Archive for October, 2011

From the Scope Blog: Stanford medical student’s carving tricks – a real treat!

October 31st, 2011

Photo courtesy of Raymond Tsai

In the Medical School’s Scope blog, M.A. Malone writes about the skills of third-year medical student RAYMOND TSAI.

“Two years ago at the annual first-year student pumpkin-carving extravaganza,” Malone writes, ”he blew away classmates with a carved rendition of Michael Jackson. Tsai’s latest Jack-o’-lantern masterpiece pays homage to the late Apple co-founder and creative genius Steve Jobs.”

Read about Tsai’s creative process and see a photo of the unlit version of the pumpkin in the full blog post.

Diary of a Stanford MBA

October 28th, 2011

On the day TEMI OLATUNDE received her acceptance to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, she says the tales of acceptance on MBA blogs “followed the sun.” Asia first, extending westward through the afternoon and evening.

“Needless to say, when my phone rang, that single call compensated for the sleepless nights, countless essay revisions and nail-biting wait,” Olatunde wrote in the first installment of her MBA Diary, published in The Economist.

She has since arrived on the Farm and is adjusting to the transition from the London trading floor to the classroom and acclimating to the hyper-social activity beyond. There was “Condi Week,” during which GSB professor and former Secretary of State CONDOLEEZZA RICE taught lessons on global management. Then there are the school night and weekend parties and Bay Area excursions.

“Returning to the life of a student in this foreign world, I feel like a beginner again. But with each new challenge I am learning to embrace change as one of life’s and business’s constants,” Olatunde writes. “I am reminded of this every time I walk past the Apple store on University Avenue. It is adorned with hundreds of colourful post-it notes—messages from students who felt some level of connection to Steve Jobs. Jobs gave an inspiring commencement speech at Stanford in 2005, during which he reflected on the day he was fired from Apple: ‘The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.’ As I reflect on my MBA journey thus far, the words resonate,” she concludes.

Read the full post in The Economist.


Stanford student athletes excel in 2011 NCAA Graduation Success Rate report

October 27th, 2011

A total of 17 Stanford athletics programs compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, and none had a graduation rate lower than 80 percent, according to the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report, released by the NCAA on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

The nine men’s programs to receive perfect GSR scores included baseball, fencing, golf, gymnastics, tennis, track (outdoor and indoor), volleyball and water polo, while perfect ratings also were achieved in eight women’s programs, including rowing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, softball, soccer, synchronized swimming, and swimming and diving.

Stanford’s football program received a GSR of 87, which was the highest mark in the Pac-12 Conference and one that ranked seventh nationally among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions. The women’s basketball program’s GSR rating of 93 was the third-highest in the country among Division I-A football schools, while the men’s basketball program compiled the nation’s 12th-best rating (80).

Other programs to receive GSR scores of 90 or higher were men’s swimming (93), women’s lacrosse (93), women’s indoor/outdoor track and field (92) and wrestling (91).

The GSR was created six years ago by the NCAA as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes.

Read the full announcement on the Athletics website.

The best novels you haven’t read

October 26th, 2011

Novels have captured readers’ imaginations for hundreds of years. What is it about this literary form that keeps people coming back for more?

Earlier this month, professors from Stanford and UC Berkeley shared their thoughts about the world’s most popular literary form with an audience at Litquake, San Francisco’s largest literary festival. In a dialogue with attendees, the panelists delved into the evolution of the novel and uncovered novelistic gems overlooked by the reading public.

Panelists from top left: Nancy Ruttenburg; Ramón Saldívar, Kent Puckett, Namwali Serpell

Co-presented by the Stanford Humanities Center and UC Berkeley’s Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, “The Best Novels You Haven’t Read” panelists included:

RAMON  SALDÍVAR , professor of English and comparative literature at Stanford, who recommended Salvador Plascencia’s The People of Paper;

NANCY RUTTENBURG, director of Stanford’s Center for the Study of the Novel, offered a long list:
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Marcel Proust, Remembrances of Things Past
Kenzaburo Oe, The Changeling
J. M. Coetzee, Age of Iron
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
Geoff Dyer, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi
Joshua Ferris, The Unnamed
Saul Bellow, Humboldt’s Gift
Elizabeth Stoddard, The Morgesons
Christina Stead, The Man Who Loved Children
Dorothy Baker, Cassandra at the Wedding

The two Berkeley professors on the panel were KENT PUCKETT, associate professor of English, and NAMWALI SERPELL, assistant professor of English.

Here’s Puckett’s list:
Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus
Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book
Walter Pater, Marius the Epicurean
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Serpell named these:

Jorge Luis Borges, Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler …
H. P. Lovecraft, A History of the Necronomicon
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice
William Empson, Seven Types of Ambiguity
John Haffenden, William Empson: Among the Mandarins (Vol. I) and William Empson: Against the Christians (Vol. II)
Shirley Jackson, The Lottery (the collection that includes “Seven Types of Ambiguity”)
Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy
J. Hillis Miller, On Literature

Read the full story, including video of the panel discussion, on The Human Experience website.

Shorenstein APARC announces journalism award

October 25th, 2011

Caixin Media, a Chinese company that produces several print and online news publications, will receive the 2011 Shorenstein Journalism Award from the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Caixin was selected for its leadership in establishing an independent media in China and its commitment to journalistic integrity.

Caixin is the first Asian recipient of the $10,000 award since it was first given in 2002. For the past nine years, the award has recognized contributions of Western journalists who deepened Americans’ understanding of Asia. The pool of contestants has expanded to include Asian journalists who are at the forefront of the battle for press freedom and are using social media and Internet-based journalism to build new roles for the media. The award also honors Asian journalists who have aided the growth of mutual understanding between Asia and the United States.

Hailed by the Economist as “one of China’s more outspoken media organizations,” Caixin is internationally recognized for its tough-minded investigative reporting on China’s economic and social issues.

In recent months, Caixin has probed the errors that led to the crash of a high-speed train in China and investigated the seizure and sale of children by family planning officials in Hunan province.

In 2011, Caixin editor-in-chief HU SHULI, a former Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford, was named one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Influential People, and managing editor Wang Shuo was ranked among China’s top 10 young editors.

Hu and Wang will accept the award at Stanford on Dec. 7. They will participate in a public panel discussion on the future of China’s independent media, joining acclaimed China historian and former Pulitzer Prize jury member Orville Schell, Shorenstein APARC associate director for research DANIEL C. SNEIDER, and other noted Asia specialists.

Read the full announcement on the Shorenstein APARC website.


Law School honors Vernon Jordan for lifetime of public service

October 24th, 2011

Veteran civil rights lawyer VERNON E. JORDAN, JR. was honored at the Stanford Law School last week for his lifetime of public service. Jordan, a former president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League and former executive director of the United Negro College Fund, received the National Public Service Award, given by the Law School’s John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law.

“Vernon Jordan’s career reflects Stanford Law’s fundamental and underlying values – that public service must be a central part of any lawyer’s life,” said LARRY KRAMER, the Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of the Law School. “He is a role model for our students as someone who has integrated a powerful, lifetime commitment to equality into a remarkably diverse legal career.”

Also on Friday, Oct. 21, the Law School honored  SHARON TERMAN, JD ’04, for her pioneering work in enforcing family leave laws, both the Federal Family Medical Leave Act and California’s own family leave law, which significantly expands workers’ rights beyond the federal statute. In her current role as senior staff attorney and director of the Work and Family Project at the Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center of San Francisco, Terman assists poor women, many of whom are immigrants and often undocumented, who face illegal treatment at work. She tackles pregnancy-related discrimination, violations of family and medical leave laws, domestic violence in the workplace, and harassment.

“This year’s awards are particularly meaningful at a time when lawyers and law schools are facing challenges and questions about our profession and goals,” said DIANE T. CHIN, associate dean for public service and public interest law. “Both of our awardees exemplify how public service and pro bono make legal careers meaningful and also fulfill our highest responsibilities to do justice.”

The awards were established in 2006 by the Levin Center as part of its mission to raise awareness about the importance of public service. The awards are given annually to individuals who exemplify a commitment to public service, provide models of practice that are interesting and innovative, and who make a contribution to the overall public interest legal field.

The full announcement is available on the Law School’s website.

Steve Jobs’ commencement speech, viewed 12 million times

October 21st, 2011

STEVE JOBS’ Commencement address to the Stanford class of 2005 is by far the most popular video ever posted on the Stanford YouTube channel. Since it first appeared there in 2008, it has been viewed 12 million times.

In the years before his death, the Apple founder’s inspirational talk, in which he encouraged graduates to “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish,” was viewed six million times.  In the two weeks since he died, it has been seen another six million times.

Jobs urged the graduates to “have the courage to follow your heart and intuition; they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

SLAC’s Phil Bucksbaum elected VP of Optical Society

October 20th, 2011

Photo by Jens Zorn

PHILIP H. BUCKSBAUM, director of the PULSE Institute for Ultrafast Energy Science, has been elected vice president of The Optical Society, putting him on a track to serve as president of the organization in 2014.

Bucksbaum has been active in the OSA for more than 20 years, serving on the board of directors and taking leadership roles on conference committees and at technical meetings.

He was a researcher at Bell Laboratories and the University of Michigan before moving to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University in 2006.  In 2009 he became the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford.  He holds joint appointments in the Physics Department, the Applied Physics Department, and the SLAC Photon Sciences Department, and served as department chair of Photon Science from 2007-2010.  In addition to directing the PULSE Institute, a Stanford independent laboratory located on the SLAC campus, he also directs SLAC’s Chemical Science Research Division.

Bucksbaum has more than 200 scientific publications.  He has contributed to several areas of atomic physics and ultrafast science, including strong-field laser-atom interactions, Rydberg wave packets, ultrafast quantum control, and ultrafast X-ray physics.

“Phil is joining the OSA leadership at a time where basic science funding is at risk.  He understands the challenges that OSA members and customers face in their professional careers and is committed to providing relevant services through the work of the Society,” said Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of the organization, in a statement announcing the election results.  “OSA has been fortunate to benefit from almost 100 years of talented leadership. Phil’s reputation for high quality, excellence and responsiveness will continue this legacy well into the future.“

Margaret Fuller, David Relman, Abraham Verghese elected to Institute of Medicine

October 19th, 2011

Three School of Medicine faculty members have been elected to the Institute of Medicine, one of the top professional honors in the fields of health and medicine.They are MARGARET FULLER, a professor of developmental biology and of genetics;  DAVID RELMAN, professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology; and  best-selling author ABRAHAM VERGHESE, professor of medicine and the department’s senior associate chair for the theory and practice of medicine.

Fuller, Relman and Verghese are among the 65 members added to the Institute of Medicine this year on Oct. 17.

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

Deborah Rhode named White House ‘Champion of Change’

October 18th, 2011

Stanford Law Professor DEBORAH RHODE has been selected as a White House Champion of Change for dedicating her professional life to closing the justice gap in America. She was honored recently as part of President Obama’s “Winning the Future Initiative” at an event organized by the “Access to Justice Initiative” of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Rhode spoke on a panel moderated by  Attorney General Eric Holder about the need to provide legal services to people who cannot afford them, about the importance of pro bono programs, and about the ability of all lawyers to perform public service throughout their professional lives. The discussion was streamed live over the Internet to law students across the nation.

Read the announcement on the Law School’s website.