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ALEA III — The Younger and the Youngest, Monday, December 9, 8 p.m., Tsai Performance Center
Week of 6 December 2002 · Vol. VI, No. 14

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Giles chairs EOT-PACI SuperComputing conference

Roscoe Giles, an ENG professor of engineering and deputy director of BU’s Center for Computational Science, was the general chair of the 2002 SuperComputing conference, held in November, which drew more than 7,000 attendees from the high-performance computing and computational science communities. Giles is cochair of EOT-PACI (Education, Outreach, and Training Partnership for Advanced Computing Infrastructure), a partnership formed in 1998 with a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop human resources across a broad range of science disciplines to understand and solve problems. Giles says his appointment is an honor that recognizes and calls upon his own record of organizing scientists in mainstream and different communities. “You need a large and diverse collection of people to know and deeply understand technology and science in order to maintain the expansion of these scientific and technological fields,” he says. “Education in computational science therefore should be a high priority for all of us in these fields.” The conference emphasized the opportunity to use technology to transform an ever-increasing flow of data into knowledge impacting every aspect of society.

Two CAS profs named APS fellows

Elizabeth Simmons, a CAS associate professor of physics, and Ian Affleck, a CAS professor of physics, have been elected fellows of the American Physical Society. Only half of one percent of members are selected annually for the program, which recognizes members who may have made advances in knowledge through original research and publication, made significant and innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology, or made significant contributions to the teaching of physics or service to APS. Affleck is cited “for important theoretical contributions to quantum magnetism and impurities, and for the prediction of possible flux phases in the high temperature superconductors.” Simmons’ citation reads, “for contributions to the study of electroweak and flavor symmetry breaking, especially the origin of the top-quark mass, and for suggesting incisive tests of physics beyond the standard model.”

MED prof receives grant to study Alzheimer’s

Rina Yamin, a MED research assistant professor in biochemistry, was awarded the 2002 Nancy and Ronald Reagan Institute Grant to further the study of the basic science of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease. The grant, in the amount of $240,000 over three years, will help support Yamin’s current studies identifying and characterizing enzyme deficiencies possibly linked to Alzheimer’s, which may lead to further understanding of the disease. “Amyloid plaques, a pathological hallmark of the disease, are made up chiefly of beta-amyloid,” says Yamin. “Deficiencies in one or more enzymes that degrade beta-amyloid may account for its accumulation in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients and its subsequent neurodegeneration.”

El-Baz named to two prestigious committees

Farouk El-Baz, a research professor and founding director of BU’s Center for Remote Sensing, has been invited to serve on the Charles Stark Draper Prize selection committee of the National Academy of Engineering. He has also received an invitation to serve a three-year term on the Committee on Human Rights of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The panel focuses on cases of detained, imprisoned, and exiled scientists, engineers, and health professionals who are considered to be prisoners of conscience, as well as those who have disappeared. Since its founding in 1976, the committee has helped several hundred colleagues worldwide gain release from prison.

Raymo one of Discover’s “most important women in science”

The November 2002 Discover magazine list of 50 of “the most important women in science” includes Maureen Raymo, a CAS research associate professor of earth sciences. “The geologist’s controversial ‘uplift hypothesis’ maintains that the rise of mountain ranges such as the Himalayas causes a reverse greenhouse effect and explains why Earth’s climate has chilled for 40 million years,” says the magazine, which three years ago started a project to look into how women fare in science and at “the large number of female researchers who are doing remarkable work.” Raymo says of her hypothesis, “The weathering of mountain ranges scrubs CO2 out of the atmosphere, which can lead to global cooling. We have such a rudimentary understanding of the carbon cycle -- which controls life on Earth -- that anything we learn about it will help us understand future change.”

Retiring STH prof honored with festschrift

Carter Lindberg, an STH professor of church history, who will retire this month, was presented with a festschrift in late October at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, held in San Antonio, Tex. The term is from the German fest, a celebration or festive occasion, and schrift, a publication or volume of writings. The festschrift is entitled Caritas et Reformatio. Essays on Church and Society in Honor of Carter Lindberg (Concordia, 2002). The volume includes essays by his former students and colleagues from various universities that, Lindberg says, “reflect my own research interests in Reformation studies and the impact of the Reformation on social issues, such as poor relief, law, political resistance theory, Reformation ethics and theology, preaching, and ecumenics.” The volume contains a bibliography listing Lindberg’s writings.

BMC offers testing, education for World AIDS Day

Boston Medical Center’s Project Trust offered free and anonymous HIV testing and education to the public on December 2, in honor of World AIDS Day. BMC’s Center for HIV/AIDS Care and Research also held a free health fair at the Menino Pavilion and provided information about HIV/AIDS and the various programs it offers HIV-positive individuals and their loved ones.


6 December 2002
Boston University
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