Faculty Notes for January 2017: Publications, Quotes and More

Department of Computer Science Assistant Professor Margareta Ackerman, who co-developed ALYSIA, a machine learning system that creates melodies for lyrics, was profiled by New Scientist about the current iteration of her brainchild and plans for further development. Originally conceived as a system for the electronic music community, Ackerman has since expanded the target audience to include professional songwriters as well. Ultimately “we want to design a program able to generate the music, the lyrics and, ideally, even the production and singing by itself,” she said. Read more online.

Professor Emeritus Mike Adams, Department of TV, Radio, Film and Theatre, writes about the evolution of radio in Columbus, Ohio, in Columbus Radio (Arcadia Publishing, 2016), crediting “two professors and a preacher” for pioneering radio in that city. The author of seven books and recipient of the AWA Houck Award, the RCA Ralph Batcher Award and the TCA Stokes Award for his broadcast history research, Adams developed a passion for radio as a kid when his parents bought him a “rounded-top cathedral radio.” After that, he began “taking radios apart and became a nerd,” he told the Columbus Dispatch.

Professor Charlie Bullock, Department of Health Science and Recreation, chair of the Santa Clara County’s Health Trust since 2014, is serving as interim CEO of the nonprofit while the agency searches for a permanent replacement for former CEO Fred Ferrer, who stepped down in December. Founded in 1996, the Health Trust serves as a catalyst for community partnerships in Silicon Valley to work on initiatives that support healthy eating, healthy aging and an end to chronic homelessness in Silicon Valley.

School of Music and Dance Professor Ed Harris served as guest band conductor at the 2017 High School Honors Concert, an event that also included choir and string orchestra performances by students from 22 schools within San Joaquin County. The free concert took place at Atherton Auditorium at San Joaquin Delta College on January 14.

In an article for the Desert Sun, Associate Professor Dustin Mulvaney, Department of Environmental Studies, called for further study of the Eagle Crest Hydroelectric Pumped Storage Project by the Bureau of Land Management, specifically addressing the project’s environmental impact on groundwater resources, desert tortoises, bighorn sheep and the preservation and management of Joshua Tree National Park.

Scott Myers-Lipton

Scott Myers-Lipton

The San Jose Mercury News profiled Professor Scott Myers-Lipton, Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, about his career and activism in December. In the wake of the November elections and President-elect Trump’s stated intentions to create a national registry for Muslims, repeal the Affordable Care Act and build a border wall, Myers-Lipton co-organized and spoke at a San Jose unity rally held at City Hall on November 20. Myers-Lipton’s new book, CHANGE! A Student Guide to Social Action, will be published by Routledge in 2018.

iSchool Lecturer Penny Peck was reelected to the governing board of the San Lorenzo Unified School District and currently serves as its president. An alumna of SJSU, she holds a master’s degree in library science and worked as children’s librarian in the San Leandro Public Library system from 1986 to 2010. Her publications include Crash Course in Storytime Fundamentals (2015, second edition) and Crash Course in Children’s Services (2014, second edition), both published by Libraries Unlimited.

Department of English Professor Susan Shillinglaw signed copies of her book Carol and John Steinbeck: Portrait of a Marriage (University of Nevada Press, 2013) at the California Welcome Center in Salinas in December and was profiled by the Salinas Californian. Asked to name her favorite Steinbeck story, she replied: “It’s like asking who is your favorite child.” As director of the National Steinbeck Center, she also oversaw the center’s Salinas Valley Comic Con, held at Hartnell College in December.

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