News » Archives » October 2012

Father Jenkins offers prayers for those affected by Hurricane Sandy

Author: Dennis Brown

University seal

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, has offered prayers and support from the University to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

“As we continue to learn about the tragic consequences of this massive storm, it’s obvious this was a hurricane of historic proportions” Father Jenkins said. “On behalf of the entire Notre Dame community, I offer prayers for all who have been affected, including alumni, families and friends of the University.”

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Discussion to celebrate 40th anniversary of coeducation at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

The 40th anniversary of coeducation at the University of Notre Dame The 40th anniversary of coeducation at the University of Notre Dame.

The 40th anniversary of coeducation at the University of Notre Dame will be celebrated in a panel discussion, “Paving the Way: Reflections on the Early Years of Coeducation at Notre Dame,” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 (Thursday) in the auditorium of the Eck Visitors Center.

The discussion, sponsored by Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism with the Department of American Studies, the Gender Studies Program and Badin Hall, will include five people who experienced and shaped Notre Dame’s transition from an exclusively male to coeducational institution.

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ND Expert: Closing the NYSE was the right move – for investors

Author: Carol Elliott

Robert Battalio

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, one of the lessons to be learned is that coordinating the close of the financial markets is the right move not only for the safety of traders, but also the operation of the system, says Robert Battalio, finance professor at the University of Notre Dame.

“We don’t live in the Stone Age. The New York Stock Exchange could have continued to operate and moved to its electronic platform,” he says. “The SEC gets bashed a lot, but it made the right decision to coordinate the market closures. Closing the exchange means there were a lot of bad trades that didn’t happen.”

The market closed for two days on Monday and Tuesday as Sandy battered down on the East Coast, a move that was seen by some as a sign of a sign of economic instability, especially as the New York Stock Exchange is one of the world’s most identifiable symbols of capitalism.

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Notre Dame to host open house for new nuclear accelerator

Author: William G. Gilroy

Tour the University's new nuclear accelerator

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Physics will hold an open house for its new nuclear accelerator from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 3) in the Nieuwland Hall of Science. Tours of the accelerator will leave 124 Nieuwland Hall every 15 minutes.

The accelerator is housed inside a new 40-foot-tall tower located above the existing Nuclear Science Laboratory in the center of Nieuwland. The University’s astrophysics program, started in the 1980s, is one of the leading global centers, attracting visiting researchers from 20 to 30 countries each year.

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Linda Kurtos appointed director of sustainability at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Office of Sustainability The Office of Sustainability

Linda P. Kurtos, environmental lawyer and adjunct professor in climate change at Northwestern University, has been appointed director of sustainability at the University of Notre Dame, effective Nov. 19.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Linda Kurtos’ experience and success as a lawyer, teacher and adviser in the fields of environment, regulation, energy and business in this important position,” said Sarah Misener, associate vice president of campus services. “Her appointment should strengthen Notre Dame’s commitment to sustainability and the ability of future generations of students, faculty and staff to live the mission of the University."

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Physicists confirm first planet discovered in a quadruple star system

Author: Gene Stowe and Marissa Gebhard

The first extrasolar planet in a quadruple star system has been discovered

Justin Crepp, Freimann Assistant Professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, provided the high-contrast imaging observations that confirmed the first extrasolar planet discovered in a quadruple star system. He is a co-author on a paper about the discovery, “Planet Hunters: A Transiting Circumbinary Planet in a Quadruple Star System,” recently posted to the open-access arXiv.org, and submitted for publication to The Astrophysical Journal.

Crepp’s images revealed that the system involved two sets of binary stars. The planet was first noticed by volunteer citizen scientists studying publicly available Kepler data as part of the Planet Hunters citizen science project.

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Ahsan Kareem named honorary member of JAWE

Author: Nina Welding

Ahsan Kareem Ahsan Kareem

Ahsan Kareem, the Robert M. Moran Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been named an honorary member of the Japan Association for Wind Engineering (JAWE).

The largest individual country organization, there are only three international honorary members in the JAWE. Kareem is the first from the United States and one of only a few researchers whose work has transformed his field through a continued series of innovations. Kareem, who serves as the director of Notre Dame’s NatHaz Modeling Laboratory, specializes in probabilistic structural dynamics, fluid-structure interactions, structural safety and the mitigation of natural hazards.

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New NSF grant to support research on resilient wireless sensor-actuator networks

Author: William G. Gilroy

Michael Lemmon Michael Lemmon

A new $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will support a team of University of Notre Dame researchers as they seek to develop resilient wireless sensor-actuator network technologies.

Wireless sensor-actuator networks (WSANs) are complex systems consisting of numerous sensing and actuation devices that interact with the environment and coordinate their activities over a wireless communication network.

“Examples of potential WSANs include the national power grid, air traffic control networks and water/gas distribution networks,” Michael Lemmon, a Notre Dame professor of electrical engineering, said. “All of these systems are components of our national civil infrastructure, and their resilient operation is in the public’s interest.”

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Video: Got (safer) milk?

Author: Notre Dame News

A team of researchers from Notre Dame and Purdue University has been working to develop a new technology that can rapidly test milk and other dairy products for harmful pathogens.

Though the research will be applicable to many microorganisms, the team’s first goal is to reduce the incidence of brucellosis, a condition caused by infection from Brucella bacteria, various strains of which are found in sheep, goats, cattle and swine. Brucellosis is the most common animal-to-human infection worldwide, with more than 500,000 new cases reported each year. It rarely causes death, but it can result in prolonged health problems.…

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ND Expert: Liturgical manuscript from Beethoven raises questions

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Peter Jeffrey Peter Jeffrey

The recent discovery of a previously unknown musical manuscript by Ludwig van Beethoven provides a glimpse of the composer at work on a medieval hymn he would already have known quite well, according to Peter Jeffrey, Michael P. Grace II Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Beethoven’s manuscript was an arrangement of the Gregorian chant “Pange Lingua,” a hymn often sung in Catholic liturgies during Holy Week. “Why, in 1821, would Beethoven have written out a harmonization of ‘Pange Lingua,’ a medieval hymn about the Holy Eucharist for the feast of Corpus Christi? The hymn was certainly familiar to him from his childhood, and it’s relatively well-known even today."

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Astronaut alumnus on his way to the International Space Station

Author: William G. Gilroy

Kevin A. Ford Kevin A. Ford

University of Notre Dame alumnus and NASA shuttle veteran Kevin A. Ford is aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft that launched Tuesday (Oct. 23) for the International Space Station.

Ford and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin are scheduled to arrive at the orbiting laboratory at 8:35 a.m. EDT on Thursday (Oct. 25). They will stay on board the ISS for five months, returning to Earth in March 2013.

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Varieties of Democracy project awarded European Commission funding

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

V-Dem

The Varieties of Democracy project (V-Dem), an ambitious international research collaboration based at the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, has been awarded €475,000 (about $616,500) in research support from the European Commission.

Led by Notre Dame political scientist Michael Coppedge; Staffan Lindberg of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; and John Gerring of Boston University, the multi-year project aims to produce better indicators of democracy, helping to illuminate why democracies around the world succeed or fail.

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New paper examines shifting gears in the circadian clock of the heart

Author: William G. Gilroy

A human torso and heart, illustration

A new study conducted by a team of scientists led by Giles Duffield, assistant professor of biological sciences and a member of the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame, focuses on the circadian clock of the heart, using cultured heart tissue. The results of the new study have implications for cardiovascular health, including daily changes in responses to stress and the effect of long-term rotational shift work.

“Our data highlights the sensitivity of the body’s major organs to GR signaling, and in particular the heart,” Duffield said. “This could be problematic for users of synthetic glucocorticoids, often used to treat chronic inflammation. Also the differences we observe between important organ systems such as the heart and liver might explain some of the internal disturbance to the synchrony between these tissues that contain their own internal clocks that can occur during shift-work and jet lag."

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Notre Dame film students’ documentary explores a new kind of modern family

Author: Claire Stephens

"Project Hopeful"

University of Notre Dame graduates Grace Johnson and Kelsie Kiley’s documentary, “Project Hopeful,” completed for Documentary Video Production in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT), is about a new kind of modern family: one where an Illinois couple with seven biological children doubles the size of its family by adopting orphans with HIV/AIDS and special needs.

Johnson and Kiley’s film follows Carolyn and Kiel Twietmeyer, the couple who started the nonprofit organization Project Hopeful, and other families who have adopted children through the organization.

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Students to turn over a new leaf in community service

Author: Claire Stephens

Robinson Community Learning Center

The Robinson Community Learning Center and Circle K of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College are sponsoring the annual “Turning Over A New Leaf” event Oct. 27 (Saturday), encouraging college student volunteers to rake the lawns of houses in the Northeast Neighborhood of South Bend.

Houses eligible for raking are between Hill Street, Angela Boulevard, Colfax Avenue and Twyckenham Drive. Last year more than a hundred college student volunteers raked the lawns of 48 houses in the Northeast Neighborhood.

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Crews respond to gas leak on Notre Dame campus

Author: Dennis Brown

Emergency crews Emergency crews on scene of gas leak

Update: As of 5 p.m., the gas leak has been contained and there no longer are access restrictions in the area.

Emergency crews responded to a gas leak this afternoon (Oct. 22) on the University of Notre Dame campus. The leak, which was detected at approximately 1:55 p.m., occurred at the north end of DeBartolo Quad in a 2-inch line.

Notre Dame police and fire personnel are working with NIPSCO to resolve the situation. No campus buildings have been evacuated, but faculty, staff and students were encouraged to avoid the area.

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ND Expert: Romney will 'grasp at straws' in tonight’s debate

Author:

Michael Desch Michael Desch

In an effort to differentiate himself from President Barack Obama on foreign policy in tonight’s debate, Mitt Romney may be forced to exaggerate what few differences actually exist, as he faces a formidable challenge in scoring points against the president, according to a University of Notre Dame political scientist.

“There is not that much actual difference between their positions on many issues such as Afghanistan and China, and the President has had some notable foreign policy successes, especially taking down Osama bin Laden, building a broad international coalition to oust Moammar Gadhafi, and winding down the war in Iraq,” says Michael Desch, a leading expert on foreign policy and national defense.

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In Memoriam: Byung T. Cho, professor emeritus of management

Author: Carol Elliott

In memoriam: Byung T. Cho, professor emeritus of management

Byung T. Cho, professor emeritus of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, passed away Monday afternoon (Oct. 15). He was 86 years old.

Cho joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1966 and taught for more than 50 years in the business school until his retirement to emeritus status in 2007. During his time as a professor, Cho was recognized by his students with outstanding teacher awards in 1975, 1977 and 1978. He served as an adviser and mentor in both official and unofficial capacities for hundreds of students over the years, and especially for Korean and Japanese students.

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Father Jenkins mourns death of Saint Mary’s student

Author: Dennis Brown

University seal

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, has extended his sympathies to the family and friends of Saint Mary’s College student Ziqi Zhang, who died Thursday night (Oct. 18) in a bicycle-automobile accident near the entrance to the College.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Ziqi Zhang and to the entire Saint Mary’s community,” Father Jenkins said. “Ziqi also was well-known here at Notre Dame, where she was enrolled in the College of Engineering and involved in various clubs and activities. On behalf of the University, our prayers are with all who knew and loved her."

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ND design students’ project receives Sappi ‘Ideas that Matter’ grant

Author: Carol C. Bradley

In Johannesburg, South Africa, design students Dan Azic, Kassandra Randazzo, Lynn Yeom, Amelia Bernier, Brandon Keelean and Ali Tourville, with Professor Robert Sedlack

Watch Video Video

Collaboration among faculty and students, Sedlack Design Associates and Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns has resulted in a $50,000 Sappi Ideas that Matter grant to together+, a campaign to combat xenophobia in South Africa.

The idea to develop a campaign to unite a South African community divided by xenophobia was born out of community-based research done by Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns (CSC) and its community partner, Kgosi Neighbourhood Foundation (KNF), an organization based in a Johannesburg neighborhood greatly affected by xenophobia-fueled violence.

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New book takes readers on mathematical excursions to the world’s greatest buildings

Author: William G. Gilroy

"Mathematical Excursions to the World’s Great Buildings"

Watch Video Video

When many of us view a great building, we are struck by the majesty and artistry that spring from its form, function and materials. University of Notre Dame mathematician Alexander J. Hahn sees all this, but also something more. He sees the mathematics that lies at the heart of great buildings and finds in it a beauty of its own.

Hahn examines the mathematics at work in great buildings in a compelling and richly illustrated new book, “Mathematical Excursions to the World’s Great Buildings,” published by Princeton University Press.

“Mathematical Excursions” discuss the pyramids of Egypt; the Parthenon in Athens; the Colosseum and Pantheon in Rome; the Hagia Sophia; historic mosques; great Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance cathedrals; some of Palladio’s villas; the U.S. Capitol; and three icons of the 20th century: the Sydney Opera House, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

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Mock debate to explore which presidential candidate deserves a college student’s vote

Author: Clara Ritger

Mock debate

Four years ago, the presidential election saw an unprecedented turnout from college students. Is there a clear choice for young adults in 2012? What are the issues college students care about most, and how do President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney compare?

At 8 p.m. Oct. 24 (Wednesday) in the University of Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall Auditorium, students will gather to offer perspective on the 2012 presidential election. Two debaters, one from each the College Democrats and the College Republicans, will defend their respective candidates on the topic of which candidate will serve the best interests of students.

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ND Expert: Power of 'corrosive rhetoric' shaping American politics

Author:

John Duffy John Duffy

With words such as “aggressive” and “attack,” President Barack Obama’s aides prepped him for his “comeback” Tuesday night, asserting that his first debate was “too polite.”

But if the president of the United States was deemed “too polite,” where does that leave the notion of civil discourse in political debates?

“Voters can assess how each candidate displays the personal qualities of decency, generosity and good judgment in responding to questions, or whether the candidates are unwilling to reject the corrosive rhetoric that defines contemporary American politics,” says John Duffy, a University of Notre Dame English professor specializing in how rhetoric shapes people’s identity and position in the world.

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In memoriam: Klaus-Dieter Asmus, professor emeritus of chemistry

Author: Michael O. Garvey

In memoriam

Klaus-Dieter Asmus, professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame and former director of the University’s Radiation Laboratory, died Oct. 6. in Berlin, Germany. He was 74 years old.

A native of Breslau, Germany, Asmus held master’s and doctoral degrees in chemistry from Technical University in Berlin, where he worked as a research scientist and chair of the radiation chemistry department in the Hahn-Meitner Institute and served on the Technical University faculty from 1974 to 1995, when he came to Notre Dame. He served as director of the Radiation Laboratory from 1995 to 1998 and continued to teach at Notre Dame until his retirement in 2009. In addition to his teaching, Asmus did internationally renowned and award-winning research in radiation chemistry, free radical chemistry and physical organic chemistry; published numerous articles on those subjects; and was co-author of a seminal textbook, “Radical Reaction Rates in Liquids.”

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New paper reveals fundamental chemistry of plasma/liquid interactions

Author: Nina Welding

David Go David Go

An interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Notre Dame has revealed a critical interaction that is occurring at the plasma-liquid interface in that the electrons in plasma actually serve to separate water, producing hydrogen gas.

“As we continue to develop plasma jets for all kinds of applications, be they medical, environmental or for synthesizing materials,” said David B. Go, assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, “it’s crucial that we understand the fundamental chemistry that is occurring. The role of electrons has been somewhat overlooked, but we show that they play an important role and must be considered as we continue to try to understand these new microplasma devices.”

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Notre Dame magazine essays honored

Author: Claire Stephens

Into the Deep Into the Deep

Two essays published in Notre Dame Magazine last year have been honored in this year’s edition of “The Best American Essays,” edited by David Brooks and Robert Atwan.

Among the “Notable Essays of 2011” are “Into the Deep,” which appeared in the Spring 2011 issue. Written by 1960 Notre Dame graduate Patrick Dunne, the piece is about a letter to a friend dying of melanoma.

A Summer Night” by Kerry Temple, editor of Notre Dame Magazine and a 1974 alumnus, was also chosen as a Notable Essay. Temple’s essay reflects on a summer evening in southern Indiana and comments on the loss of childhood in America today.

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Notre Dame researcher helps make Sudoku puzzles less puzzling

Author: William G. Gilroy

A Sudoku puzzle A Sudoku puzzle.

For anyone who has ever struggled while attempting to solve a Sudoku puzzle, University of Notre Dame researcher Zoltan Toroczkai and Notre Dame postdoctoral researcher Maria Ercsey-Ravasz are riding to the rescue. They can not only explain why some Sudoku puzzles are harder than others, they have also developed a mathematical algorithm that solves Sudoku puzzles very quickly, without any guessing or backtracking.

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Professor Peter Kogge named recipient of IEEE Computer Society 2012 Seymour Cray award

Author: Notre Dame News

Peter Kogge Peter Kogge

University of Notre Dame computer science and engineering professor Peter Kogge, developer of the space shuttle I/O processor, the world’s first multicore processor, and a number of other important innovations has been named the recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s 2012 Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award.

Kogge, the Ted H. McCourtney Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Notre Dame since 1994, was recognized “for innovations in advanced computer architecture and systems.” The Seymour Cray Award is one of the IEEE Computer Society’s highest awards, and is presented in recognition of innovative contributions to high-performance computing systems that best exemplify Cray’s creative spirit. The award consists of a crystal memento, a certificate and a $10,000 honorarium.

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Notre Dame’s direct link to Nobel Literature Prize

Author:

Howard Goldblatt Howard Goldblatt

Chinese author Mo Yan has become the first Chinese author ever to win the Nobel Prize in literature, and his works were made known in the Western world because of Howard Goldblatt, foremost translator of contemporary Chinese literature and former research professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Notre Dame.

Goldblatt has dedicated years to introducing most of Mo’s works to the English-speaking world, and has compared Mo’s work to Charles Dickens, as “big, bold works with florid, imagistic, powerful writing and strong moral core.”

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ND Expert: Recent Nigerian violence indicative of international persecution of Christians

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Daniel Philpott Daniel Philpott

The most recent religious violence in Nigeria has killed 21 people, most of them Christians, and according to Daniel Philpott, associate professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, it is all too representative of a worsening persecution worldwide.

“The recent shootings in Nigeria underline two morally urgent tasks, both in Nigeria and around the world,” Philpott said. “One is reconciliation, particularly between warring members of different faiths. The other is to expose and oppose the persecution of Christians in particular.”

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