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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 10, 2011

At A Glance

UI astronomy students make video of asteroid 2005 YU55 encounter with Earth

Three undergraduate students in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recently used the UI's Iowa Robotic Telescope to make a video of asteroid 2005 YU55 during the asteroid's Nov. 8 pass to within some 200,000 miles of Earth.

Robert Mutel, professor of physics and astronomy, noted that the students -- Drew Coffin, Ryan Hood, and Joseph Schmitt -- combined 10, 10-second-exposure photographs of the asteroid to make their video of the rare event. The student video can be viewed at:

The Iowa Robotic Telescope is located at the Winer Observatory in Sonoita, Ariz., and consists of a 14.5-inch diameter classical Cassegrain reflector, a nine-megapixel CCD camera, and a seven-position filter wheel. Since its initiation in 1991, about 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students have used the telescope facility.


UI student 'Beard-off' to raise money for microloan program

One University of Iowa student group will see how long they can go without shaving in order to raise money for a microloan program.

Jon Finley, a second year student in the Tippie College of Business MBA program and president of the Net Impact student group, came up with the idea to take a simple contest and use it as a fundraiser for a good cause. The group's mission is to promote corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability in business.

The Beard-off contest will kick-off from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in Room 425 of the UI Pomerantz Center. The contest will last four weeks long and end on Dec. 8. Any faculty, staff, student, or members of the general public are welcome to participate in this event.

It's the first year for the Beard-off, but Finley hopes it will attract more than 40 participants. They also hope to raise about $1,500 for their philanthropy. Microloans are typically $25 and the microloan program helps loan people money in developing countries so they can start their own business.

For more information, contact Finley at or call 916-747-8358.


Voice, organ and harpsichord concert will be presented Nov. 13

Voice, organ and harpsichord students from the University of Iowa School of Music will share a free concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, in the Riverside Recital Hall. The performers are students of faculty members Gregory Hand, Susan Sondrol Jones, Katherine Eberle, John Muriello, and Stephen Swanson.

The program of works for voice with keyboard accompaniment includes compositions by Barbara Strozzi, Henry Purcell, Libby Larsen, Lili Boulanger, Hugo Wolf, Louis Veirne, J.S. Bach, and George Frideric Handel.

Read bios of the faculty members at


'Viruses -- What do they want from us, anyway?' is topic of free talk Nov. 17

"Viruses -- What do they want from us, anyway?" is the title of a free, public talk from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at T-Spoons, corner of Linn and Market streets. Richard Roller, professor and vice chairman, Department of Microbiology in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, will speak.

Roller will discuss the fact that although viruses are the most abundant life form on earth -- and we are exposed to many of them every day -- sometimes we are made ill by exposure, but mostly not. Also, he will discuss what viruses are, how they infect us, and what kinds of factors determine whether and how we become ill.

The talk is presented by Café Scientifique of Iowa City (, a forum where the public is invited to explore and debate the latest ideas in science, mathematics, medicine, and technology on the third Thursday of the month from September to May.


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at

Campus events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar:

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.