January 24, 2012
In case you missed it, here's what's been happening at LSU during the past month. The items range from small to huge, from the discovery of the world's tiniest vertebrate to the discovery of what forms a supernova in the vastness of the universe.
Showing the global reach of the university, an LSU faculty member and graduate student recently discovered two new species of frogs in New Guinea, one of which is now the world's tiniest known vertebrate, averaging only 7.7 millimeters in size - less than one-third of an inch. The finding was so unique, it was mentioned on the David Letterman and Jay Leno shows.
Reaching even beyond global, LSU astronomers recently discovered the solution to a long-standing fundamental problem of astrophysics: what produces thermonuclear supernovae, which are tremendous explosions where the light is often brighter than a whole galaxy.
An LSU professor of physics and astronomy was also recently invited to attend the Nobel Prize Award ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, in recognition of his contribution to this year's Nobel Prize-winning research in physics.
Several other LSU physics and astronomy professors, along with graduate and undergraduate students, were recently recognized as part of the Physics World Top 10 Physics Breakthroughs of 2011 for their studies recording the first real indication of a new type of neutrino oscillation.
Proving its value to Louisiana and the nation, LSU was once again ranked as one of the 100 best values in public higher education, according to Kiplinger's Personal Finance. The ranking cites four-year schools across the country that combine outstanding education with economic value.
In national recognition of their distinguished efforts in advancing science applications, five LSU researchers, three from the College of Science and two from the College of Engineering, have been honored with the rank of "Fellow" by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest scientific organization. LSU ranks among the top 10 percent of universities in the number of individuals receiving the honor in one year.
Showing its international mindset, LSU has signed a letter of intent with the College of Management of the National Taiwan University to further international co-operation in research and education, including joint research and academic projects as well as exchanges of faculty, students and scholarly materials.
Joining top student entrepreneurs from across the world, an LSU Stephenson Entrepreneurship Fellow and LSU engineering student participated in the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards finals in November.
In acknowledgement of LSU's positive impact on businesses, the National Business Incubation Association has informed the LSU Louisiana Business & Technology Center that its application for Soft Landings International Incubator Designation has been approved. There are only about 40 incubators in the world with this distinction.
Entrusted with a task of national level, a group of LSU researchers has been awarded a grant for nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for a project to conduct innovative research to harvest heat from geothermal reservoirs to generate electricity, a strategy that could provide increased net electric power to the Gulf Coast region.
As a showcase of LSU's varied cultural contributions, "Treasures of LSU," edited by an LSU faculty member and published by LSU Press, received an honorable mention from the Mary Ellen LoPresti Award, presented by the Southeast Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America. This annual award recognizes distinguished publications in the visual arts.
Proving LSU's influence on the national arts community, Christopher O'Riley, an acclaimed pianist and host of National Public Radio's "From the Top" program, will perform with the LSU Symphony Orchestra during a concert event on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Mesquite Arts Center in Mesquite, Texas.