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News Service

Annette Hacker, manager, (515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777


Tornado simulator ISU faculty Partha Sarkar and ABC News correspondent Mike Von Fremd watch the simulator.

Tornado team on network TV Thursday

ABC's "Good Morning America" will feature Iowa State's tornado simulator at approximately 7:40 am. Thursday, Oct. 28. The simulator is a collaboration of ISU faculty Partha Sarkar, Bill Gallus and Fred Haan.

Background on tornado simulator.

Edward Yeung

2004 Inventor of the Year

Edward Yeung Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of chemistry has been named 2004 Inventor of the Year by the Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association. He was honored for his development of a DNA sequencer that combines laser microfluorescence with capillary electrophoresis, two analytical chemistry methods for determining the minute components of a substance. The sequencer can detect, monitor and quantify materials 24 times faster than earlier DNA sequencers.

News release.

Celebrities campaign on campus

  • Actor Leonardo DiCaprio and rocker Jon Bon Jovi will visit Iowa State Thursday to campaign for Presidential candidate John Kerry and Paul Johnson, Democratic candidate for Iowa's fourth congressional district. The stars were invited to appear by the ISU Democrats' student organization. The rally is set for 10 a.m. Thursday in the College of Design atrium. It's open to the public.
  • On Thursday evening at 7, actor Brendan Fraser will introduce a free screening and discussion of the documentary, "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry." That event will be held in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Fraser will introduce documentarian George Butler, and following the 87-minute film, Butler and former Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey will lead a discussion.
  • Conservative commentator and legal affairs correspondent Ann Coulter will speak at ISU's Stephens Auditorium on Friday at 8 p.m. Her lecture, "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)," is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7 p.m. Coulter's lecture is part of the Institute on National Affairs series on politics and humor in America, and is cosponsored by the Committee on Lectures (funded by the Government of the Student Body) and the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, a conservative, Washington, D.C.-based institute.

New x-ray imaging device demonstrated

Iowa State University's College of Engineering will demonstrate a new x-ray imaging device used to study part of the paper recycling process during an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, in the Transport Processes Laboratory, 1121 Black Engineering Building. Ted Heindel, who holds the William and Virginia Binger Associate Professorship in Mechanical Engineering, required the specialized industrial imaging device to study the interaction of multiphase flows (gas, liquids and solids) in a contained area. The device has potential uses for everything from food to fuel to pharmaceuticals. The device was funded with $640,000 in grants from the National Science Foundation's major instrumentation program and Iowa State. The event is free and open to the public.

News release.

How can GM and organic crops coexist?

That's the subject of a Nov. 6 symposium at ISU. Hosted by the Bioethics Program, the symposium will information and discussion about the coexistence of organic agriculture and genetically modified (GM) crops. The event will be from 2 to 5:30 p.m. in the Gallery of the Memorial Union. It is free and open to the public.

News release.

National political parties' influence topic of study

An Iowa State political scientist has received a $90,000 National Science Foundation grant to study the influence of national political parties on local, state and national elections. Robert Lowry, associate professor of political science, said the study, "National Party Committees, Competitive Elections, and State Autonomy Before and After the Bipartisan Campaign," focuses on how national committees and their distribution of large sums of money nationwide affect the competitiveness of elections.

News release.

Iowa League of Cities honors two

Two Iowa State University faculty members were inducted into the Iowa League of Cities Hall of Fame recently for their service to local governments. The league is a municipal advocacy and training organization based in Des Moines. Jack Whitmer, emeritus associate professor of political science, and Paul Coates, associate professor of political science, were honored for their roles with the Iowa Municipal Clerks' Institute and Iowa Municipal Clerks' Academy.

News release.

Open forum Oct. 28 on latest strategic plan draft

The second draft of Iowa State University's strategic plan for 2005-2010 will be discussed during an open forum Thursday, Oct. 28. The forum will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in 101 College of Design.

News release.

John Deere pledges more funding to ISU's virtual reality program

Continuing its decade of research support to Iowa State University's Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC), Deere & Company announced a new three-year initiative Oct. 20.

News release.

Local officials in Boone, Poweshiek counties team with ISU researchers to study shared services for their communities

The Iowa Innovations Fund has awarded Boone and Poweshiek counties a $63,850 grant to work with Iowa State University's public policy and administration program faculty to explore how the area communities can share local services. Researchers with the "The Olive Tree Project: Helping Citizens Define Their Communities" will work with county and city officials to identify common community values and services essential to preserving each area's unique identity.

News release.

Five named College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Master Teachers

Five faculty members in Iowa State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have been named 2004-05 Master Teachers. The Master Teachers are Clifford Bergman, professor of mathematics and computer science; William Gallus, associate professor of geological and atmospheric sciences; Michael Mendelson, professor of English; Jill Pruetz, assistant professor of anthropology; and Mark Rectanus, professor of foreign languages and literatures. The five faculty members will plan teaching methods seminars and in-class demonstrations throughout the academic year.

News release.

Planning committee on possible college combination releases report

The committee looking into how the colleges of Education and Family and Consumer Sciences might be combined offers a number of suggestions in a recently released report. The committee asks members of the two colleges to provide input on the report, which is available online at


Political commentator Ann Coulter to speak at Iowa State Oct. 29

Ann Coulter, syndicated columnist for Universal Press Syndicate, attorney, conservative commentator and legal affairs correspondent, will speak at Iowa State University's Stephens Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m.

News release.

Judy Vance Judy Vance
For a print quality photo contact News Service at 294-3720

Vance named ASME fellow

Judy Vance, chair of ISU's mechanical engineering department, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International. Vance is the first female department chair in the College of Engineering, currently serves on a National Science Foundation advisory committee and is founding president of the Women In Engineering Leadership Institute (WELI). For more information on Vance's most recent honor, go to:

Stephens Auditorium is 'Building of the Century'

ISU's Stephens Auditorium has been selected as "Building of the Century" by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Iowa Chapter.

News release.

$600,000 education grant to study middle school math teaching, student interaction

An Iowa State University mathematics education and teaching researcher has received a $600,000 National Science Foundation grant for a five-year project to improve student learning in middle school mathematics. Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education, said about a dozen middle school mathematics teachers in central Iowa will be involved in the project. Herbel-Eisenmann and her research team will work collaboratively to implement changes in teacher/student interaction and study the subsequent impact on student learning, focusing on comprehension and conceptual understanding of mathematical ideas.

News release.

Comments sought on second draft of stategic plan

The latest draft of Iowa State University's next strategic plan reflects many of the comments that were submitted after the release of the first draft, said Ben Allen, vice president for academic affairs, provost and head of the strategic planning committee. The new draft was released today (Oct. 11) and is available online at Allen encourages the campus community and others to offer comments and suggestions on the second draft of the plan. Those comments should be submitted by Oct. 29 to (The comments will be posted periodically, without attribution, on the strategic planning web site.)

News release.


"Tara Cotta" (above), by the ISU Horticulture Club, is among the scarecrows entered in a contest at Reiman Gardens. The scarecrows will be on display through Oct. 31.

On the election

Patricia Hamm Hamm

"Many American voters are beginning to wonder if the 2004 presidential election will be clean and fair, or if it will turn out to look more like the electoral processes held in Latin American, Asian, Africa, and other countries run by authoritarian governments," says ISU political scientist Patricia Hamm. "Will their vote be counted? Will the electoral outcome be manipulated? Are voters being intimidated to vote in a certain way? Will the "dead" turn out to vote and the "living" be prevented from voting? Most importantly, they are asking themselves what can they do to ensure that the 2004 electoral campaign and election be viewed in retrospective as an example of democratic practices."

Robert Baum Baum

"The challenge for George W. Bush and the Republican Party is to convince voters that their emphasis on faith is not meant to divide or exclude people," says ISU associate professor of philosophy and religious studies Robert Baum, "or to remove the separation of church and state that has guided this country since the time of Jefferson."

Daniela Dimitrova Dimitrova

"The Internet has become vital to the 2004 campaign giving both parties access to information and ideas not provided by the big national media," says ISU journalism professor Daniela Dimitrova. "For instance, the Internet is an important source of information on the Iraq War. Americans holding negative views toward the war have been particularly motivated to go online and seek alternative views. Blog sites such as 'Where is Raed' is a good example."

ISU political experts on election year issues.

Steffen Schmidt Schmidt

"The 2004 election is one of the most important in U.S. history because it may be the defining moment for the Democrats who have been losing power at the local, county, state and national level for the past decade," says ISU political scientist Steffen Schmidt. "The real question is, 'Will the Democrats go the way of the Tory party in England or will it find its new identity in 2004?'"

ISU political experts on election year issues.

James McCormick McCormick

"States like Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio are crucial to the selection of the next president," says ISU political scientist James McCormick. "As the Midwest goes, so goes the presidency."

ISU political experts on election year issues.

Robert Lowry Lowry

"Given the difficulties of polling in the age of cell phones and the numbers of new voters that both parties claim to have registered, it's extremely difficult to predict the popular vote for president," says ISU political scientist Robert Lowry. "If the polls indicate a strong last-minute trend in battleground states, that will probably be an indicator of the outcome, but otherwise, we will just have to wait and see."

ISU political experts on election year issues.

Kim Conger Conger

"Voter registration is breaking records in almost every state," says ISU political scientist Kimberly Conger. "Since about 85 percent of people who are registered actually vote in national elections, we could see record voter turnout, as well. High turnout usually favors Democrats, but as we saw in 2000, in what state those Democrats vote could have the biggest impact of all."

ISU political experts on election year issues.

Ray Dearin Dearin

"Since Richard Nixon in 1960, it has been customary for nomination accepters in both parties to include in their speeches 'personal vision statements' of the American dream," says ISU political scientist Ray Dearin. "Republicans have stressed the pioneer, individual liberty, and 'opportunity society'; Democrats have leaned toward the immigrant, 'huddled masses,' and communitarian version. Expect this trend to continue in New York."

ISU political experts on election year issues.

Dianne Bystrom Bystrom

"The Bush/Cheney campaign is doing more than it did four years ago to try to win the women's vote," says ISU political scientist Dianne Bystrom. "This includes a greater reliance on the president's wife to campaign. For example, she is featured in an ad on the Bush campaign's Web site devoted to women, talking about the administration's record on education."

ISU political experts on election year issues.

ISU in the news

Election Early Birds

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Iowa, like several states, is allowing early voting in addition to absentee ballots in the 2004 election. Both major political parties are aggressively working to "get the vote out" because Iowa's seven electoral votes could be crucial this year, says Dianne Bystrom, director of Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State. Bystrom said early voting is good for young people and single parents. "There are no excuses for not voting," she said.

See article.

High-maintenance lotus

The New York Times

Folklore says fuzzy caterpillars can predict the weather. Can they? Iowa State University Extension entomologist Donald Lewis fields a few hundred questions about this every year, and explains the subtle differences between woolly bear caterpillars and other fuzzy species in the same family.

See article.

It's the kids killing time

Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald

Most parents don't realize we are living in the third era of the computer game, says Craig Anderson, professor and chair of psychology at Iowa State. First was the "Atari era" --- 1977 to 1985 -- with very little violence in video games. Second was the "Nintendo era" -- 1985 to 1995 -- when violence increased as sales of violent games soared. And now we are in the "Sony PlayStation era" -- marked by games with ever increasingly more realistic depictions of violence and when children are playing at younger ages and for longer periods of time.

See article.