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Wednesday, October 20 2010


MIT blackjack team player who inspired a book and movie will speak Nov. 3

Jeffrey Ma, strategy expert and subject of the best seller "Bringing Down The House" and "21," the movie about the MIT Blackjack Team, will speak at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Ma is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Citizen Sports, the sports media company that is changing how businesses use numbers and metrics to build their brand and retain customers. His talk, "The House Advantage: Playing the Odds to Win Big in Business," is free and open to the public.

News release.

Timothy Stewart

Timothy Stewart

ISU researchers get drenched to study wetland health in the Upper Midwest

Two researchers at Iowa State University are collecting physical, chemical and biological data from 37 wetlands in northern Iowa which are part of the Prairie Pothole Region. They hope to identify the most reliable indicators of a healthy wetland ecosystem.

News release.

Iowa State, USDA researchers discover eye test for neurological diseases in livestock

Iowa State University's Jacob Petrich and his collaborators have discovered that the eyes of sheep infected with scrapie return an intense, almost-white glow when they're hit with blue light. That finding suggests technologies can be developed to quickly and noninvasively test for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, progressive and fatal neurological diseases such as mad cow disease.
News release.

Japanese diplomat Kazuhide Ishikawa to give Manatt-Phelps Lecture Oct. 26

Kazuhide Ishikawa -- envoy extraordinary minister plenipotentiary and deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. -- will be the featured speaker at the ninth annual Manatt-Phelps Lecture in Political Science on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. in ISU's Memorial Union Sun Room.
News release.

Panel of national experts will discuss repairing financial markets Oct. 28

Three experts with distinguished careers in the financial sector will discuss the future of the mortgage market and financial regulation in a panel discussion, "Fixing Financial Markets: Views from Freddie, Finance and the Fed," at 8 p.m Thursday, Oct. 28, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The panelists are Donald Bisenius, executive vice president of the single family credit guarantee business at Freddie Mac; author Dan Laufenberg, former chief economist and vice president of Ameriprise Financial; and Kevin Moore, senior vice president in charge of the supervision and risk management division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The presentation is part of Iowa State's National Affairs Series. It is free and open to the public.

News release.

New grant to improve quality seed access in sub-Saharan Africa

Iowa State University seed scientists are partnering with regional and national organizations in Malawi, Zambia and Nigeria to conduct a pilot study in Africa called the Seed Policy Enhancement in African Regions (SPEAR) project that will enable better access to improved seed varieties with the help of a new $1.45 million three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

News release.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Co-President Heiden to present Nov. 2 Stafford Lecture

Cara Heiden, co-president of West Des Moines-based Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, who is ranked No. 7 on US Banker magazine's 2010 list of "The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking," is the fall 2010 speaker for the Robert Stafford Lecture Series on Banking in Iowa State's College of Business. An ISU alumnus, Heiden will present a free, public lecture, "Managing Market Turmoil from the Inside Out," on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 11 a.m. in Room 0330 of the Gerdin Business Building.

Fitting launch for new facility

A little chemical wizardry cooked up by a student group provided a fitting launch Friday for Hach Hall, Iowa State's new chemistry facility. The three-story building provides lab space and technology to perform research and improve undergrad learning. The facility was funded with a state appropriation and private gifts and is named after Kathryn Hach Darrow, her late husband, Clifford Hach and the extended Hach family, who joined the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, Muscatine, and many others in providing gifts. Tending to the fire are (from left): Bruce Hach, Troy Ross (of the Carver Trust), Dean of the Liberal Arts and Sciences College Michael Whiteford, ISU President Gregory Geoffroy and Kathryn Hach Darrow. The Society of Chemistry Undergraduate Majors (SCUM) concocted the flashy "ribbon-cutting."