Posts Tagged ‘Stanford University’

Stanford Libraries launches user-friendly website; changes name

September 5th, 2012

The Stanford University Libraries’ website, which gets about 10,000 visits a day, hasn’t had a major overhaul in a decade. “In web years, that’s 200,” said CHRIS BOURG, assistant university librarian for public services.

Now the libraries’ Internet presence has been revamped to match the times: A brand-new website went “live” on Aug. 28 – with a lot of input from faculty, students, staff, researchers and a range of other users.

“The new site was built with their voices in our heads,” said STU SNYDMAN, who coordinated the redesign as manager of digital production & web application development.

For the past 18 months, the libraries have been offering lottery tickets and Coupa Café coupons to encourage participation for in-depth interviews, postcard wish-lists and rapid-fire user testing.  The new website is the result.

An integrated search function makes looking for resources in the collections or in the library far more straightforward.  The homepage highlights a chat link for contacting librarians – not a new feature, but one previously buried under layers of clicks.  It even helps students find places for group study – “That’s a piece of information we didn’t have on the site before,” said Bourg.  “Students learned about the Bender Room maybe by the time they were seniors.”  It also directs users to subject librarians, who can give special help.

Another change: When getting help at the information desk, the librarians’ online search often didn’t look like anything you ever saw on the home page. Here’s one reason why: The information center site website had been updated more recently, as had many of the branch library sites. Think of a dinosaur surrounded by racecars.  Now the dinosaur has been traded in for a Maserati, and all the vehicles are going at the same speed, together.  They’ll be using the same website you’re using.

And it’s going to get even better.  “A hundred library staff members are building content, starting now. That’s highly distributed authorship,” said Snydman.

According to Bourg, “The bottom line is that research, teaching and learning at Stanford will be easier now because the new library website rocks!”

The careful viewer will notice another change: The campus network of library, technology and publishing services previously known as SULAIR (that is, Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources) is now called simply “Stanford University Libraries.” In early August, a quiet announcement to this effect went to the staff.

– Cynthia Haven, Stanford University Libraries


Community celebrates Roland Prize, partnership awards

April 30th, 2012

During an April 25 luncheon at the Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto, Calif., School of Medicine Professor GABRIEL GARCIA was honored with the Miriam Aaron Roland Volunteer Service Prize. Garcia is co-founder of the Patient Advocacy Program, a program that trains Stanford students to serve as volunteers in local health clinics.

The Haas Center for Public Service awards the annual Roland Prize to members of the faculty “who engage and involve students in integrating academic scholarship with significant and meaningful volunteer service to society.” It was created by alumna Miriam Aaron Roland and includes a $5,000 cash award. Garcia is the 14th faculty member to receive the award since it was established in 2004.

Also during the event, three community groups and a Stanford student organization were recognized with 2012 Community Partnership Awards. This year’s winners were:

  • DreamCatchers, an after-school program for low-income youth, which was founded by SARAH MUMMAH ’10 when she was an undergraduate;
  • Canopy, an organization devoted to preserving trees and planting more;
  • InnVision, a group that provides housing and services to homeless people, which shared the honor with Stanford Project on Hunger, a Stanford student group that collects, saves and prepares unused, leftover food on Stanford’s campus for distribution to the hungry.

Garcia was traveling, but accepted the honor via video.  Stanford News Service videographer STEVE FYFFE captured the festivities and included Garcia’s acknowledgement in this video.



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.“

Filled to the rafters

September 11th, 2011

Photo courtesy The Stanford Daily

The voices of the Peninsula choral community and a standing-room-only crowd filled Stanford Memorial Church on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. Led by Schola Cantorum, an 80-member chorus based in Mountain View, and in partnership with the university’s Office for Religious Life and Department of Music, singers and musicians from throughout the Bay Area paid tribute to those who lost their lives in and those who responded to the terrorist attacks 10 years ago. Gregory Wait, conductor and music director of Schola Cantorum and the director of vocal studies in the Stanford Department of Music, conducted the performance of  Mozart’s Requiem in D minor.

Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinosa tours the Bing Concert Hall

August 2nd, 2011
Palo Alto mayor

Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinosa

Palo Alto Mayor SID ESPINOSA, wearing a webcam, recently toured the Bing Concert Hall, which is taking shape on the north end of campus at the corner of Campus Drive East and Lasuen Street.

The mayor featured the resulting video in a message to Palo Alto residents. That message also includes the mayor’s perspective on town-gown relations and plugs for the Stanford for You monthly event newsletter and the online Stanford Events Calendar.

In that message, he said, “Through the decades, the university and city have grown in tandem. Sometimes our ‘town-gown’ relationship has had hiccups but the mutual benefits have been innumerable, from Stanford professors forming of our city’s municipal utility to our shared fire and paramedic services to the numerous start-ups created annually by Stanford grads/engineers, helping to drive our local economy.”

Giving the tour of the Bing Concert Hall were JENNY BILFIELD, artistic and executive director of Lively Arts; EOIN BUCKLEY, project engineer with the Department of Project Management; and MATT RODRIQUEZ, director of production and technical services for Lively Arts.

The mayor’s reaction to the tour? “Wow, look at this,” he said.


Bing Overseas Studies Program directors gather in Santiago

July 27th, 2011
Stanford BOSP directors

The nine Stanford directors of BOSP programs recently met at the Stanford Santiago center.

The nine directors of the Bing Overseas Studies Program recently gathered at the Stanford center in Santiago for the program’s annual director’s meeting.

They were joined this year by ADRIENNE JAMIESON, the MaryLou and George Boone Centennial Director of Bing Stanford in Washington.

According to DAVID BOYER, associate director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program, the annual gathering gives the directors a chance to “discuss issues of common concern and new developments.”

Following are Stanford’s BOSP directors:

KAREN KRAMER, Stanford Program in Berlin

TIMOTHY STANTON, Stanford Program in Cape Town

ERMELINDA CAMPANI, the Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence

ANDREW HORVAT, Stanford Program in Kyoto

SANTIAGO TEJERINA-CANAL, Stanford Program in Madrid

ALEXANDER ABASHKIN, Stanford Program in Moscow

GEOFFREY TYACK, the Montag Center for Overseas Studies in Oxford

ESTELLE HALEVI, Stanford Program in Paris

IVAN JAKSIC, Stanford Program in Santiago

Visit the BOSP website for more information about Stanford’s study abroad programs.

Pakistani interns Ping SLAC

July 26th, 2011

Sadia Rehman, left, and Amber Madeeha Zeb

When AMBER MADEEHA ZEB and SADIA REHMAN arrived at SLAC from Pakistan in April to work on the PingER project, they knew they would be beginning quite an adventure. To their delight, it has been entirely positive, both technically and personally.

Both women are studying for their master’s degrees in communications systems at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Islamabad, (SEECS) part of Pakistan’s National University of Science & Technology. They’re the first women to come to SLAC as part of a seven-year joint project funded by the Pakistani government that is aimed at improving their country’s Internet connections. A key feature of the project is sending two graduate students annually to SLAC to work with PingER director LES COTTRELL.

The PingER project sends short electronic messages to 760 Internet nodes around the world and measures the time it takes to receive the automatic reply. Unusual delays or inconsistent “round-trip times” can indicate problems in the network.

When the head of SEECS, Arshad Ali, nominated Rehman and Zeb to come to SLAC, both were quite surprised.

“Are you kidding me?” Zeb said she thought at the time. After discussing it with their families, they agreed to make the journey. “Coming over here would make us better people, both technically and personally,” Zeb said.

So far, they say their experiences have exceeded their expectations.


Read the full story on SLAC Today.


— Mike Ross


Twin Stanford alumnae to premiere documentary ‘The Power of Two’

July 7th, 2011

Identical twins are accustomed to sharing everything. But twins ANABEL STENZEL and ISABEL STENZEL BYRNES, both ’94, share more than just a love of hiking and the same bright smile. Both were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, an often fatal genetic lung disease, at three days old. And both received lifesaving double lung transplants from Stanford Hospital – Anabel in 2000 and then again in 2007 and Isabel in 2004.

The Power of Two, a documentary film about the Stenzel twins’ battle against cystic fibrosis and the challenges facing organ donation around the world, will make its Bay Area premiere on Saturday, Sept. 10, at San Francisco’s Castro Theater. A matinee screening will be held at 2 p.m., followed by a VIP reception at 6 p.m. and a gala screening at 7:30 p.m., which will be followed by performances by artists from the film’s soundtrack. Both screenings will include a Q&A with Anabel and Isabel and director/producer Marc Smolowitz. Tickets start at $20.

The Stenzels are now thriving after their transplants, but as The Power of Two illustrates, many patients in need of organ donations are not so lucky. The film documents Anabel and Isabel’s book tour (they wrote a memoir in 2007, also called The Power of Two) through Japan, their mother’s native country, which has the lowest rate of organ donation in the world due to cultural taboos against transplants. Leading American and Japanese experts, including Dr. BRUCE REITZ, the Norman E. Shumway Professor, Emeritus, at the Stanford School of Medicine and the surgeon who performed the twins’ transplants, discuss the future of organ donation and the need for advancements in the treatment of cystic fibrosis and other illnesses.

“I feel that the Stanford community could benefit from seeing this moving and educational documentary about the miracle of breath, the impact of culture and the drive to survive through the miracles of modern medicine,” Anabel Stenzel said.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Power of Two website.

—Robin Migdol




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