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ST@T SHEET: A monthly update on science/technology @ Temple University

Temple University

Instruction @ Temple:

Fifteen Temple University students are spending their winter break learning first hand about the organization, framework and biological diversity of coral reefs through a special month-long course, "The Biology of Coral Reefs," that includes a field trip to Belize. Taught by Drs. Richard Miller and Robert Sanders, both Temple professors of biology, the course provides a personalized experience of this natural biological and geological habitat. After a series of intensive lectures at Temple's Main Campus in Philadelphia, the students embarked on a seven-day field trip to the largest, unspoiled coral reef complex in the Western Hemisphere: the Great Barrier Reef of Belize, Jan. 3-9. The 15 undergraduate students--biology majors and education majors specializing in biology or science--are required to keep a field notebook about what they see and experience in Belize. Following the trip, the students have exams and work in teams to develop a 10-page paper on some aspect of reef ecology.

Research @ Temple:

Researchers from Temple University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama have found some of the earliest direct evidence of root crop cultivation in the Americas, it was reported in a recent edition of the journal Nature (Oct. 19). The researchers, part of a joint Temple-Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute project in Panama, found starch grains on stone tools excavated from a rockshelter discovered on a coastal plain of that Central American country. The grains were identified as coming from domesticated root crops such as arrowroot and manioc, as well as from maize, that date back nearly 7,000 years. Dr. Anthony Ranere, chair of Temple's anthropology department and a co-author of the study, directed the initial excavation of the rockshelter in 1973 and again in 1975 and returned to direct new excavations in 1997 with the assistance of fellow Temple faculty member Dr. Patricia Hansell, one of the study's co-authors. The study was also co-authored by Dolores Piperno, a Temple alumna, and Irene Holst, both of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.


  • Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, associate professor of management information systems (MIS) in Temple's Fox School of Business and Management, has been named recipient of a 2000 IBM Faculty Partnership Award for contributions to e-commerce. The award was created to recognize individuals and schools who "foster timely dissemination of innovative e-business research and strengthen the relationship between leading universities and IBM." Mandviwalla, founding chair of the Fox School's Department of MIS and director of IT and Special Programs at the Irwin L. Gross eBusiness Institute, was one of only nine faculty or schools nationwide to receive this highly competitive award.

  • Dr. John Helferty, chair of Temple's electrical and computer engineering department, has received a $10,000 grant from The Verizon Foundation to team up students from an urban and a suburban high school to design and build a robot for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competition. About 60 students from Philadelphia's Mastbaum and Montgomery County's Springfield high schools will be involved in the project. FIRST is the nation's largest high school robotics competition.


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