When a bouncing baby anteater was born at the Santa Ana Zoo this spring, Kent Yamaguchi '83 and '84 was as happy and proud as a parent. The zoo director also happens to be a UCI alumnus who "bleeds Anteater blood," so he was thrilled when Peter — the zoo's giant anteater named after UCI's beloved mascot — became a father. Peter's progeny — a girl — has spent her first months clinging to her mother, Heesoo of Troy, and the right to name her is available to anyone who donates $5,000 to the zoo. To celebrate the newborn's arrival, Yamaguchi recently shared some fun anteater facts:
John C. Avise, Distinguished Professor of ecology & evolutionary biology, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society, one of the world's most prestigious scholarly groups. Founded in 1745 by Benjamin Franklin, it promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities and has slightly more than 1,000 members. "I feel deeply gratified and humbled by this recognition, which, in truth, mostly reflects the extraordinary efforts of my many students and colleagues across four decades," Avise said.
Gunther Uhlmann, Excellence in Teaching Chair in Mathematics, has won the 2011 Ralph E. Kleinman Prize by the Society for Industrial & Applied Mathematics. The honor is awarded biennially to an individual for outstanding research or other contributions that bridge the gap between mathematics and applications, particularly work that uses high-level mathematics and/or invents new mathematical tools to solve applied problems from engineering, science and technology. Uhlmann is being recognized for his "insightful and deep contributions to the theory of inverse problems." The award will be presented at the ICIAM meeting July 18-22 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Dorothy Solinger, political science professor, has received the UCI Emeriti Association's 2011 Outstanding Mentoring Award. An expert on East Asian politics (especially China), Solinger is being recognized for her mentoring efforts above and beyond her regular faculty responsibilities, particularly her mentorship of junior faculty and graduate students at other institutions as well as her focus on gender equity and ethnic diversity.
Longtime UCI ecology & evolutionary biology professor Walter Monroe Fitch, founder of molecular phylogenetics, died March 10 in Irvine at age 81. "Walter was an intellectual giant," said Brandon Gaut, chair of the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. "He meant a great deal to countless people on our campus and beyond." At the time of his death, Fitch — who strongly supported the widespread teaching of evolution — was just finishing a book on the creationism-evolution controversy. He was honored by colleagues and friends at a May memorial at the Arnold & Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences & Engineering.