Campus Notebook

November/December 2000

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mclaughlin Reaching Out to Bay Area Youth
Education professor Milbrey McLaughlin says Stanford will make a "long-term commitment" to youth outreach with the John Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, which she will direct. Funded by a $5 million endowment from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and a $500,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the center will work with law enforcement officials, social workers, clergy, parents, business people and teenagers in Redwood City and Oakland to find new ways to respond to the needs of Bay Area youth.

Napster Connections Still 'Go'
Stanford is not yet a Napster-free zone. In September, along with Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, Duke, MIT and the University of North Carolina, the University decided not to ban the use of the popular Napster digital music file-swapping software on campus. At some schools last year, so many students downloaded music files that campus computer systems were overloaded and administrators blocked access to Napster to relieve bandwidth congestion. This fall, in response to a letter from the attorney representing the band Metallica and rap artist Dr. Dre, which asked universities to restrict access, lawyers for Stanford said that the University "does not condone copyright infringement," but argued there was no legal reason to inhibit online connections.

Engineers and Biologists Exchange Models
Funded by $5.3 million from the U.S. Department of Defense, faculty in developmental biology and the department of aeronautics and astronautics will work together to use air traffic control theory to create a mathematical model for understanding intra- and intercellular communication. That's one example of the collaborative research that will be possible thanks to a three-year grant Stanford received from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The unusual consortium of engineers and biologists may help to resolve fundamental questions about how genes function.

nur Edging Toward Earthquake Detection
Geophysicist Amos Nur thinks researchers today are on the verge of a seismic revolution. Nur's observations came at the Third Conference on Tectonic Problems of the San Andreas Fault System, held at Stanford in September and co-sponsored by the School of Earth Sciences and the U.S. Geological Survey. Scientists from around the world learned about new technologies that are advancing earthquake study, including data gathered by global positioning systems.

bauer Collaborating on Heart Disease Treatments
Predicting it will lead to "pioneering new approaches to the prevention and treatment of heart disease," Eugene Bauer, vice president for medical affairs, praised the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for its $24 million, four-year grant to establish the Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at Stanford. By bringing together basic, clinical and epidemiologic investigators under one roof, the center is intended to build collaborative links among scientists working on new treatments for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.

Alums First, Then a Wider Public
Noting that Stanford "from the beginning . . . has sought ways to extend the power of education to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity," President John Hennessy hailed the September launch of the nonprofit University Alliance for Life-Long Learning. A collaboration with Oxford, Princeton and Yale, the distance-learning venture will offer online courses, interactive seminars, multimedia programs and topical websites to a combined alumni body of about 500,000 by late 2001. In the future, courses may open to a wider public.

New Materials for a New Century
When the long-awaited Theodore H. Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials opened in August, professor emeritus of applied physics Geballe predicted that new technologies developed on campus "will help solve the problems of the 10 billion or so people who will be inhabiting the Earth during this new century." The lab will host 220 students and faculty from seven departments who aim to develop semiconducting polymers for lasers and lubricants for computer hard drives, among other projects.

plummer$5 Million for Information Technology
Five Stanford information-technology projects received a total of more than $5 million from the National Science Foundation in September--money that Jim Plummer, MS '67, PhD '70, dean of the School of Engineering, said will be "tremendously helpful." Professors Hector Garcia-Molina, Christopher Manning, Jeffrey Ullman and Jennifer Widom hope to transform the web into a Global InfoBase; Monica Lam and Dawson Engler will create tools for software design; Kincho Law, James Leckie, Gio Wiederhold and Barton Thompson, '73, JD '76, will explore ways to make governmental rules available online; Daphne Koller, PhD '74, and Peter Small plan to develop technology for analyzing biological data; and Lambertus Hesselink will look for ways to research complicated physical phenomena such as electromagnetic fields and weather systems.

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