Last year, Princeton ranked 35th in the Sears Director’s Cup standings, a list that reflects success in all intercollegiate sports. Princeton’s ranking is remarkable in no small part because the university is the only non-scholarship school to appear in the top 50.
The reasons for Princeton’s athletic successes have much to do, of course, with a talented student body. As was clear at the April 2 Lunch ‘n Learn, the success of the university’s athletic programs owes also to an exciting set of IT tools and a remarkable coaching staff.
Julie Shackford, the Head Coach of Women’s Soccer and Scott Champ, the Assistant Coach, began by showing off a recruiting application that helps them to maintain contacts with a large pool of talented high school students. Some e-mail in their interest; some are referred by alumni; and the coaches see others at tournaments or soccer camps. The coaches encourage more than 400 prospects a year to visit goprincetontigers.com and fill out and submit a questionnaire that requires some effort and which provides an indication that the students are serious about Princeton. With the data, the coaching staff can, even when traveling, track prospects’ academic progress, their campus visits, and e-mail students directly. The coaches emphasized that they respond to everyone.
Wole Soboyejo‘s work and perspectives perhaps reflect his unique set of life experiences. Born in Palo Alto, named after Winston Churchill, raised in Nigeria and with a PhD in Materials Science from Cambridge at 23, Professor Soboyejo bridges a continental perspective with interests as varied as human health, sustainable energy, and the challenges of the developing world with a passion for nanotechnology, engineering at the atomic level.
In his March 14 Lunch ‘n Learn talk, Professor Soboyejo reviewed a varied range of surprising applications of nanotechnology.
At the February 28 Lunch ‘n Learn seminar, Bill Guthe, David Potere, Bethany Bradley, Wangyal Shawa presented GIS at Princeton: Gathering Knowledge from Satellite Images. Bill Guthe began the session by describing GIS and Remote sensing opportunities at Princeton.
David Potere of Princeton’s Office of Population Research explained that the earth is encircled today by a rapidly expanding network of satellite remote sensing platforms. Collectively, this international Earth Observation System takes a complete image of the planet every day, transmitting terabytes of data to dozens of ground-Earth stations scattered across all the continents.
He noted that efforts are underway to link together all of the earth observation systems. There are currently more than 50 civilian satellites looking at our planet, and the ownership is rapidly becoming more distributed with new “birds” being launched by more than a dozen countries, notably India, China, and Korea. In just the past five years, the satellites are offering important new capabilities.
Donna Liu, University Channel Director
What if the public could listen to the best minds and newest ideas at colleges and universities around the world? What if the academic research and analysis that aims to solve the world’s problems were presented, unfiltered and uncut, to a global audience? What if this could be accomplished with only a modest investment in new technology?
These are the goals of the University Channel, a collection of recordings of public affairs lectures, panels and events from universities around the world. The University Channel web site uses new media technologies — such as streaming, “podcasting” and video-on-demand — to distribute these talks straight to the public, without the cutting and packaging of commercial news and TV programming. The goal is to enrich the general discussion of public and international policy by giving the public free access to full-length, commercial free, thoughtful presentations of people who are focused on solving the problems of the world.
At OIT’s Lunch ‘n Learn seminar on Wednesday February 22, Computer Science Professor Brian Kernighan presented Millions, Billions, Zillions – Why (In)numeracy Matters. In 2004, Newsweek magazine stated: “Perhaps the Bush administration could use the 660-billion-barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve to push prices down. Given that the average vehicle uses 550 gallons a year, assuming that there are 300 million cars and that a barrel contains approximately 50 gallons, our yearly oil needs work out to about 3 billion barrels a year. And so, offered Dr. Kernighan, “Why are we so worried about oil?”
The answer is, of course, that our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is actually 550 million barrels, enough for 200 days, not 200 years.