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OSU Today is a daily e-mail news briefing provided by OSU News and Communication Services. To subscribe or unsubscribe to the mailing list, visit here.

Questions, comments and ideas for news briefs may be sent to OSU Today editor Larry Luta at osutoday or Larry Luta.


Today in the News Media

Lightfleet Lets Computer Data Hitch a Ride on a Laser Beam
(The Wall Street Journal)

A start-up company has developed an unusual way to use lasers to speed the flow of data inside a computer, hoping to break a bottleneck that can hamper machines using many microprocessors. The company, Lightfleet Inc., plans to sell servers it predicts will be much more efficient than existing systems in tackling tough computing problems. Some scientists are eager to try it, including those at Oregon State University's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. Big computers there combine data from an array of sensors to model complex phenomena, such as the way climate changes affect ocean currents and micro-organisms. Those complex calculations are limited by how quickly processors can communicate, said Charles Sears, manager of research computing for the college. After being briefed on Lightfleet's technology, "we said this looks pretty exciting," added Mark Abbott, dean of the college.

Thailand's bundle of hope
(Chicago Tribune)

In a culture that holds elephants in high esteem, the effort to reverse their decline isn't just conservation, it's saving a national treasure. Of all the Earth's threatened creatures, elephants are attracting particular interest not only because they are the largest land animals but also because they are fighting back. Under stress, these animals are striking back--a response that researchers at Oregon State University liken to post-traumatic stress disorder in human beings. Those same pressures also curb the growth of new generations because animals scattered across patches of forest are unable to select agreeable mates.

Environment, economics linked
(Mid-Valley In Business)

These days, it seems, just about every company wants to be seen as sustainable. There's a good deal less agreement about just what constitutes a sustainable business, but many have adopted the same approach as Western Pulp Products, which likes to think in terms of a "triple bottom line" - what's good for the business, for society and for the environment. That's the loose definition espoused by Oregon State University's College of Business, which has made sustainability a fundamental element in all of its courses, just as it's done with ethics. Dean Ilene Kleinsorge said the college began discussing the topic about five years ago and at first considered teaching it as a separate course.

Making Holistic Admissions Work
(Inside Higher Education)

In holistic admissions, colleges evaluating applicants replace grids of grades and test scores with more individualized reviews of would-be students. The practice is most commonly associated with liberal arts colleges or with public universities at which affirmative action has been banned. Oregon State University is in neither category, but over the last six years it has moved to holistic admissions -- with success that is attracting other colleges' attention. The university has managed to use holistic admissions to increase diversity and retention, and to do so without adding lots of admissions staffers.

Today on Campus

"Los Ultimos Zapatistas, Heroes Olvidados" (The Last Zapatistas, Forgotten Heroes) will be shown at 7 p.m. today in the MU Lounge. Traditional Mexican snacks and beverages will be available.

The OSU calendar.

Upcoming Events

"Holi: The Festival of Colors" will be celebrated from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 3, in McAlexander Fieldhouse. Participants put dry powder colors on each other's face and dance and sing. Indian snacks and beverages and dry powder colors will be provided by the Indian Student Association.

"Gryphon's College and Ball," from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 3, in the MU Ballroom, will allow visitors to live a day in the Renaissance. The event will feature classes on cooking, armoring, sewing and other activities, as well as a medieval feast.

University Housing and Dining Services is hosting Trading Rooms: Oregon State Edition on Saturday, March 3. Two rooms, two sets of residents, two designers, 12 hours, and a $250 budget to transform these rooms into "a home away from home." The chosen rooms are in Finley and Poling halls. Work will begin at 8 a.m. and the showing of the rooms will be at 8 p.m.

More upcoming events.

News for Employees

The Academic Success Center brings an interactive teleconference called "Leading the Way: Encouraging Student Success through Peer Education" to campus on Thursday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to noon, in 107 Richardson Hall. To view or download a brochure, visit Participants should download a resource packet to take to the teleconference,

Registration is currently under way for spring term programs of the OSU Saturday Academy, offering middle and high school students enrichment courses in areas from marine biology and secret math codes to paper arts and creative writing with Corvallis authors. Classes start March 10. For more information about the courses offered or to register, check the Web at

The OSU Commencement Committee has decided not to issue entrance tickets to this year's ceremony. With this policy, students may invite as many guests as they wish. Tickets were originally used when the ceremony was in Gill Coliseum because of the limited number of seats in the auditorium. The new side of Reser stadium can accommodate over 18,000 people, more than attend commencement. The new plan also should allow security personnel to get guests through the gates faster.

Library Research Travel Grants are available for faculty nearing completion of research for publication who need to travel to collections of materials that can't be accessed through library loans. Evaluation criteria and application instructions can be found at Applications are now being accepted for travel during April through September 2007. The deadline is March 31. Contact John Pollitz, Associate University Librarian, at or at 737 8527 with any questions.

The PowerPoint presentation and streamed version of the Feb. 28 faculty forum regarding changes to ORP and TDI plans is available online at

PEBB March Newsletter

The March issue of the PEBB newsletter is now online. Here are some of the topics discussed this month. Find out how the Employee Assistance Program can help you save when you're buying, selling or refinancing a home. If you were one of the 9,000 PEBB members who answered our recent online survey (or even if you weren't), find out what others had to say -- and what PEBB is doing in response. See how a team from Housing and Community Services supports wellness in their workplace. Try out a body mass index calculator, and check out weight-control support from your health plan. View the Web page: or download the PDF: Do you have input for the Benefit Board? E-mail

Sound Permits

A sound permit has been issued to MUPC for hosting promotions for the upcoming Emerson Drive concert on campus. The permit is for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and Wednesday, March 7, on the MU Quad.


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