Rare words from Coetzee
J. M. Coetzee, 2003 literature Nobelist and professor in the Committee
on Social Thought, defied his reputation for reclusion to address
the Swedish Academy in Stockholm December 7. Coetzee attended the
ceremony on the condition that there be no news conference, and
he lectured in the persona of Robinson Crusoe.
Physics Professor David Grier is among the technology innovators
named to the 2003 Scientific American 50, honored in the
manufacturing category for designing optical tweezers—which
suspend and manipulate microscopic objects with photons. He developed
the tweezers with Eric Dufresne, SM’98, PhD’00.
Our harmonious president
The fourth edition of the Harvard Dictionary of Music,
edited by President Don M. Randel since 1986, was published by Harvard
University Press in November. The 1,000-page edition contains expanded
entries on rock, hip-hop, and world music.
Rockefeller cellar sees
Next fall Rockefeller Chapel’s lower level will be home to
a new Inter-religious Center. Renovations costing $650,000 will
provide prayer and meeting rooms for Muslims, Hindus, and other
UC scientists catch comet’s
tail. . .
On January 2 Anthony Tuzzolino, SM’55, PhD’57, senior
scientist at the Enrico Fermi Institute, watched from the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, California, as NASA’s spacecraft Stardust
flew within 149 miles of the comet Wild 2, capturing dust particles—believed
to contain some of the solar system’s most pristine organic
compounds—from its head. Tuzzolino and the late John Simpson,
the Arthur Holly Compton distinguished service professor in Physics,
designed the dust detector.
. . . and tour Martian
A few days later at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Thanasis Economou,
senior research associate in Astrophysics, watched NASA’s
Spirit rover roll over the Gusev Crater. Spirit’s
twin, the rover Opportunity, followed on January 25, landing halfway
around the planet on the Meridiani Planum while software problems
paralyzed Spirit. The rovers are collecting samples of
the planet’s sticky soil, to be analyzed by on-board alpha
particle X-ray spectrometers, which Economou helped develop. NASA
hopes the data will reveal whether Mars’s surface was once
able to sustain life.
An average of 27,000 online visitors per week accompanied Chicago
paleontologist Paul Sereno on the recently concluded Dinosaur
Expedition 2003, an Internet project sponsored by Project Exploration
Designed to let teachers and students follow Sereno’s Saharan
voyage, the Web site hosted an image gallery, classroom activities,
and message boards.
The Marshall winner’s
Margaret Hagan, AB’03, became the 17th Chicago student to
win a British Marshall Scholarship since its 1953 founding. Provided
full tuition and a living stipend for two years at any British university,
Hagan plans to study political science and conflict resolution at
either Queen’s University or the University of Ulster, both
in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Another business school
The University tied for fourth place in the Financial Times
2004 ranking of full-time MBA programs, published in its January
26 issue. Chicago ranked fifth last year.
Awards for alumni literati
Writers Jean Fritz, AM’46, and Joseph Epstein, AB’59,
were two of ten recipients of the National Humanities Medal, presented
November 14 by President Bush. Fritz has written numerous children’s
books on the American revolution. Epstein is an essayist and fiction
writer whose most recent books are Envy (Oxford University
Press, 2003) and Fabulous Small Jews (Houghton Mifflin,
Veteran of the stacks
Martin Runkle, AM’73, University Libraries director since
1980, will retire October 1. Runkle began his association with Chicago’s
libraries in 1969, when he enrolled in the now defunct Graduate
Library School. Anne Robertson, deputy provost for research and
education and a professor of music, chairs the committee searching
for Runkle’s successor.
Giant poem sighted over
Verse by former U.S. poet laureate and Committee on Social Thought
professor Mark Strand now appears on a billboard above Chicago Ave.
and Wells St., north of Chicago’s Loop. The lines from Strand’s
“Five Dogs” were mounted by the Poetry Center of Chicago
and billboard owner Lightology.
Surgeons remove huge tumor
U.S. surgeons and nurses led by McKay McKinnon, assistant professor
of surgery, removed a 176-pound tumor from Lucica Bunghez, who suffers
from Von Recklinghausen’s Disease, a genetic disorder that
causes tumors to grow on her body. The doctors operated for free
when the Romanian government was unable to pay the $300,000 required
to send Bunghez to the U.S. for treatment.
Kudos for Studs
The National Book Critics Circle will award its Ivan Sandorf Lifetime
Achievement Award March 4 to Studs Terkel, PhB’32, JD’34,
the Pulitzer Prize–winning author, oral historian, and Chicago
Law prof fights police
The city of Chicago reached a settlement December 18 in a class-action
suit filed by 300 South Side residents who alleged they had been
illegally searched by police. Craig Futterman, associate professor
in the University’s Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, won
the $499,000 settlement.