The Johns Hopkins Gazette: March 20, 2000

March 20, 2000
VOL. 29, NO. 28

University and SLAC reach agreement
NEAR team reports exciting first month of asteroid exploration
TB therapy requires experts, Hopkins investigation finds
Researchers develop noninvasive screening test for cancer
Prostate cancer test works as well for black men, study shows
CTY is a first recipient of grant from Goldman Sachs Foundation
Scientists clarify much-sought enzyme, pave road to cancer therapy
Study shows brain switch in men with schizophrenia
George Mitchell speaks at Symposium on Foreign Affairs
In Brief
For the Record: Cheers
For the Record: Milestones
For the Record: Maryland's top 100 women
Employment Opportunities
Classified Ads
Weekly Notices
Weekly Calendar
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Math's No. 1 Faculty Member
When James Joseph Sylvester came to The Johns Hopkins University in 1876, he was the most senior of the original faculty, in terms of age and prior accomplishments. The university's first professor of mathematics, the 61-year-old Sylvester had already had a full career in both academia and private business. Alternately brilliant and erratic, warm and irascible, benevolent and egocentric, Sylvester helped propel the infant university to the forefront of scholarly attention soon after his arrival in Baltimore.
   Born in 1814 to the family of a Jewish merchant in London, Sylvester showed mathematical talent at an early age. Barred from most universities because of his religion, he entered the University of London at the age of 14. After a number of false starts, Sylvester passed his examinations at St. John's College, Cambridge. Because he could not subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, however, Sylvester was denied his degree and any hope of competing for prizes and fellowships. He later succeeded in earning his bachelor's and master's degrees from Trinity College, Dublin. Seeing opportunities in the United States, he took up residence at the University of Virginia, where he assumed the chair of mathematics in 1841. Full story...

BPIC looks at grant accounts
Weekend warriors and home improvement aficionados know the key to a successful paint job is the prep work. Be dogged in laying down the proper foundation, the feeling goes, and then reap the rewards of an eye-catching final product.
   The financial business practices task force of the university's Business Process Improvement Committee is also a firm believer in prep work. When this 20-member group convened last fall to assess their area of concern, they noticed some inherent problems associated with the financial processes of research administration.
   Difficulties included inconsistencies and inaccuracies in grant account information, the need for duplicate data entry, a lag time in account setup and a frustration on the part of principal investigators when accessing account information in order to effectively manage their projects. The committee also deemed that when the time came for investigators to spend their final grant money and administrative staff to close out the accounts--in effect, applying the final coats of paint--unnecessary extra steps were needed, and the process wasn't as smooth and efficient as it could be. Full story...

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