Quick Takes: Fall 2010

Thanks a billion, UW-Madison research! According to the National Science Foundation, the university’s research expenditures in fiscal year 2009 exceeded $1 billion for the first time ever. That includes money from federal, state, and private sources.

Poets & Writers has declared its love for UW–Madison, ranking the university’s master of fine arts program third in the nation (tied with the University of Texas-Austin). The UW was rated third best in the country in fiction and second in poetry — in spite of the fact that nothing rhymes with Wisconsin. The University of Iowa came in first overall, with Michigan second.

In October, everyone was imploring Quincy Kwaele x’11 and Logan Cascia x’12 to “Teach Me How to Bucky.” The two students created a web video featuring Bucky, UW Band Director Mike Leckrone, and Chancellor Biddy Martin PhD’85 dancing to a song written by Kwaele. It quickly went viral, and by mid-October, more than 200,000 people had viewed it on YouTube.

The UW’s Year of the Arts kicked off in September with a visit from Frederic “Rocco” Landesman ’69, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. During his remarks on the Union Terrace, Landesman extolled the virtues of the Plazaburger (see Traditions) and outlined “Our Town,” a new NEA program that will invest $5 million in arts endeavors in thirty-five cities around the country.

A team of Badger undergrads has entered a competition to design and build an inflatable space habitat. The UW team is one of three (along with groups from Oklahoma State and the University of Maryland) in the contest, which is being run by NASA’s National Space Grant Foundation. Each student team will spend the academic year building a prototype of a structure in which astronauts could live while orbiting Earth, Mars, or the Moon. Judging will take place in June.

The Dalai Lama’s personal trust has given the UW’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds a grant of $50,000 to further its studies into what makes people happy.

The UW Law School will soon have a new posting on its job board. Dean Ken Davis, Jr., has announced that he will step down as dean in September 2011 and return to teaching. Davis has been on the Law School’s faculty since 1978 and has been dean since December 1997.

Published in the Winter 2010 issue


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