The Johns Hopkins Gazette: July 3, 2000
July 3, 2000
VOL. 29, NO. 40


In Brief

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Conference to focus on summer school and year-round learning

The university will host a conference on Monday, July 17, and Tuesday, July 18, that will bring together some of the nation's top experts on the subject of summer learning loss, summer school and year-round learning.

Research on summer programs for at-risk students has become increasingly critical as school districts struggle to deal with low student achievement, the implementation of new, higher standards and the national debate on social promotion.

Conference speakers include Karl L. Alexander, the John Dewey Professor of Sociology at Hopkins, whose Beginning School Study is one of the longest running education studies in the country; Harris Cooper, professor and chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Missouri, who will discuss his research on alternative calendars, the effectiveness of summer school and the effects of summer vacation on achievement; and Geoffrey D. Borman, associate research scientist at Hopkins' Center for Social Organization of Schools, who is currently conducting a three-year longitudinal study that tracks the impact of an academically intensive summer program for low-income Baltimore City elementary students. The study involves about 450 elementary school children from high-poverty areas of the city at five different sites.

For details or to register, visit the conference Web site at

Identification cards available for university retirees

A Johns Hopkins University retiree identification card has been created to make it easier for retirees to take advantage of benefits requiring proof of Hopkins affiliation. The new identification card also will assist Hopkins staff members in handling retiree benefits.

Retirees may present this wallet-sized, laminated card when applying for tuition remission benefits and any other discount offered to them. They also may use the card for admission and complimentary tickets at the Newton H. White Jr. Athletic Center and to obtain library cards and identified privileges at the MSE Library and the Welch Medical Library.

Cards are being mailed to all qualified retirees who have departed since July 1, 1999, and will continue to be mailed to new retirees. Any qualified retiree from before July 1, 1999, who wishes to receive a card may contact the Office of Faculty, Staff and Retiree Programs at 410-516-0373.

JHMI film series looks at the comical side of health care

The JHMI Office of Cultural Affairs' 2000 Summer Film Series, titled "Laughter Is the Best Medicine," will explore the comical side of health care. The movies will be shown on consecutive Wednesday evenings from July 5 through Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Preclinical Teaching Building Mountcastle Auditorium, 725 N. Wolfe St., JHMI campus.

The film schedule includes A Day at the Races, July 5; Green for Danger, July 12; M*A*S*H, July 19; Young Frankenstein, July 26; Britannia Hospital, Aug. 2; and Hannah and Her Sisters," Aug. 9.

The series is free and open to the public. For additional information contact 410-955-3363.

Food toxin sensor selected as APL Invention of the Year The Applied Physics Laboratory's Office of Technology Transfer presented its Invention of the Year award to the team that developed a sensor to detect toxins in food. The first annual ceremony was held on June 27 at APL's Kossiakoff Center to honor 126 researchers and name the lab's top inventions for 1999.

The winning invention--a molecularly imprinted polymer sensor for food safety applications--is a simple, cost-effective sensor to alert consumers to the presence of toxins, which emanate from spoiled food. The sensor, which changes color in the presence of certain food chemicals, remains effective throughout a long storage life. Developers Craig Kelly, George Murray and Mannuel Uy were each awarded a plaque and a share of the $2,500 cash prize.

Three inventions were named in the finalists' category: a device that uses microwave and acoustic means to detect drowsiness in drivers, developed by Matthew Bevan, Henry Kues and Carl Nelson; a hybrid software/hardware technique for high-speed backplane messaging, developed by Paul Bade, Steven Kahn and David Verven; and a rapid chest tube inserter, developed by Ron Rosen, fellow and assistant resident at the School of Medicine, and by APL's John Murphy and Christopher Graham. Each member of the finalists' teams received a plaque and a share of the $1,000 cash prize awarded to each invention.

APL analysts take part in staged terrorist chemical attack

Applied Physics Laboratory analysts assessed the performance of communications equipment and systems during a federal government staged surprise terrorist chemical attack held in Portsmouth, N.H., in May.

The event, devised by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was part of a national exercise that included a simultaneous biological attack in Denver and a radiological attack in Washington, D.C.

In its report, APL will recommend technologies and capabilities needed to overcome any noted communications deficiencies.