Three projects with the potential for broad impacts in science and technology have been selected to receive support from the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund. The projects include a technology for improving ultrasound's grainy images, a system for boosting biofuel production, and a facility for designing and testing new wind power technologies.
NANYUKI, Kenya — Princeton University graduate student Tyler Coverdale and Ryan O'Connell of the Class of 2017 clap as they walk around the tall bushes surrounding the sprawling experiment site. Not in applause, or for self-motivation — but to alert any buffalo, elephants or other animals that might be foraging for food or seeking shade from the intense equatorial sun. This is the nature of working at the Mpala Research Centre, a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional field laboratory that sits on a 50,000-acre reserve and ranch in Laikipia County in central Kenya.
In 2008, Andrew Appel ’81 tampered with an electronic voting machine, changing 20 percent of the votes it had registered from one candidate to the other. His “crime”—court-ordered in his role as an expert witness in a New Jersey lawsuit—captured the attention of the media and voters. Politico called him “part of a diligent corps of so-called cyber-academics—professors who have spent the past decade serving their country by relentlessly hacking it,” in a story that focused on several Princeton computer scientists.
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.
In a unique effort to combine the expertise of university scientists and conservation organizations, Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation has pledged $1.25 million to establish the Science-to-Action Fund at Princeton University. The fund will support environmental research that advances scientific understanding and practical, on-the-ground solutions in order to ensure the sustainable and rational use of freshwater for all.
Longtime Princeton faculty member Ted Taylor, the A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Organic Chemistry, Emeritus, has established the Edward C. Taylor Fellowships for graduate students in chemistry.
A technology to uncover how the infant brain learns language and a microscope that can image and manipulate the inner workings of a functioning cell have been awarded funding through the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund.