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The science of funny

Illustration: Man writing at desk

Each week, The New Yorker takes a cartoon that did not quite make the cut for publication and gives readers a chance to take their best shot at writing the funniest caption to accompany the drawing. Sorting through thousands of entries each week — the good, the bad, and the horrible — is a monumental task. To facilitate the selection process, the magazine enlisted the help of a machine learning system developed by current and former researchers at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. A documentary on New Yorker cartoons will air on HBO on Dec. 14.

Top Stories

Nobel Week: UW grad Campbell honored

Photo: William Campbell

UW-Madison graduate William C. Campbell, whose co-discovery of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin improved the lives of tens of millions of people in impoverished corners of the world, will receive his Nobel Prize this week. He received a master's in veterinary science and doctorate in zoology here in the 1950s.

UW System launches statewide survey

Graphic: UW System Logo

With a listening tour of the state complete, the UW System is launching an open, online survey gauging public opinion on the common ideas identified through a series of 13 strategic planning sessions held around Wisconsin.

Tree Lighting Event: December 10, 4:30-6 p.m.

Time to mix and mingle! Live music, treats, and tree lighting. Support local charity! Reservations recommended. Email Shawna Anderson.

Around Campus

Gift supports education in American political thought

Photo: Michelle Schwarze

A deep and nuanced understanding of the founding principles of American democracy has long been one of the cornerstones of a political science education at UW-Madison. Now, a new gift will help fund a professorship dedicated to American political thought, to be filled by Michelle Schwarze.

Student-produced magazine looks forward and back

Illustration: Cover of Curb magazine

All across Wisconsin, people are living and breathing the state motto, “Forward.” But they also don’t forget to look back. This is the driving philosophy of this year’s Curb magazine, “Backroads & Boulevards,” a 64-page publication produced by 21 journalism students.

‘Which Moo Are You?’ brings cows to kids

Illustration: Cover of 'Which Moo are You?'

Just in time for gift-giving season in America's Dairyland, Ruth McNair, a senior editor in the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, has published a charming children’s book titled “Which Moo Are You?” The picture book introduces young readers to a variety of calves as they explore, play, eat and sleep on a farm.

Outside UW

Bunker Labs aims to aid entrepreneurial veterans

In the post-9/11 era, veterans are underrepresented in entrepreneurship. Bunker Labs @ Wisconsin is recruiting 10 to 20 veterans who have promising ideas for tech ventures or who have a young enterprise in which technology plays a vital role.

Inside Info

Ninety percent of child safety seats are misused

Photo: Baby in car seat

Just because you hear that "click" of the buckle doesn't mean your child car seat is properly installed. Nicole Vesley, the Safe Kids Coordinator at American Family Children's Hospital, says it's not that simple. "Here in Dane County, about 90 percent of the car seats that we check have a misuse to them."

Hands-on @ Internet of Things Lab Open House, Friday

Explore Oculus Rift, Leap Motion, Mindwave, beacons and more! Check out innovative projects from student teams. RSVP for UW IoT Lab Open House, 5-7 p.m., 12/11

Buzz

7 tech tips for holiday shopping

Illustration: Gift-wrapped box

While the holidays are full of good tidings and cheer, it can also be a chaotic season – particularly when it comes to buying gifts for our loved ones. These tips from DoIT can help you get the best prices and stay organized through technology.

Milestones

AMS to honor three atmospheric scientists

Photo: Jonathan Martin

The American Meteorological Society will honor three scientists from the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences – Donald Johnson, Jonathan Martin (pictured), and Ankur Desai – at an awards ceremony to be held at the annual AMS meeting in January.

Nora Cate Schaeffer wins public opinion fellowship

Photo: Nora Cate Schaeffer

On Nov. 20, at the 40th annual conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research, Nora Cate Schaeffer, UW Survey Center faculty director and Sewell Bascom Professor of Sociology, was named MAPOR’s 2015 Fellow.

Events

Final event and celebration of Juan de Marcos

Photo: Juan de Marcos Gonzalez

The Arts Institute suggests people catch the live stream of tonight’s Juan de Marcos celebration, due to limited seating and a large crowd expected at the Memorial Union. The 7:30 p.m. program will recognize the Cuban musician's impact while at UW-Madison as Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence.

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