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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 19, 2010

At A Glance

UI mathematician wins prestigious 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship

Xiaoyi Zhang, assistant professor of mathematics in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been selected as a 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. The award consists of a two-year, $50,000 grant.

The 2010 Sloan Research Fellowships were given to 118 researchers at 56 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada in the fields of physics, chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics and neuroscience. The annual grants "support the work of exceptional young researchers early in their academic careers, and often at pivotal stages in their work."

Zhang, who joined the UI faculty in fall 2009, conducts research in the field of quantum mechanics, and she has made important contributions toward researching the nonlinear Schrödinger equation.

This is the second consecutive year the Department of Mathematics has garnered the honor, as assistant professor Julianna Tymoczko received a 2009 Sloan Fellowship.

The Sloan Research Fellowship program was initiated in 1955. Alfred P. Sloan, then-president and CEO of General Motors Corporation, established the non-profit Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 1934.


Registration begins for UI summer youth entrepreneurship camps

Applications are now being taken for the University of Iowa's summer Youth Entrepreneur Camp and Jacobson Entrepreneurship Academy in Iowa City and Des Moines. The daylong camps teach elementary and junior high aged children the skills they need to start and develop a business.

The Youth Entrepreneur Camp is for students in grades four through six and will be held at the Pappajohn Business Building on the UI campus July 12-16. The Jacobson Entrepreneurship Academy is for students in grades seven through nine and will be held July 19-23 at the Pappajohn Business Building in Iowa City, and from July 26-30 at the Pappajohn Higher Education Center in Des Moines.

Registration for both camps is $175, which includes class materials, snacks, lunches, graduation reception, bus tours and a t-shirt. Early drop-off and late pick-up service are available for an additional $10 per day.

Registration materials are available at For more information, contact Dawn Bowlus in the Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship at 319-335-0985 or


Free fitness assessments available Feb. 23

Health Iowa/Student Health Service at the University of Iowa will offer free fitness assessments from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, on the main deck at the UI Field House.

The assessments are free and open to the public. No appointment is necessary.

The fitness assessments give participants an opportunity to evaluate current fitness levels and educate themselves about appropriate physical activity goals. The assessments include blood pressure screening, resting heart rate, an aerobic step test and various muscular fitness tests. Fitness specialists will be available to answer questions and provide information on leading a physically active lifestyle.

For more information, contact Amy Fletcher at 319-335-8213 or


'Word Painter' reading series kicks off with Feb. 25 event at Old Capitol

The University of Iowa Museum of Art Spring 2010 "Word Painter" reading series kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Old Capitol Museum's Senate Chamber. The reading is free and open to the public.

Two writers will be featured:

--Honor Moore, the UI's Spring 2010 Bedell Visiting Distinguished Writer in Creative Nonfiction, whose recent work, "The Bishop's Daughter," was named an Editor's Choice by the New York Times and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Moore is also the award-winning author of three collections of poems, and her play "Mourning Pictures" was produced on Broadway.

--Jennifer Percy, a graduate student in the UI Nonfiction Writing Program and a 2009-10 Museum of Art "Word Painter" Fellow, will read from her thesis, "Demons," which explores the psychological aftermath of the Iraq war in America. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlantic, Rosebud, The American Literary Review, Redivider, The Indiana Review and The Literary Review. She recently received a Stanley Award for International Research to study aphorisms.

For more information on the UI Museum of Art, including updated event listings, visit


UI School of Music presents the Orchestra Invitational Gala Concert Feb. 26

The University of Iowa Philharmonia Orchestra, the Iowa Brass Quintet and a faculty wind trio will perform in the free Orchestra Invitational Gala Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, in Mabie Theatre of the UI Theatre Building.

The Suite en trio by Noël Gallon will be performed by three members of the Iowa Woodwind Quintet: oboist Andrew Parker, clarinetist Maurita Murphy Mead and bassoonist Benjamin Coelho.

The Iowa Brass Quintet -- Amy Schendel, trumpet; Edward Hong, trumpet; Jeffrey Agrell, horn; David Gier, trombone; and John Manning, tuba -- will perform the Brass Quintet, op. 65 by Jan Koetsier and the Brass Quintet No. 2, "Scenes from Franklin County," by Iowa native Joseph Blaha.

Under the direction of UI School of Music graduate conducting students Yuichi Ura and Andrea Molina, the Philharmonia Orchestra will perform the Symphony No. 2, op. 30 ("Romantic") by Howard Hanson.

Biographies of the faculty artists are accessible at


International Mondays Brown Bag Series begins with Peace Corps topic March 1

International Mondays Brown Bag Series presents the first forum for the spring 2010 titled "Life is Calling: Examining the Peace Corps after 49 Years" from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, March 1, at the Iowa City Public Library Meeting Room A. This event is free and open to the public.

The panelists, all returned Peace Corps volunteers, will discuss their experiences in the Peace Corps and examine the history and politics of the institution and its work.

Carly Andrews, University of Iowa International Programs outreach coordinator, will facilitate, and Fran Boyken, UI Peace Corps campus representative and returned Peace Corps volunteer, will moderate the event.

The panel includes the following UI students and faculty who are also returned Peace Corps volunteers: Rebecca Arnold, graduate student in public health; Ken Atkinson, professor emeritus in mathematics; and Scott McNabb, associate professor of education policy and leadership studies.

International Mondays Brown Bag Series is a forum for students, faculty and community members to engage in a discussion of global issues and ideas sponsored by UI International Programs, the UI Stanley Foundation and the Iowa City Public Library.

To see the entire series, visit

For more information, contact Andrews at 319-335-0345 or


UI Latitude Ensemble will perform improvised chamber music March 2

The Latitude Ensemble, an improvisational student and faculty group in the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a free performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, in the University Capitol Centre Recital Hall.

Directed by faculty members Jeffrey Agrell and John Manning, the ensemble grew out of the common interests, experience and skills of faculty players and graduates of Agrell's course "Improvisation for Classical Musicians."

The general approach of the group is to create appealing music on the spot, with a mix of both the familiar and surprises. The audience is invited to make suggestions as well as occasionally participating in a piece.

The ensemble is made up of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion, but many pieces will feature smaller groups selected from the whole. Players often switch from their main instrument to something else -- sometimes in the middle of a piece -- including vocalizations, body percussion and movement.

Agrell advises audience members to expect the unexpected in this unusual concert of contemporary classical improvisation.


Mark and Watrous will read 'Live from Prairie Lights' March 2

Two alumnae of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, Sabrina Orah Mark and Malena Watrous, will read from their new work at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, in Prairie Lights Books at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free "Live from Prairie Lights" event will be streamed live and archived on the Writing University Web site,

Mark followed up her critically acclaimed debut, "The Babies," winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, with a prose collection, "Tsim Tsum," which focus on two characters introduced in her first book.

Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, and her work also appears in "Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century."

Watrous' "If You Follow Me" is set in Shika-Machi, the nuclear power plant town in Japan where she taught English.

She attended the workshop on a Truman Capote Fellowship, and the manuscript for "If You Follow Me" won the Michener-Copernicus Award. She is now at Stanford as the head instructor in the Online Writers' Workshop

Watrous' short fiction has appeared in Story Quarterly, Glimmer Train, Triquarterly, the Massachusetts Review and Kyoto Journal, and she contributes book reviews to the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times.


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