March 3, 2005
Vol. 24 No. 11

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    Bruce Buffett, Professor in Geophysical Sciences, has been elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. In its call for nominations the AGU specifies that, “a fellow of AGU shall be a scientist who has attained acknowledged eminence in the geophysical sciences.” The AGU confers fellowship on less than one-tenth of a percent of its members in any given year. Buffett, who studies the dynamical processes of the Earth’s interior, will be formally inducted as a fellow at the spring meeting of the AGU in New Orleans in May.

    John Carlstrom, the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, will deliver the 2005 Howard P. Robertson Lecture during the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in April. The Robertson Lecture prize is awarded every three years in any field of science to a distinguished scientist, who is invited to lecture on his or her work and its international implications.

    The Academy chose Carlstrom for the award “for his pioneering use of interferometry to measure the anisotropy polarization of the cosmic microwave background and its distortion due to intervening hot cluster gas.” Carlstrom was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2002.

    Victor Friedman, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Slavic Languages & Literatures, and Linguistics, was elected to the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Kosova in December 2004. He is only the second North American linguist ever to receive the honor, joining the ranks of Eric Hamp, the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus.

    Friedman’s research centers on grammatical categories, language contact and sociolinguistics in the Balkans and the Caucasus. He is on leave this year to write The Balkan Languages,. His book The Grammatical Categories of the Macedonian Indicative was the first to be published in North America on modern Macedonian.

    Friedman came to the University in 1993 from the University of North Carolina. In 1975, the University’s Division of the Humanities granted Friedman its first joint Ph.D. in both Slavic Languages & Literatures and Linguistics.

    Maria Ratajczak, a graduate student in Physics, received a student travel award from the Biophysical Society to attend the 49th annual meeting of the society in Long Beach, Calif., in February. The recipients of this competitive award are selected based on scientific merit, with priority given to those who will present a paper at the conference. The society honored Ratajczak for her paper “Evidence of Ordering in Lipid/Cholesterol Mixtures.”

    A solar water-heating system based on non-imaging optics technology, which Roland Winston, a Senior Scientist in the Enrico Fermi Institute, pioneered, has been selected as one of the Top 10 Green Building Products of 2004.

    The recognition comes from the editors of GreenSpec and Environmental Building News. The award for the Winston Series CPC Collector, which Solargenix Energy has manufactured, was announced late last year.

    The Winston Series CPC Collector is a residential and commercial solar water-heating system. The basic system is made up of 12 small CPCs (compound parabolic collectors) that focus sunlight more intensely than traditional optics. CPCs can be thought of as “light funnels” that collect light from a large area of the sky, rather than from the direct rays of the sun. This means the Winston Series CPC Collector does not require moving parts to track the sun.

    From the CPC, energy is focused into absorber tubes filled with heat-transfer fluid, and then is moved to a hot water storage tank. A typical home would use one to three collectors, depending on the size of the hot water storage tank.

    Winston joined the founding faculty at the University of California, Merced, in the summer of 2003, but he maintains his affiliation with his former Chicago colleagues and the University.

    He will be instrumental in developing the Energy Institute at UC Merced, which is currently being planned to facilitate interdisciplinary research in energy and fuels science.