Robert Olshansky Selected as the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s 2015 Distinguished Lecturer
Robert Olshansky has earned the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Distinguished Lecture Award for 2015 and will give a presentation at the organization’s annual meeting. This honor acknowledges significant professional work on earthquake hazard mitigation. In addition to serving as head of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Olshansky has researched and assisted with disaster recovery efforts in New Orleans, China, India, Indonesia, and Japan.
Jennifer Monson of Dance at Illinois and several collaborators with Illinois connections received a rave review for Live Dancing Archive, a work focused on oceanside movements and sensations drawn from her earlier research for BIRDBRAIN. Dancers Monson, Niall Jones (MFA 2014), and Tatyana Tenenbaum performed in costumes by Illinois lecturer Susan Becker with “breadth and sensitivity.” Cynthia Oliver and Dance at Illinois alumna Leslie Cuyjet presented the duet BOOM!—with two women “as candid as they are sultry”—that featured costume designs by Becker and a sound design by Jason Finkelman, the director of Global Arts Performance Initiatives at Illinois. Both pieces were at New York Live Arts, a world-recognized location for innovation in dance.
October 27, 2014
In a research project led by graduate student Bin Jiang of the Department of Landscape Architecture, watching 3D videos with tree canopy reduced stress and elicited feelings of relaxation in participants. With Professor William C. Sullivan and graduate student Dongying Li, also of Landscape Architecture, and Linda Larsen of the Department of English, Jiang found that seeing greater amounts of tree cover in the videos led to more benefits for both men and women. The results have profound implications for designing everything from the placement of windows in a house to green spaces in urban areas. An article about the study was published in the journal Environment and Behavior.
October 22, 2014
Heinrich Taube, an associate professor in the School of Music, received a 2014 Illinois Proof-of-Funding Concept (I-POC) Award to work on Harmonia, an application that takes education in music theory into the digital age. The program allows instructors to generate online assignments that can be automatically graded, and students benefit from interactive features and instant feedback. Taube was one of five recipients of I-POC funding in 2014. The program was developed to assist researchers in moving from the idea phase to a working prototype to attract the attention of industry.
October 21, 2014
For its annual fall concert, Dance at Illinois will investigate the concept of inspiration: what remains from a founding idea, what is discarded, and how a creative work evolves from its origins. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in Krannert Center’s lobby with an improvisational work facilitated by choreographer Kirstie Simson and fashion designer Susan Becker that incorporates students with diverse majors, fabric, and movement. Guest artist Fredrick Earl Mosley has focused on high energy and funk in his work, and visiting lecturer C. Kemal Nance has imagined trees that dance in his reconstructed project. Rebecca Nettl-Fiol has devised a piece exploring the lyricism of composer Lou Harrison’s words and music, and Philip Johnston has based a duet on letters written during World War I. November Dance will be held November 6–8 in the Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Center, and the choreographers will provide more detail about their new works at a conversation event on November 7.
October 14, 2014