Friday, March 7, 2008
Sigma Xi promotes scientific research on campus
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
Oakland University’s chapter of Sigma Xi was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence for demonstrating its involvement and vitality. A chapter of the national research society, Sigma Xi supports scientific research on campus and aims to get more students involved in research in any field. The annual Sigma Xi public lecture will be held Tuesday, April 1 at 4:30 p.m. in 201 Dodge Hall. The lecture is the group’s largest public lecture of the year. This year, the lecture will be given by Vito Quaranta, professor of cancer biology, director of the Vanderbilt Integrative Cancer Biology Center, co-director of the Center for Matrix Biology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a Sigma Xi distinguished lecturer.
Sigma Xi was recognized by the national chapter because of the activities and events the group participates in throughout the year. Included in that are the lectures Sigma Xi hosts throughout the academic year for the OU community on interdisciplinary topics.
“Faculty from across the university can participate in these lectures as speakers or by attending. These lectures provide an opportunity for researchers from different areas to come together and communicate their research,” said Brad Roth, president of OU’s chapter of Sigma Xi and associate professor of physics.
In addition, the chapter sent 15 undergraduate students to the national meeting of Sigma Xi when it was held in Detroit in 2006. The group annually sends one student to the national meeting, but because of the proximity of the 2006 meeting, many students were able to go.
Sigma Xi also shows a Webcast of the annual Howard Hughes Holiday Lecture and honors a high school science teacher with a cash award for their services.
The chapter’s biggest event of the year is the initiation banquet and lecture. New student and faculty members are inducted into the chapter. The lecture is open to the public. Quaranta will present “Integrating Multiscale Data for Simulating Cancer Invasion and Metastasis.” The lecture is aimed at a general audience. Quaranta will describe his research and how the research group draws on the expertise of an interdisciplinary group of scientists, including experimental biologists, clinical oncologists, chemical and biological engineers, computational biologists, computer modelers, theoretical and applied mathematicians and imaging scientists.
Roth credits the President’s Office, the Office of Academic Affairs and Provost, and the College of Arts and Sciences for their financial support of Sigma Xi’s events and programs.
“Most research institutions have a chapter of Sigma Xi,” said Roth.
Oakland University’s chapter has been in existence for 30 years. Roth became a member of Sigma Xi as a graduate student. When he came to Oakland University he got involved with the OU chapter. Six years ago, he became the president. At the end of this academic year, Roth will turn over the reigns of the chapter to a new, yet-to-be-determined president.
For more information on Sigma Xi or the lecture featuring Quaranta, visit the Sigma Xi Web site.