University of Michigan

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Michigan Stadium will be full of college students this weekend. But these students aren't watching a football game -- they're hackers.

A University of Michigan group called MHacks is sponsoring a 36-hour hackathon. It's a competition that challenges participants to use technology to create inventions that solve modern problems.

Thomas Erdmann is a junior at Michigan and the president of MHacks. He says the word hacking gets a bad rap. Erdmann says the hackathon represents what the word hacking really means to engineers.

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The new fall semester at the University of Michigan is bringing significant change.

Earlier this summer, the U of M Board of Regents said “yes” to offering in-state tuition to undocumented students as long as they meet certain criteria. All military will be allowed to pay in-state tuition, active, reserve, and honorably discharged, as well.

The vote was watched closely by advocates for young people who were brought into this country as undocumented immigrants. On such advocate is Serena Davila. Davila is the Executive Director for Legislative Affairs for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Cyndy Canty, host of Stateside, spoke with Davila about the change in tuition.

Listen to the full interview above.

More than 1,500 works of art, with more than 160 venues, and 47 countries represented. Those are just a few statistics of this year's ArtPrize in Grand Rapids opening today with some 400,000 expected visitors to the city. Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith was on the scene, and we spoke to her as well as the new Executive Director of ArtPrize.

And, Congressman Justin Amash has decided not to run for U.S. senate. What does this decision mean for the rest of the candidates?

The University of Michigan announced earlier that they will now offer in-state tuition to undocumented students. We talked with Serena Davila, the executive director for Legislative Affairs for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, about what this means for the students.

Also, how well are health care systems in the U.S. working? A new report by the Commonwealth Fund gave us some answers.

And, the small town of Colon in southwest Michigan has been dubbed the “Magic Capital of the World.” We spoke with one resident to find out why that is.

First on the show, our weekly check-in with Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes. And, on the front-burner? The mediation talks between Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and dozens and dozens of lawyers representing the city's creditors. Howes joined us to tell us more about the mediation.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - An ex-attorney for the state of Michigan who was fired after expressing hostility toward a gay University of Michigan student government president has lost a defamation lawsuit against another lawyer.

Detroit federal Judge Arthur Tarnow on Tuesday said Deborah Gordon's comments about Andrew Shirvell were either true or opinions and showed no malice. He dismissed the case.

Gordon called Shirvell a "rebel without a clue," among other things.

Shirvell says the ruling "reeks of hypocrisy and a double-standard."

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The University of Michigan is almost finished decommissioning its nuclear reactor. The process began ten years ago. But there are new plans in the works to renovate the building.

According to MLive, the University wants to create research labs, testing areas, offices and academic support spaces in the building. The 17,400-square-foot building would get a 5,200-square-foot addition and would be renamed as the Nuclear Engineering Laboratories. It's on North Campus on Bonisteel Dr. 

The University of Michigan Board of Regents will vote on the proposed plans at 3 pm on Thursday. 

UM

In the history of major gifts to the University of Michigan, the $200 million gift from alum Stephen M. Ross is the biggest in the University's history. 

In the annals of gift giving to higher education, it's not the biggest, but it is among the biggest.

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Schuette will challenge re-sentencing for juvenile lifers

A federal judge says the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down automatic life sentences without parole applies to 363 inmates in Michigan. The judge says the ruling applies to every inmate sentenced as a child and entitles them to re-sentencing hearings. Attorney General Bill Schuette wants the ruling applied to only five Michigan inmates who challenged their cases in federal court, and to future cases. The American Civil Liberties Union disagrees and says the ruling applies to everyone affected. Rick Pluta has more.

U of M research shows association between autism and induced labor

“New University of Michigan research has found an association between autism and inducing or augmenting labor during childbirth. Researchers looked at the birth records of more than 600 thousand children and compared them to the children’s school records. They found a 35 percent increased chance of autism in boys whose mothers’ had their labor induced or augmented. Marie Lynn Miranda, a Pediatrics professor at U of M, says the data is worth further study, but it does not draw a direct link between inducing labor and autism,” Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody reports.

Lansing wants to cut ties with Russian sister city

“Officials in Lansing want to end their community's 'sister cities' relationship with the Russian city of St. Petersburg due to that country's anti-gay policies. The Lansing State Journal and MLive.com report Lansing City Council voted unanimously Monday calling for end to the relationship. A new Russian law is aimed at 'propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.' It imposes fines for organizations, plus stiffer penalties for propaganda online or in the media,” according to the Associated Press.

A new University of Michigan study finds an association between inducing or augmenting labor during childbirth and an increased risk of autism.

The study compared birth records of more than 600 thousand North Carolina children and their corresponding public school records. Researchers found a 35% increased risk of autism in boys whose mothers' labors were induced or augmented.

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The Ann Arbor City Council Thursday night approved a plan for a bike share program. It's a collaboration with the University of Michigan, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority and the Clean Energy Coalition.

Fotos GOVBA / Flickr

A study from the University of Michigan suggests that people won't accept organ donations or blood transfusions from donors who are criminals.

The study's lead author is Meredith Meyer. She is a research fellow in the University of Michigan's Psychology Department. The study was published in the Journal of Cognitive Science.

Colorful used cars
Zelda Richardson

A new study from the University of Michigan suggests that Americans who drive light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVS, pick-up trucks, and vans) don't drive as far as they used to. 

The study, from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (MTRI), was published this month, and looks at national driving trends from 1984-2011. 

According to MTRI's findings, the distance people drove peaked in 2004. Distances were evaluated based on how much a person, a licensed driver, a household and a registered vehicle traveled. 

The major takeaway from the study is that because distances decreased before the 2008 recession, the lower numbers weren't a result of a short-term issue. Essentially, the lower distances driven seem to be a part of a longer term trend. 

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The University of Michigan archaeologist Robin A. Beck Jr. discovered a 16th century fort in western North Carolina this week.

According to an article in The New York Times, the fort was located pretty far inland, just five miles north of Morganton, North Carolina. 

Dr. Beck was working with other archaeologists from the University of New Orleans and Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C. when they found evidence of a fort's moat, that indicated the fort could definitely be the remains of Fort San Juan.

UM Photo

A huge Connecticut-based hedge fund owned by an embattled billionaire is facing insider-trading charges.    And a former University of Michigan professor may have played a part. 

Bentley Library

The University of Michigan's board of regents named seven faculty members this week to serve on a presidential search committee.

The current U of M president, Mary Sue Coleman, will retire next year.

The faculty members will serve in addition to the eight regents.

The search committee looks very different than it did in 2002, when Coleman was selected. Then, the search committee was more diverse. Besides faculty, the committee included a custodial supervisor, the head of the U of M Alumni Association, and two undergraduate students.

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Detroit files for bankruptcy

Governor Rick Snyder has approved Detroit’s bankruptcy filing.  It is now the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. History.  Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports that “the governor says bankruptcy will ultimately offer creditors some assurances on how much they will be paid. A federal judge still has to approve the request.”

University of Michigan grants in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants

Yesterday, the University of Michigan Board of Regents approved the provision of in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants.  Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton reports that “undocumented students will have to show they attended middle school and high school in Michigan to get the lower tuition rate.”  This comes after two years of lobbying from activists and undocumented students.

Last chance for Inkster and Buena Vista school districts

The Inkster and Buena Vista school districts have until Monday evening to prove that they can finance the 2013-2014 school year.  If funds cannot be found, the districts will then be closed.  Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports that “if Inkster and Buena Vista are shut down, their students would go to other schools in the intermediate school district.”

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It wasn't so long ago that Ryan Shinska was quarterbacking his high school football team in Richmond in Macomb County.

Then it was off to Ann Arbor to the University of Michigan. Three years ago, he graduated from U of M's dental school.

And today, Dr. Ryan Shinska is a man with a self-declared mission: to end dental pain and bring good dental health to the people of Uganda.

Ryan will move to Uganda on July 25th to open a dental clinic there. His journey from U of M student to opening a clinic to serve the poor in one of the world's poorest countries is worth exploring and sharing.

Dr. Ryan Shinska joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Terra Molengraff / The Michigan Daily

Undocumented students who’ve grown up in Michigan may soon be eligible for in-state tuition at one of the state’s biggest universities.

On Thursday, the regents at the University of Michigan will vote on a new policy that will redefine what it means to be an in-state student at the university.

Provost Martha Pollock, who took office this May, said the changes being proposed would benefit more than the state’s undocumented students.

From today's press release:

Australian Government

A new language has been discovered in a remote aboriginal community of Lajamanu in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Dr. Carmel O’Shannessy, a linguist at the University of Michigan, first discovered the new language while studying in Lajamanu. The language spoken there is Warlpiri – an aboriginal language unrelated to English.

Over the last decade O’Shannessy has documented the emergence of “Light Warlpiri” or Warlpiri rampaku in the region.

Ford at 100

Jul 13, 2013
The National Archives

Michigan celebrates what would have been President Gerald R. Ford's 100th birthday this weekend.

Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and attended the University of Michigan in his youth.

Jim Kratsas is the Deputy Director at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids. He says the late president's legacy is known around his native Michigan.

“It's a time to celebrate Michigan's favorite son,” says Kratsas.

He says the late president was also deeply involved in the local community.

Detroit Free Press

It's a safe bet to state that one of the greatest sports rivalries in America is the one between Michigan and Ohio State.

Well, there's a "Beat Michigan" campaign happening right now in Buckeye-land that even the most die-hard Wolverine fan could not complain about.

A 12-year-old Ohio State fan---a true Ohio State fan---has been fighting brain cancer for the past two years. And to get him through the grueling chemo to help him marshal every bit of energy towards beating that cancer, young Grant Reed has named his tumor "Michigan."

And guess what, it's working! And there's nothing like some Internet fame to take a kid's mind off of the tough realities of a cancer battle.

Grant's dad, Troy Reed, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

The University of Michigan says a group of U of M students are scheduled to leave Egypt Thursday as unrest continues in that country.   

The eight students were studying at the American University in Cairo when the Egyptian military ousted the government.    They were midway through a two-month cultural program offered through the U-M Center for Global and Intercultural Study, affiliated with the College of Literature Science, and the Arts. 

Other U of M students are scheduled to leave for Jordan and Morocco.

Chris Lamphere / Cadillac News

He spent four years in prison after he was convicted in 2009 on an arson charge. But now he is free after a team of lawyers from the University of Michigan's Innocence Clinic proved he was wrongfully convicted.

The Innocence Clinic team said Caminata was convicted on "junk science."

The Clinic has more on Caminata's conviction:

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More than 400,000 children are currently in foster care in the U.S. Once a child has entered the system, they remain there on average for nearly two years, according to a federal report. Our State of Opportunity team looked into a unique program that’s working to prevent kids in Michigan from even entering foster care in the first place.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s state constitutional amendment barring racial preferences in university admissions and other public institutions might be the next major case dealing with affirmative action laws in the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided today not to decide a Texas affirmative action case where a white student challenged the University of Texas’s admission policy that includes race as one of its deciding factors. 

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The University of Michigan’s Board of Regents set the 2013-2014 tuition price yesterday afternoon -

  • a 1.1% increase for in-state students, and a 3.2% increase for out of state students

And Michigan State University's regents set their increase this morning

  • a 2.8% tuition rate increase

The two joined six other state universities in the state that have set their sticker prices for the coming academic year.

This year, regents for all the public universities in Michigan will be seeing a slight increase in state funding.

In a recently passed higher education budget, the state’s legislators afforded $31.1 million towards Michigan’s public colleges and universities — a 1.8% increase from 2012.

Still, in the face of a continued decrease in higher education funding (Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2011 budget called for a 15% decrease in state appropriations to colleges), balancing affordable tuition and sufficient revenue is more and more challenging for universities.

Sarah Kerson / Michigan Radio

This year marks the lowest tuition rate increase for University of Michigan undergraduate students in nearly 30 years.

The 1.1% increase, or $148 per year for the average undergrad, puts U of M's in-state tuition at $13,142 per year. Out-of-state students will have to foot a slightly bigger bill. U of M regents approved a 3.2% for those students, which is an additional $1,270 per year, on average.

The university also marked another financial success for the upcoming term.

Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing / www.engin.umich.edu

The Solar Car team at the University of Michigan unveiled its newest car today.

The car is called “Generation” and it will represent the U of M team in The World Solar Challenge this fall.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A new poll shows a slim majority of Michiganders support natural gas fracking, though they want the industry to face more regulations and pay more taxes.

Michigan’s natural gas industry has grown as companies have used a technique called Hydraulic Fracturing, or fracking, to break up shale deposits releasing natural gas.

Critics complain fracking is contaminating drinking water and causing other environmental problems.

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In the aftermath of school shootings, theater shootings, and bombings, the question of security screening has become real and important.

How do we balance privacy concerns and rights with the need to screen for potential threats?

A University of Michigan professor is working on that challenge: building a better security detector.

Dr Kamal Sarabondi is a professor of electrical engineering, and he's the director of the Radiation Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

He's gotten funding from the U.S. Department of Defense and is developing a long-range radar technology as a means to detect a concealed object. He explains what it is and how it differs from what we have today.

Listen to the full interview above.

This is what nearly 6,000 University of Michigan graduates look like (courtesy of commencement speaker Dick Costolo's Twitter):

Costolo made a point to live tweet the photo before he began his address to the class of 2013.

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