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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Campus News

Both middle school and high school students can enter a UW-Madison-organized crystal growing contest March 1.

UW-Madison organizes statewide crystal growing contest

The Molecular Structure Laboratory of the UW-Madison chemistry department is beginning its third statewide Wisconsin Crystal Growing Contest March 1 for both middle school and high school students. Students are allowed to work either individually or in small groups to grow crystals from two safe materials, according to a university release. More than 500 students participated in the contest in 2015, and leaders of the event expect that number to rise in 2016, as it is the first year that middle school students can participate.

Quinn Dickinson, a research specialist at the UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Energy Institute, helped develop a new strain of yeast to improve biofuel production.

New technique could improve biofuel production

Research specialists from the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center helped design a new strain of yeast that has the potential to improve biofuel production. Quinn Dickinson, a research specialist at the UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Energy Institute, and Jeff Piotrowski, the lead author of the report, used a method called chemical genomics to produce the yeast strain that could tolerate different ionic liquids, according to a university release.


Language barriers separate student body

UW-Madison international student Xiaofei Xu struggled to integrate with the local community on campus—until he studied abroad in Paris with roughly 30 other students during the fall semester of his junior year. Xu grew up in a city near Hong Kong and decided to attend UW-Madison in 2013, without ever visiting the campus. Both the school’s history and journalism programs were ideal for him, Xu said. There are more than 4,000 international students from roughly 130 countries currently enrolled at UW-Madison, though most are from China. According to Xu, academic programs for international students at UW-Madison are geared toward students in science or engineering majors, which covers most of the students.  But Xu, however, studies in the humanities, saying he hopes to graduate with a double major in history and journalism, while also learning French.

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