Weekly Bulletin
November 15, 1999
Vol. 89, No. 9
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Thinking about math
Real-world problems
Randall manages musical banquet
In print
Nassau Notes
Page one
In the news

Deadlines. All news, photos and calendar entries for the Bulletin that covers December 6 through 12 must be received in the Communications office no later than Wednesday, November 24.

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Sally Freedman
Associate editor:
   Caroline Moseley
Calendar and
production editor:
Carolyn Geller
Contributing writers:
   Justin Harmon,
   Ken Howard,
   Steven Schultz
   Denise Applewhite
Web edition:
Mahlon Lovett




Thinking About Math

Public lecture series draws students, professors, professionals, highschoolers
    It's Wednesday night, and A10 Jadwin is filling up fast.Well before the speaker is scheduled to start, there's not a seat to be had; nearly 200 students, professors, professionals and even local highschool students cram themselves into every bit of floor space.
    A large man with a wiry gray beard and a T-shirt printed with a design by M.C. Escher walks to the front of the hall: John Conway, John Von Neumann Professor in Applied and Computational Mathematics. With a brief quip about how he wasn't sure he'd have an audience, he begins to discuss the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes. (Photo by Peter Murphy) [>>more]

Real-world problems

PICASSO initiative fosters interdisciplinary research related to computer science
    When Jaswinder Singh was a graduate student at Stanford, his adviser encouraged his choice of research but warned him that it was a risky one.
    Singh spent many hours in the astrophysics department struggling with something called the N-body problem. The trouble was that his field wasn't astrophysics; it was computer science. [>>more]


Randall manages musical banquet

Concerts are like big dinner parties--except 800 people are coming," says University Concert Manager Nathan Randall. "Putting together an audience and performance is like orchestrating a successful banquet."
    As a one-time professional chef, Randall should know. But with more than 200 events a year to schedule in Alexander and Taplin auditoriums, he scarcely has time to crack a cookbook these days. Out of a white-siding building tucked behind a service station on Alexander Street, he manages the Friends of Music at Princeton and Princeton University Concerts, as well as parceling out space to other groupsfrom on campus and off, and not always musical. [>>more]


Field hockey. The Tigers defeated Virginia Commonwealth 5-1 November 1, Columbia 6-1 November 3 and Pennsylvania 4-0 November 5, clinch-ing a share of their sixth consecutive Ivy League title. (11-6, 6-1 Ivy)

Football. Princeton lost to Penn 41-13 November 6. (3-5, 1-4 Ivy)

Soccer. The men's team defeated Penn 1-0 November 6 for its first 10-win season since 1995, the last time it won the Ivy League championship. The women lost to Penn 1-0 November 6 but finished the regular season with their first 12-win season since 1989 and a berth in their third NCAA tournament, the first since 1983. (Men: 10-4-1, 5-1 Ivy; women: 12-4-1, 4-2-1 Ivy)


In the news

    From its lonely perch high above earth, NASA's orbiting Hubble Space Telescope is opening a view of the universe that humans could only dream about for thousands of years.
    Nearly 10 years after it was launched, Hubble is turning in discovery after discovery about how the cosmos works. The telescope is surpassing the expectations of even the astronomers who nursed it from concept in the 1970s to reality in the 1990s.
    The accolades are in stark contrast to the torrent of ridicule that greeted the telescope and haunted NASA shortly after Hubble was put into orbit 365 miles above Earth in April 1990. A defective mirror blurred the telescope's vision so badly that critics called Hubble an example of big science gone bad.
    But now the aging telescope is transforming even the way humans see themselves in the universe.
    "The scale of Hubble's images is so enormous and so incredible that it makes human events, even who wins the World Series, seem to be of no importance by comparison," says John Bahcall, a professor of natural sciences [now visiting lecturer with rank of professor in astrophysical sciences] at Princeton University who helped lead the push to get Hubble funded nearly three decades ago.

"A Decade of Wonders," by Paul Hoverstein,
USA Today, November 5