Reporter 448, 6 March 2000

In the news

As championed in the last Reporter, a chemistry research team has revealed an ambitious plan to revolutionise the world computer chip market by producing the first 3D computer chip. The researchers believe they can ‘grow’ a 3D chip using molecules which assemble themselves into molecular wires to allow chips to be stacked together. Team member Professor Richard Bushby said: "We now have the molecular machinery to bring about a revolution in super-computing." The Guardian and the Yorkshire Post ran the story.

Teams at the University have developed a prototype virtual classroom designed to ease learning for dyslexic and visually impaired students. The web-based learning infrastructure allows students to access course materials, submit work and communicate with staff and each other. Project director Sally Macgill said that the virtual classroom had been developed from a BT Higher Education award winning scheme to widen access to the multimedia environment foundation course. The story featured in the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Jo Hale, the 14-year old daughter of Claire Hale, professor of clinical nursing, has won a legal battle against her school to allow girls to wear trousers as part of her school uniform. Her parents had claimed a ban on girls wearing trousers was sexual discrimination. Professor Hale said she was delighted with the news and her daughter said she would be glad to get it all behind her and concentrate on school work. The story was featured in the Yorkshire Post, Daily Mail, Independent and Daily Telegraph. Professor Hale and Jo also appeared on BBC Newsround and local radio station Aire FM.

Students across the country continue to protest against rent costs, reported the Times Higher Education Supplement. Students at the University of Leeds are preparing to campaign against rent increases after it was announced that James Baillie Flats are to be privatised. According to a University spokesperson the cost of refurbishment would have been between £6 and £10 million, a financial burden the University is not in a position to undertake. Working groups are to consider all available options.

Top Gear on BBC2 featured students from the School of Mechanical Engineering who took part in Formula Student. The team designed and engineered their own racing car and competed in the event held at Birmingham NEC last July. The experience gained with the team has helped graduate Lewis Butler, who recently gained a position with the Arrows Formula One team.

Once again the University of Leeds is a front-runner, according to figures for next academic year, published in the Times Higher Education Supplement. They show more students want to come to Leeds than any other university - there were already 39,500 applications for degree courses, 500 more than last year.

Meanwhile Dr Timothy David from the School of Mechanical Engineering has been getting to grips with testing bag-less vacuum cleaners. He appeared on Yorkshire Television consumer programme We Can Work It Out.

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