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Zoe Toledo

U. partners with local company to compost food waste

The Office of Sustainability, Building Services and Campus Dining have partnered so that food scraps from the dining hall are now handled by a local company, AgriArk, which will process them into fertilizer at a local facility. Director of the Office of Sustainability Shana Weber explained that, for a long period of time, local options for composting food scraps were unavailable, with the closest facility located in Wilmington, Del.

U. professor develops new technique to study infant brains

Psychology professorLauren Emberson has developed a new technique to study how the portions of babies’ brains that respond to visual stimuli are the same portions of babies’ brains that respond to the expectation of a visual stimulus. The research in “Top-down modulation in the infant brain: Learning-induced expectations rapidly affect the sensory cortex at 6 months,” published June 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was conducted by Emberson, Richard Aslin and John Richards. Aslin is a professor at Rochester University for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Center for Visual Science, and Richards is a professor at the University of South Carolina department of psychology. Emberson, who joined the University psychology department on September 1 as an assistant professor of psychology, was previously a postdoctoral associate at Rochester University for the department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences. Emberson explained that in the study, parents go into a room where there is a screen that will display a video to the baby.

Ng '16, Xiao '16 found student-run investment fund

Mitchell Ng ’16 and Edward Xiao ’16 founded a student-run investment fund that currently manages $150,000 in assets.The investment fund, Thessalus Capital Management, focuses on exchange-traded funds and large market cap stocks to minimize risk and maintain a stable portfolio, Xiao said.“It’s about balancing risk, some high risk and high reward, as well as long-term stable investments, such as healthcare and technology, as well as [exchange-traded funds],” Ng explained.Ng said the two main goals of the fund are to generate positive returns and to beat the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.If the fund is successful, over time Thessalus will increase risk by incorporating long-short strategies similar to those of a hedge fund, Ng said, adding that Thessalus will provide seed funding for start-ups on campus.Seed funding is an early investment in a start-up that helps pay the initial costs of launching a company.Xiao said his team is not confining itself to any one sector.“We are doing what traditionally investment funds do, but at the same time we are taking on a portion that is somewhat like a venture capital business in that we are investing in very small companies like start-ups,” he said.Devansh Gupta ’16, the chief executive officer of Wolfpak & Pack Inc., will receive seed funding for his start-up from Thessalus management.Gupta's company, co-founded with Rutgers junior Felix Young, created a social networking app called Wolfpak that applies the anonymous social media concept of Yik Yak to photos and videos.

U. hires Sanskrit lecturer

The University has hired Nataliya Yanchevskaya, an adjunct lecturer at Moravian College, to teach Sanskrit in the fall.The main qualification for the position was a very high level of training in the Sanskrit language, Jonathan Gold, chair of the search committee and professor of religion, said.

Graduate students to vote on divestment referendum this week

Less than a week after undergraduate students voted against a divestment referendum, graduate students will have the opportunity to vote on a similar referendum this week from Wednesday through Friday, May 8.The referendum calls upon the trustees of the University and the Princeton University Investment Company to “divest from multinational corporations that maintain the infrastructure of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, facilitate Israel’s and Egypt’s collective punishment of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or facilitate state repression against Palestinians by Israeli, Egyptian, and Palestinian Authority security forces, until these corporations cease such activities.”Graduate Student Government president Akshay Mehra GS said that Kelly Roache GS first approached the GSG at the April 8 graduate student assembly proposing a divestment referendum for graduate students. Roache said it is important for graduate students to weigh in on meaningful issues of conscience."In one sense, [the GSG divestment referendum] was an act to ensure our full student community was included in the decision-making process," she said.Roache noted that the Resources Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community has asked to see a consensus and sustained student interest regarding divestment.The results of the upcoming GSG divestment referendum will be used by University planners, mainly individuals on the Resources Committee, trustees and PRINCO, “to serve as a barometer for graduate student interest and opinions on divestment," Roache said.The referendum is nonbinding, Roache said, adding that it was never an option for the USG or GSG to bind the CPUC, PRINCO, or the trustees to act.

Schneider ’17, Jayanti ’17, Schneider GS to represent U. at international computing competition

Eric Schneider ’17, Siddhartha Jayanti ’17 and Jon Schneider GS will represent the University at the upcoming Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest in Marrakech, Morocco this May. ACM is an educational and scientific computing society comprised of computing educators, professionals and students. The contest allows hundreds of teams, each consisting of three students, to work together and solve a series of problems with mathematical algorithms. A total of 2,534 universities and 38,160 contestants from101 countries participated in the regionals-level competition.

Humanities sequence will no longer require applications

The Humanistic Studies Program will no longer require prospective freshmen students to apply to the intensive year-long Humanities Sequence. Students, including non-freshmen, can instead reserve a spot by emailing Lin DeTitta,the program manager for Humanistic Studies and Journalism. The Humanities Sequence is a year-long sequence of courses that is designed to represent an interdisciplinary approach to examining Western literature from antiquity to the 20thcentury. Originally, the emphasis on faculty-led precepts forced limits on the number of students who could enroll, saidKathleen Crown,executive director of the Council of the Humanities. The program has evolved over time in regard to the number of faculty and students involved with the program, she added. “There is nothing in the origins of the sequence to indicate that the HUMSequence should be limited to a select group," Crown said.

Save the Dinky raises awareness of memorandum, encounters problems at Communiversity

Save the Dinky, a local nonprofit group, is raising awareness of Dinky ridership by calling attention to a past agreement signed in 2011 by representatives of Princeton Borough, Princeton Township and the University. The document, titled “Memorandum of Understanding” outlines the University’s intentions to work with both the Borough and the Township,statingthat if the proposed zoning agreements within the Memorandum are approved, any subsequent changes made by the University will be reviewed and voted upon in a public hearing led by the planning board. The University and the municipalities also agreed to establish a joint task force that would be called the Alexander Street/University Place Transit Task Force. However,Anita Garoniak, president of Save the Dinky, said she questions how the University will fulfill promises stated in theMOU. “The MOU was suppose to promote Dinky ridership and nothing has been done to do that,” Garoniak said. Director of Community and Regional Affairs Kristin Appelget said the University has been upholding all aspects of the agreement. “Many of the items that are outlined in the agreement have already been achieved,” Appelget said."It is important to remember that the agreement was struck in 2011 and much progress has been made since then.

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