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Release: April 8, 1999

UI awards Obermann summer research grants

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies has awarded its 1999 Interdisciplinary Research Grants to 11 researchers who will collaborate on five projects.

The program provides summer stipends for interdisciplinary scholarship undertaken at the Obermann Center by UI faculty members working in collaboration with one another or with researchers from other institutions. Each collaborator must demonstrate a particular disciplinary contribution to the project. The program is supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research and by the Graduate College.

"Interdisciplinary scholarship is an area of strategic importance at the UI, and the Obermann center is a critical focus and facilitator of such scholarship," said David Skorton, UI Vice President for Research.

This year's projects and researchers include:

"A Virtual Reality Environment to Support Effective Decision-making for Adolescents in Treatment for Substance Abuse," by Karen Cocco, assistant professor of counseling, rehabilitation, and student development and Joyce Moore and Brenda Sugrue, both assistant professors of psychological and quantitative foundations;

"Political Character, Celebrity and Presidential Power in the Electronic Age," by
Bruce Gronbeck, professor of communication studies, and Arthur Miller, professor of political science;

"Theory of Dual Group Representations and Applications to Quantum Mechanics," by William Klink, professor of physics and astronomy, and T. Ton-That, professor of mathematics;

"Academic Ability, Academic Potential, and Opportunity in Higher Education," by
Michael Lovaglia, associate professor of sociology, and Johnmarshall Reeve, assistant professor of psychological and quantitative foundations;

and "Moving Beyond 'left' and 'right': A Dynamic Field Theory of Location Memory," by John Spencer, assistant professor of psychology and Gregor Schoner, director of the French Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences Cognitives.

Jay Semel, director of the Obermann Center, said that earlier projects funded by the Center have resulted in numerous jointly-written articles and books, as well as grants totaling more than $2 million from federal and foundation sources including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education.