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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073682/00105
 Material Information
Title: CLAS notes the monthly news publication of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- College of Arts and Sciences
Publisher: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Creation Date: June 1997
Frequency: monthly
regular
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Subjects / Keywords: Education, humanistic -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
General Note: Subtitle varies; some numbers issued without subtitle.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 11 (Nov. 1988); title from caption.
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001806880
oclc - 28575488
notis - AJN0714
lccn - sn 93026902
System ID: UF00073682:00105
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Table of Contents
    Main
        Page 1
    Around the college
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Faculty in the news
        Page 4
    Book beat
        Page 4
    Condon on computing
        Page 5
    On current events...
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Grant awards through Division of Sponsored Research
        Page 9
    From the chair...
        Page 10
Full Text







LA


notes


IVol. 11,SNo. 6 The University So Floid Colle o L Arts Sc


Summer Reading
The eansIMuing l" Contrary
to popular
opinion, UF faculty seldom have
relaxed, time-filled summers. If they
are not teaching in the growing sum-
mer program, intensive scholarship
fills their days, and sometimes nights.
Still, the period between academic
years does flow at a somewhat dif-
ferent pace and normally includes
whatever time faculty can find for
vacation, perhaps at one of the mar-
velous Florida beaches.
Conventional wisdom calls for
light reading at the sea shores, the
latest John Grisham perhaps, maybe a
Dilbert compilation. However, those
who live the life of the mind might
wish to include a little meatier fare
among their selections. If so, what
better group to consider than the
CLAS authors who give us so many
books from our fascinating range of
disciplines.
I have the privilege of seeing most
of these books, which we feature in
our New Books display in the Dean's
Office. If you haven't seen the collec-
tion, come by and browse. It is most
impressive. Each year I mentally
mark at least a half dozen of these
books for future reading, as soon as
I find time. It is my great loss that I
never am able to include as many as
I should.
But let me suggest a few recent
books, at the peril of leaving out so
many others, that you might consider
picking up at Goerings' to stuff in the
suitcase this summer. For example,
Tony Randazzo and Doug Jones
have just brought out The Geology
of Florida, a book that ought to be in
the library of all Floridians, not just
geologists. Dan Ward has been work-
ing for many years to document the
largest trees in Florida, some of which


Chemistry Prof Uses His Research to

Educate and Prepare His Students


As chemistry Professor Ken Wa-
gener sees it, his primary job isn't to
do research and make new discoveries.
His job is to educate students, and his
research happens to be an effective way
to accomplish that goal.
"The whole point is to teach stu-
dents to think coherently in terms of
chemistry, to express themselves con-
vincingly and to feel independent in
their actions," Wagener said. "That's
our primary mission here: educating
graduate students to do that, and chem-
istry is our tool."
Wagener, who worked for an inter-
national fibers company for 11 years
and has received numerous research
awards, still considers his most impor-
tant role that of teacher. It's a responsi-
bility he takes seriously.
"It's a four or five year adventure
with each student and I feel it's a
privilege and an opportunity to help
someone accomplish that goal," he
said. "That may sound idealistic but I
consider that to be my philosophy on
why I teach."
So how does Wagener combine
the education of his students with
his research? He relies on polymer
chemistry, or the study of plastics. The
UF polymer program began in 1946
thanks to the efforts of George Butler
for whom the program is named. It is
the oldest continuous polymer effort in
a chemistry department in the nation
and is recognized for its important
research. Because polymers are large
molecules, Wagener thinks this area of
chemistry is an ideal way to teach stu-


Ken Wagener, professor of ih.. ,tit I
has been teaching at UF since
1984. His research on the reaction
ADMET is known internationally
by major companies.


dents about the fundamental lessons
of chemistry.
"Most molecules are small, like
methane. Polymers, on the other
hand, are much larger," he said. "If,
for example, a methane molecule were
three inches long, then a polymer
molecule would be seven miles long,
comparatively speaking."
Polymer research can be divided
into two categories: how plastics are
made, or synthesized, and how they
behave. The chemistry department is
primarily interested in how to make
polymers, and, thanks to Wagener and


--See Musings, page 10


This month's focus: Department of Chemistry


--See Research, page 10







Around the College


DEPARTMENTS


ASTRONOMY
James Hunter visited the Instituto
de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC), Te-
nerife, Canary Islands, Spain as a guest
of the Spanish government. He gave
two invited talks and supervised a
Ph.D. project during his visit.

Bo Gustafson was an invited visi-
tor at the Ondreov Observatory of
the Academy of Science of the Czech
Republic to discuss the future of the
European Meteor Network.

Henry Kandrup and his graduate
student Christos Siopis were invited
visitors at the Observatoire de Mar-
seille. While there, they engaged in
numerical experiments involving the
stability of irregularly shaped galax-
ies.


GEOLOGY
Michael Perfit was an invited speak-
er at short-course which was held as
part of the Geologic Society of Canada
-Society of Economic Geologists An-
nual Meeting in Ottawa, Canada in
March.


RELIGION
Azim Nanji was an invited speaker
at a conference at the School of Ad-
vanced International Studies at Johns
Hopkins University in March.




UNIVERSITY OF

SFLORIDA

CLAS notes is published monthly by the Col-
lege of Liberal Arts and Sciences to inform fac-
ulty and staff of current research and events.


Dean:
Editor:
Graphics:


Willard Harrison
Lurel D. Ponjuan
Sally Brooks


AALL Student Receives Private

Scholarship to Study in Japan









.
i




(left to right: Joseph Murphy, assistant professor of African and Asian Languages
and Literatures; Art Zirger, UF Outreach Program of the College of Engineering;
Amanda Rust, scholarship recipient; Ann Wehmeyer, associate professor of African
and Asian Languages and Literatures and Susan Kubota, lecturer in African and
Asian Languages and Literatures) The Zirger Scholarship Award, for $1,000 per
year, is awarded to an outstanding female student i.ii/. i'.i:'oriI't.l in.: in Asian
Studies. This year's recipient, Amanda Rust, is majoring in Japanese language and
will use the scholarship to study at the Saga National University in Saga, Japan,
this summer.



HONORS AND AWARDS

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences would like to congratulate the
following faculty members for their achievements and recognition.

Alan Katritzky (Chemistry) received the J. Heyrovsky Honorary Medal
for Merit in the Chemical Sciences from the Academy of Sciences of the
Czech Republic.

Bo Gustafson (Astronomy) had Asteroid 4275 named after him by
the International Astronomical Union. A condensed version of the
citation states: "Named in honor of Bo S. Gustafson at the University of
Florida, Gainesville. Gustafson has specialized ii -t hdlil; th.i'formation,
evolution and fate of small particles in the solar system."

Terry Mills (Sociology) won the "Best Presentation Award" at a
technical workshop sponsored by the National Institute of Aging
in Washington.

John Oliver (Astronomy) received a NASA Summer Faculty Fellow-
ship at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California,
for a second consecutive year. He will be responsible for refining
the software JPL uses to predict meteoroid impacts on deep space
probes and for providing a more "user friendly" interface to the
software.


Worldwide web http://clas.ufl.edu/clas-
notes








CLAS Honors Graduates with Annual

Baccalaureate Ceremony


Dean Harrison (r.) congratulates one of the many CLAS
Scholar Award recipients during the pre-Baccalaureate
ceremony held in the Friends of the Music Room.


Larry Severy, associate dean, (1.) and Shari Ellis, assistant
professor psychology, (r.) offer congratulations to one of their
students, Amy Myerson (c.), who is a Four-Year Scholar. Ellis
also received a "Teacher of the Year" Award.


Students listen to Sam
Proctor, Distinguished
Service Professor
of FHi-t.- recite a
vignette from UF's
history.


Cristina Jimenez, who was selected as a Four-Year
Scholar, enjoys the reception with her family.


Marla Rosenblatt, one of the six CLAS valedictorians, speaks to her
fellow graduates about the many changes they've witnessed while
students at UF.







Faculty in the News


CLAS Faculty Make Headline News

CLAS faculty are recognized as experts in their fields of research in academia and the private sector. Following is a list
of UF researchers whose comments and research have recently appeared in the media.


Lobster Business Was Cutthroat
Ron Formisano, professor of history, was featured in an
article in The Boston Globe concerning his book, The Great
Lobster War.

Prof. Comments on Africa Today
Michael Chege, director for the Center for African Studies,
was interviewed by KPFA Radio Station in San Francisco
for a program "Africa Today." Chege also appeared on
Niteline, a news program of the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation, to discuss the recent change of government
in Zaire.

Discrimination is Alive and Well
The Washington Post cited a 1994 discrimination survey
conducted by Joe Feagin, professor of sociology.


Tropical Forests and Their Crops (Cor-
nell University Press) by Nigel J. H. Smith
(Geography), J. T. Williams, Donald L.
Plucknett and Jennifer P. Talbot. (review
taken from back cover)
The tropics are the source of
many of our familiar fruits, vegetables,
oils, and spices, as well as such com-
modities as rubber and wood. Distinctly
practical and soundly informative, this
book gives readers a feeling for the abundance of tropical
forests, a sense of what we may lose if they are destroyed,
and an appreciation for the relationships between tropical
forest plants and people throughout the world.


(Excerpt) Tropical forests represent only 7 percent of the
earth's surface, but they contain more than half the world's
biota (E. O. Wilson, 1988). Tropical deforestation thus has
far more repercussions than destruction of an equivalent
area of temperate forest. Tropical forests contain vastly
greater numbers of wild populations of existing crops and
potential crops than any other home. All tropical countries
with forests are losing these complex and valuable ecosys-
tems. Our examination of the rates of deforestation under-
scores the fact that time is running out for forests in some
areas, and along with their loss will go plant and animal
genetic resources whose value we may never know.


Darwin May Have Had Some Help
The New York Times reported a response by Vassiliki Betty
Smocovitis, professor of history, concerning the contribu-
tions of Ernst Mayr to Darwinism.


To Privatize Or Not to Privatize?
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Nashville Banner
and The Economist quoted Charles Thomas, professor of
criminology, concerning the privatization of prisons.


Contraception is Male Issue, Too
The Dallas Morning News and The Houston Chronicle quoted
William Marsiglio, associate professor of sociology, on
getting men involved in contraception.


Book Beat

........ Physics, Chemistry, and Dynamics of
Interplanetary Dust (Astronomical
.-_ Society of the Pacific) edited by Bo A. S.
.Gustafson (Astronomy) and Martha S.
Hanner. (review taken from book preface)
IAU Colloquium 150 Physics,
Chemistry, and Dynamics of Interplan-
.etary Dust was held at the campus of
the University of Florida, in Gainesville,
Florida, from August 14 to August 18,
1995. The Colloquium brought together 109 scientists
from 18 countries....This continued the tradition of hold-
ing colloquia at regular intervals to review the progress
in the broad range of disciplines used to study inter-
planetary dust and to help relate progress made through
observations, experimentation, and theory.



(Excerpt) A single spacecraft orbiting below 2000 km
altitude is capable of producing a man-made orbital debris
hazard which exceeds the natural interplanetary meteoroid
hazard in low Earth orbit. Because of the high inclinations
that most spacecraft are launched into, the average col-
lision velocity between objects in this region is about 10
km/sec (Kessler 1994). Cousequeutly, it was inescapable
that orbital debris would become an environmental issue
requiring models and measurements to understand this
new environment.







Faculty in the News


CLAS Faculty Make Headline News

CLAS faculty are recognized as experts in their fields of research in academia and the private sector. Following is a list
of UF researchers whose comments and research have recently appeared in the media.


Lobster Business Was Cutthroat
Ron Formisano, professor of history, was featured in an
article in The Boston Globe concerning his book, The Great
Lobster War.

Prof. Comments on Africa Today
Michael Chege, director for the Center for African Studies,
was interviewed by KPFA Radio Station in San Francisco
for a program "Africa Today." Chege also appeared on
Niteline, a news program of the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation, to discuss the recent change of government
in Zaire.

Discrimination is Alive and Well
The Washington Post cited a 1994 discrimination survey
conducted by Joe Feagin, professor of sociology.


Tropical Forests and Their Crops (Cor-
nell University Press) by Nigel J. H. Smith
(Geography), J. T. Williams, Donald L.
Plucknett and Jennifer P. Talbot. (review
taken from back cover)
The tropics are the source of
many of our familiar fruits, vegetables,
oils, and spices, as well as such com-
modities as rubber and wood. Distinctly
practical and soundly informative, this
book gives readers a feeling for the abundance of tropical
forests, a sense of what we may lose if they are destroyed,
and an appreciation for the relationships between tropical
forest plants and people throughout the world.


(Excerpt) Tropical forests represent only 7 percent of the
earth's surface, but they contain more than half the world's
biota (E. O. Wilson, 1988). Tropical deforestation thus has
far more repercussions than destruction of an equivalent
area of temperate forest. Tropical forests contain vastly
greater numbers of wild populations of existing crops and
potential crops than any other home. All tropical countries
with forests are losing these complex and valuable ecosys-
tems. Our examination of the rates of deforestation under-
scores the fact that time is running out for forests in some
areas, and along with their loss will go plant and animal
genetic resources whose value we may never know.


Darwin May Have Had Some Help
The New York Times reported a response by Vassiliki Betty
Smocovitis, professor of history, concerning the contribu-
tions of Ernst Mayr to Darwinism.


To Privatize Or Not to Privatize?
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Nashville Banner
and The Economist quoted Charles Thomas, professor of
criminology, concerning the privatization of prisons.


Contraception is Male Issue, Too
The Dallas Morning News and The Houston Chronicle quoted
William Marsiglio, associate professor of sociology, on
getting men involved in contraception.


Book Beat

........ Physics, Chemistry, and Dynamics of
Interplanetary Dust (Astronomical
.-_ Society of the Pacific) edited by Bo A. S.
.Gustafson (Astronomy) and Martha S.
Hanner. (review taken from book preface)
IAU Colloquium 150 Physics,
Chemistry, and Dynamics of Interplan-
.etary Dust was held at the campus of
the University of Florida, in Gainesville,
Florida, from August 14 to August 18,
1995. The Colloquium brought together 109 scientists
from 18 countries....This continued the tradition of hold-
ing colloquia at regular intervals to review the progress
in the broad range of disciplines used to study inter-
planetary dust and to help relate progress made through
observations, experimentation, and theory.



(Excerpt) A single spacecraft orbiting below 2000 km
altitude is capable of producing a man-made orbital debris
hazard which exceeds the natural interplanetary meteoroid
hazard in low Earth orbit. Because of the high inclinations
that most spacecraft are launched into, the average col-
lision velocity between objects in this region is about 10
km/sec (Kessler 1994). Cousequeutly, it was inescapable
that orbital debris would become an environmental issue
requiring models and measurements to understand this
new environment.







Conlon on Computing



Computer Archaeology


The dimly lit room is full of file cabi-
nets. Papers and yellowed computer
printouts are jutting from folders
stacked in piles on and around them.
You spend hours -in ffliii.; th1 cu';1l the
folders and file cabinet drawers. You
wonder whether a successful search
will only be the beginning of a more
difficult process. You are looking for
an old diskette.

When you find your diskette,
will you be able to read it? Dis-
kettes were not designed as archive
media. If you created diskettes five
or more years ago, there is a good
chance that you may not be able to
read them today. The old 5 1/4"
diskettes (the floppy floppy disks)
were notoriously problematic. They
were fragile, subject to degradation
by temperature changes, dust, and
moisture. Worse still, there were
many different formats single
density, double density, quad den-
sity, high density, multiple IBM
formats and multiple Macintosh
formats.
So even if you find your diskette
and it is physically in good enough
shape to be read, can you find a
computer with a diskette drive to
read it? And even worse if you
can find a diskette drive to read it,


can you find software that can read
the format the data is stored in? And if
you can read the format, can you make
sense of the rows and columns of data
you might find there?
There is a growing sub-specialty
in computing dedicated to preserving
data and recovering data from antique
computer systems. Old data stored on
old media requires unusual equipment
and the programming talent to extract
data stored in formats that are no lon-
ger widely used.
Fifteen years ago, WordStar was
a popular word processing software
package. Ten years ago, most word
processors could still read WordStar
formats. Now, commercial word pro-
cessing systems no longer read Word-
Star formats.
Ten years ago, 5 1/4" diskette
drives were standard equipment on
most desktop computers. Now they
are not. It is difficult to equip some
modern computers with 5 1/4" drives
and it will become more difficult in the
future.
Physical media, the diskettes and
tapes and CD-ROMs used to store data
change formats over time. And most
of these media were not designed for
long term storage. Desktop computer
tape systems are notorious for constant
format changes and short shelf life. In
some cases tapes that are well cared
for can not be read due to oxidation
or other physical degradation within
twelve months of being written. Do
not consider using such tapes for long
term storage.
The combination of old media in
possibly degraded condition and
data stored in formats that can no
longer be read provide considerable
challenges for computer archaeologists.
These recovery experts maintain old
equipment and old software to perform
data recoveries. They can also charge
large fees to recover data and docu-
ments.
To preserve electronic data consider


the following suggestions. Store
data on media with good long term
properties. 5 1/4" diskettes should
be replaced now data should be
copied to more preservable media.
3.5" diskettes are expected to last far
longer than 5 1/4" diskettes. Data
stored on CD-ROM is expected to
last longer still. Store data in ASCII
files not in spreadsheets or data-
base formats. These formats change
over time and the software that can
read them now may not be available
in 10 or 20 years.
Store documentation in ASCII
text files, not in word processed
documents. The software needed
to read word processed documents
may not be available. Do not assume
that by storing the software with the
data you have solved the problem.
We can no longer run much of the
software written for computers in
the 1970s and we are losing the
ability to run software written for
computers in the 1980s. Store all ar-
chive data and documents in ASCII
files.
Multimedia materials provide
particular problems for the archival-
ist there are dozens of "standard"
formats for storing computerized
images and it is not clear which will
still be viable ten years from now.
The same can be said of digitized
sounds and video clips. Formats
used on the web HTML for docu-
ments and data, GIF for images,
MPEG for video and AU for sound
are likely candidates for long term
availability.
One archival system that has
merit is paper. We know how to
store it and preserve it. OCR sys-
tems continue to improve. Data and
documents printed on paper can
be scanned into future computer
systems to recreate their contents
in future formats and media.







On Current Events...


Researchers Compile First National Survey of Gay and Lesbian Issues
-by Cathy Keen, writer for UF News and Public Affairs


The biggest civil rights move-
ment of the 1990s has been the
silent but growing pace at which
American communities have added
gay and lesbian rights to their anti-
discrimination laws, say University
of Florida researchers whose new
book is based on the first national
survey of these issues.
"Just as blacks dominated the
civil rights battleground of the '60s,
gays and lesbians are making their
mark in the '90s, with a dramatic
increase in anti-discrimination leg-
islation and a growing shift in pub-
lic opinion," said James Button, a
UF political science professor and
co-author of Private Lives, Public
Conflicts, an examination of gay
rights nationwide.
The book also is written by UF
political scientist Kenneth Wald and
health science education Professor


"Even Americans
who are sympathetic
to the rights of gays
and lesbians often
regard homosexual-
ity as an aberration
or perversion. People
who make allegations
about blacks are often
regarded as cranks
or misfits, but people
who entertain broad
stereotypes about
gays and lesbians are
still accepted."

-Kenneth Wald
Professor of political science


Barbara Rienzo. In exploring the cut-
ting edge of this grass roots movement,
the researchers also include in-depth
case studies of five diverse communi-
ties. U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.,
who is openly gay, wrote the introduc-
tion.
Seventy-nine of the 159 cities and
counties that had extended civil rights
protection to gays and lesbians by 1996
did so in the '90s, the highest adoption
rate of anti-discrimination ordinances
since the first was passed in East Lan-
sing, Mich., in 1972, Button said.
Anti-discrimination laws are an
important factor in changing public
attitudes about homosexuality, even
though more than a quarter of the com-
munities that have them report local
or state efforts to overturn them, the
researchers said.
One sign of the new political pri-
macy of gays and lesbians is that the
number of cities and counties offering
domestic partner benefits more than
doubled since 1993. So did the number
of openly gay elected officials in the
two years before 1993, he said.
"While it's clear that gays and lesbi-
ans have made significant strides, the
bulk of that success has been in larger
cities where they are physically concen-
trated and politically well-organized,"
Wald said. "It's a much grimmer reality
in smaller cities and rural areas, where
there is a collective unwillingness to
face the problems that gays and lesbi-
ans encounter."
The researchers said they found gay
and lesbians continue to experience
an inordinate amount of hostility on a
daily basis.
"Even Americans who are sympa-
thetic to the rights of gays and lesbi-
ans often regard homosexuality as an
aberration or perversion," Wald said.
"People who make allegations about
blacks are often regarded as cranks or
misfits, but people who entertain broad
stereotypes about gays and lesbians are
still accepted."
Because they are a primary institu-


tion for launching change, public
schools have become the central
battleground in the cultural war
between people with traditional
views about homosexuality and
those who favor greater tolerance,
Rienzo said.
School programs addressing
the needs of lesbian and gay youth
were rare but more likely to be
found in large, affluent and more
diverse communities with anti-
discrimination laws on the books,
Rienzo said.
Gays, lesbians and many health
professionals feel strongly that
for homosexuality to be under-
stood, discussion must begin in
the schools. Opponents, however,
fear children will be unfavorably
influenced and even become ho-
mosexual if gays and lesbians teach
and the subject is included in the
curriculum, she said.
Other signs of shifting attitudes
range from the appearance of gay
and lesbian characters on popu-
lar television programs, such as
"Roseanne" and "Melrose Place,"
to the readiness of the Walt Disney
Company and other corporations
to extend domestic partner benefits,
he said.
"As Barney Frank says in the
book's introduction, 'politics works'
even for unpopular minorities,"
Button said. "Just as blacks say the
civil rights laws in the '60s were
invaluable, gays and lesbians are
finding such measures a first step
toward social change."
"Yet lack of pension rights and
other marital benefits is a problem
because gays and lesbians feel so
vulnerable economically," said
Wald, who characterizes the move-
ments' gains as a 'silent revolu-
tion' with 'one step backward for
every two steps forward.' "They
feel any time they come out about
their sexuality, they face economic
retaliation."









Chemistry Research Could Lead to Better

Computer Chips and a Natural Gas Fuel


Besides a passion for science,
probably the next most important
quality a chemist must have is
patience. Chemistry research takes
years of trial and error and many
times researchers find themselves
headed in completely different di-
rections than what they had previ-
ously anticipated at the beginning of
their studies. Such is the case for Lisa
McElwee-White, associate professor
of chemistry, who has been studying
compounds since 1987 and has just
recently found a new way to use
them.
"We were looking at the com-
pounds for other reasons and real-
ized that there might be a materials
application for it," McElwee-White
said. "This project has to do with
making materials for the manufac-
ture of semi-conductor devices, like
computer chips."
Her research involves compounds
that bond (or attach) between tung-
sten (a metal) and nitrogen (a gas).
The ultimate target, called tungsten-
nitride, could solve a problem with
the manufacture of computer chips
by preventing the aluminum (from
the wiring in the computer chip) and
the silicon (which forms the base of
the chip) from dissolving into each
other during the high-temperature
processing step. She is hoping that
a film made out of the tungsten-ni-
tride can act as a barrier during this
process.
"I think we have a couple of more
years ahead of us before knowing
the success or failure of this," she
said. "We're very good at making
the compounds but we're going to
have to do the experiments to make
the films to see if they're success-
ful."
The project, funded by the Office
of Naval Research, is actually a col-
laborative effort between McElwee-
White and Tim Anderson, professor
of chemical engineering.
"We're making the compounds


and Tim and his group do the en-
gineering end of it," she said. "They
do the film deposition experiments
and make the films while we make the
compounds."
While UF researchers aren't the only
ones working on this particular prob-
lem, their technique may be one-of-a-
kind. Because of the way they prepare
the tungsten-nitride films, the silicon is
left unharmed.


. r.2... .iaU
Lisa McElwee-White, associate
professor ofl h. ii-ti i, is working
on several projects that could have
very practical applications.


"Usually when these films are syn-
thesized a by-product is released that
ruins the silicon surface to a certain
extent," she said. "The unique aspect of
our compounds is that when they de-
compose, the by-products don't harm
the silicon, so there should be less of an
etching problem on the surface of the
computer chips."
As if this project wasn't enough to
keep McElwee-White and her students
busy, she is also working on a "clean
fuels technology" project involving


methanol. There's been interest
both in the private sector and in the
military to make power supplies
that burn methanol electrochemi-
cally in a fuel cell (similar to a bat-
tery that uses methanol as a fuel).
But there are problems with the
technology.
"It's not very efficient because
the process that converts methanol
into the eventual product, carbon
dioxide, is very complicated," she
said. "The more complicated a pro-
cess is, the more energy it takes to
drive it along. As a result, you don't
get maximum use out of the fuel."
McElwee-White and her stu-
dents are trying to develop catalysts
which make the consumption of
methanol easier and more energy-
efficient. And, as with her other
project, they're taking a unique
approach to the problem. Instead
of using a piece of pure platinum
for the electrode which is very
expensive they're trying to cre-
ate an electrode made out of some-
thing cheaper yet which produces
the same results. (The electrode is
the piece at the end of the wire that is
dipped into the methanol. The process
that generates the electricity takes place
at the electrode surface.)
"You might be able to get the
same thing to happen without hav-
ing to use a piece of platinum to
build the electrode," she said. "Not
many people are trying to do that.
This may be unique."
In addition to the many practi-
cal applications McElwee-White's
research has, she wants people to
realize how it benefits her students.
The experiments give them expe-
rience and teach them first-hand
about chemistry research.
"The education of graduate stu-
dents is what drives the research,"
she said. "Our students learn from
the many projects we're involved in
and the research we generate."











Understanding Single Molecules May Lead to

Improved Diagnoses for Many Patients


Following is an interview Weihong Tan,
assistant professor of chemistry.

What does your research focus on?

Basically what we're doing is look-
ing at very small biological cells,
or molecules, and trying to de-
velop bioanalytical and biophysics
techniques to study individual
molecules. Right now, it is difficult
to study one molecule at a time.
We want to develop techniques
to view what is invisible with our
own eyes.

What are the applications for this
technique?

From a diagnostic point of view,
this technique can help doctors
detect the early stages of diseases.
For example, if a doctor takes 10 ml
of blood from a patient and if there
are only 10 cells out of the 10 million
in the sample that are in the early
stages of cancer, they won't show
up in the results. But suppose you
have a technique which allows you
to detect one cell at a time. Then
you would be able to identify the 10
diseased cells and begin treating the
patient as soon as possible.

Another application for this tech-
nique would allow us to manipu-
late nanostructures and even one
molecule at a time. This is very
important because it gives us the ba-
sic knowledge about how reactions
happen. If we have the capability
of manipulating one molecule at a
time, we can study the properties
of that molecule. This kind of tech-
nique can be used in environmental
sciences as well.


What are the steps involved in your


research?
The first step is the development of
nanometer scale imaging and sens-
ing technology, then we will apply
these novel techniques to biomedical
research and environmental detection.
For example, using our technology we
are studying stroke mechanism on a
subcellular level. Our ultimate goal
is to develop an optical microscopy
with single molecule level resolution
and sensitivity. Our techniques will
enable us to study a variety of signifi-
cant biomedical problems, such as the
mechanism of disease and the imaging
and manipulation of ion channels.

Do you work with other researchers?

We have good collaborations with re-
searchers in the medical school. They
provide us with samples, and, more
importantly, provide us with biologi-
cal problems which stimulate our de-
velopment. We try to help them better
understand some biological problems


and provide them with the frontier
knowledge in the physical sciences.
It is a mutually beneficial arrange-
ment.

What do you think is most signifi-
cant about your research?

Scientists have long been fascinated
by the elementary entities that make
up matter. If we can manipulate one
molecule at a time, our work will be
very significant. What this means is
that we will have the capability to
study the very elementary entities of
living and non-living systems. Only
when you have this level of capabil-
ity can you study and control the
basic processes in these systems.

In addition, as the study of biophys-
ics and biochemistry becomes more
sophisticated, there is a growing
need for monitoring biological
events at the cellular and subcellular
level. Our research will contribute
significantly in this area as well.%


Weihong Tan, assistant professor of hl. irii-ii is seated in front of an Olympus
inverted microscope. It is used to detect single photons with an enzyme probe.









rrant Awards through Division of Sponsored Research

April 1997 Total $1,182,051


Investigator Dept. Agency

Corporate...$85,435


Katritzky, A.
Katritzky, A.
Katritzky, A.
Katritzky, A.
Katritzky, A.
Kennedy, R.
Thomas, C.
Hollinger, R.
Marks, R.
Marks, R.


CHE
CHE
CHE
CHE
CHE
CHE
CRI
SOC
STA
STA


Bayer
Dow Elanco
Dow Elanco
Multiple Co
Upjohn
Soane Bio
Corrections
Sensormatic
Biomaterials
Biomaterials


Award


40,000
1,000
1,900
3,890
1,500
6,875
8,500
15,000


Title



Miles compounds contract.
Dowelanco compounds agreement
Dowelanco compounds agreement.
Software research support.
Upjohn service contract.
Assay development.
Private corrections project.
Security research project.
Clinical trial research design.
Clinical trial research design.


Federal...$970,436


Brandt, S. &
Arthur, J.
Campins, H.
Campins, H.
Chen, K.
Xu, Y.
Benner, S.
Zerner, M.
Drago, R.
Voelklein, H.
Ipser, J. &
Detweiler, S.
Seiberling, L.
Sullivan, N.
Ziller, R.
West, R.
Agresti, A.
Chapman, L. &
Crisman, T.
Evans, D.


ANT
ANT
AST
AST
AST
AST
CHE
CHE
CHE
MAT
PHY
PHY
PHY
PHY
PSY
PSY
STA
ZOO
ZOO
ZOO


NSF
NASA
NASA
NASA
NSF
NIH
NSF
Army
NSF

NASA
NSF
NSF
NASA
NIH
NIH

NSF
NSF


11,827
41,680
44,179
2,000
128,888
200,009
15,720
26,000
20,000

53,500
122,151
100,000
2,000
69,170
78,312


Ceramic use in an agrarian society.
A coordinated ground and space based infrared study of comet Hale-Bopp.
A coordinated ground and space based infrared study of 2 taxonomic classes.
Electronic database of the card catalogue of photometric binaries.
Experimental verification of electromagnetic multisphere-scattering theory.
Non-standard base pairs as biomedical research tools.
Development of a multi-configuration scheme for molecular electronic struc.
Adsorption and catalytic oxidation of sulfide and thioate substrates.
Groups as galois groups.

Relativistic and gravitational physics.
Interaction of GE with surfactants on the SI(100) surface.
Dynamical properties of frustrated molecular solids at low temperature.
Space travel as an induction of tolerance.
Memory beliefs in relation to goals and test difficulty.
Statistical inference for sparse categorical data.


5,000 Spatial and temporal dynamics of refugia in the Lake Victoria Basin.
50,000 Is nitric oxide or a prostaglandin the relaxing factor in fish.


Foundation...$70,430


Hodell, D. &
Brenner, Mark
Holling, C.

Other...$43,098


GLY
FIS
ZOO


Nat Geographic 20,430
UF 50,000


The role of climate change in the collapse of classic Maya civilization.
UF Foundation account for R. C. S. Holling.


Misc Don
Misc Don
Misc Don
Misc Don
Misc Don
Misc Don


8,400
15,000
7,348
3,150
4,200
5,000


Miscellaneous donors.
Miscellaneous donors.
Miscellaneous donors.
Miscellaneous donors.
Miscellaneous donors.
Miscellaneous donors.


Universities...$12,652


9,152 Sites and mechanisms of inhaled anesthetic actions.
3,500 Nicotine and ethanol-induced neurotoxicity.


Bernard, H.
Eyler, J.
Eyler, J.
Caviedes, C.
Williams, P.
Nordlie, F


ANT
CHE
CHE
GEO
POL
ZOO


Hudlicky, T.
Zoltewicz, J.


CHE UCSF
CHE North Texas





--Research continued from page 1
--Musings continued from page 1


are in the Gainesville area, and his newly
published book, appropriately called Big
Trees, can direct you to these giants on
your summer travels. The front (and
back) cover photo is worth the price of
the book.
For those of us who lived through it,
a revisiting of the Vietman era through
Nora Alter's Vietnam Protest Theatre
brings back good and bad memories. If
history interests you as much as it does
me, Mike Gannon's The New History
of Florida is a must. This collection of
chapters includes contributions from
several outstanding CLAS faculty. And
if ancient history is more your pref-
erence, why not try Mary Ann Eaverly's
Archaic Greek Equestrian Sculpture,
which shows that there was the horsey
set even then.
I'd have to admit that my personal
favorite, given a mispent youth, is Kevin
McCarthy's, Baseball in Florida. Don't
write this one off as a jock oriented book.
Kevin, a professor of English, includes
chapters on spring training, baseball
history, college baseball, African Ameri-
cans in baseball, and a timely report on
women in baseball. The book's historic
photos alone make it a steal.
Want something a little deeper? Try
Mark Thurner's From Two Republics
to one Divided, which explores Peru's
transition from colonial to republic
status. Or enjoy The News Revolution
in England, in which John Sommerville
writes so well on the early days of jour-
nalism. And do you want to know what
makes our provost tick? I certainly do.
For some hints, we might all read the
latest edition of Betty Capaldi's textbook,
Psychology. Finally, I haven't seen but
can hardly wait for Karen Seccombe's
forthcoming book, So You Think IDrive
a Cadillac.
There are many more great books
arising from the pens of CLAS faculty.
Take a look at our library in the Dean's
Office, which contains faculty books go-
ing back over the past 5 years. We are
truly fortunate to have such talented
faculty who share with us the fruits of
their scholarship.

Will Harrison,
Dean

[harrison@chem.ufl.edu]


his research group, the depart-
ment is known internationally for
developing a process that produces
polymers in an energy-efficient
way. The reaction ADMET (Acyclic
Diene Metathesis Chemistry) took
ten years of research and involved
the work of undergraduates, grad-
uate students and professors. UF
patented the basic process which is
used by companies and institutions
all over the world.
"It's a way of making polymers
at or close to room temperature, so
it doesn't require as much energy
as other reactions might," Wagener
said. "It's very clean in that it pro-
duces a polymer and gas. We found
that we can make a wide variety of
polymer materials with this reac-
tion."
Wagener is encouraged by the
recognition ADMET has received
from industry since it gives stu-
dents a chance to see how the


private sector benefits from their
research. NSF, Dow Chemical,
Amoco, Shell and Dow Corning
are just a few of the companies that
have funded this kind of research.
"This is another part of students'
education," he said. "Interaction
with private companies gives
students a view of their future in
industry."
Although the AMDET reaction
has been extremely successful,
Wagener admits that chemistry
research is a long, difficult process
and that it's impossible to predict
the success of any one project.
"Turning chemistry into reality
is not easy," he said. "There are
always reasons why things don't
work. But even when research
doesn't turn out exactly the way
you've planned, you can consider
it a success if it's helped to educate
students."


From the Chair....


John Eyler, chairman of the Department of Chemistry


When I began as chair of the
Chemistry Department three
years ago, we had just finished a
period of rapid growth with nine
faculty members having been
hired between 1991 and 1994. Giv-
en such a large influx, we faced
tremendous pressures to support
the varied research efforts of these
new faculty, while continuing to
serve the needs of established
faculty who had been major
contributors to the Department's
research and teaching efforts
for many years. We focused on
improving our support services
for Departmental research and
teaching, and I believe this has
benefited the scholarly activities
of all in the Department as well
as collaborators and students
around the campus.
The three faculty whose re-
search is highlighted in this issue
of CLAS notes emphasize recent
trends in chemistry both here


and around the nation. The main
thrusts of their work are in some of
the newer, more interdisciplinary
areas of chemistry. Thus both Ken
Wagener with his synthesis of
new polymers and Lisa McEl-
wee-White with her synthesis
of organometallic compounds
with new properties and poten-
tial catalytic activity are both
working in what might be loosely
categorized as materials chemis-
try with rigorous grounding in
organic and inorganic chemistry.
Weihong Tan's work illustrates
the increasing study of biological
molecules and systems by chem-
ists. While his development of
near-field optical spectroscopic
and other methods for single mol-
ecule detection are at the cutting
edge of analytical chemistry, there
are many potential applications to
biochemistry and medicine, some
of which he is already exploring.