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Dynamic art project gives students fitting, real-world experience

Wall art made with wooden cogs. Title reads, "Discovery".Like the gears in a finely tuned machine, donor contributions keep many non-profits – including the Palouse Discovery Science Center – running smoothly. So when digital media students at WSU were asked to visually represent donor support for the PDSC, the idea of interconnected gears quickly emerged and became, quite literally, the perfect fit.

Seventeen undergraduates in Reza Safavi’s introductory Digital Design and Fabrication course last spring worked individually and as a team to create a 7-by-7-foot interactive art installation composed of 22 precision-cut » More …

Four music ensembles to present showcase in Spokane

4 images: A trumpet player, a full orchestra, a group of vocalists, and cast of performers on stage.Jazz, opera, orchestra and choir—like a four-course feast for the ears, the musical showcase by WSU students and faculty on March 3 at the Fox Theatre in Spokane will serve up an array of aural treats.

Four ensembles from WSU’s School of Music in Pullman will travel to the Lilac City to perform selections from several well-known composers and some original music by » More …

English students aid game translation

English class.Go Fish. Life. Apples to Apples. Checkers. These are games that bring people to together for the purpose of family and friend bonding. But for some new to the English language, translating how to play the games into a structure that is easy to understand can be difficult, considering the complexity of some instructions.

That is why Tri-City Area Gaming partnered with Vanessa Cozza’s technical and professional writing course at » More …

Restructured course improves student success

two students with textbook and laptopThanks to the hard work of several faculty members, Math 100, Basic Mathematics, has seen a dramatic increase in student achievement. Instructors Emily Sablan and Justin Eld, together with Associate Professor Sandy Cooper, have spent the last several years changing and refining the course to identify and address the fundamental mathematical knowledge and concepts that students lack. As a result, the course has evolved each semester to better meet student needs and prepare them for success in future math courses. » More …

Dr. Universe: How do places get their names?

Dr. Universe: a cat in a lab coatOne way a place might get a name is from the person who explored it. The Americas are named after an Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. But Amerigo wasn’t the first person to explore these continents, and people living there when he arrived.

For the most part, people name things because they are claiming possession of a place. Because of that, sometimes the original names of places are lost or erased.

That’s what I found out from my friend Theresa Jordan, a history professor who teaches a geography course at » More …

Boeing grant supports peer mentoring program

Helping students succeed in mathematics is a passion of Associate Professor Sandy Cooper, which is why she has developed a peer mentoring program in several foundational WSU courses. With financial support from a Boeing grant, she began with the pre-algebra course and has since expanded the program to include courses such as college algebra and business calculus.

Mentors help in various ways with a course they recently » More …

Biomarkers could help diagnose male infertility

Michael Skinner in his laboratory at WSU.It can take a year or longer of trial and error for a doctor to determine if a man is infertile but new research by Michael Skinner, a WSU reproductive biologist, could change that.

Skinner and an international team of collaborators discovered infertile men have identifiable patterns of epigenetic molecules or biomarkers attached to their sperm DNA that aren’t present in fertile men. » More …

A new take on the WSU Fight Song

Smiling member of the Cougar Marching Band.From Devo’s quirky take on the Rolling Stones’ “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” to Daughtry’s acoustic cover of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” musicians often reimagine popular tunes in their own style. In honor of the WSU Fight Song’s 100th anniversary, the Cougar Marching Band will perform four different arrangements of the beloved tune during the WSU football halftime show on Saturday, Nov. 16, in Martin Stadium. » More …

Dr. Universe: Why does the moon have phases?

Dr. UniverseWhen astronomers looked at the night sky long ago, they also wondered about questions just like this one. You know, I was also curious about why the moon looks so different at different times of the month.

I visited with my friend Jose Vazquez, an astronomer at WSU Vancouver, to learn more about it. He said that the way the moon looks to us has to do with two other objects in » More …

Learning by canoeing

A group in a canoe.Students in Desiree Hellegers’s Native American Literature course spent two class sessions in a 15-person, 36-foot tribal canoe on the Columbia River. Chairman of the Chinook Indian Nation Tony Johnson led the canoe portion of the class, themed “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life.”

They began with instructions in the Cathlapotle Plankhouse near Ridgefield, Wash., followed by » More …