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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 24, 2009

At A Glance

UI mathematician wins prestigious 2009 Sloan Research Fellowship

Julianna Tymoczko, assistant professor of mathematics in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been selected as a 2009 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. The award consists of a two-year, $50,000 grant.

The 2009 Sloan Research Fellowships were given to 118 researchers at 61 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada in the fields of physics, chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics and neuroscience. The annual grants "support the work of exceptional young researchers early in their academic careers, and often at pivotal stages in their work."

Tymoczko, who joined the UI faculty in 2007, is a theoretical mathematician who conducts research at the interface between algebraic geometry and combinatorics (the art of counting things). In her work she analyzes high-dimensional geometric objects by breaking them down into simpler parts and counting the different kinds of shapes that can appear. In addition to her Sloan Fellowship, she is also currently supported by a three-year National Science Foundation grant of $120,000 to study geometric representation theory.

The Sloan Research Fellowship program was initiated in 1955. Alfred P. Sloan, then-president and CEO of General Motors Corporation, established the nonprofit Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 1934.

UI scientist receives award for free-radical research

Garry Buettner, Ph.D., UI professor of radiation oncology and a member of the Free Radical Radiation Biology Program, has been awarded the Silver Medal for Biology and Medicine by the International EPR Society.

Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, also known as electron spin resonance spectroscopy, allows scientists to study molecules called free radicals, which are critical for many biological processes, but also cause oxidative stress and cell damage.

The award honors Buettner's fundamental contributions that have advanced the use of EPR spin trapping in biology and medicine. His work has improved understanding of free radical biology and suggested new approaches for treating and preventing disease.

Buettner joined the UI staff in 1988 as director of the Electronic Spin Resonance Facility, a UI core research facility. He became a faculty member in 1993 and continues to direct the facility.

Sonka named editor of leading electrical engineering journal

Milan Sonka, professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering in the University of Iowa College of Engineering, has been named editor-in-chief of Transactions on Medical Imaging (TMI), a journal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for a three-year period, effective January 2009.

IEEE TMI is a flagship journal of four IEEE Societies: TMI Engineering in Medicine and Biology; Nuclear and Plasma Sciences; Signal Processing; and Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control.

Sonka, a Fellow of the IEEE and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, co-directs the Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging. He is also professor of radiation oncology, ophthalmology and visual sciences in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and professor of applied mathematical and computational sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. His principal field of research is medical image analysis, in which he has conducted NIH-funded research to develop imaging image analysis tools aimed at better detection of heart cardiovascular, pulmonary, retinal, and osteoarthritic diseases and is engaged in NIH-funded imaging research into coronary hemodynamics and atherosclerosis. Sonka came to the UI in 1990.

The IEEE is a nonprofit, technical professional association of more than 375,000 members in 160 countries. IEEE is a leading authority in technical areas ranging from computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics.

Navajo printmaker Yazzie to give lecture Feb. 26

Visiting artist Melanie Yazzie will discuss "sharing processes and tradition from a contemporary Navajo printmaker" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, at C131 Pomerantz Center. The free, public lecture is sponsored by the School of Art and Art History.

Yazzie is a Dine (Navajo) artist of the salt and bitter water clans. She works in a variety of media including prints and ceramics. Through her installations, she examines internal and external influences on Native people. Using the personal example of her own family, she presents a real portrayal of Native culture without idealizing, degrading or commercializing it.

For more information visit

West Court Street closed near UI Power Plant Feb. 26

Construction activity on the University of Iowa campus will once again close West Court Street from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, from just west of the Madison intersection to the Crandic Railroad grade crossing. Traffic to the UI Power Plant will have to use the Burlington Street entrance. The construction activity is associated with the new UI campus recreation and wellness center site at the corner of Burlington and Madison streets.

Lillios to discuss archaeology in Portugal March 2

Katina Lillios, associate professor of anthropology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will present "The Archaeology of Social Collapse: A View from the Neolithic-Early Bronze Age Mortuary Site of Bolóres, Portugal" as a part of the International Mondays lecture series. The presentation takes place from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, March 2, in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.

Though ancient societies naturally underwent social collapse, one particular cycle occurred between 3000 B.C. and 1500 B.C. during the Neolithic to Bronze Age transition of Portugal. Lillios has been directing the excavations at the Bolores burial site and will explain the results of the 2007 and 2008 season of fieldwork and discuss future research plans.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For more information and a complete schedule of events visit or or contact Amy Green, 319-335-1433,

Nachte Raho Indian dance competition set for March 7

The Indian Student Alliance (ISA) at the University of Iowa will present its seventh annual Nachte Raho Indian Dance Competition on Saturday, March 7, at the Iowa Memorial Union.

Nachte Raho has become the largest national collegiate dance competition in the Midwest. The show features eight teams that are chosen from among a range of applicants to come to Iowa City. Each team prepares a 5- to 10-minute dance in competition for $5,000 in total prize money.

Admission to the show will include a full Indian dinner catered by Taj Mahal Restaurant of Cedar Rapids. Dinner begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 6:30 p.m. in the Second Floor Ballroom, with the show following at 7 p.m. in the Main Lounge.

Tickets include dinner and cost $15 for the general public, $25 for reserved seating, and $10 for the first 100 University of Iowa students (valid University of Iowa student ID required at time of purchase.) Tickets are available for purchase from the IMU Box Office, Masala, Taj Groceries (in Coralville), and Claypot.

For more information visit or contact Arun Gupta, ISA president,

SCOPE Productions presents Girl Talk on April 13 and 311 on April 18

SCOPE Productions has announced two upcoming concerts in April at the University of Iowa: the 10,000 Hours Show featuring Girl Talk at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 13, in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union, and 311 at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at the University of Iowa Fieldhouse.

Girl Talk stars Greg Gillis, a one-man show featuring "mash-up" style remixes, in which he often uses a dozen or more samples from different tracks to create a new song.

The 10,000 Hours Show is a year-round effort to engage young people in volunteer service that results in a free concert. To register and find volunteer opportunities visit

From Omaha, Neb., 311 has an alternative ska-funk sound and to date, has sold over 8.3 million units in the U.S. alone. Tickets for 311 go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Tickets for 311 can be purchased at the University Box Office, located in the Iowa Memorial Union, or at any official Ticketmaster location, as well as at

For more information on the SCOPE concerts visit


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at (for arts news) or (for all other news).

For arts information and calendar items visit

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.