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November 16, 2009

‘Battle of the Brains’ best

Computer science team 2009Rochester has become the first school in six years to beat MIT in the regional finals of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious computer programming competition in the world, popularly dubbed the “Battle of the Brains.”

Rochester’s team outscored all of their closest competitors—MIT, Harvard, Brown, and McGill—in the Northeastern North America region in the Association of Computing Machinery’s International Collegiate Programming Contest, which took place October 31 at RIT.

“It’s rare that someone other than MIT comes out on top in our region, so it’s really a feather in Rochester’s cap that they beat them,” says Paul Tymann, the regional contest director. “It was remarkable how quickly they could solve the problems, and really, in the end, that’s what allowed them to win.”

As regional winners, team members Ian Christopher ’10, Dennis Huo ’10, and Xiaoqing Tang ’12 and their advisor Daniel Stefankovic (pictured above with President Seligman) will be one of 100 teams out of a pool of 7,109 teams from 1,838 universities in 88 countries that will have a chance to compete for the international title. The team will head to Harbin, China, for the world finals from Feb. 1 to Feb. 6.

Scientists discover gene that ‘cancer proofs’ rodent’s cells

Despite a 30-year lifespan that gives ample time for cells to grow cancerous, a small rodent species called the naked mole rat has never been found with tumors of any kind—and now Rochester biologists think they know why.

Eye Institute renamed to honor longtime supporters

In recognition of the Flaum family's ongoing leadership, advocacy, and support, the center has been renamed the David and Ilene Flaum Eye Institute.

New statue, spaces debut during Meliora Weekend

Nearly 6,000 people were on hand October 8–11 to celebrate the ninth annual Meliora Weekend.

Vivian Lewis to lead University’s diversity efforts

Vivian Lewis, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, will serve as acting deputy to the president and acting vice provost for faculty development and diversity.

New Presidential Diversity Awards announced

President Seligman announced in September the creation of the Presidential Diversity Awards.

Physician, corporate consultant joins Board of Trustees

Bernard Ferrari ’70,’74M(MD), a former director and partner in the global management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company, was elected to the University’s Board of Trustees.

Final days to make open enrollment changes

The annual open enrollment period for the University’s health care plans, dental plans, Health Savings Account (HSA), and the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program for the 2010 calendar year ends this week on Wednesday, November 18.

African desert rift confirmed as new ocean in the making

Now, scientists from several countries have confirmed that the volcanic processes at work beneath the Ethiopian rift are nearly identical to those at the bottom of the world’s oceans, and the rift is indeed likely the beginning of a new sea.

Former piano teacher donates $6M to Eye Institute

As a result of the Lutzes’ wish, the couple decided to donate most of their savings—$6 million—to the institute.

Simon School announces two international gifts for professorships

The Simon School of Business has announced two major gifts from international donors to establish endowed professorships.

Restoring hope for 30 years

Mt. Hope Family Center hosted a 30th anniversary symposium and community roundtable focused on its core mission.

NBA legend shares passion for aiding Sudan

Manute Bol discussed his partnership with the group Sudan Sunrise to build 41 schools in Manute’s war-torn home village of Turalei, in southern Sudan.

Rochester leadership center launches tutoring program

In response to the closing of the University’s chapter of Ameri­Corp’s Jumpstart program, University administrators have created UReading, a tutoring and mentoring program that pairs undergraduate students with preschool and kindergarten-aged children from the Rochester City School District’s School 29 and the Rochester Pre-School Parent Program.

Librarian Ann Marshall earns 2009 Messinger Award

In recognition of her exemplary contributions, Ann Marshall has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the Messinger Library Recognition Award. The honor, created and funded by senior trustee Martin Messinger ’49, comes with a $5,000 award.

Want to be a better person? Commune with nature

Paying attention to the natural world not only makes you feel better, it makes you behave better, finds a new study.

Graduate students get a room of their own

New spaces in Rush Rhees offer master’s and doctoral candidates a place to settle in and study.

Gandhi Institute names new director

The M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence has named Katherine Miller as the center’s new director.

Honey Meconi appointed Susan B. Anthony Professor

Shortly after learning she was to be named the Susan B. Anthony Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University, Honey Meconi visited the grave of the suffragist and civil rights leader in nearby Mt. Hope Cemetery to say “thank you.”

University Press marks a milestone

The University of Rochester Press is celebrating its 20th year of operation, thriving today as a small, traditional scholarly publisher with unique and innovative roots.

In Brief

A roundup of news.