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Grads@Rochester: News for University of Rochester Graduate Students (April 24, 2016)
04.24.16: Kilbourn Hall renovations; College Town Express shuttle; Three Minute Thesis; Falling Walls deadline extended; dissertation defenses


Eastman School Receives Support for Kilbourn Hall Renovations

Two gifts totaling $700,000 will provide support for substantial renovations to the Eastman School of Music's historic Kilbourn Hall. The Avangrid Foundation has committed $400,000 to the project, and the Kenneth and Myra Monfort Charitable Foundation Inc. will contribute $300,000. Read more...

College Town Express Weekday Shuttle Launches Next Week

A new University shuttle that will connect faculty, staff, and students with College Town begins Monday, April 25. The College Town Express weekday service will run from the River Campus and Medical Center every weekday between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (in addition to the College Town Express shuttle that runs on weekends during the school year from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.) See the full schedule. The Blue Line will also continue to include a stop at College Town. The additional shuttle service again emphasizes the commitment of getting students, faculty, and staff from the River Campus and the Medical Center to the great businesses located at College Town,” says Bruce Bashwiner, associate vice president for facilities and services. Between the weekday College Town Express and the Blue Line, a bus that is heading for College Town leaves the River Campus every 10 minutes.

First Phases of Science & Engineering Quad to Begin

As part of Phase 1 of the Science & Engineering Quadrangle project, the current construction site at Wegmans Hall will expand south toward the Computer Studies Building. There will be no sidewalk closures as part of the first phase, which will be in effect through commencement weekend. On May 16, Phase 2 of the project will begin, requiring the lower stairs and sidewalk to be closed from Hutchison Hall to Hutchison Road. During that phase of the project, Hutchison Road and Dewey Lot will be closed until August 15. More details will follow. See for updates.

Rochester Grad Team Advances to Statewide Intercollegiate Business Competition

Cargo Cabin, a team composed of Simon Business School students, will join four other Rochester teams in advancing to the statewide finals of the New York Business Plan Competition in Albany on Friday, April 29. Cargo Cabin received a “wild card” spot in the Energy/Sustainability track of the competition. Finalists will compete for $500,000 in cash and in-kind prizes in six tracks.

Falling Walls Application Deadline Extended

The University invites junior faculty, postdocs, master's degree and PhD students, and young entrepreneurs to summarize their groundbreaking ideas in three minutes for a chance to qualify for a spot at the Falling Walls conference in Berlin in November. The annual conference, which commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall, asks "which walls will fall next?" by highlighting the latest research, innovations, and scientific findings from around the world. Apply by Friday, April 29, for the preliminary contest being held on Wednesday, May 18, in Sloan Auditorium on the River Campus. The winner will qualify for the finals in Berlin on November 8, with travel and accommodations costs covered. Last November, graduate student Ryan Trombetta pitched his research project to some of the world's top scientists and innovators at the Berlin conference. His description of using 3-D printed bone grafts to treat osteomyelitis earned him a 12th-place finish among 100 competitors. For more information, click here or contact

Three Minute Thesis Finals

The final competition of Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is at noon, Wednesday, May 4, in the Class of ’62 Auditorium (G-9425), Medical Center. All are welcome. Visit for more information.

This Week

Mark Ain Business Model Competition Semifinalist Presentations

Watch the semifinalist presentations of the tenth annual Mark Ain Business Model Competition at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in Gleason 318/418. Ten teams will present to a panel of judges: Sean Flaherty ’97, ’06S, EVP of strategy at ITX Corp.; Sarah Plasky-Sachdev ’99S, CEO of Aquavation; and Kate Washington ’04S, Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, City of Rochester. A reception will follow the presentations. The event is free and open to the public. Register online or call (585) 276-3500.

Kids Fun Run, Carnival at College Town

College Town is hosting a Kids Fun Run at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 30, to kick off the Celebrate @ Celebration Drive event. Registration is $20 for the run, which includes a T-shirt and a post-race snack. All proceeds from the run benefit Friends of Strong Memorial Hospital. Celebrate @ Celebration Drive will feature carnival-style games and food benefiting area charities, a balloon artist, prizes, music, tastings from College Town restaurants, and more.

Upcoming Doctoral Dissertation Defenses

  • Steven Gillmer, mechanical engineering, “Resolution and Functionality Enhancements in Optical Metrology,” 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 26, Hopeman 224. Advisor: Jonathan Eliis.
  • Ellie Carrell, physiology, “Short- and Long-term Roles for Orai1 in Skeletal Muscle Structure and Function,” 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 26, Upper Strong Auditorium (3-7619), Medical Center. Advisor: Robert Dirksen.
  • Samuel Carrell, genetics, “Testing the Limits of Antisense Oligonucleotide Treatment for Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1,” 11 a.m., Thursday, April 28, K-207 (2-6408), Medical Center. Advisor: Charles Thornton.
  • Emma James, music theory, “Telling Tales: Narrative Semiotics in the Music of Bela Bartok,” 1 p.m., Thursday, May 5, OSL 101. Advisor: Jonathan Dunsby.

Rochester in the News

Why Tesla's Model X Is Giving Some Drivers Double Vision

Wired, April 19
Some drivers have complained that the glass on the windshield of Tesla's Model X causes double vision at night. “Those multiple reflections keep rattling around in there like a ping pong ball,” says Wayne Knox, professor of optics, who also created a Powerpoint presentation diagramming the reflections.

When Discredited Policies Make Sense

Bloomberg View, April 20
"Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have proposed policies that run counter to literally centuries of economic thought. In the current environment of extremely low interest rates and low inflation, however, they might make more sense than most economists recognize," writes Narayana Kocherlakota, the Lionel W. McKenzie Professor of Economics, in his column for Bloomberg View.
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