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Vandal Science News-October 2014

Vandal Science News Puzzler

This issue's puzzler is a fun counting problem. An athletic league has ten teams. Each week these ten teams pair off into five matches. The league's scheduler wants to avoid having two weeks with the exact same slate of games. How long can he go without repeating? That is, how many different weekly schedules are possible?


There are 945 unique weekly schedules possible.

  • Choose a team – there are 9 possible opponents for them to play.
  • This accounts for two teams, so choose one of the remaining teams and there will be 7 possible opponents to which they can be matched.
  • Similarly, choosing one of the unmatched teams, there will be 5 possible opponents for them.
  • There are only 3 possible opponents for the next unmatched team we select.
  • Finally, there are only two remaining unmatched teams, so they must be assigned to play each other.

The total number of choices we could make is then 9*7*5*3 = 945.

Correct Solvers

  • Craig Beisel, (BS Mathematics, 2001; MS Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, 2007)
  • Bill Cordwell, (BS Mathematics and Physics; MS Mathematics, 1975)
  • John Stutz (MS Physics, 1973)
  • Greg Stenback (Geological Engineering, 1985; M.S. Statistics, 1987)

A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends October 2014

Dean's Message

Dear Alumni and Friends of the University of Idaho College of Science,

Fall semester is in full swing here on campus. It's an exciting time of year. We just concluded our 10th annual Student Research Exposition, and this year's show was better than ever. Forty-three participants, both undergraduate and graduate students, displayed posters of their research projects and results, making presentations to judges and answering questions from the general public. A few of the judges who have been with the event multiple years noted that this year's entries were stronger than ever – a sign that the quality of student research here at Idaho just keeps improving. You can read about some of this year's expo participants here in this issue of Vandal Science News.

Campus is bustling again with construction, and expanding the scientific research facilities on campus is at the heart of the biggest current project. Groundbreaking for the Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) took place early this fall. The IRIC will house research projects from all around campus, and we expect faculty projects from the College of Science to be among those moving in when the building opens in 2016.

There are other exciting improvements to our scientific facilities underway as well. For example, a team of researchers from our Department of Biological Sciences, led by Professor Deb Stenkamp, has secured funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Murdock Charitable Trust for the purchase of a dynamic imaging system. This tool will allow for live-imaging of cells, tissues, and organisms to show changes as they move and grow.

We are working hard to keep a top-notch science environment at the University of Idaho. We're proud of our success in securing grant funding for projects such as the dynamic imaging system, but it's important to not forget that many of the great things happening at the College of Science and the university are made possible by gifts from alumni and friends. If you've been a supporter in the past, whether in contributions to scholarship funds, facilities, or other needs, we thank you. And if you'd like to join the effort and help continue the tradition of scientific excellence at Idaho, we would welcome your participation.

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

- Dean Paul Joyce

Discovering Geckos’ Sticky Secrets

Biology and engineering researcher investigates the tiny structures that give geckos their incredible climbing power – helping humans answer evolutionary questions and create high–tech materials.

Read about the research on geckos' climbing power

Beyond ‘Math Magic’

Teachers in joint UI-WSU program learn new ways to help students understand, apply math.

Read about the Making Mathematics Reasoning Explicit program

Building an Education

Microbiology major gets valuable hands-on experience in virology lab

Read about Justin and his research

A Good Research Atmosphere

Climatology grad student studies future soil erosion with an eye on helping farmers

Read about Paige and her research

Austin Distinguished Lecture

Oh the Humanity: Challenges to Solving Chronic, Hard Problems in a Rapidly Changing World

Margaret Werner-Washburne, Ph.D., Regents’ Professor Emerita from University of New Mexico Department of Biology will speak at the eleventh annual Austin Distinguished Lecture in Science on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the College of Law Courtroom.

Join us

Alumni Awards

The College of Science Alumni Awards program recognizes outstanding alumni and friends for their professional accomplishments and service to society and the university.

Learn about our Alumni Awards


College of Science

Physical Address:
Mines 321

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3025
Moscow, ID 83844-3025

Phone: 208-885-6195

Fax: 208-885-6904


Web: College of Science