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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.



UNO to Implement Google E-mail for Students

Information Technology Services (ITS) has announced that UNO will implement the Google Apps system for student e-mail beginning this fall. 

In a survey, students reported that the Web version of Lotus Notes 8 did not meet their needs.  After a thorough investigation and evaluation of options, ITS staff recommended Google Apps as a replacement to Student Government, who endorsed it earlier this month.

"Google Apps will provide students a reliable and fully featured e-mail solution," said Andrew Buker, one of the team leads for the project.  

Because changes to faculty and staff e-mail would require a change in the university-wide Lotus Notes contract, Lotus Notes 8 will remain the campus e-mail solution for faculty and staff for the foreseeable future.  The University of Nebraska system has, however, indicated a willingness to evaluate and potentially implement another e-mail system after the completion of the new SIS implementation.

"Consider This" to Discuss Transportation Initiative

The next edition of "Consider This" will highlight a statewide initiative on transportation, including a discussion on research, coordination, tracking and funding.   The program will be filmed in the Milo Bail Student Center Fireplace Lounge today, March 19, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Host Cathy Wyatt's guests will include Mark Intermill, chair of the Nebraska Public Transportation Coalition; Barb Velinsky, resource investment and partner relations with United Way of the Midlands; and Lee Myers, mobility manager with the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency.

The program airs tonight, March 19, at 11 p.m. on NET1.

Additional air dates and times are:


- Sunday, March 22
11:30 a.m.


- Friday, March 20

12:30 p.m.

- Tuesday, March 24

12:30 p.m.

"Consider This" is a production of UNO Television. It also airs on The Knowledge Network of Greater Omaha. For a list of days and times, visit Archived editions of the program are available on the Web at

Classical 90.7 KVNO Available on Facebook

Faculty, staff and students can now access Classical 90.7 KVNO online on Facebook.  For details, visit

"If you're one of the many members of this popular social-networking site, you can now visit KVNO's page to learn about upcoming events, special broadcasts and new programs coming to Classical 90.7 FM," said Anne Hellbusch, marketing manager for KVNO. "You can also chat with other KVNO fans and post messages about Omaha's community-supported classical music station!"

Maverick Productions to Present Joey Ray Lucero

Maverick Productions will host two presentations on Tuesday, March 31, that feature Joey Ray Lucero, an actor who had a role in the movie "Gridiron Gang" and who also is a rehabilitated third generation gang member.  Lucero will share his experiences of being a gang member and the strides he made to overcome gang life.

Two workshops will take place in the Milo Bail Student Center Nebraska Room - noon to 1 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m.  Free food will be served, and all youth, youth care professionals, parents and educators are encouraged to attend.

Convicted at age 12 of murder, a crime he did not commit, Lucero has faced many difficulties in his lifelong struggle to overcome gang membership.  As a representative of Homeboy Industries, a rehabilitative nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles, he strives to set a positive example for America's youth through preventing gang membership.  

For more information, contact Justin Loehr at 402.813.2935 or

"Helping Students Avoid Plagiarism Potholes" Session Set for April 1

The Division of Continuing Studies will host a Webcast titled "Helping Students Avoid Plagiarism Potholes" on Wednesday, April 1, from 12:45 to 2:30 p.m. in 132D College of Public Affairs and Community Service Building (Collaborating Commons). Refreshments will be provided.

The Webcast speakers will include Alice Bedard-Voorhees, teaching and learning director at Colorado Mountain College, and Jayati Chaudhuri, reference librarian at the University of Northern Colorado.

The session will highlight:

- Concepts behind academic dishonesty;

- How students perceive plagiarism;

- Tools, including the use of Web 2.0, to prevent plagiarism before it begins; and

- A unique focus on international and distance education students.

The event is open to all faculty and staff, and no R.S.V.P. is required.  For more information, contact Hayley Patton at 595.2371 or

Criss Library to Close Early on March 20

Criss Library will close at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 20, for renovation construction work.  Power outages affecting the library only have been scheduled for that time. Regular hours resume on Saturday, March 21. Read more.

Lot G Closed through March 20

Lot G will be closed for electrical work through Friday, March 20, at 9 p.m. For more information, call Rick Barr at 554.2209 or 960.9820 or Don Smith at 554.3734 or 960.9828.

Nominations Sought for SAC Recognition Award

UNO faculty and staff can submit nominations for the annual Staff Advisory Council (SAC) Recognition Award. All UNO faculty, managerial/professional and office/service staff members in good standing are eligible to be nominated on the basis of exemplary support to UNO staff members.

Guidelines, past winners and the nomination form can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Nominations are due Friday, April 3. The nomination form and supporting materials should be sent, via campus mail, to:

SAC Secretary

P.O. Box 130

The award will be presented this spring at the annual Faculty Senate/Staff Advisory Council Banquet. For more information, call Laura Lamblin, SAC representative, at 554.2322 or

Call for Summer 2009 Curriculum Development Grant Proposals

The University Committee for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) announces the availability of summer curriculum development grants to increase capacity building in teaching and learning.

The applications should reflect UCAT's mission for enhancement of teaching and student learning processes at UNO and focus on one or more of the following designated themes:
- Curriculum development and assessment;
- Diversity;
- Instructional technology and e-Portfolios;
- Interdisciplinary integration;
- Promoting critical thinking; and
- Undergraduate and graduate mentoring, advising and research.

In addition to full-time faculty, adjunct faculty are permitted to apply. Also, doctoral students who are the instructors of record for a course and who are playing an active role in curriculum development for that course/program are allowed to apply for summer grants. Proposals may be individual or teams of faculty (each person receives up to $500 and provides a separate report).

The committee will accept proposals this month and will fund grants up to $500 for each award.  The committee may choose to partially fund proposals in amounts less than the maximum $500 amount.  Proposals are due by Saturday, March 21.  Application forms are available on the Center for Faculty Development (CFD) Web site (

Applicants should submit one hard copy and an electronic submission of the application in "rtf" or "MS Word" document, as an e-mail attachment, to Alice Woll at  Hard copy submissions should be sent to the CFD in 202 Arts and Sciences Hall.

For more information, contact Kath Henebry at 554.3153 or

Call for 2009 UCAT Instructional Materials Grant Proposals for Teaching Circles

The University Committee for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) announces the availability of instructional materials grants designed to support the goals of teaching circles.

Teaching circles members can apply for the purchase of instructional materials relevant to the purpose of the circle that address one or more UCAT themes. To view the UCAT themes, visit

The committee is accepting proposals on a monthly basis through April or until funds are expended. The committee will fund grants up to $500 for each award. Proposals are due by the 21st of each month. Application forms are available on the UCAT Web site (

UNO Women's Club Boutique and Luncheon March 28

The UNO Women's Club will host a Centennial event Saturday, March 28, that begins with boutique shopping and free coffee from 10 a.m. to noon. More than 20 vendors will offer spring goodies, jewelry, gifts, books, wreaths and home decorations at the William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center.

The luncheon will start at noon and includes a talk on women's health issues by Jennifer Huberty, UNO assistant professor of health, physical education and recreation.  The luncheon costs $25, and reservations are due by Monday, March 23. Proceeds will support the UNO Women's Club scholarship fund.

For more information, contact the University of Nebraska Foundation at 502.4913.

"Night Before Nationals" Set for March 25

The UNO Forensics Team will host "Night Before Nationals," an annual showcase event, on Wednesday, March 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Eppley Administration Building.  The event is free, and refreshments will be provided.

"This is an excellent opportunity to see UNO students perform their nationally qualified pieces," said Abbie Syrek, director of forensics with the School of Communication.

Students will present from the following categories:

- Informative;
- Persuasive; and
- After-dinner speaker.

Interpretations of literature
- Poetry;
- Prose;
- Drama; and
- Duo.

For more information, contact Syrek at or 554.3952.

ITS to Host Adobe InDesign Brown Bag Session

Interested in creating professional-quality newsletters, brochures and fliers?  Then join Information Technology Services (ITS) staff at a Thursday, March 26, brown bag demonstration of desktop publishing using the Adobe InDesign software package.

The session will begin at 10 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Council Room.  All UNO faculty and staff can attend, and no registration is required.

The focus of the demonstration is the simple creation of a newsletter or brochure.  Software benefits, limitations and cost will also be discussed.  An opportunity for hands-on training with Adobe InDesign will be announced during this session.

For more information, contact ITS Customer Services at 554.4357 or

Henry Doorly Zoo Membership Drive Under Way

The annual Henry Doorly Zoo membership drive is under way at UNO.  The zoo offers memberships to university employees and students at the annual rate of $73 per household. 

A zoo membership includes unlimited admission for two adults and dependent children or grandchildren under the age of 21, discounted admission to the Wildlife Safari and Lozier IMAX Theater, discounts on children's classes and other benefits.

Memberships remain $73 until Sunday, April 5, and increase to $83 after that date. To access an order form, click on this link.

To purchase a membership, visit the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, 202 Eppley Administration Building.  For more information, contact Christine Hoffman at 554.2263 or