The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 24, 2003 - 5A
breaking of computer
$40-million project to help
further computer science
department at College of
By Andrew McCormack
Daily Staff Reporter
Construction of the 104,000 square-foot
Computer Science and Engineering building
officially began Friday with a groundbreaking
ceremony at the site, located next to the Her-
bert H. Dow Building.
The $40-million price tag may raise some
eyebrows with students whose tuition never
seems to stop increasing, but David Munson,
chair of the Electrical Engineering and Com-
puter Science department, said the funds are
coming entirely from private donors.
"The state is not spending that money,"
Munson said. "We're very sensitive to the fact
that -budgets are extremely tight. In fact, the
budget in my department is extremely tight
and it'll be tighter this next year."
Munson added that alumni donate more
often for long-term projects than to cover gen-
eral operating costs.
"Generally the alumni aren't going to give
you money to support your continuing pro-
gram ... but they do give us money for special
things," he said
One such alumnus, Kevin O'Connor,
chairman of DoubleClick Inc., said he gave
$5,000,000 to support the construction
because the University has done a decent,
but not exceptional job with its computer
science program and needs the new facility
to continue growing.
He added that computer science is a contin-
uously evolving field that, with the right sup-
port, the University can be at the forefront of.
"If you asked me today, '20 years from
now, what's it going to look like?' I have no
idea, but there are two things that I can tell
you with certainty. One is that computers
and machines will come to play an increas-
ing role in our life, and the second one is
that many of the innovations will come from
the University of Michigan Computer Sci-
ence Building," he said.
O'Connor, who began DoubleClick in his
basement, also said that he feels it is impor-
tant for alumni to support their University's
growth, and that he is personally grateful to
the University for his own prosperity.
"I've met with a lot of success in my life
and a lot of it is because of the people I met
here and what they taught me," he said.
The facility, which is expected to be com-
pleted in 2006, will feature a design that is
intended to promote a sense of community for
the College of Engineering.
"The space generated between our building
and the Dow Building will become a landmark
exterior space," said David Dow, an architect
with Diamond and Schmitt, the Toronto-based
firm that designed the building.
Munson said the new facility will feature a
great deal of classroom space and labs for stu-
dents, as well as support a new research proj-
Engineering Dean Steven Director speaks before the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Computer
Science and Engineering Building to be located on North Campus.
ect called Location-Aware Computing. The
new technology uses sensors to identify the
locations and identities of specific people in a
"It's not that anybody here wants to spy
on students and faculty and know where
they are, it's a research project to figure out
how you could use this (technology)," he
"Suppose you walk into a room and the
room knows who you are, so it adjusts the
lighting and temperature just the way you
Munson added that pains were taken to
ensure that the building will use sunlight for
much of its illumination.
"It's going to be very light and very
bright inside. There's a lot of glass, a lot of
skylights and even a lot of interior walls
that are made out of (translucent glass).
There's going to be a lot of natural light
throughout the building, and I think that in a
long Michigan winter, it's going to feel very
By Mona Raf..q
Miniature and enormous drawings by
Hendrick Goltzius and photographs by
Ansel Adams were just some of the
sights that greeted students who visited
the Toledo Art Museum via the Culture
The Culture Bus program began dur-
ing the 2000-2001 academic year as part
of a project sponsored by Arts at Michi-
gan, which promotes student access to
The project provides bus tours to
museums, art and music festivals and
other cultural attractions.
The tours are open to students, facul-
ty, staff and alumni.
The bus tours have been popular
among graduate students, international
students and visiting fellows to the Uni-
But Nancy Lautenbach, coordinator
of marketing and programs for Arts at
Michigan, said the program is beneficial
for undergraduate students too.
"We want to promote the Culture Bus
program to undergraduate students,
because if you don't have a car or don't
want to deal with traffic, these bus tours
are a great way to enjoy art and culture
opportunities in the area," Lautenbach
While many of the trips are open to
the general public, Lautenbach said
some professors have incorporated a
visit with the Culture Bus into their class
"We encourage faculty and (graduate
student instructors) to take advantage of
this as a way to incorporate outside arts
experiences into in-classroom learning,"
Lautenbach said as an added incen-
tive, special discounts are offered to
undergraduate students. Many of the
trips have been offered at no charge to
students, while others include fees that
are less than $5.
Yesterday's Culture Bus riders had the
opportunity to see exhibits on modern
American photography and drawings,
prints and paintings by Goltzius.
"Dating from 1900 through 2002, 135
prints have been selected, including
some of the best-known icons of the
modern era. ... This exhibition cele-
brates over 100 years of photography,"
the Toledo Art Museum website states.
The display includes artists such as
Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Sally
Mann and William Klein.
The Goltzius exhibit is the first exhib-
it ever devoted to the Dutch master. It
opened in the Rijikmuseum in Amster-
dam and also.stopped in the Metropoli-
tan Museum of Art in New York City
before coming to the museum in Toledo.
"This exhibition offers a wonderful
opportunity to enjoy dazzling drawings
from a few inches in size to over six
feet,"according to the museum website.
The visit to the Toledo Art Museum is
the seventh trip sponsored by the Culture
Bus program this semester. Previous
trips have included visits to the Detroit
Festival of the Arts, the Motown Histori-
cal Museum in Detroit and the Matthaei
Students celebrate festival of
lights with new, old traditions
By Alison Go
and Amy Kim
Daily Staff Reporters
"This was symbolic of coming into a new
Excitement and colored lights
greeted members of the Indian Stu-
dents Association on Friday during
a celebration of Diwali, which some
members see as a new beginning.
"Diwali is the biggest event in
India. It's like Christmas here," said
LSA sophomore Uday Ahuja.
Diwali is celebrated in honor of
the return of the exiled god Ram,
one of the three most important
gods in the Hindu religion.
"Almost every Hindu person is a
devotee of Ram," said Ashish Desh-
pande, ISA core member and grad-
uate engineering student.
Diwali is often referred to as the
festival of lights. According to
Hindu legend, Ram was welcomed
back from the wilderness with the
illumination of the city. Nowadays,
celebrants honor the god's home-
coming by lighting oil lamps and
fireworks in accordance with the
rituals practiced in India.
Preparations for the celebration
began nearly six months prior to the
event. Despite this foresight, ISA
was forced to postpone its celebra-
tion due to scheduling conflicts.
Worldwide, the beginning of Diwali
was actually observed on Oct. 25.
- Ashish Deshpande
Core member, Indian Students Association
Nearly all regions of India com-
memorate Diwali as a five-day fes-
tival marked by family gatherings,
the new year and extensive lighting
around the household.
"This was symbolic of coming
into a new beginning," Deshpande
Another beginning Diwali marks
is the onset of the new fiscal year.
A prayer called Pooja, directed at
the goddess of wealth, ensures
financial security in the upcoming
year, said Bharti Bothra, an Engi-
"You praise (the goddess Laxmi)
so you get wealth throughout the
year," Bothra added.
Although the event began with
prayer, the social aspect eventually
became more prominent than the
The program held by ISA was
mostly cultural, Deshpande said.
"There is only a small religious
aspect to this event."
Following the prayer was a skit
depicting and satirizing the experi-
ences of international students.
"The skit showed humorous situ-
ations in the daily life of an Indian
student at the University," Desh-
Afterward, a cultural dance show
was performed, with a dozen
dancers participating in the pro-
"(The performance) was a mod-
ernized dance to current hit num-
bers in India," Deshpande said. The
participants all wore traditional
Indian garb in honor of their cultur-
The night's festivities concluded
with dinner provided by Madras
Masala and a dance party for ISA
Preceding Friday's events, ISA
displayed an exhibit at Pierpont
"We displayed things about and
around Diwali. It was an informa-
tional booth to build up to tonight's
events," Deshpande said.
The Indian Students Association celebrates Diwali with traditional Indian music and
singing at the Michigan League on Friday.
Emergency bill to prevent contaminated drinking water
WASHINGTON (AP) - Hoping to rescue ener-
gy legislation stalled in the Senate, Republicans
were discussing elimination of a controversial pro-
vision to give legal protection to the makers of
MTBE, a gasoline additive found to contaminate
drinking water, officials said.
These sources, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said Senate and House officials, as well
as the Bush administration, have discussed the sug-
gestion, but no decisions have been made.
Another GOP source emphasized that House
Republican leaders so far have refused to give in on
the MTBE liability protection. This source
expressed doubt that a solution can be reached over
the next three days, meaning an energy bill proba-
bly would have to be put off until next year.
The energy bill, a top priority of President Bush,
is stymied in the Senate. Supporters fell two votes
short of the 60 needed to advance it to final passage
The proposal under discussion would remove the
legal protection in the bill for makers of MBTE as
well as ethanol, along the lines of a suggestion
made on the Senate floor by Senate Democratic
Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota.
Daschle, whose state would benefit from a vari-
ety of ethanol-related provisions in the measure,
supports the bill and voted to advance it to passage
After that vote, he said there "should be no
doubt" that if the MTBE liability provisions were
taken out, the energy bill would pass the Senate and
be enacted into law. He proposed that "safe harbor
language be eliminated for ethanol as well as
The MTBE provision originated in the House,
where it has the strong support of Majority Leader
Tom DeLay of Texas and Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.)
who led the House energy bill negotiations. Most
MTBE is produced in Texas and Louisiana.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) yesterday
blamed the gridlock over energy on lawyers who
are flooding the courts with lawsuits against MTBE
"The trial lawyers held the bill up," he said,
appearing on "Fox News Sunday," arguing that the
industry turned to MTBE because of "a federally
mandated program to reduce (air) pollution" and
should be protected.
"They were forced to create the product," said
Critics of the additive have argued that the oil
industry chose MTBE to meet federal air pollution
requirements, although they knew as far back as the
mid-1980s that the oxygenate would be difficult to
control and clean up if it got into water supplies.
Cleanup costs have been put as high as $29 billion,
although the industry has said that number is exag-
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.)
said he was giving senators 48 hours to find a
solution. "If we can't get it done by Tuesday,
we won't see (the energy bill again) until Janu-
ary," he said on CNN.
While many senators complained the bill
had too many favors for special interests, cost
too much and failed to do enough to curb
energy use, it was the MTBE issue that tipped
sentiment against the legislation, which earli-
er had breezed through the House.
"A safe harbor for manufacturers of MTBE
is unacceptable," said Sen. John Sununu (R-
N.H.), whose state has filed a lawsuit against
22 oil and chemical companies seeking dam-
ages from water contamination.
House Republicans appeared to be digging in.
DeLay accused Senate opponents of the energy
bill of using
MTBE "as a
scapegoat to S g ng
He said MTBE
protected as part
of a compromise
expanding use of
etha ol k .:g;::;:x :>}>"kt.:;.. y . ....;....x: .}' ~
corn-based ethanol, arival additive.
"The MTBE and ethanol provisions are a true falH term on : Dec. Riders wilr
compromise that will become law," said DeLay, visit the New Detroit Science ..
who pushed to make the waiver retroactive to Sept. c.nt r to see the travelling
5 so a string of new lawsuits would be covered. xt. ran: The Wor1d nside
Once viewed as important to reducing pollution Your Head." University psyohia-
from automobiles, MTBE became an object of try e'w Lewisirain will speak
scorn when it was found that it was difficult to con- at 2 pm.
tain and clean up once it gets into drinking water.
Traces of MTBE have been found in almost every : Th. bus wdl dpart at. nioon
state and it has the potential of becoming a serious and arrive bac+ .n}AnRArbir %t.
problem in at least 28 states, according to govern- abOu t 5 r The t ....
ment and private studies. $4.50 and online reg.stratIon is
"Cash-strapped local governments should availabe.
not be forced to bear the cost" of MTBE
cleanup and "it is unconscionable that MTBE 34) o 58formi c
manufacturers should be shielded," said Don- (4:oturr buamich. d uii
ald Borut, executive director of the National
League of Cities.
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