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Danger in the data

Photo: Laura McLay

Laura McLay’s research canvas is massive data — banks of millions of emergency 911 calls, commercial airline flights and ship cargo deliveries — which she uses to help improve decision-making in these high-stakes endeavors. McLay, a new associate professor of industrial and systems engineering and blogger, is an expert in operations research. While not yet a household word among academic fields, operations research received a major awareness boost after the Sept. 11 attacks, as an important tool in improving airline screening and security and combating terrorist threats.

Top Stories

Spring commencement to be moved, consolidated

Photo: graduating students in caps and gowns

Beginning in 2014, Spring Commencement will look significantly different. A single ceremony aimed at undergraduates will be held at Camp Randall Stadium on May 17. Whether or not there will be changes to the Friday ceremony honoring Ph.D., DMA and MFA candidates, as well as professional degree recipients, is still under discussion.

Author of Go Big Read title to visit campus

Photo: Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki sees her work as a collaborative effort. She writes novels, but it’s her readers who finish the job. Ozeki will get the chance to hear from those readers beginning Monday, when she visits campus to give a public talk for Go Big Read. Related: Read a Wisconsin State Journal Q&A with Ozeki.

Blank’s Slate: Competitive salaries are a must

Photo: Rebecca Blank

In a uniquely competitive environment, Chancellor Rebecca Blank says in her latest blog post that market-based salary adjustments are necessary to keep our most talented employees. "Our talent is what sustains us as a world-class institution," Blank writes.

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Around Campus

Partners in Giving: Make your mark by helping others

The 2013 Partners in Giving Campaign, titled “We’re Making Our Mark,” celebrates forty years of making a difference—from local neighborhoods to the global community—through giving. The annual campaign, runs through November 29.

Wisconsin has numbers in federal budget talks

Photo: U.S. Capitol

Three members of Congress from Wisconsin are among those tasked with resolving differences on the federal budget. Rep. Paul Ryan will serve as co-chair of the Budget Conference Committee. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who visited campus Tuesday, and Sen. Ron Johnson will also serve on the committee, which will try to reach agreement by Dec. 13.

Underwood China visit to enhance global connections

Photo: Julie Underwood

Prior to leaving for her second trip to China in the past year-and-a-half, Julie Underwood was speaking about the value of such treks abroad when she admitted that there was a time when she would have had little interest in such an excursion.

Outside UW

UW advances sustainability in brewing

Photo: man using brewing vat

The process of making beer is changing as breweries take a closer look at increasing sustainability. “Sustainability is a concept of rapidly increasing importance in the brewing industry,” says Ryan Griffin, a former asset management engineer at MillerCoors and a student in the UW Master of Engineering in Sustainable Systems Engineering program.

Campus Initiatives

Second UW MOOC to explore ‘Markets with Frictions’

Photo: Randall Wright

“Markets with Frictions” probably wasn’t a topic of conversation at the last party you attended — unless you’re an economist. Finance professor Randall Wright wants to change that. Leading the second pilot Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at UW-Madison, Wright’s “Markets with Frictions” begins Oct. 30.

In the Media

Maas on growth of wireless devices on campus

CIO Bruce Maas was recently featured in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the explosion of wireless devices on campus. The article discusses the growth of mobile device usage by the campus community and the consequences it has on the wireless network.


Information sessions will update HR Design timeline

Logo: HR Design project

The next information sessions on the HR Design project are set for November. Project leaders will discuss the revised timeline and provide information on performance management, the applicant tracking system and classified staff governance.

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