Thursday, February 24, 2011

Charles Martin Who?

In 1886, Oberlin College student Charles Martin Hall discovered an inexpensive way to produce aluminum.  125 years later, even with technology evolving every day, Hall's life and work are very modern:
- the house Hall used for his work is still owned by the college
- Alcoa (the company he founded) is the world's third largest producer of aluminum
- like Oberlin students today, Hall worked one-on-one with his professor toward his discovery
- his process is still used today
- Hall is the single greatest benefactor to Oberlin College, with gifts including beautiful Tappan Square, Hall Auditorium, and the Allen Memorial Art Museum
An aluminum statue of Charles Martin Hall in Oberlin's science center.  Chuck likes to dress up for every major holiday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Elementary, My Dear Watson

This week on Jeopardy, two of the best contestants in the show's history are facing off against Watson, a supercomputer developed by IBM to process information and answer questions accordingly.

What does Jeopardy have to do with Oberlin?  Well, we're one of the few liberal arts colleges in the nation to also possess a supercomputer. While Watson runs on 90 servers, we're not too far behind at 70. Watson can work through intricacies, nuances, and double-meanings of words; our supercomputer can process and research data sets for chemistry, physics, astrophysics (a student recently discovered a new pulsar in the center of the Milky Way) and computational biology.

"This college's graduates earn more PhDs every year than any other liberal arts college in the country."
"What is Oberlin?"

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's A Menagerie

A trip to the Cleveland Zoo on Super Bowl Sunday was not enough to stop our Steeler fans (we have six of them!) from supporting their team.

Everyone's favorite bird starred at us throughout our rainforest journey.

This colorful little guy was another favorite.  Had the otters and porcupines not been sleeping, however, they certainly would have been #1 and #2.

What's the best way to keep a softball player happy?  Take her to Melt Bar and Grilled in Lakewood, of course!