Ithaca: oasis of safety

October 5, 2012

Farmers Insurance has ranked the City of Ithaca as the Most Secure Place to Live in the United States for municipalities under 150,000 in population. The company annually ranks about 400 U.S. communities based on safety and security. The rankings consider crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, terrorist threats, environmental hazards, life expectancy, mortality rates from cancer and motor vehicle accidents, and job loss numbers.

”We’ve been in the running for this award for a number of years, so to finally land the top spot is a very exciting accomplishment,” says Mayor Svante Myrick ’09. “Our enforcement officers and emergency responders work tirelessly day in and day out to keep our community safe and secure. This award is a real credit to their level of dedication.”

Stout means business

September 26, 2012

Following remarks by President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting Sept. 23-25 in Washington, D.C., Lynn Stout, Distinguished Professor of Corporate and Business Law, spoke at the plenary session on Working Capital: Creating Value for Business and Society. Stout’s comments begin at 42:50.

Hire a hacker

September 13, 2012

The Hacker Tour 2012 – an eight-week national bus tour designed to connect fast-growing startups and tech companies to top computer science and engineering students across the country – rolled into Ithaca last night to visit Cornell’s Pop Shop.

Says Jesse McElwain, Pop Shop general manager: “We started Pop Shop to encourage entrepreneurially minded students to meet each other face to face and start talking about how to commercialize their ideas. It kind of catalyzed the entrepreneurial spirit and forged new relationships, in a way we never expected. We host events, meet-ups, networking socials and anything else.

“The second I heard that Hacker Tour’s first stop was at Cornell, I knew that Pop Shop should host an event – we represent a collection of the most talented entrepreneurs on campus. At Cornell, there’s plenty of students interested in startups, and plenty with startups of their own. With the Tech Campus, all eyes are turned on entrepreneurship, and it’s certainly the time for it!”

Pinned at the Olympics

September 4, 2012

Sam Daly, a junior in mechanical engineering, spent last summer collecting more than 60 nations’ pins at the Olympic Games while interning at a venture capital firm in London. His job, which he got through a Cornell alumnus, enabled him to work flexible hours so he could attend Olympic events.

Trading pins is a common practice at the Olympics, with most athletes and visitors participating, from countries as varied as Ethiopia, Belgium and Australia. Last fall, when Daly decided that he was going to spend the summer in London, he requested pins from Cornell. The school provided him with 300 pins, all of which he gave out or traded at the Games.

Daly’s favorite pin was given to him by the Swedish national field hockey coach. The best part of the Games, he says, was not the sporting events but the sense of international camaraderie.

- Sarah Byrne ’15

Outdoorsy Cornell

August 20, 2012

Outside magazine ranks Cornell No. 5 on its list of “Outside Universities”: “Ithaca itself can be pretty great: It’s a central New York town 26 miles from Finger Lakes National Forest, near glacier-carved gorges made the more beautiful by cascading waterfalls. Cornell’s outdoor-ed program offers an impressive array of activities to take advantage of these natural surroundings – and while the full spectrum of options is far too long to list here, a sampling might include backpacking, caving, cycling, climbing, skiing or paddling. Many of these classes can be taken for credit, and for free.”

Radio to go

July 3, 2012

Listen to WVBR-FM and anywhere, anytime, with a new smartphone app, with two live streams and campus news, music, specialty and local programming 24/7. Features of the app include running playlists, a music blog, and an alarm clock function allowing listeners to wake up to WVBR or Cornell radio anywhere in the world.

- Daniel Aloi


Agua for Atima

June 27, 2012

On June 23, in the northern Honduran town of Atima, a small crowd gathered to inaugurate AguaClara water treatment plant No. 8. AguaClara is a student engineering team that designs sustainable water treatment systems in resource-poor communities in Honduras. Read about the celebration and AguaClara faculty leader Monroe Weber-Shirk’s reflections on transitioning AguaClara from technology development to a shared focus on global deployment.

Gayatri Spivak wins Kyoto Prize

June 25, 2012

Columbia University professor and literary critic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, MA ’63, Ph.D. ’67, has won the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy.

The prize, announced June 22, is Japan’s highest private award for global achievement and comes with a cash award of 50 million yen (about $630,000).

Chakravorty Spivak was recognized as “a critical theorist and educator speaking for the humanities against intellectual colonialism in relation to the globalized world.”

The prize is presented annually in three categories (the others are advanced technology and basic sciences), fields not traditionally covered by the Nobel Prize. It recognizes outstanding work in these fields and contributions to humanity. The award will be presented Nov. 10 in Kyoto.

Picking up the pieces

June 21, 2012

Think your shredded documents are safe? Maybe they’re not.

Visiting research scientist Andrew Gallagher of Cornell’s Advanced Multimedia Processing Lab wrote an algorithm that can sift through 10,000 pieces of a jigsaw in 24 hours to complete the puzzle while he worked at Eastman Kodak. He came in 17th in DARPA’s (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) shredded-document challenge last year.

Salamis salutes Strauss

June 18, 2012

The mayor of Salamis, Greece, has invited Cornell military historian Barry Strauss to receive the city’s highest award Sept. 29 in gratitude for his 2004 book “The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece – And Western Civilization.”

The Battle of Salamis, according to the book’s publisher, “was the most important naval encounter of the ancient world. In the narrow strait between the island of Salamis and the Greek mainland, a heavily outnumbered Greek navy defeated the Persian armada … The Greek triumph at Salamis stopped the advancing Persians and saved the first democracy in history. It made Athens the dominant city in Greece, gave birth to the Athenian empire, and set the stage for the Age of Pericles.”

The trireme Olympias – a historical reproduction of the original Hellenistic-era warship that sailed to meet the Persian fleet
– will be at anchor in the city’s harbor, and Strauss will be honored on the day Salamis commemorates the battle.