Archive for January 18th, 2011

Overcoming Test Anxiety

University Of Chicago Researchers Find Writing About Test Anxiety May Improve Grades.

The AP (1/14, Blankinship) reports that a new study by University of Chicago researchers found that “a simple writing exercise can relieve students of test anxiety and may help them get better scores than their less anxious classmates.” University of Chicago associate professor of psychology Sian L. Beilock and co-author Gerardo Ramirez, a graduate student, “found that students who were prone to test anxiety improved their test grades by nearly one grade point – from a B-minus to a B-plus, for example – if they were given 10 minutes before an exam to write about their feelings.” The two “believe worrying competes for computing power in the brain’s ‘working,’ or short-term memory.” The idea to test the theory came “from the use of writing to combat depression.”

Reposted from the 1/14/11 ASEE First Bell

Metallic Glass Offers High Strength, Toughness

Popular Science (1/11, Boyle) reports, “Materials scientists in California have made a special metallic glass with a strength and toughness” that is reportedly “greater than any known material” and uses “a recipe that could yield a new method for materials fabrication.” The material is “a microalloy made of palladium” and “has a chemical structure that counteracts the inherent brittleness of glass but maintains its strength. It’s not very dense and it is more lightweight than steel, with comparable heft to an aluminum or titanium alloy.” Materials scientist and co-author Robert O. Ritchie of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said, “It has probably the best combination of strength and toughness that has ever been achieved. … It’s not the strongest material ever made, but it’s certainly one of the best with a combination of strength and toughness.”

Reposted from the 1/12/11 ASEE First Bell.

Presidential Inauguration Research/Scholarship Poster Competition

President Sullivan recognizes the central role of knowledge creation and dissemination in the life of a great comprehensive university.  To recognize research and scholarship as a central part of the UVa mission during the Presidential Inauguration in April, we will hold a Pan-University Research Poster Competition to highlight high-impact and innovative growth areas for UVa research.  A diverse committee will select 5 “finalists” in each of the 7 categories, and we will display these 35 finalists during the inauguration event.

The committee will view all of the finalist posters and select the winners in each of the 7 categories, with each top poster receiving a $500 prize (payable as cash or unrestricted PTAO), with additional prizes for best Undergraduate & best Graduate submission of $500.   President Sullivan will present the prizes to the winners at the inauguration.  All entries will be posted on the inauguration website to broadly showcase the research of the entire university.

We would like you to circulate this announcement broadly to spread the word of the competition.  Additionally, we urge you to reach out to your most active researchers and encourage them to submit posters for their research.  This is an opportunity to showcase your research and make your ideas visible to the world, on the public occasion of our first new UVa President in 20 years.

Seven Research Award Categories

Physical & Environmental Sciences & Engineering

Biosciences & Health


Social, Behavioral, &Economic Sciences

Law, Business, Policy, & Education

Translational & Cross-Disciplinary Research

Performing & Fine Arts & Architecture

Posters due in PDF format by March 1, 2011.

Finalists will have poster presentations with the President & prizes awarded on April 14, 2011.

Carbon, Our Energy Future, and You: A Community Workshop

The City of Charlottesville, the County of Albemarle, and the University of Virginia are hosting a Community Workshop inviting the public to learn more about ongoing initiatives related to energy opportunities and impacts, including recent efforts to identify effective energy management strategies.

Cost:                    Free

Date:                   Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Time:                   6:00-8:00 pm

Note:  Display Stations will be available for viewing in the Lobby all day on January 26th

Place:                  Albemarle County Office Building Auditorium and Lobby, 401 McIntyre Road, Charlottesville, VA

Further information:

Event details:  display posters on view in the Lobby with specialists on hand to answer questions/discuss issues; an interactive community survey with real-time responses; comment/suggestion boxes for community input.

I Have a Dream: Visions of Engineering in the 21st Century

Location: MEC205, University of Virginia
Date: Thursday, January 20, 2011
Time: 5:00 pm-6:15 pm

Event Description: This panel will feature faculty as well as undergraduate and graduate students, discussing
their visions and ideas for broadening, diversifying, and enhancing the field of engineering in the coming
century, both at the University of Virginia School of Engineering & Applied Science and nationally.  Faculty,
graduate and undergraduate students, and members of the general public are invited to attend.  The panel will
be videotaped, and available for viewing on the UVA iTunes University web site.

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