News: 2016-2017

Fall 2016 | Spring 2017

Spring 2017

Howard F. Marx: Father of GPS April 19, 2017

Howard Marx

It was 1945, and the war in Europe was winding down. Hitler’s forces had collapsed, and all thoughts were turning to the Pacific. Back in the Caribbean, a young naval engineer and Tulane graduate from Monroe, Louisiana, was onboard the aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge, bound for the Panama Canal.

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“America’s Coolest College Girl” Is a Tulane Student April 19, 2017

Maggie Arceneaux

She considered it a long shot. But Maggie Arceneaux, a junior in the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering, threw her hat in the ring to compete against hundreds of her peers in the 2017 Miss Coed contest. The annual competition, which seeks to crown “America’s coolest college girl,” is put on by the COED Media Group and includes several stages of interviews and a public voting period.

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2017 Alumni Awards: Honoring Exceptional Alumni April 17, 2017

Tulane Awards 2017

On Thursday, April 6, three notable Tulane University science and engineering alumni were honored for their contributions to the field and the university at the ninth annual School of Science and Engineering Alumni Awards at the Tulane River and Coastal Center.

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Campus Workspace Helps Students Bring Their Ideas to Life April 12, 2017

Cosine Map

If a student can dream it, they can create it thanks to the Tulane University MakerSpace, a student-run workshop that offers accessibility to laser cutters, 3-D printers and other design tools. The workshop caters to the university’s artists, engineers, craftspersons, makers and kinesthetic learners on the uptown campus.

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Outstanding Researchers Recognized at SSE Research Day April 7, 2017

SSE Research Day

At the 11th annual School of Science and Engineering (SSE) Research Day on Thursday (April 6), the college presented its Outstanding Researcher Award to Zhiqiang Mao, the Nicholas J. Altiero Professor in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics.

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The Science of Raising Consciousness April 4, 2017


Underneath your mental state, your mood, your biases and perceptions, your daily habits and to-do list, your cravings and aversions, there lies a fluid cognitive barrier between you and the rest of the world: consciousness.

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Georgia Banker’s Generosity Towards the School of Science and Engineering Embodies the Tulanian Spirit of Giving Spring 2017

Mark Tipton With Wife

There are a lot of great ways to express your loyalty and dedication to your alma mater. For Mark Tipton, Georgia Regional President of IBERIABANK, giving back to Tulane was an easy decision to make. Tipton, who received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1978, and his wife Diana, established a two-part gift for the School of Science and Engineering. 

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Amped Up for Artificial Intelligence March 29, 2017


Does the notion of artificial intelligence have you conjuring up Hollywood’s images of cyborgs, posing as humans, coming back from the future to change the fate of the world? Or is the mere concept of AI (as scientists refer to it) emblematic of a world in which sentient computers like HAL, from 2001: A Space Odyssey, override the wishes of the humans they’re designed to assist and, while speaking in a soft eerie monotone, diabolically plan the deaths of an entire spaceship crew?

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Tulane to Offer PhD in Computer Science March 23, 2017

Computer Science Phd

Computer science at Tulane University, eliminated after Hurricane Katrina but brought back in 2012, has taken another leap forward with the creation of a doctoral program that aims to produce leading researchers and further prepare computer scientists for the job market.

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Jane Goodall Answers Global Crises with Message of Hope March 17, 2017

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall’s indomitable dedication to studying animal behavior began in an unlikely place — a henhouse. At 4 years old, Goodall crawled in after a hen on her family’s farm and waited for hours hoping to observe the bird laying an egg, taking her first step on a lifelong path of discovery.

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Faculty and students get acquainted outside the classroom March 16, 2017

Faculty and students get acquainted outside the classroom

There should be more to a faculty-student relationship than three 50-minute classes per week and a set of office hours. That’s why the Tulane Department of Housing and Residence Life is transforming the on-campus living experience with the new Faculty Mentor Program, which is designed to create opportunities for students to collaborate with professors outside the classroom.

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No problem is too big for Tulane students to solve March 15, 2017

NAE Program

From engineering better medicines to finding ways to provide access to clean water, global problems are getting attention from Tulane University students. Tulane is the newest member of the national Grand Challenge Scholars Program, organized by the National Academy of Engineering to tackle 14 of the world’s most pressing challenges. “The Grand Challenge Scholars Program was put together to train students for the 21st century,” said associate dean Beth Wee, director of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program at Tulane.

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Formal Education March 2, 2017

Formal Education

Well-dressed students pose for a photo in a chemistry class around the turn of the century.

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Tulane team wins NASA’s Big Idea Challenge for Spacecraft Design February 17, 2017

Tulane team wins NASA’s Big Idea Challenge for Spacecraft Design

Tulane University engineering students’ innovative idea for a flower-shaped, solar-powered space ferry won the top prize in NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge, a national contest to design better ways to assemble spacecraft in space.

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Get SMART with Summer Research Opportunity February 2, 2017

SMART Opportunity

The Tulane School of Science and Engineering is accepting applications for a summer undergraduate research opportunity on Tulane’s uptown campus. The Summer Materials Research at Tulane (SMART) program is a 10-week multidisciplinary research experience for undergraduates incorporating the departments of chemistry, biomedical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering and physics and engineering physics.

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Tulane University Announced the Donation of a Large Painting January 2017

Tulane University Announced the Donation of a Large Painting

Tulane University announced the donation of a large painting by New Orleans artist and Tulane alumni, Adam Hall. The painting, “Resolve”, depicts Audubon Park’s “Tree of Life,” a mighty live oak that has stood in the park for hundreds of years. Given by an anonymous donor, the painting now hangs in the atrium of The Donna and Paul Flower Hall for Research and Innovation, a science and engineering hub constructed on the uptown campus in 2012.

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On the Mighty Mississippi January 25, 2017

Mississippi River

Amble just a stone’s throw downriver of Mardi Gras World, upriver of the Crescent City Connection Bridge, on the East Bank of the mighty Mississippi River in New Orleans, and you’ll note a sleek, modernistic grey building with water-retention gardens in front.

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A New Movement to Treat Troubled Children as ‘Sad, Not Bad’ January 25, 2017

Crocker College Prep

On dress-down days, Sherlae’s outfits almost always include sequins and sparkles. Whenever she passes a window, she lights up, in a way that matches her sunny personality and big, dimpled smile. But for years, because of strife at home, she had to force herself to look cheerful each morning as she walked into her school, Lawrence D. Crocker College Prep in uptown New Orleans. “I always try to put on a happy, smiling — not sad — face, ” said Sherlae, 13, whose middle name is used here to protect her privacy.

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Rules Of the Road For Self-driving Cars Are More Than Staying in Lanes
January 19, 2017

Brent Venable

It’s the stuff of science fiction and futuristic film: Self-driving vehicles are taking to the roadways in droves. With the proliferation of vehicular automation, the role of computer scientists like Brent Venable, associate professor of computer science at Tulane University, is expanding.

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Virtual Plans Aid Reconstructive Surgery January 11, 2017

VAP Image

Alumna Sadie Glick uses Virtual Surgical Planning (VSP) images to prepare surgeons for lower face and corrective jaw surgeries.

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Marsh Grass Defends the Coast January 10, 2017

Marsh Grass Defends the Coast

The wetlands are critical to the survival of Louisiana’s coast. Serving as a front-line defense against hurricanes, floods and storm surges, the many species that line the coast have evolved to show resiliency in the face of natural and man-made hazards.

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Undersea Explorer January 9, 2017

Undersea Explorer

For Tulane professor Kyle Straub, a recent sabbatical meant an opportunity to explore one of the most intriguing places on earth. Last year, Straub, associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, was invited by colleagues at ExxonMobil to join a research group at their new Woodlands campus in Houston, a facility that approximately 14,000 geologists, engineers, and investment traders call home.

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La. Bird Calls January 4, 2017

La. Bird Calls

In the autumn of 1820, John James Audubon left Cincinnati and headed toward Louisiana, following the great southern migration of birds down the Mississippi River flyway. His journey, part of his effort to create a mammoth pictorial survey called The Birds of America, acknowledged a central reality. Like any skilled observer of the natural world, Audubon knew that the life of birds is inextricably linked to the presence of water. That idea has informed the careers of Tulane faculty members Tom Sherry and Donata Henry, who were recently recognized for their efforts in conservation by the Louisiana Ornithological Society.

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Fall 2016

Message from the Dean Winter 2016

Dean's Message – Winter 2016

We have come to the end of the 2016 Fall Semester and the students have departed campus for their winter break. The campus was a very busy place this past Fall as Tulane enrollment is at a record high. School of Science and Engineering enrollment is also at a record high as over 2,300 undergraduate students are enrolled in at least one science or engineering undergraduate degree program and the number of graduate students in the School now exceeds 450. SSE research funding is also at a record high, having increased by more than 67% over last year!

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A Professor Who Inspires Winter 2016

Gary Dohanich

Some teachers have the unique ability to connect with students in a way that motivates them to search for knowledge. For Wayne Teetsel, that teacher was Gary Dohanich.

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Tulane Makes NASA Challenge Finals Winter 2016

Tulane makes NASA challenge finals

A team of engineering physics and biomedical engineering students from Tulane University has made it into the finals of NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge, a competition that seeks ways to assemble spacecraft in space.

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Female Role Models Make Science a Better Fit for Girls November 18, 2016

Middle school girls examine a bug during a Girls in STEM (GiST) program

Studies have long shown that girls are less likely than boys to be interested in math and science, but new research by Tulane University researchers published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science suggests that matching girls with female role models could dramatically reverse that trend.

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Grad Student Helps Build Model to Study Wildfires November 11, 2016

Jordan Adams

Jordan Adams is no stranger to adventure. Adams, a doctoral student in the School of Science and Engineering at Tulane, has worked in the mountains of Appalachia, the forests of Arizona and the peninsulas of Hawaii. She’s also worked right here in Louisiana, studying the hydrology of our very own Lake Pontchartrain.

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Green Apple November 11, 2016

Lisa Jackson

That’s one of the mantras and operating principles of Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, the multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California. While many workers might be daunted or even amused by such a directive, his employee of three years, Lisa Perez Jackson (E ’83), finds inspiration in the broad goal. Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, says she starts by breaking down the broad goal into more manageable pieces.

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Engineering Aid Group Helps Solve Water Problems November 8, 2016

Engineers without Borders

In the tiny Ecuadorean village of Laquigo, hundreds of residents get their water from ditches. Water for bathing. Water for cooking. Water for drinking. There’s a reason: The town of 2,400 tripled in population between 2000 and 2016, but the water distribution supply has not kept pace.

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Math Professor Awarded for Impact on the Field October 31, 2016

Mac Hyman

The International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS) annually recognizes scientists and professionals for their contributions to research in biosurveillance, and this year Mac Hyman, a mathematics professor in the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering, is being honored twice.

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Tulane Workshop Exposes Boys to STEM October 26, 2016


The Tulane University School of Science and Engineering exposed 70 middle school boys to the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the inaugural Boys At Tulane in STEM (BATS) workshop on Saturday (Oct. 22). 

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Tulane Launches New Brain Institute October 7, 2016

Brain Institute

Tulane University formally launched its new Brain Institute, a university-wide initiative created to coordinate and support brain-related research and neuroscience endeavors at Tulane. The Institute combines expertise and research from faculty, postdocs and students (from undergraduates to Ph.Ds) at the Schools of Medicine, Science and Engineering, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Liberal Arts, and the Tulane National Primate Research Center.

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Tulane Receives $1.1 Million to Study How Age Affects Blood Vessels
October 6, 2016

Bunnell and Murfee

Tulane University researchers have been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of aging on the growth of new blood vessels in the human body. It is hoped that learning more about how age affects the growth of new blood vessels, also known as angiogenesis, will help guide the future treatment of diseases.

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2016 Alumnus of the Year: Dr. Warren Bourgeois III of the Class of 1974
September 19, 2016

Warren Bourgeois

Dr. Warren R. Bourgeois III of the Class of 1974 has been named Alumnus of the Year of Jesuit High School for 2016. The award is given annually to an outstanding alumnus who is recognized for his achievements and distinguished service, either to Jesuit or the community-at-large, and in many instances, both.

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Message from the Dean Fall 2016

Dean's Message – Fall 2016

After a brief stint as Interim Provost, I’m excited to have returned to my role as Dean in time to begin another year of academic success for the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering. It’s been an active summer, and we have been looking forward to welcoming many new faces to campus. The class of 2020 is the largest in Tulane’s history—1,850 new freshman, over 600 of whom have identified a primary major in the School of Science and Engineering.

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With College Nearly Complete, Devon Walker Looks to Life’s Next Chapter
September 26, 2016

Devon Walker

Tulane University’s Devon Walker will always be a name synonymous with one of the greatest individual examples of overcoming adversity and succeeding in life. Walker, who hails from nearby Destrehan, is looking to complete his master’s degree in neuroscience. He earned his bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology in 2014. But that’s only part of his atypical path through college.

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Tulane to Expand Engineering Offerings with New Certificate Program
September 23, 2016

Electric Circuits

The Tulane School of Science and Engineering is embarking on a new curriculum that will include certificate programs in electrical, mechanical, materials, and computational engineering. Under the program, students majoring in engineering physics may choose one of the four concentrations, enabling them to graduate with both a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics and a certificate in their specialty area.

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Ornithologist: A Career for Bird Enthusiasts September 21, 2016

Kyu Min Huh

Even before she began her freshman year at Tulane University in 2015, Kyu Min Huh, an aspiring ornithologist from South Korea, emailed various professors in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology to find out what research opportunities might be available to her. She learned of three professors who accepted undergraduate research assistants, and before she knew it, she was working in the labs of all three.

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Space Maker September 21, 2016

Steve Tramonte

Steve Tramonte, an electrician with H.Rocker Electric, installs wiremold in the soon-to-be-completed Maker Space on Tulane’s uptown campus. Located in the old machine shop on Engineering Road, the facility offers direct vehicle access, adequate power, high ceilings, compressed air, and features multiple modern prototyping tools such as laser cutters, water jet cutters, and 3-D printers.

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Solving Problems with Technology September 16, 2016

Nicholas Pashos presents his product to a panel of judges.

The 2016-17 Novel Tech Challenge at Tulane University is about to begin, and students who think they might have the next big idea are encouraged to take part. Challenge activities begin with a pitch-off and networking reception Tuesday (Sept. 20) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at City Diner on the ground floor of the Lavin-Bernick Center. Participants will be given the opportunity to pitch their ideas and network with other students, faculty, and alumni to form teams to enter the 2017 Novel Tech Challenge.

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Tulane Debuts ByWater Institute on a New Riverfront Campus Dedicated to Coastal Restoration and Protection
September 15, 2016

ByWater Dedication

Tulane University has opened the ByWater Institute and a new riverfront campus in downtown New Orleans dedicated to studying and protecting Louisiana's vital waterways and coast. The Institute will bring scholars from across disciplines together to find innovative solutions to one of the biggest challenges facing Louisiana and vulnerable communities worldwide — how to manage threats of rising water from coastal erosion, natural disasters and a changing environment.

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Tulane Researcher to use Grant to Study Children Exposed to Violence
September 6, 2016

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray, an assistant professor of psychology at Tulane University, has been awarded a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant through the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. A NARSAD grant is one of the highest distinctions in the field of mental health research. Less than 200 researchers receive the prestigious grant each year, and Gray will use the money – up to $70,000 over two years – to study the development of children who have been exposed to violence or other traumatic events.

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Understanding the Need for International Research August 31, 2016

Brian Mitchell

When graduate students travel overseas to further their education through research, what is the impact of those experiences? Specifically, why do graduate students engage in international research? How do they feel the experiences have helped them scientifically and professionally? What barriers and opportunities developed later in their careers?

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Tulane Trauma Study Launches in Six New Orleans Schools August 30, 2016

Maurice McMorris

Six New Orleans public schools have been selected to participate in a Tulane University study to determine the best ways to meet the needs of trauma-exposed students.The four-year Safe Schools NOLA study is being funded by a $2.6 million grant from the National Institute of Justice. The study will be led by by Stacy Overstreet and Courtney Baker, both in the Psychology Department at Tulane.

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