Underwater Vehicle Team Lands Honors

While the members of the Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team might not have been huffing and puffing after their most recent competition, they still blew away the competition.
“We won in a pretty spectacular way,” said Erin Fischell ’10, CUAUV team leader. “Our vehicle completed the entire course. No other team has [completed the entire course] since the MIT team in 2002.” 
From July 28 to Aug. 2, CUAUV participated in the 12th annual Autonomous Underwater Vehicle competition, clinching its first win since 2003. Up against 29 other student teams from the United States, Canada, India, Korea and Japan, the CUAUV-designed, unmanned robotic submarine — dubbed “Nova” by the team — sank the competition, and earned $10,000 in doing so.

Lack of ‘Middle Eastern’ Option on College Apps Concerns Some

As students continue to voice concern at the University of California, Los Angeles, over the absence of a “Middle Eastern” option on the race and ethnicity section of the U.C. application, the issue has found its way to the Cornell campus — should the University consider including an option for students of Middle Eastern descent on its admissions forms as well?
Aside from a college-specific supplement, the Cornell application currently consists of the main Common Application, on which students can optionally “check all that apply” from 10 ethnic possibilities (including “other”). Options for “Arab” or “Middle Eastern” do not appear on the application.

Cornell 100 MPG Car Design Team to Participate in Int’l Competition

The Cornell 100+ MPG Team is on its way to putting the 2010 Toyota Prius — and its Environmental Protection Agency estimate of 50 miles per gallon — to shame. Up against more than 100 teams from around the world, the Cornell team is now officially competing in a multi-million dollar contest to not only create a car that exceeds 100 mpg or its fuel equivalent, but also present a feasible business plan to sell 10,000 such cars.
On April 7, the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize released the official list of 111 registrants, hailing from 11 countries, in the $10 million X Prize competition. Prize winners will be decided after a series of competitions, scheduled to begin as early as May 2010, that will culminate in road competitions in four U.S. cities.

Root Capital Director Explains His Company’s Lending Role

Financing typically comes in two sizes for businesses: very large or very small. Large-scale financing caters to the needs of large businesses, while small-scale financing answers the needs of tiny enterprises. In a manner reminiscent of Goldilocks’ perfect fit, Root Capital — a nonprofit social investment fund based in Cambridge, Mass. — aims to provide much-needed capital to help such medium-sized businesses grow.
Last night, students and faculty alike gathered in the Plant Science Building for a lecture entitled “Beyond Microfinance: Finance for the ‘Missing Middle’ in Africa and Latin America” to learn more about the financing avenues made available to medium-sized enterprises through Root Capital.

S.A. Votes on Illegal File Sharing Surveys

Despite a hectic week of quarter-carding and campaigning, the issues surrounding the Student Assembly election barely made it to the agenda of the S.A.’s weekly meeting last night in Willard Straight Hall.
The S.A. announced at the meeting that 14 challenges have yet to be resolved before the election results can be posted. According to the S.A., the turnout this year — 4,432 votes — was significantly larger than last year’s turnout.
As reported by The Sun on Feb. 19, the current S.A. election is at its most competitive since 2006, boasting 43 candidates running for 19 available positions.

C.U. Panel Explores African-American History

“We tend to forget those who came before us, those who created the legacy of black students here at Cornell,” said Ernie Jolly ‘09, historian for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, the first intercollegiate African-American fraternity in the country, which was founded at Cornell in 1906. “We deem it our responsibility to carry on that legacy.”
Last night, Alpha Phi Alpha hosted a panel discussion entitled “Part and Apart: Early Black Cornellians,” in honor of Black History Month. The panel featured Prof. Robert L. Harris, Jr., National Historian of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; Prof. Carol Kammen, Cornell University historian; and Jessica Harris grad. The discussion was moderated by Eric Acree, director of the John Henrik Clarke Africana Library.