Construction begins on $133 million revamp of Chemistry Building

By the time they graduate, more than half of the students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison will have taken a chemistry course, a demonstration of the central role chemistry plays in preparing students for their career. Now, with the start of construction on a $133 million tower and other renovations, those students — as well as faculty and other researchers — will gain access to updated teaching and laboratory spaces to accommodate the next generation of chemical education and research.

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A peek at the new Hamel Music Center

Construction began in February 2017 and is scheduled for completion in 2019. Located at the corner of Lake Street and University Avenue, the building is named in honor of Pamela and UW–Madison alumnus George Hamel. The Hamel family, which includes three generations of UW–Madison alumni, contributed $15 million to the project and has supported the university through gifts to athletics, scholarships, facilities and faculty support.

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New Faculty Focus: Justin Hsu

He brings to the Department of Computer Sciences an interest in differential privacy. 

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New Faculty Focus: Kevin Black

The new physics professor specializes in elementary particle physics. 

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UW-Madison alumni at the heart of the new Gold Rush in documentaries

L&S alumni Libby Geist, Justine Nagan and Raney Aronson-Ruth were on campus last week as part of the Department of Communication Arts’ “Spotlight on Documentary” event, screening some of their films and talking about their careers with students. The three producers discussed the changing landscape, which has brought a lot of new money and new opportunities for documentaries, but also new complications, including investors, distribution and branding.

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Blazes of light reveal how plants signal danger long distances

That fluorescent light tracks calcium as it zips across the plant’s tissues, providing an electrical and chemical signal of a threat. In more than a dozen videos like this, University of Wisconsin–Madison Professor of Botany Simon Gilroy and his lab reveal how glutamate — an abundant neurotransmitter in animals — activates this wave of calcium when the plant is wounded. The videos provide the best look yet at the communication systems within plants that are normally hidden from view.

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Celebrating the French House at 100

La Maison Française marks a century of creating cultural connections for students and the broader Madison community. 

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New Faculty Focus: Paige Glotzer

The John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Assistant Professor in the History of American Politics, Institutions and Political Economy studies the history of housing segregation in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Book club serves up an ‘intellectual feast’ for retired faculty members

For 23 years, a group of retired UW–Madison professors and administrators has met monthly to discuss works of historic and scholarly import.

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