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Friday, October 10 2014

  • Iowa State University researchers turn to robotics to improve understanding of plant growth

    Iowa State University faculty members are developing a new facility that will utilize a specially designed robot to gather unprecedented amounts of data on the growth of plants under different environmental conditions. The facility won’t require plants to be moved for data gathering, a major advantage over existing plant-growth facilities.

  • American History TV to feature ISU’s Timothy Wolters

    The War of Jenkins’ Ear in North America and King George’s War are often overshadowed by the French and Indian War, said Timothy Wolters, an associate professor of history at Iowa State University. For that reason, Wolters decided to focus on the two conflicts for his class lecture on C-SPAN’s American History TV. The segment will air at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11.

  • 2014 World Food Prize Laureate will present ISU’s Borlaug Lecture Oct. 13

    Plant scientist Sanjaya Rajaram, named the 2014 World Food Prize Laureate for developing high-yielding wheat varieties grown on more than 58 million hectares worldwide, will present the Norman Borlaug Lecture at Iowa State University. “In the Footsteps of Norman Borlaug: The Golden Years of Wheat Production” will be at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. It is free and open to the public.

  • Recruiting more women starts by tackling misconceptions about business careers

    Emily Kohnke remembers how it felt to be the only woman in a class of 50 men, but she didn’t let it stop her from pursuing a career in supply chain management. Now, as an assistant professor in Iowa State University’s College of Business, Kohnke and her female colleagues are working to recruit more female students and break down some of the gender barriers.

  • ISU design prof's e-textbook on 3-D modeling and animation lowers students' costs

    Anson Call didn't want his Iowa State University design students paying nearly $300 for instructional materials that would be out of date in a matter of months. So when the  associate professor of graphic design wrote his textbook on using industry-standard software to create 3-D modeling and animation, he did it digitally. His e-textbook, "Cinema 4D R15 Fundamentals for Teachers and Students" is available for about $282 less than the alternative.

  • MEDIA ADVISORY: Iowa State political experts available to comment on 2014 election

    What issues will influence voters at the polls? Will Iowa elect its first woman to Congress? And what is the role of social media in this election? Iowa State University political experts are available for interviews to answer these questions and discuss other issues leading into the November election.

  • Iowa State physicists among teams preparing for new Energy Department supercomputer

    Iowa State's Pieter Maris and James Vary will scale up their computer codes for Cori, the Energy Department's next-generation supercomputer. They'll study two classes of nuclear states to understand the basic physics of the burning sun and exploding stars. What they learn could one day lead to safer, more efficient forms of nuclear power.

  • Iowa State University research explores new possibilities for the treatment of epilepsy

    Ongoing research at Iowa State University is investigating the connection between initial seizures and the onset of epilepsy later in life. Gaining a better understanding of why and how the disease develops may hold the key to stopping its progression and developing new treatments, according to ISU biomedical science researchers.

  • President Leath's statement on the tragic death of Tong Shao

    "We were saddened to learn just after 5 p.m. Monday that the body of a young woman found in Iowa City is that of Tong Shao, an Iowa State junior who was majoring in chemical engineering. Since she was reported missing, members of the Iowa State community had been concerned for her safety and well-being. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends, both here and in China. She will be missed by all. We appreciate the hard work of the Ames, Iowa City and Iowa State University Police departments, as well as other law enforcement agencies, and understand that their investigation continues."

  • Costume designer makes her way from Broadway to Iowa State University

    The path that led Sara Jablon to Iowa State is far from typical. Unlike her colleagues or other ISU students who may aspire to one day work on Broadway, Jablon spent 10 years there dressing actors for productions of the Lion King, Cabaret and Rent. As a guest designer for ISU Theatre’s “Spring Awakening,” Jablon is also pursuing a Ph.D. in fashion and apparel.

  • ISU research team developing new measurement tool for schools and research

    To improve health and help combat childhood obesity, more schools are changing physical education requirements and finding new ways to keep children active throughout the day. However, the challenge for both educators and researchers is accurately measuring the time children spend performing physical activity. That’s why Welk and a team of Iowa State researchers are working to improve the Youth Activity Profile, a tool designed to help schools assess children’s physical activity behavior.

  • Gender barriers: ISU professor looks at history of discrimination against women in engineering

    To better understand the striking gender divide that still exists today in engineering, it is necessary to look at the history of the field, said Amy Bix, an associate professor of history at Iowa State University. Unlike other fields, such as science and medicine, in which women slowly gained access by starting as research assistants or nurses, it was more difficult to get a foot in the door in engineering. In her book, “Girls Coming to Tech!: A History of American Engineering Education for Women,” Bix looks at how women fought to overcome gender stereotypes by gaining acceptance to engineering programs.

  • Energy Department supports Iowa State studies of concrete for taller wind turbine towers

    A Department of Energy grant will allow Iowa State University's Sri Sritharan to continue to research and develop taller wind turbine towers made from high-strength concrete. The energy department's grant is designed to improve the manufacturing process for taller towers and support clean energy manufacturing in the United States.

  • MEDIA ADVISORY: Iowa State University agriculture experts available to comment on 2014 harvest

    As Iowa farmers prepare for the 2014 harvest, Iowa State University agriculture experts are available to comment on what trends they’ll be watching as combines hit the fields.

  • Understanding aggressive behavior in chimpanzees will help protect the endangered species

    Iowa State University Anthropology Professor Jill Pruetz long suspected that man-made changes influenced the aggressive behavior researchers have observed among chimpanzees. However, her perspective is changing as one of the collaborators of a new study published in Nature that found adaptive strategies better explain the chimp’s aggressive behavior.

  • Iowa State joins national alliance to help more low-income, first-generation students to graduate

    Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert is in Washington, D.C., as Iowa State joins 10 other major public research institutions to launch the University Innovation Alliance. The alliance is an unprecedented effort to share and test ideas, so that more low-income and first-generation college students reach graduation. Iowa State will share best practices in its learning communities program, which has consistently been recognized as one of the best in the nation. High-income students are seven times more likely to attain a college degree than are low-income students. Iowa State and the other founding UIA members are focused on addressing this achievement gap. Joining Wickert in the nation's capital are Alma Marquez, a senior in chemical and biological engineering; and Angie Mallory, a U.S. Navy veteran and English doctoral student -- both of whom are active in Iowa State's learning communities.

  • Iowa State GeoFabLab prints 3-D rocks, fossils; advances geoscience research, education

    Iowa State's Franek Hasiuk is using 3-D printing to study the pores within limestone reservoir rocks. A better understanding of the pore networks within the rocks could help industry get at the oil in the smallest pores. Hasiuk is also using the scanning and printing technology to engage students in geology classrooms.

  • New ISU report shows growing income inequality evidence of shrinking middle class

    Job growth in the retail and service sector has not matched the wages of manufacturing and other middle-skill level jobs lost over the past decade in Iowa. The difference has contributed to a growing disparity between low and high income households, which is especially profound in specific parts of the state, according to a new report by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach rural sociologist David Peters.

  • Champion boar raised on Iowa State University farm fetches $85,000 at auction

    A champion Duroc boar born on Iowa State University’s swine teaching farm and raised by ISU animal science students sold for $85,000 at an auction on Wednesday. The boar’s superior genetics and solid body build accounted for much of his value to buyers.

  • Iowa State welcomes 34,732 students this fall

    Iowa State’s fall 2014 enrollment of 34,732 is the largest in school history, an increase of 4.5 percent (1,491 students) over the previous record of 33,241 in fall 2013. More Iowans are attending ISU than ever before, and this fall's student body also set records in U.S. multicultural, international and nonresident new freshman enrollment, among other categories.