News Bureau | University of Illinois

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign logo


Nov. 18, 2010 (Vol. 30 No. 10)
A student walks along Green Street toward the bus stop in front of the Illini Union.
Photo by
L. Brian Stauffer

A student walks along Green Street toward the bus stop in front of the Illini Union. With the increase in crime on campus, people are being encouraged  to not walk alone at night and to be aware of their surroundings when they walk on campus. Also people should call 911 if they see any suspicious activity or suspect someone is following them or someone else. See article on safety.

« Click photo to enlarge

News Bureau Stories »

Campus News »

Research »

professor Feng Sheng Hu (right), with graduate student Michael Urban

Study rewrites the evolutionary history of C4 grasses

According to a popular hypothesis, grasses such as maize, sugar cane, millet and sorghum got their evolutionary start as a result of a steep drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels during the Oligocene epoch, more than 23 million years ago. A new study overturns that hypothesis, presenting the first geological evidence that the ancestors of these and other C4 grasses emerged millions of years earlier than previously established.

A scanning electron microscope image of cells growing on a microsensor. The researchers were able to measure the increase in mass as they watched a cell grow and divide into four cells.

Microsensors offer first look at whether cell mass affects growth rate

UI researchers are using a new kind of microsensor to answer one of the weightiest questions in biology – the relationship between cell mass and growth rate.

Rodney Johnson

Compound in celery, peppers reduces age-related memory deficits

A diet rich in the plant compound luteolin reduces age-related inflammation in the brain and related memory deficits by directly inhibiting the release of inflammatory molecules in the brain, researchers report.

Art Baroody

Computer program aims to make it easier for children to learn math

A researcher at the UI is counting on a unique computer program to make it easier and more enjoyable for elementary school students who are at risk of academic failure to learn basic addition and subtraction facts.

“Toward a Rhetoric of Insult,” by Thomas Conley

No one should take offense at professor's new book on insult

Thomas Conley has written an insulting book. Or, rather, a book about insult – which seems timely in the wake of the recent political campaign season and its 30-second ads.

Charles Tabb

GM, Chrysler bankruptcies created troubling legacy, legal scholars say

The Chrysler and General Motors bankruptcy reorganizations represented a sea change in corporate restructuring, one that could portend the end of our current system of bankruptcy reorganization, according to a published article by two UI experts in bankruptcy law.

"Reading Mahler: German Culture and Jewish Identity in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna"

Book illuminates previously unexplored aspects of Gustav Mahler

In a new book, "Reading Mahler: German Culture and Jewish Identity in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna" (Camden House, 2010), Carl Niekerk, a professor of German who also holds appointments in the programs in Comparative and World Literature and in Jewish Culture and Society at Illinois, explores the literary, philosophical and cultural references in Gustav Mahler's work, revealing hitherto unexamined dimensions.

Campus »

Senate approves final ‘response’ to proposed reorganization

The Urbana-Champaign Senate on Nov. 8 took its final action related to changes to the university administration and to key university governing documents proposed by the UI Board of Trustees.

UI signing joint education agreement with Chinese university

The UI will sign an agreement Oct. 25 with Zhejiang University in China, establishing a cooperative education "3+2" program in the fields of agricultural and biological engineering, and food sciences and human nutrition, both within the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Website provides one stop for UI programs, events

Trying to find information about services and events hosted by the UI just got a little easier. The Office of Public Engagement is hosting a website that provides easy access to this information all in one place.


Armine Mortimer


Between Sept. 1, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2010, 270 faculty members and academic professionals retired from the UI, according to the Office of Academic Human Resources. Of those new retirees, 171 retired under the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program or Voluntary Retirement Program. (Last year, during the same time, 143 academic employees retired.) The list of academic retirees is posted online.

  • Paula Gray Havlik retired from the Alumni Association after working at the university for 27 years.
  • Armine Mortimer retired after 30 years at the UI. She was a professor of French literature and criticism.


Dr. Danile Llano

Verity Winship

NEW FACES 2010: Meet a few of campus’s newest faculty members

Among the newcomers to the Urbana campus are faculty members whose appointments began this summer or fall. Inside Illinois continues its tradition of introducing some of the new faculty members on campus and will feature at least two new colleagues in each fall issue.

  • Dr. Daniel Llano, assistant professor of physiology, department of molecular and integrative physiology in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and in the College of Medicine
  • Verity Winship, assistant professor, College of Law
Jonathan Naber, left, and Adam Booher fit an amputee patient with one of the three prosthetics prototypes the team tested on a trip to Guatemala in July.

Small group of engineers makes huge impact on amputees

Many student organizations and clubs try to offer a helping hand, but Illini Prosthetic Technologies provides entire arms.

Honors »

Eric Pop

Engineering professor honored with PECASE award

Eric Pop, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, is among 85 researchers named by President Obama to receive the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers.