Reporter 443, 22 November 1999


In the news

University of Leeds research was featured internationally this month in an article in the Wall Street Journal. After joking that the Big Apple would have been more appropriately named after Cirencester, the article looked at the work of Professor Deborah Withington into more effective sirens.
Professor Withington's Localiser siren is under consideration in the United States after successful trials here in Britain. Professor Withington explained that the siren combines a siren with a burst of white noise which is a "frequency-rich sound which the ear pinpoints best."
The new siren aims to help drivers pinpoint the location of the sound quickly, allowing them to move aside and give emergency vehicles faster access through traffic.

Research featured in Reporter 442 about tracking and exercising chickens has also been highlighted in the Guardian, Yorkshire Evening Post, Farmers Weekly and the New Scientist.
Professor Mike Forbes and Dr Roger Boyle from biology and computer studies have combined their talents to monitor efforts to encourage chickens to walk about more.
Previously this could only be ensured by physically watching the birds, but this new research features a vision system which tracks how much individual birds move.
Professor Forbes explained they were using the new system to find out which methods encouraged the birds to move around the best and said "it's better for the welfare of a chicken if it is encouraged to get its legs stronger."

The Express and Independent both reported on a study by Jim Donnelly into why teachers enter the profession.
Dr Donnelly, lecturer in education, told the newspapers: "to our astonishment no more than two or three of the teachers interviewed suggested that they always wanted to be teachers."
His study showed that many of those who had not planned to teach still turned out to be very good teachers, and he suggested policies be introduced to encourage people into teaching. He proposed that graduate teachers should have their student loans paid off by the Government.

This week's Guardian league tables again ranked the University of Leeds highly. In individual subject tables, IT and computer science and electronic and electrical engineering came out highest, ranking sixth and ninth in the country respectively. Business management studies and economics also featured in their subject guides.
Overall, Leeds boasts 13 top ten teaching departments - coming behind only Cambridge and Nottingham who had 19 and 15 respectively.

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