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University of Iowa News Release


April 25, 2008

At A Glance

Accounting professor receives top dissertation award from tax accounting group

The American Tax Association has named a doctoral dissertation written by Ryan Wilson, University of Iowa assistant professor of accounting, as the year's best. Wilson's dissertation, "An Examination of Corporate Tax Shelter Participants," suggests that well-governed firms can use tax shelters to create wealth.

Wilson wrote the dissertation while earning his Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Washington. He will receive the Outstanding Tax Dissertation award at the American Accounting Association's annual meeting in August.

Using data from companies known to use tax sheltering to reduce their tax burden, Wilson developed a profile of the type of firm likely to use a tax shelter. He found in his research that firms actively engaged in tax sheltering exhibit larger book-tax differences and more aggressive financial reporting practices.

Using those characteristics, he tries to predict which firms are likely to use tax shelters, then examines whether tax sheltering is associated with wealth creation for shareholders. His conclusion is that in well-governed companies, it does.

May 2 workshop examines how children learn words

An upcoming workshop will focus on how young children learn words, a critical aspect of early language development. The free, public workshop, "Understanding the Processes of Word Learning," runs from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, May 2 in the Indiana Room 346 of the University of Iowa's Iowa Memorial Union.

The workshop will consist of three presentations from leading experts in the area of children's language development, followed by a roundtable discussion between the presenters and the audience.

Presenters are Deb Roy of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who will discuss "Children's Strategies for Word Learning: Insights from Computational Models Grounded in Naturalistic Observational Data;" Fei Xu of the University of British Columbia, who will discuss "Word Learning as Bayesian Inference," and the UI's Karla McGregor, who will discuss "Autism and Language Impairment as Windows into Word Learning."

The workshop, supported by the Perry A. and Helen Judy Bond Fund, is sponsored by the Iowa Center for Developmental and Learning Sciences and the UI departments of psychology and communication sciences and disorders.

Scott Cochran and Steve Ellis to perform on 'Java Blend' May 2

Scott Cochran and Steve Ellis will perform live as part of the Iowa Public Radio performance series Java Blend from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, May 2, at the Java House in downtown Iowa City.

Eastern Iowan Cochran will perform his unique brand of original alt-country-rock. Joining Scott will be local guitar legend Steve Ellis, who has co-written many songs featured on their new CD "Cornfed," released in January.

The hour-long, free show originates from WSUI-AM 910 and will be recorded for broadcast Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18, across the state on Iowa Public Radio. For more information visit and

Steel bands play for World Percussion Extravaganza May 3

The unmistakable and joyous sound of steel drums will fill Clapp Recital Hall at the University of Iowa when Iowa Percussion presents its annual World Percussion Extravaganza at 3p.m. Saturday, May 3. The concert, under the direction of Dan Moore, will be free and open to the public.

The UI PanAmerican Steel Band, Steel Band II and Moore's Survey of World Percussion Class will perform. The program will be chosen from the current repertoire of the groups, which includes Brazilian tunes, salsa, soca, ska, Calypso and Latin.

The steel pan is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago and is the only acoustic musical instrument invented in the 20th century, roughly around the time of World War II. They are built from 55-gallon oil barrels that have been carefully crafted into tuned musical instruments.

The UI PanAmerican Steel Band has released two CDs: "Everywhere Calypso" (2002) and "Noise Brigade" (2007).

An internationally known percussionist, composer and teacher, Moore has experience from concert to marching percussion, and from jazz to classical styles. Performing all aspects of percussion, he is considered a "total percussionist." For more information on Moore, visit

Gender in prehistory examined at UI Explorers Lecture May 8

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History continues its Explorers Lecture Series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 8 in its Biosphere Discovery Hub, with Alissa Whitmore, a graduate student in the UI Anthropology Department, presenting "Gender in Prehistory: An Archaeological Examination."

The lecture series features UI researchers and professors presenting relevant and current research relating to culture and the environment. Whitmore's research focuses on the debate among archaeologists concerning learning about gender before the presence of written records. She will also discuss why few methodologies have been developed for looking at gender in prehistory, as well as methodologies for the archaeological examination of historical gender relations.

For more information call the museum at 319-335-0606.

UI Choral ensembles will be led by student conductors May 10

Kantorei and Camerata, two of the major choral ensembles in the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a joint concert under graduate student conductors at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 10, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus. The concert will be free and open to the public.

The premier choral ensemble of the School of Music, Kantorei is limited to 28 singers, most of whom are graduate students. Under the direction of doctoral student Allyss Haecker they will perform a variety of pieces:

--Psalm 136 by Heinrich Schütz
--Two Sacred Villancicos by Francisco Guerrero
--"Super Flumina Babylonis" by Hendrik Hofmeyr
--"Laudate Jehovam, omnes gentes" by Georg Philipp Telemann
--"Romance of the Dandelions" by Bohuslav Martin_
--Three Sacred Songs, op. 69, by Josef Rheinberger
--Two South African folksongs

Camerata Singers has approximately 40 singers, including university students and members of the local community. Doctoral student Laura Wiebe will lead their program:

--the anonymous medieval song "Sumer is Icumen In"
--"April is in my Mistress' Face" by Thomas Morley
--"I Am the Resurrection" by Thomas Tomkins
--Mozart's Missa Brevis in D major
--Selections from "Zigeunerlieder" (Gypsy songs) by Johannes Brahms
--"Shine on Me" by Rollo Dilworth

Accompanist for both groups will be Ann DuHammel.


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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.