Alex Belser


Articles

Pioneers of artificial intelligence reconvened at Dartmouth for the

AI conference returns to College after 50 yrs.

Lauren Wool / The Dartmouth Staff Fifty years after a group of about 10 young scientists first met to start the nascent field of artificial intelligence, some of them returned for a fiftieth anniversary conference this weekend entitled AI@50, the Dartmouth Artificial Intelligence Conference: The Next Fifty Years. The three-day program, which lasted from Thursday through Saturday, consisted of over 40 presentations including a few retrospective lectures about the history of the field, but primarily focused on the future, with sessions entitled "The Future of AI" and "The Future of the Future." The future of artificial intelligence has attracted the interest of many organizations, including military bodies.


Town to consider laws preventing Tubestock on June 19, July 10

WEB UPDATE, June 6, 11:00 p.m. The Hanover Board of Selectmen will consider two Tubestock-related ordinances -- one on open containers and another on outdoor activities -- during public hearings at their June 19 and July 10 meetings. Many students were worried they would not be able to attend the first meeting because Summer term begins June 22.



Students at a

Forum promotes open debate of issues

Lauren Wool / The Dartmouth A Free Speech Forum held Thursday night to talk about controversial minority issues drew 32 students to Alumni Hall, but those in attendance said they wished there had been a bigger and more ideologically diverse turnout. Topics of discussion included "marginalized people" at Dartmouth, the immigration debate and two Facebook.com groups established by Dartmouth students to express support for the Duke lacrosse players accused of rape. Students and a few administrators sat around tables talking over snacks about the issues on the meeting agenda, with students trained as moderators overseeing the discussion. "The problem is it's pretty self-selected about who comes, but there were people who disagreed so it was legitimate and helpful," Owen Zidar '08. Organizer Shamara Baidoobonso '06 said the goal was to get students to speak openly and really force them to think about their beliefs. "I find that the campus is polarized and there are really some issues that need to be addressed," she said. Baidoobonso, who is black, said the Facebook groups about the Duke Lacrosse players upset some black students.



Alumni Council to convene, vote on alumni constitution overhaul

After years of debate, Dartmouth's alumni "senate" will vote this Green Key Weekend on a proposed overhaul of the alumni government. Approximately 75 members of the Alumni Council, one of two alumni governing organizations, arrived yesterday for a three-day meeting to culminate Saturday with a vote on a new alumni constitution. The constitution would formally consolidate the Council into the second, wider group, the Association of Alumni, which consists of all Dartmouth graduates. It would also expand the Council to some 125 members from around 100 and rename it the Alumni Assembly, while creating a separate new 16-member Alumni Liaison Board charged with representing "alumni sentiment" to the College's Board of Trustees. Supporters like current Council president Rick Routhier '73 Tu'76 hope the new document would make things easier and more open than under the current two-tiered structure. "It's cumbersome," Routhier said.


The Centerra Park in Lebanon, N.H., -- where the recently-purchased GlycoFi headquarters are located -- underwent construction this winter.

Merck purchases professors' company

Courtesy of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network In a $400 million deal, pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. purchased GlycoFi, Inc., the Lebanon, N.H.-based biotechnology firm Thayer School of Engineering professors Tillman Gerngross and Charles Hutchinson co-founded in 2000, the companies announced last week.


Green hosts immigration rally

Crowds of Dartmouth students took part in a series of national protests Monday with their own rally on the Green in support of illegal immigrants, all while an airplane banner flew overhead demanding that illegal immigrants go home. A group of 90 people, comprised mostly of students, marched through Hanover before ending at the Green where attendance swelled into the hundreds for the noontime rally. "We will not stand for the exploitation of workers," said Tina Catania '03, the rally's unofficial master of ceremonies.


Professors' patents can pull in cash for College

Unlike the figure skater of the same name known for jumping and spinning above the ice, Thayer School of Engineering professor Victor Petrenko is getting attention for melting it. The aerospace company Goodrich Corporation has licensed his method of helping remove ice from airplane wings, and Petrenko has formed his own company to develop its use for power lines, shoes, skis and ice machines. Petrenko said revenue from his 14 American and 20 international patents will eventually amount to billions of dollars. "In two, three years it will be very substantial for me," he said. Petrenko is well down a road a number of Dartmouth professors, mainly at Thayer and Dartmouth Medical School, travel each year -- trying to patent new ideas they develop in their laboratories. Because these ideas come about in the course of their work at Dartmouth, the College officially owns them. Professors are required to disclose their inventions to the Technology Transfer Office, where director Alla Kan works with outside patent lawyers the College hires to determine whether ideas are patentable.


Dartmouth receives $300k grant

Since 1992, the government has required that food packages carry a "nutrition facts" label. Now, a team of Dartmouth researchers wants prescriptions to have their own fact boxes, and they are set to receive a $394,333 grant to develop that idea. Lisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin, researchers at Dartmouth Medical School and the Veterans Affairs Hospital in White River Junction, Vt., are getting the money in a government effort to combat pharmaceutical company spin. These boxes would show doctors the pros and cons of drugs they might prescribe without their having to search through the fine print of FDA-mandated drug information or look up clinical trials on the internet. "The idea is to give them simple tabular data so they can have some sense of the size of the effect of the drug," said Gilbert Welch, another researcher on the project. Welch said the ultimate goal would be to have the FDA include these boxes with the required insert, which patients get with their medicines or see on the back of magazine ads. The grant is one of 22 being distributed to medical institutions across the country. According to Julie Brill of the Vermont Attorney General's Office, the grant winners were selected from more than 30 proposals by an association of state attorneys general in association with outside consultants. She said they were looking for a variety of possible approaches that would help give doctors unbiased information they might otherwise not have time to get. "We thought they were worth funding to see how successful they are," Brill said. The money comes from a 2004 government settlement with Warner-Lambert for marketing the anti-seizure drug Neurontin for unapproved uses.