Haley Madderom


A flurry of light and sound

In full daylight, the plaza in front of the Civil Engineering Building looked like a sectioned-off junkyard. But on Friday evening, the unrecognizable mess of cords and cables disappeared, and the campus tradition lit up the space at the kickoff event for the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering Winter Light Show. With the push of a button, members of the student group Tesla Works set off two miles of sequenced lights, hypnotizing a crowd of about 200 people.

Students pitch cost-cutting ideas

Nathan Shrader says he knows how to save the University of Minnesota money. His plan: reduce its heating bill. The management senior said a new company called 75F could save the University millions of dollars by installing a heating system that recycles air and reduces energy consumption — one of many cost-cutting ideas students are proposing as part of a contest that aims to trim the institution’s spending. “It’s taking different processes that haven’t changed for decades and revamping them to cut significant costs,” Shrader said.

Nursing students guide path for Ebola volunteers in Liberia

As health volunteers pack up and head to an Ebola clinic in a small Liberian village this month and next, a group of University of Minnesota nursing students are constructing maps of the place, which is practically invisible on Google and Bing maps from thousands of miles away.

As Minnesota settles into bitter cold, farmers already prepared

Tuesday was the nation’s coldest November morning on record in almost four decades, with all 50 states hitting low temperatures at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. But after riding out last year’s polar vortex, many Minnesota farmers took precautionary measures for the recent frigid weather, and University of Minnesota research is exploring how to protect their fields during the cold months.

Genetics of blind cave fish lays ground for treating eye disease

An international team of researchers hopes to use its study on a species of translucent, eyeless cave fish to better understand human conditions like degenerative eye diseases, albinism and sleep disorders. The first-ever genomic sequence of the blind cave fish species, and the resulting study published late last month, provides context for a field of research where knowing species’ exact genetic makeup is valuable.

Nonprofit uses multimedia to spur global dialogue in Minnesota classrooms

From a pool of thousands of photos from one woman’s traveling experiences over more than three decades comes a series of educational movies that aims to spur dialogue about global citizenship between Minnesota’s youngest scholars. Now, members of the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development are investing their time in the multimedia project that provokes discussions on international topics of civics, current events, geography and humanities.

Medical research hits walls sresearesearchy researchers

Tay Netoff has spent about two decades researching epilepsy. Now, the associate biomedical engineering professor has to shift his research’s focus to Parkinson’s disease, as it’s more likely to secure government funding.

Program offers chance at a clean slate

When University of Minnesota students commit misdemeanors like theft, underage drinking or disorderly conduct, they often pay the fine without realizing there’s an alternative. “By sending in the money, you are pleading guilty,” said Mark Karon, attorney and director at University Student Legal Service. “And then not only do you have an arrest record, but you now have a criminal record.”

City leaders addressing waste woes

University of Minnesota alumnus and retired Minneapolis teacher Ardes Johnson lived in her townhouse on 14th Avenue Southeast until April, when it was demolished to be replaced by a new apartment complex. Johnson salvaged as much of her home as possible before she moved out of the neighborhood where she said she expected to spend the rest of her life. She tried to move, sell and donate appliances, furnaces and cabinets, but she couldn’t save everything.

Incentives boost flu vaccines

As flu season approaches, medical experts are clamoring for University of Minnesota students, staff and faculty members to get immunized. And in convincing them to do so, area health clinics and pharmacies are throwing discounts and freebies to them.