Dec. 04, 1997 / Volume 17, Number 11
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News Bureau | Calendar | II Info | II Archives

Research news


Campus news

Senate debates posting documents on Web, library committee membership

brief notes

Registration for art classes begins Dec. 8 ... Conference discusses health-care issues ... Family Festival is Dec. 7 at KAM ... Russian Folk Orchestra performs Dec. 14 ... O&M offers help for holiday cleanups ... O&M holiday shutdown tips ... Children's holiday party Dec. 14 ... 'Cats' presented Dec 12 and 13 ... Belgium faculty exchange

benefits news

holiday schedule

job market


1997 Uni grads achieved highest ACT score

on the job: linda langston




Historic Morrow Plots indicate too much fertilizer ineffective

By Jim Barlow

The nation's oldest crop-research plots are speaking out: Soil stewardship pays. Yields in fertilized continuous corn plots are one-third lower than in similarly fertilized plots where long rotations have been used.

The Morrow Plots, planted at the UI in 1876 to find out how exploitable Illinois soil is, have shrunk over the years, but their link with how Illinois land has been farmed remains strong.

"Despite the fact that soil organic matter has been decreasing, yields have increased," said Susanne Aref, an agricultural statistician in the UI department of crop sciences. "During the past decade, yields have been level, though changes to stand density may boost yield to a higher level."

Yields have risen as a result of technological advances, such as the introduction of hybrids, pesticides and commercial fertilizers, but the use of fertilizers at 1 1/2 times recommended rates, as used by many farmers and as an experiment in the Morrow Plots, has not provided consistent benefits.

"Based on the last 30 years of experiments, we have learned that too much fertilizer does not work," Aref said. "It does increase yields in some years, but it makes production unstable." During the 1988 drought, for instance, crop yields in overfertilized plots were dramatically smaller than those from untreated soils, where corn yields were essentially unaffected.

Lessons learned from the Morrow Plots, which cover about 3/5 of an acre, were described by UI soil scientist Michelle M. Wander at the joint annual meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America Oct. 26-31 in Anaheim, Calif.

A comprehensive review of soil changes in the Morrow Plots ­ named for George E. Morrow, the first dean of the UI College of Agriculture ­ will be published next year in "Advances in Agronomy, Volume 62." The plots were recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1968.

The first experiment began with three different crop rotations involving corn, oats and hay and three fertility treatments. As changes in agriculture occurred, so changed the experiments. The long-term data that have been harvested, researchers say, "provide us with the only reasonable empirical basis upon which we can evaluate agricultural sustainability."

The plots' history was divided into four phases, based on activity. Phase five begins next spring, when only the recommended rates of fertilizer will be used, plant density will increase from a rate of 24,000 plants per acre to 28,000, and chisel plowing will replace traditional mold-board plowing. The use of longer rotations in future years also is being considered, Aref said.

Corn-oats-hay rotation on manure-treated plots has led to greater increases in organic matter and nutrients to the soil than that attained by corn-soybean rotation in fertilized soil. "Rotation also seems to work by increasing yields, but it may be that we should consider longer rotations," Aref said.

"If you don't treat the soil well," she added, "you are cheating yourself."

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Water Survey scientists: Great Lakes intensify ferocity of passing storms

By James E. Kloeppel

The Great Lakes exert a significant influence on passing cyclones, causing storms to speed up and grow in strength, say researchers at the UI and the Illinois State Water Survey. Also, the number of potentially dangerous storms is on the rise, they report.

"Cyclones that traverse the Great Lakes have important impacts on the physical environment and human habitation in the region," said James Angel, a climatologist with the Survey. "There is a lot of development along the lakes, and when the water level is high ­ as it is now ­ the area becomes extremely vulnerable to shoreline damage from these storms. A better understanding of how the Great Lakes affect passing cyclones may allow better forecasting of these storms and their potential effects."

Cyclones are low-pressure storm centers, "often accompanied by high winds and heavy precipitation," said Scott Isard, a UI professor of geography. "The ensuing storms can be huge, ranging in size from 800 to 1,500 miles in diameter."

To study the effect the Great Lakes have on passing cyclones, Angel and Isard examined the rates of movement and the changes in intensity for 583 cyclones that passed over the region between the years 1965 to 1990. The researchers' findings, published in the September issue of Monthly Weather Review, identify several important features regarding the lakes' influence on these storm systems.

"In general, we found that cyclones accelerated as they approached the Great Lakes region and increased in intensity over the lakes," Angel said. "This effect was most pronounced from September to November, when the surface waters of the lakes are warmer than the surrounding air and can provide a major source of both moisture and heat that energizes passing storms."

From January to March, when broken ice cover is generally present on the lakes, cyclones accelerated less and did not intensify, Angel said. However, cyclones that traversed the region during May and June did speed up and grow in strength.

"This surprised us, because the lakes are usually cooler than the overriding air mass during spring and summer, and have not generally been considered as an important energy source for cyclones at that time," Angel said. "We don't yet have a satisfactory explanation for this phenomenon."

In another study (to appear in the journal Climate), Angel and Isard analyzed trends in storm strength for the years 1900 to 1990. "We are seeing evidence of an increase in the number of stronger storms, particularly in the months of November and December," Angel said.

Historically, some of these cyclones have produced hurricane-force winds and caused extensive damage to shipping. The "great storm of 1913," for example, sank a dozen ships and claimed more than 250 lives. More recently, the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald ­ popularized in a ballad by Canadian singer and songwriter Gordon Lightfoot ­ sank in Lake Superior during a major storm on Nov. 10, 1975. All hands were lost.

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Researchers find estrogen is vital to male fertility

By Jim Barlow

Testosterone may be the hormone that makes the man, but it is estrogen ­ the so-called "female" hormone ­ that gives sperm its reproductive punch, a team of researchers report in the Dec. 4 issue of the journal Nature.

Estrogen is vital to male fertility ­ specifically to sperm count. That discovery, coupled with the debate over declining sperm counts worldwide, means "we must be concerned about the potential for environmental chemicals to influence male reproductive function," said Rex A. Hess, a professor of veterinary biosciences at the UI and principal author of the Nature report.

"If there is a normal function for estrogen in the male, and that function is required for normal fertility, then it is logical to hypothesize that chemicals that interfere with estrogen receptors may interfere with fertility," Hess said. "Until now, there has been no known function for estrogen in the male. We have had nothing to focus on. Now we can ask the question: Does this chemical or that chemical interfere?"

Potential environmental influence on fertility, such as exposure to pesticides and industrial chemicals, has sparked controversy since 1992, when Copenhagen University researchers concluded that sperm counts were declining around the world. In late November, a team led by Shanna Swan of the California Department of Public Health reached a similar conclusion after reconsidering the data from the 61 studies used in the Copenhagen findings.

The Nature paper focuses on the regulatory role of estrogen-induced fluid reabsorption during the transfer of sperm in fluid from the testis through the efferent ductules ­ a series of small tubes that act like kidneys, producing concentrated semen instead of urine ­ to the epididymis, where sperm mature and are stored.

"We have found that estrogen regulates fluid reabsorption in the efferent ductules of the male," Hess said. "It is important for the uptake of water, ions and proteins from the fluid that carries the sperm. The efferent ductules are responsible for reabsorbing nearly 90 percent of the water from this fluid. Without the reabsorption, the sperm remain diluted and therefore incapable of normal maturation in the epididymis."

The paper is part of three collaborative studies done over seven years on male estrogen ­ funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the UI ­ by a team that includes Janice Bahr, a professor of physiology, molecular biologist David Bunick and Hess.

In another study, published in the December issue of the Journal of Adrology, the researchers report that the number of genes that express estrogen receptors in the efferent ductules of rats ­ when operating normally ­ is 3.5 times greater than the estrogen receptor message in the female reproductive tract.

"This means you have a target for estrogen, and there are plenty of targets for the estrogen to bind to," Hess said. "It was surprising to find the protein in such a high concentration. We knew it would be there, but finding so much was unexpected."

The Nature findings resulted from studies of estrogen function in the reproductive tracts of mice, including genetically produced mice whose estrogen receptors are

non-functional. As in humans, the mice used in the research had similarities in their estrogen, estrogen receptors and efferent ductules.

Hess, Bahr and Bunick reported in the 1994 Proceedings of the Estrogens in the Environment, that they had found a new source of potential estrogen synthesis in males, in the germ cells of the testis and sperm in the epididymis of mice, rats and chickens. Similar findings have been made in black bears.

When estrogen receptors are knocked out, the fluid "accumulates at the site of production ­ just as happens when you get a blocked waste pipe and run the tap," writes Richard M. Sharpe of the Medical Research Council Reproductive Biology Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland, in an accompanying "News and Views" article on Hess' findings. "This build-up progressively impairs sperm production because of the increased fluid pressure within the testis."

In 1993, Sharpe theorized that declines in sperm counts might be occurring because of a complex interference with hormones involving the hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland during development of the testis.

Now that the research has provided the first recognized physiological function for estrogen in males, Hess said, the next step in the research is to determine the biochemical action. "We have known that estrogen is present in the male, and in high concentrations in the seminal fluids, but we did not know why it was there," he said. "Now we can focus on the function of fluid reabsorption and on what genes are regulated by the estrogen.

"Estrogen is not only important in the female for fertility, but it also exerts its influence on the male, from birth to death," Hess said. "We can now say that this female hormone is intimately involved in regulating fertility in the male, because if you block the estrogen receptor's function as we've shown here, you will have infertility. It is very likely that this will be a similar finding in humans."

Coauthors of the Nature paper are Hess, Bunick and Bahr, along with Ki-Ho Lee of the UI department of veterinary biosciences; Julia A. Taylor and Dennis B. Lubahn of the departments of biochemistry and child health at the University of Missouri at Columbia; and Kenneth S. Korach of the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Coauthors of the paper in the Journal of Andrology are Hess, Bunick, Lubahn, Bahr, Daniel H. Gist of the department of biological sciences at the University of Cincinnati, Amy Farrell and Paul S. Cooke of the UI department of veterinary biosciences, and Geoffrey L. Greene of the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Chicago.

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Next form of discrimination for elderly may be based on genes

By Mark Reutter

To the problem of age discrimination may come the problem of genetic discrimination unless the elderly are better protected by the law.

The potential for discrimination arises as insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) use genetic testing to classify risk of applicants and treatment of covered members, Kyle G. French writes in the Elder Law Journal, published by the UI College of Law.

"The widespread delineation of genetic profiles could result in a centralization of genetic information in much the same way that credit information is centralized today," French notes. "Because DNA sequence databases are prone to error, comparison of an individual's genetic profile to an error-ridden prototype could have the same stigmatizing effect as do false positives on drug tests and tests for the HIV antibody."

Studies indicate that HMOs are more likely to use genetic information as a factor in determining treatment and insurability. One in four HMOs surveyed in 1992 reported they would be "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to alter claims-

payment practices as new genetic tests came on line. Nearly three of four HMOs already use available genetic testing as part of their applicant-screening process.

The financial rewards of HMOs encourage doctors and other health-care providers to discriminate against the elderly, according to French, former articles editor of the UI journal. "In contrast to traditional insurance plans and Medicare, which generally rely on retrospective review, HMOs decided whether to reimburse care prospectively and concurrently. Discriminatory application of genetic information by HMOs would be logical because HMOs provide an incentive to their network doctors to undertreat through their reimbursement structure."

Genetic testing could be used to deny insurance to individuals considered at risk even though they do not exhibit any symptoms and function normally. In the 1970s, insurance companies discriminated against those who tested positive for the sickle-cell trait, even when they were only carriers of the trait and unlikely to show symptoms of the disease.

A law should be enacted that forbids HMOs, insurers and employers from restricting or canceling medical coverage based on genetic tests, French writes. "The recognition of a fundamental privacy right regarding an individual's genetic material is crucial to extending protection to those individuals with abnormal genotypes. Protections requiring informed consent before testing and subsequent use of genetic information, along with strong confidentiality protections, are the best ways to secure genetic privacy."

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Part-time work not always route to full-time job

By Mark Reutter

The recent strike at United Parcel Service focused public attention on the lower wages and lack of benefits of part-time package sorters. But what's going on among the 36 million other Americans who work in non-standard jobs?

"We really don't know," says Marianne Ferber. The professor emerita of economics at the UI has been doing research on "temps," part-timers, on-call workers and independent contractors. Often dubbed the "contingent work force" because they work under terms that differ from regular, full-time employment, they constitute a rapidly growing segment of the labor market.

"Part-time workers have long been a feature of the U.S. labor market," Ferber said. "This is also the category we have the most information about." In 1950, part-timers composed 16 percent of the labor force; by 1995 they had increased to nearly 20 percent ­ a total of 24 million people.

For many employers, using temps and independent contractors also has become an attractive alternative to hiring full-time workers. Today some 1.2 million people supplied by temp agencies work on an "as needed" basis, while single-client independent contractors currently number about 8.3 million.

One myth about non-standard work, Ferber said, is that it is a route to a permanent job in the same organization. In fact, this is not a typical development. On the other hand, independent contractors and other non-standard workers are not uniformly paid lower wages than full-time workers. "An important predictor of wages is level of education," she said. "Well-educated contingent workers are typically paid well, though even they do not get nearly as good health and retirement benefits as regular full-timers."

Beyond that, however, few generalizations are justified. For instance, men who are self-employed generally do better than other workers, while women who are self-employed tend to do worse. Ferber attributes these differences to the fact that self-employed men have a much greater client base stemming from their years in the full-time labor force.

Yet men who work part-time tend to earn lower wages relative to full-time men, while this trend does not seem to affect part-time women. Ferber said this finding, based on longitudinal studies of national employment data, "is consistent with the hypothesis that employers tend to judge men in non-standard employment unfavorably because their careers do not conform to the usual notions of traditional male behavior, while women are not expected to be strongly committed to their careers whether they work full-time or not."

Ferber's study, "Contingent Work," was published by the Radcliffe Public Policy Institute in Cambridge, Mass. The co-author was Jane Waldfogel, a professor of social work at Columbia University.

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Banning chemicals to protect ozone may aggravate global warming

By James E. Kloeppel

Some of the chemicals being phased out to protect the ozone layer offer offsetting benefits, such as reducing global warming, a UI researcher says.

"By independently addressing the issues of ozone depletion and global warming, we are jeopardizing desirable options for one effect based on lesser ­ or even inconsequential ­ impacts on the other," said Don Wuebbles, director of the Environmental Council at the UI and a professor of atmospheric sciences. "We need to stop looking at these issues as though they are separate from one another, and start considering them together when we determine environmental policy."

In the Nov. 7 issue of the journal Science, Wuebbles and colleague James Calm, an engineering consultant in Great Falls, Va., write that the regulatory actions on certain chemicals ­ imposed by both the Montreal Protocol and the U.S. Clean Air Act to protect the ozone layer ­ will have little impact on stratospheric ozone while contributing unnecessarily to global warming.

"Most of the chemicals responsible for ozone depletion are also greenhouse gases," Wuebbles said. "Chlorofluorocarbons [CFCs], for example, tend to be severe offenders for both the depletion of ozone and for global warming. The need for their regulation is unambiguous."

But there are other industrially important chemicals that fall into the gray area. "Some hydrochlorofluorocarbons [HCFCs], for example, have very short atmospheric lifetimes and mostly decompose before reaching the upper atmosphere," Wuebbles said. "Effects on ozone depletion from some of these compounds are likely to be negligible. Nevertheless, they are still being tightly regulated and eventually the intention of the rulings is that they be banned entirely."

One such chemical, HCFC-123, is a high-performance refrigerant commonly used in the cooling systems of large buildings. Some of the intended replacements for HCFC-123 not only have much longer atmospheric lifetimes that could contribute to global warming, but they also are far less energy efficient.

"High efficiency translates into reduced emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from associated energy use, which, in net impact, dwarf those from incidental releases of the refrigerant itself," Wuebbles said. "High efficiency also reduces fuel and other resource requirements.

"It is probable that HCFC-123 and several other CFC replacements would have survived the ban if the global warming regulations had been implemented before the ones for ozone," Wuebbles said. "With keener awareness of the more limited options to reduce global warming, the framers of the Montreal Protocol and the U.S. Clean Air Act might have been more cautious in rejecting chemicals with minimal impacts and offsetting benefits.

"There are many other chemicals that also have special uses, small impacts, and where the replacements for them would cause other problems or issues," Wuebbles said. "In such cases, it might make more sense to reconsider current policy and allow the continued use of some chemicals."

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Many dog foods about equal

By Jim Barlow

When it comes to feeding dogs, owners can look beyond the debate over food made with fresh meat, animal by-products or plant material. Pet nutritionists say that small-intestine digestibility and nutritive value are essentially equal, so the choice becomes what the master desires.

With pet-food manufacturers marketing hundreds of food varieties from mostly plant-based feed to "premium" brands with human-edible cuts of beef and poultry, a pet owner faces a difficult decision.

"Pet owners have to decide what kind of diet to feed their animals," said UI animal scientist George C. Fahey, who has studied pet nutrition for 20 years. "The premium-type diets are oriented toward the pet owner who can let the pet out in the morning and in the evening. Such diets lead to small stool production, which is an ideal situation for a person who goes off to work for 10 hours and leaves the animal inside."

In a paper published in the September issue of the Journal of Animal Science, Fahey's team reported that pet food with either raw meat or animal by-products (beef and poultry) were nearly identical in digestibility, that both were slightly better digested than a plant-based control diet of defatted soy flour, and that some poultry by-products were only slightly less digestible in the small intestine than was food with raw poultry. Overall, by-products in feed are good sources of digestible nutrients, the authors concluded.

The poultry by-product effect, Fahey said, probably resulted from extraneous material, such as feathers and egg shells being included in the feed. By-products are rendered edible by cooking them at high temperature and high pressure, and their use is both legal and acceptable in pet food.

According to the American Association of Feed Control Officials, only amounts of hair, feathers, hooves, horn and other such materials that are naturally occurring in raw animal materials may be used in processed animal by-products. The problem for concerned consumers is that food labels only show that by-products are used, Fahey said.

When it comes to choosing pet food, an owner should remember that dogs are not true carnivores, Fahey said. Dogs can get sufficient nutrition from plant-based feed, but some plants such as soybeans can result in greater stool production and flatulence, neither of which is a desirable trait in indoor dogs. Premium meat-based foods produce fewer stools and less gas. They also may cost more, but they are often fed in lesser quantities because they contain higher levels of protein.

Authors of the report were Fahey; animal-science graduate student Sean M. Murray; postdoctoral researcher Avinash R. Patil; and Neal R. Merchen, a professor of animal science and of nutrition, all of the UI; and Denzil M. Hughes, a pet nutritionist of Farmland Industries Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., which provided partial funding for the research.

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New materials remove corrosive gas in coal-gasification process

By James E. Kloeppel

Advanced coal-gasification processes are emerging as the most promising technology for converting coal into electricity, but the process generates sizable quantities of hydrogen sulfide, a highly corrosive gas that can destroy pipes and turbines. Chemical engineers at the UI and the Illinois State Geological Survey are developing materials to remove the hydrogen sulfide and convert it into economically valuable byproducts.

"A typical coal-fired power plant is about 33 percent efficient at generating electricity, while a coal gasifier is up to 50 percent efficient," said Mark Cal, a UI professor of environmental engineering who also is a chemical engineer with the Survey. "Higher efficiency means that fuel can be conserved and greenhouse-gas emissions like carbon dioxide and acid-gas emissions like sulfur dioxide and the nitrogen oxides can be reduced. To achieve maximum performance in coal-gasification plants, an efficient and economical method of removing the hydrogen sulfide from the hot coal gas must be found."

Cal and his colleagues ­ environmental engineering professor Mark Rood, Survey scientist Anthony Lizzio and graduate student Brooks Strickler ­ are developing carbon-based sorbents that can remove the hydrogen sulfide efficiently.

"While the use of carbon for hot-gas cleanup has had significant potential, previous research has focused mainly on metal-based sorbents such as zinc ferrite, zinc titanate and various copper oxides," Cal said. "But each of these sorbents suffers from at least one major deficiency that prevents its widespread use."

Carbon offers several advantages over metal-based sorbents, Cal said. "Carbon provides excellent resistance to chemical and physical degradation in the harsh coal-gas environment. Carbon adsorbs large quantities of hydrogen sulfide, and can be used as an active support for metals ­ such as copper and zinc ­ which can enhance the adsorption process. And, carbon is inexpensive."

In their recent study, Cal and his colleagues developed a number of carbon-based sorbents and tested the ability of each sorbent to remove hydrogen-sulfide under different operating conditions. The regenerability of the most promising sorbents also was assessed.

"We've shown that these relatively inexpensive materials can very effectively remove hydrogen sulfide from the hot coal-gas stream," Cal said. "As an added bonus, the hydrogen sulfide that collects on the sorbent can be easily converted into commercially valuable products, such as solid sulfur and sulfuric acid.

Cal presented the team's findings at the September national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Las Vegas.

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Scholars write primer on risk in volatile derivatives market

By Mark Reutter

Two UI professors have written a primer on assessing risk in the volatile derivatives market, the world's fast-growing trading network.

"Risk Measurement, An Introduction to Value at Risk," a paper by Thomas J. Linsmeier and Neil D. Pearson, professors of accountancy and finance, respectively, in the College of Commerce and Business Administration, is a no-nonsense guide for fund managers and investors.

"Our paper introduces the concept and methodology of 'value at risk,' which is a new tool for measuring a company's exposure to risk in the derivatives market," Pearson said.

Derivatives refer to any number of financial contracts that derive their value from the value of other assets. They are neither securities (stock in a company) nor commodities (cotton or gold), but a set of delivery contracts involving securities and commodities that are commonly traded.

They became popular after the Bretton Woods system of fixed currency exchange rates was abandoned by the United States and other industrial nations in 1973. The explosive growth of world markets in the last decade created a demand for new financial instruments to act as a hedge against fluctuations in foreign currencies and interest rates.

The value of derivatives traded worldwide rocketed to $70 trillion in 1995 ­ up from $7 trillion in 1989. "And the end is not in sight," Linsmeier said. They include futures, forwards, swaps, options and more complex derivatives such as structured notes and collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs).

"Derivatives are ideal to make offsetting bets to 'cancel out' the risks in a portfolio because many of them can be traded quickly and with low transaction costs, while others can be tailored to customers' needs," the UI professors wrote in their paper.

But the same instruments "also are ideal for making purely speculative bets," they warn.

The down side of derivatives became apparent in 1994 when significant changes in interest rates and commodity prices caught Procter & Gamble, Japan Airlines, Metallgesellschaft and other multinationals with exposed portfolios. In addition, rampant speculation in structured notes resulted in massive investment losses for Orange County (Calif.).

"Value at risk," developed largely in response to the 1994 debacle, measures the probability of losses due to changes in interest rates, currency exchange prices and other market conditions. Three chief ways of computing risk are historical simulation, Monte Carlo simulation and variance-covariance.

In their paper, Linsmeier and Pearson examine the advantages and disadvantages of the methods and describe how they can be supplemented with stress testing.

The UI professors helped write the accounting and disclosure rules enacted by the Securities and Exchange Commission to enable investors and managers to better evaluate the risk of derivatives.

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Collision of liquids at high speed can drive chemical reactions

By James E. Kloeppel

When a liquid moves fast enough, gas bubbles will form and collapse. This process ­ called cavitation ­ is responsible for the pleasant babbling sound of streams and rivers, and for the stealth-defying sound of propellers on submarines. Chemists at the UI have discovered that in addition to making noise, high-velocity liquids also can drive chemical reactions.

"By colliding two streams of liquids together at a combined speed of 450 mph, we can break some of the strongest chemical bonds," said Kenneth Suslick, a UI professor of chemical sciences. "With water, for example, the oxygen-hydrogen bond ruptures. The fragments can recombine to form hydrogen peroxide and other highly reactive intermediates that can destroy contaminants in the water."

Some contaminants can be destroyed directly by the implosive collapse of the bubbles. Other less volatile contaminants can be destroyed through secondary reactions with some of the fragments, such as free hydrogens and hydroxyl radicals ­ both of which are extremely reactive. "This raises the possibility of using turbulent liquid jets as a simple way of purifying water contaminated with low levels of chemical waste," Suslick said.

The jets are made by pumping liquids at very high pressures through very small holes drilled in gemstones. "Only gems are hard enough to take the pressure without cracking or eroding," Suslick said. Currently, liquid jets are used industrially for making emulsions (such as cosmetic lotions) and for cutting extremely hard materials.

"The chemistry of turbulent liquids comes from 'hydrodynamic cavitation,' which causes the formation, growth and implosive collapse of small gas bubbles in the moving liquid," Suslick said. "This is very similar to the effects of high-intensity ultrasound in a liquid, where the collapse of sound-driven bubbles generates intense local heating, forming a hot spot in the cold liquid with a transient temperature of about 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the pressure of about 1,000 atmospheres and the duration of about a billionth of a second."

Any turbulent flow can cause cavitation in liquids, Suslick said. "But generating bubbles doesn't necessarily generate chemistry. The bubbles have to collapse pretty intensively to create the required heat and pressure. By colliding two liquid jets, we can concentrate the collisional energy in the bubbles."

There are only a few ways to force chemical reactions: heat, light, radiation and ultrasound are the common ones, Suslick said. "So, it's not very often that we find a new way to drive chemistry, especially one as simple as fast-moving liquids. Although we can create very-high-energy chemistry using these liquid jets, the reaction rates are pretty slow so far."

Suslick and graduate students Millan Mdleleni and Jeff Ries reported their findings in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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Genetics debate suffers from misinterpretations

By Jim Barlow

Genetics and intelligence have academia coming apart at the seams, with the debate over "The Bell Curve" ­ still hot three years after the book's release ­ providing "a tragic example of how science can be misleading even to itself," says a UI geneticist.

"An essential element of appreciating a book like 'The Bell Curve' is knowledge of the subject matter," said Jerry Hirsch, professor emeritus and guest editor of a special issue of the journal Genetica (mailed to subscribers Oct. 24) devoted to "Uses and Abuses of Genetics in Society." "First-hand familiarity of the material under discussion is an element seemingly lacking in the commentary that has appeared."

The Genetica issue goes beyond the best-selling 1994 book by Harvard University psychologist Richard J. Hernstein (who has since died) and political scientist Charles Murray, Hirsch said. It is a criticism of the field of genetics and of much of academia for shoddy quality control in the literature. "The misunderstanding of genetics has been almost universal, especially from a behavioral point of view," said Hirsch, who has studied Drosophila genetics for 40 years. "It has been terribly mishandled."

The debate over racism has split his own field. He noted the 1995 resignation of then President-elect Pierre Roubertoux of France from the Behavior Genetics Association after outgoing President Glayde Whitney argued that there was a racial basis for different murder rates between U.S. cities.

In Genetica, Hirsch says he refused the basic premise of "The Bell Curve" in 1975. Hernstein and Murray, he said, completely accepted the writings of Arthur R. Jensen of the University of California at Berkeley, who claimed that the genetic determination of intelligence had been proven. In a study, referred to in the Congressional Record, Hirsch showed that Jensen had distorted and misrepresented many of the 159 references in a 1969 paper. "The Bell Curve" lacks merit, Hirsch said, because it does the same thing.

In another Genetica article, Gordon M. Harrington of the University of Northern Iowa challenges some of the 25 points made by 52 experts who endorsed "The Bell Curve" in a December 1994 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. The endorsement, Hirsch said, came before careful academic scrutiny was done.

Jensen and the authors of "The Bell Curve," he said, confuse heredity with heritability. Heredity refers to what parents transmit genetically to offspring. Heritability is a statistical concept used in agricultural eugenics ­ "where you have control over breeding." "It assumes random mating ­ including incest ­ in an equilibrium population and other important limiting conditions."

Heritabiliy measures the relationship between a gene pool of a particular population and the expression of a certain trait under certain environmental conditions, Hirsch said. "It is not a measure of so-called nature-nurture ratio ­ what proportions of human intelligence are due to nature and to nurture ­ though it is widely misinterpreted as such. Heritability sounds like heredity, but they are in no way the same thing. Heritability estimation appeals to the racists. Calculate a nature-nurture ratio, and you've got genetic inferiority. That's absolutely wrong."

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Grant to fund research to make smaller, faster transistors

By James E. Kloeppel

Researchers at the UI have received a $3.2 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to explore new concepts in fabricating next-generation electronic components.

The grant ­ to extend over four years ­ will promote the development of new device architectures and advanced material technologies needed to make smaller, faster transistors.

"We believe that the key to a technically and economically feasible revolution in electronics lies in the introduction and interweaving of new heterostructure materials and patterning capabilities into the present technology," said Ilesanmi Adesida, a UI professor of electrical and computer engineering and a researcher in the university's Microelectronics Laboratory. "Through the use of advanced dielectrics, metal silicides and heterolayers, we can significantly reduce the size of the transistor and create ultra-fast, ultra-dense integrated circuits."

During the past 50 years, the electronics industry has been "extremely creative in shrinking the size of the transistor, but there are physical limits to how far you can go with current silicon technology," said John Tucker, a UI professor of electrical and computer engineering and a researcher at the university's Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. "There is growing concern in government and industry that we will soon encounter a fundamental 'device barrier' that will very effectively block further attempts at size reduction. Our goal is to find a way around that barrier."

Today's silicon transistor is crafted from a single silicon crystal. To create electric potentials that can be manipulated to control the flow of current, various regions of the crystal are doped with impurities. The random nature of the doping process, however, presents an obstacle that limits the transistor's size.

"As components get smaller and smaller, it is becoming increasingly difficult to control the placement and distribution of these dopants," Tucker said. "Soon there will be only a countable number of impurities beneath the gate that controls the current in a transistor. And as that number inevitably fluctuates from transistor to transistor, each transistor will have slightly different properties, resulting in varying device performance."

To break through this device barrier, Adesida and Tucker have teamed with T.C. Shen, research scientist at the Beckman Institute; Murray Gibson, associate director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the UI; T.-P. Ma and Mark Reed, both electrical engineering professors at Yale University; and Khalid Ismail and Bernie Meyerson, both research scientists at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. The researchers are pursuing two parallel paths, each designed to eliminate the troublesome doping process.

Although both techniques are technically capable of creating extremely tiny transistors, the relative merits of one over the other have yet to be determined.

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Live from the newsroom: Students get real-world experience

By Shannon Vicic

UI journalism professor Brian Dampier prepares his broadcast journalism students for careers in the field by blurring the distinction between the classroom and the newsroom.

Students in his Broadcast News Editing class (Journalism 382) not only produce live newscasts that can be seen weekly on local television, but they also work elbow to elbow with the producer of some of the most-watched news programs in the history of broadcast journalism.

Broadcast News Editing is the final required course in the broadcast journalism sequence at the UI. Students in the class attend a one-hour lecture and four-hour lab each week; the class is divided into two lab sections, each with about 10 students.

Over the course of the semester, the students in each lab produce a live 30-minute newscast that appears weekly on UI-7, the university's cable-access channel introduced in March and available to the Champaign-Urbana community. Like any local newscast, the student-produced newscasts include coverage of the day's top stories as well as sports and weather.

Students do all the reporting, interviewing, scripting, writing and producing for the newscast as well as all the editorial and technical jobs.

In November, Rick Kaplan, the president of the Cable News Network (CNN) and a UI alumnus, spent a week with the class, serving as executive producer of the two lab newscasts.

Kaplan has worked as a news writer and producer for "CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite," the first producer for "Nightline," the executive producer for "World News Tonight With Peter Jennings," and the executive producer for "PrimeTime Live." He has won 34 national Emmy awards.

"He's legendary in our profession," Dampier said.

Kaplan began visiting the Journalism 382 classes last year. Tara Swords, a senior broadcast journalism major from Metamora, Ill., got the opportunity to see Kaplan in action when she worked as a volunteer camera person.

"He acted as a guide; he didn't take control but encouraged and directed everyone in the class to pursue their own ideas, and he helped them put those ideas together in the best form," Swords said.

Swords, who is taking Dampier's class this semester, is looking forward to working more closely with Kaplan. When Kaplan was on campus last year, she had the opportunity to sit in on a lecture he gave to the Journalism 382 students about how to arrange a newscast; he also held a question-and-answer session with students.

"There is so much we can learn from him. One of the great things about the class is that this outstanding figure in journalism is willing to come and share what he knows with us," she said.

Stephanie Henning, a senior in broadcast journalism from Mount Carmel, Ill., also is taking Dampier's class this semester. She concedes she initially was a little worried that she and her classmates wouldn't be able to live up to Kaplan's expectations.

"I was nervous about it, but Brian, who is my academic adviser, helped calm my fears. He told me it was something to be excited about rather than nervous."

Before they begin producing live newscasts, the students in the class read assigned texts on newswriting and television production and become reacquainted with broadcasting equipment they have been taught to use in earlier classes. They also learn how to use a new editing system ­ Avid non-linear digital editing, which is "at the forefront of technology in editing," Dampier said.

In their first few lab sessions, the students practice reporting live from the scene of breaking news. The department of journalism does not own a remote satellite truck to cover stories live, so Dampier has his students simulate the experience in the lab.

The students then produce a taped, 10-minute news segment, and then advance to a 30-minute taped news program before producing the live broadcasts.

Each live broadcast contains six minutes of public-service announcements so that the newscast has commercial breaks like any other commercial station.

"I try to make it as close to the real world as I can, and I know that world pretty well because I've worked in that business a long time," said Dampier, who has taught at the UI for two years.

Before that, he served as an executive producer and producer for "Chicago Tonight With John Callaway" on WTTW-TV and as a producer at WBBM-TV, both in Chicago. He also has worked as a reporter for WISH-TV in Indianapolis, WHAS-TV in Louisville, Ky., and KATV-TV in Little Rock, Ark.

Throughout the semester, the students rotate through a variety of editorial and production positions on the newscast, such as producer, assignment editor, anchor, sports broadcaster, technical director, audio person or camera operator.

"The two key roles I want them to learn are the editorial ones ­ producer and assignment editor ­ but many of them want to do some on-air work or try out other jobs," Dampier said.

It's important for the students to be able to fill a variety of positions because many of them won't start out in the field as reporters or anchors but as camera people or in other roles, he said.

Although they are given as much preparation as possible, it's difficult to fully prepare the students for the demands of a live broadcast. On a good day, the newsroom can work like a well-oiled machine. On a bad day, it can be chaotic.

"There are lots of things that can go wrong during a newscast, like having two minutes of black at the end of the newscast because it has ended earlier than it should have, or having the anchor speak to the wrong camera or speak off the cuff without realizing his or her microphone is on," Swords said.

Lab newscasts air on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Although the labs are supposed to last from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., the students actually spend far more time there. Students are encouraged to arrange their schedules so they don't have other classes on the morning of their lab.

"The reality is there's no way you could get a newscast on the air if you all came in at 1 p.m. on Tuesday," Dampier said.

"Most of them will come in at 9 a.m. on the day of the newscast and work through the newscast. Afterward, we'll do an informal critique of the newscast. So their day is basically 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday or Thursday [whichever day they have the lab]."

In addition to time spent in the lab, students often must cover news events, such as city council meetings, which occur on other days of the week.

Forty percent of each student's grade is based on the quality of the newscasts produced in the student's lab.

"At first they're a little bit worried about being graded like that. They're used to competing individually and they've become very good at that," Dampier said.

"But if you think about how newspapers and television stations are judged, they're judged by their ratings as a team."

After observing the class last year as a camera person, Swords understands that putting together a quality newscast requires a concerted effort on the part of everyone involved.

"In television, every person in the newsroom plays an integral part in the newscast. You really have to depend on other people ­ the people who run the TelePrompTer or the people who run the computer graphics. If they're not on their toes, then the whole newscast looks bad," she said.

Fortunately, the students in the class have the advantage of knowing each other from previous classes in the major. Most of them have taken the broadcast news sequence of classes together, and have already worked collaboratively in those classes.

"We work well together," Henning said. "We know each other's strengths and weaknesses. I know what they will and won't expect me to do."

In addition to producing the newscasts, the students write and produce three television news packages, which are the taped stories that anchors cut away to during a newscast. Each student covers an editorial beat and produces packages based on events that occur on that beat. The best of these television packages are used during the student newscasts.

To complement Kaplan's visit, Dampier also brings in several guest speakers from local stations, many of whom are former students of the Journalism 382 class.

A camera person and full-time reporter discuss the challenges of live-shot reporting, and an assignment editor and a show producer talk about what they do in a typical day.

In addition to guests from local stations, Dampier also brings in Steve Sweitzer, the news operations manager at WISH-TV, the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis. WISH-TV is the station where Jane Pauley, now an anchor for "Dateline NBC," began her career in broadcasting.

Sweitzer talks to the students about how to get a television news job, how to put together a resume tape and what his station looks for in job candidates.

"Since the station is one of the top 15 markets, competition is greater, but they're looking for interns and talented young people coming up," Dampier said.

Sweitzer also discusses the future of broadcasting and what changes he sees on the horizon, such as how the Internet will affect broadcast journalism and how live reporting will evolve.

Both Swords and Henning agree that the class requires them to do more work than they've done in any of their previous classes. But they also agree that the experience of putting together a live newscast is worth the extra work.

Dampier says he'll continue to prepare his students for careers in broadcast journalism by creating an environment that's as close to the real world as possible.

"I want them to leave this class feeling confident that they know the standards of good journalism."

For the UI-7 program schedule, go to

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A gift from the heart

While many of us are rushing about in preparation for the holidays, there are those among us struggling. An illness, family breakup or a death in the family may have created a financial crisis, making a difficult situation worse. Faculty and staff members can make a difference by making a donation to the Faculty-Staff Emergency Fund.

In 1992, the Faculty/Staff Emergency Fund was established to help UI employees through tough times. The fund is composed entirely of donations from colleagues, friends and family and has disbursed more than $72,000 to more than 200 employees.

Although the annual fund drive is several months away, this holiday season is a good time to show care and concern for fellow employees by contributing to the Faculty/Staff Emergency Fund. Instead of exchanging gifts at the office party, your work group could help an employee meet a payment for utilities, medication,rent or mortgage by contributing to the fund.

Contributions of any amount may be made to the fund. Checks should be made payable to UIF/UIUC Faculty-Staff Emergency Fund and mailed to the UI Foundation, Harker Hall, MC-386. If you or someone you know might be eligible for assistance from the fund, contact the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program at 244-5312.

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Senate debates posting documents on Web, library committee membership

By Shannon Vicic

At its Nov. 24 meeting, the Urbana-Champaign Senate voted to post senate-related documents, including meeting agendas, on the Internet.

However, the senate won't be required to post those documents two weeks before senate meetings, as the item originally was proposed.

In October, Alfred Kagan, a professor of library administration, sponsored a resolution that called for all senate agendas and forthcoming policy documents to be posted on the senate's Web page two weeks in advance of upcoming senate meetings.

Kagan's proposal was designed to provide faculty members and students with greater access to senate documents, so that senators could seek feedback from those groups regarding issues to be discussed in the senate.

During its October meeting, the senate sent Kagan's proposal to the senate council for revision.

At its November meeting, Richard Schacht, senate council chair, motioned for an alternate proposal to be substituted for Kagan's version. The senate council's version called for documents to be posted on the senate's Web site "well in advance of senate meetings whenever possible."

The council called for the substitution because it felt that, under Kagan's proposal, the senate might be prevented from discussing pressing issues solely because documents concerning those issues hadn't been posted on the Web before the two-week deadline.

Schacht argued that the senate needed to be realistic in its expectations of the staff members in the senate office. Computer scanners are imperfect machines, the senate's office staff is small, and there is a lot of material to be scanned, he said.

But Kagan urged senators not to substitute the senate council's version.

"I urge you to vote on a resolution with some hard and fast rules to it," he said.

Kagan noted that he'd only received the November senate meeting agenda two days before the meeting, and two days weren't enough for him to share the agenda with other faculty members.

Despite objections, the senate approved the substitution of the senate council's alternate proposal in favor of the original, then voted in favor of the proposal.

Faculty Library Committee
The senate also discussed senator Harry H. Hilton's objection to the composition of the Senate Library Committee.

Senate bylaws call for the committee to have no more than two faculty members from any unit. The current membership of the committee consists of three faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

In addition, Hilton pointed out that two colleges, LAS and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, represent 55 percent of the committee's membership, while some other colleges, including the College of Engineering, are not represented at all.

At the meeting, Hilton sponsored a resolution that called for the election of a faculty member from the College of Engineering to the committee.

But Schacht pointed out that the senate council's research into the history of the senate bylaws regarding library committee membership showed that the term "unit" was not intended to apply to colleges but only to smaller units.

"We do not have a problem with failure to comply that would force us to do this," Schacht said.

The number of people on the committee is fixed by the senate bylaws. The only way to change the committee's membership would be to remove current members and replace them with others, Schacht added.

If the senate voted to replace a current member with someone from the College of Engineering, it would have to consider doing the same for other colleges that had expressed interest in being represented on the committee, he said.

Mathematics professor Peter Loeb asked if the rule governing the number of committee members could be temporarily changed to allow more members to sit on the committee. But Schacht responded that the senate shouldn't be in the business of changing its rules on the senate floor.

Since the item was in conflict with senate bylaws, it was ruled out of order.

NCAA Certification Program
In other business, the senate was presented with information regarding an upcoming NCAA certification visit to the UI's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The division will participate in the NCAA certification program during the 1998-99 academic year. The NCAA's orientation visit will be in March 1998, and its evaluation visit will be in late spring 1999.

The university is forming a committee to evaluate the DIA.

In an information item, the senate was presented with a copy of the DIA self-study plan that will be used by the committee. Under the plan, the committee would undertake such goals as completing an accurate and comprehensive review of the intercollegiate athletics program at the Urbana-Champaign campus, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the current intercollegiate athletics program and assessing whether NCAA operating principles are being met.

When the item was mentioned at the meeting, Stephen Kaufman, a professor of cell and structural biology, suggested that the self-study plan include a goal of considering "whether the caricature and impersonation of a Native American Indian as the UIUC athletic mascot serves the integrity of the UIUC athletic program, the campus and the principles of the NCAA."

The suggestion was applauded by a number of senators.

Jet Service to Willard Airport
In remarks near the beginning of the meeting, Chancellor Michael Aiken gave an update on the university's attempts to regain jet service at Willard Airport.

Four airlines fly into Willard Airport, but each of those airlines uses propeller-driven airplanes. Aiken called the current arrangement a "fragmented" one. In addition, he noted that Willard Airport often loses customers because many people drive to other airports in the region, including those in Bloomington, Ill., and Indianapolis.

The university has hired a consulting firm to study the issue of how to regain jet service. The firm will help the university develop strategies that university representatives will use to negotiate with airlines.

Among the strategies the university might consider in order to attract jet service to Willard may be reducing competition at the airport by using only a single carrier. However, Aiken added that it was too early to discuss specifics concerning the issue.

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brief notes

Registration for art classes begins Dec. 8
The UI School of Art and Design is sponsoring art classes for children and adults.

Students in preschool (minimum age 4 1/2) through 12th grade may participate in the 11-session class that begins Jan. 31 and ends with an open house May 3. The registration fee is $65 per student; course offerings vary.

The Studio Spectrum for adults college-age and older is offering three non-credit courses. "Beginning Watercolor" will be offered Tuesdays, Jan. 27 through April 21. "Multi-media Watercolor" will be offered Thursdays, Jan. 29 to April 23. "Introduction to Drawing" will be Mondays, Jan. 26 to April 20. All classes meet from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The registration fee is $90.

Classes for both programs will be at the School of Art and Design. No classes will be held over spring break. Registration will be Dec. 8 through Jan. 16. You may register in person, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with Carole Smith in 142 Art and Design Building. For further information, registration forms, or required and recommended materials lists for the Studio Spectrum classes, call Smith at 333-1652.

Conference discusses health-care issues
The UI Law Review and Institute of Government and Public Affairs will sponsor a conference to discuss the issues raised by "Mortal Peril: Our Inalienable Right to Health Care?," a book by University of Chicago law professor Richard A. Epstein. The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Law Building.

Epstein argues that the nation's health system is imperiled by a preoccupation with providing "inalienable rights" to health-care patients. He calls for the elimination of government-subsidized health care, such as Medicare, and replacing it with a free-market system.

Responding to his book will be members of the UI faculty specializing in health care and public policy, including Robert Rich, Elizabeth Cavendish, Richard Kaplan and Russell Korobkin. Additional speakers are from Stanford University, Indiana University at Indianapolis, Valparaiso University, University of Alabama, University of California at Los Angeles and Wake Forest University.

The conference will conclude with remarks by Epstein and an open discussion. The conference is free except for a $10 charge for the luncheon. Advance registration is recommended. Inquiries should be directed to Russell Korobkin, 244-8446 or, or Thomas Ulen, 333-4953 or

Family Festival is Dec. 7 at KAM
The Krannert Art Museum and the Saturday School program at the UI's College of Fine and Applied Arts is offering an afternoon of fun for all ages from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Krannert Art Museum.

Acclaimed storyteller Janice Harrington will perform a new audience-interactive piece, "Trunk Show," that explores one family's memories in the larger context of African-American history. Also featured will be percussion by Rocky Maffit and Chad Dunn, and movement art by Kate Kuper.

On display in the Link Gallery will be the Saturday School students' art plus Krannert Art Museum's new exhibitions, including: "Arnaldo Roche-Rabell: The Uncommonwealth," "A Lifetime of Beauty: Paintings by Marajen Stevick Chinigo" and "Contemporary Art Series #14: Yong Soon Min."

Admission is free. For further information call 333-1861.

Russian Folk Orchestra performs Dec. 14
The UI Russian Folk Orchestra, the largest Russian orchestra in the United States, will perform at WILL-FM's Second Sunday Concert at 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion.

The free concert will be broadcast live on WILL-FM (90.9) with host Brian Mustain.

The orchestra's repertoire emphasizes music from Slavic and East European countries and includes selections by Dmitri Shostakovich, Nikolai Budashkin and Vasiliy Andreev. Co-sponsored by the School of Music and the Center for Russian and East European Studies, the orchestra is mainly composed of different sizes of balalaikas and domras (traditional Russian-stringed instruments), and bayans (accordions). Many pieces also include parts for flute, oboe, percussion and piano.

Orchestra members include UI students, and faculty members and musicians from the Champaign-Urbana community. Lisa Ochoa, a self-taught balalaika player who also plays domra, mandolin and percussion, conducts the orchestra.

O&M offers help for holiday cleanups
The Operation and Maintenance Division's building operation section again will provide free clean-up following departmental holiday parties. The purpose of this service is to ensure that trash and food scraps do not remain in buildings during the holiday period. Departments are asked to give one to two weeks' notice when requesting this service. Department personnel also should complete an initial cleanup of major items. Requests can be sent to Kip Mecum, 203 Garage and Carpool, MC-813, or faxed to 333-3711.
O&M holiday shutdown tips
UI's Division of Operation and Maintenance is requesting that faculty and staff members follow these shutdown tips in preparation for the holiday season. If these guidelines are followed, the potential for damage to facilities from severe weather is greatly reduced.

O&M personnel will check all areas Dec. 19 for obvious problems. However, O&M employees cannot alter operations of fume hoods or lab services since they must presume the use is intentional.

Children's holiday party Dec. 14
The Illini Union Faculty-Staff Social Committee presents its annual Children's Holiday Party from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Illini Rooms of the Illini Union. The party features Santa Claus, a cappella singers, woodland characters, storytellers, activities, crafts, refreshments and more. Tickets are $1 for children and $2 for adults and can be purchased at the Illini Union Ticket Central or the Assembly Hall box office. If tickets are still available, they will be sold at the door.

The Children's Holiday Party is limited to the families of students, faculty and staff members, and retirees of the UI. A UI ID is required to purchase tickets.

'Cats' presented Dec 12 and 13
The Assembly Hall will present the most successful and longest running musical in Broadway history: Andrew Lloyd Webber's production of "Cats." Performances will be at 8 p.m. Dec. 12 and at 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 13.

For more information, contact the Assembly Hall box office at 333-5000.

Belgium faculty exchange
International Programs and Studies is sponsoring a faculty exchange with Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), Belgium's largest university. The exchange enables UI professors from all disciplines to receive financial support to visit KUL for one to three months for research collaboration. Deadline for fall 1998 appointments is Feb. 2 and for spring 1999 is Nov. 2, 1998. Application forms, guidelines and additional information may be obtained at 328 International Studies Building, or by calling 333-0715 or 333-1990, or by e-mail to, or Information on KUL programs and faculty members is available at International Programs and Studies and at the KUL homepage at

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benefits news

Information about these and other benefits is available by contacting the Benefits Center, 807 S. Wright St., Suite 480; 333-3111.

Contribution limits increased for tax-deferred saving plans
The IRS has increased the contribution limits for tax-deferred savings plans to the following amounts:

Recently enacted legislation has also changed the way your gross salary is determined under the 403(b) plan. If you notice an increase in your 403(b) contribution it's because the IRS no longer requires the university to reduce your tax-exempt premiums from your gross salary before your 403(b) deduction is calculated. If you have any questions about these changes, contact the Benefits Center.

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Holiday schedules and services

Holiday work schedule
Dec. 24: One-half day excused
Dec. 25: Christmas Day/holiday
Dec. 26: Designated holiday
Jan. 1: New Year's Day/holiday
Jan. 2: Designated holiday
Jan. 19: Martin Luther King Day/holiday

Dec. 29, 30 and 31 are work days. Campus functions are expected to operate normally on these days. Campus employees will be expected to work unless specifically excused.

Paycheck distribution
Academic employee payroll checks will be distributed Dec. 19. Staff employee payroll checks will be distributed Dec. 24. To provide additional security during the holiday period, departments are to return all undistributed paychecks to Check Distribution in 100 Henry Administration Building by Dec. 24. Check Distribution will be open 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 24. Departments must notify Campus Mail by 11 a.m. on that day if they have any paychecks to be returned. Employees may pick up returned paychecks in person at Window A in 100 Henry Administration Building by presenting their i-card.
Campus and U.S. mail delivery
Dec. 24: Morning delivery only
Dec. 25 and 26: No delivery
Dec. 29, 30 & 31: Normal delivery
Jan. 1 and 2: No delivery
Jan. 5: Resume normal delivery
The library is open according to the campus holiday schedule from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays during the break. The library will be closed on the following all-campus holidays:
Dec. 24: Closes at noon
Dec. 25 and 26, Jan. 1 and 2: Closed
University parking meters or rental lots will not be enforced from noon Dec. 24 through Jan. 4. During these times, meters and rental lots will be available for unrestricted use. This does not apply to 24-hour departmental and handicapped rental spaces, which will continue to be enforced for the exclusive use of the renter.

The Motorist Assist Program operated by Campus Parking will be available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 29, 30 and 31. This service will not be available Dec. 24-26, and Jan. 1 and 2.

Krannert Art Museum
Krannert Art Museum galleries will close at 4 p.m. Dec. 21 and will reopen at 10 a.m. Dec. 27. Galleries close again at 4 p.m. Dec. 31 and reopen at 9 a.m. Jan. 6. The Palette Cafe will be closed from 3 p.m. Dec. 19 and will reopen at 8 a.m. Jan. 12.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
The Krannert Center ticket office will close at 6 p.m. on Dec. 23 and will reopen at 10 a.m. Jan. 5. Intermezzo closes at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 23 and reopens at 7 a.m. Jan. 5. The Promenade Gift Shop closes at 6 p.m. Dec. 23 and reopens at 10 a.m. Jan. 5. Tours end Dec. 19 and resume Jan. 5.
Garage and Car Pool
Dec. 23: Open 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Dec. 24 and 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Open 6:30 a.m.- 11:30 p.m.
Dec. 27 and 28: Open 6 a.m.-5 p.m.
Dec. 29: Open 6:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Dec. 30: Open 6:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Dec. 31 and Jan. 1: Closed
Jan. 2: Open 6:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
World Heritage Museum
Closed Dec. 21 through Jan. 4. Resumes regular hours
Jan. 5.
Museum of Natural History
Closed Dec. 21 through Jan. 4. Resume regular hours
Jan. 5.
Indoor recreational facilities
Hours vary for campus indoor recreational facilities. Contact the Division of Campus Recreation or the specific facility for information about holiday hours.
Building opening and heating
Buildings will be heated and ventilated according to the usual vacation and holiday schedule.
Dec. 21: Closed
Dec. 22 and 23: Open 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Dec. 24: Open 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
Dec. 25-28: Closed
Dec. 29-31: Open 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Jan. 1-4: Closed
Jan. 5-18: Open 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.;
Closed Sat./Sun.
Jan. 19: Closed
Jan. 20: Resume normal schedule

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job market

The Office of Academic Human Resources, Suite 420, 807 S. Wright St., maintains the listings for faculty and academic professional positions. More complete descriptions are available in that office during regular business hours. Job listings are also updated weekly on its Web site at: Any other information may be obtained from the person indicated in the listing.


Advertising. Assistant professor. PhD and ability to teach media/media effects and/or research required. Available fall 1998. Sharon Shavitt, 333-1603. Extended closing date: Jan. 15.

Applied Life Studies, College of. Dean. Doctorate and demonstrated excellence in scholarship, administrative experience, ability to recognize and support excellence and innovation in research, teaching and service activities required. Available immediately. Nancy McCowen, 333-6677. Closing date: Jan. 28.

Art and Design. Faculty (rank open), industrial design. MA/MS in industrial design or equivalent in a design-related field with extensive experience as a practicing designer. Experience with computer-aided design, graphics, animation, 3D modeling and prototype development required. Available immediately. Andrzej Wroblewski, 333-1796. Closing date: March 1.

General Engineering. Faculty (rank open). PhD in engineering or allied discipline and ability to develop a high-quality, externally supported program of research required. Available Aug. 21. Thomas Conry, 333-2730. Closing date: Feb. 15.

Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. Assistant professor (one or two positions). PhD, ability to teach undergraduate and graduate courses, and ability to build a strong research program required. Available August. Hassan Aref, 333-2329. Closing date: March 1.

academic professional

Administrative Information Systems and Services. Research programmer, client support services. BA/BS and minimum two years' experience in information-technology services or related area required. Experience with Windows 95, NT, Macintosh System 7.x, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Office and TCP/IP preferred. Available immediately. Susan Nelson McLain, 333-8635, Extended closing date: Dec 15.

Biotechnology Center. Research specialist in life science, genetic engineering facility. BS in biology, biochemistry or related natural science, MS preferred. Experience with automated DNA synthesis, sequencing or fragment analysis preferred. Available Jan. 5. Thomas Bedwell, 333-1695. Closing date: Dec. 19.

Broadcasting, Division of (WILL AM-FM-TV). Media communications specialist. BA/BS and minimum two years' professional experience in graphic design or related design field required. Experience in broadcast design preferred. Available Jan. 5. Valerie Gadbury, 333-1070. Closing date: Dec. 15.

Broadcasting, Division of (WILL AM-FM). Director of information programming (news director). BA/BS required, MA/MS preferred in journalism with minimum three years' experience as a journalist required. Available immediately. Minimum $28,000. Alex Ashlock, 333-0850. Extended closing date: Jan. 16.

Business Affairs, Office of (Chicago). Program and policy analyst. BA/BS required, MA/MS preferred with related experience in business administration, educational administration, higher education, planning or program evaluation required. Available immediately. Annette Paciga, (312) 996-2860, Extended closing date: Dec. 10.

Civil Engineering (Mid-America Earthquake Center). Assistant director. BA/BS and experience as administrative assistant required. Available immediately. David Daniel, 333-3814. Closing date: Dec. 8.

Commerce and Business Administration. Associate director or director of development. MA/MS preferred, BA/BS and minimum three years' experience in development or related field required. Experience in major-gift fund raising and/or university administration is preferred. Available immediately. Mark Neville, 244-6446. Extended closing date: Jan. 6.

Committee on Institutional Cooperation. Director for information technologies. MA/MS required, PhD preferred with successful faculty or administrative experience in a research university. Available immediately. Patricia Collins, 333-8475, Closing date: Jan. 15.

East Asian and Pacific Studies. Staff associate (50 percent position), Asian American Studies Committee. MA/MS required, humanities education and/or social sciences with related interests or training in Asian American studies preferred. Available immediately. Minimum $14,000. Asian American Studies Committee, 333-4850. Closing date: Dec. 15.

Food Science and Human Nutrition. Visiting research specialist in life science. BS in animal, food or biological science required. Available immediately. Minimum $22,000. John Erdman, 333-2527. Closing date: Dec. 25.

Food Science and Human Nutrition. Visiting research specialist in life science. BS in animal, food, nutritional or biological sciences and experience in care and handling of athymic mice required. Available immediately. Bill Helferich, 244-5414. Closing date: Dec. 11.

Foundation, UI. Director of development research. BA/BS required, MA/MS preferred. Minimum three years' experience in development research required, preferably in higher education. Available immediately. Ron Hermann, 244-0471, Extended closing date: Dec. 15.

Housing Division. Resident director, residential life. BA/BS and residence hall experience required, MA/MS in college student personnel or related field preferred. Available July 21. Minimum $19,000 plus furnished apartment. Michael Herrington, 333-0770. Closing date: Jan. 5.

Human Resources (Chicago). Director of benefits. BA/BS with emphasis in business, finance, actuarial science or personnel/benefits administration and minimum five years' professional/administrative-related experience required. Available immediately. Phyllis McNulty-Hill, (312) 996-9305, Closing date: Dec. 29.

Illini Union. Assistant director, human resources. MA/MS in organizational studies, human resources, training and development, education or related field required. Minimum two years' relevant experience required. Available immediately. Minimum $38,000. Will Bredfield, 333-2050. Closing date: Jan. 23.

Liberal Arts and Sciences. Visiting research programmer. BA/BS and minimum two years' relevant experience required. MA/MS in computer science or cognate discipline preferred. Available immediately. Minimum $50,000. Patty Sarver, 333-7429. Closing date: Dec. 28.

Liberal Arts and Sciences. Academic adviser, secondary teacher preparation. BA/BS and minimum three years' professional experience in academic advising required. MA/MS and background in secondary teaching preferred. Available January. Robert Copeland, 333-1700. Closing date: Dec. 8.

Publications, Office of. Media/communications specialist (editorial). BA/BS in English or journalism with minimum two years' experience as publications professional or MA/MS and minimum one year's experience required. Available March 1. Minimum $29,000. Pat McCaskill, 333-9200. Closing date: Jan. 15.

Supercomputing Applications, National Center for. Research programmer specializing as an industrial consultant, Alliance Institutional Development and Relations. BA/BS required, MA/MS preferred in computer science or technical field with computational emphasis. Minimum one year's experience with high-performance computing and minimum two years' programming experience in C/C++ required. Minimum two years' experience in Unix and/or NT system administration preferred. Available immediately. NCSA Human Resources Search #5880, 244-3141, Closing date: Jan. 7.

Personnel Services Office, 52 E. Gregory Drive, Champaign, conducts open and continuous testing for civil service classifications used on campus. More information is available by calling 333-2137. Or visit its Web site at:

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A report of honors, awards, offices and other outstanding achievements of faculty and staff members.

Haydn Chen, professor of metallurgical engineering, was elected principal editor for the Journal of Materials Chemistry and Physics for an indefinite term that began July 1. He also will be organizing the Williamsburg Workshop in Ferroelectricity to be held in Williamsburg, Va.

Joe Greene, professor of metallurgical engineering and of industrial engineering, gave a plenary lecture on "Atomic Level Control During Semiconductor and Metal Film Growth Under Highly Kinetically Constrained Conditions: Surface Science to Device Applications." The lecture was given this summer at the seventh European Conference on Applications of Surface and Interface Analysis in Sweden.

Judith Liebman, professor emerita of mechanical and industrial engineering, has been appointed to a two-year term on the Army Science Board. The board comprises 100 scientists and engineers who review Army research.

Jennifer Lewis, professor of materials science and engineering, was invited to talk at the Gordon Conference on New Perspectives in Interfacial Engineering of Ceramics. She also was named an associate editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society and elected Secretary of the Ceramics Education Council for ACerS.

William R. McKinney, professor and head of leisure studies and professor of cooperative extension, was awarded the President's Citation by the Illinois Association of Park Districts. In recognition of his outstanding service to academia, he was honored for his exceptional performance as department head.

Sam Stupp, professor of materials science and engineering and of chemistry, chaired a workshop at the National Science Foundation on Interdisciplinary Macromolecular Science and Engineering this summer in Washington, D.C. The results of the workshop will be presented in a 1998 report to be published on the study.

Steve Zimmerman, professor of chemistry, was recently elected to fellowship status in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was honored for his development of molecular tweezers as a tool for controlling molecular interactions and for development of the self-assembly of dendrimers.

Two University Laboratory High School faculty members were selected for the American Memory Fellows program at the Library of Congress this summer. Frances Jacobson, librarian, and Barbara Wysocki, social studies executive teacher, were selected as one of 25 teacher-librarian teams for the program. They attended a five-day National Digital Library Educator's Institute in Washington, D.C., learning about the collections and working with colleagues to create and publish an online teaching unit based on primary documents from the collections. They will create, test and revise a teaching unit based on the collections to be used with their own students in the 1997-98 academic year.

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1997 Uni grads achieved highest ACT score

The 1997 graduating class of University Laboratory High School achieved the highest average composite score in the nation on the ACT exam, among U.S. high schools with 30 or more students from that class taking the exam.

Forty-five students in the 1997 class at Uni High took the ACT exam, earning an average composite score of 30.6.

The ACT assessment is one of the two major standardized college entrance exams taken by U.S. high school students. It consists of four multiple-choice tests of educational development ­ English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. The highest possible composite score that a student can earn on the test is 36.

Across the nation, 8,423 high schools had 30 or more 1997 graduates take the exam.

In Illinois, the 1997 average ACT composite score was 21.2, while the national average ACT composite score was 21. Graduating classes at Uni have earned average composite scores in the high 20s each of the past five years.

"At Uni High, we don't tell students their GPA or rank them, because we don't want to overemphasize achievement, so this was a real benchmark for these students," said Uni High principal and director Shelley Roberts.

Established in 1921 as part of the curriculum laboratory, a research unit of the UI College of Education, Uni High serves as a site for curriculum and educational research while providing a model college-preparatory program for academically gifted students. The school counts three Nobel Prize winners and a Pulitzer Prize winner among its alumni.

Students at Uni High take a five-year accelerated high school curriculum that begins with the subfreshman year, a combined seventh- and eighth-grade experience thought to be the oldest gifted education experiment in the country. The school's enrollment is 290 students.

As a laboratory school, Uni High is a public school eligible for state aid, but because its enrollment is not determined by residence, the school does not receive any local property- or corporate-tax support. Additional funds are provided by parents, alumni and friends, as well as from corporate sources and grants.

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on the job: linda langston

What do you do at the UI and how long have you worked here?

I'm a cashier III in student accounts and cashiering at the Henry Administration Building, and I've been here for 13 1/2 years.

Are the UI cashiers like bank tellers?

We don't do everything a bank does, and a bank doesn't do everything we do, but there are some similarities. Our main job is dealing with students who are paying their bills, such as tuition, housing and fees, or who have questions on their accounts. We also deal with faculty and staff members. We handle paying out on travel vouchers and making cash advances for travel. We also take payments for parking tickets and for [alumni-requested] transcripts. We also sell travelers checks and cash staff members' checks. We probably deal with every department on campus for various financial transactions.

Is it challenging handling so many numbers and all this money?

Well, we are required to balance our cash drawers to the penny every day. That's sometimes hard. But everything is documented with computers, so we can go back and find where we might have keyed in a number wrong. Really, it's fun for me, 'playing' with all the money. We see so many different people, such as visitors from other countries who want to cash checks from banks all over the world. We feel we are sometimes an information center, too, because we get so many questions. Parents and prospective students ask for directions or want to know where the [orientation] tours start.

Have you had any strange requests or occurrences while you were working here?

Several years ago a student came in and paid [his account for tuition and fees] all in pennies. He was protesting his bill. We don't have a change counter, so I had to just take it to the bank.

After having to deal with money all day, do you have to take care of the bills and checkbook at home?

I keep [track of] the checkbook for home. But it's all on our home computer. My husband and I are fans of the UI volleyball team and I'm treasurer of the Networkers, the booster club. We're big sports fans and this has given us a chance to know all the team members and the coaches. My husband, Ira, also works at the UI, across the street from here. He's an assistant vice president of academic affairs and director of the University Office for Academic Policy Analysis. I'm also a member and treasurer of a stock market club. It's a nice group of ladies and we get together once a month. It's patterned after the Beardstown ladies.

Did you get roped into being treasurer because these groups knew you were good with money?

No, actually I kind of volunteered. I have it all on computer. I like doing it.

What kind of additional benefits do you think there are to your job?

I really enjoy coming to work. This is a nice bunch of people and they go out of their way to do what they can to help. They work on keeping good morale here. You also can't help but learn a lot about the university and meet so many people. There are many people who become familiar to you, so when I go to the grocery store, I'll often see someone I know. We also get to see all the trends with the students: first it was the colored hair, now it's the piercing. Also, when the athletes come to the window, we ask them for their autographs. That's fun.

­ Nancy Koeneman

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Virginia J. Drake
Virginia J. Drake, former UI secretary, died Nov. 22 at Covenant Medical Center, Urbana. She was 68.
Drake worked at the UI for 26 years. She served as a secretary in the Office of the Dean of Men and retired as an administrative aide to the associate vice chancellor.
She is survived by her husband, K. James Drake.
Memorials may be made to the Volunteer Illini Program.
Samuel W. Dunn
Samuel Watson Dunn, former head of the department of advertising at the UI, died Nov. 24 at Winter Park, Fla. He was 79.
Dunn served as head of the department of advertising for 11 years. He was a former dean of the College of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri and a former professor of advertising at the University of Wisconsin. He was a Fulbright lecturer in France and a former president of the American Academy of Advertising.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; two daughters; and four grandchildren.
Walter Keith
Walter Keith, professor emeritus of landscape architecture at the UI, died Nov. 28 at the Carle Arbours, Savoy. He was 78.
Keith taught landscape architecture at the UI for 38 years and was director of Robert Allerton Park for 27 years. He was an Urbana Park District commissioner for 10 years and president of the park board for three years.
He helped develop a campground design for the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
He was an Army infantry officer in England and France during World War II, attaining the rank of major before he was discharged in 1946.
Survivors include a daughter; two grandchildren; and a brother.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Urbana.
Therald Moeller
Therald Moeller, former professor of chemistry at the UI, died Nov. 24 at Broken Arrow, Okla. He was 84.

Moeller taught at Michigan State University, Arizona State University and at UI for 29 years. He was the author of numerous professional publications and was a member of several professional organizations and honor societies.

Survivors include his wife, Ellyn; two daughters; a son; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Therald Moeller Chemistry Endowment Fund, UI Foundation.
Stevenson Moore III
Stevenson Moore III, professor emeritus of entomology, died Nov. 18, at his home in Treasure Island, Fla. He was 69.

Moore was a UI faculty member for 32 years. He was a member of the American Entomological Society and several fraternities.

Survivors include his wife, Irma; two sons; two daughters; and seven grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, 300 E. Bay Drive, Largo, FL 33770, or an organization of the donor's choice.

Allen S. Weller
Allen Stuart Weller, dean emeritus of the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the UI, died Nov. 16 at his home at Savoy. He was 90.

Weller joined the faculty at the UI in 1947 as a professor of the history of art. He served as head of the department of art from 1948 to 1954 before becoming dean of Fine and Applied Arts from 1954 to 1971. He presided over the creation of the Krannert Art Museum and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and retired as the director of Krannert Art Museum in 1974.

Weller continued to keep an office at the museum and had just completed work on a book titled, "Lorado Taft: The Chicago Years," which will be published by the UI Press.

He was a major in the Army Air Forces during World War II. He served in North Africa and Italy and received the Legion of Merit in 1946.

He is survived by his wife, Rachel; a son; two daughters; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ricker Library or Krannert Art Museum.

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Comments to: Inside Illinois Editor Doris Dahl, (217) 333-2895,

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