Archive for June, 2011

Karol Berger receives the Glarean Award for musical research

June 30th, 2011

KAROL BERGER the Osgood Hooker Professor in Fine Arts in Stanford’s Department of Music, will be the third recipient of the Glarean Award for musical research. The award will be presented by the Swiss Musicological Society in Zurich Nov. 22.

Born in Poland, Berger in 1968 immigrated to the United States, where he received his doctorate from Yale in 1975. The recipient of numerous honors for his work, he has been teaching at Stanford since 1982. His research interests include the history of musical aesthetics and theory, and German music history of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Glarean Award has been awarded every two years since 2007 to researchers who have distinguished themselves through exceptional contributions to the field.

Cardinal represented at the FIFA Women’s World Cup

June 29th, 2011

They are not all playing for Team USA, but they are all representing Stanford.

At the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup currently taking place in Germany,  six current and former Cardinal women’s soccer players are in the mix.

They include senior midfielder TERESA NOYOLA and junior defender ALINA GARCIAMENDEZ, who are playing for Mexico.

The United States has three former Stanford players — the most from any school —  including captain RACHEL BUEHLER (’07), in defense. Goalkeeper NICOLE BARNHART (’04) is a veteran of the 2007 World Cup and the 2008 Olympics teams, and this will be the first major international tournament for midfielder KELLEY O’HARA (’10).

On Tuesday, second half goals from Buehler  and former UCLA player LAUREN CHENEY helped get USA off to a great start with a 2-0 win over Korea DPR in Dresden.

New Zealand features defender ALI RILEY (’10), the reigning Oceania Federation player of the year.

You can read more about the tournament and a guide to Stanford’s players on the Athletics website:

Stanford opens first-ever high school digital fabrication lab in Russia

June 28th, 2011

Stanford researchers have partnered with Russian educators to establish their first-ever digital fabrication lab designed specifically for high school students to boost student interest in science, engineering and other fields.
FabLab@School, which opened June 9 in Moscow, features a range of high-tech equipment—a far cry from the test tubes and beakers still seen in today’s high school science labs. Advanced tools — including laser cutters, 3D printers and scanners, chemical sensors and robotics — will enable teachers and students to design and build advanced science experiments, product prototypes, robots and machines and engage in other engineering projects especially aimed at solving real-world problems.

“We need to connect science and engineering to students’ life, to empower them to find solutions to real-life problems and propose their own inventions,” said PAULO BLIKSTEIN, an assistant professor in the  Stanford School of Education.

“Science and engineering can be engaging and fun. No one pursues a career without being passionate about it. We need to have a place like this in schools, where students can at the same time be creative and learn science and mathematics.”

The new lab will serve nearly 750 students at a public high school in Moscow.

Read the full announcement on the School of Education’s website.


SI on Andrew Luck, the scholar-athlete

June 27th, 2011

Missed during the week following Commencement was an article in the June 13 issue of Sports Illustrated about ANDREW LUCK – the student. While the article does talk about Luck’s jaw-dropping skills on the football field, it’s his academic chops that get significant attention.

Take for example this quote from Luck’s adviser in the architectural design program, JOHN BARTON: “We were sitting in front of the computer,” [Barton] recalls, “and I watched him juggling whole layers. He was seeing it in three dimensions – the program integrated with the architecture, the material integrated with the structure. He has a gift for seeing all these pieces at once, breaking them apart and putting them back together again. And I thought, that’s what he can do on the field.”

The article goes on: “As a very bright person with an exceptional talent, Luck is very much the rule on campus, rather than the exception. He is among his peers. ‘Actually,’ [Luck] says, ‘I’d say I’m on the low end of the totem pole.’”

Sounds like a typical quote from the self-effacing student-athlete.

Football coach David Shaw stands on the shoulders of his father

June 23rd, 2011

David Shaw with his father, Willie Shaw, in January after he was named the new head football coach for Stanford

DAVID SHAW, the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football at Stanford, was once known as “Little Shaw,” the son of WILLIE SHAW, one of the most respected defensive coaches in football.

“My father’s work ethic, his intelligence and relationship with coaches and players probably gave me a foot in the door more often than I even know,” said David, hired Jan. 14 to succeed former coach JIM HARBAUGH.

“He paved the way for me,” said the younger Shaw. “They had so much respect for my dad that I probably was given the benefit of the doubt. It was not earned by me. It was earned by him.”

Read the full story on the Athletics website.

Music Professor Brian Ferneyhough wins another award from the Royal Philharmonic Society

June 22nd, 2011

Brian FerneyhoughLast month, the Royal Philharmonic Society awarded music professor BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH for his “String Quartet No. 6” in a ceremony at London’s Dorchester Hotel.  Nearly 400 attended the ceremony, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, which broadcast the program.

According to the society’s website, his quartet is “one of the essential experiences in contemporary music. It’s music that electrifies the familiar combination of a couple of violins, a viola and a cello with fizzing, splintering energy: 20 minutes of music that both shatters conventions and builds on the achievements of Ferneyhough’s five previous quartets.”

It’s Ferneyhough’s second award from the society.  The English composer, who has been teaching at Stanford since 2000, won in the same category (chamber-scale composition) for his piece, “On Stellar Magnitudes,” in 1996.  The award, which honors musicians, composers, writers, broadcasters and arts organizations, is the highest recognition for live classical music in the United Kingdom.

Ferneyhough is associated with the New Complexity school of composition – sometimes he is called its father.  His scores make huge technical demands on performers. His string quartets, almost all of them premiered by the Arditti Quartet (as this one was in Donaueschingen, Germany last October), are considered among the most difficult in the genre.

In 2007, Ferneyhough received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize for lifetime achievement, with a 200,000 euro cash award. The coveted award, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of music,” is bestowed by the Ernst von Siemens Foundation for Music.


– Cynthia Haven


More than 9,000 visit Stanford during spring break period

June 21st, 2011
Stanford tour guides walk backwards

At Stanford, tour guides walk backward while leading visitors around campus.

According to Visitor Information Services’ recent newsletter, some 9,276 people participated in campus tours during the six-week period in spring that generally covers all high school breaks.

The newsletter is aptly called “Backwards Walk, Straight Talk,” which refers to the long-time Stanford tradition of tour guides walking backward while leading visitors around campus.

Here are some of the other numbers from the spring high school break period:

Hoover Tower visitors: 4,999

Visiting school groups: 51

Number of tours provided: 207

Read the complete newsletter at this website.

‘Dance Teacher’ magazine honors Diane Frank

June 20th, 2011

Every year, Dance Teacher magazine honors four outstanding dance teachers. This year, DIANE FRANK, lecturer in the Drama Department’s Dance Division, is one of them. Frank says it is “deeply touching to be recognized by dancers who have worked with me.”
The award ceremony will be held next month in New York City.
Frank danced with New York City’s Douglas Dunn and Dancers for 11 years. She was invited by Merce Cunningham to join the teaching staff of the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio, where she taught for eight years.
Frank calls teaching “an ongoing act of faith” that the work will have meaning, “both in the moment and down the road.” The honor was set in motion by her former students, and supported by other dancers and teachers.
That’s one reason why Frank says the award says as much about the Dance Division as it does about her. Here’s another: “Students thrive because there is an investigative attitude about dancing. I like that arts practice and research live together at Stanford, because when movement appetite and intellectual appetite come together, the outcome goes way beyond the execution of steps. That’s what I love working with my students.”

—Cynthia Haven

Davis wins Gruber International Prize in genetics

June 16th, 2011

Ron Davis

Ronald Davis

RONALD DAVIS, professor of biochemistry and of genetics, has won the 2011 Genetics Prize presented by the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation.

Davis will receive the prize — a gold medal and unrestricted $500,000 cash award — on Oct. 13 in Montreal during the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. He will also deliver a lecture at the conference.

Established in 2001, the award is presented to a leading scientist in recognition of groundbreaking contributions to any realm of genetics research. Davis, a pioneer in innovative biotechnologies, was chosen for his work in the development and practical application of recombinant DNA and genomic methods to biological organisms.

Davis was one of the first researchers to discover that proteins known as restriction endonucleases function as highly selective molecular scissors: Not only do they cut DNA at specific sequences, most also leave dangling complementary, single-stranded ends ripe for a matching partner. The finding, published in 1972, revolutionized the then-nascent field of recombinant DNA by allowing scientists to “mix and match” similarly cut DNA fragments.

Read the Medical School press release.

Anthony Weeks and Theo Rigby win silver and bronze at the Student Academy Awards

June 15th, 2011

Anthony Weeks (left) and Theo Rigby prior to the 38th Annual Student Academy Awards® ceremony. Photo: Todd Wawrychuk / ©A.M.P.A.S.


For the second year in a row, films made by students in Stanford’s master’s program in documentary film production have won awards at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Student Academy Awards.

ANTHONY WEEKS’ documentary Imaginary Circumstances, about Hollywood’s treatment of actors with disabilities, took away the silver in the documentary category.

THEO RIGBY’s Sin País (Without Country), another documentary, told the story of a California family torn apart by the threat of deportation. It won the bronze.

Video clips of their films as well as their acceptance speeches are available on the Academy’s website.

The awards ceremony took place in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 11.