Quick Takes

In an effort to lighten the load for students — literally — UW-Madison has joined an experiment to replace textbooks with e-books. Twenty students in History 600 have traded the course’s eight texts — including works by Sun Tzu, Thucydides, and Tolstoy — for one Kindle, the electronic reading device sold by Amazon. The Kindle holds the content of all eight books but weighs only about a pound.

The Wisconsin Idea in Action, a compilation of more than a thousand examples of how UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students are serving the people of Wisconsin, has debuted at wisconsinidea.wisc.edu. The database highlights teaching, research, clinical, and public engagement activities that provide benefits beyond the boundaries of campus in the century-old tradition of the Wisconsin Idea. Users can search the listings by school or college, subject area, keyword, and Wisconsin county.

The Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship in the School of Business ranks as one of the top twenty-five entrepreneurial programs in the country, according to the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. Based on a review of more than 2,300 undergraduate and graduate programs, the survey considered academics, students and faculty, and outside-the-classroom activities. The Weinert Center ranked eleventh in the nation in terms of graduate education and sixteenth for undergrads.

History professor William Cronon ’76 added his voice of authority to the recent PBS miniseries National Parks: America’s Best Idea, created by documentarian Ken Burns. Cronon appeared in all six of the program’s episodes.

The Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) is the first university program to win a top Wisconsin arts honor: the 2009 Governor’s Award in Support of the Arts. OMAI oversees the First Wave Spoken Word and Hip-Hop Arts Learning Community, a cutting-edge program that is the nation’s first college learning community devoted to urban art.

Published in the Winter 2009 issue


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