Oreste Piccioni, a physicist and UCSD professor of physics until 1986, died April 13 in his Rancho Sante Fe home. He was 86.

    Born in Italy in 1915, Piccioni received a doctorate degree from the University of Rome in 1938. He continued working there, and during World War II he performed an experiment on the decay of mu mesons in the basement of a Roman high school. The results demonstrated that mu mesons were not the mediators of the strong nuclear force.

    Piccioni moved to the United States in 1946 and continued his research at the Massachusetts Institue of Technlogy; Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y.; CERN in Geneva, Switzerland; and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. He came to UCSD in 1960.

    Piccioni was a pioneer in elementary particle physics research. In 1999 he was awarded the Matteucci Medal from the Accademia Nazionale Delle Scienze of Italy for his contributions to elementary particle physics.

    Piccioni is survived by his wife Marina; five children: Robert, Richard, Gabriella, Christopher and Julian; and four grandchildren.

    Guitar Center looks for nation’s top guitarist

    Guitarmageddon, Guitar Center’s signature talent-search event, will hold its regional final competition at the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown San Diego on April 25 at 8 p.m.

    The event brings winners of in-store competitions one step away from the national finals at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. The winner of the national competition will claim the title of “”Best Up and Coming Guitarist in the Nation”” and will also win a 2002 Mustang GT convertible, along with a limited edition Mustang Strat guitar, courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

    Competitors will have five minutes to solo onstage and will tailor their performance to a track from a CD containing original songs taken from Line 6’s Guitar Port. The contestants will be judged based on musicality in song context, technique, dynamics, stage presence and originality.

    The night will also include a performance from local band Wonka Bar, along with an appearance from Jaegermeister and the Jaegerettes, who will distribute promotional items.

    The contest is open to all ages.

    Med school receives new rheumatic research center

    UCSD’s school of medicine has received a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for a new Rheumatic Diseases Care Center.

    The center is designed to speed the development of new tools and therapies for combating rheumatic diseases. The RDCC will equip scientists with the latest tools to search for new treatments for rheumatic disease. It will also provide for collaboration between scientists from UCSD and affiliated institutions at The Scripps Research Institute, as well as the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology.

    The program will have researchers from 30 laboratories. Additional laboratories such as the Salk Institute of Biological Studies and local biotech companies are also expected to join.

    Academic Senate to discuss admissions at April 30 meeting

    The Academic Senate will listen to a proposal from the systemwide Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools on admissions standards at its April 30 meeting.

    According to Michael Bernstein, the chair of the San Diego division of the Academic Senate, the Committee on Admissions may propose an item for Assembly action on the admissions issue.

    A B.A.R.S. paper, “”The Use of Admissions Tests by the University of California,”” recommends that the University of California abolish the S.A.T. I and replace it with another standardized test. The complete report, along with other resources on the issue, can be found on the Academic Senate’s Web site, located at

    The assembly will also hear presentations from professor Susan Kirkpatrick and professor Bud Mehan regarding the Preuss School and the activities of the Center for Research in Education Equity, Assessment and Teaching Experience.

    The assembly will also hear a proposal to create a graduate program in clinical research that would lead to the master of advanced studies degree. Finally, professor Pamela Radcliff will present the recommendations for this year’s distinguished teaching awards.

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