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the Big Picture

Dr. Swift

March Madness ... Mathematically

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

What are your chances of successfully completing the March Madness bracket?

Practically impossible, but are there any tips to increase your odds? It's possible, says UNO math professor and statistician Andrew Swift.

There are over 9 quintillion (that's 9 billion billion) different ways to complete a March Madness bracket. The chance of getting it correct are much smaller than winning the lottery.

However, unlike the lottery, not every potential bracket is equally likely. Thus, identifying which brackets are most likely is certainly an advantage.

Dr. Swift, along with UNO undergraduate student John Price, performed statistical analysis on data collected from all Division I regular season games and used the results to identify the most likely winner of each tournament game, and thus the most likely bracket. View Dr. Swift's completed bracket, based on his calculations.

the Big Picture

Springtime

Spring starts this Friday

photo by Tim Fitzgerald

Spring officially starts on Friday, March 20, the day UNO's Spring Break ends. The weather this week promises to be, well, spring-like, too. And it was warm enough on campus at the end of last week for this cardinal to be out.

wednesday

2009.03.18

Campus Emergency Preparedness Procedures Flip Charts

Facilities Management and Planning will install "Emergency Preparedness Procedures" flip charts on campus over the next few weeks.

These flip charts will provide faculty, staff, students and visitors to campus with phone numbers and reference material for emergency situations.  Classrooms, public areas and office suites are the areas where flip charts will be located.

"It is our intention to put the flip charts in these areas, as well as near tornado warning sign locations," said Paul Kosel, assistant manager of traffic and security.  "It is most important to note that information will be broken down according to designated buildings. Each building's rally points for fire and fallout shelter for tornados will be available on each chart."

The majority of information in the flip charts is already available on pages 116-121 in the 2008-09 Employee Telephone Directory.

For more information, contact Kosel at 554.3218.

KVNO Spring Pledge Drive Kicks Off

Classical 90.7 KVNO Spring Pledge Drive is officially under way. The station still needs volunteers willing to stop by for an hour or two to help take pledge calls.

"We are planning to take pledge calls 12 hours per day for 11 days," said Patti Aroneseno, KVNO membership assistant and volunteer coordinator. "If you've never joined us before, Classical 90.7 pledge drives feature plenty of food, fellowship and fun."

KVNO remains the premier classical music station in Nebraska, and relies on community financial contributions for more than 50 percent of its annual operating revenue. The drive continues through Friday, March 22.

"We remain extremely grateful for the generosity of volunteers that lend their time, listeners that pledge donations and sponsors that underwrite our programs," said Kim Balkovec, KVNO membership manager. "Our ability to provide this unparalleled public service for nearly 37 years hinges on the loyal support we continue to receive from the entire community."

For more information on volunteering during the pledge drive, or to make a contribution, contact Aroneseno at 559.5866.

Lot G Closed through March 20

Lot G will be closed for electrical work through Friday, March 20, at 9 p.m. Check the Current Complete Closure Map for detailed location information. For more information, call Rick Barr at 554.2209 or 960.9820 or Don Smith at 554.3734 or 960.9828.

OLLAS Charla Event to Focus on College Success

The Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) at UNO will host its next Charla Series event on Tuesday, March 24.

The event, titled "Success in College: It takes more than just hope," will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center's U Mon Hon Room on the center's third floor. Read more.

Brennan Institute Labor Conference Set for April 4 at UNO

The William Brennan Institute for Labor Studies at UNO will host the 10th annual Labor Community Conference Saturday, April 4. "Promoting the General Welfare" is the event's title and overarching theme.

The daylong conference runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at UNO's Milo Bail Student Center, third floor. Read more.

William Gerbracht Memorial Scholarship

The application deadline for the William Gerbracht Memorial Scholarship is Wednesday, April 1.  The scholarship is for dependents of UNO faculty/staff who are graduating high school seniors and will be incoming freshmen at UNO for the 2009-2010 academic year. 

The scholarship covers full tuition (after use of the employee dependent scholarship) and may be renewed for up to three years.  If the student applicant has not filed the on-line general scholarship application, click on this link for the form.

A memo from the faculty/staff member stating the student is his/her dependent must also be sent to the Office of Financial Aid for the student to be considered for this scholarship.  For more information, contact Jean Phillips at jphillips@unomaha.edu or 554.2487.

UNO to Hold First Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

The first UNO Student Research and Creative Activity Fair is slated for Tuesday through Thursday, March 24-26. This centennial year, in conjunction with the annual Honors Program Senior Symposium, UNO has invited all undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the fair.

The Milo Bail Student Center will host activities from 5-9 p.m. on March 24 and 25. The three-day event will conclude on March 26, with an awards program and keynote address by Royce Engstrom, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Montana and a UNO alumnus. Dr. Engstrom will present "The Coffee Pot on the Bunsen Burner." The keynote address and awards ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.

"As a student-focused university, UNO provides a variety of quality research and creative activity opportunities for its students," said Harmon Maher, interim associate vice chancellor for research and creative activity.

Poster presentations and exhibits will be on display each evening. Oral presentations and performances are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. A special session will be dedicated for UNO Honors Symposium presentations.

The events are free and open to the public. Call 554.2286 for more information.

Social Work to Host Book Event March 24

The UNO School of Social Work will host a book launch of The Grace Abbott Reader on Tuesday, March 24, at the university's Collaborating Commons in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service Building.  The book's editor, John Sorensen, will speak at the 5 p.m. event, which is free and open to the public.   Read more.

Brooks Lecture Features Creighton University Negotiation Professor

The 2009 Rabbi Sidney H. Brooks Lecture is 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, in the William H. Thompson Alumni Center Bootstrapper Hall.

Ran Kuttner, assistant professor with the Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at Creighton University, will present "Entering a Dialogue: Dynamics of Conflict Management in the Israeli Society." Read more.

Spring Women's Studies Colloquium Series Continues March 31

Patrice Proulx, professor of foreign languages, will present "Figuring the Danse Macabre in Nancy Huston's Dolce Agonia" Tuesday, March 31, at the next Women's Studies Colloquium. Her talk is set for noon to 1 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Council Room.

The event, sponsored by the Women's Studies Colloquium Series, is free and open to the UNO community and the public. All colloquia will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Complimentary boxed lunches are available for the first 20 attendees at each event.

The remaining presentation:

- Thursday, April 9
"Technology and Women-focused Nonprofits"
Presented by Kelsey Kalal, UNO student
MBSC Gallery Room

For more information, call 554.3834.

"Service-Learning 101" Consultations Offered

What does "community engagement" mean? What does it look like? Why is it valued by UNO?

For many UNO faculty, community engagement means service learning: integrating community service projects into coursework so students apply course concepts, see their relevance to the world of work and the community, and gain satisfaction of making a difference in the community.

To help faculty design service-learning projects that both meet genuine community needs and apply course concepts, the Service-Learning Academy (SLA) will offer "Service-Learning 101," a two-hour workshop. This spring it is being offered to UNO faculty as an individual or small group consultation.

All faculty, including those new to service learning and those with projects in development, are welcome.

To schedule a consultation, contact Carlynn Hartman-Kurtz at 554.2712 or chartmankurtz@unomaha.edu.

2009 Bernie Kolasa Academic Freedom Memorial Scholarship

The UNO-AAUP will award two Bernie Kolasa Academic Freedom Memorial Scholarships ($1,000 each) to UNO graduates entering a graduate or professional program during or after the summer of 2009. Students who graduated from UNO during the summer or fall of 2008 or will graduate this spring are eligible.

Dr. Kolasa, a political science professor, was a long-time leader in the UNO-AAUP. Although the awards will be predicated upon the student's acceptance into a graduate or professional program, acceptance need not be shown at the time of application.

The student should submit:

-A letter of application -- including proposed area of study, the reasons for their interest in the chosen field and overall GPA;

-A brief statement indicating their view of the importance of academic freedom in American universities;

-A resume; and

-Two or more letters of recommendation sent from people familiar with the applicant that address potential for success in graduate/professional school; leadership qualities, especially in the area of community service; and activities that indicate the student's breadth of interests beyond the chosen field of study.    

All materials should be sent by Friday, April 3, to:

UNO-AAUP Scholarship Committee,
c/o Dr. Ann Antlfinger, Biology Department,
AH 114

For questions, contact Dr. Antlfinger at 554.2256.

Surplus Property Available

Surplus property has furniture available for department use.

Items include:

- Two and four drawer file cabinets;

- Bookcases;

- Desks;

- Five foot whiteboards; and

- Small bulletin boards.

All items are available for viewing at Mail Services, 106 Eppley Administration Building. To set up a viewing appointment, call Tom Feldman at 554.2222.

Classes for Certificate in Fundraising Management Offered

UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) has set its spring 2009 schedule of courses for the Certificate in Fundraising Management. This certificate program provides in-depth training in vital areas of fundraising.

CPACS offers the program, which is co-sponsored by the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, Omaha Community Foundation and the United Way of the Midlands.

Registration deadline for each class is one week prior to the start of that class. They are:

- Strategic Planning, April 8-9;

- Capital Campaigns, April 16-17;

- Grant Writing, April 23-24, 2009

- Public Relations and Marketing, May 6-7; and

- Board Development, May 13-14.

Classes are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and held at the Omaha Home for Boys, 4343 N. 52nd St. (52nd and Ames St.). The cost is $249 per course and includes all class materials, refreshments, lunch and parking.

For more information or to register for a course, contact Melanie Kiper at 554.2133 or mkiper@unomaha.edu or visit the Web site at http://cfm.unomaha.edu.

UNO Women's Walk Popcorn Fundraiser

Vic's Popcorn has partnered with the UNO Women's Walk to kick off fundraising efforts before the Saturday, April 18, walk for women's athletics.

As part of the fundraising promotion, a three-gallon UNO Maverick popcorn canister is for sale.  Prices are $31 for three flavors (caramel, cheese and white); and $27 for gourmet white. If bought through UNO before Friday, March 27, $10 from each canister will go to the UNO Women's Walk fund. Monies raised go toward scholarships for women athletes. To view the canister, click on this link.

Canisters will be delivered to campus addresses at no additional charge. To reserve a canister, contact Geri Backopra at 554.2506 or gbackora@unomaha.edu.  Checks should be made payable to the "UNO Women's Walk."

Registration Under Way for IS&T Summer Programs

Vic's Popcorn has partnered with the UNO Women's Walk to kick off fundraising efforts before the Saturday, April 18, walk for women's athletics.

As part of the fundraising promotion, a three-gallon UNO Maverick popcorn canister is for sale.  Prices are $31 for three flavors (caramel, cheese and white); and $27 for gourmet white. If bought through UNO before Friday, March 27, $10 from each canister will go to the UNO Women's Walk fund. Monies raised go toward scholarships for women athletes. To view the canister, click on this link.

Canisters will be delivered to campus addresses at no additional charge. To reserve a canister, contact Geri Backopra at 554.2506 or gbackora@unomaha.edu.  Checks should be made payable to the "UNO Women's Walk."

Registration Under Way for IS&T Summer Programs

A dozen computer technology workshops offered by the College of Information Science & Technology are designed for students ages 11 to 17. Space is limited. For more information or to register online, visit the Web at http://www.ist.unomaha.edu.