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Looking Forward to 2007

| January 8, 2006

This Week@UCSD has asked the campus’ divisions and schools what they have in store for this new year. Here is a preview of some of the exciting developments planned for 2007.

NEW RESEARCH

New Center at Calit2 to Work on Da Vinci Masterpiece
Calit2 will create a new center in early 2007 to bring the benefits of science and Restoring a masterpiece technology to the analysis and restoration of great works of art and historic monuments. UCSD bioengineering alum Maurizio Seracini, Class of '73, joined the staff of Calit2 in October and is leading the effort to create a center of interdisciplinary studies for art, architecture and archaeology. Mentioned in "The Da Vinci Code," Seracini pioneered the use of multi-spectral imaging and other techniques to scan works of art and one of the new center's first projects will focus on a Da Vinci masterpiece. The center will also launch a project to study one of the most important structures of Renaissance Italy.

Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Will Help Provide a Comprehensive Look at Climate Change

Climate research will figure prominently at UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Climate Change 2007. Several Scripps researchers are playing important roles in a much-anticipated synthesis of climate research that will provide the most comprehensive analysis to date of the current state of climate and what the world can expect in the future. The Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, will release the first portion of the report on Feb. 2. Also, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps will launch “Feeling the Heat: The Climate Challenge” on May 19. The exhibit will explore the science of global warming and the latest ideas for reducing carbon emissions through emerging technologies.

Researchers in the Division of Biological Sciences
Will Look for New and Improved Biofuels

Over the next year, plant geneticists and other molecular biologists in UCSD’s Division of Biological Sciences will aim to find novel ways to convert plants into “biofuels” that are Biofuel less polluting and more environmentally friendly than the fossil fuels currently in use. One of the basic research challenges facing scientists in the U.S. and other parts of the world today is how to efficiently transform cellulose into sugars that can be converted into ethanol for energy. Some of the division’s research efforts, in collaboration with other institutions, will look at developing new enzymes to break down plant cell walls. Others will search for genes within the plant genome to degrade cellulose more easily into sugars. The ultimate goal is to be able to convert much of agricultural waste into useful fuel.

UCSD Stem Cell Program to Continue Research Advancements
Additional funding is expected to be provided to the UCSD Stem Cell Program in the coming year through the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). A top goal Stem Cell Research (Photo / Ian Rutherford) of program director Larry Goldstein and his colleagues — biologists, engineers, physical scientists, ethicists, physicians, mathematicians, and computational scientists from across the UCSD campus — will be to work with the San Diego community, and with researchers at The Scripps Research Institute and the Burnham and Salk Institutes, to accelerate the pace of discovery and innovation through the San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. In January 2007, interdisciplinary training in stem cell research and ethics will begin for young scientists funded by a training grant from CIRM. A leading stem cell expert specializing in germ cell and embryo development and infertility has been recruited to join the faculty, and will arrive at UCSD in early 2007 to expand the effort.

 

NEW PROGRAMS

Division of Physical Sciences to Expand Math and Science Teaching Program
The Division of Physical Sciences, in partnership with the Education Studies Program, has developed an innovative math and science education program to attract the next generation of math and science teachers. Over the next year, faculty and staff will increase recruitment of students into the program’s lower division courses and will design the new upper division courses. Students in the program will major in science, Division of Physical Sciencesmath or engineering while taking a minor in science or math education.  Two features make the program unique. First, it encourages students just beginning their undergraduate studies to consider a career in teaching. Second, the program combines courses on teaching and learning science and math, taught by science and math faculty, as well as traditional education courses, taught by education faculty.

Collaboration Between San Diego Community
and Division of Social Sciences to Make Important Strides
2007 will see continued collaborations between the Division of Social Sciences and the San Diego community. Two projects, in particular, both in support of education and notable for their past successes, will make important strides in the coming year.
Division of Social Sciences Achievements at the UCSD-chartered Preuss School are well known, and many of the techniques that have proven successful there are now being implemented, under the direction of professors Cecil Lytle and Hugh "Bud" Mehan, at Gompers, a center-city middle school with a low-income population. And the "Partners in Learning" (PAL) program, started in 1997 to take UCSD students to elementary and secondary schools as interns, teachers and mentors, is expanding to a pre-school population — with more than 400 undergraduate and graduate students participating as part of their coursework in the Education Studies Program.

 

NEW EVENTS

Division of Arts and Humanities Brings
Top Science Fiction Writers Workshop to Campus

The nation’s premier summer program in science fiction and fantasy writing has a new home in the Division of Arts and Humanities. The Clarion Workshop — founded in 1968 at Clarion State College in Pennsylvania and hosted at Michigan State University from 1972 through 2006 — is now being administered in the department of literature at UCSD and Division of Arts and Humanities headed by professor emeritus Donald Wesling. In its 40th anniversary year, the Clarion Workshop will be held on campus from June 25 through Aug. 3, 2007. The signature intensive six-week session in short-story writing features notable authors as writers-in-residence and instructors; the 2007 roster includes Cory Doctorow, Karen Joy Fowler, Gregory Frost, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman and Jeff VanderMeer. Applications will be accepted beginning Jan. 31. Find more information at the Clarion Workshop Web site.

IR/PS “Next Generation Project” Examines Foreign Policy Challenges
In mid-February, Dean Peter Cowhey and the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies will host “The Next Generation Project,” bringing together emerging leaders to consider global opportunities and threats.
Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies Sponsored with The American Assembly, the gathering at UCSD is based on the premise  that new voices will strengthen discussion of U.S. foreign policy as well as American and international institutions. Later meetings will explore whether the current institutional architecture will be effective in meeting the challenges identified in La Jolla and at similar convocations.  The final assembly, a national meeting in Washington, D.C during the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, will offer policy recommendations for the future.

Jacobs School of Engineering to Develop Solutions for Non-profit Organizations
The Jacobs School of Engineering's Teams in Engineering Service (TIES) program deploys multidisciplinary teams of UCSD undergraduates to develop technology solutions for San Jacobs School of Engineering Diego non-profit organizations. In 2007, TIES will take on several exciting new projects such as working with San Diego county middle schools to install environmental monitoring sensors that will allow science classes to track conditions at their own school sites, such as airborne pollutants during fire season or exposure to solar radiation on sunny days. Other new TIES projects include teaming with UCSD medical students to improve patient care tracking systems in free clinics for the underserved, and designing a "green home" for Habitat for Humanity. Learn more about TIES.

 

NEW BUILDINGS

Student Center to Open
"Lack of a physical and social community.” “The need for a strong school identity”. These findings of the Undergraduate Student Experience and Satisfaction (USES) report will see Student Services Center (Photo / Victor Chen) a first-step answer in the new Student Services Center, a 100,000-square-foot building set to open in the heart of the campus in May, 2007. Some 350 staff members will start moving into the five-story building, designed by famed architect Rob Quigley, in mid-March. The building will house the Triton Center (a welcome area for visitors, students and their families), Admissions and Enrollment Services, Financial Aid, and numerous other student services. Also included are two restaurants, seven conference rooms for student organizations, a 300-seat multi-purpose room and a computer training room.

Rady School of Management to Open First Building
The Rady School of Management will move into its first on-campus building, Otterson Hall, Rady School of Management in spring 2007. The facility, which is approximately 50,000 assignable square feet, will have classrooms, conference rooms and common areas for students, as well as faculty and staff offices. Students will have access to state of the art facilities, making this an ideal learning environment for Rady School MBAs, many of whom are focused on becoming business leaders in the fields of science, technology and the life sciences. The building was designed by Ellerbe Becket of Minneapolis and constructed by PCL Construction Group. View the building’s progress online.

New Music Building to Provide State-of-Art Facilities
Construction will be getting underway early this year on UCSD's new music building, featuring a 400-seat concert hall. "The new building will provide students, faculty, and staff with state-of-the-art facilities for performance, practice, and production, as well as new offices," said Rand Steiger, chair of New Music Facility the department of music. "Our concert hall will offer the finest acoustics for a venue its size in Southern California." The 46,880-square-foot building was designed by LMN Architectural firm of Seattle, with world-renowned acoustic designer Cyril Harris. When the music building opens in 2009, the department of music will move from Mandeville Center to its new location on Russell Lane, near the Gilman Parking Structure. The three-story modernist building conforms with the University Center Neighborhood Plan, and will combine cast-in-place concrete with structural steel and aluminum/glass curtain wall. Computers and technology have become central to UCSD's graduate and undergraduate music programs, and the new music building will provide students and faculty with state-of-the-art equipment for production, recording, and creating multimedia works.

 

AND MORE

San Diego Supercomputer Center Growth Boosts
UCSD Data Storage to No. 1 Among World’s Universities

UCSD experienced a major expansion in electronic data last year, when the archival San Diego Supercomputer Center storage capacity at the SDSC expanded to 25 petabytes — roughly 2,500 times the digital plain-text equivalent of the printed collection of the Library of Congress. As a result, the university now has more storage capacity than any other educational institution in the world. In the year 2007, SDSC will further extend its data capabilities, more than tripling the size of critical components of disk storage. These new resources will allow scientists and engineers to better tackle some of the world’s critical problems, including simulations needed to prepare for major earthquakes in California and the manipulation of protein structures for new drugs and other medical advances.

The Campaign for UCSD to Conclude
The Campaign for UCSD: Imagine What’s Next — the university’s seven-year, $1 billion fundraising effort to support students and faculty, expand academic programs, fund Campaign for UCSD research endeavors and strengthen innovation funds to meet the highest priority needs — is fast becoming a reality. More than 90,000 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and community members contributed and the campus is on track to reach its goal when the campaign concludes June 30, 2007. UCSD has planned several exciting celebrations in fall 2007 to celebrate the $1 billion fundraising milestone.

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