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February 13, 2014 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-13

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Ann Arbor, Michigan

Thursday, February 13,2014


appeal to
public for
more funds

Crowdfunding push
aims to raise money
to continue study
of heart defects
Daily News Editor
With major decreases in feder-
al funding for research, a Univer-
sity professor is asking the public
for help.
Todd Herron, professor of
molecular and integrative physi-
ology, and his team of research-
ers at the University's Center for
Arrhythmia Research plan to use
an innovative form of fundrais-
ing, known as crowdfunding, to
support their research into inher-
ited cardiac arrhythmia diseases
- a disorder passed from one
generation to the next that causes,
the heart to beat irregularly.
Crowdfunding is a relatively
new method of fundraising that
relies on individuals to contrib-
ute to projects or initiatives they

wish to support. Although this
is the first attempt by Herron's
lab, crowdsourcing is growing in
popularity within the scientific
community given the need for
alternative fundingsources.
"It's becoming more difficult
to obtain federal funding for any
kind of biomedical research,"
Herron said. "We're having to
turn to other sources of funding
and this was one avenue that we
thought might be fruitful."
Largely because of federal
sequestration, professors at the
University face ever-increasing
challenges to secure funding for
research projects. Congress out-
lined these automatic 5- to 7-per-
cent budget cuts in an effort to
reduce the deficit by about $1 tril-
lion per year, but require across-
the-board cuts to the federal
agencies that fund the majority of
university-based research.
In the 2013 fiscal year, 62 per-
cent of the University's $1.33 bil-
lion research expenditures came
from federal sources, such as the
National Institute of Health and

NYU associate professor of sociology Patrick Sharkey speaks atla seminar on the effects of violence in urban life in Lane Auditorium Wednesday.
ecture examines violence

NYU prof. finds cide in a child's neighborhood
could negatively affect their aca-
children exposed to demic abilities. In one of his stud-
ies, children exposed to violence
murder have lower took a test and scored significant-
ly lower in the days following the
By TOM MCBRIEN Vocabulary scores were also
andAMIA DAVIS substantially lower after expo-
Daily StaffReporters sure to violence. Sharkey hypoth-
esized that the children were
New York University professor distracted for periods of days or
Patrick Sharkey spoke about his weeks after the violence, causing
research concerning urban vio- their scores to be lower.
lence and its effect on childhood "Violence is a presence within
development Wednesday at the the community," Sharkey said.
School of Public Health. "It effects everyone within that
During the speech, Sharkey environment."
explained how exposure to homi- Despite the demonstrated

negative effects on the mental
activities of children exposed
to violence, Sharkey said the net
effect in the population is likely
improving due to the falling rate
of overall violence.
"The most peaceful time in
the last hundred years is right
now," Sharkey said, citing that
the poorest in society have a
lower violence rate today than
the richest level of society did
in 1993.
LSA sophomore Manvir Man-
gat, who attended the lecture,
said she was surprised violence
has actually declined to a historic
"I guess with social media, you

hear about violence so much, but
you never realize that in actuality
it has decreased so dramatically,"
she said.
According to Sharkey, the cor-
relation between school perfor-
mance and crime rates follows
this trend, as the states where
crime has dropped the most have
seen the largest improvements in
academic achievement over the
same time frame.
"I think we are now at a point
where we can make efforts that
were impossible in the 1990s,"
Sharkey said, referring to a sense
of optimism about urban policy
for the future.
See LECTURE, Page 3A


Start up creates
innovative visual
display device

Music, Theatre & Dance freshman Jordan Rich and sophomore Meredith Starkman perform in "The Play About
the Baby" by Edward Albee and directed by senior Michaela Byrne in the Walgreen Drama Center Wednesday,
FacnlWy, staf rework
severe weather policy

Avegant's 'Glyph'
sends signal directly
to viewer's retina
Daily StaffReporter
As the winter months keep
students indoors, the threat of
screen-induced eyestrain grows.
Seeking a solution, a startup
founded by University alums is
promising a new mobile device
that will bypass screens altogeth-
er, projecting images straight
onto the human retina.
The device, called "Glyph,"
looks like a pair of Beats by Dre
headphones, except that the
headband can flip down in front
of the eyes to provide the user
with an experience equivalent
to watching an 80-inch T.V. eight
feet away.
Avegant, a company co-found-
ed by Engineering alums Edward
Tang and Allan Evans, produces
the innovative video device.
Evans cited the University as
being a strong influence on the
"The technology could have
been done by anyone," Evans, the
chief technology officer of Aveg-

ant, said. "But the path of prod-
uct development was strongly
influenced by our experience at
Evans said coming from the
Midwest gave the company a fun-
damental grounding.
"It gives you a strong under-
standing of what general people
want and will respond to," he
said. "Coming out of Michigan,
we could look to the forefront of
technology and what's cool, but
also bring it back to something
that's going to work for a normal
Avegant has been raising
funds to develop the product
using the online crowdfunding
website Kickstarter, where users
can donate a preset amount of
money to win a prize, such as the
first generation Glyph. Avegant
has been asking for a $499 dona-
tion for pre-sales of the Glyph.
The company made waves
in the tech world when they
smashed their original goal of
raising $250,000 during the first
four hours of pre-sale. They have
now raised about $1,250,000 and
have a week left to go in their
fundraising efforts.
Combined with noise-cancel-
ling audio and the ability to con-

joins plan
to reform
School of Education
picked to help pilot
new teacher and
student programs
Daily StaffReporter
Two University School of Edu-
cation projects, TeachingWorks
and LessonSketch, have been
invited to take part in 100kin10,
an initiative to help educate
100,000 science, technology,
engineering and math (STEM)
teachers int10years.
Deborah Ball, dean of the
School of Education, said Teach-
ingWorks was invited to offer an
elementary math lab program at
the University in the summer.
Students who are struggling in
math attend a camp to focus on
improving their skillset in that
area, while administrators who
train teachers watch and also
"They spend two weeks
watching the children learning
and then in the afternoons being

committee looks to
update antiquated
emergency plan
Daily Staff Reporter
As the University recov-
ers from winter's ravages, the
administration continues work

on its snow policy with the help
of a new committee.
After the now-infamous
polar vortex disrupted many
students' return travels to
school in early January,
some hoped classes would be
delayed, but the semesterbegan
as scheduled.
During a subsequent Sen-
ate Advisory Committee for
University Affairs meeting in
which faculty expressed dis-
content over school remaining

open, University Provost Mar-
tha Pollack said the admin-
istration lacked appropriate
mechanisms to close the Uni-
versity even if they wanted to.
"That said, after this was all
over, I and some of the other
executive officers really strong-
ly believe that we ... need to
revisit this policy," Pollack said.
In response, the University's
Committee on Emergency Clo-
sure Procedures Specific to
See WEATHER, Page 3A


LO, 7 Call 734-418-4115 or e-mail
L news@michigandaily.com and letus know.

Policy matters: Ensuring minority rights

Vol. CXXIV, No.66
@214 The MichiganDaily

NEW S .........................2A CLA SSIFIEDS ...... ..... 6A
SUDO KU ................... 2A SPORTS . ....................7A
OPINION.................4A B-SIDE........,.........1B


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