News at Princeton

Friday, Dec. 09, 2016
 What I think: Dan-el Padilla Peralta

Dan-el Padilla Peralta, a first-generation student who graduated from Princeton as salutatorian in 2006, joined the University as an assistant professor of classics earlier this year. His memoir, "Undocumented: A Dominican Boy's Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League," was published in 2015. In these musings, he weighs in on the power of books, baseball, rap music, the challenges of defining the word "citizen" and more. (Photo by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications)

 

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What I think: Dan-el Padilla Peralta

In these musings, taken from an interview, Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Class of 2006 and an assistant professor of classics, weighs in on the power of books, how reading ancient texts inspires him, baseball, rap music, the challenges of defining the word "citizen" and more.

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Monkey speak: Macaques have the anatomy, not the brain, for human speech

Researchers have found that monkeys known as macaques possess the vocal anatomy but not the brain circuitry to produce human speech. The findings suggest that human speech stems mainly from the unique evolution and construction of our brains, and is not linked to vocalization-related anatomical differences between humans and primates. Scientists have long debated if — and to what extent — differences between the human and primate vocal anatomy allow people to speak but not monkeys and apes.

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Dougherty to retire as director of Princeton University Press in 2017

Peter Dougherty, who has been director of the Princeton University Press since 2005 and over the past decade has led the Press in publishing books by a dozen Nobel Prize winners among many important titles, will retire at the end of December 2017.

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Anne Holton, Princeton alumna with career devoted to public service, named Baccalaureate speaker

Anne Holton, a Princeton alumna whose career has focused on advocating for families and children in Virginia, has been selected as the speaker for the University's 2017 Baccalaureate ceremony.

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Students summon Public Safety to surprise party, thanking officers for keeping campus safe

"Thank you for making Princeton a safe home." "Thank you for all you do 24/7." "I don't even know how to express my gratitude in words." "PSAFE RULEZ!" Those were just some of the sentiments of students who recently threw a party to show their appreciation for the University's Department of Public Safety, or "PSAFE," as students call campus police.

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Back to school: Community college professors learn in Princeton classes

Princeton University's Community College Faculty Program allows faculty members from 19 New Jersey institutions to audit Princeton courses in their areas of expertise. Three participants share what they're learning this semester.

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Board approves four faculty appointments

The Princeton University Board of Trustees has approved the appointment of four faculty members, including two full professors, one associate professor and one assistant professor.

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Six Princeton seniors awarded Schwarzman Scholarships for study in Beijing

Princeton seniors Jacob Cannon, Preston Lim, Samuel Maron, Emery Real Bird, Molly Reiner and Kevin Wong have been named Schwarzman Scholars. The Schwarzman Scholarship covers the cost of graduate study and living toward a one-year master's program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. 

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Princeton senior Sell receives Mitchell Scholarship to study in Ireland

Princeton University senior Ellie Sell has been named a George J. Mitchell Scholar to study gender, sexuality and culture at University College Dublin. Twelve Mitchell Scholarships were awarded to students nationwide by the nonprofit U.S.-Ireland Alliance based in Washington, D.C.

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International learning, research invigorated through strategic partnerships

One of the cornerstones of Princeton's focus on international research and learning has been its strategic partnerships with universities in Brazil, Germany and Japan. The partnerships with Humboldt University, the University of São Paulo and the University of Tokyo were established four years ago as part of Princeton's ongoing internationalization efforts.

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Jessica Lee named director of admission

Jessica Lee, who has served in senior admission positions at Princeton University and Barnard College, has been named director of admission at Princeton, effective immediately.

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Application opens for presenters at 2017 Princeton Research Day

Applications are being accepted for presenters at the 2017 Princeton Research Day, the second annual campus-wide celebration of research and creative endeavors by the University's undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and other nonfaculty researchers.

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Strengthening, preserving energy and water resources animates E-ffiliates meeting

Energy and environmental experts gathered at Princeton University Nov. 11 for the Princeton E-ffiliates Partnership's Fifth Annual Meeting to grapple with fundamental questions about how to build a stronger infrastructure and propose solutions for providing and using energy and water more efficiently.

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Behind the curtain: Scandal, tragedy, art and politics at the Bolshoi

"Bolshoi Confidential," a new book by Professor of Music Simon Morrison, is a richly detailed account of the Bolshoi Ballet, a crown jewel of Russian culture, considered an emblem of power by the government since its founding in 1776. "It is a tale about the kind of negative pressures that lead to the creation of great art," Morrison said. "A moral of the story is that in the Soviet experience there's something about immense censorship, repression and threat that leads to the production of masterpieces. The Bolshoi has been burned and rebuilt and almost liquidated numerous times, yet has produced some of the world’s greatest ballets, including 'Swan Lake.'"

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Q&A with Patten: The moral foundations of minority rights

In an increasingly diverse America, weighing the rights of the majority versus the rights of the minority sparks debate and disagreement, both in the realm of theory and in everyday life.  Princeton politics professor Alan Patten answers questions on the topic of minority rights and why they matter today.

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Workshop for graduate students in philosophy focuses on mentoring women

Nearly 50 graduate students from around the country and beyond gathered at Princeton University for "Athena in Action: A Networking and Mentoring Workshop for Graduate Student Women in Philosophy."

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Model could shatter a mystery of glass

Princeton University researchers have developed a computational model for creating a "perfect glass" that never crystallizes — even at absolute zero. The model provides a new way of thinking about glasses that may resolve aspects of glass that have puzzled scientists for decades.

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University kicks off holiday outreach service initiatives

Members of the University community have the opportunity to share the holiday spirit through a series of community service initiatives and special events planned for November, December and January. 

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Coalition seeks to protect internet from weaknesses of many 'connected' devices

An organization of academics and industry leaders released a report Nov. 22  that provides guidance on how to build security and privacy protections into the emerging internet of things (IoT).

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Whang named Princeton's next vice president for facilities

KyuJung Whang, vice president of infrastructure, properties and planning at Cornell University, has been named Princeton University's next vice president for facilities. Whang, who has 35 years of experience in facilities management, campus planning and architecture, will start at Princeton on Jan. 23.

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Schools remain a potential hotspot for measles transmission, even in the vaccine era

Princeton University-led research found that measles, one of the world's most contagious diseases, can spread in schools quickly unless vaccination rates are very high. The researchers used data from a 1904 measles outbreak in London to conduct one of the first examinations of how measles spreads at the school level.

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Heaney named vice president for advancement at Princeton University

Kevin Heaney, acting vice president for development who joined Princeton in 2015 after more than 20 years in fundraising leadership at other universities, has been named the University's first vice president for advancement, effective immediately.

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Alumni in the arts share career journeys

Princeton University alumni working in the arts share their career journeys and personal stories in the Lewis Center for the Arts' new profile series, Alumni POV. The series celebrates the accomplishments of arts alumni working in a broad range of disciplines, providing an intimate perspective on their daily lives and careers, in their own words.

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UPDATE: Princeton senior Robertson awarded Rhodes Scholarship

Princeton University senior Aaron Robertson has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Oxford. He is among the 32 American recipients of the prestigious fellowships, which fund two to three years of graduate study at Oxford.

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Art museum undertaking 'massive' digitization effort of artworks; Minor White's photography now available

The Princeton University Art Museum is undergoing a multi-year initiative to digitize its collections and archives for students, scholars, researchers and others. Over 97,000 artworks have been digitized, including more than 6,000 images and related photographic material by the American modernist Minor White.

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Yu-kung Kao, scholar of Chinese literature at Princeton and mentor to generations of students, dies at 87

Princeton University Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies Yu-kung Kao, a leading scholar of Chinese literature, died Saturday, Oct. 29, in Brooklyn, New York. He was 87 years old.

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Salganik explores the future of social science research and academic publishing

In his new book project, Princeton sociologist Matthew Salganik is exploring the future of social science research and academic publishing.

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Shared traits of abandoned gas, oil wells could aid cheaper, more effective cleanup

A research team that included Princeton scientists has identified the specific attributes of abandoned gas and oil wells that still leak significant amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The findings could help state governments prioritize well repairs by focusing on high-emitting abandoned wells and leaving non-emitting wells alone.

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Q&A: What a Trump presidency means for the Affordable Care Act

Princeton's top health care experts answer questions about the Affordable Care Act and the future of America's health care system following the election of Donald Trump.

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Students engage with social issues on Breakout Princeton trips

Each fall and spring break Princeton University students travel across the country to learn about critical social issues and engage in thoughtful dialogue and action as part of Breakout Princeton. This fall break Oct. 29-Nov. 4, five trips designed and led by Princeton students explored a wide range of topics, from refugee resettlement and immigrant health care, to the racial impacts of economic recession and navigating the health care system as transgender.

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Innovations with potential to benefit society on display at Celebrate Princeton Invention

The eighth annual Celebrate Princeton Invention, held Thursday, Nov. 10, honored over 350 Princeton faculty members, staff researchers and students who over the past year have made discoveries or advances in the natural sciences and engineering that have the potential to be developed into technologies valuable to the public.

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Pell-eligible students comprise 21 percent of Princeton's freshman class

Princeton University now has one of the highest percentages of Pell-eligible students among the nation's most selective colleges and universities, with 21 percent of the freshman Class of 2020 eligible for the federal grants that are awarded to low-income students. The percentage of Pell-eligible freshmen is triple that of the Class of 2008.

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Schor explores the universal language Esperanto in 'Bridge of Words'

Esther Schor, a professor of English, joined Princeton in 1986. Her scholarship focuses on two areas — British Romanticism, and religion and literature. She has also taught several courses in the Program in Judaic Studies. This academic year, she is team-teaching the yearlong course "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture," also known as the Humanities Sequence. For the past five years, Schor has been conversing with Esperantists (in Esperanto) around the world to research her new book, "Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the Dream of a Universal Language" (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2016). The book is a full history of the constructed language — from its linguistic mechanics to its core ideals that have survived into the digital age.

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Eisgruber, Princeton officials discuss town-gown interests at annual meeting

During a discussion with Princeton town officials Wednesday, Nov. 9, Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber focused on shared values between town and gown and how leaders can continue to work together to further common goals.

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Princeton students report growing awareness of resources, other data related to sexual misconduct

Princeton students reported an increased awareness of campus resources and information related to sexual misconduct, as well as a lower overall prevalence of inappropriate sexual behaviors during the 2015-16 academic year, according to results from the University's latest We Speak survey.

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Office of Sustainability celebrates decade of progress

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of Princeton University's Office of Sustainability, the hub that supports, monitors and connects initiatives across campus focused on cultivating positive global and local impacts in the environment. 

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Princeton to assist lower-income homeowners under tax litigation settlement

Princeton University will help lower-income Princeton residents pay their property tax bills under a settlement agreement that ends the litigation challenging the University's property tax exemptions. The litigation had been scheduled for trial beginning October 17.  

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American workers prefer set work schedules, but would take wage cuts to work from home

Affordable child care and flexible work schedules have all been topics of debate in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Yet, according to a new study by Princeton University and Harvard University, the average American worker is indifferent to flexible work schedules and instead prefers a set 40-hour workweek.

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University investigating racist emails

The Department of Public Safety is investigating the delivery of racist email messages that were sent to an undetermined number of people over the weekend. Other universities reported similar incidents.

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FACULTY AWARD: Giombi and Pretorius receive New Horizons in Physics Prizes

Princeton University faculty members Simone Giombi, an assistant professor of physics, and Frans Pretorius, a professor of physics, have each received a 2017 New Horizons in Physics Prize. The prize, which includes a $100,000 award, recognizes early-career researchers who have already produced important work in fundamental physics.

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FACULTY HONOR: Groth, Kang and Wood named AAAS Fellows

Three Princeton University faculty members have been named 2016 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for thier scientifically or socially distinguished work. Recognized from Princeton were Edward Groth, professor of physics, emeritus; Yibin Kang, the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Molecular Biology; and Eric Wood, the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. New fellows will be recognized during the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston in February.

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University contributions to Princeton town: 2016 summary

Summary of the many ways in which Princeton University currently contributes to and engages with the Princeton community. Submitted in a memo to the Princeton mayor and council on Nov. 5, 2016.

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