Vol. 55, No. 16Sixteenth Week • Fall Semester • Dec. 3, 2007

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Math researchers help Wisconsin communities

Ethan Wickman receives BYU Barlow commission

Grant to fund travel to South American conference

'Prometheus Bound' to be staged
Dec. 6-15

"Mexico, Migration
and Wisconsin" symposium to feature geography students' research findings

Photo corner: Chinese delegates visit UW-Eau Claire

 

Math researchers help Wisconsin communities

Dr. Simei Tong
Dr. Simei Tong

Researchers at UW-Eau Claire have created prototype mathematical models and software to help communities better plan for emergencies, a project inspired by the chaos that occurred in the city of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

"Watching Katrina was shocking," said Dr. Simei Tong, associate professor of mathematics. "The city clearly failed to appropriately plan for a disaster. As I watched that situation, I knew I wanted to find ways to use applied mathematics to solve real problems. If we can help cities prepare for disasters, we can reduce the loss of life."

In the years since Hurricane Katrina, Tong and student researchers have worked with emergency management professionals in Dane and Clark counties to build mathematical models that will help them better respond to emergencies in their regions. Full story.

Ethan Wickman receives BYU Barlow commission

Ethan Wickman
Dr. Ethan Wickman

Dr. Ethan Wickman, UW-Eau Claire assistant professor of music, recently received a $6,000 commission from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University to compose a new work for the Avalon String Quartet.

This is the second Barlow commission for Wickman, who composed a piece titled "Atomic Variations" for Flexible Music, a New York-based chamber ensemble, in 2005.

Barlow commissions, awarded annually, are highly competitive. Only 12 composers were awarded commissions this year out of 135 applicants in the general and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints program categories.

Wickman expects to complete the composition in time for an April 2008 premiere of the work at Northern Illinois University and Chicago's Symphony Center. In spring the Avalon Quartet also will perform the piece at UW-Eau Claire and conduct a master class for string and composition students. Full story. Go to top of page

Grant to fund travel to South American conference

Juan Carlos Chavez
Dr. Juan Carlos Chaves

Dr. Juan Carlos Chaves, UW-Eau Claire assistant professor of foreign languages, has received a $5,000 grant from the Center for Business Education and Research at UW-Madison to attend the 12th annual MERCOSUR (Mercado Común del Sur, or Southern Common Market) program in Argentina, Brazil and Chile May 9-21, 2008.

Chaves said his goal is to internationalize the curriculum of UW-Eau Claire's Spanish for Business program, one of just a few such programs offered at universities in the United States, by incorporating information on culture and politics that affect business issues and the global integration of various countries in the Spanish-speaking world.

MERCOSUR has become increasingly political in recent years, and ensuing disagreements have threatened its effectiveness as a trade organization, Chaves said.

"It's important for students who want to pursue careers in international business that utilize their Spanish to understand these issues," he said, noting that he currently has about 67 students in the Spanish for Business program, which has continued to grow in popularity. Full story. Go to top of page

'Prometheus Bound' to be staged Dec. 6-15
'Prometheus Bound' graphicThe UW-Eau Claire music and theatre arts department's production of "Prometheus Bound," by Aeschylus, will open at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, in Riverside Theatre. Additional performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7-8 and 12-15, with a matinee performance at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9.

The play is directed by Richard Nimke, associate professor of music and theatre arts. The production is a new translation of the Greek classic by James Kerr and was first performed in London in 2006 and then in spring 2007, Nimke said. The UW-Eau Claire production is the first amateur production of this translation. Full story.Go to top of page

'Mexico, Migration and Wisconsin' symposium
to feature geography students' research findings

students with Mexican host family
UW-Eau Claire Spanish majors Daniel Drung (standing), Rachel Meneghini (left) and Gina Livingston (right) posed with members of their host family during their stay in rural Veracruz, Mexico, where they and other students in a UW-Eau Claire geography capstone class interviewed family and friends of migrants to western Wisconsin. (Contributed photo)

"Mexico, Migration and Wisconsin," a symposium based on field research conducted by 13 students in a UW-Eau Claire geography capstone class, will be held from 3-8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, in Phillips Science Hall and Davies Theatre in Davies Center.

The goals of the capstone class, taught by Dr. Paul Kaldjian, associate professor of geography, in cooperation with UW-Eau Claire's Spanish and Latin American studies programs, are to inform migration discussions in Wisconsin, educate the public, help make this region more welcoming to migrant workers, and assist local communities in both Wisconsin and Veracruz, Kaldjian said.

This semester, the students interviewed Mexican workers, their employers and community members in western Wisconsin. From Oct. 19-27, the students traveled to rural Veracruz, Mexico, where they stayed with and interviewed family and former neighbors and community members of the migrants to Wisconsin.

The student researchers will give two concurrent sessions of 20-minute presentations on their research from 3:10-5:30 p.m. in rooms 104 and 119 of Phillips Science Hall. Nathan Wolf Lustbader, Mexican consul in St. Paul, Minn., will give the event's keynote address at 6 p.m. in Davies Theatre. The symposium is free and open to the public. Full story. Go to top of page

Photo corner:
Chinese delegates visit UW-Eau Claire

Delegates from several Chinese universities visited UW-Eau Claire Nov. 28 to learn about the university and its academic programs. The visit followed UW-Eau Claire's recent acceptance into the prestigious China 1-2-1 Partnership Program, which will allow Chinese students to earn dual degrees from UW-Eau Claire and their home institutions in China. More information. See several photos from the visit below.

Photos by Bill Hoepner, LTS

Huamin Liu with Larry Solberg Dr. Huamin Liu, vice president of Changshu Institute of Technology, talked during a breakfast reception with Dr. Larry Solberg, associate dean in UW-Eau Claire's College of Education and Human Sciences.
Zaofeng Wu, Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich and Jianning Hua
Above, Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich accepted gifts from, left, Zaofeng Wu, deputy secretary-general of the China Education Association for International Exchange, and, right, Jianning Hua, chief manager of the Sino-American Cooperation and Exchange Office of the China Center for International Educational Exchange. Below, Dr. Thomas Hilton, UW-Eau Claire professor and chair of the information systems department, visited with members of the Chinese delegation in the new Cargill Collaboration Center in Schneider Hall.
delegates with Tom Hilton in Cargill Lab

 


University Bulletin
Published weekly during the fall and spring semesters by the UW-Eau Claire News Bureau. News items and notices should be sent to the News Bureau, Schofield 201, by 10 a.m. Monday for publication in the following week’s issue. E-mail submissions to Julie Poquette at poquetjm@uwec.edu are encouraged. Faculty/staff news items are published on a space-available basis.


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Julie Poquette, Editor, UW-Eau Claire News Bureau, Schofield 201, (715) 836-4741
Diane Walkoff, Editorial Assistant. Updated: December 3, 2007

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