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In the News
September 18, 2006
Brown in the News
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Twenty top women on leadership: Lessons we have learned
Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons is one of 20 women profiled as an outstanding leader and role model in this week’s cover story on women and leadership, the theme of a week-long collaboration between Newsweek and NBC. In addition to being part of the magazine article, President Simmons is scheduled to be interviewed on NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday, Sept. 19, and, later that day, will participate in a Newsweek-sponsored educational forum titled “How to Cultivate the Next Generation of Women Leaders” at New York’s Museum of Natural History.
Beijing life adds up for math genius
The Standard, China’s business newspaper, profiles David Mumford, who was in China to receive the Shaw Prize in Mathematics. “My father wanted me to be a diplomat,” Mumford told the newspaper. “He was in the British foreign service and founded a school in Tanganyika [now Tanzania] and also worked for the United Nations when it was founded. I inherited his international view of the world.'' Mumford’s oldest son is an artist, “and the two enjoy talking about the parallels between art and mathematics,” according to the interview. The article notes that Mumford “ would love to ultimately define the unexplained parallel rise in the early 20th century of Cubist art and abstract mathematical theory.”
Who really needs chemotherapy?
The vast majority of breast cancer patients who get chemotherapy don't actually need it. But since it's difficult to pick out the few who do, almost all patients receive chemotherapy.But that could be about to change. A number of new diagnostic tests that predict who is most likely to benefit from chemotherapy are now under development. "If these tests catch on, physicians will start to prescribe chemotherapy more sparingly and save women the toxicity of it," says Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine (Research) A. Raymond Frackelton, who is developing one such test.
Civil War letters inspire author
Brown University senior Chris Oates has written “Fighting for Home,” which will be published next month. Oates' book is about the Civil War, and draws on letters written from the front by his great-great-great grandfather. Oates wrote the book under the guidance of a retired Brown history professor, the late Jack Thomas, and later Associate Professor of History Michael Vorenberg, who also helped Oates find a publisher.
Donald Forsyth: At play in the field
Geotimes, a publication of the American Geological Institute, profiles Professor of Geology Donald Forsyth. An excerpt: “I just love data,” Forsyth says. “I get a thrill out of looking at patterns, or trying to make patterns out of chaos.” In a career spanning more than 30 years, Forsyth has sought to understand how Earth works - trying to solve “difficult puzzles,” he says, such as investigating the processes that form Earth’s ocean crust, drive heat flow within the mantle and control the motion of tectonic plates.
Rare surgery targets deep depression
Experimental surgery being done in Cleveland uses deep brain stimulation to help those suffering from severe depression. Research on this kind of surgery is being done at Brown University and at the Cleveland Clinic.
News and Notes Roundtable: Charter Schools; Bush seeks war support
Economics Professor Glenn Loury participates in a roundtable discussion about charter schools, and President Bush’s search for support for the Iraq war. Audio of the segment is available online here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6081155
VNA monitors keep patients connected at home
Visiting nurses can make a big difference for many patients and, for many, can help keep patients at home rather than in more expensive hospitals or nursing homes, says Assistant Professor of Medicine Lynn McNicoll.
Carved block may carry oldest New World writing
A carved block of stone rescued from quarry trash in Mexico may carry samples of 3,000-year-old writing – the oldest in the New World, researchers have announced. "This block shows a whole new dimension to the society, and opens up the possibility of accounting and recordkeeping," said Professor of Anthropology Stephen Houston, who worked on the study.
Slab writing may be oldest in Americas
A carved block of stone rescued from quarry trash in Mexico may carry samples of 3,000-year-old writing – the oldest in the New World. Professor of Anthropology Stephen Houston was among the archaeologists conducting the study of the rock.
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Any college will do
More than half of the CEOs of the 50 biggest U.S. companies by revenue graduated from public colleges and universities. Several of those CEOs comment for this article.
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Opting out of private school
Across the country, some schools and education professionals report seeing an increase in the number of parents who opt to send their high school children to public schools rather private. Among the possible reasons: Private-school tuition has grown sharply higher, while some colleges are boosting the number of students they take from public schools. At Brown, 58 percent of its Class of 2010 graduated from public schools, compared to 54 percent of the Class of 2005.
Paramecia adapt their swimming to changing gravitational force
Using a high-powered electromagnet, Brown physicists Karine Guevorkian and James Valles have created a topsy-turvy world for the single-celled paramecium. They have managed to increase, eliminate and even reverse the effects of gravity on the tiny protozoan, changing its swimming behavior and indirectly measuring its swimming force.