Emeritus Faculty Association news May 2012

Luncheon Meeting:
Provost Denis Assanis will address the annual emeritus luncheon 12.00 noon, Friday, May 4th, in the S.A.C ballroom. Attendees were supposed to have RSVP-ed to Ann (632-7012 or aozelis@notes.cc.sunysb.edu) by last Friday, April 20.
Assanis took up his position at Stony Brook last October after serving as Professor at the University of Michigan, as well as Director of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute, Founding Director of the US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Clean Vehicles and Director of the Walter E. Lay Automotive Laboratory.
After completing his B.Sc. degree in Marine Engineering from Newcastle University, England in 1980, he attended M.I.T. where he received four graduate degrees: S.M. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (1983), S.M. in Mechanical Engineering (1983), Ph.D. in Power and Propulsion (1986) and S.M. in Management from MIT's Sloan School of Management (1986). His academic career began at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1985-1994) after which he joined The University of Michigan in fall 1994 as Professor. At Michigan, he was the founding director of the interdisciplinary graduate program in Automotive Engineering (1996-2002); he chaired the Department of Mechanical Engineering (2002-2007); was Director of the Automotive Research Center (2002-2009); and, was Founding Co-Director of the General Motors-University of Michigan Collaborative Research Laboratory for Advanced Engine Systems (2002-2010). As his work at Michigan indicates, Dennis' research focus is on transportation technologies. He is recognized internationally for his innovative development of modeling methodologies and experimental techniques to shed light into complex thermal, fluid and chemical processes in internal combustion engines so as to improve their fuel economy and reduce emissions. With his students and collaborators he has published over 300 articles in journals and conference proceedings. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

In Memoriam:
We are sad to report that our colleague, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Robert R. Sokal, died on April 10. By afternoon on the same day, his write-up on wikipedia had already been updated: see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_R._Sokal. Bob addressed our group on December 3rd 2004 on his early years growing up in the Shanghai ghetto.

Last Meeting:
The recently appointed Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, Dr. Vincent W. Yang, spoke on "Stony Brook Medicine and Department of Medicine - A Shared Vision". Dr. Yang began with a discussion of the strategic plan that Dean Kenneth Kaushansky released last year. That plan for 2011-15 begins with the vision that Stony Brook will be a national leader in academic medicine while providing excellent patient care. Its mission will be to advance science, educate physicians and other health care workers, provide compassionate patient care and reach out to multiple communities. Two new buildings are planned adjacent to the existing hospital. One will provide additional beds and house the Children's Medical Center. The other will be a translational research building. Both buildings should be complete in 2014. Major research themes will include: Infectious diseases and immunology; cardiovascular medicine; cancer; and neuroscience. A National Cancer Institute sponsored Cancer Institute is a goal. Other research themes will include stem cell biology and a center for translational metabolic diseases research.
Enhancements to the investigative infrastructure will include: an Institute for Clinical Translational Research; state of the art core facilities; drug discovery and analysis; robust informational technology; and a program in Biomedical Imaging. Major educational themes will include: the training and recruitment of "bilingual" physician-scientists at home in the worlds of M.D. and Ph. D; the training of clinical educators and clinical investigators; and the enhancement of primary care practice. In the clinical arena, there will be an expansion in cardiovascular medicine and the recruitment of a new chief. Currently the Division has 23 full time cardiologists and is affiliated with 26 community practicing cardiologists. Also planned is an Institute for Advanced Neurosciences and a Gastroenterology Center of Excellence.
Dr. Yang then went on to detail the role of the Department of Medicine in achieving the goals of Dean Kaushansky's strategic plan. He spoke about the department's increasing inpatient responsibilities and pointed to, among other areas, the Heart Center, geriatrics, critical care, bone marrow transplantation and medical oncology. There are currently 22 hospitalists; 16 more are being recruited. The Department of Medicine currently has 236 full time faculty: 147 clinical; 27 research (most are Ph. D.s); and 62 full time members at the Northport V.A. Medical Center. There are 390 voluntary members in the practice community. In the past 6 months the Department had added 34 full time faculty (24 clinical and 10 research).
The Department of Medicine has major and expanding responsibilities for the teaching of Stony Brook medical students and post-graduate residents and fellows. Currently, there are 104 internal medicine residents and 74 subspecialty fellows. The Department is responsible for up to 240 Stony Brook University Hospital beds and accounts for 40% of hospital admissions. During the next few years, Dr. Yang plans to emphasize: recruitment of top notch physician-scientists; team science approaches; close associations with Cold Spring Harbor and the Brookhaven National Laboratory; excellence in the safety and quality of patient care; expanded capacity to serve our communities and faculty development. During the question period, Dr. Yang was asked whether, with such an ambitious agenda, he would be able to continue his own research. He replied that 6 members of his research group had accompanied him from Emory and that he had already reached out to Stony Brook faculty to create a Center for Gastrointestinal Research.

The Alumni Association Generation One Reunion
Reminder: - The first generation will gather in the gym for a buffet on Saturday evening April 28 and welcome faculty from the period ending in 1091.

A Comedy of Errors
Plot synopsis: Finally after a long campaign by some emeritus members, the British National Theatre HD live series at Staller was inaugurated on Saturday March 31. As has sometimes been the case with the comparative MetOpera HD live series, the evening started off with the sound level set uncomfortably high. The National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner had moved Shakespeare's setting of the tribulations of identical twin immigrants, from Ephesus to a very realistic contemporary London. But the cockney accents given the servants and tradesman in combination with the sometimes fast-paced Elizabethan verse, proved too much for some of the elderly community members in the audience. A succession of them trooped out to complain to Staller director Alan Inkles that they could not understand the English and therefore the problem must be that the sound level was too low. Whereupon he repeatedly ratcheted up the volume. By the time some of our members managed to reach him in the foyer he is in a fine fury: -

Scene: A box office. The duke lounges in idle banter with his servants. Enter agitated town elders.
1st townsman: I cannot comprehend this seer. It needst be louder to be clear.
2nd townsman: On foreign tongue sweet essence vital, escape, with no translated supertitle.
3rd townsman: By frail ear I strain and strain, hearing-aid on blink again.
.. spokesman: We gather here to plight our troth - more sound forsooth, or feel our wrath.
Chorus: Louder, louder, louder!
Enter breathless members of the emeriti:
Has our theater as Staller named her,
Now become a torture chamber?
In vain we strived to reach the door,
O'er wretches writhing on the floor!
Duke: A plague! A plague o'er both your houses.
Go report this to your spouses:
To all the ill beset our nation,
I fain not add this aggravation.
And swear while holding Staller's helm,
To banish Hytner ever from this realm!
Exeunt, all except long-patient usher, he of the fedora hat and wizened mustache:
Oft times, good efforts come awry.
Yet the world may witness that the end,
Was wrought by nature, not by vile offense.
So pray consider this and come to sense.
All cooler heads know well, . . .
To give her time, that cast a gradual spell.
PS: At press time director Inkles is investigating rumored problems with the sound system, and National Theatre HDlive might be continued after all, but if not, members should know that the Huntington Arts Theater has been running it for over a year with no complaints of sound volume or difficulties of comprehension.