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In a paper recently published in Current Anthropology, Professor John Shea from Stony Brook’s Department of Anthropology, who is also a research associate with the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya, disproves the myth that the earliest humans were significantly different from us. The idea that human evolution follows a progressive trajectory is one of the most deeply entrenched assumptions about Homo sapiens evolution. In fact, archaeologists have long believed that modern human behaviors emerged tens of thousands of years after our species first evolved. And while scientists disagreed over whether the process was gradual or quick, they have agreed that…

Leadership from the School of Medicine and Department of Surgery officially opened and tested the new Surgical Skills Center (SSC) on Friday, January 7. Located on Level 2 of the Health Sciences Center, the 1,800 square-foot facility is dedicated to surgical training of fellows, residents, and medical students, and complements the School’s existing 6,000 square-foot Clinical Skills Center that opened in 2006, further reinforcing simulation training as a major component of medical education at the School of Medicine. Embraced as a training tool and promoted as an assessment of resident surgical skills by the American College of Surgeons, surgical simulation…

Four hockey players from the New York Islanders played Santa on December 14, delivering toys, other gifts, and good cheer to hospitalized children at Stony Brook University Medical Center. Forwards Jesse Joensuu and Matt Martin, along with defensemen Travis Hamonic and Milan Jurcina, visited with the patients and their families, signing autographs and giving away team jerseys. About 40 kids, as well as some teenagers and young adults, received visits from the players, who walked through the entire inpatient pediatric floor and the pediatric unit of SBUMC’s outpatient Cancer Center. During the previous week, the Islanders players chose gifts ranging…

Fossils of an ancient crocodile with mammal-like teeth discovered in the Rukwa Rift Basin of Tanzania is changing the picture of animal life at 100 million years in what is now sub-Saharan Africa. The new species, found by an international team of scientists, including Joseph Sertich from Stony Brook, is named Pakasuchus. “Paka” is the Ki-Swahili name for “cat” and “souchos” is Greek for crocodile.  The scientists analyze the anatomical structure and evolution of the new species in the August 5 issue of Nature. The scientists describe the new species of notosuchian crocodyliform as a small animal whose head would…

A festive awards reception was held July 31 on Staller Center’s Main Stage, with film critic John Anderson as master of ceremonies, to close the 15th annual Stony Brook Film Festival. Anderson announced the Audience and Jury awards for best features and shorts as well as an Excellence in Filmmaking prize. Five Star Day, written and directed by Danny Buday, won Best Feature, Jury Award; Ayla, directed by Su Turhan, and Berlin 36, directed by Kaspar Heidelbach, tied for Best Feature, Audience Choice Prize; Worth, by Kathi Carey, won Best Short Film, Audience Choice Award; Unrest, by Christina Rubenstein, won…

Stony Brook received a $1.4 million National Science Foundation grant to build what its creator described as the closest thing in the world to Star Trek’s “holodeck.” Known as the “Reality Deck,” the immersive giga-pixel display will be a 40′ x 30′ x 11′ room in Stony Brook’s Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) containing 308 LCD display screens driven by an 85-node graphics computing cluster that rivals the performance of modern supercomputers. And while it will not be quite the simulated reality environment found on the starship Enterprise, it will fully immerse visitors in 1.25 billion…

When Stony Brook University biochemistry student Rian Shah got the idea to return the walkway known as the Zebra Path back to its original black and white design, he posted his views on Facebook and found out he wasn’t alone in his wish to preserve a piece of University history. Stony Brook art student Kim Hardiman had originally painted the Zebra Path as part of a project for her art class back in 1981. For Stony Brook’s 50th anniversary in 2007, the administration decided to repaint it red and white in honor of its “red hot” campaign. “I fought for the…

As commencement draws near, Stony Brook presents its annual exhibition of works by senior art majors. This year’s show will be on view at the University Art Gallery in the Staller Center from Tuesday, May 4, through Wednesday, May 19. A reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, May 8, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The juried “Senior Show 2010” will include paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs, works on paper, and electronic media installations selected by faculty members of the Department of Art from among the best work of this year’s graduating class. University Art Gallery hours are…

Governor David Paterson has announced that the Executive Budget will include a sweeping reform to the SUNY system for public higher education. Stony Brook University President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. was joined by SUNY Trustees Michael Russell, Stony Brook Foundation President Richard Gelfond, and Stony Brook University Council Member Diana Weir in a thorough endorsement of the new “Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act,” indicating that it categorically provides high-impact, zero-cost solutions that will create jobs, build the foundation for tomorrow’s economy, and strengthen public higher education–while saving millions of taxpayer dollars. “This is absolutely central to enhancing…

Staller Center’s third season presenting Metropolitan Opera Live in HD continues with Der Rosenkavalier broadcast live on Saturday, January 9, in the Main Stage Theatre. The Metropolitan Opera’s Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series gives patrons a chance to experience the Met live in a local movie theatre. Staller Center has one of the largest screens on Long Island, and the opera is screened in high definition with Dolby Digital surround sound. Patrons experience live broadcasts, complete with introductions and backstage interviews with singers, conductors, and directors. All programs start at 1:00 pm.  Tickets are $22 general admission, $20 for students…

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