News at Princeton

Monday, Sept. 22, 2014
 Observatory_index

Each month, Princeton's Peyton Observatory offers guided, monthly viewings open to the public. From left to right, graduate students Chelsea Huang, Elisa Chisari and Munan Gong, all of whom are pursuing dissertations in astrophysical sciences and often serve as guides, stand in front of the Meade 12-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope during a recent session.

 

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Stargazing with strangers: Peyton Observatory offers guided viewings

The Peyton Observatory on Princeton University's campus opens its doors monthly for informal viewings of the night sky. On a recent, clear summer night, over two dozen strangers visited for their turn to glimpse distant planets, neighboring galaxies and other celestial bodies.

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Dalai Lama tickets for members of public available online Tuesday evening

Tickets for the general public to attend a lecture on the Princeton campus next month by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will be available on a first-come, first-served basis Tuesday evening through online registration.

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'Solid' light could compute previously unsolvable problems about the behavior of matter

Researchers at Princeton University have begun crystallizing light as part of an effort to answer fundamental questions about the physics of matter.

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Edward Nelson, nonconformist who sparked a quantum field theory revolution, dies at 82

Princeton University mathematician and professor emeritus Edward Nelson, whose contributions to analysis, probability and mathematical logic advanced all of those subjects and inspired much further research, died Sept. 10 in Princeton due to complications from lymphoma. He was 82.

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Fall foliage season may be later, but longer on warmer Earth

The fall foliage season in some areas of the United States could come much later and possibly last a little longer by the end of the century as climate change causes summer temperatures to linger later into the year, according to Princeton University researchers. The delay could result in a longer growing season that would affect carbon uptake, agriculture, water supplies and animal behavior, among many other areas.

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Princeton's commitment to access, diversity embodied in the Class of 2018

Princeton has enrolled its most diverse class in the history of the University, with a record 43 percent of the 1,313 students making up the Class of 2018 coming from various racial and ethnic backgrounds. 

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Q&A: The threat of ISIS

In a speech last week, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would lead a "broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat" of the Islamic State, known variously by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL. Writer B. Rose Huber of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs recently discussed Obama's plan and the threat of ISIS with Jacob Shapiro, associate professor of politics and international affairs at the Wilson School.

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Neutrino experiment that reaches for the sun has Princeton roots

Princeton University scientists and engineers were directly involved in the recent detection of an elusive subatomic particle forged in the sun's core, which was the crowning achievement of a 25-year international effort to design and build one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors in the world.

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Faculty approves changes to Princeton sexual misconduct policies and procedures

The Princeton faculty on Monday, Sept. 15, approved changes in the University's policies and procedures for addressing issues related to sexual misconduct. Revisions to incorporate the changes in the booklet Rights, Rules and Responsibilities will be brought to the Council of the Princeton University for consideration at its first regularly scheduled meeting of the year on Sept. 29.

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Will the real unemployment rate please stand up?

America's unemployment rate — most recently reported as 6.1 percent — has long been used to gauge the country's economic well-being. But a new working paper by Princeton University researchers highlights the difficulty in estimating the exact unemployment rate, though changes in the official measure still signal important movements in the economy.

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Student Fulbright winners to study and teach abroad

Ten members of Princeton's recently graduated Class of 2014, seven graduate students and five recent alumni have been awarded Fulbright grants to study or teach abroad for the 2014-15 academic year.

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Academic quality, affordability earn Princeton recognition in national and international rankings

Princeton University continues to be placed in a leading position by national and international college and university rankings for its strength of academic programs, student experience and overall value.

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PPPL scientists take key step toward solving a major astrophysical mystery

Magnetic reconnection in the Earth and sun's atmospheres can trigger geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and blackout power grids. In a new paper, scientists at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Princeton University have taken a key step toward understanding this unsolved problem in plasma astrophysics.

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His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to give public talk at Princeton University

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will visit Princeton University on Tuesday, Oct. 28, to deliver an address to the entire community and will meet with students and faculty to discuss the meaning of service.

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Back to school: Princeton students ready for a new year

Princeton University students will officially be back to school Wednesday, Sept. 10, with the first day of classes, following more than a week of orientation and welcome events for undergraduate and graduate students.

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Southern Ocean's role in climate regulation, ocean health is goal of $21 million federal grant

A six-year, $21 million program by Princeton University and 10 partner institutions will seek to make the importance and health of the Southern Ocean encircling Antarctica better known scientifically and publicly. The Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling program, or SOCCOM, will create a biogeochemical and physical portrait of the ocean using an expanded computational capacity and hundreds of robotic floats deployed around Antarctica.

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Undergraduate socioeconomic diversity working group issues recommendations

A working group on undergraduate socioeconomic diversity, chaired by Dean of the College Valerie Smith, has issued a broad set of recommendations designed to improve academic achievement and create a more inclusive and supportive campus climate for the benefit of all undergraduates. Initially appointed by former President Shirley M. Tilghman, the working group included five faculty members and six administrators representing various segments of the campus community.

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In one of nature's innovations, a single cell smashes and rebuilds its own genome

A study led by Princeton University researchers found that a pond-dwelling, single-celled organism has the remarkable ability to break its own DNA into nearly a quarter-million pieces and rapidly reassemble those pieces when it's time to mate. This elaborate process could provide a template for understanding how chromosomes in more complex animals such as humans break apart and reassemble, as can happen during the onset of cancer.

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Eisgruber urges students to fill Princeton story with meaning

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber welcomed the incoming Class of 2018 at Opening Exercises on Sunday, Sept. 7, urging students to start the first chapter of their Princeton story with a sense of adventure.

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Students honored at Opening Exercises

Princeton University celebrated the accomplishments of its students with the awarding of four undergraduate prizes at Opening Exercises on Sunday, Sept. 7.

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University updates guidelines for recent travelers to West Africa

Princeton University continues to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) travel and health advisories regarding the Ebola outbreak in parts of West Africa. The CDC now recommends that colleges and universities identify faculty, staff and students who have traveled to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone or Nigeria in the last 21 days to discuss their possible risk for becoming sick and provide instructions for health monitoring.

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Campus construction efforts include focus on sustainability and housing

Scattered among the peaceful wooded paths across the Princeton University campus, bulldozers and scaffolding hint at the many construction projects underway to support key initiatives such as sustainability, arts education, international experiences and housing.

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Faculty committee recommends changes in sexual misconduct policies, procedures

The Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy, an elected committee that also serves as the faculty membership of the executive committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC), is recommending changes in the University's policies and procedures for addressing issues related to sexual misconduct. 

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Early cerebellum malfunction hinders neural development, possible root of autism, theory suggests

Princeton University researchers offer a new theory that an early-life injury to the cerebellum disrupts the brain's processing of external and internal information and leads to "developmental diaschisis," wherein a loss of function in one brain region leads to problems in another. Applied to autism, cerebellar injury could hinder how other areas of the brain interpret external stimuli and organize internal processes.

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Coal's continued dominance of global industrialization must be made more vivid in climate change accounting

The world's accounting system for carbon emissions, run by the United Nations, disregards capital investments in future coal-fired and natural-gas power plants that will commit the world to several decades and billions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study from Princeton University and the University of California-Irvine.

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High school students embark on scientific journeys through Princeton summer program

Thirty-nine high school students conducted research at Princeton this summer through the University's Laboratory Learning Program.

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Student startups: Demo Day shows off entrepreneurial ventures

This year's presentations for eLab Demo Day marked a first for Princeton's student business accelerator— in addition to demonstrations on campus Aug. 11, the teams traveled to Manhattan the next day to pitch their ideas before an audience and an expert panel.

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FACULTY AWARD: Three researchers named Moore Materials Synthesis Investigators

Princeton University researchers Robert Cava, Loren Pfeiffer and Mansour Shayegan are among 12 scientists nationwide to be named Moore Materials Synthesis Investigators by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in Palo Alto, California. The program is part of the Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems (EPiQS) initiative, which has awarded a total of $20.6 million over five years to enable investigators to "dedicate substantial effort to discovery-driven research, such as investigative synthesis of new types of quantum materials." Cava, the Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry, Pfeiffer, a senior research scholar in electrical engineering, and Shayegan, a professor of electrical engineering, will receive $1.9 million each over the next five years. 

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FACULTY AWARD: Keohane receives APSA's James Madison Award

Robert Keohane, a professor of international affairs and acting faculty chair of the Master in Public Policy program at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, received the 2014 James Madison Award from the American Political Science Association (APSA). The award, given once every three years, "recognizes an American political scientist who has made a distinguished scholarly contribution to political science."

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FACULTY AWARD: Devenport named a 2014 Vallee Foundation Young Investigator

Danelle Devenport, a Princeton University assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, is one of four researchers nationwide to receive a 2014 Young Investigator Award from the Bert L and N Kuggie Vallee Foundation in Boston. The $250,000 award recognizes original and innovative biomedical research. Devenport, who studies how cells coordinate collective behaviors over extremely long distances, combines time-lapse imaging with biophysical approaches to understand the signals skin cells use to direct tissue organization and growth.

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FACULTY AWARD: Smith receives Academy of American Poets Fellowship

Tracy K. Smith, professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, has been awarded the 2014 Academy of American Poets Fellowship.

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