News at Princeton

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
 NSTX-U dedication Secretary of Energy on site at PPPL

Scientists, Princeton University administrators and policymakers, including U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (pictured), came out May 20 to dedicate the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory's National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX-U), an upgraded spherical tokamak fusion reactor.

 

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PPPL dedicates upgraded fusion reactor, a powerful new 'star on Earth'

Scientists, policymakers and Princeton University administrators gathered May 20 to dedicate the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory's National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX-U), an upgraded spherical tokamak fusion reactor. Now the most powerful facility of its kind in the world, the NSTX-U allows researchers around the world to explore how to create fusion reactions that could provide society with clean, reliable, safe and abundant power.

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Ronald Davidson, past PPPL director, pioneering physicist, author and professor, dies

Ronald C. Davidson, a pioneering plasma physicist for 50 years and former Princeton University professor of astrophysical sciences who directed the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) during a crucial period of its history, died May 19 in Cranbury, New Jersey, from complications of pneumonia. He was 74.

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Four faculty members honored for excellence in mentoring graduate students

Four Princeton University faculty members will receive Graduate Mentoring Awards from the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning for their outstanding work with graduate students. They are Michael Celia, the Theodora Shelton Pitney Professor of Environmental Studies and professor of civil and environmental engineering; Harriet Flower, a professor of classics; Kenneth Norman, a professor of psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute; and Lawrence Rosen, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Anthropology. The awardees will be honored during the Graduate School's Hooding ceremony Monday, May 30, on Cannon Green.

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Calls for action, promising energy solutions emerge from Andlinger symposium

The Building Opening Celebration and Symposium at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment held May 18-20 featured the center's jointly appointed faculty who highlighted their research in sustainable energy, as well as industry and government leaders outlining their visions for the future of energy and the environment.

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Q&A: Does the 'Hispanic Paradox' still exist?

Latinos in the United States typically live longer than whites, but current health trends suggest the gap between U.S. Latinos and whites may soon be shrinking,

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Alumni excited to return for Princeton Reunions 2016

Genevieve Ryan has been planning her class' first major Reunion since they graduated from Princeton five years ago. And with just days until Reunions 2016, Ryan is excited to see the work of class alumni volunteers come to life. Ryan will be among the 25,000 alumni and guests expected to return to campus Thursday through Sunday, May 26-29.

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Lynn Loo appointed director of Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo, the Theodora D. '78 and William H. Walton III '74 Professor in Engineering and professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University, has been appointed director of the Andlinger Center of Energy and the Environment, effective July 1. Loo ends her term as acting vice dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and she succeeds founding director Emily Carter, who has been appointed dean of engineering.

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Liquid order: Fluid self-organizes into structure that controls cell growth and health

Although known since the 1830s as a round, dark spot in a cell's nucleus, only recently has the nucleolus gotten its full due. Scientists, including research conducted by the lab of Clifford Brangwynne, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton, have learned that besides building a cell's protein factories, this specialized subunit, or organelle, serves more broadly as a control center for cellular growth and health.

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Salutatorian Kim fuses languages, creative writing and faith

A love of words has shaped Esther Kim's experience as a Princeton student, from writing fiction to teaching English to schoolchildren in Guatemala. Kim, an English major from Marietta, Georgia, was named salutatorian for the Class of 2016. She will follow the University tradition of delivering a speech in Latin at Commencement on Tuesday, May 31.

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Literature, theater illuminate valedictorian Platt's 'Princeton story'

Early in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, takes a three-mile walk. It is an outing that reveals a lot about her character, and more than 200 years since the book's publication, is an event that captured the scholarly attention of a Princeton student. Cameron Platt, an English major who is also earning a certificate in theater, used Elizabeth's walk as the seed for her senior thesis, part of her own academic journey that led to her being named the valedictorian of the Class of 2016. She will deliver an address at the University's Commencement ceremony on May 31.

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Princeton to honor four outstanding New Jersey secondary school teachers

Princeton University will honor four outstanding New Jersey secondary school teachers at its 2016 Commencement on Tuesday, May 31.

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Princeton senior Hayden receives Witherspoon Scholarship to study in Scotland

Princeton University senior Sonya Hayden has been awarded a Witherspoon Scholarship to study theater at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Established last spring, the scholarship honors the historic ties between Princeton and Edinburgh, highlighting the role of John Witherspoon at both institutions, and is awarded annually to a Princeton senior. Hayden is expected to begin her studies at Edinburgh in September.

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University celebrates Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment with ceremony, symposium

Eight years after its founding, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment celebrated its new home Wednesday, May 18, and kicked off a three-day symposium with leading experts from science, technology, industry and government. 

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Q&A: Brazil's president was impeached. Now what?

John Londregan, professor of politics and international affairs, answers questions about the impeachment of Brazil's president and how it will affect Brazil going forward.

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Elizabeth Erickson named director for disability services

Elizabeth Erickson, who has worked in Princeton's Office of Disability Services (ODS) for nearly 10 years, has been named director for disability services at the University.

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Ralph Freedman, literary theorist and 'genuine mentor,' dies at 96

Ralph Freedman, professor of comparative literature, emeritus, at Princeton University, died May 5 of natural causes at his home in Decatur, Georgia. He was 96.

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250th Anniversary Fund supports innovation in undergraduate education

Twenty-two faculty proposals to develop new classes or redesign existing courses have received funding this year through Princeton University's 250th Anniversary Fund for Innovation in Undergraduate Education.

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Eight students win 2016 Spirit of Princeton Award

Eight students have been named winners of the 2016 Spirit of Princeton Award, honoring Princeton University undergraduates for positive contributions to campus life. The award recognizes those who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the undergraduate experience through dedicated efforts in student organizations, athletics, community service, religious life, residential life and the arts.

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Princeton part of $40 million Simons Observatory collaboration to investigate the early universe

Princeton University researchers will have an integral role in the Simons Observatory, a new astronomy facility established with a $38.4 million grant from the Simons Foundation. The observatory will investigate cosmic microwave background radiation to better understand the physics and structure of the universe. The observatory's project manager will be located at Princeton, and Princeton faculty will oversee the development, design, testing and manufacture of many of the observatory's camera components.

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Senior thesis: Exploring the emergence of Cuban consumerism

Dennisse Calle found the topic for her senior thesis along a Havana street, in the back of a stall that sells pirated movies and music.

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More than 1,200 new planets confirmed using new technique for verifying Kepler data

Scientists from Princeton University and NASA have confirmed that 1,284 objects observed outside Earth's solar system by NASA's Kepler spacecraft are indeed planets. The researchers used an automated technique developed at Princeton that allows scientists to efficiently determine if a Kepler signal is caused by a planet. It is the largest single announcement of new planets to date and more than doubles the number of confirmed planets discovered by Kepler so far.

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Mackey and Wachtel receive Behrman Award for the humanities

Princeton professors Steven Mackey and Michael Wachtel have received the University's Howard T. Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities. 

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Princeton Research Day highlights work from opera to plasma

Frist Campus Center was the center of Princeton University's research universe Thursday afternoon as more than 150 undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers presented their work at the first Princeton Research Day.  

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More than 40 diversity task force initiatives completed or in progress

Princeton University has made significant progress during the past year to foster a more inclusive campus climate, and continues to implement new programs and practices related to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. In May 2015, a Special Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion endorsed more than 40 strategies to improve the campus environment. A progress report on the task force's recommendations notes that, a year later, all of the recommended actions have begun and many are complete.

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Fung Fellows to focus on the 'International Society'

Six outstanding early career scholars from around the world have been named the fourth cohort of the Fung Global Fellows at Princeton University. They will arrive on campus this fall to begin a year of research, writing and collaboration.

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Students in policy task force study migrant crisis in Europe

Every year citizens flee their homelands to escape political instability, violent conflicts, environmental degradation and grinding poverty. In 2015 alone, roughly 1 million migrants sought a more secure future within the European Union. Over the past few months, students in a Princeton University undergraduate policy task force have been studying the challenges EU leaders face in dealing with the migrant influx — and developing potential solutions.

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Price explores Cuban literature and culture in 'Planet/Cuba'

Rachel Price, an associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese who is also affiliated with the Program in Media and Modernity, joined Princeton in 2009. Her scholarship focuses on Latin American, Caribbean and particularly Cuban literature and culture; media; poetics; empire; and ecocriticism. In her new book, "Planet/Cuba" (2015, Verso Books), Price addresses contemporary literature as well as conceptual, digital and visual art from Cuba that engages questions of environmental crisis, new media and new forms of labor and leisure.

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Unique Pluto, solar wind interactions similar to those of larger planets

The first analysis of Pluto's interaction with the ubiquitous space plasma known as the solar wind found that Pluto has some unique and unexpected characteristics that are less like a comet and more like larger planets.

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Faculty experts from diverse fields explore impact of climate change on children

The negative effects of climate change on the world's children and possible responses brought together two Princeton researchers from very different fields to contribute to the new issue of The Future of Children, a journal that promotes effective policies and programs for children.

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Princeton Prize honors high school students for promoting understanding, respect

Thirty high school students from around the United States have been named recipients of the 2016 Princeton Prize in Race Relations. The students were honored April 29-30 during the annual Princeton Prize Symposium on Race held on the Princeton University campus.

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Putting on a party: Class of 2016 escorts senior citizens to centenarian prom

With their senior theses turned in and graduation around the corner, Princeton's senior class is making some time to celebrate with a prom — and with dates five times their age. The Class of 2016 partnered with the assisted living facility Brandywine Living at Princeton on a Centenarian Senior Prom. Nine guests who were at least 100 years old and an additional 15 "junior" residents who were 90 years or older attended the event with about 30 University students as their escorts.

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Eisgruber selects 'Our Declaration' for Pre-read

Before arriving for Orientation in September, members of Princeton's Class of 2020 will read "Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in the Defense of Equality" by political philosopher Danielle Allen.

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Welcome website for Class of 2020 available

Incoming students and their families can find important information about attending Princeton via the welcome website, Your Path to Princeton.

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Freshman seminar captures the hard work, tough calls of drug development

The freshman seminar "Drug Discovery: From Snake Venoms to Medicines" draws from case studies and real-life events to provide students with an idea of the effort, information and moral quandaries behind treating disease, from drug development to delivery and access.

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Author and alumnus Barron donates papers to Princeton Library

The award-winning American author and conservationist Thomas A. Barron, a 1974 Princeton alumnus and a former University trustee, has donated his literary papers to the Princeton University Library. The T. A. Barron Papers will be preserved in the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.

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Herrera bridges Latinx culture and popular performance at Princeton

Brian Herrera, an assistant professor of theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts, came to Princeton in 2012 from the University of New Mexico, where he taught world theater history and performance theory. His 2015 book, "Latin Numbers: Playing Latino in Twentieth-Century U.S. Popular Performance," has received wide acclaim, including the George Jaena Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism.

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Student winners read their 'creative reactions' to classical music in pre-concert event

The four winners of the second annual Creative Reactions Contest — an initiative of Princeton University Concerts (PUC) — do have one thing in common: they all wrote poems. Over the course of six months, the 80 Princeton students who entered the contest received a free ticket to attend one of seven PUC concerts and were asked to capture the experience of hearing live classical music. The form was flexible, allowing for blank verse, prose, poetry, narrative, even lyrics. The entries were assessed in three rounds by 12 judges, including professors, administrators and students in the arts and the humanities from the University and community.

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Wilson College to remove Woodrow Wilson photo from dining hall wall

An enlarged photograph of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game will be removed from the wall of a dining hall at Wilson College, one of the residential colleges at Princeton University.

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New tool puts a consistent value on experts' uncertainty on climate change models

To bridge the gap between projections of future sea-level rise and the need to prepare for it, a Princeton University researcher and collaborators developed a method that consolidates climate models and the range of opinions that leading scientists have about them into a single, consistent set of probabilities.

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Build and play: HackPrinceton draws college participants nationwide

This spring's hackathon, held the first weekend of April, attracted about 500 participants, half students from Princeton and half from other universities. The annual event, one of a number of hackathons held at universities around the world, offered students workspace, food and advice for an intense weekend devoted to creating new devices and computer programs.

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Making connections: Princeton's postdoc community

Princeton has some 600 postdocs. They are members of the academic staff whose areas of expertise span the disciplines. They come from universities across the country and around the world.

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Princeton to discontinue sprint football program

Princeton University has decided to discontinue its sprint football program, effective this spring. Princeton is one of only three Ivy League schools that offer the program, and sprint football is the University's only varsity team (out of 38) that plays in a league that is not associated either with the Ivy League or with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

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Trustees call for expanded commitment to diversity and inclusion

The Princeton University Board of Trustees has called for an expanded and more vigorous commitment to diversity and inclusion at Princeton, with concerted efforts not only to implement a broad range of existing initiatives, but to take additional actions, including those proposed by a special trustee committee that was appointed last fall to consider the legacy of Woodrow Wilson at Princeton. 

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FACULTY HONOR: Five faculty members receive theater awards, nominations

Five faculty members in the Lewis Center for the Arts' Program in Theater have recently been nominated for or received major awards: Jane Cox, lecturer in theater and the Lewis Center for the Arts; John Doyle, visiting lecturer with the rank of professor in theater and the Lewis Center for the Arts; Riccardo Hernandez, lecturer in theater and the Lewis Center for the Arts; Anita Yavich, lecturer in theater and the Lewis Center for the Arts; and Anne Washburn, lecturer in theater and the Lewis Center for the Arts.

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FACULTY HONOR: Three faculty elected to National Academy of Sciences

Three Princeton University faculty have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research: Roberto Car, the Ralph W. *31 Dornte Professor in Chemistry and the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials; Igor Klebanov, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics and associate director of the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science; and Stanislas Leibler, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study and a Princeton visiting lecturer with the rank of professor in physics.

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RESEARCH HONOR: Grek, Reinfurt awarded Rome Prize in arts and humanities

Leon Grek, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature, received the Paul Mellon/Frank Brown Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. David Reinfurt, a lecturer in visual arts and the Lewis Center for the Arts, has been awarded the Mark Hampton Rome Prize for design. John Lansdowne, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art and Archaeology, is in his second year with the honor of the Marian and Andrew Heiskell/Samuel H. Kress Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize for Medieval Studies.

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FACULTY HONOR: Kolemen receives DOE early career research grant

Egemen Kolemen, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, was among 49 scientists nationwide to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Early Career Research program. 

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FACULTY AWARD: Sannikov wins Clark Medal for work in economics

Yuliy Sannikov, a professor of economics, has been awarded the 2016 John Bates Clark Medal by the American Economic Association (AEA). The award recognizes an economist under age 40 who has made significant contributions to the field.

Sannikov's research interests include game theory, contract theory, macroeconomics and financial frictions, corporate finance, market microstructure, security design, and computation. In making the award announcement, the AEA said his work "is elegant, powerful, and it paves the way for further analysis on lots of problems."

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