The Best of Our Knowledge
12:14 am
Mon January 29, 2007

The Best of Our Knowledge # 854

Albany, NY – COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTIAL SERIES
DR. SHIRLEY ANN JACKSON, RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE -
Dr. Shirley Jackson became the 18th President of Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute in July of 1999. Rensselaer (known as RPI to many) is one of the highest ranked and most respected public or private universities in the United States. It's located in Troy, New York, part of the capital district surrounding Albany, NY. Dr. Jackson rose from a history of segregation to become the
first African-American woman to lead a national research university, as well
as, the first woman and first African-American to Chair the United States
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A theoretical physicist, Dr. Jackson was
named a Fellow of the American Physical Society for her theoretical work
on helium films. In her 20 years with AT&T Bell Laboratories, she made significant contributions to the communications science field and still
consults for that company in semiconductor theory. Rensselaer President, Shirley Jackson, has been awarded 10 honorary doctoral degrees. For her
work as a scientist, as an advocate for education, science and public policy,
Dr. Jackson was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. She is
also past President and now Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Her awards and honors could fill volumes.
As we head into February and Black History Month, it only seems appropriate
Dr. Shirley Jackson is the subject of our next story in this series on university presidents.
Glenn Busby reports. (8:35)

VOICES IN EDUCATION
ELIZABETH DE LOUISE, STUDENT -
In the story we just heard, President Shirley Jackson spoke about what Rensselaer is doing to improve the student experience. Her efforts are
clearly evident in our next segment with this current Junior student at RPI, Elizabeth De Louise.
Produced by Mary Darcy. (2:25)

ORIGINS OF LIFE - SCIENCE RESEARCH IN EDUCATION SERIES
TOWARDS COMPREHENSIVE MODELS OF STAR-FORMING REGIONS -
Astrophysics concerns itself with the universe, where it came from, how
it works, and where it's going. Unlike much research where experiments
can be set up...when astronomers study the stars, the experiment is
already done. They take the light from the stars and work backwards to
try and infer what happened. This work is being done by constructing
detailed models of the physics involved in regions around stars. By
comparing actual observations with models, astrophysicists can find out
which models fit the data. This gives them a good idea about the
environments around stars. Our guest today is Dr. Steven Doty, a
Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Denison
University in Ohio. Dr. Doty models these star-forming regions.
Glenn Busby reports. (7:30)

The preceding material is supported by the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration.

**(Attention Program Directors. For interested listeners, more
information about this story, or any of the other nearly 140 stories
featured in this exclusive radio series, or would like to hear them
again via their computer, the website mentioned at the conclusion
of the above story is www.origins.rpi.edu, then click on Seminar Program.