Thursday, July 25 2013
Iowa State data miners top all American teams, finish fifth in international competition
Iowa State's entry in the international Data-Mining Cup placed fifth among 99 teams and first among all American teams. The team's six doctoral students in statistics had to sort through 50,000 online shopping sessions from a German retailer and then develop an algorithm to predict whether customers would make a purchase or not. The team's solution correctly predicted purchases 97 percent of the time.
Companies spin off from Center for Biorenewable Chemicals, ‘de-risk’ their technologies
Two companies based on research discoveries at the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals have won grants to develop their technologies for potential commercialization. Center leaders say the technology transfer grants will allow the companies to "de-risk" the technologies for business and industry.
Iowa African American Hall of Fame announces 2013 inductees
The Iowa African American Hall of Fame will induct three new members -- Jane G. Burleson, Betty Jean Furgerson and William B. Hood Jr. -- at a reception and banquet in Altoona on Aug. 2. Scholarship recipients Quinton McRoy and Anndrea Joiner also will be recognized at the event. Tickets are $50 each. To reserve a seat, contact Rose Wilbanks in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs at 515-294-1909.
Want kids to eat healthier? Don’t tell them, show them
If given the choice between eating a salad loaded with veggies or a burger and fries, most kids -- and for that matter, most adults -- would likely pick the less healthful option. But instead of telling kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, Iowa State University researchers found the trick may be to convince them visually.
Iowa State researchers explore new treatments for a leading genetic cause of infant deaths
Researchers at Iowa State University have identified an RNA structure in humans that could lead to a new treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, the leading genetic cause of death in babies and young children. A paper published this week in the journal Nucleic Acids Research details the discovery of a novel therapeutic target that could be modified by medication, leading to new treatment possibilities for the disease.
ISU alumna Barbara Mack given Greenlee School Schwartz Award posthumously
Barbara Mack, an award-winning professor at Iowa State University, has been chosen as the 2013 winner of the James W. Schwartz Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Communication. Her passion for truth and transparency led to an iconic career as a media law professor in the Greenlee School. Mack, a 1974 Iowa State graduate, passed away unexpectedly in August 2012.
Iowa State University anatomy expert is creating digital models to train surgical students
An anatomy expert at Iowa State University is developing digital tools that could help surgical students gain nearly lifelike experience with a scalpel without having to cut into cadavers or living subjects. The final product will be a three-dimensional virtual reality program that simulates both human and animal anatomy and recreates the surgical experience better than almost any existing training method short of the real thing.
Federal sequester impacts Iowa State’s external funding in fiscal year 2013
Iowa State University's total external support in the fiscal year ending June 30 was $326.4 million, a drop of about 9 percent from the previous year. Most of the decrease can be attributed to the federal sequester, the across-the-board budget cuts mandated by 2011 legislation. Nearly $200 million of the university's external funding was the result of successful research proposals by faculty and scientific staff.
ISU design students rebrand old school for new tenant in Ames
When Architecture Lecturer Maria Miller learned that her son's preschool had purchased the former Willson-Beardshear Elementary building in Ames, she came up with a project idea for her Bachelor of Design summer studio: Rebrand the building's exterior for its new tenant — the Ames Community Preschool Center. With donations of materials, tools and labor, Ames' oldest private, nonprofit preschool is spruced up with new paint, signage and landscaping.
Iowa State’s Iverson leads international team to study hills exposed by shrinking glacier
Iowa State's Neal Iverson and a team of researchers are about to leave for Iceland where they'll camp near a glacier and collect sediment samples from long, narrow hills called drumlins. Geologists have studied the hills for about 150 years, but still don't have a good understanding of how they're formed underneath glaciers. Drumlins are of patricular interest these days because they could affect how quickly parts of ice sheets move and shed ice into the oceans.
Team PrISUm launches big comeback; finishes third in close Formula Sun Grand Prix
Team PrISUm made up a lot of laps on Saturday, but it wasn't quite enough to win the three-day Formula Sun Grand Prix. Iowa State's solar car racing team finished third, just two laps behind the winner. Team members were disappointed, but noted their car turned the most laps in one day and ran the fastest lap time. Next up for the team is construction of a new car for next summer's cross-country race.
Team PrISUm's mechanical woes continue; after repairs team sets fastest lap of race
Team PrISUm had slow times and fast times during Friday's second day of racing at the Formula Sun Grand Prix. Mechanical problems carried over from Thursday, forcing the team to spend 90 minutes in the pits. But once the team's solar race car was back on track, it set the fastest lap of the race so far. The Iowa State student-engineers will try to make up some laps during Saturday's final day of racing.
New ISU production facility delivers made-to-order algae
A new algae production facility at Iowa State University makes use of an innovative design that’s attracting interest from other universities and private industry. The novel cultivation system allows for easy separation of algae from water, which is usually an expensive and often time-consuming process requiring the use of a centrifuge or other costly equipment.
Team PrISUm closes gap on early leaders of Formula Sun Grand Prix
Team PrISUm was slowed by mechanical problems early on the first day of this year's Formula Sun Grand Prix at the F1 race track in Austin, Texas. But, once repaired and back on track, the team's solar race car handled the Texas heat and began making up laps. At the end of the day, the team was in fourth, five laps behind the leader.
Iowa State researchers mix data, engagement to develop sustainable plan for Squaw Creek
Researchers from Iowa State's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are preparing to make the Squaw Creek watershed in and around Ames a model for planning sustainable water resources. Their goal is to study water and climate change while reaching out to the community to build consensus for a sustainable water management plan. That approach could then be applied to other watersheds around Iowa and the world.