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2016 May

May 13, 2016

The Sumo Matchup Centuries In The Making

Hakuho, the yokozuna

Hakuhō, largely considered the best sumo wrestler in the modern era, pictured here with the traditional yokozuna rope during dohyo-iri (the ring-entering ceremony) – Photo by Tim Foley.

FiveThirtyEight has released a new data visualization in tandem with an article on an upcoming sumo wrestling match which has been billed as one for the ages. While sumo has been around for roughly one thousand years, statistics on professional matches have been kept since 1684. The results of nearly every major tournament have been compiled dating back to 1761.

While this seems like an unusual story to cover on a blog like this, it is a good example of statistical analysis that is used commonly within the digital humanities realm in finding an answer to “who could be the greatest sumo wrestler of all time?”

If you’re curious to know more, check out the full data visualization at this link.

For the associated article on the long-awaited match and a brief summary on some of the legendary wrestlers, click here.

Tim Foley’s in-depth article on the world of sumo, click here.

May 4, 2016

CASIT Web Services completed projects Winter 2016

Here is the list of projects completed over Winter:

Sites moved to CAS design toolkit:

Drupal Projects:

  • PCS Forms Additions: added new workflow elements to existing PCS forms.
  • Physics GTF Evaluations: created online GTF evaluation form for Physics department. It was based on a version we created for Political Science.
  • Biology Graduate Database Upgrade: upgraded platform from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.

Other Projects:

  • CASIT has been using JIRA the last many months and we have reviewed and tested Service Desk and plugins like Tempo timesheets. We hope to create service desk projects and provide solutions for CASIT to help them manage day to day operations.
  • Faculty Reviews is a module of the CAS Personnel application we created. The module allows CAS Dean’s Office and department personnel to lookup performance review dates for tenure track and non-tenure track faculty.
  • Material Science Institute new site developed by Feynman Group was migrated and setup on our web servers.
  • Psychology Development Database is now maintained and supported by us. Over Winter we spent a lot of time troubleshooting performance issues and providing custom reports.
  • Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics relaunched with a new theme. We helped configure and setup the theme and plugins on the new site to achieve the new look.

You can see more information about those sites on our portfolio: http://casitwebservices.uoregon.edu/.

Big thank you to everyone in the web team.

Gravitational-wave detection earns LIGO the Breakthrough Prize

LIGO detector at Hanford, Washington

The LIGO detector site at Hanford, Washington. Each arm of the detector is 2.5 miles long (Photo credit: LIGO)

GeekWire.com is reporting that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and associated researchers earned a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics of $3 million.

Breakthrough Prizes were founded by several billionaires in the technology sector like Google’s Sergey Brin, Facebook’s MArk Zuckerburg and Russian investor Yuri Milner. These prizes have been given out to researchers in life sciences, physics, and mathematics. Prizes are awarded at any time and although it is relatively new compared to the Nobel Prize, it does offer more money up front.

Eight researchers and students in the Department of Physics at the University of Oregon were named in the article due to their part in the LIGO research team and will receive a portion of the prize:

  • James Brau, Knight Professor of Natural Science and Director of the Center for High Energy Physics
  • Raymond Frey, Department Head
  • Robert Schofield, Research Assistant Professor
  • Dipongkar Talukder, Research Associate
  • Sudarshan Karki, Graduate Student
  • Jordan Palamos, Graduate Student
  • Vincent Roma, Graduate Student
  • Paul Schale, Graduate Student

Congratulations to the team in general and the researchers in particular!

For more on the article from GeekWire, check out this link.

For the research paper Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger that won the prize, click this link.