Top 20 news stories of 2011

Bionics, time travel, Bono and, of course, cicadas are just some of the exciting stories that marked 2011 at Vanderbilt. Below are the year’s top 20 Vanderbilt news stories, in order of the number of views they each received on the Vanderbilt News Network. Click on the headlines to read the full stories.

What will you remember about 2011? Tell us in the comment sections below.

1. New ‘bionic’ leg gives amputees a natural gait (Watch)

The top story of 2011 was that of 23-year-old amputee Craig Hutto and the bionic leg, developed by Vanderbilt engineer Michael Goldfarb, that he is testing.

2. Large Hadron Collider could be world’s first time machine

Vanderbilt physicist Tom Weiler and graduate fellow Chui Man Ho theorized that the Large Hadron Collider – the world’s largest atom smasher – could be the first machine capable of causing matter to travel backwards in time.

3. Vanderbilt, Barnes & Noble to bring bookstore back to West End

In a year marked by the closure of the beloved Davis Kidd bookstore in Green Hills, the Vanderbilt community and Nashvillians alike rejoiced to hear the Vanderbilt bookstore was moving into the space previously occupied by Borders at 2525 West End, and that Barnes & Noble would be taking the helm.

4. Video of Michael Burry, financial expert, speaking about U.S. financial collapse (Watch)

Michael Burry, a Vanderbilt School of Medicine alumnus known as being the first financial analyst to predict America’s financial crisis, riveted his audience at his April 5 Chancellor’s Lecture Series presentation and the nearly 22,000 viewers who later watched on the university’s YouTube channel.

5. Vanderbilt moves forward with College Halls

The university announced it will break ground in May 2012 on Kissam College Halls, the next phase in the College Halls project, which launched in 2008 with the opening of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons.

6. Designing diamond circuits for extreme environments

There is a new way to design computer chips and electronic circuitry for extreme environments: make them out of diamond, Vanderbilt engineers Jimmy Davidson, Nikkon Ghosh and Weng Poo Kang reported this year.

7. U2 concert – answers to frequently asked questions

One of the biggest and most anticipated events of the summer in Nashville was the band U2’s July 2 performance at Vanderbilt Stadium. Bono and the boys did not disappoint.

8. 2011-2012 holiday schedule announced

Everyone enjoys a little time off.

9. Professor struck by car ignites pedestrian safety measures

This article about pedestrian safety around campus was not only one of the year’s most-viewed stories, it also drew many comments from drivers and pedestrians alike.

10. What scientists know about cicadas

U2 wasn’t the loudest campus visitor in 2011. That distinction surely goes to the Brood XIX cicadas who made their appearance this year, as they do every 13 years. Read more Vanderbilt articles about our red-eyed friends here, here, here and here.

11. Vanderbilt No. 17 for third straight year in U.S. News poll

Vanderbilt retained its No. 17 national university ranking this year, with the School of Engineering moving up two places to No. 34. The university ranked No. 14 in the magazine’s “Great Schools, Great Prices” list.

12. Peabody ranked top graduate education school for third straight year

Speaking of rankings and three-peats, Peabody College of education and human development was again recognized as the No. 1 education school in the nation by U.S News & World Report.

13. Vanderbilt doubles current world record for vaccinations (Watch)

In what was hands-down our most exciting flu shot experience ever, Vanderbilt’s Flulapalooza vaccinated 12,850 university and medical center faculty, staff and students in eight hours, easily securing the Guinness world record for such a feat.

14. Rising junior Patrick Thomas finalist on ‘The Voice’

Blair and Arts and Science double major Patrick Thomas wowed fans and judges alike with his country crooning, making it all the way to the finals on NBC hit show “The Voice.”

15. Vanderbilt University honors top students during Commencement

This year saw another remarkable group of Founder’s Medalists. Since 1877, a gold medal has been awarded to the student graduating at the top of his or her class from each of Vanderbilt’s schools.

16. Lady Gaga fan dies, brought back to life at Nashville concert

The quick and expert response of Vanderbilt’s LifeFlight Event Medicine staff saved the life of 33-year-old Crystal Thornton, of Lyles, Tenn., whose heart stopped beating following a seizure at Lady Gaga’s 2011 Nashville concert.

17. VUCast: Vanderbilt on Grey’s Anatomy (Watch)

This episode of VUCast, Vanderbilt’s weekly newscast, highlights an amazing case from Vanderbilt University Medical Center that inspired a fictional case on the television show “Grey’s Anatomy.”

18. Stamping out low cost nanodevices

Vanderbilt engineer Sharon Weiss and her colleagues developed a simple technique for stamping patterns invisible to the human eye onto a special class of nanomaterials that provides a new, cost-effective way to produce novel devices in areas ranging from drug delivery to solar cells.

19. Board of Trust renames Commons for Martha R. Ingram

As Martha Ingram prepared to step down as chairman of the Board of Trust this spring, the board surprised her by naming the university’s living-learning community for first-year students as The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at Vanderbilt University. Mrs. Ingram’s vision, leadership and generosity, and that of her family, touch every corner of Vanderbilt.

20. New insect repellant may be thousands of times stronger than DEET

The discovery of a new class of insect repellants by Vanderbilt biologist Laurence Zwiebel’s laboratory opens the door to future exploration of new tools in the fight against malaria and much more.