University of Rochester

@Rochester -- Dec. 7, 2006


Thursday's Forecast:
Snow, High: 33°
Tomorrow: Snow Showers, High: 30°

In Today's Issue

  • Holiday Social for Faculty, Staff
  • Changes for 2007 FSAs
  • Java Product Features Grad Student's Code
  • Music Theory Focus of Friday Series
  • Mozart Scholar to Visit Eastman
  • Open Enrollment Sessions Continue
  • Events: Mathematics Colloquium, Bookstore Customer Appreciation Day, Kwanzaa Extravaganza, UR Cinema Group Screenings
  • Sports Buzz: Swimming and Women's Basketball at Home
  • In the Headlines: Kautz on Gadgets for the Aging, Cook on NYC's Trans Fats Ban

News and Announcements

University Hosts Holiday Social for Faculty, Staff
Celebrate the season at a special holiday social for all faculty and staff on Tuesday, December 19, in the May Room in Wilson Commons from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. In addition to live performances, there will be hot and cold hors d'oeuvres and door prizes.

FSA Two-and-a-Half Month Rollover Provision Eliminated
Under the 2007 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Program, all FSA expenses must be incurred during the 2007 calendar year. Therefore, when budgeting election amounts for 2007, it is necessary to incur all eligible medical/dental and/or dependent-care expenses before December 31, 2007. There will not be a 2-1/2 month rollover provision for those enrolling in a 2007 FSA. The provision was eliminated to permit the University to explore other options to supplement FSAs in the future.

Please note, participants who elected an FSA in 2006 will have until March 15 to incur claims against their 2006 unused balances. However, participants who submit claims incurred prior to March 15 to a 2006 FSA cannot also submit those claims to a 2007 FSA. For more details, see the FSA brochure available on the Benefits Office Web site.

Graduate Student's Code Included in Next Generation of Java
Bill Scherer, who recently completed his doctoral degree in computer science, has written code that so dramatically increases the efficiency of the popular programming platform Java that it has been incorporated into the software's newly released next generation.

Focus Turns to Music for Faculty Presentation
Steven Laitz, a pianist and faculty member at the Eastman School, will discuss music theory and illustrate how the theory is relevant both to musicians and nonmusicians as part of the continuing Second Friday Science Social lecture series at the Medical Center on Friday, December 8.

Leading Mozart Scholar Visits Eastman on December 14
Robert Levin, one of America’s leading keyboard players in the early instrument movement and best known as a Mozart pianist and scholar, will visit Eastman School on Thursday, December 14, to deliver the inaugural lecture supported by the Glenn Watkins Lecture Fund. He also will deliver a preconcert talk before the Eastman-Rochester Chorus/Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra concert set for 8 p.m.

Reminder: Open Enrollment Sessions Continue
Open enrollment sessions for faculty and staff continue this week and early next. Representatives from Aetna, Excellus, and the Benefits Office will be available to answer questions. See the Web for a schedule of dates, times, and locations.


December 7
Department of Mathematics Colloquium Series: Thomas Spencer of the Institute for Advanced Study presents "Random Walks from Einstein to the Present." Hoyt Auditorium, 3:30 p.m.

December 8
Bookstore Customer Appreciation Day: Faculty, staff, and students receive special discounts. River Campus Bookstore, Frederick Douglass Building, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 8
Kwanzaa Extravaganza: "Remembering Our Past, Repairing Our Present, Reclaiming Our Future." Features food, performance, and a guest speaker. Tickets required. May Room, Wilson Commons, 7 p.m.

December 8, 9
UR Cinema Group: Airplane!, December 8, 7, 9, and 11 p.m. Russian Dolls, December 9, 7, 9:30, and midnight. Tickets required. Hoyt Hall.

See these calendars for more events: Currents, Eastman School, Medical Center, Warner School, School of Nursing, and Memorial Art Gallery.

Sports Buzz

View a complete schedule at

Men's and Women's Swimming: The teams host RIT on Saturday, December 9, at 1 p.m.

Women's Basketball: The Yellowjackets host Union College at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Rochester in the News

Business Week (December 5)
A New Breed of Tech for the Aging
"We need to always keep [privacy concerns] in mind, but there's also a great potential for technology to enhance independence and dignity," says Henry Kautz, professor of computer science, in a report about the growth of technology gadgets that are geared toward the aging baby-boomer generation.

Democrat and Chronicle (December 6)
Ban on Trans Fat Ordered in N.Y.C.
"Well-intended people created trans fat as (an alternative) to saturated fat," says Stephen Cook, assistant professor of pediatrics, in a report about New York City's recently announced ban on trans fats in restaurants. "We said, 'Wow, if we hydrate certain oils . . . we have this food product that tastes so creamy, and wow, no saturated fat. Oh, great!'"

In Higher Education

The New York Times (December 2)
Studying Philanthropy, and Doling Out Real Cash
"Colgate University offers a class in philanthropy where, at the end of the school year, the students will award $10,000 to nonprofit organizations of their choice."

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