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Bloomington Herald Times Articles

November 15, 2007

Indiana University
Program at library offers up-close look at GIS technology
By James Boyd
November 15, 2007

An adviser to NASA and the Department of Defense says Geographic Information Systems are playing an increasingly important role in a wide array of uses, from a real estate tool to an application that's saving lives in Africa.

Indiana University celebrated GIS Day Wednesday at the Herman B Wells Library, giving participants an up-close look at the impact GIS technology is having on the world.

The event was highlighted by a keynote address from Gilbert Rochon, associate vice president for collaborative research at Purdue University.

GIS is a way of taking rows and columns from a database or spreadsheet and converting them into maps, creating a visual representation of the data. The maps can be created from a big range of data, like displaying geological features for finding oil or gas.

Rochon took the crowd through a brief history of GIS, dating back to the earliest town map on record that was carved in stone.

"We've obviously made a few advancements in cartography since then," he joked.

He displayed the progress in technology that has allowed GIS to take off. To illustrate the point of how quickly technology is advancing, Rochon noted that IU's Big Red supercomputer had been ranked among the world's 40 fastest computers late last week, but as of Tuesday, it had been pushed back to 42nd in the global standings.

Purdue University's supercomputer was holding steady at 319th, though.

"I guess you could call it 'Little Gold,' or whatever," Rochon said.

Those increases in the quality and speed of computing efficiency now allow scientists to do things like track the spread of malaria and other diseases on the African plains.

"We're using satellite data to monitor outbreaks of the Ebola virus," Rochon said. "And now we can search for the natural source of its cause." By recognizing the environmental factors of where such viruses begin, scientists can begin to study where those factors — such as high levels of humidity or other unique weather situations — begin and prepare for them in the future. "Global technology is playing a role in that," Rochon said.

He said that by doing things like monitoring and testing for patients with AIDS, more effective forms of treatment can be administered, resulting in fewer deaths.

While displaying a historical map of malaria outbreaks, Rochon noted that the disease was on a path to continue spreading northward, because of issues stemming from global warming. With a record of how the disease has progressed geographically, the public can be aware that the disease may one day creep into North America and Europe.

Other portions of GIS Day included an art show, where contributors were asked to submit GIS-related artwork. Some old maps and satellite images were on display in the Herman B Wells Library.

IU conference to explore family dispute resolution
November 15, 2007

A conference this week at Indiana University will explore alternative dispute resolution for families in conflict.

The conference, "For the Sake of the Children: Advances in Family Dispute Resolution," is co-sponsored by the IU School of Law and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. It will include private seminars for academics who are attempting to refine their research, as well as a public conference this afternoon geared toward attorneys, psychologists, social workers, other professionals, students and the community.

The free public conference will take place from 3:15 to 6 p.m. today in the Moot Court Room of the IU Law School. Sessions will include:

• "Divorce Mediation versus Adversary Settlement: The Current Status of Social Science Research," by Robert Emery, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law at the University of Virginia;

• "Kramer v. Kramer Revisited: Ethical and Practical Considerations for Lawyers and Judges in High Conflict Cases for Represented and Self Represented Parents," Andrew Schepard, professor of law and director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law at Hofstra University;

• "Views from the Bench: What Works, What Does Not Work and What Else Should the Family Law and Psychology Community Be Developing?" a panel discussion moderated by Steuben County Superior Court Judge William Fee, president of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Panelists include Monroe Circuit Judges E. Michael Hoff, Frances Hill, David Welch and Teresa Harper, Monroe Court Commissioner Bret Raper and Owen Circuit Judge Frank Nardi.

Organizers of the conference are Amy G. Applegate, clinical professor and director of the Family and Children Mediation Clinic at the Law School; and Amy Holtzworth-Munroe, Brian D'Onofrio and Jack Bates, faculty members in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences whose research interests include family conflict and causes of psychological and behavioral problems in children.

For more, see

A cut above: Members of IU fraternity share snippets of wisdom with young Bloomington men
By Brady Gillihan
November 15, 2007

Free haircuts for elementary through high school boys at the Banneker Community Center gave the brothers of Omega Psi Phi fraternity a chance to do their part for their National Social Day and gave the young students a chance to talk about life with men who have been where they are.

The event, "A Cut Above the Rest: A Mentoring for Manhood Community Service Project" took place Wednesday afternoon when the fraternity brought a barber to the community center to "provide free haircuts while simultaneously engaging the boys with topical conversations with the men of Omega Psi Phi about the black male experience," according to a past president, Russell Hollis.

First up in the chair was Nathan Foster, 14, a ninth-grader at Bloomington High School North. His 12-year-old brother, sixth-grader Devin Foster, waited and talked with fraternity member Anthony Scott, a senior at IU, about school, sports and career choices.

Ghangis DeDan Carter, immediate past president of the fraternity and now director of recruitment and retention with IU's School of Education, said the hair-cutting was part of a larger Achievement Week schedule, and a great chance to connect with the young black males of Bloomington.

"We want to have intentional dialogue about the challenges and triumphs in their lives. This isn't a pity party," Carter said. "The topics will range from responsible behavior to college and anything they want to talk about."