News at Princeton

Tuesday, Sept. 02, 2014
Sinfonia Allie Lichterman

Princeton University students in Sinfonia joined forces this spring with middle school students in the Community House After School Academy to play and discuss music. Above, history major Allie Lichterman of the Class of 2016 talks about getting the two groups together.

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Video feature: Music unites University and middle school students

This spring, Princeton University students found common ground with Princeton-area middle school students over a shared love of music. The two groups, from Princeton University Sinfonia and Community House After School Academy, met once a week to play their instruments and learn from one another.

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Early cerebellum injury 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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University has issued West Africa travel advisory

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recent travel advisory for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to the ongoing Ebola outbreak, Princeton University will not support undergraduate or graduate student travel to these three countries. Faculty and staff planning to travel to Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone are strongly encouraged to contact Employee Health Services prior to travel.

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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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Feeney named chair of Council of the Humanities

Denis Feeney, the Giger Professor of Latin and professor of classics, has been appointed chair of the Council of the Humanities. Feeney is also director of the Program in Humanistic Studies and the Stewart Seminars in Religion.

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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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Liu is director of new Princeton Center in Beijing

Jin Liu, who has extensive experience working with universities and other organizations in China and the United States, has been appointed the director of the new Princeton Center in Beijing. The center, which launched operations this summer, supports Princeton faculty, students and staff studying and conducting research in China.

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Laser device may end pin pricks, improve quality of life for diabetics

Princeton University researchers have developed a way to use a laser to measure people's blood sugar, and, with more work to shrink the laser system to a portable size, the technique could allow diabetics to check their condition without pricking themselves to draw blood.

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Lighting improvement project will enhance campus sustainability

Princeton University is making campus lighting more sustainable and efficient one fixture at a time. Through the Lighting Efficiency Upgrade Program, the University will convert more than 100,000 fixtures to light-emitting diode (LED) technology in buildings across campus. The improvements will significantly reduce carbon emissions, promote cost savings and limit waste.

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Bubbling down: Discovery suggests surprising uses for common bubbles

Anyone who has ever had a glass of fizzy soda knows that bubbles can throw tiny particles into the air. But in a finding with wide industrial applications, Princeton researchers have demonstrated that the bursting bubbles push some particles down into the liquid as well.

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Investigation finds no evidence to support allegations of animal mistreatment

An investigation by Princeton University has found no evidence to support an animal rights group's allegations last month that an animal was mistreated at the University.

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Video chat features Princeton graduate aiding Ebola response

Raphael Frankfurter, a 2013 Princeton graduate and executive director of the nonprofit group Wellbody Alliance, will participate in a live video chat at noon EDT Monday to discuss the group's response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

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High school students get a taste of Nigerian culture with college prep

On a recent July morning, 70 local high school students immersed themselves in Nigerian history and culture through film, food and discussion on Princeton University's campus. This event was one of many activities offered to these students this summer as part of the Princeton University Preparatory Program, a multiyear, tuition-free institute that prepares low-income, high-achieving students from Princeton-area school districts for admission to and success in college.

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A husband's declining health could put Taiwanese women at risk for health issues

The death of a spouse undoubtedly brings with it stress, anxiety and uncertainty. Now, a report by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs quantifies this stress, showing how a husband's declining health could put Taiwanese women at risk for health issues.

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Bhargava receives Fields Medal for influential mathematicians under 40

Princeton University mathematician Manjul Bhargava was awarded the 2014 Fields Medal, one of the most prestigious awards in mathematics, in recognition of his work in the geometry of numbers. The International Mathematical Union (IMU) presents the medal every four years to researchers under the age of 40 based on the influence of their existing work and on their "promise of future achievement."

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Wild sheep show benefits of putting up with parasites

In the first evidence that natural selection favors an individual's infection tolerance, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh have found that an animal's ability to endure an internal parasite strongly influences its reproductive success. The finding could provide the groundwork for boosting the resilience of humans and livestock to infection.

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Faculty committee recommends modifications in Princeton assessment and grading policies

An ad hoc faculty committee that President Christopher L. Eisgruber appointed last fall to review the undergraduate grading policy that Princeton University adopted in 2004 has recommended that the University remove numerical targets from the policy and that the numerical guidelines be replaced with grading standards developed and articulated by each department.

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Geography matters: Model predicts how local 'shocks' influence U.S. economy

A team of economists including Esteban Rossi-Hansberg of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs have developed a model that can measure the widespread effects of local economic fluctuations, such as the closure of a major airport or a sudden productivity boost in a core industry.

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Build it and they will come: Princeton architecture at the Venice Biennale

This year's Venice Architecture Biennale, an international showcase of trends and research, showcases the work of a number of Princeton faculty and students. It marks the greatest number of invitations Princeton has received to participate in the Biennale, reflecting the University's strength in pioneering research.

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University Place detour to begin Aug. 2

Starting on Saturday, Aug. 2, University Place will be closed to through traffic from College Road to Alexander Street due to construction of the Princeton University Arts and Transit Project. This closure is expected to remain in place until the end of August. Access for vehicles traveling to the Wawa customer parking lot will be maintained via the roundabout on Alexander Street.

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Princeton expands online learning efforts to NovoEd platform

Princeton University will broaden its online teaching and learning efforts this fall, using new approaches and technologies including the NovoEd platform to enable students on campus to collaborate with others taking a class remotely.

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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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FACULTY AWARD: Bialek, Murthy, Shaevitz awarded early concept grants for brain research

Princeton faculty members William Bialek and Mala Murthy have been awarded Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to enable new technologies to better understand how complex behaviors emerge from the activity of brain circuits. Each award is for $300,000 over a two-year period and is part of NSF's investment in support of President Barack Obama's BRAIN Initiative. Bialek, the John Archibald Wheeler/Battelle Professor in Physics and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, received the award as primary investigator in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Murthy, an assistant professor of molecular biology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, received the award as primary investigator in the Directorate for Biological Sciences, along with co-principal investigators Bialek and Joshua Shaevitz, an associate professor of physics and the Lewis-Sigler Intitute for Integrative Genomics. Thirty-six awards totaling $10.8 million were given. Most of the awarded projects involve interdisciplinary teams of investigators in support of a total of 76 researchers.

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FACULTY AWARD: George to be recognized for commitment to religious freedom

Robert George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and a professor of politics, has been selected to receive the 2014 Ahmadiyya Muslim Humanitarian Award for his "tireless commitment to religious freedom." George, who is also vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, will be honored at the group's convention Aug. 16 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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