December 2011

Colleges partner to continue wind energy education
University of Minnesota and Mesabi Range Community College Eveleth Campus have partnered to advance wind energy education and research. Students will train in technical and scientific fields with a 420 foot wind turbine located at the U of M’s field station. Dec. 29: KBJR; Mesabi Daily News

Northland rock considered for nuclear waste storage
Minnesota Geological Survey director Harvey Thorleifson notes that northeastern Minnesota contains much of the type of rock formations being examined as potential permanent graveyards for U.S. nuclear waste. Dec. 28: Duluth News Tribune

Magnetic swimmers cultured
Geophysics professor Bruce Moskowitz comments on recent findings by researchers who have cultured a bacteria species that uses a magnetic sulfide compound to swim towards food. Dec. 22: The Scientist

Scientists ponder Santa’s high-tech secrets
Physics professor James Kakalios thinks that the man in red independently controls his quantum mechanical wavefunction. That means he can appear in multiple places at once and pass through solid barriers. Dec. 23: US News

Enigmatic fossils are neither animals nor bacteria
Geobiologist Jake Bailey explains that we are far from understanding the origins of the recently discovered, enigmatic, 570-million-year-old fossils from Doushantuo, China. Dec. 22: Nature

Expert panel signs off on St. Johns water withdrawal plan
Civil engineering professor emeritus Pat Brezonik led an National Research Council panel that approved a plan to pump hundreds of millions of gallons from the St. Johns River in Florida. Dec. 22: Florida Today

Can robots create jobs?
Newly formed trade group Robotics Alley says 10,000 jobs in Minnesota and the Midwest could be created in the growing robotics industry. But can the economy absorb robots without displacing humans? Dec. 16: Minnesota Public Radio

The imminent rise of cloud computing
Abedelaziz Mohaisen, computer science and engineering, suggests asking members of a social network to make their computers available for processing tasks when the computers are not otherwise being used. Dec. 14: Technology Review

3 things the Higgs Boson can teach you about physics
Jeremiah Mans, physics associate professor, comments on a recent report by particle physicists at CERN, neither confirming nor denying the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle. Dec. 13: WCCO-Radio; Dec. 15: Boingboing

Good question: Are cell phones the most distracting?
Max Donath, mechanical engineering professor and director of the Intelligent Transportations Systems Institute, did research that found driving while talking on a cell phone can be as distracting as driving drunk. Dec. 13: WCCO

Department of Defense projects bring military touch to civilian research
DOD funding for grants and contracts at the University has doubled from last year to $17.4 million. Dec. 12: Minnesota Daily

Antarctica on Google
Paul Morin, director of the Polar Geospatial Center, and his team are working with Google to update almost 1,000,000 square kilometers of imagery for both poles. Dec. 9: Antarctic Sun; Dec. 14: Information Week

Chemist invents environmentally friendly plastics of tomorrow
Chemistry professor Marc Hillmyer envisions the plastics of tomorrow being even more remarkable from both performance and sustainability perspectives. Dec. 8: Live Science

University of Minnesota officials say they’re open for business
University of Minnesota officials have been making some big changes in the way the institution conducts research – changes that one day might benefit the state’s economy. Dec. 8: Finance & Commerce; Dec. 9: Minneapolis/St. Paul Business; Star Tribune; Pioneer Press; Minnesota Public Radio; Dec. 10: Grand Forks Herald; Dec. 13: Twin Cities Business; Dec. 14: MinnPost; Dec. 21: Minnesota Public Radio; Minnesota Public Radio News On Campus; Dec. 23: Minnesota Public Radio; Dec. 28: Rochester Post-Bulletin

The year of the robot
The University of Minnesota will host the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics state tournament on May 19, 2012, at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. Dec. 8: Woodbury Bulletin

Tweeting to #succeed
Professor Loren Terveen teaches students the best ways to make use of Twitter to find jobs, research or collaborate on projects, all while increasing the number of followers. Dec. 6: Minnesota Daily

U of M shows off more than 250 robots at upcoming show
Students in the College of Science and Engineering created the robots over the course of six weeks, in a mechanical engineering class. The show is Monday, Dec. 12, on the Twin Cities campus. Dec. 6: KSTP; Dec. 13: Minnesota Daily

Are America’s subways and roads overpriced?
Professor David Levinson, civil engineering, notes that roundabouts now go for $300,000 and light rail systems cost billions of dollars. Dec. 6: Washington Post

Panel mixed on effluent safety
A University of Minnesota study reveals that the release of treated municipal wastewater-even wastewater treated by the highest-quality wastewater treatment technology-can have a significant effect on the quantities of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, often referred to as “superbacteria,” in surface waters. Dec. 6: Arizona Daily Sun; Dec. 8: MSNBC; Dec. 12: The Pioneer

For many, academic pressures STEM from home
One third of all undergraduate degrees in STEM fields are earned by foreign-born students in the U.S. Overall, 33 percent of native-born college graduates studied STEM fields compared to 46 percent of foreign-born college graduates. Dec. 6: Minnesota Daily

Cores reveal when Dead Sea ‘died’
Sediments drilled from beneath the Dead Sea reveal that this most remarkable of water bodies all but disappeared 120,000 years ago. Dec. 5: BBC; Nature; Dec. 6: London Telegraph; CBS News; Environmental Research; LiveScience; AmmonNews; Modern Ghana; TruthDive; BioScholar; Hindustan Times; Dec. 7: Science Magazine; My Joy Online; The Independent; Tehran Times; International Business Times; Science News; UPI; Economic Times; ZeeNews; Belfast Telegraph; Edmonton Journal; Dec. 8: National Geographic; MSNBC; Discovery Channel; Asian Age; Times of India; Vancouver Sun; Montreal Gazette; Science Today; Dec. 10: American Thinker (blog); Dec. 14: Jewish Daily Forward

U of M engineers design holiday light show
College of Science and Engineering students are showing off their holiday decorating skills with a winter light show. Dec. 5: KSTP; Dec. 9: KARE; Dec. 12: Minnesota Daily; Dec. 22: Pioneer Press

Maverick pairs college students, corporations
Computer science students get work experience, and companies get cost-effective development and future employees under the award-winning partnership. Dec. 4: Minnesota Daily; Dec. 6: Minnesota Public Radio

Dow commits $17 million to University of Minnesota
The Dow Chemical Co. has agreed to give nearly $17 million to the University of Minnesota over the next five years, including $5 million to help expand Amundson Hall. Dec. 2: Finance & Commerce; Dec. 5: KSTP; Dec. 8: Minnesota Daily

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt speaks at U of M
After speaking at the University, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt spoke out against the government’s attempt to govern the content of the Internet. Dec. 1: KARE-11; Marshall Independent; Twin Cities Business; Mainichi Daily News; Minnesota Daily; Waikato Times; Tulsa World; WebPro News; The Hill; Dec. 6: Digital Journal

Expert provides hope for Lake Neshonoc carp control
Computer scientists and biologists from the University of Minnesota and two other universities are teaming up with robots to tackle a major invader of rivers, wetlands, lakes across the United States-the common carp. Dec. 1: LaCrosse Tribune; Dec. 10: Minnesota Public Radio

November 2011

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt speaks at U of M
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt will speak at the University of Minnesota about how technology is changing business, technology and government. Nov. 28: MinnPost; KSTP-TV; Nov. 30: Washington Post; Star Tribune; WCCO; Minnesota Public Radio; KSTP; Bloomberg Businessweek; Crookston Daily Times; The Republic; WXOW; Valley News; KTTC; KEYC; WQOW; KAAL; Examiner; Inforum; Wahpeton Daily News; Brainerd Dispatch; WDAY; KSTC; Pioneer Press; Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal; Pierce County Herald; Star Tribune; Newser

Possibilities for supersymmetric dark matter
Professor Keith Olive, Fine Theoretical Physics Institute, discusses predicting dark matter using supersymmetry. Nov. 25: Science Watch

Obama delays another energy decision
Sangwon Suh, assistant professor of bioproducts and bioengineering, reported that in Kansas and Nebraska, 500 gallons of water are required to grow and process the corn for each gallon of ethanol produced. Nov. 21: Brainerd Dispatch

For 8-year-old St. Paul math phenom, age is just another number
Mani Chadaga, a third-grader at Capitol Hill Magnet School, takes Algebra II and geometry. Advancing through math so quickly, Chadaga is exploring the University of Minnesota’s Talented Youth Mathematics Program, an honors-level college-credit alternative for middle and high school students. Nov. 20: Pioneer Press; Nov. 25: Deseret News; Nov. 26: Minnesota Public Radio; Washington Examiner; KFOX-TV; NECN.com

World’s largest plastic particle detector takes shape
A huge structure, to be constructed in Ash River, Minn., will be the skeleton of a fully functional particle detector. 500 truckloads of plastic modules are necessary to assemble the structure. Nov. 17: R&D; Symmetry Breaking

Math and Science Family Fun Fair, Sat. Nov. 19
Saturday, Nov. 19, the University hosts the Math and Science Family Fun Fair, which will feature fascinating activities, hands-on exhibits, and entertaining presentations showcasing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Nov. 16: Pocket Your Dollars; Nov. 17: Pioneer Press

University of Minnesota scientists waging carp wars
Computer scientists and biologists from the University of Minnesota and two other universities are teaming up with robots to tackle a major invader of rivers, wetlands, lakes across the United States-the common carp. Nov. 15: Pioneer Press

New study finds that even the cleanest wastewater contains ‘super bacteria’
A new University of Minnesota study reveals that the release of treated municipal wastewater-even wastewater treated by the highest-quality wastewater treatment technology-can have a significant effect on the quantities of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, often referred to as “superbacteria,” in surface waters. Nov. 14: KSTP; Eureka Alert; Science Daily; Science Codex; Eureka Science News; PhysOrg; Nov. 15: Health Canal; Infection Control Today; R&D Magazine; Yubanet; Nov. 16: Environmental Protection; Water Online; Medical News Today; MediLexicon; Science 360; Nov. 17: Duluth News Tribune; Ashland Current; Nov. 20: Process & Control Engineering; Nov. 21: Medical XPress; West Australian; Nov. 23: MinnPost

For engineering majors, a formula for social success
A new U program, Gemini Project, aims to help the next generation of engineering students improve their social and leadership skills. Nov. 12: Star Tribune

Reducing traffic congestion with buses that could drive themselves
Craig Shankwitz, director of the University of Minnesota’s Intelligent Vehicles Laboratory, says the Twin Cities area has more miles of bus-only lanes than the rest of the country combined. Nov. 9: Automobile Magazine

Times Atlas map of Greenland to be corrected
Researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Polar Geospatial Center are part of team that has produced a new map of Greenland that will be made available as a large-format, two-sided map insert for the Times Atlas. Nov. 8: RealClimate

A life-size lab chases the wind
A utility-size turbine that the U has installed in Rosemount gives 3M and other companies an important new tool for wind energy research. Nov. 6: Star Tribune

Group dreams of guessing the future
Minnesota Futurists imagine possible futures teeming with nanotechnology, advanced robotics and alternative power sources. Civil engineering professor David Levinson blogs prolifically about futurism. Nov. 2: Minnesota Daily; Nov. 5: KMSP-TV; Nov. 7: Brainerd Dispatch

Shedding light on power outages
Massoud Amin, director of the Technological Leadership Institute, found the number of outages that affected 50,000 or more consumers increased nearly 60 percent over the past 10 years. Nov. 2: Intelligent Utility; Nov. 4: Seattle Times; Nov. 5: Boston Globe; Nov. 7: PhillyBurbs; Staten Island Live; Nov. 8: MSNBC

Researchers can control virtual objects with mind
Professor Bin He, biomedical engineering, discusses a promising experiment using noninvasive brain-computer interface, that could be used to control a device by brainwaves. Nov. 2: ExtremeTech; Cosmos Magazine; Nov. 7: Minnesota Daily

U hopes tech will smarten traffic
SMART Signal Technologies Inc. signed an agreement to license technology that could help cut congestion on roadways by better controlling traffic lights. Nov. 1: Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal; Pioneer Press; Nov. 3: Twin Cities Business

How much power is in a ‘tweet’
According to Massoud Amin, director of the Technological Leadership Institute,Twitter, with 1 billion Tweets sent every week at 0.025 watt-hours per Tweet, is responsible for more than 2500 MWh per week of demand on the electrical grid. Nov. 1: IEEE Smartgrid

Local chefs have fish to fry
“A Salute to Lake Superior’s Sustainable Fisheries” will feature a cooking competition between Minnesota chefs with Minnesota-produced fish and a public tasting. The event celebrates the 100th birthday of Athelstan Spilhaus, a former dean of the University’s College of Science and Engineering and founder of the 32 Sea Grant programs around the country. Nov. 1: Minnesota Daily; Minnesota Monthly

October 2011

USA Science and Engineering Festival illuminates science’s role in Hollywood movies and TV shows
University physics professor, Jim Kakalios will present on the science of superheroes at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, held in Washington, D.C., on April 28-29, 2012. Oct. 31: Citybizlist

Acara Institute students start company
Acara Institute’s social entrepreneur design course students, Craig Hill and Adam Witt discuss their company, TextRA, that develops sustainable business practices in many of the poorest communities around the world. Oct. 31: DIFTV

Crumbling bridges’ tab leaves business paying
The Minneapolis-St. Paul regional economy lost as much as $73 million after the collapse in August 2007 of the Interstate 35W bridge, according to a 2008 study by the University of Minnesota, led by civil engineering professor David Levinson. Oct. 30: Bloomberg News

Researchers discover new metal alloy which turns heat into electricity
Researchers at the University of Minnesota in the College of Science and Engineering have recently developed a multiferroic alloy metal material that converts heat directly to electricity. Oct. 28: Live Science

Brain waves experiment offers hope to the disabled
Professor Bin He, biomedical engineering, discusses a promising experiment using noninvasive brain-computer interface, that could be used to control a device by brainwaves. Oct. 26: Public Library of Science One; Eureka Alert!; National Journal; Oct. 27: ABC News; io9; KNSS RadioSlashGear; EnGadget; RedOrbit; Scientific American; SmartPlanet; Technorati; ZeeNews; Oct. 28: MedGadget; Oct. 29: The Economist; Oct. 31: Washington Post

Gift props up chemical engineering
DOW Chemical Co. will pour $250 million mostly into chemical-engineering programs at 11 U.S. universities over the next decade to help attract top students who are increasingly tempted by research-and-employment opportunities in other engineering specialties. Oct. 25: Wall Street Journal

Mold found in ‘U of M’ building, experiments disrupted
Labs on the sixth and seventh floors of the seven-story underground civil engineering building on the Minneapolis campus are moving indefinitely, following the discovery of mold on the sixth floor roof. The labs will move to the St. Paul campus. Oct. 21: WCCO-TV; Oct. 31: Minnesota Daily

More women enrolling in U engineering programs
This year, 1,666 women are enrolled at the College of Science and Engineering. Female enrollment within University engineering programs is the highest it’s been in a decade, according to the University’s enrollment data released last week. Oct. 20: Minnesota Daily; Oct. 22: Women in Academia Report

University launches new Wind Energy Research Station
The University of Minnesota is launching a new Wind Energy Research Center at the University’s UMore Park in Rosemount. The wind energy consortium is one of only three in the nation. Oct. 20: Rosemount Town Pages; Oct. 21: Rosemount Patch; Oct. 23: WCCO-TV; KMSP; Minnesota Public Radio; Oct. 24: Pioneer Press; Oct. 25: KARE-11; KSTP-TV; WCCO-TV; Rosemount Patch; EERE News; Oct. 26: Minnesota Daily; Oct. 27: Energy.gov; Minnesota 2020

Local chefs have fish to fry
“A Salute to Lake Superior’s Sustainable Fisheries” will feature a cooking competition between Minnesota chefs with Minnesota-produced fish and a public tasting. The event, hosted by the University of Minnesota Sea Grant celebrates the 100th birthday of Athelstan Spilhaus, a former dean of the University’s College of Science and Engineering and founder of the 32 Sea Grant programs around the country. Oct. 19: Star Tribune; Oct. 25: MyScience; Oct. 26: KSTP

U of M hosts ‘Math and Science Family Fun Fair’
Twin Cities families are invited to attend a Math and Science Family Fun Fair next month. The event, hosted by the University of Minnesota, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at Coffman Memorial Union. Oct. 17: KSTP-TV

U of M scientists use robots to search for invasive carp
Computer scientists and biologists from the University of Minnesota and two other universities are teaming up with robots to tackle a major invader of rivers, wetlands, lakes across the United States-the common carp. Oct. 17: KSTP-TV; Oct. 19: Pioneer Press; Grand Forks Herald; Oct. 20: Columbus Dispatch; Oct. 24: Minnesota Daily

Fixing old roads instead of building new ones
Civil engineering professor David Levinson notes that it is much cheaper to repair a road early on, when it’s still in “fair” condition, than when it drops down to “serious” condition. Oct. 14: Washington Post

11-year-old scholar studies at the U
Eleven-year-old Lucas Kramer is nearly finished with high school, but he spends most of his time on the University campus where he is taking chemistry classes. For fun, Kramer works with the University’s solar car competition team. Oct. 14: WCCO-TV; Oct. 19: Pioneer Press

Dancing to epigenetics and endocytosis
Avery Musbach, Ph.D. candidate and teaching assistant, computer science and engineering, submitted a dance video titled “Physically Accurate Rendering of Structural Colors” in the 2011 Dance Your Ph.D. contest. Musbach’s video is one of 16 finalists. Oct. 14: Science Now

U plans modest undergrad enrollment increase
After a year of work, a University committee has recommended a “modest” increase of 1,000 students, bringing the total undergraduate count to about 33,000. The new spots would target the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Oct. 13: Star Tribune; Oct. 14: Pioneer Press; Oct. 15: Minnesota Public Radio; Examiner; Oct. 17: Minnesota Daily; Oct. 18: MPR News

U breaks ground on nanotech facility
Groundbreaking ceremonies took place outside of Akerman Hall on Oct. 12 for a new physics and nanotechnology building. Oct. 13: Minnesota Daily

U faculty: efficiency can’t be quantified
University professor of computer science and engineering, Joseph Konstan, says faculty have done a poor job of highlighting their accomplishments to the public. Oct. 12: Minnesota Daily

Jobs leaves legacy of innovation at U
Joseph Konstan, computer science and engineering, comments on the transformation of college students method of interacting with music, since the advent of the Apple iPod. Oct. 11: Minnesota Daily

U of M data network project awarded $8 million grant
A U of M research project called Terra Populus received the grant from the National Science Foundation. The project, a data network, combines two centuries’ worth of census data with global environmental data. Oct. 10: KSTP-TV

University of Minnesota discovery could make fuel and plastics production more energy-efficient and cost-effective
A University of Minnesota team of researchers has overcome a major hurdle in the quest to design a specialized type of molecular sieve that could make the production of gasoline, plastics and various chemicals more cost effective and energy efficient. Oct. 6: Chemistry World; Oct. 7: Phys.org; Oct. 12: Science Daily; Eureka Alert; KMSP-TV; Eurasia Review; Phys.org; Nanowerk; R&D Magazine; Next Big Future; Oct. 13: Environmental Protection Magazine; DailyTech; Product Design & Development; Oct. 15: KSTP-TV; Discovery News

What an engineering flash mob at the University of Minnesota looks like
A New York Times article mentions the popularity of college flash mobs, including the University’s College of Science and Engineering flash mob that performed at its 75th anniversary celebration. Oct. 4: Minnesota Public Radio on Campus

Entrepreneurial: U of M student assignments ‘to solve the world’s problems’
A University of Minnesota program that combines business, science and social action is bent on changing the world, one entrepreneurial project at a time. Oct. 4: Finance & Commerce

U of M hosts cyber security summit
The University is hosting its first cyber security summit, which bring together leaders from government, business, and non-profit sectors who will meet to discuss cyber security and our nation’s ability to manage the threat of an online attack. Oct. 3: KMSP-TV; WCCO-TV; KSTP-TV

Einstein’s theory: a little more relative than we thought
Einstein’s theory of relativity may have suffered a mortal blow last month by researchers at CERN in Switzerland. University professor of physics Marvin Marshak, looks forward to testing the result himself. Oct. 2: The Chronicle of Higher Education; Oct. 6: Pioneer Press

U of M hosts parents weekend
The University’s Physics Force will perform when more than 1,400 family members from around the state come to the Twin Cities campus. Oct. 1: WCCO

September 2011

Feds fund novel green tech for electric cars, solar heat storage
University of Minnesota-led research to develop specialized magnets that don’t rely on rare earth elements has received a major grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Sept. 29: Forbes Magazine 

U set to host Cyber Security Summit
Cybersecurity experts will converge at Coffman Memorial Union on Oct. 4. Sept. 29: Minnesota Daily

IEEE unveils newly redesigned Smart Grid web portal
The newly redesigned portal enables visitors to quickly and efficiently search the vast collection of Smart Grid-related standards, technical papers, events, updates on industry developments, and expert profiles accessible online. Sept. 27: Market Watch

Mechanical engineering resources, TAs strained by enrollment
The College of Science and Engineering’s mechanical engineering department is busting at its seams with students, and its equipment, space and staff are struggling to accommodate them. Sept. 22: Minnesota Daily

U’s College of Science and Engineering launch entrepreneurial workshops
The College of Science and Engineering is launching a series of workshops to give their students entrepreneurial and business skills. Sept. 22: Star Tribune; Sept. 26: Minnesota Daily; Sept. 27: Pioneer Press; Finance and Commerce; Star Tribune; Minnesota Public Radio; MinnPost

Extreme weather makes portable generators a hit
Massoud Amin, director of the Technological Leadership Institute, found the number of outages that affected 50,000 or more consumers increased nearly 60 percent over the past 10 years. Sept. 14: AOL Energy; Sept. 15: AOL Energy; Sept. 19: Scientific American; Sept. 28: Bloomberg Businessweek

Job fair offers hope in darkened economy
Record numbers of recruiters and students attended the Fall 2011 Science and Engineering Career Fair as companies increase focus on hiring new interns this summer. Sept. 13: Finance and Commerce; Sept. 14: Minnesota Daily

Crystals break slow growth record
Jeff Derby, professor of chemical engineering and materials science, is part of a research team that has measured the slowest crystal growth ever, which created the massive, underground gypsum crystals found in Mexico’s Naica mine. Sept. 13: Discovery News

Amundson is next building up for renovation on East Bank
The University of Minnesota is gearing up to renovate and expand Amundson Hall, which currently houses the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department. Sept. 7: Minnesota Daily

U student wins national computer science award
Jaya Kawale, a Ph.D. student in computer science has won the prestigious annual Explorations in Science Through Computation Student Award for designing new methods to improve how scientists predict global warming. Sept. 7: Minnesota Daily

Researchers discover new metal alloy which turns heat into electricity
Researchers at the University of Minnesota in the College of Science and Engineering have recently developed a multiferroic alloy metal material that converts heat directly to electricity. Sept. 6: Green Building Elements

3-D lab goes commercial
The 3-D virtual reality laboratory in the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute is looking to lease the lab to commercial clients like medical reserachers, physicists and businesses making medical devices. Sept. 6: Minnesota Daily

All’s fair in love
After returning from a yearlong fellowship in Barcelona, Spain, University of Minnesota engineering prof Julian Marshall and his family plunged back into Loon State culture in the most extreme way possible — the Minnesota State Fair. Sept. 4: Star Tribune

University of Minnesota project aims to cut solar energy costs
Stephen Campbell, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the College of Science and Engineering, is leading a research team to develop more efficient solar cell technology that will lure private investment to the state and help speed solar energy’s growth nationally. Sept. 1: Solar Glazing Magazine

Power outages and the future of the electric grid
Massoud Amin, professor of electrical and computer engineering, in the College of Science and Engineering, advocates for developing a national smart grid, an ongoing issue this year within Illinois, given the number of recent power outages in the Chicagoland area. Sept. 1: Chicago Magazine; Sept. 15: AOL Energy

The hurricane Irene blackouts weren’t inevitable
Professor of electrical and computer engineering, Massoud Amin, in the College of Science and Engineering estimates that power outages cost the U.S. economy between $80 billion and $188 billion each year. Sept. 1: Washington Post

August 2011

University of Minnesota project aims to cut solar energy costs
Stephen Campbell, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the College of Science and Engineering, is leading a research team to develop more efficient solar cell technology that will lure private investment to the state and help speed solar energy’s growth nationally. Aug 31:Finance and Commerce Solar Glazing Magazine

Hurricane Irene highlights need for smarter grid
According to Massoud Amin, the director of the Technological Leadership Institute, power outages cost the U.S. economy between $80 billion and $188 billion per year. Aug. 29: Gigaom

New nanoscale parameter resolves dilemmas on silicon property
Researchers from Aalto University in cooperation with the University’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science have made a new discovery that can have major impact on future nanoscale device design, such as ultraviolet photo detectors and drug delivery. Aug. 24: Nanowerk

Three cheers for tiers
Andrew Odlyzko, a professor of mathematics at the University of Minnesota who studies Internet traffic, says with some science-driven support to the emerging trend toward more complicated pricing models, Internet service providers can increase profits and better meet demand. Aug. 24: To listen: MIT’s Technology Review

Shooting and scoring by the numbers
Brian Skinner, a graduate student in theoretical physics at the University of Minnesota provides some mathematical guidance for the best time for professional basketball players to take aim. Aug. 22: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Amundson Hall up for $20M makeover, expansion
The University of Minnesota is taking another step toward expanding and improving Amundson Hall, a science building close to the future Central Corridor light rail route on the university’s East Bank. Aug. 22: Finance and Commerce; Aug. 24: World Interior Design Network

When hacking could turn deadly
A cyber-security report by University computer science and engineering professor Mats Heimdahl highlights weaknesses in implanted devices, though the risk is small. Aug. 22: Star Tribune; Aug. 24: News Observer

Geomorphology: co-evolution of rivers and plants
Recent research published by Chris Paola, professor of earth sciences, shows river systems have changed through time; the sinuous, stable channels common today developed relatively late in Earth’s history. Aug. 21: Nature Geoscience

Protecting today’s electrical grid-and tomorrow’s Smart Grid
Massoud Amin, professor of electrical and computer engineering, in the College of Science and Engineering, advocates for developing a national smart grid, given the number of recent power outages. Aug. 20: Reuters

Mystery behind gigantic space blob revealed
Claudia Scarlata, University physics and astronomy professor, is part of an international collaboration that has shed light on the power source of a rare vast cloud of glowing gas in the early Universe. Aug. 17: National Geographic, Universe Today, Physorg, MSNBC; Aug. 18: International Business Times, Sky and Telescope, Red Orbit, MPR.com; Aug. 23: Space Daily

Guarding the grid
Massoud Amin, University of Minnesota professor of electrical and computer engineering, says the North American electricity grid, powers every aspect of life in the U.S., including “our quality of life, our society–everything we depend on.” Aug. 17: Clean Technica; Aug. 21: Reuters

Cheers & jeers: give professor a star for his work
University of Illinois-Springfield assistant professor of astronomy and physics John Martin, who received a National Science Foundation grant, will use the $62,096 to collaborate with researchers at the University of Minnesota. They will study the spectacular end stage of the universe’s largest stars, which end their lives in bright, powerful explosions known as supernovae. Aug. 15: Springfield State Journal-Register

Your turn: Franken is misinformed on wind, fuel
Minnesota’s Sen. Al Franken has succumbed to the energy hype offered by biofuels and wind farms. A University of Minnesota study led by Sangwon Suh, assistant professor of bioproducts and bioengineering, recently report that in the U.S., an average of 162 gallons of water are consumed to product 1 gallon of ethanol from corn. Aug. 13: St. Cloud Times

Hot property: St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
Plans to renovate and upgrade the University’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory are progressing. Minneapolis officials say the planning efforts for the $15.8 million project are 30 percent complete, one year after first being unveiled last August. Aug 14: Star Tribune

U of M students’ summer job is changing lives
Civil engineering Ph.D student Adam Witt, along with his colleagues, is working with students at TERI University in New Delhi to develop a cellphone-based system that sends texts to people in Kooli Camp, near New Delhi, when water is available. Aug. 11: Vita.mn; Diversity in Focus

University of Minnesota researchers reveal Wikipedia gender biases
Computer science researchers in the University’s College of Science and Engineering are leading a team that has confirmed a substantial gender gap among editors of Wikipedia and a corresponding gender-oriented disparity in the content. Aug. 11: Science Daily, Physorg.com UPI.com, iStockAnalyst, Middle East North Africa Financial Network, WCCO, EurekAlert, Science Codex; Aug. 12: TruthDive, Dalje.com, Newstrack India, TG Daily, KSTP-TV; Aug. 13: Hindustan Times; Aug. 15: Twin Cities Business; Aug. 16: Jezebel; Aug. 17: Tom’s Guide; Aug. 19: Discovery News

New University of Minnesota physics building will put ‘science on display’ U hopes
The University of Minnesota hopes to start the $80M physics/nanotechnology project by mid-November. The Department of Physics describes physics as the science of “matter, energy, space and time.” Aug. 10: Finance & Commerce

U of M names new director for the Medical Devices Innovation Fellows Program
The University of Minnesota has named Saurav Paul, a St. Jude Medical research scientist as the new director of its Medical Devices Innovation Fellows Program. Aug. 9: StarTribune, MedCity News, QMed ; Aug. 10: MinnPost, KSTP-TV; Aug. 11: Twin Cities Business, Entrepreneurship.org

Forming vertical concrete
Two projects–the World Trade Center and NOvA Far Detector Building in northern Minnesota–are showcased in how excellent relationships between Contractors and Form Suppliers produce excellent results. Aug. 5: Concrete Construction

Texas declares new ‘energy emergency’
Massoud Amin, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Technological Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota, says the US electrical grid has been plagued by ever more and ever worse blackouts over the past 15 years. Aug. 4: Financial Times

Robot’s simplicity reduces danger for military, police
A group of University engineering students were instrumental in developing the Recon Scout Throwbot, the flagship gadget of ReconRobotics. The company is now one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers and marketers of surveillance technology. Aug. 3: EdinaPatch

Prepping for the green economy
Researchers at the University’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory are investing in green chemistry and turbine development for sustainable energy. Aug. 2: Twin Cities Daily Planet

July 2011

Solar cells get a boost from bouncing light
A team of engineers from the University’s College of Science and Engineering have improved the efficiency of a type of solar cell by as much as 26 percent by engineering alternating layers of nanometer and micrometer particles. July 30: Red Orbit, New Kerala, AZoNano

Help scientists decipher ‘lost’ gospel
Project leader Lucy Fortson, a University of Minnesota physicist, is among scientists are who are recruiting thousands of armchair archaeologists to help them decipher a “lost” gospel and other fragments of texts from ancient Egypt. July 26: Physorg; July 29: MSNBC Cosmic Log; July 30: Greek Reporter

Calculating the bonding bill’s jobs impact
The State of Minnesota bonding bill will spend $500 million on construction projects across the state, including a new physics and nanotechnology building at the University of Minnesota. July 28: Twin Cities Daily Planet

U of M licenses technology to online gaming start-up
The University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering announced it has finalized a license agreement with a start-up company that has developed software that analyzes data to identify key traits among multiplayer online gaming communities. July 28: Twin Cities Business, Star Tribune, Softpedia

One complicated lake, one giant app
University of Minnesota Water Resource Science graduate student Shane Missaghi has cracked the code of predicting the water quality of a complex lake like Minnetonka with a computer program that promises to be an effective tool improving a lake’s water quality and shoreline restoration efforts. At the University’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, Missaghi is working with his advisor, professor Miki Hondzo to investigate algae growth under difference flow conditions in order to improve the model and better predict algae blooms in a lake. July 26: Star Tribune

Nonfiction review: “Lost in Shangri-La”
A University of Minnesota aerospace engineering alumnus helped lead his companions to safety after their plane crashed during World War II. July 19: Star Tribune

Dayton signs Minn. budget bills, ending shutdown and funding new Physics Nano building
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed budget bills that end a nearly three-week state government shutdown and put thousands of public employees back to work. They approved a $498 million construction bonding projects bill that includes $51 million for a new physics building at the University of Minnesota. July 20: WCCO-TV; Star Tribune; Huffington Post; Associated Press; Boston Herald; MinnPost; Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal; Minnesota Public Radio (to listen); Bloomberg; Star Tribune; Minnesota Public Radio On Campus; MinnPost; Finance and Commerce; July 21: MSNBC, MinnPost

New turbine brings energy, learning opportunities
University of Minnesota Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power and Xcel Energy are providing teacher training opportunities and other curriculum development in support of a new $100,000, 120-foot-tall wind turbine at the Mahtomedi High School stadium. In addition to producing energy, the turbine will provide educational opportunities for students in Mahtomedi schools and at Century College. July 19: Vadnais Heights Press

Top projects: Akerman Hall renovation
The area of Akerman Hall called “The Hangar” on the University of Minnesota campus was recently renovated. The Hangar includes laboratory, office and collaborative spaces for undergraduate and graduate students in the school’s Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics program. July 18: Finance and Commerce (subscription)

Minnesota state budget still not a done deal
Funding for the University’s new Physics and Nanotechnology Building remains uncertain as negotiations continue over Governor Dayton’s budget proposal. July 15: Finance and Commerce, Minnesota Daily; July 16: Star Tribune

Lurking under Bangladesh: the next great earthquake?
University seismologists are assisting in a five-year, $5 million project to chart the hazards of the river delta in Bangladesh. July 14: Earth Institute; Physorg

U of M’s research improves riding experiences for bicyclists
Computer science and engineering faculty members Loren Terveen, John Riedl, and Joseph Konstan are using technology to improve the riding experiences for Twin Cities bicyclists under a project called Cyclopath. July 13: Tech.MN

U researchers find new way to generate geothermal energy
Potential investors are showing interest in a new geothermal energy production system that University researchers hope to commercialize. Research by assistant professor Martin Saar and graduate student Jimmy Randolph (earth sciences), could lead to a vast expansion of geothermal electricity generation. July 12: Finance and Commerce

Green economy grows jobs
University of Minnesota researcher Leonardo Chamorro researches wind power at the University’s St. Anthony Falls laboratory. With a boost from government, environmentally friendly industries in Minnesota, like wind power, are adding workers. July 12: Star Tribune

Detour will have you taking the long way home
Civil engineering associate professor John Hourdos discusses the effect of jurisdiction on many road projects. July 10: Duluth News Tribune

Pitching plastic for good
University professor of chemistry Marc Hillmyer says scientific advancements led to lightweight, useful plastics, but now we must use the same ingenuity to deal with plastic waste. July 6: CNN

June 2011

University of Minnesota program to spur new innovations gets a boost
The Medical Devices Center Innovation Fellows program at the University of Minnesota has been a great success, according to its director, Arthur Erdman. Thanks to a $280,000 grant from the Maslowski Family Charitable Trust the program will double in size. June 28: MedCity; June 30: Star Tribune

U of M researchers to pathogenic bacteria: resistance is futile
A University of Minnesota-led team of researchers, including chemical engineering and materials science professor Wei-Shou Hu, has discovered how a genetic “switch” controls the spread of antibiotic resistance in certain pathogenic bacteria. June 28: Hutchinson Leader

U of M startup to commercialize medical device for pulmonary hypertension
The University of Minnesota has licensed technology to Aria CV, Inc., to develop and commercialize a medical device for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension. The technology was invented by former fellows in the U of M’s Medical Devices Center Innovation Fellows Program. June 23: Med City; Finance and Commerce (subscription); Mass Device; June 27: Twin Cities Business

University of Minnesota engineering researchers discover source for generating ‘green’ electricity
University of Minnesota engineering researchers in the College of Science and Engineering have recently discovered a new alloy material that converts heat directly into electricity. This revolutionary energy conversion method is in the early stages of development, but it could have wide-sweeping impact on creating environmentally friendly electricity from waste heat sources. June 22: EurekaAlert, e! Science News, Science Daily, Nanowerk, KSTP.com, Ubergizmo, R&D Magazine, Physorg.com; Popular Science; UPI.com; istockAnalyst; Gamut News; SmartPlanet.com; June 23: Neatorama; TG Daily; ExtremeTech; NSF Science360; Dalje.com; Mangalorean.com; iNewsOne; EcoSeed; Zee News; Fast Company; Laboratory Equipment; Legit Reviews; Azom.com; June 24: The Engineer; PennEnergy; Gizmag; June 25: Engadget; Gas 2.0; Geeky Gadgets; Crazy Engineer; EcoFriend; June 27: Green Optimist; DailyTech; June 30: TG Daily; July 10: Clean Technica, Green-buildings.com

Startups explore alternative hydro power on the Mississippi
While many are looking to the Mississippi River for hydropower, Fotis Sotiropoulos, director of the University of Minnesota’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, said little is known how the hydrokinetic turbines at the river’s bottom will react to rocks, sediment, sticks, debris, aquatic life and flooding. June 21: Midwest Energy News, June 22: Reuters

Lind Hall begins its transformation into the CSE center
A $6.6 million renovation of the first floor of Lind Hall began this week. The remodeled area will be the premier gathering area for College of Science and Engineering students. June 15: Minnesota Daily

Group experiments to earn patent
Nikola Tesla Patent Producers, a student group comprised of College of Science and Engineering students, is launching a near-space balloon this fall, trying to earn a U.S. patent. June 15: Minnesota Daily

Fermilab’s MINOS far detector once again collecting data
The MINOS detector began taking beam data on June 11 for the first time since a fire broke out in the Soudan Underground Laboratory in March. The fire, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, together with Fermilab, have worked steadily to get the laboratory up and running again. June 14: Symmetry Magazine

What is the most scientifically plausible superpower?
Superheroes may not be as far-fetched as you think. University professor of biomedical engineering Bin He is working of translating the signals generated when a person is watching a computer screen, and translating the information into voltages that are sent to the computer. June 13: io9

White House pushes policies to upgrade nation’s aging electrical network
University electrical and computer engineering professor Massoud Amin, who has long promoted upgrading the nation’s power system, says power utilities spend only 0.2 percent of their revenues on research and development, less than any other industry except papermaking. June 13: Washington Post

Study underway to make plastics from soy oil
University researchers, led by Marc Hillmyer, professor of chemistry, are developing degradable plastics from soybean oil. June 9: Domestic Fuel

Soudan park open as mine remains closed
After last winter’s fire, the Soudan Underground Mine remains closed for public tours. The mine’s elevator remains in operation for construction crews, park staff and researchers from the University of Minnesota high-energy physics laboratory on the bottom. June 8: Duluth News Tribune

MnDOT reports work on Minnesota Highway 23
In partnership with the University of Minnesota Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Intelligent Vehicles Laboratory, Minnesota Department of Transportation officials are striving to address motorists’ failure to stop at stop signs in rural through-stop intersections. June 10: St. Cloud Times

University of Minnesota math program ranked fourth in the world
The University of Minnesota is ranked fourth overall among the world’s most influential research universities in the field of mathematics. June 6: KSTP

Geothermal energy system would use CO2
Researchers at the University of Minnesota Department of Earth Sciences have developed a technique, dubbed a CO2-plume geothermal system, or CPG that could produce renewable energy while reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide. The method taps heat below the Earth’s surface. June 6: United Press International, iStockAnalyst, Gamut News, UPI.com, Science Daily, Eureka! Science News, R&D Magazine; June 7: Dalje.com, June 8: Fangaroo, Popsci.com, Fast Company, EcoSeed; June 9: GizMag; June 10: OilPrice.com, Huffington Post; June 15: Earth Techling, The Line

MN’s latest neat robot: the flopping aquapod
University researchers have developed the Aquapod, a floating, flopping, waterproof robot that can be used for surveying and to traverse rough terrain. June 3: Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal

May 2011

U profs recruit kids for future science and math careers
Faculty members from the University’s Department of Chemistry presented their “Energy and U” show to elementary and middle school kids in an effort to interest them in pursuing science subjects. May 25: Minnesota Daily

Aquapod robot looks like a tumbling wireless router
Researchers at the University of Minnesota recently developed a small robot that can do what most robots of similar sizes can’t — overcome obstacles and rough terrain. May 25: ubergizmo; May 28: Geek Beat.TV; May 29: Hack a Day; May 31: Acorobotics

U of M Chemistry department holds annual science show
The University of Minnesota chemistry department held its annual science show on campus, which included everything from blowing up hydrogen balloons, to water demonstrations. May 19: KSTP; May 25: Minnesota Daily

Do biofuels reduce greenhouse gases?
A new study shows that greenhouse-gas emissions from biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, may be lower than many researchers have estimated. May 18: Indystar.com; May 20: MIT Technology Review

Little rolling robot transforms into helicopter
Researchers from the University’s Center for Distributed Robotics have created a robot that can fly when necessary. May 16: IEEE Spectrum, Gizmodo; May 17: Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal; May 19: Wired, CrunchGear; May 20: Geek.com; May 22: Io9; May 23: Discovery News

Suspended carbon nanotube thin-film suits NEMS
A research group, led by Tianhong Cui, professor of mechanical engineering, has explored the fundamental issues of fabrication by characterizing the devices step by step. May 10: Nano Tech Web

U of M solar car wins at Brickyard Speedway
A solar car built by a team of University of Minnesota science and engineering students circled the Brickyard in Indianapolis 569 times over three days to win a college solar car race last weekend. May 9: KSTP-TV; Star Tribune; Bring Me the News May 10: MinnPost.com; KMSP-TV; Finance & Commerce

U researchers to map the Arctic
University researchers who previously worked to map Antarctica are now mapping the Arctic. Led by Paul Morin in the College of Science and Engineering, the Polar Geospatial Center will now support and train other researchers studying the Earth’s poles. May 6: WCCO-TV; Greenfield Daily Reporter; Minnesota Public Radio; KMSP-TV: WDIO-TV; Post-Bulletin; Winona Daily News; La Crosse Tribune; Minneapolis Star Tribune; Pioneer Press; KTTC; Wahpeton Daily News; KSTP.com; WXOW.com; Valley News Live; WKBT; WQOW; The Republic; Daily Journal; Bring Me The News; May 9: Spatial News; Our Amazing Planet May 10: LiveScience.com; msnbc.com; Our Amazing Planet, MSNBC, Directions Magazine, Geo Community May 11: Barents Observer

U of M Medical Devices Fellows visit to Japan will help MN start-ups
Innovation Fellows of the University of Minnesota Medical Devices Center are scheduled to travel to Japan for a week-long trip the university says will benefit medical start-up companies in Minnesota. May 4: KSTP-TV

The physics of superheroes
James Kakalios, University professor of physics, talks about the physics principles of the superheroes in comics books and movies. May 1: StarTalk Radio

April 2011

Engineering students’ car runs races, starts careers
University of Minnesota engineering students are building a race car from scratch to compete in the national SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) competition in May. April 21: Minnesota Daily

Minn. fire marshal: Sparks during maintenance probably caused fire at Soudan mine state park
A report says sparks produced during maintenance probably caused last month’s fire at Soudan Underground Mine State Park near Tower, Minn. April 19: The Republic, Pine Journal

Annual river flooding leaves some research high and dry
Spring flooding that brings in 2 to 3 feet of Mississippi River water to the lower levels of St. Anthony Falls Laboratory is keeping some researchers on hold until water recedes. April 18: Minnesota Daily

Legislature pushes hydroelectric plant
A long-denied hydroelectric plant near St. Anthony Falls could finally become reality, and critics are up in arms. April 14: Minnesota Daily

FDA’s medical device chief: We’re here to help
The head of the FDA’s device division said that the United States faces a “perfect storm” of challenges that threaten its global leadership position in medical technology, including a weak economy, ever-evolving science and red tape that may thwart approval and payment of new products. April 13: Star Tribune

Jim Kakalios on the quantum mechanics of source code
University physics professor Jim Kakalios has achieved internet demi-fame with his YouTube video, the science of “Watchmen”, which has garnered more than a million and a half views. April 12: Discover Magazine

Batteries that recharge in seconds
A new way of making battery electrodes based on nanostructured metal foams has been used to make a lithium-ion battery that can be 90 percent charged in two minutes. April 11: Technology Review

Sparks probable cause of Soudan mine fire
Sparks generated during maintenance work were the apparent cause of the fire in the Soudan Underground Mine last month. April 8: Duluth News Tribune, WKBT

U of M doctoral students highlight research at public showcase
More than 60 of the University of Minnesota’s top doctoral students from more than 40 fields took part in the fourth annual Doctoral Research Showcase. April 6: Finance and Commerce

Rushford lays big bet on nanotech
Nanotechnology has the potential to replace some of the traditional manufacturing jobs that are disappearing in rural Minnesota according to Stephen Campbell, professor of electrical and computer engineering. April 4: Rochester Post Bulletin

U researchers contribute to bid for more renewable energy
University of Minnesota researchers are using fatty acids created from two different types of bacteria, and converting those fatty acids into fuel. April 1: Minnesota Public Radio, Earth Techling

March 2011

U robotics team to head to St. Louis
College of Science and Engineering student and head robot designer Danny Blau is headed to St. Louis with 12 members of the University robotics team to compete in the first ever national competition. March 31: Minnesota Daily

Three CSE students named Goldwater scholars
Three College of Science and Engineering students have been named Barry M. Goldwater scholars for 2011. March 31: KSTP-TV

What’s going on down there? Physicists explain their search for neutrinos, dark matter
The University of Minnesota Soudan Science Lab is exploring some of the most intriguing mysteries in physics. March 25: Duluth News Tribune

Research at Iron Range mine to continue
Physics professor Marvin Marshak says it’s too soon to guess how much it will cost to get the Soudan Underground Laboratory up and running after a fire damaged it on March 18. March 25: Duluth News Tribune

Scientists use bacteria to create fuel from sunlight and CO2
University of Minnesota researchers have announced a breakthrough to create a viable fuel alternative using greenhouse gases. March 24: GizMag Technology, Daily News & Analysis; March 25: Fav Stocks; March 30: Biofuels Journal, Minnesota Daily; March 31: Green Building Elements

Startup International Cardio licenses noninvasive clogged arteries treatment
Emad Ebbini, University professor of electrical and computer engineering, led a team of researchers that developed technology that uses high-intensity focused ultrasound to treat clogged arteries in a noninvasive way, which is being licensed by International Cardio Corp. March 24: Med City News, Twin Cities Business; March 25: Mass Device

Washinton Avenue bridge to be strengthened
In the aftermath of the I-35W bridge collapse, additional strength and support will be added to the Washington Avenue Bridge as the Central Corridor light-rail line is built, according to University civil engineering professors Ted Galambos and Roberto Ballarini. March 22: Minnesota Daily

$100 million lab undamaged in fire
A University of Minnesota physics research lab located one-half mile underground at the bottom of the Soudan Mine near Tower, Minn. has escaped damage from a fire, according to officials. March 21: UPI, Science Mag, March 22: Physics World, Plains Daily

Physics lab threatened by fire In Minn. mine
A fire burning inside the Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northern Minnesota on March 11 threatened a $50-million physics laboratory operated by the University of Minnesota. March 18: WCCO-TV, Star Tribune, March 20: Austin Daily Herald, March 21: The Republic, MinnPost, Minnesota Daily

U prof’s past and 2nd job get scrutiny
The dual employment of Dennis Polla, director of graduate studies, Management of Technology program, is raising eyebrows at the Minnesota State Capitol. March 16: Star Tribune

With less money for roads, experts say pothole season could be worst yet
David Levinson, civil engineering, has a long-term suggestion for addressing Minnesota’s pothole problem. March 14: Minnesota Public Radio

DUSEL’s uncertain future may benefit Soudan lab
A financial setback for construction of a laboratory in South Dakota’s Homestake Mine may breathe new life into efforts to retain the University of Minnesota’s underground lab at Soudan, according to Marvin Marshak, University professor of physics. March 13: Tower TimberJay

Ruben Rosario: Minnesota need not fret ‘The Big One’
According to Justin Revenaugh, University professor of geology and geophysics, the odds of a magnitude 5.5 earthquake happening in Minnesota is about one every 266 years. March 12: Pioneer Press

For engineers, lessons in a deadly quake
University professor of civil engineering, Carol Shield, who is involved in the never-ending study of earthquakes, is paying close attention to the most powerful earthquake in Japan’s history. March 11: Finance and Commerce

Minnesota professor uses Xbox Kinect for research
Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos, University professor of computer science and engineering, has saved more than $100,000 by using the Kinect as an integral part of his research – employing it not as a toy but as a medical tool that could one day streamline the diagnoses of mental disorders in children. March 10: Minnesota Daily; March 14: Kare 11, WCCO, Pioneer Press, 1Up; March 15; Gamasutra, Kotaku, CrunchGear, XboxAddict.com, Geek.com, Lazygamer

U seeks space as tech industry grows
The Nanofabrication Center has provided growing numbers of University of Minnesota students, researchers and outside businesses with the tools to engineer cutting-edge devices. Demand for the facility and the technologies it produces has outgrown the space. March 3: Minnesota Daily

Cool in schoolU of M Solar Lab
Jane Davidson, a University professor of mechanical engineering, and Wojciech Lipinski, a University assistant professor of mechanical engineering, are featured in the University’s new solar lab where research is being conducted to convert concentrated sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into synthetic hydrocarbon fuel. March 3: KARE-TV

University of Minnesota’s Lind Hall to get $6 million fix
The University of Minnesota’s Lind Hall will soon get a makeover to provide updated student service spaces for the College of Science & Engineering. March 1: Finance & Commerce; March 2: Topix

New form of carbon proposed
Renata Wentzcovitch, chemical engineering and materials scientist, thinks she may know of a way to make T-carbon from smaller carbon compounds. March 1: Nanowerk, Softpedia

February 2011

Diamond cousin proposed
Renata Wentzcovitch, chemical engineering and materials scientist, thinks she may know of a way to make T-carbon from smaller carbon compounds. Feb. 28: Science News, Before It’s News

Franken seeks legislation that invests in STEM education
U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) announced plans to introduce legislation that would invest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. Feb. 26: Alexandria Echo Press

U’s ‘father of chemical engineering’ dies at 95
Neal Amundson, former head of the University’s chemical engineering department and the man for whom Amundson Hall is named, died last week after a career spanning more than seven decades Feb. 23: Minnesota Daily

U Center offers a ‘3-D walk’ through a heart, seeks to accelerate medical device design
Sen. Al Franken visits the University of Minnesota Medical Devices Center to learn how the center works with researchers and medical device company representatives. Feb. 22: MinnPost

Researchers receive two grants to create diagnostic tool for early detection of childhood mental disorders
A research team led by Nikolaos Papanilolopoulos, a University professor of computer science and engineering, has been awarded two grants totaling more than $3 million to create robotic devices and computer vision algorithms that will help to diagnose children who are at risk in developing autism, attention deficit disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. Feb. 16: Science Business; Feb. 17: The Medical News; Scientific Computing; PhysOrg; Wotnews; Autism News; IndiaTimes; LifeWhile

U says a proposed $80M nanotech lab is about more than science. It’s about jobs, too.
University of Minnesota officials and leaders in Minnesota’s science and business communities say a new experimental physics and nanotechnology building is key to keeping Minnesota competitive in the field of nanotechnology. Feb. 14: Minnesota Daily; Feb. 15: Pioneer Press

New cyberweapon could take down the Internet
Max Schuchard, a Ph.D. student in computer science and engineering, says that he and his colleagues have discovered a technique that would, essentially, paralyze the Internet, and is suggesting improvements for its defenses. Feb. 11: New Scientist; Wopular; ACM TechNews; Feb. 12: Allvoices; ArticlePills; Feb. 13: ZDNet; Feb. 14: CBS News; Metro; Feb. 15: Slashdot, Minnesota Daily; Feb. 16: Examiner Los Angeles

Eden Prairie-based ATK to help build ‘Space Taxi’
Gary Balas, head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, said ATK’s partnership with Astrium in Europe to build a new commercial rocket is a commitment to future development of man in space and keeping a human in space flight. Feb. 8: KARE TV

What you missed: Smart Grid Summit day one
University professor of electrical and computer engineering Massoud Amin presented the keynote at the Smart Grid Summit in Miami, making a clear case for the need to build a stronger and more secure national grid. Feb. 8: Smart Grid

You think science can’t be fun? Think again
The University of Minnesota Physics Force performs its largest show of the year called the “Physics Circus.” Feb. 7: WCCO TV; Feb. 10: KMSP-TV; Feb. 11: KMSP-TV

Plans for fast Twin Cities-Chicago train hit speed bump
David Levinson, an associate professor of civil engineering, says prospects for a high-speed train between the Twin Cities and Chicago may have disappeared because of political priorities. Feb. 7: Star Tribune

The ones who should be famous
Many Filipinos outside of the entertainment industry deserve the kind of recognition we only give celebrities. They include Larry Que, a University professor of chemistry, who is a world leader in bio-inorganic chemistry. Feb. 6: PhilStar

Minneapolis start-up plans to commercialize device that prevents harmful sediment in urban runoff
Upstream Technologies plans to commercialize a device called the “SAFL Baffle” that was developed at the College of Science and Engineering by co-founder John Guillver, a professor of civil engineering. Feb. 4: Star Tribune; WaterTech Online

Science discussions in south Minneapolis
Roger Jones, University professor emeritus of physics and astronomy, will present “The Shape of Things to Come: The History and Future of the Universe on March 19. Feb. 3: Twin Cities Daily Planet

U tackles social network intricacies
University computer science researchers reveal dynamic relationships within social networks. Feb. 3: Minnesota Daily

Editorial: Think long-term about 2011 bonding
Projects such as a new Physics and Nanotechnology center at the University of Minnesota could create future jobs if a bonding proposal is approved by the Minnesota legislature this session. Feb. 1: Star Tribune; Feb. 5: Star Tribune

Narrow the focus: competitiveness & private-sector jobs
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is willing to sign a bonding bill of up to $1 billion, including funds for a new Physics and Nanotechnology building at the University of Minnesota. Feb. 1: Pioneer Press; Feb. 4: Finance & Commerce

Dayton seeks $1 billion for public works
Gov. Mark Dayton proposed a $1 billion public works program that includes $51.3 million for a new Physics and Nanotechnology Building at the University of Minnesota. Feb. 1: Pioneer Press; Minnesota Daily; Duluth News Tribune; Lake County News-Chronicle

Shutting Down the U.S. Internet: A Doomsday Scenario
Andrew Odlyzko, University professor of mathematics, says the impact of a complete shutdown of the Internet would paralyze the U.S. economy. Feb. 1: CBS News; Christian Science Monitor

Steve Thomson with Marc Hirschmann from the U of M
Professor of geology and geophysics Marc Hirschmann is interviewed on WCCO radio’s “The John Hines Show” about the dormant supervolcano lying beneath Yellowstone National Park. Feb. 1: WCCO 830

January 2011

Dayton reveals recommendations for bonding priorities
Pitching it as a jobs stimulator, Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a $1 billion borrowing for state-funded building projects includes $51.3 million for a new Physics and Nanotechnology Building at the University of Minnesota. Jan. 31: Star Tribune; Minnesota Public Radio; GovMonitor; MinnPost; Minnesota Daily; Politics in Minnesota

Catalyst Makes A Novel Switch
Professor of chemistry Lawrence Que says the recent discovery of a small-molecule iron catalyst with unusual reactivity previously seen only in nature can diversify the kinds of things one can imagine doing with complex organic substrates. Jan. 31: Chemical and Engineering News

A towering challenge
The University of Minnesota’s civil engineering department released a study in 2001 highlighting the cracking in cross girders near the ends of the approach spans on the I-35W bridge. Jan. 30 Sacramento Press

University computer science researchers provide insight into how we understand social networking
Computer science and engineering professor Shashi Shekhar and research assistant Dev Oliver have co-authored a new paper providing insight into how our social networking interactions could discover things like emerging or declining leadership, changes in trust, and migration and mobility within particular online communities. Jan. 28: PhysOrg; Science Daily; e!Science News; Newsroom America, Eureka! Science News, R&D Magazine, Science Blog; Jan. 29: Machines Like Us; Jan. 30: World.edu

Next steps in renewable energy may be dreamt of right here at home
Scientists from the University’s College of Science and Engineering are answering the call to arms from President Obama for renewable energy. Jan. 28: KARE 11

Bruininks talks cuts, Capitol and golf coach
University president Bruininks recently met with Minnesota legislators saying his number one priority in the capital bill is to bring the Physics and Nanotechnology Building to fruition. Jan. 27: Minnesota Daily

From EverQuest to Afghanistan: Army, U teach teamwork
Computer science students and faculty who study video gaming are attracting the attention of not only the Army but also other government agencies that hope to see connections between virtual and real-world behaviors. Jan. 26: Minnesota Daily

Scanning for universe’s dark matter, 2,341 feet deep
The Soudan Mine lab in northern Minnesota, run by the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, is an epicenter of dark matter research. Jan. 24: Minnesota Daily

Regulating Google’s Results? Law professor calls ‘search neutrality’ incoherent
University mathematics professor Andrew Odlyzko comments on regulating search-neutrality engines for the Internet. Jan. 22: Epicenter

Buses using virtual world to navigate
Craig Shankwitz, program director of the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Intelligent Vehicles Laboratory, talks about the Driver Assist System technology that is helping to raise bus drivers’ awareness of road obstacles. Jan. 18: Star Tribune.

Adding smarts to the electrical grid
Electrical and computer engineering professor Massoud Amin was recently interviewed on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation: Science Friday” program about his research showing that the U.S. electrical grid is getting less reliable. Jan. 14: NPR Science Friday

‘U’ lights up solar simulator
In a windowless lab at the University of Minnesota’s Mechanical Engineering Building stands a $450,000 piece of equipment that could convert concentrated sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into synthetic hydrocarbon fuel. Jan. 13: Finance and Commerce; Jan. 18: Selected Science News

Laura Babcock named new MnTAP director
Laura Babcock, lecturer in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, has been named director for MnTAP, the University of Minnesota outreach program that helps Minnesota businesses develop and implement industry-tailored solutions to prevent pollution, maximize efficient use of resources, and reduce energy use and cost to improve public health and the environment. Jan. 13: Prairie Business

Green Chemistry: Could Minnesota industry, scientists lead the way?
The environmental effects of hazardous substances was the topic of a “green chemistry” forum sponsored in part by the University of Minnesota. Jan. 9: Twin Cities Daily Planet

Franken visits U of Minn. for speech, lab visits
U.S. Sen. Al Franken recently visited medical research labs at the University of Minnesota and spoke at a conference on “green chemistry” hosted by the University. Jan. 7: WXOW-TV; Winona Daily News; Grand Forks Herald; Jan. 12: The Bemidji Pioneer

Minnesota maker of biotech containers raises more than $1M
Minnesota is home to a mini-cluster of companies that specialize in manufacturing pharmaceuticals. The University of Minnesota’s renowned chemical engineering department produces graduates with the skills in reaction processes and chemical synthesis needed in these companies. Jan. 6: MedCity News; Jan. 7: MinnPost

Aviation school at Blaine elementary is taking flight
Scientists and engineers from the University of Minnesota who have ties to NASA plan to work with a new Aviation Children’s Engineering and Sciences (ACES) school in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. Jan. 6: ABC Newspapers

Myth Busting: The split hockey puck
School of Physics and Astronomy professor and avid hockey player Bob Gerhz does a little investigating regarding possible reasons why a hockey puck split in half when it hit the goal post during a recent game. Jan. 6: Fox 9

U.S. electrical grid gets less reliable
Electrical and computer engineering professor Massoud Amin writes a commentary on how the U.S. electrical grid has been plagued by ever more and ever worse blackouts over the past 15 years. Jan. 6: IEEE Spectrum

Exotic discovery made in soft polymer
Professor Frank S. Bates and his research team at the University of Minnesota have discovered an unusual type of soft material that was conceived more than 50 years ago, but has never before been found in a plastic-although it has been seen in stainless steel and other metal alloys. Jan. 4: PhysOrg

New tech may optimize wind turbines
A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota’s St. Anthony Falls Lab are working with researchers from Syracuse University to reduce the drag of a wind turbine’s blades, or the resistance felt by the turbine blades as they beat the air. Jan. 3: Earth Techling; Jan. 5: The Engineer.

Green energy first: New York firm seeks tidal power plant in East River
University of Minnesota engineers are part of a research team working with a New York firm to use tidal power in New York’s East River to provide energy for the city. Jan. 3: The Christian Science Monitor.

Minnesota-born mathematician to be honored at U of M
The University of Minnesota will honor an award-winning mathematician and Minneapolis native in a first-of-its-kind mathematics conference. John Torrence Tate, Jr., son of world-renowned University of Minnesota physicist, was the 2010 winner of the Abel Prize, an international prize for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics. Jan. 1: KTTC-TV