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April 16, 2007

Reaction to the Virginia Tech shootings

A parent writes:

"How tragic the news in Virginia! Those poor families.
I can't stop thinking about my student. I trust that he is in a safe environment.
I had to email right away to comfort my own fears. "
Roanna Lowrey -

April 10, 2007

Transferring from a community college--advice??

A parent writes:

HI Our son will be transferring next Fall to the U of M campus from a small community college. He is very outgoing and determined. We are excited for his transition and new challenges, yet would like to hear from other parents who have had children experience the transfer process. Any tips or words of wisdom? Thanks in advance, Dianne and Greg Johnson

March 26, 2007

Parent looking for available tickets to graduation

"Our daughter is graduating on May 13 (Mother's day) at th 3pm ceremnoy in Northop Auditorium. Is anyone willing to provide us tickets that they will not be using for their family to attend this graduation. We are hoping to find at least one additional ticket."

If you can help, please post a comment, or e-mail and I'll put you in touch with the parent.

December 28, 2006

Special Basketball ticket pricing for parents

The Athletics Dept is offering University parents special pricing to selected Big 10 mens and womens basketball games this winter.

Click here to be directed to a site where you can buy tickets for a discounted price, using the promotional code "Parent".

The games are all scheduled for weekend afternoons--here's the schedule:

Women v Penn on Jan 21
Men v Penn on Jan 27
Women v Indiana on Feb 11
Men v Michigan on Feb 24

I've been to both mens and womens basketball games in the Barn (Williams Arena) with my family, and we always have a great time.

November 3, 2006

U's Legislative Network encourages voters to support the U

Next Tuesday, November 7th, Minnesota voters--including U students and their Minnesota parents--have an opportunity to show candidates at the state and national level that investing in higher education and the University of Minnesota are high on voters' list of priorities.

Polls will be open from 7 am until 8 pm on November 7th. Click here to find your polling place.

The State of Minnesota allows voters who have not registered ahead of time to register on-site on Election Day, as long as they have one of the following to prove their eligibility:
• Valid Minnesota driver’s license or ID card with current address
• Utility bill due within 30 days of Election Day with name and current address along with a Minnesota driver’s license, Minnesota ID card, military ID card, student ID card, or passport
• Registered voter from the same precinct to vouch for voter's address

Students may also bring:
• Student photo ID, registration, or fee statement with your current address
• Student photo ID if you are on a student housing list on file at the polling place

For more information, visit the Legislative Network's website.

October 27, 2006

Upcoming event focuses on social networking

You may have read the recent headlines about Google's acquisition of YouTube, a fledgling WebSite offering users a chance to share videos, ads, and other content online.

The University's program series Headliners has booked University Professor John Reidl to discuss social (online) networking, a phenomenon that is transforming the internet from a repository of information into a tool that allows people to reach out, form connections, and interact with each other.

Here's more info on the event from the College of Continuing Education's website, where you can also purchase tickets to this and future Headliners events:

There have been precious few innovations that have changed the way humans, as a society, behave. We gathered around fire, we moved our bodies with wheels and our minds with the printing press. Sure, there have been other milestones along the way. But nothing changed our societal DNA like instant, always-on access to a global community and its data vault of knowledge -- the Internet. In the wake of Google's acquisition of YouTube and Reuters launch of a virtual Second Life bureau, join University of Minnesota computer science professor John Riedl for a lively discussion of humanity's "Social Web."

John T. Riedl, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Minnesota, devised the algorithms behind software that is a standard feature of e-commerce Web sites. The software, called “collaborative filtering,? collects data on a consumer’s preferences and calculates items they are likely to enjoy. The winner of several awards for exceptional contributions to teaching, Professor Riedl took a leave from his teaching post in 1996 to form the business Net Perceptions where he serves as chief scientist and a member of the board. Riedl holds four U.S. Patents and in 2002 he co-authored the book Word of Mouse: The Hidden Marketing Power of Collaborative Filtering. His research has been the subject of an article in The New Yorker, coverage on the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, and a half-hour profile on ABC’s Nightline.

The Social Web

The national coverage of Google’s acquisition of YouTube has focused on its three inventors and their remarkable $1.65 billion payday. Local media coverage focused specifically on Jawed Karim, a 27-year-old St. Paul native whose mother is a professor of biochemistry at the University of Minnesota.

But what are the broader implications of this merger? Why would Google pay such a premium for a year-old fledgling Web site and why are YouTube’s millions of users so concerned over the possibilities of a change of ownership?

No longer is the Internet merely for sharing facts and figures; increasingly it’s for creating connections between people. Nor is the information on the Web mostly static. Anyone can create, share, and interact with its content. Hundreds of social networks are springing up all over the Internet changing the way people keep friends, find jobs, enjoy hobbies, and even choose life partners. What is the Social Web? How did it happen? And why is it so important?

Professor Riedl will present a selection of YouTube movies, political ads, and online games and show several social Web sites in action.

Where and When
Thursday, November 2 at 7 p.m., at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center on the St. Paul campus.

October 16, 2006

Parent shares video of 2006 Move-in Day

University parent Doug Weber, from St. Louis, sent us a link to a slideshow video he made during Labor Day weekend this year, as students were moving back into the residence hall.

We like the video so much, we asked Doug's permisson to post the link here so we could share it with visitors to the blog:

Our daughter, Kim, is a sophomore at U of M this year, majoring in medical technology. Our other daughter is a freshman at the University of Missouri.

No matter how well prepared you are - and you need to be well-prepared - moving your child into college the first time around is both hectic and strenous - physically and even more so, emotionally. Between moving in and shopping for last minute items, the weekend becomes a blur and in what seems like a blink of an eye, you're saying good-bye to your child. I'll never forget giving her that last hug, realizing that this was the very last time I would hug "my little girl" for the next time I'd see her, she would have turned the chapter into adulthood.

Fortunately, not only are the subsequent moves far less stressful, this year Kim volunteered to assist during Move-In weekend. As a result, we were able to move her in on Friday, ahead of the crowd. This afforded me the chance to explore and take pictures on a gorgeous Saturday morning, getting lost in the majesty of the campus, watching the rest of the world move in and savoring the satisfaction of knowing our job was done!

Here's a link to the video slideshow.

Send us your photos or videos of your trips to campus--we'd love to post them here.

September 6, 2006

A time of transition for parents, too...

Noted parenting expert and University of Minnesota professor of child development Martha Erickson was interviewed yesterday on Eyewitness News 5 about the emotional impact that students leaving home for college can have on the families they leave behind.

We know that seeing a son or daughter begin their college career can stir up a number of conflicting emotions in parents. Pride in their student's accomplishments and in their own parenting sometimes mix with feelings of emptiness and even a sense of loss.

Seeing their child on the cusp of an exciting new life stage, with endless choices and possibilities laid out before him or her, sometimes spurs parents on to reconsider their own beliefs and life choices. It may not be coincidental that parents often make life or career changes during their student’s college years.

This is an excellent time for parents to reexamine their own interests and priorities, and take up a new hobby, register for an interesting course at a nearby college, or reinvigorate their career.

One resource for parents to consider is the University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education, which offers credit courses via mail or the Internet through its Independent and Distance Learning program. In addition, parents considering a new career direction will find one-on-one sessions and workshops to help them map out career goals and develop a plan to reach them. Financial aid, including scholarships and grants, may be available. Visit the College of Continuing Education's Web site call 612-624-4000 for more information.