News at Princeton

Monday, Feb. 20, 2017
Peter Singer

Princeton's Peter Singer, one of the world's best known philosophers, answers questions about philosophy, teaching at Princeton and his latest book, "Ethics in the Real World." (Photo by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications)

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Q&A with Singer: A philosopher on his craft and practicing it at Princeton

Princeton's Peter Singer, one of the world's best known philosophers, answers questions about philosophy, teaching at Princeton and his latest book, "Ethics in the Real World."

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Three Princeton seniors, one alumna win Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Princeton University seniors Penina Krieger, Natasha Turkmani and Charlotte Williams, as well as Class of 2013 graduate Erica Cao, have been awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarships. The awards give outstanding students from outside the United Kingdom the opportunity to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge. The program was established in 2000 by a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Cambridge to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.

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Seniors Gold, Salazar named Pyne Prize winners

Princeton seniors Solveig Gold and Marisa Salazar have been named co-winners of the University's 2017 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the highest general distinction conferred on an undergraduate. They will be recognized at a luncheon during Alumni Day on campus Saturday, Feb. 25.

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Board approves seven faculty appointments

The Princeton University Board of Trustees has approved the appointments of seven faculty members.

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President Eisgruber provides update on 'state of the University'

Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber updated the campus community about progress on goals identified through the strategic planning process and reflected on issues facing the University in a letter sent today to faculty, staff and students. Eisgruber said his first President's Letter was an opportunity to highlight ongoing initiatives and discuss priorities for the coming year.

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Four win Jacobus Fellowship, top graduate student honor

Adam Lerner, Alexander "Sasha" Philippov, Henry Shapiro and Neereja Sundaresan have been named the winners of the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship, Princeton University's top honor for graduate students. The fellowships support their final year of study at Princeton and are awarded to one Ph.D. student in each of the four divisions (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering) whose work has exhibited the highest scholarly excellence.

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Princeton launches new hiring systems for staff, academic positions

Princeton recently launched a new career website and talent acquisition system for staff positions, supporting the University in recruiting a broader range of candidates and improving the experience for both applicants and hiring managers. At the same time, a new hiring application for faculty and academic professionals was introduced to better meet the needs of the academic community.

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How temperature guides where species live and where they'll go

A Princeton University-based study could prove significant in answering among the most enduring questions for ecologists: Why do species live where they do, and what are the factors that keep them there? The ranges of animals in the world's temperate mountain areas — often presumed to be determined by competition — may actually be determined more by temperature and habitat, the researchers report. The findings indicate that species living in temperate mountain habitats — particularly in the northern latitudes — could face even greater repercussions from climate change than previously thought.

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Princeton joins court challenge to federal immigration executive order

Princeton University and 16 other universities filed a friend-of-the-court brief Monday supporting a legal challenge to the Trump administration's Jan. 27 executive order on immigration.

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Wave of the future: Terahertz chips a new way of seeing through matter

Princeton University researchers have drastically shrunk the equipment for producing terahertz — important electromagnetic pulses lasting one millionth of a millionth of a second — to the size of a microchip. The simpler, cheaper generation of terahertz has potential for advances in medical imaging, communications and drug development.

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New Rutgers-Princeton center uses computational models to understand psychiatric conditions

A new center is bringing together researchers from Princeton and Rutgers universities to apply computational modeling to the understanding of psychiatric diseases. The Rutgers-Princeton Center for Computational Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, which will open its doors this month, aims to improve the diagnosis of mental disorders, better predict their progression and eventually aid in developing treatments.

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Students selected as 2017 Scholars in the Nation's Service

The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University has selected 10 students for the 2017 cohort of the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI).

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Studies point way to precision therapies for common class of genetic disorders

Two Princeton University studies are opening important new windows into understanding an untreatable group of common genetic disorders known as RASopathies that affect approximately one child out of 1,000 and are characterized by distinct facial features, developmental delays, cognitive impairment and heart problems. The findings could help point the way toward personalized precision therapies for these conditions.

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Members appointed to search committee for next dean of the faculty

Princeton University faculty members have been appointed to the search committee for the next dean of the faculty. Deborah Prentice, the Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, has served as dean of the faculty since 2014 and will succeed David Lee as provost of Princeton on July 1. Lee, professor of economics and public affairs, will return to full-time teaching and research.

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Race for profits: Taylor's research on '70s urban housing crisis exposes a familiar history

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor earned her doctorate and published her dissertation, "Race for Profit: Black Housing and the Urban Crisis in the 1970s," in 2013. She began as a faculty member at Princeton the following year, and she continues her work as an activist through her writing, lectures and community involvement. She is now writing a book about her housing research.

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In crowd wisdom, the 'surprisingly popular' answer can trump ignorance of the masses

Crowd wisdom tends to favor the most popular information, not necessarily the most correct — mass ignorance can cancel out a knowledgeable minority, resulting in the wrong answer becoming the most accepted. To improve wisdom-of-crowds surveys, Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed what they call the "surprisingly popular" algorithm, wherein the correct answer is that which is more popular than people predict.

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University launches new Timeline calendar system

Students, faculty and staff may use the new Princeton Timeline to get information about events, classes, deadlines and announcements all in one place. Timeline was developed by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and is available to members of the University community as a website or mobile app.

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Eisgruber, other university presidents ask President Trump to 'rectify or rescind' immigration order

Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber and 47 other American college and university presidents today sent a letter to President Trump urging him to "rectify or rescind the recent executive order closing our country's borders to immigrants and others from seven majority-Muslim countries and to refugees from throughout the world." "If left in place," the letters says, "the order threatens both American higher education and the defining principles of our country."

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Keeping it together: Invisible coating preserves iconic stone structures threatened by decay

The stone monuments of Italy's Certosa di Bologna cemetery have stood for more than two centuries as symbols of peace and eternity. But even stone does not last forever. So Enrico Sassoni, a visiting postdoctoral researcher in Princeton's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is working to protect the marble monuments and even make them stronger.

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Riccardo joins PPPL as head of engineering

Valeria Riccardo has joined the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory as the new head of engineering. She has more than 20 years of experience in project management, fusion design and analysis on two fusion devices in the U.K. that are similar to the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory's National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U).

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Will it rain? Monitoring program puts crucial info in hands of remotest farmers

Princeton professor Eric Wood and his team of Princeton engineers have deployed their advanced drought and flood risk monitoring program for environmentally vulnerable regions like Niger and other areas in Africa and in Latin America. The program assimilates weather data that are plentiful but hard to analyze for those on the ground.

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Framing a worldview: Students explore globalization at So Paulo Bienal

This fall semester, Princeton students in the course "Contemporary Art: The World Picture" examined how large-scale art exhibitions challenge and transform the way we look at the world. A key component of the class was a fall break trip to Brazil to visit the 32nd So Paulo Bienal.

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Prentice to succeed Lee as Princeton provost

Dean of the Faculty Deborah Prentice will take office as Princeton University's provost on July 1, succeeding Provost David Lee. Lee has decided to return to full-time teaching and research after serving since 2013 as the University's second-ranking officer.

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President Eisgruber issues statement on federal immigration executive order

Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber issued a statement to the University community Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, on the federal immigration executive order.

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University community engages in Month of Service

Month of Service is an opportunity to recognize the importance of engaging with others and to showcase the many ways Princeton students, staff and faculty serve the community and beyond.

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Smart talk: Stereotypes about 'brilliance' may set in for girls as early as age 6

By the age of 6, girls become less likely than boys to associate brilliance with their own gender. This could have an immediate impact on their interest level in activities and may have long-term effects, such as whether women feel confident pursuing careers in certain academic fields that "cherish brilliance," according to a new study conducted by researchers at Princeton University, New York University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. One of the researchers is Sarah-Jane Leslie, the Class of 1943 Professor of Philosophy at Princeton.

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Premature babies don't use sensory-prediction brain process that may be key to development

Babies born prematurely don't use their expectations about the world to shape their brains as babies born at full term do, important evidence that this neural process is important to development.

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Writing environmental ruin, or how to write an obituary for an embattled planet

In an effort to merge the humanities with environmental consciousness, Princeton University professors Gran Blix, associate professor of French and Italian, and Rob Nixon, professor of English and the Princeton Environmental Institute, use literature and the arts to bring the long-term natural and social fallout of environmental ruin to life for students.

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Agricultural fires in Brazil harm infant health, a warning for the developing world

Exposure to pollution from agricultural fires in the last few months of gestation leads to earlier birth and smaller babies, researchers at Princeton and Duke universities have found.

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Q&A with Centeno: The paradox of war

Princeton sociologist Miguel Centeno and co-author Elaine Enriquez trace the arc of war in the Western world in their new book "War and Society." Centeno answered questions about war and what drew him to the topic.

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Your 'anonymized' web browsing history may not be anonymous

Raising further questions about privacy on the internet, researchers from Princeton and Stanford universities have released a study showing that a specific person's online behavior can be identified by linking anonymous web browsing histories with social media profiles.

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Conference gives undergraduate women skills, inspiration to pursue physics careers

The 2017APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics(CUWiP) Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference was held at Princeton University the weekend of Jan. 13-15.

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Eisgruber, faculty explore global issues at World Economic Forum

A delegation of Princeton faculty members — led by President Christopher L. Eisgruber and including the University’s 2015 and 2016 Nobel laureates —took part in and led discussions on major global issues at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum that concluded Friday, Jan. 20, in Davos Switzerland.

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FACULTY HONOR: Tarnita named ESA Early Career Fellow

Corina Tarnita, a Princeton University assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a Princeton Environmental Institute associated faculty member, was among seven researchers nationwide to be named an Early Career Fellow of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Fellows will be honored during an awards ceremony in August.

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FACULTY AWARD: Spergel receives NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal

David Spergel, Princeton University's Charles A. Young Professor of Astronomy on the Class of 1897 Foundation and professor of astrophysical sciences, has received NASA's Exceptional Public Service Medal for service on various NASA panels, including the NASA Advisory Council. The medal is awarded to any non-government individual for important contributions to NASA projects, programs or initiatives.

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FACULTY AWARD: Philander receives Vetlesen Prize for unraveling El Nio's effects

S. George Philander, Princeton University's Knox Taylor Professor of Geosciences, will share the 2017 Vetlesen Prize for his work in uncovering the global scale of El Nio, the world's most powerful weather cycle. Established in 1959, the biennial prize is presented by Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and includes a $250,000 prize.

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