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phone: (208) 885-6195
fax: (208) 885-6904
office: Mines 321

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875 Perimeter Drive MS 3025
Moscow, ID 83844-3025

Vandal Science News


A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends February 2013

Dean's Message

Greetings friends of the College of Science,

We hope that you enjoy this issue of the Vandal Science News – I know that we enjoy putting it together as a short glimpse into what's been going on in the college. In this issue you'll be able to, as usual, read about some of the great things our students and faculty have been doing in the laboratory and classroom. But I'd like to focus my brief message here on some of the things that we're doing outside of our research and classroom teaching missions – things that we do to enrich the community and bring awareness of science and mathematics to the broader community.

We continue to grow our successful Women in Math and Science program. We'll be conducting two days of programs for young women in the Boise and Meridian school districts this April, just as we did for many northern Idaho districts last October. In the Boise programs this year we're partnering with the folks from the McCall Outdoor Science School (in the College of Natural Resources) to make it an even richer experience for the participating young women.

Our Science Outreach team (consisting of current U-Idaho students) continues to be active in demonstrations for audiences of all ages. And in a few weeks we'll be hosting the Idaho state finals of the Invent Idaho competition. In this event approximately 120 grade 1-8 students from around the state will visit campus with their families. They'll display their inventions, have them judged by a panel of U-Idaho scientists and engineers, and also tour some U-Idaho facilities. We hosted the competition last year and the students had such a great experience that the organizers insisted it return to U-Idaho again this year.

The College of Science is once again part of this year's Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival (going on right now). Last year, we (along with the College of Art and Architecture) pioneered the idea of providing academic-themed workshops for visiting high school students – programs that relate science disciplines to music and give the visiting students a taste of university life outside of music performance. Our workshops were so successful that this year several other colleges (Business, Law, Natural Resources) are taking part as well. For our part, Professor Mark Nielsen presented a workshop on the mathematics of music, while Professors Marty Ytreberg and Christine Berven demonstrated the physics of sound waves. (You can see a video of part of their workshop here on our Facebook page.)

As I hope this brief account conveys, our faculty and students are excited about science and enjoy sharing that excitement with others. We see this as an important part of our mission, for Science truly is advanced by increasing public appreciation of the work scientists do.

Thank you for your continuing support of the College of Science.

- Dean Paul Joyce

From the Lab to the World

Kali Turner Recent graduate, Kali Turner, will stay in Idaho for a semester to complete her research before heading across the world for even more hands-on experience that she hopes will lead her to a future helping humans fight disease. read more »

Hill Undergrad Research Fellowship

Daniel LaPorte Daniel LaPorte is one of five recipients of the Hill Undergrad Research Fellowship. Daniel will use the Hill Fellowship award to present his work on p53 at the American Biophysical Society's 2014 conference. read more »

Alumni Award for Excellence

Caldwell and Nagler, recipients of the Alumni Award for Excellence This year we were please to announce five of our students received the U-Idaho Alumni Award for Excellence. These students have been recognized for their academic success and demonstrating career and professional preparation. read more »

From the Advisory Board

Gary Bennett with College of Science Dean Paul Joyce The Alumni Awards program recognizes outstanding alumni and friends for their professional accomplishments and service to society and the university. This year's Celebration of Alumni Excellence will be held on Thursday, November 1. read more »

Vandal Science News Puzzler

The students in Dr. Bitterwolf’s chemistry class compare notes and find that all of them have a math, biology, or geography class in addition to chemistry.

  • Everyone with a geography class also has a math class, but nobody has both a geography class and a biology class.
  • One out of every three students with a math class also has a geography class, and half of those with a biology class also have a math class.
  • There are 14 students with a geography class, and 26 students with a biology class.

How many students are in Dr. Bitterwolf’s chemistry class?


There are 55 students in Dr. Bitterwolf’s Chemistry class. Getting that answer is a matter of organizing the information, and probably the easiest and best way to do that is with a Venn diagram such as the one shown here. From the clues tell us:

Visual rendition for the solution to the February 2013 Vandal Science News Puzzler
  • The set of Geography students lies entirely inside the set of Math students.
  • The Biology and Geography sets are disjoint.
  • The 26 Biology students are split with 13 inside the Math set and 13 outside.
  • The Geography set contains 14 students.
  • The portion of the Math set outside of Geography has to contain 28 (two times as many as Geography), and 13 of them are already known to be inside the Biology set – so the remaining region must contain 15 students.

Adding it all up gives us our total of 55.

Correct Solvers

  • Mike Andrews (current UI Computer Engineering major)
  • Jenny Baker (current UI Political Science major)
  • Zephyr Bizeau (Zoology, 2000)
  • Katarina Brownell (current UI Creative Writing major)
  • Fred Eberle (MS Geography, 1984)
  • Carol Hansen Sokel (Mathematics, 1973)
  • Timothy Householder (Mathematics, 2002)
  • Levi Kilian (Math Club officer at Lewis Clark State College)
  • Kaitlyn Miller (current UI Biology major)
  • Amy Pendegraft (current UI History major)
  • Noah Qualls (current UI Mathematics and Finance major)
  • Tom Rice (Cartography 1988 and MS Geography 1993)
  • Daniel Schmalz (current UI Electrical Engineering major)
  • Teresa Silveus  (Education 2008, MEd 2012)

Visualizing a Vast World

Screen capture of OneZoom
Biology professor Luke Harmon helps develop a website that brings the tree of life to life. OneZoom allows anyone to explore the connections among thousands of species and can help scientists as they seek to better understand life on Earth.
read more »

Common Virus' Damaging Effect on Cells

Micorscopic view of HCMV
Lee Fortunato has spent more than 15 years studying human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Her research method reveals how a virus responsible for birth defects co-opts a cell's ability to repair itself.
read more »

College Reception in Boise on March 15

Phot of the Boise Center
Reception & Presentation with Professor Lee Fortunato on her human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) research on March 15, 2013 in Boise.
read more »

Our Departments

» Biological Sciences
» Chemistry
» Geography
» Geological Sciences
» Mathematics
» Physics
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