May 9, 2012

News Digest: Mathematical perspective on voting rules, Honor: Dick Morrill, timeline of education and research

News and Information

Mathematical perspective on voting rules Friday in MathAcrossCampus
“We vote, but do we elect who we really want?” is the topic 3 p.m., Friday, May 11, during this quarter’s MathAcrossCampus session that is open to the UW campus community. Don Saari, professor of mathematics and economics at University of California Irvine, says that in some elections it is debatable whether the “winner” is who the voters really wanted. The power of mathematics makes it possible to identify the persistent “villains” that can lead us astray – our choice of voting rules, Saari says.

MathAcrossCampus showcases applications of mathematics, with a special emphasis on the growing role of discrete methods in math applications.

Geography “legend” announces last doctoral committee defense
A bittersweet moment transpired in the geography department May 1. At the end of a dissertation exam, Emeritus Professor Dick Morrill announced that it would be his very last doctoral committee.

He has overseen 28 dissertations since 1966. His last dissertation defense, which occurred May 1 for geography graduate student Elise Bowditch, took place in Room 409 – the same room where Morrill defended his own dissertation in 1959.

In a tribute that describes his contributions and lists the dissertations he’s supervised, Morrill’s colleagues in the UW geography department thank him for “inspiring so many aspiring geographers” and call him a “legend” and “one of a kind.”

Education and research timeline stretches back 150 years
In honor of the UW’s 150th anniversary, the Office of Research has created a timeline of education and research at the UW. Take a tour of UW’s beginnings from a small university of 30 students in the territory of Washington to the university it is today.

The timeline is a research-focused look at UW history with facts and photos about such things as the first open-heart surgery in the Pacific Northwest to the development of the first ultrasound instrument sold in the U.S.