Campus briefs


Celebrate diversity champions at U-M with a DDLA nomination

University employees are encouraged to celebrate staff members or work teams who demonstrate extraordinary dedication to diversity at U-M with a nomination for the 11th annual Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award. Nominations are due by Oct. 4, and award recipients will be announced in December. Up to 10 awards for individuals and five awards for teams will be presented. Recipients will receive written recognition and funds to use for professional development. Individual recipients receive $1,000 and teams receive $2,500 to share — awards made possible by the Office of the Provost and University Human Resources. Submit a nomination at

MIDAS announces first cohort of Michigan Data Science Fellows

Seven young data scientists from the United States, Asia and Europe will join U-M’s Michigan Institute for Data Science as the inaugural cohort of Michigan Data Science Fellows. They will work at the boundaries of data science methods and domain sciences to develop collaborative relationships with the U-M data science community. The fellows and their data science application areas include:

  • Arya Farahi, coming from Carnegie Mellon University, cosmology and its intersection with fundamental physics.
  • Qianying (Ruby) Lin, coming from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, epidemic inferences and trends.
  • Patrick Park, currently at U-M, structure and evolution of large-scale human social networks.
  • Elyas Sabeti, currently at U-M, theory and algorithms for the analysis of medical big data.
  • Maria Veiga, coming from the University of Zurich, developing techniques for multi-scale modeling.
  • Edgar Vivanco (joint postdoctoral fellow with the National Center for Institutional Diversity), coming from Stanford University, utilizing machine learning to examine how colonial-era institutions and contemporary criminal violence shape economic under-performance.
  • Blair Winograd, currently at U-M, working with M-Write to combine conceptual writing prompts, automated peer review, natural language processing and automated personalized feedback to create an infrastructure for writing at scale.

Support group for those who have lost a spouse or partner

The Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office will offer a confidential support group for anyone experiencing the death of a spouse or partner. This group will address various topics that are important to the participants and may include loneliness, parenting, social isolation and the new role or identity as a widow or widower. This offering emphasizes group discussion as well as educational components. No one will be required to speak, but doing so often helps the grieving process. The group facilitators have many years of grief-support experience and have conducted educational presentations on grief and loss over the past 10 years. There is no charge for faculty or staff, but pre-registration is required. Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch. The group will meet from noon-1:15 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month beginning Oct. 3 at University Psychological Clinic, 500 E. Washington, Suite 100. Contact Tina Weymouth at or Joanne Bernard at; call 734-936-8660; or email

Submit abstracts for annual data science symposium by Sept. 20

The Michigan Institute for Data Science will host the 2019 U-M Data Science Symposium with the theme “Embracing the Challenge: Data Science for the Next Ten Years” on Nov. 13-15 at Rackham Amphitheatre. MIDAS facilitates the work of the broad U-M data science community; advances cross-cutting data science methodologies and applications; promotes the use of data science to benefit society; builds data science training pipelines; and develops partnerships with industry, academia and community. The annual symposium is the largest data science research event at U-M. Register at The deadline for abstract submission (talk or poster) is Sept. 20. Submit an abstract or learn more about the symposium at

NSF grant to help UM-Flint professor improve linguistics education

A $67,000 National Science Foundation grant will help Kazuko Hiramatsu, associate professor of linguistics at UM-Flint, create a Faculty Learning Community focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning in linguistics. Hiramatsu seeks to improve her teaching methods and help fellow linguistics professors become better educators. Each participant in the 12-member learning community will explore a particular issue they encounter in teaching the subject, with the goal of creating materials to advance teaching methods in both K-12 and higher education. To read more about this project, visit


Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.