Princeton University

Princeton Weekly Bulletin   October 17, 2005, Vol. 95, No. 6   prev   next

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Page One
Rethinking engineering education
Library to make Islamic manuscripts more accessible

Students bring lessons learned in Ghana back to campus
Postdoctoral scholars join interdisciplinary community
Online vehicle registration offered for first time this fall
Mammography screening program starts Oct. 24

Faculty news
People, spotlight, briefs
Staff appointments

Nassau Notes
Calendar of events
By the numbers



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Nassau Notes

Bassler to present first talk in President’s Lecture Series

Bonnie Bassler, professor of molecular biology, will present the first talk in this year’s President’s Lecture Series on Monday, Oct. 17.

She will speak on “How Bacteria Talk to Each Other” at 4:30 p.m. in 101 Friend Center.

A 2002 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” Bassler investigates bacterial signaling and has discovered finely tuned systems by which bacteria communicate within and between species.

Bassler will show how bacterial cells, once thought to live asocial, reclusive lives, converse with one another using a chemical lexicon. This process, called quorum sensing, allows bacteria to count their numbers and synchronize the behaviors of the group. By doing this, they take on the characteristics of larger, multi-cellular organisms. Acting in unison allows groups of bacteria to reap benefits and cause destruction that single cells, acting alone, could not accomplish. Bassler will discuss her group’s efforts to develop anti-quorum sensing molecules to be used as new antibiotics.

The lecture series was initiated by President Tilghman in 2001 to bring together faculty members from different disciplines. The other lecturers scheduled for this year are: Paul Muldoon, the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities, on Thursday, Dec. 8; and Katherine Newman, the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, on Monday, April 10.

All lectures will begin at 4:30 p.m. in 101 Friend Center. They will be Webcast; for viewing information, visit

Iran ambassador addresses nuclear issue

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, will discuss “Iran, the West and the Nuclear Issue” at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.

Zarif has served as Iran’s U.N. ambassador since August 2002. Prior to that appointment, he spent 10 years as the country’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs. He also has held a variety of senior positions in the Iranian Foreign Ministry and several international organizations.

Zarif has written extensively on disarmament, human rights, international law and regional conflicts. In addition to his diplomatic responsibilities, he has been a visiting professor at the University of Tehran, where he has taught courses on human rights, international law and multilateral diplomacy.

The lecture is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs as part of its “Ambassador’s Forum” series.

Photo of: Edward T. Cone

Edward T. Cone

Two concerts planned in memory of Edward T. Cone

Two concerts in memory of Edward T. Cone, noted pianist, composer, author and longtime member of the Princeton music faculty, are scheduled for the coming week. Cone died Oct. 23, 2004, at age 87.

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Brentano String Quartet will perform at 8 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, in the first of a series of annual concerts in Cone’s memory. On Sunday, Oct. 23, Princeton Pro Musica will perform Cone’s “Two Psalms for Chorus and Orchestra” at 4 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium.

For the Oct. 18 Edward T. Cone Memorial Concert, the Brentano String Quartet will feature works by Haydn, Shostakovich and Debussy. The ensemble has been Princeton’s quartet-in-residence since 1999.

“It is extremely fitting that the inaugural concert feature the Brentano String Quartet: they played beautifully at Mr. Cone’s memorial service last fall, and the Edward T. Cone Foundation has been a primary contributor to the Ensemble-in-Residence Program at Princeton,” said Scott Burnham, chair of the music department.

The Oct. 23 concert, which also is being supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation, will feature the premiere of “Two Psalms.” Cone composed these settings of Psalm 90 and 91 in 1947-48 in response to the horrors of World War II. Princeton Pro Musica performed “Psalm 90” by itself in 1999.

Cone earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton in 1939 and was one of the first recipients of a master of fine arts degree in music at Princeton in 1942. He joined the music faculty in 1946 and retired in 1985. The University awarded him an honorary degree in 2004.

The Oct. 18 concert will be free and open to the public; complimentary tickets may be obtained at the Richardson Auditorium box office on the evening of the performance.

Tickets for the Oct. 23 concert are $30 and $35 and may be obtained by calling 683-5122 or visiting

Rubin to discuss economic outlook

Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin will speak at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

His address is titled “The Outlook for the Global Economy and the Challenges That Must Be Met.”

He is expected to discuss how the long-term outlook for the country’s economic health will depend on policies shaped today in areas including the federal deficit, American competitiveness with foreign economies, national security, health care, energy and the environment.

Rubin joined the Clinton administration in 1993, serving as assistant to the president for economic policy and as the first director of the National Economic Council. He was secretary of the treasury from 1995 to 1999.

Rubin currently is director and chair of the executive committee at Citigroup and also serves as chair of the board of the Local Initiatives Support Corp., the nation’s leading community development support organization.

The talk, designated as the Walter E. Edge Lecture, is part of the University’s Public Lecture Series.

Photo of: three dancers

“From the Horse’s Mouth: Magical Tales of Real Dancers”

Concert to feature one-of-a-kind work

“From the Horse’s Mouth: Magical Tales of Real Dancers,” a work created by Jamie Cunningham and Tina Croll, will be featured in a performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, in the Hagan Dance Studio, 185 Nassau St.

The piece (shown above being performed at another venue) celebrates the “heart and history of dance” with dancers and choreographers of all ages and traditions performing together and telling their stories. Each production of “From the Horse’s Mouth” is considered a new “chapter” of the piece and is cast to showcase a specific group of performers—no two performances are the same.

The Princeton production will feature 24 students, faculty and alumni telling their personal stories, performing a movement of their own choosing and interacting with other dancers. The stories range from humorous to poignant and reveal personal moments of loss, joy, frustration and triumph.

The concert also will include a performance of Cunningham’s solo work, “L’Après-Midi d’un Professeur,” danced by New York performer Paul Matteson.

The free event will be followed by a discussion and reception.

Conference focuses on the city

Architects and scholars will gather for a conference, “In Search of the Public: The Architecture of the Contemporary City,” Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22, in the Architecture Building.

Discussions will focus on changes in the structure and form of the American city and how they affect and transform public spaces that were once synonymous with cities. Speakers will examine how architecture can play an active role in the creation of new public spaces and in the future of the American city.

The conference is sponsored by the School of Architecture, Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Policy Research Institute for the Region and Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

For more details and a list of speakers, visit

Photo of: painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres in the exhibition

“Achilles Receives the Ambassadors of Agamemnon”

University Art Museum

“Achilles Receives the Ambassadors of Agamemnon,” an 1801 painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, is among the works on view in an exhibition, “The Legacy of Homer: Four Centuries of Art from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris,” at the University Art Museum through Jan. 15. The Princeton museum and the Dahesh Museum of Art in New York have forged a partnership to present the exhibition, which showcases 130 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints from a legendary collection that has been closed to the public since the French educational reforms of 1968. It will include works by French masters that bring Homer’s vision to life. Works dating from the 17th through the 18th century will be presented at the University Art Museum, while primarily 19th-century painting, sculpture and works on paper will be presented at the Dahesh. For more information on the exhibition and related events, visit the University Art Museum Web site at