This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

People etc.

Published: February 12, 2004

LaFalce to discuss "Law and Faith"

Former Rep. John LaFalce will discuss "Law and Faith" during a talk scheduled for 1 p.m. on Wednesday in 545 O'Brian Hall, North Campus.

The talk will be free and open to the public. A light lunch will be served.

The talk is part of a series sponsored by the Newman Centers at UB.

For more information, call 636-7495.

Classicist Hanson to visit UB

Distinguished classicist Ann Ellis Hanson will discuss "Alternative Medicine in Greco-Roman Antiquity: The Role of Amulets" during a lecture at 3 p.m. Feb. 23 in 120 Clemens Hall, North Campus.

The lecture, which will be free and open to the public, will examine how widely amulets were employed to combat the illnesses of Greeks and Romans, and will focus particular attention upon those that claim to be useful for gynecological ailments and childbirth.

During her visit to UB, Hanson will attend undergraduate courses on "Greek History" to lecture on "Medical Discourse and Fifth Century Popular Culture" and on the "Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries" to discuss the persistence into the early modern period of Galenic humoral theory, the single-sex theory of human biology and the dominant reproductive understanding of the female body.

In addition, she will visit the Buffalo Museum of Science with advanced students from the UB Department of Classics to examine the museum's collection of ancient papyrus fragments and ostraka—pieces of broken pottery inscribed with words.

Hanson is visiting UB under the auspices of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program as a guest of the campus chapter, Omicron of New York. The visit also is co-sponsored by the UB departments of Classics, English and History.

Professor of classics at Yale University since 1998, Hanson is a noted papyrologist and student of ancient medicine. She was curator of papyri at the Princeton Library from 1977-88, and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992.

She has been active on committees of the American Philological Association and the American Society of Papyrologists, and has served as editor of The Society for Ancient Medicine Review and American Studies in Papyrology. She is a member of the International Workshop for Papyrology and Social History (Oxford and Columbia Universities) and participated for two years on the Greek and Babylonian Medicine Project of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study.

Students urged to use UB email accounts

UB is using email and MyUB to communicate with students, and university administrators are urging all students to access their UB email accounts often and to use MyUB regularly.

Important university communications for constituent groups and individuals are being sent to UB email addresses and posted on MyUB. In fact, news bulletins and other details that affect student status, as well as day-to-day life at the university, will be communicated year-round—including winter recess and summer break—via MyUB and UB email.

Accessing university email also is important because faculty and staff will often communicate with students individually in this manner and, in turn, depend upon responses to inquiries in a reasonable timeframe.

Students are strongly encouraged to use their UB email accounts to communicate electronically with all university offices, faculty and staff so that unique UB email addresses can be verified with other identifying information that students include in their messages.

Information about UB email accounts may be found at . Questions about UB email accounts may be addressed to the CIT Help Desk at or by calling 645-3542.

Students who choose to read their UB email via a non-UB email address, such as Yahoo, Hotmail or AOL, can do so from the "forward your email" link on the CIT Web site. However, it's best for students to reply to UB messages from their UB email addresses.

SENS offers "Project Lockbox"

Science and Engineering Node Services (SENS) has created "Project Lockbox," an initiative designed to provide faculty members in the sciences and engineering additional, secured storage space for data on the hard drives of faculty-owned personal computer systems.


Under Project Lockbox, each faculty member may request a 2GB "lockbox" on a special disk subsystem where data will be stored securely and backed up regularly, as per SENS backup policy. The lockbox can be accessed through a drive letter on the computer, just like a CD-ROM drive or a network drive.

Corky Brunskill, director of SENS, notes that Project Lockbox is intended to be used to back up a faculty member's most important files and is not to be used to back up an entire computer in an office or lab. Moreover, lockbox is not intended to be used for real-time computing activities, such as running programs, as the disks are optimized for storage and will run too slowly for satisfactory software performance, Brunskill says.

While the backup file system and tapes are secure, any technology can malfunction and data can be lost, he notes. "We still recommend that faculty have a personal backup of their important data," he says, adding that faculty members can make their own backups on floppy disks, zip disks or CD-ROMs.

To apply for a lockbox, faculty members must have a valid Engineering or NSM account. To obtain an account, go to /accounts/. Once a faculty member has an account, he or she may apply for a lockbox at http://

For further information or assistance, contact (faculty members in SEAS) or (faculty members in NSM).

Participants sought for Technology Entrepreneur Competition

The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in the School of Management and the Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach are seeking students and recent alumni to participate in the inaugural Technology Entrepreneur Competition.

The purpose of the competition is to facilitate and promote the commercialization of UB-generated technologies. It also is designed to provide a mechanism for bringing students from different disciplines together with students from the School of Management to maximize their business and scientific potential.

UB students and recent alumni with innovative ideas in the areas of physical and life-science technologies, as well as those with innovative business concepts using proprietary technologies in other areas, such as service industries, are invited to participate. Each team should be comprised of individuals involved in the science of the innovation, as well as individuals with a business background.

The prize package of more than $50,000 includes $25,000 in seed funding, one year of office space and one year of accounting, marketing, advertising and legal services.

Applications to participate in the competition are due on Feb. 27, and teams will be assigned mentors during the week of March 1. Each team will be required to submit a business plan by April 16. Judges will review the business plans and name up to five finalists on April 30. Each team in the finals will be required to give a presentation before a panel of judges on May 7. The winner will be announced that day, shortly after the final presentation.

Sponsoring the event are North Forest Development, LLC, Hahn & Associates, LLC, Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel, LLP, Fiddler & Co., and Flynn & Friends.

Application materials and information about the competition can be accessed online at http://www.mgt. or by calling the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at 645-3000.

Teaching teleconference set

"The Values of Teaching" will be the topic of a live, teleconference to be broadcast from 2:30-4 p.m. on Feb. 20 in B15 Health Sciences Library, South Campus, and 120 Clemens Hall, North Campus.

The teleconference is being presented by the Center for Teaching and Learning Resources.

It will feature Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Shribman discussing what he learned during the writing of his latest book, "I Remember My Teacher," a collection of reminiscences about America's greatest teachers. Shribman will relate recollections of people from all walks of life—from Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to a West Virginia coal miner—about what makes a great teacher and why teaching is such an important profession.

The teleconference is free, but registration is required. Reservations may be made online at http: // or by contacting Lisa Francescone at or 645-7328 and leaving a name, department, e-mail address and campus location from which the teleconference will be viewed.

"MacHomer" to be appear in CFA

"The Simpsons" will meet Shakespeare in the Center for the Arts on Feb. 27 in the hilarious one-man show, "MacHomer."

Performance times are 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the Mainstage theatre. "MacHomer" is sponsored by the Student Association.

"MacHomer" is the story of the Bard's "MacBeth" performed by writer/actor Rick Miller using as many as 50 character voices from the hit cartoon series. Miller has performed "MacHomer" to capacity crowds across the U.S. and Canada, including the CFA in 2001. The show also has won rave reviews and awards from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Melbourne, Australia.

The a Montr´┐Żal-trained Miller has performed in three languages on four continents. As the artistic director of WYRD Productions, he has created and performed three award-winning solo shows: "Art?," "Slightly Bent" and "MacHomer," which is entering its eighth year of touring.

Tickets for "MacHomer" are $14 and are available at the CFA box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at all Ticketmaster locations.

For more information, call 645-ARTS.

PSS to meet

The Professional Staff Senate will hold its monthly meeting at 3 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Center for Tomorrow, North Campus.

Guest speaker will be Sean Sullivan, vice provost for enrollment and planning.

All professional staff members are invited.

For more information, contact the PSS office at 645-2003.

Fear of Friday the 13th said to originate from Last Supper

Tomorrow is "Friday the 13th," and the day's association with bad luck is one of countless examples of humankind's universal predisposition for magical thinking—the belief that thoughts, words or actions will produce an outcome that defies normal laws of cause and effect, a UB anthropologist says.

Phillips Stevens, Jr., associate professor in the Department of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences who studies the origins of cults, superstitions and cultural identities, says Western culture's fear of Friday the 13th and the number "13" most likely started in the Middle Ages, originating from the story of Jesus' last supper and crucifixion.

"There were 13 people at the table (at the Last Supper) and the 13th was Jesus," explains Stevens. "The Last Supper was on a Thursday, and the next day was Friday, the day of crucifixion.

"When '13' and Friday come together, it is a double whammy for people who have these kind of magical beliefs," he says.

The "13" taboo may have begun with Christianity, but it spread throughout Western cultures, regardless of its religious origin, Stevens says. For example, it became taboo to seat 13 people at the table; large formal state dinner parties never sit 13 at the table, he says.

"Avoidance of 13 spewed into high-rise buildings," Stevens adds. "You will not find one 13th floor in any building, and some airlines do not have a 13th row on their planes. I personally have made a point to check."

Other examples of magical thinking, Stevens says, include not touching someone's crutches, as if the lameness were contagious, and avoiding stepping on cracks because cracks imply "damage."

Stevens cautions that most anthropologists avoid using the term "superstition," to describe the cultural taboo associated with "13" because the word's Latin root "superstitio" means "looking down upon; having a better explanation than the other."

"Anthropologists try to adopt a cultural relativism about this," he says. "Magical thinking is absolutely universal to all people."

Special interest group formed

The Council of the Association for Information Systems (AIS) has approved the formation of a Special Interest Group on Ontology-Driven Information Systems (SIG-ODIS) at UB.

The group was co-founded by Rajiv Kishore, assistant professor; Ram Ramesh, professor, and Raj Sharman, assistant professor, all in the School of Management.

This SIG provides a forum for intellectual discourse and networking for researchers interested in the field of computational ontologies and ontology-supported information systems. SIG-ODIS invites faculty members and students from various departments and schools on the campus, such as Philosophy, Computer Science and Engineering and Informatics, who may have interest in the ontologies area to join the AIS and SIG-ODIS.

Information on AIS-sponsored SIGs can be found at For specific information about SIG-ODIS, contact Rajiv Kishore at, Ram Ramesh at or Raj Sharman at

Applicants sought for DOD scholarships

Undergraduate and graduate students seeking degrees and graduate certificates in information assurance disciplines may apply for scholarship support from the U.S. Department of Defense.

UB students are eligible to apply for the scholarships because the university has been designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) by the National Security Agency.

Information assurance encompasses the scientific, technical and management disciplines required to ensure computer and network security.

The scholarship pays the full cost of tuition, fees, books, lab expenses and supplies and equipment. Undergraduate scholarship winners also will receive a stipend of $10,000, while graduate students will receive $15,000 stipends.

The full application package and details of the scholarship are available at

The deadline for applications is Feb. 20. Awards will be announced in late May or early June.

For further information, contact Shambhu J. Upadhyaya, associate professor of computer science and engineering, at 645-3180, ext. 133, or