News: 2014-2015

Fall 2014 | Spring 2015 | Summer 2015

Summer 2015

Two Tulane Teams Win Big In International Competition May 28, 2015

Neuro Startup Challenge

Tulane University students and graduates have done it again. For the second year in a row, two teams led by current Tulane students or graduates are among the winners of the Neuro Startup Challenge, an international competition designed to bring National Institutes of Health medical inventions to market.

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Spring 2015

Triple Grad Eager to Serve as Student Speaker May 13, 2015

Matt Marx

This year's Tulane University Commencement ceremony on Saturday (May 16) will hold triple honors for Matthew Marx. He will earn his third Tulane degree, become a doctor of medicine and give the address as student speaker representing the class of 2015.

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Jamie Kaplan Stays Loyal to Tulane May 8, 2015

Jamie Kaplan

When Jamie Kaplan arrived at Tulane University in 2011, she had two things on her mind: basketball and academics.

“My highest priorities when choosing where I would attend college were the combination of academics, the coaching staff and my future teammates. Tulane blew me away,” Kaplan says.

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Psychologist Speaks At United Nations APRIL 29, 2015

Psychologist Speaks At United Nations

Bonnie Nastasi, a psychology professor at Tulane University, has traveled the world to promote the psychological well-being of children, teens and families. She has spent time in Sri Lanka and India, often drawing from her work in New Orleans to help local stakeholders develop school and community-based programs.

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Plants Help Clean Up Oil, Tulane Study Finds APRIL 29, 2015

Plants Help Clean Up Oil, Tulane Study Finds

A team of Tulane biologists has found that oil-eating bacteria grew rapidly within salt marsh cordgrass following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“This grass is the foundational plant in northern gulf Coast salt marshes affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” says Sunshine Van Bael, assistant professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

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Musicians Sought For Study On Preventing Fatigue APRIL 28, 2015

Musicians Sought For Study On Preventing Fatigue

Musicians give so much pleasure and joy. During the pause between the two weekends of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, it seems right to express gratitude for how much musicians give us — and how hard they work. And it’s also a good time to recognize that they might be getting tired. Joyous and fun-filled as it is, the Jazz Fest is sometimes kind of an endurance test.

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Three Outstanding Alumni Honored APRIL 9, 2015

2015 Alumni Award Winners

On April 9, 2015, three alumni were honored for their contributions to science and engineering and the university at the seventh annual School of Science and Engineering Alumni Awards. “Our alumni are truly the lifeblood of the school,” says Nicholas Altiero, dean of the School of Science and Engineering. “We would not be where we are today without their contributions and commitment.”

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Tulane Helps Identify Rare Shark Near BP Spill Site APRIL 24, 2015

It's not exactly Jaws, but Tulane University is hosting a unique guest—a small and very rare species of shark, nicknamed the “pocket shark.” Just five and a half inches long, the specimen is archived in the Royal D. Suttkus Fish Collection at the Tulane Biodiversity Research Institute in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. The only other known specimen of this kind of shark was captured 36 years ago off the coast of Chile. Housed at the Zoological Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, it was named Mollisquama parini.

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Winner Selected in First Novel Tech Challenge APRIL 21, 2015

Derek Dashti

A device to help regenerate an esophagus took home the top prize at the inaugural Novel Tech Challenge at Tulane University. The winning entry will aid injuries caused by diseases such as cancer, says Derek Dashti, a doctoral student studying bioinnovation at Tulane. Dashti and his team WibiWorks engineered a tube containing therapeutic stem cells to regenerate a damaged esophagus.

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Grant Helps Tulane Save Solar Power for a Rainy Day APRIL 17, 2015

Matthew Escarra

Tulane University is sharing in a $3.3 million grant to develop a hybrid solar energy converter capable of storing solar energy for use at any time of the day — rain or shine. The three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy is part of the Advance Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) FOCUS program, which advances high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment but which have the potential to radically improve the environment as well as national and economic security.

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Hot Topics in Engineering Ahead for Tulane Forum APRIL 16, 2015

When more than 500 engineers and scientists gather on Friday (April 17) for the 15th annual Tulane Engineering Forum, they will be hearing about the latest developments in their industry, from aerospace to Louisiana coastal preservation, and from world-class infrastructure projects to shale oil and its impact on refining. The one-day forum opens at 8:15 a.m. at the Morial Convention Center in downtown New Orleans, and the morning plenary session will definitely draw attention.

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A Fundamental Quest for Knowledge APRIL 16, 2015

A Fundamental Quest for Knowledge

Increasingly, scientists are moving away from basic research to focus on translational research, which transitions knowledge directly into clinical applications. But Jeff Tasker, professor of cell and molecular biology, has spent the last 24 years at Tulane University devoted to basic research, proving the importance of the dedicated pursuit of pure knowledge.

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Heading to Houston for Business Plan Competition APRIL 15, 2015

Heading to Houston for Business Plan Competition

From a company that commercializes low-cost medical products to another that is developing gel patch therapy for eardrum repair, startups abound in the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering. This year, excitement is building for yet another Tulane spinoff company — Advano — that will be competing this week in the Rice Business Plan Competition.

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Career Panel to Help Science Majors April 8, 2015

Career Panel to Help Science Majors

Career planning can seem like a daunting and confusing process, especially in the science fields. Students in the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering have an opportunity to learn about different options during a career panel on Monday (April 13) at 5:30 p.m. in room 218 of the Lavin-Bernick Center on the uptown campus.

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Message from the Dean Spring 2015

Dean's Message – Winter 2015

What is a great formula for success? Collaboration.

For the School of Science and Engineering, partnerships across disciplines within the School, across the Tulane campus, and with external partners are accelerating the pace of breakthrough scientific discoveries and technological advancements. In this issue of our Newsletter, you will read several success stories that are the result of collaboration and partnership.

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Career Panel Answers STEM Questions Spring 2015

Career Panel Answers STEM Questions

On Saturday, February 7, science and engineering students packed into a crowded auditorium to listen to a diverse group of alumni and parents talk about careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

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Antoinette Hibbs: The Face of the Dean’s Office Spring 2015

Antoinette Hibbs

“She’s the face of our office,” says Dean Nick Altiero of Antoinette Hibbs, his executive secretary. “She’s the point person—she’s the first person you see.”

A native New Orleanian, Antoinette, or Toni, Hibbs came to Tulane in 1997 after a career in telecommunications. After working at the Alumni House, she joined the Department of Electrical Engineering where she remained until Hurricane Katrina. Following the storm, the elimination of that department and the subsequent restructuring of the School, in 2007 Hibbs then moved to her current position.

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Tulane commits to new engineering initiative at White House March 23, 2015

Tulane commits to new engineering initiative at White House

More than 120 U.S. schools, including Tulane University, are joining forces to educate a new generation of engineers expressly equipped to tackle some of the most pressing issues of the 21st century.

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Note:  Dr. Eugene Miller has served on the School of Science and Engineering Board of Advisors since 2007 and currently holds an Emeritus position on the Board.  The SSE is grateful to Dr. Miller for his service on the Board and especially grateful for his generosity in endowing a lab in Flower Hall, as well as endowing The Joseph H. Boyer Professorship in Chemistry.

Top Donors Inducted into Paul Tulane Society March 23, 2015

Top donors inducted into Paul Tulane Society

Gene Miller counts his experience at Tulane University as one of the most important in his life, one that transformed a boy from a small town in the Midwest into a successful chemist and company chief. He was eager to return the favor to Tulane, endowing a professorship in honor of his mentor, Joseph Boyer.

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Tulane Receives Grant to Study Social and Health Impacts of BP Oil Spill March 16, 2015

BP Oil Spill

The Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy at Tulane University has received $1.4 million from the BP Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) to collect new information about health, social well-being and economic impacts of the oil spill in three hard-hit coastal communities in Louisiana and Alabama.

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Tulane awarded $1.5 million Dept. of Energy Grant March 2, 2015

Tulane awarded $1.5 million Dept. of Energy Grant

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Tulane University physics professor Wayne Reed a $1.5 million grant to help find the most efficient way to produce polymers, the chemical compounds that are used to make everything from building materials in spacecraft to laptops and medicines.

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Tulane Project to Expand Economic Development in New Orleans February 24, 2015

Tulane University has been selected by the National Science Foundation as an NSF Innovation Corps Site, making it the focus of a three-year effort to move technology-based research into the marketplace.

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Students Headed for Team Gleason February 18, 2015

Team Gleason House for Innovative Living

It’s a daunting prospect that Tulane University biomedical engineering seniors face — before graduating, they must create a device or technology that helps patients with disabilities.

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Blind Date Leads to Love February 13, 2015

Cochran Couple, Michael and Mathilda Cochran

It was a chance meeting over 50 years ago that brought Michael and Mathilda Cochran together.

At the urging of their friends, Mathilda Prestia, a New Orleans native and St. Mary’s College student, finally agreed to go on a blind date with Tulane University geology major Michael Cochran. It was love at first sight.

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Mardi Gras Throws and Don’ts February 9, 2015

Mardi Gras throws and don’ts

A parade route during Carnival can be a daunting place. A fun, crazy, time-of-your-life place, but daunting nonetheless, for Mardi Gras veterans and newcomers alike.

Look out for little old ladies who will put a glittered stiletto spike through your hand if you try to pick up a doubloon, and parents who will throw an elbow to keep their child’s face free and clear of flying beads.

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Hand in Hand: Unique Collaboration Between Tulane Engineering and Medical Students Helps Improve Hospitals Spring 2015

Unique Collaboration Between Tulane Engineering and Medical Students Helps Improve Hospitals

Last month, engineering undergraduates Gregory Michaelson and Zachary Resnick joined a group of medical students at the National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care, hosted by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Led by Dr. Frank Rosinia, Chairman of the Anesthesiology Department at Tulane Medical School, the team presented on their efforts to improve hand hygiene at the Tulane Medical Center.

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Tulane Professor Named 2015-16 CGS/NSF Dean-in-Residence January 22, 2015

Brian Mitchell

Brian Mitchell, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Tulane University, has been named the Council of Graduate Schools/National Science Foundation Dean-in-Residence for 2015-16.

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Jamie Kaplan Reflects on 500 Career Assists January 16, 2015

Jamie Kaplan reflects on 500 career assists

Late game dramatics resulted in a 71-70 win for Tulane University women’s basketball over the University of Central Florida on Jan. 13, but another feat also took place during the game. Senior guard Jamie Kaplan hit the 500 career assists mark, becoming just the second player ever at Tulane to reach the milestone.

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MacLaren Classroom: A Special Spot January 14, 2015

MacLaren classroom: A special spot

The newest classroom on the Tulane University uptown campus isn’t the largest — it seats 18 — but it’s still special. It has panoramic views, with floor-to-ceiling window walls showing campus oak trees on one side, and the Barbara Greenbaum House courtyard on the other. Most of all, it’s special for its name, the James M. MacLaren Classroom.

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Studio in Woods: Crossing Boundaries January 6, 2015

Studio in Woods: Crossing Boundaries

A Studio in the Woods is just an 18-mile drive from the Tulane University uptown campus, but it’s a world away in a hardwood forest at the edge of Orleans Parish. The secluded retreat center is a unique and vital part of the Tulane family.

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Fall 2014

Biomedical Team Creates "Nerve on a Chip" December 23, 2014

Curly and Moore

Michael J. Moore and J. Lowry Curley first met in the laboratory as professor and student. Now the two Tulane University researchers have started a new biomedical company that’s winning praise and awards.

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Putting Boys of Color on Path to Success December 23, 2014

Barbarin and Cunningham

In 2014, President Barack Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative aimed at addressing persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color. It’s an issue close to the hearts of Tulane University psychology professors Oscar Barbarin and Michael Cunningham, whose Boys of Color Collaborative is using data to determine what families and schools can do to put boys of color on a path to success.

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Message from the Dean Winter 2014

Dean's Message – Winter 2015

What a year this has been! As I look back on 2014, I can’t help but take enormous pride in the success of the School of Science and Engineering at Tulane University. This academic year, undergraduate enrollment in our School is 1737, a record high and 38% higher than our post-Katrina low. Graduate enrollment stands at 480, also a record high and more than 36% higher than the post-Katrina low. Please take a little time to browse our web site and this and past issues of our quarterly Newsletter to see the many examples of student achievements as well as those of our faculty and staff and our continued success in research, technology transfer, and K-12 STEM education outreach.

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Gifts Pave the Way for Programs at the Interface of the Earth Sciences and Engineering Winter 2014

Gifts Pave the Way for Programs at the Interface of the Earth Sciences and Engineering

There are arguably no more vital concerns to South Louisiana and the Gulf Coast than energy production and coastal protection and restoration. Now, thanks to two recent gifts, the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering will begin developing a strong relationship between the earth sciences and engineering to build programs that address many issues of importance to efficient energy production and environmental sustainability.

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Research at the Intersection of Academia, Government, and Industry Winter 2014

Research at the Intersection of Academia, Government, and Industry

In 2011, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a comprehensive joint study to gauge the behavioral and health impacts of new government tobacco regulations. In order to qualify for funding from this initiative, investigators need to have considerable training in tobacco regulatory research.

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Science and Engineering Staff Key to School’s Success Winter 2014

Science and Engineering Staff Key to School’s Success

Tulane University School of Science and Engineering is riding high on the momentum of the Physics and Engineering Physics Department, especially the growth of its materials science and engineering program. Meaningful investments in facilities and equipment at the forefront of technology have laid the foundation for advancements in research and discovery.

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Tulane Accelerates Discovery with Hybrid Supercomputer December 16, 2014

Tulane Cypress Supercomputer
Photo By: HPCwire

The rich culture and distinctive charm of the city of New Orleans served as the backdrop for this year’s annual Supercomputing Conference (SC14). If you haven’t been before, residents of the Big Easy will urge you to visit the uptown campus of Tulane University. Renowned for its beautiful trees and landscaping, the university is also a prominent research facility with TOP500-level computing prowess.

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Tulane Has One of the World’s Fastest Computers December 15, 2014

Tulane Has One of the World’s Fastest Computers

The analysis of big data is critical to most research disciplines, with important applications in fields such as genomics, meteorology, remote sensing, molecular modeling, artificial intelligence, digital media, robotics and more. Tulane University was ranked recently 271 of the top 500 supercomputer sites in the world.

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Jamie Kaplan Named Nominee for WBCA Good Works Team December 3, 2014

Jamie Kaplan Named Nominee for WBCA Good Works Team

INDIANAPOLIS – The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Allstate Insurance Company announced Wednesday the 251 nominees for the 2015 Good Works Team, with Tulane University’s Jamie Kaplan named to the prestigious list. This community service award recognizes a distinguished group of student-athletes who have demonstrated a commitment to enriching the lives of others and contributing to the greater good in their communities.

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Professors Aim to Open On-Campus Makerspace for Collaborative Projects November 20, 2014

Professors Aim to Open On-Campus Makerspace for Collaborative Projects

Two professors proposed transforming the 120-year-old mechanical services workshop into a “makerspace” complete with 3-D printers, woodworking equipment and other tools to give students a 24/7 accessible area for creating.

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Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Gives Tulane $15 Million November 17, 2014

Phyllis M. Taylor, chair of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation and a member of the Board of Tulane, has announced a $15 million gift to Tulane University to establish the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking.

The center will bring Tulane faculty, students and researchers from a wide array of disciplines together to work collaboratively on practical solutions to real-life problems in the environment, education, health care and more.

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Birdwatcher October 29, 2014

Liz Derryberry

When she isn’t on the Tulane University uptown campus mentoring women in science or running her eponymous lab at the Israel Environmental Sciences Building, chances are Liz Derryberry is out in the field studying the movements and sounds of toucans, parrots and other species of birds.

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Tulane Hosts Major Climate Change Conference October 28, 2014

The Embassy of France in the United States and the Consulate General of France in New Orleans are teaming up with Tulane University Nov. 10 to present one of only seven climate conferences in North America aimed at mobilizing public opinion on the challenges of climate change.

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Big Plans for Reducing Carbon Footprint October 24, 2014

Daniel Shantz's investiture

As technology advances, so does our dependence on the latest products. At the same time, our global energy consumption is growing at rapid rates.

Daniel Shantz, newly invested to hold the Entergy Chair in Clean Energy Engineering at Tulane University, is working to find a way for consumers to continue enjoying the latest technology while reducing their carbon footprint.

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What Role for Renewables in an Oil and Gas State? October 20, 2014

What role for renewables in an oil and gas state?

Can clean energy also be affordable?

“Yes, clean energy is affordable, it is available and it is usable,” wind energy proponent Simon Mahan of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy told an audience at Tulane Law School on Thursday (Oct. 16).

But other speakers at a morning panel weren’t quite as adamant.

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‘Design Thinking’ Sparks Innovation October 20, 2014

‘Design thinking’ sparks innovation

Design thinking — think of it as a new spin on innovative problem solving.

“There is real power in the practice of trying to find innovation within established systems,” said Ann Yoachim, the visiting professor of practice who is bringing that power to campus with new ideas and initiatives for the Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Program.

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Professor-in-residence Role: A Perfect Fit October 10, 2014

Lisa Molix

For most people, the daily routine consists of going to work and then heading home once the work day is over. But what if those two worlds were one and the same?

That's what Lisa Molix, an associate professor of psychology, signed up for when she accepted a two-year contract to be the first professor-in-residence at the Barbara Greenbaum House at Newcomb Lawn that opened on the Tulane University uptown campus this fall semester.

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Get Ready for Computational Thinking October 10, 2014

Jeanette Wing

Want to think like a computer scientist? Maybe you already do. Noted computer scientist Jeanette Wing will share her vision of the influence of computer science across academic disciplines with the Tulane University community on Monday (Oct. 13) at 3 p.m. in Freeman Auditorium at the Woldenberg Art Center on the uptown campus.

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Tulane Awarded $3.7 Million to Study Osteoporosis, Mental Disease October 7, 2014

Yu-Ping Wang

Yu-Ping Wang, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and biostatistics and bioinformatics at Tulane University, has been awarded two grants totaling nearly $3.7 million from the National Institutes of Health.

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Tulane to Test NOLA Mockingbirds for Lead October 6, 2014

Soil Lead Levels

If that mockingbird won’t sing, could lead be the problem?

Tulane University researcher Renata Ribeiro wants to find out by setting up bird feeders around homes throughout New Orleans as part of a yearlong project funded by the Morris Animal Foundation.

Research has shown that older New Orleans neighborhoods have high levels of lead in their soil that can cause health problems, including neurological damage that is especially acute for children.

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Black Women Less Likely to Associate STEM with Men, Tulane Study Says October 2, 2014

Laurie O'Brien

Black women are less likely than white women to subconsciously associate the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics with males and masculinity, according to a study led by Tulane University psychology professor Laurie O’Brien.

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Recovery Engineer - Dean Altiero Featured in ASEE Prism Magazine Fall 2014

Recovery Engineer

Imagine: You’re a dean of engineering, and your city has suffered the worst natural catastrophe in American history. The campus is trashed, with more than $500 million in damage. The entire semester is canceled. All your students have to find alternative schools to attend. And then, less than two months before the university is scheduled to reopen, the board of administrators issues a report with sweeping recommendations. One of them: Shut down your school.

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The Tulane School Of Science And Engineering Welcomes New Staff Fall 2014

New Staff

Please join us in welcoming Laurie Domino (Administrative Secretary, Museum of Natural History), Patrick Swindle (Program Coordinator, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), and Erin Thigpen (Executive Secretary, Department of Physics and Engineering Physics). We also welcome Karen Muse (Sr. Program Coordinator, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences) who transferred from the SSE Center for Computational Science and Yu Wang (Lab Research Technician, Department of Physics and Engineering Physics) formerly a staff member in the Tulane School of Medicine Department of Pathology.

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Tulane Researchers Awarded Grant to Develop Smart Polymers September 19, 2014

Tulane researchers awarded grant to develop smart polymers

The National Science Foundation has awarded a group of 14 Louisiana and Mississippi researchers – including four from Tulane University – up to $6 million to develop tools that will help strengthen the regional workforce and broaden opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

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Physics and Engineering Physics Summer Research Colloquium Fall 2014

Summer Research Colloquium

On Friday, August 29, the Physics and Engineering Physics Department held a Summer Research Colloquium to celebrate all of the exciting work going on in the department. The event featured twenty-seven researchers who presented their summer findings in the form of a talk or a poster. Research was presented from both on-campus and off-campus laboratories. Topics ranged from neutron science and many-body physics to new types of energy storage and high performance transistors. The colloquium was held in the LBC and had excellent attendance by students, staff, and faculty.

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A Materials Boom at Tulane Fall 2014

Materials Boom

Tulane University's Physics and Engineering Physics (PEP) Department is undergoing a major expansion in the area of materials science and engineering, a field that is both as old as human civilization and a critical focus area for 21st century technological advancement. The department has a recent history of strength in this area, and the focused growth in faculty, research, educational programs, and infrastructure is designed to make Tulane's program an internationally recognized center of excellence.

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Copenhagen: A New Summer Destination for SSE Students Fall 2014

Copenhagen: A New Summer Destination for SSE Students

The summer of 2014 marked a new, exciting chapter for students in the School of Science and Engineering. For the first time, students had the opportunity to study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark in a summer program designed to meet their academic needs. Tulane faculty members taught all of the courses offered this summer, enabling students to satisfy major, minor, or core requirements while living in Denmark.

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