Professor of Computer Science Ben Raphael first applied his computational muscle to the fight against cancer by accident. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego, he studied genomes. One day, during a routine research meeting, his advisor mentioned that he had gotten an email out of the blue from cancer biologists who needed help making sense of their data. He asked the lab group if anyone was interested in helping them out. Raphael volunteered, thinking it would be a one-off project. Fifteen years later, he’s still studying what drives cancer.
Engineers at Princeton are working to solve some of our most critical challenges, from reducing dependence on fossil fuels to making the Internet more secure to working at the intersection of biology and technology to combat disease.
During a sunrise run in China’s remote Gansu Province last summer, Sam Rasmussen ’19 felt he was traveling back in time to China as it looked decades ago. He jogged on unpaved roads through desert terrain, past homes made of adobe and farmers working in their fields. When he needed a pit stop, a farmer led Rasmussen behind his house to a concrete slab over two holes in the ground.
Computer science powers the work of many disciplines. If a molecular biologist needs to match up millions of pairs of genes, or a humanist wants to mine databases to understand the evolution of English prose, computers make it possible. Princeton’s computer science department, part of the University’s renowned engineering school, is distinguished by its deep expertise in both the theoretical foundations of computing and the many applications of computing in modern life.
Nearly 50 graduate students from around the country and beyond gathered at Princeton University for "Athena in Action: A Networking and Mentoring Workshop for Graduate Student Women in Philosophy."
Shortly after arriving in La Paz, Bolivia, Deirdre Ricuarte ’16 found herself in a pediatric oncology department. She and her fellow interns were charged with talking to the patients and their parents to learn about their conditions and treatments. Most of the children were too tired to interact. But one five-year-old boy, Christian, craved her attention.
Digital technology has become essential for personal communication, getting the news, banking, shopping, and countless routine transactions. As our reliance on technological devices grows, however, pressing questions emerge: How do we define privacy online? Who has access to our data—and how will they use it? How do we prevent cyber attacks?
Alumni, friends, and members of the University community celebrated the new home of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment on May 18. The center has an urgent goal: to help transition the world away from fossil fuels through research and education that will produce the solutions essential to preserving the planet for future generations. It was made possible by a $100 million gift from Gerhard Andlinger '52. The center's primary lecture and gathering space, Maeder Hall, made possible by a gift from Paul Maeder ’75, was also dedicated during the celebration.
In his four decades on the Princeton faculty, Ted Taylor earned the admiration of his students and colleagues for his cheerful nature and commitment to rigorous research. Even in retirement, he has continued to support and shape new generations of scientists by establishing the Edward and Virginia Taylor Professorship in Bioorganic Chemistry and the Edward C. Taylor Fellowships for third-year graduate students in chemistry. The fellowships allow Princeton to fund students for three years—a rarity in higher education—freeing them from the need to tie their research interests to grant support.
As a retired physician and professor of medicine, Gordon Douglas ’55 has long known about the links between diet and catastrophic illnesses such as stroke and heart disease. His own bout with high cholesterol prompted him to stop eating meat, which solved the problem and made him think more deeply about food and health.