lady-ada-lovelace google dole carton
Congratulations to computer science grad student Jennifer Rouan, who has been awarded a prestigious Google scholarship:
Rouan recently received the 2013 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, an award that honors its namesake by encouraging women to excel in computing and technology.
Borg was a computer scientist who devoted her life to revolutionizing perceptions of technology and dismantling barriers that keep women and minorities from entering computing and technology fields. The Google scholarship—worth $10,000 for the 2013-14 academic year—also encourages women to become active role models and leaders in these fields.
UGA’s Rouan, a master’s degree student in the Franklin College of Arts and Science’s department of computer science, also was selected for the 2013 Google Student Veterans of America Scholarship. Recipients of Google scholarships can accept only one of the awards.
“I’m very excited to have won both scholarships, but as a woman in tech I identify with Anita Borg and her impact on our field,” Rouan said. “And, so, being part of that memory is an important part of my own life philosophy.”
Fantastic - two Google scholarships. Difficult to verify, but we think Jennifer is the first UGA student to be selected for both awards. Big congratulations to her, Thiab Taha, and the computer science department.
Image: Women-inspired Google doodle honoring Anita Borg, Grace Hopper and Lada Ada Lovelace
franklin-christine, with Baseball diamond Senior Lecturer, undergraduate coordinator and Lothar Tresp Honoratus Honors Professor in the department of statistics Christine Franklin (no relation but a big part of our family) was awarded the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award by the United States Conference on Teaching Statistics at the USCOTS Award Banquet on Friday, May 17:
This biennial award is presented at the U.S. Conference On Teaching Statistics to an individual who, over an extended period of time, has made lasting contributions with broad impact to the field of statistics education especially, but not limited to, the teaching and learning of college-level statistics.
What a fantastic and richly-deserved bit of recognition of professor Franklin's positive impact on so many students over the years. To learn more about Franklin and her philosophy on teaching, please see the Focus on the Faculty feature on her from earlier this year. Big congratulations and thanks to professor Franklin for everything she does for our students and the Franklin College.
Image: courtesy UGA photgraphic services.
Finlay_in the classroom Sociology professor and head of the department William Finlay is the subject of the Focus on the Faculty this week on the UGA homepage:
What do you hope students gain from their classroom experience with you?
A set of concepts and ideas for understanding the world around them, whether they are at home, at work or visiting unfamiliar places. I like to think of sociology as a kind of toolkit that we can use to explain human behavior and I hope that my students take some of these tools with them.
Describe your ideal student.
Intellectually curious, open to new ideas, and excited about learning.
This regular feature, in the format of a Q & A, is a great way to learn about our faculty members across the university. Who they are and what they do creates the outstanding experience that is UGA for so many students - be sure and check it when you can.
Image: courtesy of UGA photographic services
Ten current or former UGA students have been awarded graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation. Six of the ten are from the Franklin College:
[The fellowships will allow students] to conduct research while working on their master's and doctoral degrees. The awards provide students with up to $126,000 during a five-year period to conduct research in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Eleven students and alumni also received honorable mentions.
This year's Fellows include:
Cameron Brown, of Savannah, GA
Kao-Wie Chua, of Johnson City, TN
Caitlin Elizabeth Conn, of Port Royal, Penn.
Chelsea Cunard, of Warren, R.I.
Caitlin Ishibashi, of Camarillo, Calif.
Uma Jyothi Nagendra, of New Orleans, La.
and from the Odum School of Ecology:
Daniel Joseph Becker, of West Chester, Penn.
Doug Booher, of Dalton, Ga.
Robert Daniel Harris, of the Drumkeerin area in County Leitrim, Ireland,
Carly Phillips, of Columbus, Ohio
Congratulations to these students and alums. Read more at the link about the work these fellowships will support.
library column pediments The UGA Librairies presents a lecture by Kenneth D. Crews, director of the Copyright Advisory Office at Columbia University in New York City, "Copyright and the Academy: The Battle turns to the Courts," on Monday May 20 at 10 am in 271 Auditorium of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. Crews will discuss recent U.S. court decisions that shape fair use for higher education:
For many years, universities and some copyright owners have sparred over interpretations of fair use and other critical provisions of the law. The disagreements have been played out in congressional hearings, negotiations over guidelines and efforts by leading organizations to influence policymaking at educational institutions. The debates have been robust, but ultimately more of a standoff than a true clash of powers. Much has changed in recent years. Cases involving copyright and education are heading to the courts. The litigation is costly and demanding, but it also is a chance to learn for the first time the view of the courts about the state of copyright law in higher education. The recent court ruling about fair use at Georgia State University is a leading of example. However, cases are also challenging videostreaming at UCLA, the preservation of digital books at the University of Michigan and even the ability of libraries to keep foreign books and other materials in their collections. This presentation will offer insights into these cases and pending developments in Congress. It will also examine reasons why the copyright issues that were once the domain of respectful agreement have escalated into litigation.
Free and open to the public (and very informative).
Image: Columns at the Richard B. Russell Building, courtesy of UGA photographic services
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The long and winding road leads to here. Congratulations to all students, parents, friends and standers-by. For a much more eloquent rendering, I turn the blog over to Franklin College senior associate dean Hugh Ruppersburg, from his prepared remarks at the Lamar Dodd School of Art commencement and awards ceremony earlier this week:
I am pleased to be here to offer congratulations and best wishes to those of you who are marking your graduation today from the University of Georgia with a degree from the Lamar Dodd School of Art. You’ve worked hard, you have much to be proud of, you ought to feel good. I extend these wishes to your friends, your parents and spouses and partners and special others, and to everyone in general, because at the end of the year everyone deserves a hug and congratulations.
I have two very brief but important imperatiuves for you today. First, use your love of art, your creative and scholarly abilities, to do good in the world. Don’t go back to your studio or office after this ceremony and close the door. You haven’t earned the right to do that. What you have earned the right to do is to use your education and your training and talent to go out and improve your society, serve your fellow human being, and do good for this planet. This is what art is for—it serves the higher needs of humankind. And humankind, in this day and age, really needs some help.
Second, take every opportunity you can find to promote--among your friends, your family, the people you work with, and anyone else you happen to run into--the value of the arts. A recent report from the Wallace Foundation found three intrinsic benefits of the arts: one is pleasure and captivation. A second is personal growth “such as enhanced empathy for other people and cultures, powers of observation, and understanding of the world”—these “cultivate the kinds of citizens desired in a pluralistic society.” The third benefit is the sense of “communal identity” that comes from thinking and talking about the arts, the “expression of common values and community identity” that come from artworks that commemorate events important to individual, group, or national experiences. And this report does not even begin to touch on the economic values of the arts, or their impact in providing a meaningful quality of life in our community. Here’s my report to you: The arts are not a luxury, a convenience, or a casual pastime. They’re an essential part of our daily lives, of our private selves, of what it means to be human and civilized. Be sure to share that message.
Congratulations, and my best wishes to you all.
gaad logo with cartoon globe No matter where you work or what you do across any sector of the economy of any country, Information Technology is important to your job. IT makes things easier and more efficient in many ways, but you also rely on it in more ways that you can think of without consulting your computer.
Our IT professionals in Franklin College are the best of the best. They keep our operations running smoothly, help us make use of the leading-edge in technological potential and keep us in compliance with the accessibility guidelines that allow us to serve our many constituencies. The importance of this last role cannot be overstated and is the rationale behind Global Accessibility Awareness Day on Thursday, May 9:
Nearly one in five Americans have a disability. The internet and mobile technology have made it easier than ever for people with varying abilities to communicate and work together with very minimal effort. Because so much of our interactions take place in the digital world, it is just as important that our technology and web presence be accessible as our buildings and classrooms.
Thursday is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and Franklin Office of Information Technology is planning a workshop and hosting an information table afterward with free treats. Both events will empower individuals to take simple steps to make their websites more accessible.
Geography professor and director of the UGA Atmospheric Sciences Program Marshall Shepherd is among the speakers in today's Tedx Atlanta Line up:
Even as we face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, humanity finds reasons to believe in a better world. On May 7th, from noon to six, TEDxAtlanta will celebrate a dozen ideas and innovations that provide reasons to be optimistic about the future. Together we'll explore big ideas surrounding the future of journalism, education, neuroscience, solar energy, disease control, climate change, water management, as well as creativity, collaboration, humility and the power of poetry. Join us, either in person or via Live Stream on May 7th from 12:20pm to 5:30pm — and add your "reasons to believe" to the conversation.
Kudos to Shepherd for being among this select group of speakers. His knowledge about climate and extreme weather is highly sought around the world, including leading-edge intellectual discussion forums that have grown out of the Ted Talks concept. Streaming should be enabled at the URL above.
Grads_at the arch It's that time of year, and the UGA commencement exercises on Friday May 10 are an exciting culmination of profound investments in and expansions of human potential. We salute all UGA graduates and the feeling of accomplishment that extends to family and friends, and of course to faculty and staff throughout the university.
Chair of our biological sciences division in the Franklin College Mark Farmer is a regular contributor to public debates on support for science in the classroom and lab. Yesterday in the pages and pixels of the Athens Banner Herald he weighed in on the creeping politicization of the NSF:
Over the past 60 years, the NSF has paid dividends that far outweigh the relatively modest investment of taxpayer support. Doppler radar, magnetic resonance imaging, fiber optics, highway protective barrels, speech recognition technology, tumor detection and the Internet itself are among those things that had their start or major development supported by the NSF.
The NSF also had a role in the success of more than 200 Nobel laureates, most of them receiving funding in the formative stages of their careers when the most significant discoveries are made. Perhaps the most important contribution the NSF has made in maintaining the U.S. technological advantage is in the training and support of young scientists and engineers.
A large portion of nearly every NSF grant goes to support the salaries of the researchers, graduate students and professional staff involved in the funded project. The economic impact is significant, but more importantly, it is often through federally funded research projects that undergraduates get their first real taste of what it means to be a scientist. Many of these young scholars go on to become the physicians, engineers and researchers on whom our nation will depend in the decades to come.
Be sure to read the whole thing. We appreciate Dr. Farmer's willingness to speak up on these matters of great importance to society.