Grant Provides Computer Time
Nikolai V. Pogorelov, a research scientist in the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP), has received an unusual grant from the Department of Energy – 850,000 processor hours on the seventh-fastest computer in the world, located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tenn.

Pogorelov’s research project was one of only 17 projects from universities nationwide supported by the Department of Energy this year.

Pogorelov, who joined UCR in 2003, will use the processor hours allocated to him to do research that could help in the planning of manned space missions to other planets.

Along with co-investigator Jacob Heerikhuisen, who is also an IGPP research scientist, Pogorelov will model physical processes in the heliosphere that occur when the solar wind interacts with the interstellar medium.

Miller Talks about E-waste, Hollywood and the Media
Toby Miller, chair of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, was a keynote speaker at the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association conference at Cardiff University in January. His topic was “Talking Rubbish,” focusing on the propensity of industrialized nations to dispose of toxic electronic waste in developing countries.

He will talk about Hollywood stardom at the Fundacion Gonzalo Rojas in Mexico City in April and will be a keynote speaker at a conference of the International Communication Association in Montreal in May. His topic there will be media citizenship. He will be giving talks on similar topics at CSU San Bernardino, Claremont Graduate University, Rhode Island School of Design and New York University this winter and spring.

Miller’s new book, “Madeover Nation: The United States of Reinvention,” will be published by Ohio State University Press in August.

Documentary Focuses on Autism
Michele Jaquis, guest lecturer in the Department of Art, co-directed and edited a documentary about autism, “Recovered: Journeys through the Autism Spectrum and Back.”

The documentary, produced by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders in Tarzana, is scheduled for release on DVD this month. A premiere screening is planned in April, during Autism Awareness Month.

Jaquis is the videographer and editor for the Center for Autism and Related Disorders.

A multimedia artist, her work is included in “I-Dentity,” an exhibition that opened Feb. 7 at the University of Missouri’s Kansas City Gallery of Art. From November through the end of January, her work was included in another exhibition, “Go Native: Installed,” presented by the Los Angeles Art Association at Phantom Galleries in Pasadena.

Pheromone Research Featured in News Magazine
A research paper published Jan. 8 in Chemical Communications and coauthored by Jocelyn Millar, a professor of entomology, was recently chosen as a feature article in the news magazine Chemical Science.

Millar and three colleagues used spectroscopy – the measurement of electromagnetic radiation that atoms or molecules absorb, scatter or emit – to identify the configuration of the sex pheromone of the mealybug, a worldwide pest of grape vines and other plants. Many bioactive molecules, such as the mealybug sex pheromone, exist as pairs of mirror images, most easily thought of as a right-handed form and a left-handed form.

The researchers’ method determined that the mealybug produces the right-handed form of the pheromone molecule – crucial knowledge for developing synthetic, biologically active molecules that could be used in insect management.

Millar was joined in the research by scientists in France and the University of Southern California.

According to Millar, their method “can streamline the process of both the complete identification and the synthesis of new bioactive molecules, whether they are compounds being considered for drugs, or for insect control.”

Varcoe Commended by U.S. Entity
The Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service-United States Department of Agriculture (CsREES-USDA) recently commended Karen Varcoe, a Cooperative Extension consumer economics/management specialist since 1981, for her leadership and commitment to a multistate research project called “Rural Low Income Families: Tracking their Well-Being and
Functioning in the Context of Welfare Reform.”

Also known as “Rural Families Speak,” the project has been ongoing since 1998 with researchers in 17 states involved in the project at different times. The work has been highlighted in the national Office of Management and Budget’s mandated review of the relevance, quality and performance of CSREES research, education and extension programs.

Opening Address Published
William Megenney’s opening address at a conference on Afro-Argentine culture in 2007 has been published as the introduction in the Anthology of Oral and Written Afro-Argentine Literature – En la lucha curtida del camino [In the Filthy Struggle along the Road]. Megenney is a professor of Spanish and Portuguese.

The anthology was published by the Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos, Presidencia de la Nación in Buenos Aires.

Head Pens Book, Articles
A book of interdisciplinary essays edited by Randolph Head on religion and society in Germany after the Reformation – “Orthodoxies and Heterodoxies in Early Modern German Culture, Order and Creativity 1550-1750” – was published in November. His co-editor, Daniel Christensen, received his Ph.D. in history from UCR in 2004.

Head, an associate professor of history, also wrote an article, “Thinking with the Thurgau: Political Pamphlets from the Vilmergerkrief and the Construction of Bioconfessional Politics in Switzerland and Europe,” that was published in October in a volume of essays in honor of Thomas A. Brady Jr. of Berkeley.

Another article will be included in a volume of essays from a 2005 conference on “Statebuilding from below.” The article, “Modes of reading, community practice and the constitution of textual authority in the Thurgau and Graubünden, 1520-1660,” will appear in “Empowering interactions: Political Cultures and the Emergence of the State in Europe, 14th-19th centuries” (Aldershot: Ashgate, forthcoming 2008), André Holenstein, Wim Blockmans and Jon Mathieu, eds.

Head also is organizing a January 2009 conference at UCLA’s Clark Library titled “In and Out of Archives.” The conference will focus on archives in early modern history and in historical theory.