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Meng Zhang, a second year Ph.D. student in anthropology, is learning the scientific research techniques of an anthropologist under the mentorship of UNM Leslie Spier Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Lawrence Straus. Zhang, who recently won the “Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad,” says hearing the news was like magic "because this kind of scholarship is always going to the students who have the hardest studies in engineering." He will receive the award at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 1.
Zhang is interested in the middle to upper Paleolithic transition in China, but says he was advised to come to the U.S. to learn current research techniques. “For me, the most intriguing part is something we don’t know because it’s part of the prehistory,” Zhang said. He notes that there is evidence of early humans throughout China, but so far there is no narrative that explains how they might have come to East Asia or even where they might have come from. One day he would like to excavate in the desert of northwest China to try to learn more.
Zhang has already done field work at Blackwater Draw, the site in eastern New Mexico of the original discovery of the paleoindian Clovis culture. He worked with Eastern New Mexico University professor David Kilby, a former UNM anthropology student. Zhang has also worked at Healy Lake in Alaska with professors from Texas A&M University. He says the award came to him partly as a result of the strong recommendation that Straus wrote.
Shengqian Chen, a Chinese anthropologist was a strong influence on Zhang, who attended Jilin University where he received his B.A. degree. He received his M.A. from Peking University and a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University under the direct of Fred Wendorf and Lewis Binford, a former UNM professor. Binford is credited with helping to originate ethnoarcheology, something that resonated with Zhang and he was thrilled to find that Straus occupies Binford’s old office at UNM.
Zhang is considering two topics for his dissertation. He would like to do analysis of the hunting and subsistence life of the early anatomically modern humans in northern China as compared to more recent groups, or he might try to do something on the origins of Americans. He thinks that might require him to learn Russian and other languages so he can examine original documents. Either path would commit him to years of serious research.
Eventually Zhang would like to return to China and teach at a university. His mother was a teacher and has always strongly encouraged him to continue with his education. He thinks his work to understand how the earliest modern humans came to East Asia will keep him and his students busy working for a lifetime.
In the beginning of 2013 Alexey Serov was promoted to Research Assistant Professor position and led sub-group of Professor Atanassov's group with 5 PhD students. He collaborates with several research groups around the globe: Canada, Germany, Japan, France etc.
Alexey participates in several research projects with automobile manufactures, such as Nissan and Daihatsu. New generation of his catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction was successfully integrated in working prototype of Daihatsu fuel cell vehicle. This vehicle was introduced to public on 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
Alexey obtained his Master of Science degree in Inorganic Chemistry from Moscow State University, Russia and his PhD from University of Bern, Switzerland. He also has an industrial experience by working for two years in R&D center of Samsung SDI corporation, South Korea.
His LinkedIn profile can be found at www.linkedin.com/pub/alexey-serov/32/671/475
Kadar, who has been teaching for 22 years, said that times have changed for Eastern Europeans studying the United States. (retrieved from http://news.unm.edu/2012/10)
American Studies calls to mind the breadth of the American experience through various lenses, including race, ethnicity, time and place. It's a field that's explored internally and externally. Providing an external perspective is Judit Kadar, a Hungarian Fulbright Fellow in American Studies this semester.
American Studies as a discipline was subsidized by the U.S. Department of State in former eastern bloc countries following the fall of the Berlin Wall. "Prior to the regime change, we saw few Americans. Those who did come to Hungary were professionals. They had an open-minded approach and a desire to share knowledge, which I found interesting," Kadar said.
That Hungarians – or any other nationality – would be interested in studying American ways of life, is not hard to understand. "America is everywhere. It's global. It's behind everything from the fast food culture to rock and roll. Previous generations didn't get to study it," Kadar said.
Kadar, who has been teaching for 22 years, said that times have changed for Eastern Europeans studying the United States. "Previously, scholars couldn't get a passport or leave the country. They couldn't study America firsthand," she said. "Post-1990s, our approach, our opportunities are better. Scholarships, grants and other aid is available that didn't used to exist," she added.
Kadar is also a Canadian Studies scholar. "I run the Canadian Studies program at Eszterházy College. I teach an undergraduate course on multiculturalism in the U.S. and Canada. I also teach a graduate course on comparative cultural and political citizenship values in contemporary U.S.," she said.
Kadar is pleased that she was able to acquire a Fulbright fellowship on her first try. "My university is highly supportive, especially my department. I am only the second Fulbright at Eszterházy. They acknowledge the relevance and importance, particularly for my discipline," she said.
While at UNM, Kadar is offering an eight week course for the second half of the fall semester. The course, "Going Indian/Native? Cultural Manifestations of In-Betweenness," is an exploration into why someone "goes Native", or adapts cultural stereotypes such as those seen in manifestations of the "White man's Indian."
As for coming to UNM, Kadar credits American Studies Professor Gerald Vizenor. "I met him at a conference and he suggested I come here. He said it would be the place for my research and teaching," she said. She found out he was right. "Albuquerque and New Mexico possess ethnic transformation and hybridity. It is both Native American versus/and White. New Mexico has a mixed cultural background and the city is a living example," she said.
Kadar said she read about theories from post-colonial literature, ethnic studies and the psychology of ethnic change, but now, she said, "I travel around, meet people of other backgrounds and take a non-European approach to understanding the reality," she said.
Kadar meets with colleagues in her discipline and beyond. She also visits classes. Lots of classes.
"Visiting classes stimulates me. For instance I have learned some interesting approaches at Dr. Jennifer Denetdale's classes on Critical Native American Studies that help me clarify the grounds that my research can and cannot explore extensively." She added that Denetdale clarifies terms, and describes what she won't have access to when she gets back.
Kadar is impressed with the caliber of students. "All the classes I've attended have depth and scope. The graduate students possess incredible knowledge. The faculty whose work is coordinated by Dr. Gabriel Melendez work closely with them to help them make the leap academically," she said. She added that the American Studies professors motivate their students. "The complexity of thought at the graduate level is inspirational," she said.
Kadar is seeing how the UNM professors help native and other students of color "develop their voice." "It goes beyond post-colonial discourse. This is a new opportunity to get rid of stereotyped and loaded approaches to history. They study histories," she said, adding that the students learn to tell their own tribal histories in their own way.
"Their instructors emphasize that they have this at hand through their identity, history and literature," Kadar said, adding that the faculty teach theories for students to use as tools.
The Prussian system employed for educating students is still prevalent in Hungary, which now runs under the Bologna system. "Students still want me to tell them what to think. Creativity isn't appreciate enough in these systems. We have to encourage our students to dare to engage in critical thinking," she said.
Kadar said that she is grateful for the opportunity to come to UNM as Fulbright fellow. "I just wish I could prolong it for another term so that I could accomplish even more with my new research project," she said.
ARTE graduate student, receives Award of Excellence in the 67th College Photographer of the Year Competition and chosen to attend prestigious Nikon/Eddie Adams Workshop (retrieved from http://www.unm.edu/~arted/junfuhan.html)
Junfu Han, a graduate student in the Art Education Program at the University of New Mexico, received the Award of Excellence in the 67th College Photographer of the Year competition. His photograph titled, Camera Collector, is published online at http://www.cpoy.org.Han was also one of 100 students from throughout the world who was accepted in the Nikon-sponosred Eddie Adams Workshop for the Class of XXV. The Eddie Adams Workshop in Jeffersonville, New York was held from October 5-8, 2012 and was an intense four-day gathering of the top photography professionals, along with 100 carefully selected students. The photography workshop was tuition-free, and the students were chosen based on the merit of their portfolios.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Workshop, which was founded by photographer Eddie Adams, with his wife and our current director, Alyssa Adams. Over the years, they have built a strong network of alumni including some of the top photographers and editors in the field.
Eddie Adams was a photographer who covered 13 wars, beginning with a stint as a Marine Corps combat photographer in Korea in the early 1950s and ending in Kuwait in 1991. He did three tours of Vietnam with the Associated Press and won the Pulitzer Prize for photography for his photograph of a Viet Cong lieutenant being executed at close range on a Saigon street by a South Vietnamese general.
Besides working on his graduate degree in Art Education, Junfu Han is the Editor-in-Chief of Conception Southwest, the UNM Fine Arts magazine.
Junfu Han, originally from China, received his B.A.F.A. in Photography from UNM in 2012. His website is at http://junfuhan.blogspot.com.
For my MFA thesis project at the University of New Mexico, my donkey (Fairus) and I will be living inside the courtyard of the Fine Arts buiding for 4 day.
Ph.D. Candidate George Bezerra Receives Excellence in Graduate Research Award (retrieved from http://news.unm.edu)
Computer Science Ph.D. candidate George Bezerra has received the 2012 UNM Chapter of Sigma Xi "Excellence in Graduate Research" Award. The UNM Chapter of Sigma Xi, an international, multidisciplinary research society, presents the Excellence in Graduate Research Award to encourage and recognize the research performed by a doctoral student near the end of his or her Ph.D. dissertation.
Bezerra presents his research in a colloquium, titled "Communication Locality and Energy Consumption in Chip Multi-Processors," Friday, June 15 at 10 a.m. in the Centennial Engineering Center Auditorium. A reception follows at 11 a.m. in the Stamm Commons. Bezerra is graduating from UNM this summer and starting a postdoc at MIT in the Fall. He works with modeling and optimization of energy consumption in modern computer architectures, in particular multicore chips with dozens of cores. He is also interested the similarities between power consumption in chips and metabolism in biological organisms as these systems scale in size. He holds a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Computer Engineering both from the University of Campinas, Brazil.
Performance increase of future computer architectures will be driven by the growing parallelism of multi-core chips and constrained by power consumption. To take full advantage of the multi-core design, the communication patterns of parallel applications must be optimized through careful mapping of data to cores, so that communication distances and energy consumption are minimized. We present a new method for data placement in Chip Multi-Processors (CMPs), which reduces on-chip energy consumption by targeting communication locality and load-balancing. Our method is exact and can be solved in polynomial time, improving on earlier heuristic approaches that do not provide guarantees on solution quality. Simulations on a 64-core system showed an average reduction of dynamic energy consumption of 49.8 percent(and as much as 84.1 percent), with performance gains of up to 16.9% on parallel scientific benchmarks.
As Christian works toward completion of his degree, he is accentuating his education by being a part of the library housing over 360,000 digital images.(retrieved from http://finearts.unm.edu)
Christian Olsson was an undergraduate exchange student from the University of Skövde in Sweden; he returned to UNM and is working toward his Master of Art in Art History with an emphasis on the History of Photography; he also catalogs images at the Bunting Visual Resources Library (BVRL). Olsson expresses an understanding of the importance of the library, "The digitizing, cataloging, and distribution of images are becoming increasingly important parts of our media-intense world. Many magnificent images that would otherwise easily have been overlooked due to neglect and lack of research are being well taken care of at the BVRL." As Christian works toward completion of his degree, he is accentuating his education by being a part of the library housing over 360,000 digital images. "Cataloging images at the BVRL has proven to be a valuable experience because of the great insight the process has provided for me, both professionally and personally. The possibility to thoroughly research the images I have cataloged has given me knowledge in how images migrate from institution to institution because of disasters and wars. I have come to realize that the life, or history, of an object is just as important as the object itself. This insight has proved to be useful for me on an educational level because it has given me a greater understanding of how an image's past and present connect on a theoretical plane."