News at Princeton

Wednesday, March 01, 2017
 Princeton Profiles: Naoum Fares Marayati

Sophomore Naoum Fares Marayati, a psychology major from Syria and North Carolina, stays busy studying psychology, advising students in Forbes College, singing in an a cappella group and exploring new interests. (Video still from Danielle Alio, Office of Communications)

 

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Princeton Profiles: Naoum Fares Marayati, student in the service of humanity

Sophomore Naoum Fares Marayati is taking in as much of his Princeton experience as he can. When the psychology major is not studying for his next class, you may find him guiding a tour in the Princeton University Art Museum, tutoring at the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, singing with the Umqombothi a cappella group or hosting a study break at Forbes College, his favorite community on campus.

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Asian pollution, heat waves worsen US smog

An influx of pollution from Asia in the western United States and more frequent heat waves in the eastern U.S. are responsible for the persistence of smog in these regions over the past quarter century despite laws curtailing the emission of smog-forming chemicals from automobile tailpipes and factories.

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Lead dressed like gold: Laser-altered molecules cast alchemy in a different light

Since the Middle Ages, alchemists have sought to transmute elements, the most famous example being the long quest to turn lead into gold. Now, Princeton University theorists have proposed a different approach to this ancient ambition — just make one material behave like another. The researchers demonstrate that any two systems can be made to look alike, even if just for the smallest fraction of a second.

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Pilot programs build bridges, add diversity for promising scholars interested in graduate study

As part of Princeton University's ongoing efforts to increase diversity and inclusion, three academic departments have created pilot programs that build bridges between undergraduate coursework and doctoral programs for promising young scholars from underrepresented backgrounds.  

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Alumni Day honorees Kuczynski, Schmidt stress solutions for global challenges

The recipients of Princeton's top alumni awards underscored solutions for the political and technological challenges of today and the future at the University's annual Alumni Day on Saturday, Feb. 25. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, president of Peru, spoke of a new age in Latin America, while Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet Inc., was positive about the power of technology to solve societal problems.

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Princeton-Intel collaboration breaks new ground in studies of the brain

A collaboration between researchers at Princeton and Intel has enabled rapid progress on the ability to decode digital brain data, scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to reveal how neural activity gives rise to learning, memory and other cognitive functions.

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Claiborne receives Luce Scholarship for internship in popular art in Asia

Princeton senior Monique Claiborne has been awarded a Luce Scholarship that will allow her to spend the next year in Asia. She hopes to pursue an internship in the entertainment business in Seoul, South Korea, such as at a record label, film production studio or arts magazine.

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John Mather, remembered as a 'great mathematician,' dies at 74

Princeton University Professor of Mathematics John Mather, remembered as a "great mathematician" with a reserved and pleasant demeanor, died Jan. 28 of complications from prostate cancer at his home in Princeton. He was 74.

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Worms farm germs: Discovery illuminates complex natural relationships

Princeton University researchers have found that the roundworms Caenorhabditis elegans have a sure-fire method of ensuring a steady supply of a bacteria they eat — they grow their own. The worms carry the bacteria Escherichia coli along with them, and drop bacteria along the way to create thriving new bacterial colonies that the worms later return to "harvest" and eat.

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Medical innovations, smart sensors and more impress judges at Innovation Forum

At this year's Innovation Forum at Princeton, Robert Pagels had three minutes to pitch his team's new method to cram several months' worth of medicine into a single injection.

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Schmidt Fund awards go to projects with transformative potential

Three projects with the potential for broad impacts in science and technology have been selected to receive support from the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund.

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SIFP helps first-gen, low-income students thrive at Princeton

Fifteen percent of Princeton freshmen are among the first in their families to attend college, and 21 percent are eligible for federal Pell grants for low-income students. Twelve years ago, 6 percent were first-gen and 7 percent were Pell-eligible. This is where the Scholars Institute Fellows Program (SIFP) comes in. SIFP is among various University resources that empower undergraduates, particularly those from first-gen and low-income backgrounds, to thrive at Princeton. The program was launched by the Office of the Dean of the College (ODOC) in fall 2015 to provide mentorship opportunities, academic enrichment, and a support network of students, faculty and staff.

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Social exclusion leads to conspiratorial thinking, study finds

Recent polls have shown that many white, working-class people in America feel pushed out by society, a reason why many voted for President Donald Trump. Many of these supporters latched onto misinformation spread online, especially stories that justified their own beliefs. New research may show why so many were willing to believe exaggerated and misleading reports

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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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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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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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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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FACULTY AWARD: Lisanti named 2017 Cottrell Scholar

Mariangela Lisanti, a Princeton University assistant professor of physics, was among 24 early-career scientists nationwide to be named a 2017 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Lisanti received the $100,000 award for her project, "Confronting the Dark Matter Paradigm: New Approaches for Direct and Indirect Detection."

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FACULTY AWARD: Six Princeton faculty named 2017 Sloan Fellows

Six Princeton University faculty members were among the 126 researchers from the United States and Canada named as 2017 Sloan Research Fellows. Awarded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the $60,000 fellowships recognize promising early-career scientists who have been nominated by their colleagues. Recipients can use the grants as they wish to further their research.

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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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