‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ turns 21

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

The television series “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” premiered this week. It was a reminder that it’s been 21 years since the day I sat in on O.J. Simpson’s trial for the murders of his second wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and a restaurant employee named Ronald Goldman.

My, how time flies.

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Jane Schultz helps bring historical accuracy to Mercy Street, PBS’ new Civil War drama

By Rich Schneider, IU Comunications Specialist

When Jane Schultz, professor of English and medical humanities and director of literature in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, was asked to be a historical consultant for “Mercy Street,” a PBS Civil War medical drama series, she said she would think about it.

“I did so, for about three seconds,” Schultz said. “It seemed a wonderful way to bring the history of Civil War hospitals and medicine to a wider public.”

That was the same goal set by “Mercy Street” producer Lisa Wolfinger, who told the L.A. Daily News, “We just thought, ‘Let’s do something set in the Civil War from the vantage point of these doctors and volunteer nurses.’ Because it’s never been done. It’s never been told.”

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A tale of two universities, shared values and passions

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

From left, Joseph Hayes, Aaron Hart, Zeb Davenport, Jing "Claire" Zhao, Sandra Lemons, Sara Dickey traveled to China to visit Sun Yat-Sen University in December.

From left, Joseph Hayes, Aaron Hart, Zeb Davenport, Jing “Claire” Zhao, Sandra Lemons, Sara Dickey traveled to China to visit Sun Yat-Sen University in December.

“It was a phenomenal trip, better than I imagined it would be,” said IUPUI Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Zeb Davenport.

He was referring to a late-December visit to Sun Yat-Sen University, IUPUI’s strategic university partner in Guangdong, China.

Coming from a student affairs professional known nationally for his expertise in creating out-of-classroom experiences that are culturally responsive and engaging for students, Davenport’s words say a lot about the trip’s success.

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To Star Wars and Hot Cars

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

With Christmas just days away, classes out until the New Year, and workplaces operating at holiday speed, let’s make this posting merry, short and bright. No heavy intellectual stuff to confuse minds already absorbed with last-minute shopping and trips to the post office.

Instead, let’s turn our attention to things that are grabbing the headlines: toys and movies. We can simplify that even more by focusing on hot cars and “Star Wars.”

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Waiting and working for peace in the face of gun violence

by Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

Waiting to exhale.

That describes our nation collectively whenever news of yet another mass shooting sweeps with lightning speed from the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans about which Irving Berlin wrote.

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Student enjoys Internship at DreamWorks Animation

By Rich Schneider, IU Communications Specialist:

When Kung Fu Panda — one of the most successful animated franchises in the world — returns next year with a new comedy adventure, fans of DreamWorks Animation movies are likely to rush to theaters to see “Kung Fu Panda 3.”

But Mary Glumb won’t be among them. It’s not that she doesn’t think she’ll like “Kung Fu Panda 3.” It’s just that she’s already seen it — or most of it.

Mary Glumb

Mary Glumb

The sophomore computer graphics technology student in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI began a three-month internship Sept. 14 in Glendale, Calif., at DreamWorks Animation.

Assigned to the company’s marketing department, Glumb got to watch “Kung Fu Panda 3” as part of her job.

“It wasn’t finished yet,” she said. “I was watching the movie when it reached a part where nothing was moving, and I realized ‘this scene isn’t done being made yet.'”

While the internship began just two months ago, you could say it dates back 30 years to a diner in Chicago where Glumb’s mom was working. One of the other employees was a man who went on to become an executive producer at DreamWorks Animation.

When Glumb became interested in computer graphics about three years ago, her mom reached out to her friend from that dinner. He invited Glumb and her family to come to California, tour DreamWorks Animation and meet some of the people who work there.

“When we met him at DreamWorks, we got to go up to the second floor where all the executives are, which was exciting because no one is allowed up there,” Glumb said. “He talked about what jobs they have and what it’s like to work there. Before leaving, I met with the recruiting office and talked with them about the process for applying for an internship.”

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Amos Brown: Gone but never to be forgotten

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist:

Amos Brown’s passing has left a hole in the mind and soul of the city of Indianapolis.

“His intellect enabled Amos to speak with authority on a wide range of topics. He is literally irreplaceable,” said Vernon A. Williams, communication and engagement strategist in the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement. Read more…

Of pool tables, table tennis and furniture design students

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist

If you are looking for some custom home game furniture, perhaps you should check out Herron School of Art and Design.

It has paid off for Brunswick two years in a row.

That’s Brunswick as in air hockey, foosball, putting greens, pool tables and table tennis tables. Read more…

That new talking Barbie – not quite A.I., and childproofing is advised

By Diane Brown, IU Communications Specialist:

Original Barbie

Original Barbie, picture taken at Children’s Museum 2010

My fondness for all things Barbie and a New York Times headline announcing a new talking version of the doll with the powers of artificial intelligence hooked me into writing this IUPUIntelligence post.

But my initial infatuation with the special effects of Hello Barbie dissipated as my understanding of the mechanics behind the magic grew. And then a “CSI: Cyber” episode airing days after the article sparked my security concerns.

So I am issuing this parental alert: Think twice about toy safety in this age of smartphones and Wi-Fi. A “live” Barbie might not suit younger children still learning what is real and what isn’t.

Both the original Barbara Millicent Roberts — Barbie’s full name — and the new Hello Barbie are creations by parents looking for a better girl’s toy. (I  couldn’t resist showing a few photos from my personal gallery of Barbie Pictures. Enjoy!)

Back in 1959, Barbie creator Ruth Handler wanted to give her young daughter a 3-D version of the teenage paper dolls she and her friends held dear. A creator of the ToyTalk technology that brings Hello Barbie to life was motivated by his 6-year-old daughter’s question, “Can I talk to my stuffed rabbit on Skype?”

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Faculty member becomes one of the youngest African-Americans to become a tenured professor in computer science at a research university

By Rich Schneider, IU Communication Specialist:

Count competitiveness among the qualities that distinguish James Hill, an associate professor of computer and information science at IUPUI.

It was competitiveness that helped motivate the self-described jock.

“Growing up, I played sports,” Hill said. “During the summer, I played baseball; when baseball was over, I played football; and when football was over, I played basketball.” He excelled in track and field: He is a three-time All-American and was ranked as the top long jumper for his age at 14. At 15 and 16, he placed among the top eight long jumpers in the U.S. When he competed in a Tennessee state high school track-and-field championship meet, he did so well in five events he could have placed third if he had entered himself as a team.

And it was that spirit of competitiveness that inspired him as he pursued a Ph.D. in computer science, which led to him becoming one of the youngest African-Americans to become a tenured professor in computer science at a research university in the United States.

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