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Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory to host public viewing of extremely rare celestial event

May. 25, 2004—In the morning hours of June 8, visitors to Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory will witness an astronomical event that no living person has ever seen. Venus-the Earth's sister planet-will move directly between the Earth and the sun. The public is invited to view this rare event during a live broadcast at the observatory.

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National Geographic special to feature finds of Vanderbilt archaeologist on May 12

May. 7, 2004—Discoveries by Vanderbilt archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli will be the focus of a new National Geographic special, Dawn of the Maya, scheduled to air Wednesday, May 12, at 8 p.m. ET on PBS.

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It’s a gamble: dopamine levels tied to uncertainty of rewards

May. 7, 2004—Researchers, using a new combination of techniques, have discovered that dopamine levels in our brains vary the most in situations where we are unsure if we are going to be rewarded, such as when we are gambling or playing the lottery.

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Vanderbilt engineer receives National Science Foundation "CAREER" Award for "smart" systems research

Apr. 29, 2004—According to business gurus, the smart money is on "smart" systems-those computer enhancements that pop up in everything from musical greeting cards to "smart dust" defense intelligence systems. However, much is lost in the translation when computers move out of the box into the physical world to form "smart" embedded systems.

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Archaeologists unearth ancient Maya masterpieces while excavating a sacred ball court in Guatemala

Apr. 23, 2004—Important new stone monuments covered with historical texts dating from a period just before the collapse of the classic Maya civilization have been unearthed by archaeologists from Vanderbilt University and the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture who are excavating a thousand-year-old ball court with support from the National Geographic Society.

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Storage limits on our visual hard drive

Apr. 15, 2004—Scientists have discovered the region of the brain responsible for the old adage, "out of sight, out of mind."

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Prestigious political science journal moving to Vanderbilt University

Apr. 9, 2004—Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science John Geer will become editor of The Journal of Politics, consistently ranked as one of the nation's most influential political science journals, in January 2005. The scholarly journal, which is published quarterly by the Southern Political Science Association, will be housed within the Vanderbilt Department of Political Science for four years.

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Oak Ridge student wins Tennessee Brain Bee Competition

Mar. 3, 2004—The 2004 Tennessee Statewide Brain Bee Award will be presented to Jingyuan Wu of Oak Ridge High School at Vanderbilt University at noon on Thursday, March 11.

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Vanderbilt to host workshop on blindness, the brain and spatial function

Mar. 2, 2004—Vanderbilt University will host researchers from several countries to review and discuss the latest research in blindness and its impact on the brain in a workshop March 12-14. The main lectures of the invitational workshop, "Blindness, Brain Plasticity and Spatial Function," are free and open to the community.

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External funding for Vanderbilt research jumps dramatically for a second year in a row

Feb. 26, 2004—Last year, the amount of external funding that Vanderbilt researchers received from peer-reviewed contracts and grants increased by 19 percent to reach an all-time high of $339.4 million.

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Vanderbilt Learning Sciences Institute kicks off new lecture series Feb. 26

Feb. 20, 2004—The Vanderbilt Learning Sciences Institute will host the first installment of its new guest lecturer series Thursday, Feb. 26, at 4 p.m. with University of California-Berkeley professor of education and geology Jean Lave. Lave will speak on how people learn during their everyday lives, a theory referred to as "learning-in-practice."

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Anthropologist proposes link between per capita energy use and fertility rate

Feb. 12, 2004—As world reserves of oil and natural gas dwindle over the coming decades-a prospect predicted by many energy experts-the rate at which the people in most societies around the world have babies is likely to drop precipitously as well.

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