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Grads@Rochester: News for University of Rochester Graduate Students (July 24, 2016)
07.24.16: Security Commission update; Meliora Weekend registration; Twitter research; Harry Potter party; dissertation defenses


Update on the Work of the Security Commission

After receiving a deadline extension for the submission of its final report (originally due in May, 2016), the Security Commission has continued to work throughout the summer on its charge, which includes considering the question of whether or not to arm some members of the Department of Public Safety who are sworn peace officers. The commission has not completed its final report yet, but expects to post a preliminary report for public comment in the fall, after students and faculty have returned to campus.    
      To date, the  commission has consulted with faculty, students, and staff on the River, Medical Center, and Eastman campuses, each of which has different needs and views with respect to the safety and security of their respective areas. President Seligman will brief the University Board in August, but this briefing is not for the purpose of securing a vote, but rather to keep them informed about the Security Commission’s work to date and the process going forward.  As of this time, there are preliminary recommendations intended largely to address security concerns on the Medical Center campus. No recommendation will be adopted by President Seligman until all faculty, students, and staff have a chance to comment on the published report during the fall semester.
     Members of the University community who wish to express opinions before then about the work of the commission may contact the Chair of the Security Commission, Holly Crawford, senior vice president for administration and finance, at

Come on Baby, (Re)light My Fire

A new study coauthored by Harry Reis, professor of psychology, indicates that there are ways that couples can sustain—or relight—their passion. The research suggests that when men and women perceive their partners as responsive, they feel special and think of their partner as a valuable mate, which in turn boosts sexual desirability. Read more...

Meliora Weekend Registration Opens July 27

Meliora Weekend, October 6 to 9, will feature guests such as legendary singer Tony Bennett, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, multi-platinum-selling singer/songwriter Ben Folds, and Daily Show host Trevor Noah. Registration and ticketing open Wednesday, July 27, at noon EDT. Check out the full event schedule to plan for your weekend at

Laser Lab: Fusion Is Part of Quest for Clean Energy

The goal of realizing abundant, clean energy from inertial confinement fusion (ICF) remains elusive. Despite significant progress in recent years, “major challenges still remain in the quest for thermonuclear ignition via laser fusion,” according to a recent review of the five major approaches to ICF, coauthored by Riccardo Betti, the Robert L. McCrory Professor at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics. Read more...

Survey of Recent Rochester Alumni

The Ain Center for Entrepreneurship requests that alumni who graduated with an undergraduate degree from Rochester between 2006 through 2016 complete a brief survey regarding their experiences with entrepreneurship at the University. The survey should take less than five minutes and will help with submissions to The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. Last year, the University ranked 22nd in the country for graduate entrepreneurship programs; your response can help improve the ranking. Take the survey online by Monday, August 1.

Security Tip: Lost or Stolen Mobile Devices

Smartphones and tablets are prime targets for fraudsters or scam artists because they are small, mobile treasure troves of personal data. Remember, if your device is lost or stolen, report it to the local police and your cellular provider immediately. Furthermore, if your device contains University data (such as access to your University email), report the loss to the University or Medical Center help desk or your department IT professional. If the device is thought to hold Medical Center information, also report the lost or stolen device to a Privacy Officer or the Integrity Hotline 756-8888.

10 Years Later, ‘Inconsequential’ Tweets Are a Boon for Researchers

Ten years after the first tweet appeared on the web, Twitter has become fertile ground for researchers interested in tracking social, cultural, and political trends, including topics such as disease outbreaks, the dynamics of campaigns, and consumer preferences. Read about how Twitter is used in research at Rochester.

Harry Potter Release Party 

The College Town Barnes and Noble will host a release party for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 31. There will be birthday cake beginning at noon, a trivia contest from 12:30 to 1 p.m., and a costume contest from 1 to 1:30. Games, prizes, and raffles are also planned.

Dissertation Defenses

  • Annada Rajbhandary, chemistry, "Investigating the Relationship Between Structure and Self-Assembling Behavior of Fmoc-Protected Phenylalanine Derivatives," Thursday, July 21. Advisor: Bradley Nilsson
  • Fred Moolekamp, physics, "Low Mass Stellar and Substellar Objects in Scorpius Centaurus," Friday, July 22. Advisor: Eric Mamajek
  • Yuan Meng, chemical engineering, "Poly(Capro-Lactone) Networks as Actively Moving Polymers," Friday, July 22. Advisor: Mitchell Anthamatten
  • Vyacheslav Kiria-Kaiserberg, mathematics, "Explosion Properties of Stochastic Differential Delay Equation without the Drift," 10 a.m., Monday, July 25, Hylan Hall 1106A. Advisor: Carl Mueller
  • Jennifer Stripay, neuroscience, “Targeting a Network of Cancer Control Nodes Through Rescue of c-Cbl: A Novel Therapeutic Approach in GBM,” 10 a.m., Monday, July 25, Auditorium K-307 (3-6408), Medical Center. Advisor: Mark Noble
  • Omar Magana-Loaiza, materials science, "Novel Effects in Optical Coherence: Fundamentals and Applications," 2 p.m., Wednesday, July 27, Bausch & Lomb Hall Room 106. Advisor: Robert Boyd
  • Raj Kumar Singh Parihar, electrical engineering, "Accelerating Decoupled Look-ahead to Exploit Implicit Parallelism," 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 27, Computer Studies Building Room 426. Advisor: Michael Huang
  • Brendan Murphy, mathematics, "Group Actions in Arithmetic Combinatorics," 1 p.m., Thursday, July 28, Hylan Hall 1106A. Advisor: Alex Iosevich

Rochester in the News

House of Cards Composer Jeff Beal Premieres Symphony Suite Before Cast Members at Kennedy Center

Billboard, July 15
“My heart is exploding,” said Jeff Beal '85E, who conducted the National Symphony Orchestra through the world premiere of House of Cards In Concert at the Kennedy Center. “The opportunity to premiere this music in Washington, D.C. feels like perfect synchronicity.”

Mystery of What Sleep Does to Our Brains May Finally Be Solved

New Scientist, July 12
“The data was very solid and well documented,” says Maiken Nedergaard, the Frank P. Smith Professor of Neurosurgery, in response to a study on the purpose of sleep presented at the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies meeting. Findings indicate that sleep allows housekeeping processes to take place that stop our brains from becoming overloaded with new memories.
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