Friday, December 19, 2008
Donna Birch Trahan
UC Merced is one of five universities working with IBM to design new computer circuitry that mimics the brain. IBM leads the “cognitive computing” project that was announced in late November and is funded by a $4.9 million grant from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Co-leading the UC Merced group is Chris Kello, associate professor of cognitive science, and Paul Maglio, UC Merced adjunct professor of cognitive science and senior manager at IBM Almaden Research Center. Also part of the UC Merced group is David Noelle, assistant professor in the schools of Engineering and Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts; and Marshall Mayberry, postdoctoral researcher in cognitive science.
MERCED – UC Merced assistant professor Mónica Medina has received a prestigious award from the White House for her research on coral reefs.
Medina traveled to Washington, D.C., for today’s award ceremony. She is the university’s second faculty member to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The award recognizes outstanding scientists and engineers who have demonstrated exceptional leadership potential, innovative research and community service.
The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. Medina is one of 20 winners nominated by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Medina's lab examines how different environmental stressors are affecting the life history of coral reefs. The outcome of her research could contribute to conservation of these endangered marine habitats.
“It’s an amazing recognition,” said Medina, of professor in the School of Natural Sciences. “With this award, the NSF and the White House are recognizing the importance of basic research on topics related to climate change.”
Read more here.
Donna Birch Trahan, 209.228.4406
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
UC Merced showed its “can do” spirit during a holiday food drive to benefit the Merced Emergency Food Bank.
Donors from the campus community and beyond got into the giving spirit for the canned food drive, organized by Staff Assembly in conjunction with the Chancellor's Office. The drive, which included a Drive-Up-and-Donate-Day, netted 2,400 canned goods and $215 in cash. Members of the campus' Writing program, which was organizing its own food drive, contributed their collected donations to the cause. Organizers plan to deliver the bounty to the food bank on Thursday, Dec. 18, in time to help families in need this holiday season.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Dr. James “Fuji” Collins recently stepped into his role as the assistant vice chancellor for student health and wellness at UC Merced where he will oversee the six health- and wellness-related departments on campus.
Collins, a clinical psychologist, has a genuine interest in the mind-body approach to the health and wellness of UC Merced students. He will draw on his extensive experience with student affairs as a dean and faculty member at the Fielding Graduate University School of Psychology.
“I was excited when I saw this unique opportunity; the whole place resonated with me,” Collins said of the newly created position.
What started out as a history project turned into something much more meaningful for UC Merced juniors Amanda Oesterreich, Paul Diaz and John Larabecame.
When given a project assignment in their History 190 class, the students’ goal was to use the Holocaust as a 20th-century example of genocide, which continues today.
“These students elected to feature a painful and controversial topic: the systematic effort by Nazi Germany to exterminate the Jews of Europe during World War II,” history professor Gregg Herken said. “That would be a challenging task for any curator, and it’s proven to be a valuable learning experience for these students.”
The students' project, “The Holocaust: Genocide in History,” is on display in the Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library until February.
Monday, December 8, 2008
The UC Merced Staff Assembly, in conjunction with the Chancellor's Office, is hosting a Drive-Up-and-Donate-Day on Wednesday, Dec. 10, to collect canned food donations for the Merced Emergency Food Bank. Donors can drop off canned food donations at the campus' Lake Parking Lot from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers will be on hand to unload donations so people don't even have to get out of their vehicles. Donors will receive a free coffee and pastry for their contribution. The Staff Assembly and Chancellor’s Office will each match all canned donations, meaning that for every canned good given, two extras will be donated. Cash donations will also be accepted during the event and those funds will be used to purchase frozen turkeys.
Donna Birch Trahan
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Senior Adam Kook has gotten much more than he bargained for since transferring to UC Merced from Merced College. The 22-year-old political science major, who also works as a local substitute teacher, has spent his final semester at UC Merced getting up close and personal with the political process. Kook served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, among other things.
He's one of about 34 students to earn bachelor's degrees from UC Merced this month. A handful of others will also earn graduate degrees.
A team of UC Merced students visited Denmark this summer to study renewable energy as part of the LoCalRE Summer School program, which is a collaboration among UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and the Roskilde University in Denmark. Those students returned with a renewed passion for their own research in solar energy and a vision for what that research could mean for UC Merced's future.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The Science and Engineering Building at the University of California, Merced, received an honorable mention in the first Go Beyond Awards. The awards program, sponsored by the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories and R & D Magazine, honors individuals, organizations, projects and laboratory manufacturers that "go beyond" the status quo to minimize the environmental impacts of laboratories and other high-technology facilities.
The 239,000 square foot Science and Engineering building, which was the first of three buildings constructed when UC Merced opened in 2005, received the honorable mention in the new construction category. Judges said that the building's innovative design features fulfilled a number of green building goals, including reduced energy consumption and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating.
The Go Beyond award winners were announced last month in the November issue of R&D Magazine's Laboratory Design Newsletter. R&D Magazine is widely known for the prestigious R&D 100 Awards, "the Oscars of Invention" that acknowledge the most innovative ideas of the year.