News » Archives » December 2015

Three faculty receive fellowships from National Endowment for the Humanities

Author: Josh Weinhold

Three Notre Dame faculty recently received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, continuing the University’s record success winning support for humanities research. Receiving the grants are Julia Douthwaite, professor of French; Amy Mulligan, assistant professor of Irish language and literature; and Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of Islamic studies and theology.

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A look back on 2015

Author: Notre Dame News

From construction cranes spanning across the campus to a record high in research funding, and from fighting a rare disease in Haiti to designing a sanctuary in Philadelphia for the Pope, 2015 was an eventful year for Notre Dame.

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Understanding the “wicked problem” of climate change

Author: William G. Gilroy

Frank Incropera, the H. Clifford and Evelyn A. Brosey Professor Emeritus of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, acknowledges that it’s somewhat unusual for an engineer to delve deeply into the topic of climate change. Scientists, not engineers, have played the most prominent roles in the climate change debate to date. However, Incropera believes solving the problem going forward will require a joint effort from the two specialties.

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Parent touch, play and support in childhood vital to well-being as an adult

Author: Notre Dame News

Did you receive affection, play freely and feel supported in childhood? In a forthcoming article in the journal Applied Developmental Science, Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology, and colleagues Lijuan Wang and Ying Cheng, associate professors of psychology, show that childhood experiences that match with evolved needs lead to better outcomes in adulthood.

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The transformation of cancer imaging: From shades of gray to living color

Author: Nina Welding

Radiographic images, such as X-rays, mammograms and computed tomography (CT), have always been in black and white. However, a new technology called spectral (color) computed tomography, or spectral CT, is not only on the horizon, but it is also on Notre Dame’s campus, where researchers are giving the phrase “in living color” a new meaning.

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How researchers are turning “Star Wars” droids into reality

Author: Notre Dame News

After nearly 40 years of pop culture relevancy, the “Star Wars” saga is continuing this month with the Dec. 18 release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Fans are lining up to see beloved characters return to the screen, including Han Solo and General Leia, and to welcome several new ones, including a variety of droids. The enduring popularity of and interest in C-3PO and R2-D2 speaks to the fascination many people have with robotics and artificial intelligence. Although no one will have their own C-3PO soon, a number of Notre Dame researchers are working to make droids more science fact than science fiction.

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People in states that rely heavily on ballot initiatives are happier

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Ballot initiatives, those petition-driven public votes on contested issues, are often disparaged by liberals and conservatives alike for their avoidance of conventional representative democratic processes and their vulnerability to manipulation by well-financed and organized special interest groups. Nevertheless, according to Benjamin Radcliff, professor of political science at Notre Dame, people in states that rely more heavily on such initiatives are, on average, happier than people in other states.

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Businesses may benefit from “overqualified” employees

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Overqualification—the condition of employees who believe that their qualifications exceed the requirements of their jobs—has been widely considered harmful for organizations, which is why most companies tend to screen out such job applicants. But Jasmine Hu and Kaifeng Jiang, assistant professors of management at Notre Dame, and two of their colleagues from Portland State University argue otherwise in an article recently published by the Journal of Applied Psychology.

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Obesity contributes to ovarian cancer metastasis

Author: William G. Gilroy

M. Sharon Stack, Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth Riley Director of the Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) and professor of chemistry and biochemistry, notes that ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic malignancy in the U.S. Researchers from Notre Dame and the affiliated HCRI set out to determine whether obesity contributes to ovarian cancer metastatic success. In other words, are tumor cells better able to successfully metastasize when the “host” is obese versus lean?

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Reilly Center releases its annual top 10 list of ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology

Author: Jessica Baron

The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at Notre Dame has released its fourth annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology for 2016. This list is designed to get people thinking about potential ethical dilemmas before controversial science or technology goes mainstream.

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Architect proposes sustainable, short-term housing for European refugees

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Fleeing the wars of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Somalia and other countries, refugees in staggering and unprecedented numbers are entering Europe, some 800,000 so far this year alone. This global and increasingly catastrophic movement is likely not only to continue but even to increase. An innovative project to help manage the refugee crisis has recently been proposed by Richard M. Economakis, associate professor and director of graduate studies in Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, and is now under consideration by officials of the United Nations, the European Union and the Greek government.

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