Briefly

    Contest seeks art design for inauguration

    The Chancellor’s Organization of Allied Students, a student leadership group, has announced that it is seeking designs to use for banners at the March inauguration ceremony of Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. The winning submissions will be showcased at the event and the student artists who design them will attend a special luncheon with Fox.

    Designs representing the inauguration theme, “Together We Achieve the Extraordinary,” must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Feb. 16. Two winners will be selected in each of the categories for the “most creative,” “most spirited” and “most traditional” submissions. Students can find contest details at http://thecoast.ucsd.edu.

    Chandler to resume role as senior vice chancellor

    Former Acting Chancellor Marsha A. Chandler will return next fall to resume her position as senior vice chancellor of academic affairs, according to Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. In a letter to students and staff, Fox stated that Chandler will return from her sabbatical at Harvard University to the same position she occupied under former chancellor Robert C. Dynes.

    When the UC Board of Regents promoted Dynes to the role of UC president, Chandler took over his position as head of the campus until a new chancellor was selected. Chandler had also been considered a candidate for the job.

    “The university is indeed fortunate that Marsha has agreed to continue to provide exceptional leadership in academic affairs as we advance an aggressive UCSD agenda toward international pre-eminence,” Fox stated in the letter. “UCSD is well positioned as a leader in the UC system, and I am optimistic and eager to continue our progress with a solid administrative team in place.”

    David R. Miller, who served as senior vice chancellor of academic affairs during Chandler’s leave, will resume his position as associate vice chancellor of academic planning and resources, according to Fox.

    Tax reforms may target higher education

    A 430-page report released by the House-Joint Committee on Taxation includes several tax policy reforms that may affect higher education, according to the American Council of Education. Designed to reduce the amount of taxes that go uncollected every year — currently surpassing $300 billion — the report describes 72 proposals to reduce tax shelters, close loopholes and focus on other areas of noncompliance.

    Under the plan, two higher education tax breaks that allow students and their parents to deduct a portion of education costs would be combined into one, according to A.C.E. In addition, the proposal would redefine portions of the tax code that allow students to go without paying Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. Known as the student FICA exemption, the proposed rules would limit the benefits to students who earn no more than $920 in the current year. For individuals exceeding the limit, all of the students’ earnings would be subject to the taxes, according to A.C.E.

    Researchers to test

    data-mining programs

    In a joint project paid for by the Department of Homeland Security, researchers from UC Riverside and Lucent Technologies are testing the efficacy of modern data-mining tools used by the government to track patterns of behavior that may reveal threats to national security. Because of the implications of the findings, the department asked researchers not to describe the details of the data included in the projects, the university stated in a press release. In general terms, the project will examine programs that use statistics and computers to look at large amounts of gathered facts. The project will make it easier for the Riverside campus to secure future government funding, the university stated.

    Study suggests proteins similar among organisms

    Similarities in protein “wiring” of three distantly related species — yeast, worms and the fruit fly — may offer a new way of developing more effective pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects, researchers from UCSD, Israel and Germany have jointly reported. In an original study, researchers predicted that the new data could help experts track protein interactions and improve on the current trial-and-error method used for drug development.

    “Ultimately, this type of wiring analysis will help us more fully explain how the diversity of life developed on the planet and, more practically, how a pathogen differs from its host or a diseased cell differs from its healthy counterpart at the most informative level of detail,” UCSD bioengineering professor Trey Ideker stated in a university announcement.

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