News at Princeton

Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016
 Daniel Marlow Satellite

Daniel Marlow, Princeton's Evans Crawford 1911 Professor of Physics, was one of two Princeton University scientists who set out four years ago to restore a Cold War-era radio satellite near the Jersey Shore. Now, the fully functional satellite is open to Princeton students, amateur radio enthusiasts and the public.


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Cold War-era satellite dish, restored by Princeton scientists, becomes teaching tool

Two Princeton University scientists set out four years ago to restore a Cold War-era radio satellite near the Jersey Shore that had become immobilized by rust, infested by wasps and enmeshed in weeds. Now, the fully functional satellite — which can be operated from Princeton's Jadwin Hall — is open to Princeton students, amateur radio enthusiasts and the public as it sweeps the skies for signals from orbiting satellites and astrophysical objects such as dying stars.

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Hurricanes are worse, but experience, gender and politics determine if you believe it

Despite ample evidence that Atlantic hurricanes are getting stronger, Princeton University-led research found that people's view of future storm threat is based on their hurricane experience, gender and political affiliation. This could affect how policymakers and scientists communicate the increasing deadliness of hurricanes as a result of climate change.

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In unstable times, the brain reduces cell production to help cope

A Princeton University and National Institutes of Health study suggests that our response to stressful situations originates from structural changes in our brain that allow us to adapt to turmoil. Adult rats with disruptions in their social hierarchy produced far fewer new neurons, and reacted to the surrounding upheaval by favoring the company of familiar rats. The research is among the first to show that adult brain-cell growth, or neurogenesis, shapes social behavior and adaptation, and that responses to instability may be more measured than scientists have come to expect.

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New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design

Princeton University researchers have developed a new computer chip that promises to boost the performance of data centers that lie at the core of numerous online services such as email and social media. Called "Piton" after the metal spikes driven by rock climbers into mountainsides to aid in their ascent, the chip was presented Aug. 23 at Hot Chips, a symposium on high-performance chips held in Cupertino, California.

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Community and civic engagement internships provide opportunity to explore careers in service

This summer, more than 160 undergraduate students are spending their breaks interning at public service and nonprofit organizations in over 30 cities in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, Ireland and France as part of the Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS) program.

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LEDA summer at Princeton guides high school students on path for success

One hundred high school juniors from across the country recently spent seven weeks on Princeton's campus for the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) program's Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute. LEDA is an independent nonprofit dedicated to developing the academic and leadership potential of exceptional public high school students from low-income backgrounds.

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Princetonians earn three medals at Rio Olympics, including water polo gold

Three of the 13 Princeton students and alumni competing won medals at the 2016 Olympic Games that concluded Sunday, Aug. 21, in Rio de Janeiro. Rising senior Ashleigh Johnson won a gold medal with the U.S. women's water polo team, Gevvie Stone of the Class of 2007 won a silver medal in women's individual rowing for Team USA, and Diana Matheson of the Class of 2008 won a bronze medal on the Canadian women's soccer team.

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#TellUsTigers: Princeton tales in 2,200 characters or less

With people scrolling through their social media feeds faster than Michael Phelps swimming the 200m individual medley, it may seem counterintuitive to engage in so-called long-form or narrative social media. Will anyone read a post that's more than 140 characters? The answer, it turns out, is yes — if it tells a good story. Why? Because storytelling is part of what it means to be human. And every human being has a story to tell. In its #TellUsTigers campaign, launched in February 2016, Princeton University is using Instagram — designed to marry great visuals with engaging text — to introduce the world to Princetonians, one post at a time.

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Pioneer of global optimization Christodoulos Floudas dies

Princeton University emeritus professor Christodoulos "Chris" Floudas, who applied the disciplines of mathematics and chemical engineering to complex systems that include protein folding and fuel refining, died Aug. 14 while vacationing with his family in Greece. He was 56.

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Demo Day emphasizes intersection of education and entrepreneurship

At the fifth-annual Demo Day presented by Princeton University's Keller Center, eight teams of student entrepreneurs showcased their startup ideas in Princeton Aug. 9 and in Manhattan Aug. 10. Teams presented technologies they worked to refine during the Keller Center's 10-week 2016 eLab Summer Accelerator Program.

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International interns spend transformative summer at Princeton

Fourteen international undergraduates spent this summer at Princeton as part of the International Student Internship Program (ISIP). The pilot program allows promising young scholars from institutions abroad to work with Princeton faculty and to experience the University's unique academic and research environment. Students came from Brazil, China, India and Slovenia, and were mentored by professors in computer science, ecology and evolutionary biology, engineering, molecular biology and physics.

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Wang looks for order in chaos — in neuroscience, political polling and redistricting

Whether he is working to better understand the brain region known as the cerebellum, crunching numbers on dozens of polls to present a clear picture of the presidential race or hunting for evidence of partisan intent in redistricting, Princeton's Sam Wang says he is always looking to find order in the chaos of large amounts of data.

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A Princeton moment in Peru: Alumni take up top government posts

Peru's new president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, and its new foreign minister, Ricardo Luna, are both University alumni.

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With droughts and downpours, climate change feeds Chesapeake Bay algal blooms

A study led by Princeton University researchers shows that weather patterns tied to climate change may increase the severity of algal blooms in Chesapeake Bay as extreme rainfall cycles flush larger amounts of nitrogen from fertilizer and other sources into the Susquehanna River. The researchers found that a spike in rainfall can increase nitrogen levels in the bay even if the amount of fertilizer used on land remains the same, leading to explosive algae growth that poisons humans and wildlife, and devastates fisheries.

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Craig Arnold: Perspective on the allure and reach of materials science

Craig Arnold, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, became director of the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) Jan. 1. The institute recently installed cutting-edge imaging equipment, including a microscope that is capable of imaging individual atoms and is one of only four of its kind in the world. In the control room of a new scanning electron microscope, Arnold recently answered questions about materials science and engineering at Princeton.

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Teachers take on summer QUEST to improve science education

More than 20 secondary school teachers from New Jersey schools came to the Princeton campus July 11-15 for QUEST, a hands-on program that helps teachers enhance their knowledge of science, math and technology.

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Barton, Lunney named co-directors of Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative

Frederick (Rick) Barton and Kathryn R. (Kit) Lunney have been named co-directors of the Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative (SINSI) at Princeton University 's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

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Researchers flag hundreds of new genes that could contribute to autism

Princeton University researchers developed a machine-learning program that scoured the human genome to identify 2,500 genes that may contribute to autism spectrum disorder. The results vastly expand on the 65 autism-risk genes currently known.

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Graves-Bayazitoglu named director of McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning

Rebecca Graves-Bayazitoglu has been appointed director of Princeton University's McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning and associate dean of the college. She began her new position July 18.

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Hampton joins Wilson School as director of graduate career services and alumni relations

Barbara Hampton, a seasoned career services professional, joins Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs as director of graduate career services and alumni relations on Aug. 15.

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Thirteen Princetonians to compete in Rio Olympics for USA, Canada

Two Princeton students and 11 alumni athletes are heading to Rio de Janeiro to participate in the 2016 Olympic Games opening Friday, Aug. 5. Three University coaches will also be at the games.

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Conception timed with periods of low mosquito activity could reduce Zika virus infection

Princeton University research suggests that women could prevent contracting the mosquito-borne Zika virus while pregnant by timing the first months of pregnancy with seasonal declines in mosquito activity. The paper is the first to suggest that women in the countries affected by the Zika virus epidemic can still safely pursue motherhood.

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FACULTY AWARD: Bassler receives Max Planck Research Award

Bonnie Bassler, Princeton University's Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology and department chair, is one of two recipients of the 2016 Max Planck Research Award. Bassler was recognized for her "major role in the discovery that Earth’s most ancient unicellular organisms communicate with one another via chemical signalling molecules," a process known as quorum sensing. Presented by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society, the award honors scientists for their pioneering research into the sensory perception of organisms. Awardees receive 750,000 euros to fund future projects with colleagues in Germany and abroad.

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