May 10, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 18

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Contact your legislator.
  • Board of Regents meets May 11-12.
  • Features: Interpreting complex connections; Neuroscientist-playwright; Transparent film could improve electronics and solar cells.
  • People: Frank Bates and Maury Bramson have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences; and more

Top News

Contact your legislator

It is critical that you call, email, or connect via social media with your legislator and the Governor and ask them to support the University of Minnesota. The Legislature and Governor will soon determine how much state funding the U of M will receive, and at just 13 percent of the U’s request, the current amounts proposed by the Legislature (PDF) are not sufficient. Find out who represents you at

Learn more about advocacy >

Board of Regents meets May 11-12

The U of M Board of Regents will discuss undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, as well as review a draft of the systemwide strategic plan, at its May meeting. Board members are expected to discuss how the University can better address the growing needs of minority communities in Minnesota at a work session on diversity in undergraduate enrollment on the Twin Cities campus. Additionally, regents will receive an update on graduate education from Graduate School Dean Scott Lanyon and hear from the University's professional schools on their unique admissions processes, student demographics, class composition and tuition, financial aid, and student debt.

See the full agenda >

Interpreting complex connectionsbrain imaging scan

More than six years ago, the the U's Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) spearheaded the technological advances behind the most ambitious brain imaging study ever conducted, the Human Connectome Project. CMRR mapped the vast network of about 90 billion neurons and trillions of interconnections in the brains of young, healthy adults at the millimeter scale. Now it's taking on the next wave of the project, designed to track normal brain changes from infancy to old age.

Neuroscientist-playwrightDavid Redish pixel portrait

What does it mean to imagine something? What is fairness? These are some of the questions that occupy the mind of U neuroscientist David Redish. Also an accomplished poet, author, and playwright, Redish says it's the human condition that has always intrigued him.

Read the Q&A >

Transparent film could improve electronics and solar cellstransparent plastic with app icons

A team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota has discovered a new nano-scale material with the highest-ever conductivity in its class. The new material could lead to smaller, faster, and more powerful electronics, as well as more efficient solar cells.


Frank Bates and Maury Bramson have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences; David Tilman has been elected to the Royal Society of London; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Public forums: VP for Information Technology finalists

The University community will have the opportunity to hear from the finalists for the next Vice President for Information Technology. Finalists will be on campus the week of May 22. Public forums will be held at the Best Buy Theater in Northrop and live-streamed across the system. Candidate resumes and livestream links will be posted when they become available.

See forum dates and times >

Administrative policy update

The administrative policy Getting Access to University Buildings clarifies that law enforcement or security staff have authority to request University identification of individuals inside University buildings outside of public hours, and reinforces that changes made to locks and keys must conform with the University’s building standards. The policy draft is available for comment until June 2.

May 23 - Learn how to manage conflict

While conflict in the workplace may be uncomfortable for many, it does have a purpose. Supervisors can learn more about the role of conflict, its benefits, and how to develop awareness about their own approach to conflict at a Managing Conflict webinar. Noon-1 p.m.

Spring at the U of M Arboretumtulips

It’s a picture-perfect spring at the U of M Landscape Arboretum, with 38,000 tulips in 86 varieties giving arboretum gardens a stunning aura. From the moment visitors enter the drive, there are thousands of end-to-end blooms, from exquisite daffodils to the enchanting, refreshing tulips. The Spring Tulips 2017 collection, planted in a greater number of growing spaces, take visitors on a colorful journey through the month of May.

See what else is in bloom >


May 16 - Alumni Brew Bash Tour

The next event in the Alumni Brew Bash Tour will take place at Revelation Ale Works, 146 S. Atlantic Avenue, Hallock, MN. All UMC and NSWA alumni and friends, as well as current and retired faculty and staff members, are encouraged to attend. 5:30-8:30 p.m. RSVP via email to Sue Dwyer or call 218-281-8401.

June 6-8 - Robotics and Technology Camp

The Math, Science and Technology Department will host a Robotics and Technology Camp for students in grades four to eight (and their teachers). 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily, Dowell Hall. Email Christine Bakke for more information.


Bilin Tsai honoredBilin Tsai

Professor Bilin Tsai, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Swenson College of Science and Engineering, is the recipient of the U of M President’s Award for Outstanding Service. The award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a tremendous commitment to the University community. Tsai is retiring this year after 41 years at UMD.

Bulldog engineers winan electric "mule"

Students from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Department of Civil Engineering earned first place in the Air Force Research Lab Challenge. The team constructed a robotic silent-running pack mule, capable of carrying up to 350 pounds on various terrains. Representatives from the U.S. Air Force recently visited UMD to congratulate the students on their achievement.

May 18 - NEMBA AwardsLarry Weber

Author Larry Weber will be the keynote speaker at the 29th annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA). This year, 35 books were nominated in six categories: fiction, poetry, general nonfiction, memoir/creative nonfiction, children’s literature, and art/photography. 5 p.m., Kirby Ballroom.


UMM to boost outreach effortsCST building

When Minnesota Campus Compact challenged member campuses to "go bold" in planning their next steps for civic engagement, UMM responded with a plan to build on its successful outreach initiatives. By doing so, staff from the Center for Small Towns and the Offices of Community Engagement and Sustainability aim to better serve the region and the state.

Faculty and students collaborate on summer research projectsstudents in waders in river

Sixteen student researchers will collaborate with eight faculty members in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Undergraduate Summer Research Program. The program prepares students for graduate work and lifelong success in science careers. It is supported in part by a grant from HHMI through the Undergraduate and Graduate Programs.

New #1 ranking for UMMUMM football players

UMM earned the #1 spot on the Sports Management Degree Guide’s list of “50 Most Affordable Selective Colleges for Sports Management.” Beyond selectivity, inclusion on the list is based on student/faculty ratio, tuition cost, and retention rate.

Bina publishes on political economy of IranCyrus Bina

Work by Distinguished Research Professor of Economics Cyrus Bina was published in a special issue of International Review of Development Studies on the political economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran last week. Bina’s paper explores “Iran’s Oil, the Theory of Rent, and the Long Shadow of History: A Caveat on Oil Contracts in the Islamic Republic.”


May 13 - Commencementgraduation hat and tassle

Approximately 108 students will receive their degrees at UMR's 2017 Commencement ceremony on May 13. Regent Steve Sviggum will confer BSHS and BSHP degrees. Audrey Betcher, director of the Rochester Public Library, will serve as grand marshal. Speakers include Rachel Olson from the Center for Learning Innovation, Andreah Schouweiler '17, and Elizabeth Richards '17.

May 16 - Don't Wait for a Healthy Weight

At the next UMR Connects registered dietitian Katie Plath will discuss various tips and tricks for healthy eating, weight loss, and enhancing your overall well-being. The talk will provide practical, useful information to put you on the right track to your health. 7 p.m., Room 417, 111 S. Broadway.

Twin Cities

Lactation committee survey

The Lactation Advocacy Committee is preparing a white paper about lactation on campus and is seeking stories, good or bad, about your experience with breastfeeding on campus. The committee will use personal accounts from mothers to illustrate what women go through to provide milk for babies while studying, teaching, working, and visiting. You may choose to remain anonymous. Share your story >

May 16 - Ruth Stricker Mind-Body Lecture

Chungliang Al Huang will deliver the annual Ruth Stricker Mind-Body Lecture "Balancing the Dance of Living," sponsored by the Center for Spirituality and Healing. Huang is a best-selling author and highly regarded authority of Tai Ji, Taoism, and related disciplines. 4 p.m. lecture, followed by a reception and book signing. Best Buy Theater, Northrop. Cost: No charge for students; $15 general admission.

May 24 - Webinar: Autism Identification and Intervention

Autism can be detected between 12 and 24 months of age. So why is the average age of diagnosis still close to 5 years? This webinar will showcase research at the University of Minnesota that is improving diagnosis through innovative training and intervention programs for providers who work with families in the community. Noon-1 p.m.

May 25 - Black Memory and Imagination

Join the U of M Libraries at Intermedia Arts for Black Memory and Imagination: An Intergenerational Conversation on Archiving Black Arts. The event is an open conversation with local intergenerational artists on preserving, celebrating, reclaiming, and reimagining Black creativity within and beyond the archive. No charge, but registration is requested. 7 p.m., Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Avenue S., Minneapolis.

June 6 - The Basic Care and Feeding of Homo Sapiens: Are We TRULY Clueless?

Many people have questions like "What is an 'optimal' diet?" "How significant are its effects on health?" "How capable is the average person or household of adopting such a diet?" In this lecture, David Katz will explain that diet has the potential to count among the most potent of modern medicines, if only the best available advice on the topic were a bit easier to swallow. 4 p.m., Recreation and Wellness Center.

Register and learn more >

UMTC Featured EventsNorah Jones

May 10-12 - WAM Shop Spring Sale

May 11 - LAUNCH | Graphic Design Senior Show & Reception

May 12 - Interior Design Senior Show | Reception

May 13 - Yoga @ WAM

May 17 - Create Together Day - a Citizen Science Hackathon Event

May 18 - Tour of St. Anthony Falls Laboratory

June 3 - Norah Jones

Events Calendar >