Economist Wins Grant to Study Domestic Violence in Latin America

Jorge Aguero

Jorge Aguero

Domestic violence in Latin America devastates families and may weaken the region’s workforce over time, according to economist Jorge Agüero, who has received a $35,000 grant from the Inter-American Development Bank to study the issue.

Violence against women is costly, but the impact on their health and participation in the workforce, and on the ability of their children to lead productive lives, has not been quantified previously, said Agüero, assistant professor of economics and principal investigator of the research project, “Causal Estimates of the Intangible Costs of Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The co-principal investigator is Martin Benavides, executive director and a senior researcher at the Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE) and a professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the Pontifical Catholic University in Lima.

The research project is believed to be the most comprehensive study of the intangible costs of domestic violence in Latin America.

Researchers to Study Impacts of Pollutant Nitrogen on Plant Species Diversity

A group of scientists, including UCR researchers, have received a one-year $100,000 grant from the John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis of the U.S. Geological Survey to examine the evidence for impacts of pollutant nitrogen on plant species diversity across the United States.

The group, called the Powell Center Working Group on Diversity and Nitrogen Deposition, will synthesize data sets on the impacts of nitrogen deposition on plant diversity.

“Documentation of the impacts of nitrogen deposition on plant diversity are generally lacking in the U.S., but observations from Europe indicate biodiversity losses in areas with high levels of nitrogen pollution,” said Edith B. Allen, a professor of plant ecology in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and the grant’s principal investigator. Other principal investigators are at the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Colorado at Boulder

Zhong Yan Wins Student Thermal Research Competition

Zhong Yan, a Ph.D. student in the electrical engineering department, won the Student Thermal Research Competition for a paper he presented at a conference organized by the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society. The event was held from Nov. 12 to 14 in Los Gatos.

Zhong’s presentation was called “Graphene Heat Spreaders for High-Power GaN Transistors.” Zhong conducts his research in the Nano-Device Laboratory of the electrical engineering professor and Materials Science and Engineering founding chair Alexander A. Balandin. Balandin co-authored the winning paper.

Physics Postdoctoral Scholar Receives High Honor at CERN

Sudan Paramesvaran

Sudan Paramesvaran

Sudan Paramesvaran, a postdoctoral scholar at  UCR, has won the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) achievement award for the Hadron Calorimeter subdetector at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland.

CERN is the location of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a powerful particle accelerator.  UC Riverside faculty, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students are involved in the LHC’s CMS experiment.

The Hadron Calorimeter subdetector is an integral part of the CMS detector, and measures the energy of hadrons —particles composed of quarks and gluons. It is one of the central components of CMS, and is the primary detector for the reconstruction of hadronic jets and missing energy, a key signature for physics beyond the Standard Model (a comprehensive theory that explains the interactions between all fundamental elementary particles).

Paramesvaran serves as the Hadron Calorimeter (HCAL) operations manager for the 2012-2013 data-collection run of CMS.

Four UC Riverside Mathematicians Honored by American Mathematical Society

Four UCR mathematicians were named Fellows of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) for 2012, the program’s initial year. They are Richard E. Block, Michel L. Lapidus, Reinhard E. Schultz and Victor L. Shapiro.

The four mathematicians join an inaugural class of 1,119 fellows, representing more than 600 institutions. Lapidus and Schultz are professors of mathematics. Block and Shapiro are distinguished professors emeritus of mathematics. As fellows, they will present a public face of excellence in mathematics.

The Fellows of the AMS designation recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics. Among the goals of the program are to create an enlarged class of mathematicians recognized by their peers as distinguished for their contributions to the profession and to honor excellence. The AMS is the world’s largest and most influential society dedicated to mathematical research, scholarship and education.

UCR Staffer Joins Choir Tour to Italy

Kathy Blondel

Kathy Blondel

Staff member Kathy Blondel had the chance to sing for Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, Italy, early this month.

Blondel, who works in Printing and Reprographic Services as the manager of document services, is one of 88 members of the Celebration Singers choir. On a recent 10-day visit to Rome, the group performed five concerts at some of the region’s most iconic venues, including St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, the Basilica of Santa Trinita in Florence and St. Paul Outside the Walls Major Basilica. The group also had an audience with the pope.

A long-time member of the Riverside Master Chorale as well as the choir at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Moreno Valley, Blondel was the only Californian who was part of the tour, called  the Italian Music Festival.

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