Posts tagged with Ku

KU faculty star in ‘idea’ sessions at next week’s Free State Festival

It’s as if an entire section of the Free State Festival was made for the academic types of Kansas University: ideas. KU faculty are populating a great many of next week’s three dozen or so “idea” sessions planned in conjunction with the Free State Festival — these people are experts on everything from flying drones to saving newspapers, from the reptiles of Madagascar to human geography as it relates to legalizing pot.

The Free State Festival idea sessions kick off Monday and are planned through June 28. Sessions include talks, panels and community forums. In addition to KU professors, featured speakers include faculty from other schools, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, some of Lawrence’s best chefs and even a couple world-famous people (George Clinton, for one).

Below are the first five sessions featuring KU experts. For a full schedule of ideas and other Free State Festival events, go online to freestatefestival.org.

Nerd Nite Lawrence is partnering with the Free State Festival to celebrate music, film and art.

Nerd Nite Lawrence is partnering with the Free State Festival to celebrate music, film and art.

Health Information Technology and Privacy

6-7:15 p.m. Monday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.

Featuring Norbert Belz, clinical assistant professor and director of the KU Medical Center’s Department of Health Information Management; and Lauren Pulino, clinical assistant professor of the Department of Health Information Management.

KU Research: Speed Dating Edition (in partnership with Nerd Nite Lawrence)

6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday at Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St.

Featuring multiple KU experts in the areas of bumper stickers, Madagascar herpetology, Neanderthal jewelry and more.

High Profits: The Commercialization of Cannabis

7:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at John Brown’s Underground, 7 E. Seventh St.

Featuring Barney Warf, KU professor of geography and “a human geographer with wide-ranging interests.”

Kansas Startup Culture

7:30-8:45 p.m. Tuesday at Lawrence Arts Center

Featuring G.R. Underwood, president and COO of KU’s Bioscience and Technology Business Center; and Wallace Meyer, lecturer and director of entrepreneurship programs at the KU School of Business.

Technology in Higher Education

4:30-5:45 p.m. Wednesday at Lawrence Arts Center

Featuring James Basham, associate professor in the KU Department of Special Education.

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KU Office of Multicultural Affairs offering counseling, gathering today in response to Charleston church shootings

Kansas University's Office of Multicultural Affairs issued the following statement this morning in response to Wednesday's deadly shootings of nine black men and women at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.

It is with heavy hearts that we issue this statement regarding the violence at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina last night. This act resulted in the loss of 9 lives and unspeakable hurt across the nation. We know that many of you may be in pain and we invite you to visit our office today, at any point, to speak with any of our staff members. Additionally, we will hold a community gathering at 12:15 in the SMRC lobby. This informal, unstructured time will be a space for reflection, conversation and meditation. A representative from Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) will be available during that time for anyone that would like to speak with a counselor.

As we move through the coming hours, days, weeks and months, please know the OMA is an affirming space for you to share your feelings and have critical conversation. The cumulative impact of this year weighs heavy, and we hope that we can provide a space for you to rest your burden, if only for a little while.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs is located inside the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center, 1299 Oread Ave., next to the Kansas Union.

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NASA grant will help get KU student’s drone radar system from lab to market

A few months ago when I was interviewing Kansas University student Lei Shi for a story about his research on radar technology for small drones, I couldn't help but ask things like, "Do YOU really see drones flying all over the place, delivering pizzas and whatnot, in the foreseeable future?"

Shi, an electrical engineering doctoral candidate, was optimistic but for a few significant problems, one of which he's working to solve. He is developing tiny on-board radar systems to help keep small commercial drones from crashing into things — one of the biggest safety concerns keeping such unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, mostly grounded by FAA regulations.

His invention just got a big boost toward getting out of the lab and onto the market, KU announced Tuesday. Shi and UAVradars LLC, the startup company he created to develop the technology, received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from NASA. According to NASA, such grants fund research, development and demonstration of “innovative technologies” that fulfill NASA needs and have potential for successful commercialization.

“In the near future, unmanned aircraft systems will be a multibillion dollar industry within the U.S., with uses in agriculture, film and photography, package delivery, search and rescue, and much more,” Shi said in KU’s announcement. “However, avoiding airborne collisions is a safety hurdle that must first be overcome.”

Six KU companies have gotten help submitting SBIR grant proposals through a new initiative at the university, and Shi’s company is the first of the group to secure one, according to KU. The SBIR Assistance Program, funded by a grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce, is a collaboration between KU Innovation and Collaboration and KU Bioscience and Technology Business Center.

Lei Shi, an electrical engineering doctoral student at KU, is designing on-board collision-avoidance radar for small drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Lei Shi, an electrical engineering doctoral student at KU, is designing on-board collision-avoidance radar for small drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). by Mike Yoder

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KU law professor running for KCMO city council

With the Kansas City, Mo., City Council election closing in, a Kansas University law professor appears likely to win a seat. Quinton Lucas, KU associate professor of law, is running to be the third district at-large representative on the council.

Lucas is a fourth-generation Kansas Citian who grew up poor in the city’s urban core, according to his campaign website. He earned academic scholarships to Kansas City’s prestigious Barstow School, then to college at Washington University and law school at Cornell University. After graduating from Cornell, he worked as a law clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Duane Benton and practiced commercial litigation with the firm Rouse Hendricks German May in Kansas City. He joined KU’s law faculty in 2012, initially as a visiting assistant professor, the school’s first in more than 30 years.

Lucas handily won the April primary with 48 percent of the vote, followed by Stephan Gordon with 14 percent, according to The Kansas City Star. He appeared on the June 4 cover of The Pitch, which called him “the most promising East Side candidate for City Council in two decades.”

KU policy says employees are free to pursue public office as long as it does not infringe on their job duties. But Kansas City Council is a time-consuming gig. I played message tag with Lucas this week hoping to ask about that, although according to the Pitch, if Lucas — who lives in an apartment in Kansas City’s Jazz District — wins he would have to surrender his tenure track at KU and reduce his hours.

Either way, the race will be decided soon. Election Day in Kansas City is June 23.

Quinton Lucas

Quinton Lucas

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Trekkie behind China’s $97 million USS Enterprise building is a KU grad

There is now a massive building in China shaped like the USS Enterprise from “Star Trek.” And it turns out, the Trekkie behind the phenomenon is a Kansas University graduate, The Wall Street Journal recently reported on its China Real Time blog.

Hong-Kong listed Chinese online game developer NetDragon Websoft built the 260-meter long, 100-meter wide, six-floor building/spaceship in the city of Changle in China’s southeast Fujian province, according to the WSJ. With a total investment of 600 million yuan (or $97 million), construction started in October 2010 and finished in May 2014.

The chairman and executive director of NetDragon Websoft Inc. is Liu Dejan, who got his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from KU in 1995, according to his profile on the company’s website. Liu also is director of the Chinese search engine Baidu.

Liu, 43, is a “huge” Star Trek fan, the WSJ reports. And — for other huge fans concerned with specifically which iteration of the ship we’re dealing with here — the WSJ said the building was inspired by the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E, which appeared in three “Star Trek” movies in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Google Maps provides an aerial view of the building, and there's also this aerial video on YouTube.

A screenshot of China's USS Enterprise building as seen on Google Maps.

A screenshot of China's USS Enterprise building as seen on Google Maps. by Sara Shepherd

Reply 3 comments from John Kyle Bob Reinsch Cshjhawk

Seven KU buildings still have ‘naming opportunities’

So you don't have a building at Kansas University named after you yet? (Welcome to the club.) Don't give up hope. At least seven still have “naming opportunities,” according to KU spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, who I asked about this after reporting that KU is naming the Art and Design Building for former chancellor E. Laurence “Larry” Chalmers. They are:

• M2SEC (Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center)

• LEEP2 (Learned Engineering Expansion Phase 2)

• BEST (Business Engineering Science and Technology) Building at Edwards Campus

• Library Annex

• Multidisciplinary Research Building

• Structural Testing and Student Projects Facility

• School of Pharmacy building

The new School of Pharmacy building, pictured on the north side of the Monarch Watch station on West Campus, offers many amenities to students and the public. A cafe and a soda fountain serve up food and drink, and a storm shelter is open to the public during severe weather. Visitors are also welcome to view the small museum in the building.

The new School of Pharmacy building, pictured on the north side of the Monarch Watch station on West Campus, offers many amenities to students and the public. A cafe and a soda fountain serve up food and drink, and a storm shelter is open to the public during severe weather. Visitors are also welcome to view the small museum in the building. by Mike Yoder

Kansas University faculty and staff gather outside the new Library Annex on west campus. The structure at 1880 Westbrook Drive can house up to 1.6 million volumes and was built to relieve overcrowding in the libraries.

Kansas University faculty and staff gather outside the new Library Annex on west campus. The structure at 1880 Westbrook Drive can house up to 1.6 million volumes and was built to relieve overcrowding in the libraries. by Thad Allender

Especially now that all former KU chancellors have buildings named for them, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little seems a strong contender to get her name on one. However, KU’s facility naming policy says buildings will not be named for sitting chancellors, so she’s off the table for now.

The policy says buildings generally are named for “distinguished individuals who have made extraordinary contributions of a scholarly, professional, or public service nature related to the university’s mission.” It goes on to say that, “in some cases, buildings may be named for major donors to the construction of the building.”

The latter has been true in most cases for buildings under construction right now, including Capitol Federal Hall (KU’s new School of Business building on Naismith Drive, which got $20 million from the Capitol Federal Foundation) and the DeBruce Center (home for the original rules of basketball adjacent to Allen Fieldhouse, named for KU grads and chief donors Paul and Katherine DeBruce). While their namesakes are deceased and donations weren't necessarily toward the dorms' construction, the two new residence halls being built on Daisy Hill also are being named for major donors. They will be called Madison A. and Lila M. Self Hall (the single most generous donors in KU history, with a lifetime donation of $106 million) and Charles W. Oswald Hall (one of the university’s top five donors, with $22 million in lifetime giving).

What would you name the remaining nameless buildings? Comments are open, and so is Twitter — tag us @LJW_KU #kunamingrights.

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New KU School of Business building ‘tops out’

Capitol Federal Hall reached a construction milestone earlier this month: its full height.

The new home of the Kansas University School of Business, under construction on Naismith Drive across from Allen Fieldhouse, marked the occasion as the final beam was lifted into place.

The School of Business shared these shots with us, taken May 13, 2015. As part of the topping-out tradition, an American flag and a tree were placed on the beam, signifying that the structure has reached its maximum height and symbolizing a reverence for the natural elements displaced in construction.

Construction of the new four-story, 166,500-square-foot building began in spring 2014, and its doors are set to open for classes in fall 2016. You can see renderings and watch the construction via live webcam at newbuilding.business.ku.edu.

The final beam of Capitol Federal Hall, the new Kansas University School of Business building under construction on Naismith Drive, is lifted into place on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. As part of a topping-out tradition, an American flag and a tree are placed on the beam, which signifies that the structure has reached its maximum height and symbolizes a reverence for the natural elements displaced in construction. Construction of the new four-story, 166,500-square-foot building began in spring 2014, and its doors are set to open for classes in fall 2016.

The final beam of Capitol Federal Hall, the new Kansas University School of Business building under construction on Naismith Drive, is lifted into place on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. As part of a topping-out tradition, an American flag and a tree are placed on the beam, which signifies that the structure has reached its maximum height and symbolizes a reverence for the natural elements displaced in construction. Construction of the new four-story, 166,500-square-foot building began in spring 2014, and its doors are set to open for classes in fall 2016.

Construction workers look on as the final beam of Capitol Federal Hall, the new Kansas University School of Business building under construction on Naismith Drive, is placed on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. As part of a topping-out tradition, an American flag and a tree are placed on the beam, which signifies that the structure has reached its maximum height and symbolizes a reverence for the natural elements displaced in construction. Construction of the new four-story, 166,500-square-foot building began in spring 2014, and its doors are set to open for classes in fall 2016.

Construction workers look on as the final beam of Capitol Federal Hall, the new Kansas University School of Business building under construction on Naismith Drive, is placed on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. As part of a topping-out tradition, an American flag and a tree are placed on the beam, which signifies that the structure has reached its maximum height and symbolizes a reverence for the natural elements displaced in construction. Construction of the new four-story, 166,500-square-foot building began in spring 2014, and its doors are set to open for classes in fall 2016.

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KU debaters fall short of Final Four at National Debate Tournament

Hours after the Duke men’s basketball team beat Wisconsin to win last night’s NCAA National Championship, the National Debate Tournament championship was still, well, under debate.

Jayhawks weren't there, either, though. Just before midnight — when I got an update from KU debate director Scott Harris — debaters from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan were still facing off for the title (Northwestern ultimately prevailed).

KU did send three teams to this year’s National Debate Tournament, however. According to Harris, here’s how they fared:

Jyleesa Hampton and Quaram Robinson made it the farthest. The pair went 5-3 in preliminary rounds to advance to the single elimination rounds. Facing George Mason University, a team that they had defeated in the preliminary rounds, Hampton and Robinson lost a 3-2 split decision in the first elimination round.

"Jyleesa and Quaram had a great season and ended it with a solid performance at the NDT," Harris said, in an email. "It is always painful to lose your final debate on a split decision, but it happens when two talented teams debate each other."

KU’s Ciera Foreman and Hunter Goh went 4-4 (with three of their losses being 2-1 split decisions) in the preliminary rounds. The third KU duo, Nick Khatri and Chris Carey, went 3-5 (four of their losses were 2-1 split decisions).

Harris said this was an "amazing" season for the entire squad (see my last blog post on the KU team for more on that) and that he was excited about the future.

KU debaters Jyleesa Hampton, left, and Quaram Robinson, who finished second overall March 23, 2015, at the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament.

KU debaters Jyleesa Hampton, left, and Quaram Robinson, who finished second overall March 23, 2015, at the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament.

Reply 2 comments from Bill McGovern Jeff Plinsky

KU unveils new look for marching band uniforms

When you’re spending $300,000 to outfit 270 people with new uniforms, a one-and-done look probably isn’t the way to go. (Recall, for example, the Zubaz-esque shorts and monochromatic — aka "smurf" — jerseys the Kansas University men’s basketball team donned back in 2013.)

The KU Marching Jayhawks will get new uniforms this fall, and they’re going classic all the way. The new uniforms will be in KU colors — blue with red torsos and capes — and a traditional marching band look — tuxedo stripes on the pants, soldier-like details on top and plumes on the hats.

A sketch of the new uniforms the KU Marching Jayhawks plan to begin wearing in fall 2015, one of three styles provided by Fruhauf Uniforms Inc.

A sketch of the new uniforms the KU Marching Jayhawks plan to begin wearing in fall 2015, one of three styles provided by Fruhauf Uniforms Inc.

A sketch of the new uniforms the KU Marching Jayhawks plan to begin wearing in fall 2015, one of three styles provided by Fruhauf Uniforms Inc.

A sketch of the new uniforms the KU Marching Jayhawks plan to begin wearing in fall 2015, one of three styles provided by Fruhauf Uniforms Inc.

A sketch of the new uniforms the KU Marching Jayhawks plan to begin wearing in fall 2015, one of three styles provided by Fruhauf Uniforms Inc.

A sketch of the new uniforms the KU Marching Jayhawks plan to begin wearing in fall 2015, one of three styles provided by Fruhauf Uniforms Inc.

The Jayhawks have been wearing uniforms with all-black slacks, black hats and an outdated KU letter style on the back.

A drum major leads the Kansas Marching Band onto the field prior to kickoff against Rice on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

A drum major leads the Kansas Marching Band onto the field prior to kickoff against Rice on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

“We are all very excited about the new uniforms for the Marching Jayhawks and the return to a more traditional look for the band with an emphasis on KU colors and up-to-date school logos,” Paul Popiel, director of KU Bands, said in a news release. “This fall will be a great time to unveil the new uniforms with all of the excitement around KU football.”

KU Endowment announced Tuesday that its Tradition Marches on Campaign, launched in 2013, had raised enough money to order the new uniforms for this fall. The $300,000 campaign has raised $289,000. Alumni and friends donated $161,000, KU Athletics contributed $67,500, and KU's chancellor's and provost's offices each allocated $30,000 from unrestricted private funds managed by their offices, according to KU endowment.

The band has been wearing the current uniforms, with the black pants, since 2004. According to a Journal-World story at the time, at least one fund-drive spokeswoman pitched them as a "hip" and "trendy" look that would help attract more students to the band.

The switch to black from the colored uniforms the band had worn for decades drew criticism in 2004. However, the Journal-World reported, black was actually more traditional than some realized: Most of the band's uniforms prior to the 1960s were predominantly black.

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There’s always debate season, right?

The Kansas University men’s basketball team suffered a disappointing loss to Wichita State University last weekend, knocking the Jayhawks out of the running for an NCAA national championship this year. But there’s another KU team with a shot at a national title the weekend of April 4 — in fact, they’re ranked No. 1 in the country.

That’s right, KU’s elite debate team is still in the game.

The debaters just ended their regular season ranked No. 1 in the National Debate Tournament varsity debate rankings, the third time in the past 10 years they’ve landed the top slot, according to a KU announcement. Three KU teams qualified to compete at this year’s National Debate Tournament, set for April 3-6 at the University of Iowa. KU, which has qualified teams for 48 straight years, has won the tournament five times and had 14 teams advance to the Final Four. KU's last National Debate Tournament championship was in 2009, KU debate director Scott Harris said.

KU is coming off a strong showing at last weekend’s Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament, held (ironically, at least for basketball fans) at Wichita State.

Late Monday night the KU duo of Jyleesa Hampton and Quaram Robinson finished second place overall, after falling in a split decision to Towson State University in the championship debate, the team’s only loss of the tournament, according to tournament organizers.

Individually, Hampton received the Johnston Award as the National Debater of the Year. Also at the CEDA tournament, KU's Harris won the Brownlee Award as the National Debate Coach of the Year.

KU debaters Jyleesa Hampton, left, and Quaram Robinson, who finished second overall March 23, 2015, at the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament.

KU debaters Jyleesa Hampton, left, and Quaram Robinson, who finished second overall March 23, 2015, at the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament.

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