Two University of Chicago Press writers were recently honored
for their works of poetry. Jason Sommer, author of Other
People's Troubles (1997), received a 2001 Whiting Award,
a $35,000 prize from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation; and
Gail Mazur's They Can't Take That Away from Me (2001)
was named a finalist for the National Book Award.
for the stars
The University has received a $15 million grant from the National
Science Foundation to establish a national research center where
scientists will spend the next five years studying astrophysical
phenomena still unexplained by the laws of physics. The Center
for Cosmological Physics will study such phenomena as dark energy,
dark matter, cosmic rays, and temperature variations in different
parts of the universe.
Rustem Ismagilov, assistant professor in chemistry, is one of
11 scientists nationwide to receive a 2001 New Faculty Award
from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. Ismagilov studies
complex biological systems governed by interactions between
multiple chemical reactions. The five-year, $40,000 award provides
funding for faculty members at the start of their research careers.
Sidney Webster, professor in mathematics, is one of two recipients
of the 2001 Stefan Bergman Prize from the American Mathematical
Society. The prize recognizes accomplishments furthering the
research of Bergman, a Stanford University professor who died
in 1977. Webster was cited for contributions to the Bergman
kernel function, which Bergman developed in 1922.
The Oracle not at Delphi
The Oracle Corporation has donated $750,000 worth of software
and site licenses to the computer-science department, bringing
Oracle's total donations to the U of C to more than $4 million
over the past two years. The 150 licenses of Oracle's complete
software product line for Windows 2000 will be distributed to
the department's students, who are often expected by employers
to have experience using Oracle when they graduate.
matter about matter
The Department of Energy's Office of Science has agreed to fund
a new program at Argonne National Laboratory that invites theorists
from around the world for stays of up to several months to focus
on current topics in condensed matter research. The Materials
Theory Institute is currently hosting 40 theorists at its first
extended workshop, an investigation of the science and technology
of next-generation nanomaterials.
Chicago has contributed its first electronic seminar to Fathom
(www.fathom.com), a consortium of universities and cultural
institutions that provides online content ("Chicago Journal,"
October/00). The Theatrical Baroque, an adaptation of an exhibition
of the same title featured at the Smart Museum of Art last spring,
is available in five online sessions, which users can go through
at their own pace. The seminar examines the culture of 17th-
and 18th-century performing and visual arts in Europe.
grant for the ages
A team of researchers led by Robert Fogel, the Charles R. Walgreen
distinguished service professor in economics and the business
school, has received a five-year, $8.2 million grant from the
National Institute on Aging to continue its study of the relationships
among the environment, quality of life, and the economy. Fogel
is director of the U of C's Center for Population Economics,
which will share the award with research partners MIT and the
National Bureau of Economic Research.