University of Michigan

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

A study by researchers at the University of Michigan links lead exposure in children to lower achievement on standardized tests.

It's published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health.  Click here to read the study

From the study:

Detroit has an extensive lead poisoning problem. Although only 20% of Michigan’s children younger than 5 years lived in Detroit in 2010, childhood lead poisoning in Detroit has consistently accounted for more than 50 percent of the state’s total lead burden.

Detroit Free Press reporter Keith Matheny's article explores the research further and the schools affected.

The greater the lead poisoning in a Detroit Public Schools student's blood, the higher the likelihood he or she will do poorly on achievement tests -- even after accounting for contributing factors such as poverty. That's the finding of a collaborative study that provides one of the most detailed assessments yet of the impact of lead poisoning on students' learning ability.

University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A University of Michigan history professor is being honored for his contributions to education research and policy.

Jeffrey Mirel has been elected to the National Academy of Education. As a member of the academy, Mirel will participate in professional development programs and serve on expert panels to discuss education issues.

He's one of 12 members from across the country elected this year.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Feeling the blues?

University of Michigan researchers say so called ‘retail therapy’ can help.

Mark Gurman / www.markgurman.com

You think your freshman year was crazy? Ha. You never had to balance finals with your part-time job as the “World’s Best Apple Reporter.”

Mark Gurman can't legally buy himself a drink to celebrate his new unofficial title, which BusinessInsider recently bestowed on the 19-year-old University of Michigan freshman.

Actually, Gurman's been painstakingly tracking Apple since high school, when he first picked up an iPod.

University of Michigan

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

As funding for higher education experiences drastic cuts, tuition continues to increase nationwide. 

Now, colleges and universities are looking at how they have contributed to the economic situation facing institutions of higher education. 

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with James Duderstadt concerning the economic climate among institutions of higher education.

James Duderstadt,a former president of the University of Michigan, is an important voice in the national conversation among higher education institutions. Mr. Duderstadt currently serves on the National Academies Commission on the Future of the American Research University.

wikipedia.org

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Almost everyone who goes online and searches for some bit of information knows about Wikipedia.

For a lot of us it is a great way to answer trivia questions, or settle those friendly arguments among friends over any topic.

But this free encyclopedia that anyone can edit has not been widely accepted in the world of academia. Largely because it is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

In recent years, Wikipedia has gained a new respectability in the world of academia and cultural institutions.

Why is this, and what might it mean in bringing the treasures of those cultural institutions to a wider audience?

We sat down with Professor Cliff Lampe from the School of Information at the University of Michigan and Michael Barerra, who became one of the first "Wikipedians" in residence at the Gerald R. Ford Library.

They told us what this means for the way we gather information in the digital age.

The ArduCopter from DIY Drones can take pictures in the sky.
DIY Drones

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

When you hear about unmanned aircraft your first thought might be "drones."

There is plenty of debate about using unmanned aircraft for spying and lethal attacks, but there are other uses for unmanned aircraft, and that’s what we are going to take a look at right now.

The University of Michigan is teaming up with the Michigan Unmanned Aerial System Center Project in Alpena, Michigan. 

The Michigan Economic Development recently pledged a half million dollars to the research test site and fly zone for unmanned aircraft systems.

Michigan Radio's Lester Graham spoke with Professor Ella Atkins of the University of Michigan Aerospace Engineering about the new site.

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

As part of the theme semester Understanding Race, the University of Michigan has brought in a special exhibit to further examine what race means. "Race: Are We So Different" is currently on display at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. I met up with Dr. Yolanda Moses, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside  - to take a walk through the exhibit.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Tens of billions of dollars in federal spending cuts will take effect March first, unless Congress does something to stop the sequestration.

And Michigan’s major research universities may be among those feeling the sting.

a2datadive.org / A2DataDive

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

When it comes to data and knowing just what to do with it, it seems there are two camps in this world. 

Those who can plunge into mining, parsing, analyzing and figuring out how to really use data, and those who are fairly clueless when it comes to crunching data.
 
Luckily for some non-profit groups in the Ann Arbor/ Detroit area, those types aren’t just smart, they are nice, and willing to help.
 
Thanks to some hard-working grad students at the U-M School of Information. The A2 Data Dive is coming up this weekend on the Central Campus of the University of Michigan.
 
Co-founders, Claire Barco and  Nikki Roda tell us more about the A2 Data Dive.

Flickr user Amy the Nurse

It’s not uncommon for newborn babies to have an unclear gender. About one in 300 infants have a disorder of sex development (or DSD). That means babies have atypical sex chromosomes, atypical gonads, or atypical genitals.

For some parents, the experience can be overwhelming and in the past, shame and secrecy have been associated with the disorder.

wikimedia commons

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish humanitarian credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews during World War II.

To Me There’s No Other Choice,” the exhibition currently at the University of Michigan, celebrates Wallenberg’s achievements and spirit.

Ingrid Carlberg will be among the presenters at the exhibition. Carlberg is the author of “There is a room  waiting for you here.”

Today Carlberg spoke with Cyndy about Wallenberg’s history.

“It was some kind of a coincidence. He was a businessman; he was importing groceries from Hungary. When the Germans marched into Hungary in the spring of 1944, Raoul Wallenberg was alarmed by what was going on. But actually the initiative to go to Budapest and lead a rescue mission came from the American government,” said Carlberg.

Martha Pollack / Google +

Martha E. Pollack was selected to serve as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan. She was selected by University President Mary Sue Coleman.

Her two-year appointment will begin on May 6 should the UM Board of Regents approve the selection.

Pollack is filling a vacancy left when Phil Hanlon announced his departure last November to become the president of Dartmouth College.

The University of Michigan is researching an ultrasound scalpel that can detach a single cancer cell from surrounding tissue.

The team found a way to change laser light into sound energy with a beam smaller than a human hair.

The beam blasts and cuts with pressure, rather than heat.  

It may make nearly painless surgery possible since the beam is small enough to avoid nerve fibers.

Hyoung Won Baac worked on the project as a doctoral student.   He says it may allow a surgeon to be extremely delicate.

UM3DLab / YouTube.com

Some printers at the University of Michigan can make unusual prints.

Machines  in the University's 3D Lab can produce three-dimensional sculptures, car parts and even model human body parts. A student or faculty member can design a model, take it to the U-of-M's 3-D lab and leave hours later with their object in hand.

Here's how it works:

A student or faculty member designs a model on a computer. Technicians send the design to the refrigerator-sized machine, then a mechanical arm applies layers of material in cross-sections that slowly build up the model.

The machines layer plaster or heated plastic models as large as basketballs.

University of Michigan researching ultrasonic scalpel

Dec 20, 2012
Hyoung Won Baac / University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is researching an ultrasound scalpel that can detach a single cancer cell from surrounding tissue. 

The team, led by Professor Jay Guo, found a way to change laser light into sound energy.  The technology works with pressure, rather than heat. 

Hyoung Won Baac worked on this project as a doctoral student.  He says the beam will allow surgeons to be extremely delicate because of its size. 

"Our hair is a single hair which is around 100 micrometer.  So our focal spot, the sound beam focus spot is actually smaller than that."

user AndrewHorne / Wikimedia

A 'seat license' is a fee fans pay just to reserve the right to buy the tickets.

They call it a donation, even though every single one of us apparently decided to donate the exact same amount, or lose our tickets. But that allows us to call it a tax deduction.

It's hard to call that honest, or cheap.

In fairness, Michigan was the last of the top 20 programs to adopt a seat license program, in 2005.

It started gradually, and left endzone fans alone.

But this week, Michigan pushed the seat license for the best tickets up to $600, and even people in the endzone will have to cough up $150 per ticket, just for the right to buy them.

In the past decade, the total cost of my two tickets on the ten-yard line has more than tripled, to over $1,700, which makes you wonder just how we got here.

Stateside: Peeking at cell phones is contagious

Dec 12, 2012
texting with a cell phone
Alton / Creative Commons

Conversations for some have become a scramble between maintaining eye contact and checking one’s phone.

University of Michigan professor Daniel Kruger explained the relationship between cell phone usage and one’s attention span.

“It seems like a feedback loop and it happens quite frequently. We think it’s related to social attention- imagine you have attention as a limited resource and you’re dividing it between those people in your real space and those people in your virtual networks,” said Kruger.

Jordan Miller / Facebook

Update 12:03 p.m.

The anonymous Reddit user who posted the information was Jordan Miller's ex-husband, Dan. You can read the entire, sad story on the original Reddit post here.

Tuesday, December 12, 4:36 p.m.

The University of Michigan's social media director, Jordan Miller, resigned yesterday.

That news came three days after an anonymous user on the social media information site Reddit posted allegations that she had lied about her credentials while applying for the position.

From the Reddit post "UM Social Media Director Jordan Miller lies on resume about bachelors degree, keeps job":

I don't like seeing my tax and your tuition money going toward paying someone ~ $100k/yr in earnings obtained through fraud, so I'm posting a little FOIA dump you all may be interested in.

The University's choice to hire Miller as their first social media director made headlines early this year when she was selected from dozens of applicants.  AnnArbor.com reported that the position came with a $90,000 to $100,000 salary.

The anonymous Reddit user posted a link to documents they said they had received from the University in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

User Kafuffle / Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan will receive some unusual applicants next year.

Several dozen current and former National Football League players are expected to apply to the Ross Business School to learn how to open franchise businesses.

Dubbed the "NFL Franchising Boot Camp," the program will educate 30 of these athletes from across the country about the ins and outs of running a food, hotel or fitness chain.

During the four-day program this April, former professional football players will stay on the Ann Arbor campus and attend workshops with the school's faculty and business owners.

Chris Zollars

The University of Michigan’s got about 15 hundred unhappy lecturers to deal with.

Non-tenured faculty from the University of Michigan's three campuses want a bump in pay, to put them on par with their tenured colleagues.

Economists cast doubt about Right to Work benefits

Dec 6, 2012
dannybirchall / flickr

A number of other mid-west states have already passed Right to Work laws .   Some Economists say proponents may be misleading the public about the positive effects of Michigan’s Right to Work.

Manufacturing jobs are about 15 percent of the United States economy and that's the job segment Right to Work focuses on.  That’s according to Dr. Gordon Lafer, Economics Professor at the University of Oregon. 

Jazz great Dave Brubeck dies at age 91

Dec 5, 2012
Heinrich Klaffs / flickr

In 1954, jazz went to college.

That's thanks to music legend Dave Brubeck.

He was looking for a way to bring jazz to a wider audience, and decided on a North American tour of colleges and universities.

One of those schools was the University of Michigan.

The tour resulted in the album Jazz Goes to College, with five of its seven tracks recorded in Ann Arbor. Here's one of the tracks recorded on the campus of the University of Michgian, The Song is You:

Fake wedding prank disrupts U of M biology class

Dec 3, 2012
412nathan (screenshot) / youtube

It used to be that a good college prank just meant finding a way to get a horse into Dean Wormer's office.

These days, media-savvy college students are putting together elaborately organized, digitally recorded productions, ready-made for YouTube.

Animal House it is not, but a group of students from the University of Michigan deserves credit for the fake wedding they put on in the middle of a biology lecture.

Here is the video:

Dartmouth College

It was announced yesterday that University of Michigan provost Phil Hanlon will become the next president of Dartmouth College starting July 1, 2013.

Hanlon, 57, is a graduate of Dartmouth and will become the college's 18th president.

In a New York Times piece, Hanlon indicated that university funding, in its current form, is reaching a breaking point:

Dr. Hanlon, who will be the 10th Dartmouth graduate to become its president, said he expected to focus closely on the college’s cost structure and finances. “The historic funding model for higher ed is close to unsustainable,” he said. “We can’t continue superinflationary tuition increases.”

University of Michigan Provost Philip Hanlon will be the new president of Dartmouth College. Hanlon has served as provost since 2010.

"(Hanlon) has steered the University through some of its most fiscally challenging years, all the while advancing our academic excellence and impact," U of M President Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement.

Hanlon started with the university in the mathematics department in 1986. He's a graduate of Dartmouth.

Stateside: When body parts become commodities

Nov 28, 2012
Gray's Anatomy

For some, the idea of body parts functioning as units of exchange is unsettling.

But for Dr. Adam Lutzker, the concept is one worth investigating. Lutzker teaches at the University of Michigan- Flint, where he recently gave a lecture entitled “Human Body Parts as Commodities.”

Born from a teaching strategy used to spark his students’ attention, the lecture challenges what we view as viable commodities.

“A commodity is anything that is produced for profit and bought and sold. With a commodity, we tolerate the fact that not everyone will get them. This was the debate- should things be treated as commodities? Should they be treated as rights?” said Lutzker.

It's not every day that researchers learn something completely new about how the human body works.

To be sure, researchers already knew that human beings have a unique kind of sweat gland, not found in any other animal.

But they didn't know everything those sweat glands do.

Laure Rittié of the University of Michigan says it was assumed that our hair follicles create new skin cells to heal wounds - because that's how rodents and pigs do it.

user: jdurham / morguefile

Though expensive, the lifetime return of a college education continues to be unequivocal.

On today's show, University of Michigan Vice Provost Martha Pollack and Michigan State University College of Education Dean Don Heller address the long-term value of a college education.

They both say state funding cuts continue to propel tuition increases.

“Our state funding at University of Michigan on a per student basis has declined by 50%,” said Pollack.

In what is being called "the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever charged," federal prosecutors are filing a criminal case against Mathew Martoma, a former trader at a division of  SAC Capital.

Here's the press conference where the charges were described:

Martoma is charged with making around $276 million in avoided losses and combined profits on a deal based on insider information from a University of Michigan professor.

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