The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 3, 1999
May 3, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 33


In Brief

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Eleventh annual engineering convocation is set for May 4 On Tuesday, May 4, the engineering community gathers at 3 p.m. in the Mudd Hall auditorium to recognize the outstanding achievements of its students, faculty and staff. A special feature of convocation is the Harriet Shriver Rogers Lecture, given this year by Craig Smith, chief executive officer of Guilford Pharmaceuticals. His topic is "A Brief History of Not Enough Time."

This is the 11th convocation for the Whiting School of Engineering, and the event is free and open to the public. A reception in Mudd Hall lobby to honor the award recipients immediately follows.

Two on Arts and Sciences faculty receive Guggenheims

The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, which supports the work of noted artists and scholars in the humanities, sciences and social sciences, has selected two members of the Krieger School faculty to receive fellowships for academic year 1999-2000.

Joel Spruck, chair of the Department of Mathematics, will use his Guggenheim to continue his work on nonlinear problems in geometry. He will spend much of the time in Paris, where he will have the opportunity to collaborate with French colleagues and continue his work on the isoperimetric inequality and the local isometric embedding problem.

Mack Walker, recently retired from the Department of History, is the second Krieger School scholar to be awarded a Guggenheim. Walker's research focuses on European social and political history and on early modern Germany. The study he will pursue with Guggenheim support is titled "The Halle Enlightenment, 1685-1725."

Maryland Science Center opens FUSE satellite exhibit

The chemical mysteries of astronomical science and cosmic origins give way to a child's touch in a new permanent display at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore of the soon-to-be-launched FUSE satellite, which was developed and will be operated by Johns Hopkins.

When the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer is launched from Cape Canaveral on May 27, visitors at the Outer Space Place at the science center will not only be able to follow its orbital path as it speeds around the globe, but they will be able to investigate the birth, life and death of stars and dip into far regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, just as the satellite will throughout its three-year mission.

As a showcase for today's golden age of astronomy, the science center offers hands-on interactive displays, video/audio clips, galactic models, live viewings of rocket launches and experiments that make ordinarily hard-to-understand concepts--galaxy formation, chemical evolution, the Big Bang--simple to grasp.

Visitors can access a "live link" to the satellite control center on the Homewood campus and see, at any moment, what star or galaxy is being observed by the satellite.

Because FUSE observes a region of the spectrum that is invisible to the eye, the exhibit demonstrates how to make the unseen comprehensible. Astronomers at the university helped the science center staff create activities that show how scientists use a technique called spectroscopy to detect the chemical makeup of objects millions of light-years from the Earth, how to detect physical conditions of the universe billions of years ago and how to assess the speed of objects traveling across the far-away space.

In one part of the exhibit, visitors can actually build their own stars by mixing "scoops" of interstellar gases. By literally grasping the controls, even a child can begin to understand the scientific goals of a space mission that presently is at the vanguard of astronomical science.

Outer Space Place and the FUSE exhibit, fashioned by Johns Hopkins scientist Luciana Bianchi and other FUSE colleagues, opened April 15, with presentations by NASA astronauts Thomas D. Jones and Frederick Gregory and remarks by Theodore Poehler, vice provost for research, and Richard C. Henry, director of the Maryland Space Grant Consortium and a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. --Gary Dorsey

Information on diversity initiatives needed for database

Ronald Walters, chair of the Johns Hopkins University Diversity Leadership Council, is collecting and will be disseminating information about the university's diversity programs and initiatives, which were first inventoried in 1995.

The Office of the Provost is asking all divisions and departments to identify and collect information about all diversity initiatives that currently exist within their areas. The information will go into an electronic database.

To receive the necessary forms, or for more information, contact Veronica Black, manager of the database, at 410-516-6087.

Libowitz to head Office of Consumer Health Information

Steve Libowitz, the university's director of the Office of News and Information, has been named director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Consumer Health Information. He succeeds Ron Sauder, who will leave the university after three years as founding OCHI director to become editor and publisher of a newsletter on multimedia health care applications and of a companion health care directory.

Libowitz began his association with Hopkins in 1988, serving as associate director of public affairs at what is now the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He came to Homewood in 1990 as a senior media relations representative, was named editor of The Gazette in 1994 and director of News and Information in 1997. He will begin his new university affiliation on June 1.

Sauder came to Johns Hopkins in 1986 as editor of The Gazette. He later served as director of the Office of News and Information, special assistant to President William C. Richardson and associate director of media relations in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Public Affairs. He has served as director of OCHI since 1996.