capetown and Durban.

Janelle L. Wilson, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, presented the paper, “Nostalgia, Olfaction, and the Self,” at the annual meetings of the Pacific Sociological Association in San Diego in April.

A UMD student design team has been selected as one of three winners in the North America Region (including USA and Canada) in the 3rd Collegiate Student Safety Technology Design Competition. The team will represent North America at the international competition in the 21st International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles in June 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany. The team consists of Shan Hu, a master graduate student originally from China, and Ryan Bowlds, a senior Mechanical Engineering major undergraduate student from Eden Prairie, Minn. The team is advised by Xun Yu, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.


Subhash Basak, Denise Mills, Douglas Hawkins
(University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Statistics, TC Campus), and Jessica Kraker (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire) published a paper titled “Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) modeling of human blood: Air partitioning with proper statistical methods and validation” in the international journal Chemistry and Biodiversity, vol. 6, pp. 487-502 (2009).

Brian Brashaw
and Xiping Wang, along with nine co-authors from around the world, published, “Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation of Wood: A Worldwide Research Update” in the March 2009 Forest Products Journal, Vol. 59, No. 3, pp. 7-14.

See the nest issue of Currents.

Fifty students who started their medical education on the UMD Campus graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in May.
The Center of American Indian and Minority Health on May 1 honored the seven Native Americans graduating from medical school this year.
Bethany Nelson, a Ph.D. candidate in the Academic Health Center-Duluth Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Biophysics program since 2005, has been awarded the Annette Boman Women’s Fellowship for Cancer Research.

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