News » Archives » January 2011

Soundings: And the winner is . . .

By Kerry Temple ’74

I wasn’t disappointed that none of my three kindergartners got an award during their elementary school’s assembly. But awards: an interesting topic, especially now with a national debate ignited by a Chinese Tiger Mom scolding America for its leniently errant parenting style.

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Hard Hats

By Sharen Walsh '78

It was at a scheduling meeting when someone called upstairs to the new secretary for a copy of a letter. One of the senior managers looked around the table and said with a smirk, “S—-t, Diane’s so fat she won’t get that letter down the stairs ’til next week.” Then he watched me for my reaction.

He made this comment partly because he was just one of those people who enjoyed belittling others, and partly (profanity included) to get a rise out of me. I was

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Much Ado about Shakespeare

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

It can be tough to grab a spot in a popular class. When Paul Rathburn and Katherine Pogue teach “Shakespeare in Performance” this summer, students soon will discover that it’s going to require skill and talent both to get in the class and to survive the course requirements. The end result, however, will be far more than intellectual growth and a grade.…

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Chip Master: Gary H. Bernstein

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

In a laboratory buried deep inside Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering, Notre Dame students are fabricating sophisticated computer chips. Not advanced graduate students, but undergraduates. And what they’re fabricating are not just simple logic gates, but a complex microprocessor with as many as 3,000 transistors.…

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Idea Changer : Scott Maxwell

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

For those students who think statistics promises a dreary class filled with mathematical equations, Scott Maxwell offers a bit of a surprise. “Statistics is really a different way of viewing the world,” the Matthew A. Fitzsimon professor of psychology says.

Maxwell thinks that statistics classes are too often taught as a set of formulas. “Ideas get left out,” he says. Statistics can change ways of thinking, he points out, because they offer mathematical “proof” of certain beliefs. “It’s a logical method for changing your ideas,” he says.…

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Mosquito Sleuths: Frank Collins & Nora Besansky

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

One of the deadliest killers on the planet, a tiny vampire known as Anopheles gambiae, is becoming more dangerous. The African mosquito that spreads most of the world’s malaria has developed resistance to chloroquine, the drug traditionally used to treat the disease, and there are signs it is becoming resistant to the insecticide used against it as well. Unless a new strategy is devised to combat malaria, a monstrous public health disaster looms on the horizon. That ominous backdrop underscores the work going on in the lab shared by Frank Collins and Nora Besansky, scientists who joined the ND faculty about two years ago by way of the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Disease Control.…

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Solvent Solver: Joan Brennecke

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

Joan F. Brennecke’s research interests — supercritical fluid technology and thermodynamics — are not the stuff of everyday conversation, but their implications could make a lot of manufacturing processes safer for workers and more benign to the environment. “In general,” she says, “what I work on is looking for substitutes for the normal solvents used in industry.”…

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The Reformer: Paul Schultz

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

A framed letter of complaint hangs on the wall of Paul Schultz’s office. It chides him for harboring “a fundamental lack of understanding” of the way financial markets work, and it’s signed by the president of Nasdaq (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation system), the world’s second largest stock market.…

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The Utility Infielder: James McAdams

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

James McAdams might be viewed as “the professor who came in from the cold.” Before the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, he was one of the first American political scientists to be accepted at East Berlin’s Academy of Sciences. “As a specialist in East Germany,” he says of Communism’s collapse, “I had to deal with the unlikely fact of ‘my’ country disappearing. Some of my contacts in the East went to jail and others turned out to have been spies, people who deceived me.”…

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Catholic Conversationalist: Vince Rougeau

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

In 1990 Vince Rougeau was at a crossroads. He had a bachelor’s degree from Brown and a law degree from Harvard and he had been working for a large law firm in Washington, D.C., for a couple of years — mostly banking law and international trade. “But,” he says, “I realized pretty early that working for a big law firm was not my shtick.”…

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Environmental Protection Agent: Kristin Shrader-Frechette

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

The people of Homer, Louisiana, were told they were in for a boon. A multinational business consortium announced plans to build a uranium enrichment plant near the town, and that would mean lots of good-paying jobs. A U.S. senator spoke glowingly of the project; the regional planning commission endorsed it. The only people with any misgivings were the poor African Americans who would live next to the facility. They knew such a health risk would never be allowed near a middle-class suburb, and they didn’t want it in their back yard either.…

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Networker: Laslo Barabasi

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

László Barabási unfolds the sheet of heavy paper across his desk.

It’s a big sheet, bigger than the desk, bigger than many highway maps, and covered with lines and chemical symbols in several colors.

“This represents about the work of several Nobel Prizes,” the associate professor of physics says.

What the document — readily available from a Swiss publisher of teaching aids — shows is scientific shorthand for the world’s accumulated knowledge about how a cell works; it might be called the periodic table of cell biology. Barabási hopes someday to discover the network that undergirds cell development and functioning, making it possible to create a kind of comprehensive schematic diagram of living matter.…

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The Negotiator: Ann Tenbrunsel

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

When she gets some rare time to relax — when her two toddlers are quiet and she’s caught up on her teaching and research projects — Ann Tenbrunsel likes to watch game shows on TV. Shows like Jeopardy and Greed.

“To me, Greed is fascinating,” the associate professor of management says. No surprise that Greed

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ND Free Pass: Track & Field

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

As I continue to sample all the ND sports, I run into some fun surprises, like the Notre Dame Invitational track and field event. Loftus had the air of a three-ring circus, minus the animals and any semblance of central heating but complete with amazing variety acts.

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Networthy ND 9

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

This edition of Networthy includes links to ND-related films at the Sundance Film Festival, a 1-year anniversary reprise of a music video involving the ND Marching Band and a Grammy-award-winning rock band, and the inside scoop on last year’s Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien feud.

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The Brothers Dunne

By Patrick Dunne ’60

One is a priest, a world-class theologian and revered teacher who has influenced generations of Notre Dame students. But to his brother, Patrick, a lawyer, teacher and writer, he is Scribner.

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Jesters Rule

By Jake Page

Maybe what we need in these times of pomp and self-importance is the truth-edged merriment that cuts through the malarkey. Send in the wise and witty clowns.

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Designing a creative career

By Wendy G. Ramunno ’97

Like many a theater major before her, Katharine Sise ’01 arrived in New York City after graduation with big dreams and a paltry amount in her bank account. She wrote short stories in the mornings, auditioned in the afternoons and took a bartending job to bide her time until her big break.

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Little company, big movies

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

It’s not a business plan a banker would approve. “Essentially, right now as a company, the four of us are doing this for free,” says John Klein ’06 of the associates running Glass City Films.

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