UW Today

February 9, 2012

News digest: MathAcrossCampus Friday, Honor: Charles Peck and Chrysan Gallucci, English language courses

News and Information

Biochemistry prof showcases applications of math Friday in MathAcrossCampus
Tomorrow the MathAcrossCampus lecture series presents David Baker, a UW biochemistry professor, in an interdisciplinary public talk titled “Computing Proteins.” Baker will describe research looking at why proteins, which could take on a vast number of possible configurations, fold to single unique structures that allow them to carry out their functions. He will describe his efforts to predict these structures in the lab, through the distributed computing project Rosetta@Home, and with the online game Foldit, as well as research on designing new proteins to address 21st-century challenges.

The lecture will be Friday, Feb. 10, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Kane Hall 210. MathAcrossCampus showcases applications of mathematics, with a special emphasis on the growing role of discrete methods in math applications.

Charles Peck

Charles Peck

Charles Pecks teacher-education article honored
Change is hard, in teacher education programs as in all things. If new regulations and state mandates are viewed as undercutting a programs local control, this can weaken the very staff motivation needed to implement changes.

This dampening effect may be lessened if the focus of reforms is shifted from top-down compliance to collective inquiry, local knowledge is valued and changes are seen as opportunities to clarify and improve the program.

Thats according to finding of a December 2010 research paper by Charles Peck, a UW professor of education, and colleagues that has been named outstanding “Journal of Teacher Education” article by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Pecks co-authors are Chrysan Gallucci, UW professor of education, and Tine Sloan of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The researchers studied a teacher education program in the University of California system for 18 months as program leaders considered implementation of new legislation creating a two-tier credential system and new state standards for teacher preparation.

Reviewers said Peck and co-authors “constructed a rich, descriptive account of the events and the impacts of the policy implementations as they unfolded in a local context,” adding that “the authors stance of inquiry, rather than compliance, provided the field with a portrait of how systematic, programmatic research can greatly benefit the educator preparation profession.”

The award will be presented at the associations annual conference, Feb. 17-19, in Chicago.

Online, on-site English language courses for UW employees
The UW International & English Language Programs offers quarterly online and on-site courses for those who are primarily non-native speakers of English.

Online courses are available for those who want to improve their grammar and vocabulary in academic, business or technical writing.  All of the courses have weekly interactive exercises and short assignments. Instructors respond to assignments within two business days.

Evening on-site courses focus on improving conversational skills and preparation for the English tests through organizations such as Test of English as a Foreign Language or International English Language Testing System. There are also daytime courses in reading, writing, grammar, speaking, listening, and vocabulary and idioms.

UW International & English Language Programs can customize courses for non-native speakers in the workplace. For example, courses can be designed for such areas as pronunciation and fluency, assisting clients by telephone, presentation skills and the language of meetings, e-mail communication and job-specific communications.

For more information, call 543-6242 or e-mail uwelp@u.washington.edu.