Posted May 7, 2014

Highlights from recent stories about Temple in the media

President Theobald stays in touch with students—by teaching them
When Temple President Neil D. Theobald assesses the challenges facing the university, he may consult with senior administrators, faculty, trustees, donors and alumni. But he also has other valuable resources: 22 freshmen in his “Organizational Change at Temple University” course. That yearlong course asked students to identify and address challenges ranging from campus safety to financial literacy. Students said they were surprised by his honesty and the extent to which he acted upon their input. “Because he was very open and honest about things, it kind of relaxed the class a little bit,” said physics major Jeffery Timlin. Theobald said the class allows him to see things from a student perspective and avoid “living in a bubble.” “[The students] are energetic, they’re smart, they’ve got great ideas,” he said.
Philadelphia Daily News | May 7, 2014

58 Temple physicians named “Top Doctors”
Fifty-eight Temple physicians have been named to Philadelphia magazine’s “Top Doctors” list for 2014. Physicians on the magazine’s annual list were nominated by their professional peers, and practice at Temple University Hospital, Fox Chase Cancer Center and Jeanes Hospital. The Temple doctors included on this year’s list cover an array of specialty services offered at Temple Health, from cardiovascular disease to medical oncology. (For now, the 2014 list is only available at newsstands in the May issue; the searchable online list has not yet been published on The link above goes to a list on the School of Medicine’s website.)
Philadelphia | May 2014

Temple’s Scott Charles: “We owe an apology to children who are victims of gun violence”
Scott Charles, director of Temple University Hospital’s Cradle to Grave program, wrote an op-ed lamenting the lack of gun control progress since the death of 10-year-old Faheem Thomas-Childs 10 years ago. Faheem was shot on his way to school in Philadelphia, sparking protest marches and calls for more restrictive gun laws. “After the marching stopped and the signs came down, lawmakers found it difficult to advance the kind of common-sense gun legislation they had reflexively promised to enact in Faheem’s name,” Charles wrote. “In Pennsylvania, there is still no required waiting period for purchasing a gun. There is still no restriction on the number or kinds of guns an individual can buy and no statewide law requiring gun owners to report ‘lost’ or ‘stolen’ weapons.”
Philadelphia Inquirer | April 27, 2014

America’s funniest cities? A Temple professor’s rebuttal in The New York Times
A team of experts at a research lab in Colorado has created a “humor algorithm” that has identified America’s funniest and least funny big cities. Skeptics abound. “I think jokes can be ranked on some defensible humor scale,” said John Allen Paulos, Temple mathematician and author. “Ranking people on some sort of humor scale would be much more difficult because there are so many confounding variables and disparate situations across which we’d have to average. Most difficult—nonsensical—of all is the task of ranking whole cities. What would it even mean to say that Chicago is funnier than San Francisco?”
New York Times | April 19, 2014

Temple sociologist explains why we should not be shocked by “pumping parties”
Padge-Victoria Windslowe will stand trial soon on charges that a woman died after silicone was illegally, but voluntarily, injected into her rear-end. The case has shed a light on underground “pumping parties,” during which women who want fuller posteriors pay to have silicone or other substances injected into their behinds. Temple sociologist Julia Ericksen says “pumping parties” illustrate today’s attitude toward body enhancement. “We live in a world that believes in plastic bodies—that our bodies are what we make of them … young women feel that they can have a certain kind of body and furthermore they should have a certain kind of body,” she said.
WHYY/NewsWorks | May 1, 2014

Trouble brewing in your gut? Temple gastroenterologist explores possible reasons
A recent feature on detailed “seven surprising reasons that trouble is brewing in your gut.” The report relied on Robin Rothstein, associate professor of clinical medicine and medical director of Temple University Hospital’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program, to explain why someone who replaced refined sugar with other sweeteners might be experiencing gastrointestinal issues. The natural sugars, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners “can have almost a laxative effect” for some people, she explained. Those sweets are just one category of “fermentable carbohydrates,” foods that can cause problems for some people, including diarrhea, gas and/or bloating., Yahoo! Shine | April 21–22, 2014

Paulos explores 16th-century math battle in New York Times review
In his review of a new book called Infinitesimal, Temple mathematician John Allen Paulos explored a “hot and messy” incident in the history of mathematics. “The time was the late 16th and 17th centuries,” Paulos wrote, “and the mathematics in question was the proper understanding of continua—straight lines, plane figures, solids. Is a line segment, for example, composed of an infinite number of indivisible points? If so, and if these infinitesimals have zero width, how does the line segment come to have a positive length? And if they have nonzero widths, why isn’t the sum of their widths infinite? ... It’s natural to wonder how such a seemingly arcane issue could possibly arouse much passion.”
New York Times | April 7, 2014

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