College of Science & Engineering Alumni Newsletter

Spring 1997

Recent Faculty Research


James C. Kelley, Dean, wrote "John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts: Understanding Life in the Great Tide Pool," in Steinbeck and the Environment (Beegel, Shillinglaw and Tiffney, editors), published by the University of Alabama Press, March 1997. Dr. Kelley presented "The Geoecology of Steinbeck Country" at the Steinbeck Festival XVII, August 2, 1996 in Salinas, CA.

Susann Novalis, Associate Dean, wrote Automating Microsoft Access with Macros, published by SYBEX this year, as well as "Huh? What Does That Error Message Mean?" in the January 1997 issue of Access/Visual Basic Advisor. She was also a contributing author of Special Edition: Using Access 95, published by QUE Corporation last December, and wrote "Part IV: Powering Access with Macros."


R. L. Bernstein co-presented three posters with a student at scientific meetings in January 1997. "Variations in DNA Word Frequencies in Genomic DNA" at the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing: Extracting Biological Knowledge from DNA Sequences, in Maui, Hawaii; "Computer Evaluation of Hidden DNA Grammar in Bacterial Genomes" at the CSUPERB meeting (biotechnology in the CSU system) at Cal Poly, Pomona, CA; and "Word Frequency Analysis in Genomic Windows" at the First Annual International Conference on Computational Biology, in Santa Fe, NM.

Norm Gershenz, Center for Ecosystem Survival, co-authored "Saving Wildlife in Nature: A Broad-based Coalition," published in a special issue of International Zoo News, "Zoos and In Situ Conservation", July/August 1996. He also presented "Rainforest Rangers and Coral Reef Crusaders: Saving Wildlife in Nature" at the 5th annual conference of the California Science Teachers, October 3 - 5 in Sacramento.

John Hafernik, Chair, presented "A Cooperative Effort to Reestablish A Population of the San Francisco Forktail Damselfly in San Francisco," at the December 13 meeting of the Pacific Coast Entomological Society, hosted by the SFSU Biology Department.

Dean Kenyon co-authored a paper, "The RNA World: A Critique," which appears in the Winter 1996 issue of Origins and Design. He has also been appointed to the Editorial Advisory Board of the same journal.

Hal Markowitz co-authored "Definitions and Goals of Enrichment," which appeared in The Well-being of Animals in Zoo and Aquarium Sponsored Research, published by the Scientists Center for Animal Welfare, Greenbelt, Maryland, December 1996.

Eve Perara presented two posters with her students at the American Society for Cell Biology meeting in San Francisco in December: "A Microsomal Signal Peptide Processing Activity Does Not Co-fractionate with Signal Peptidase" and "Translocation of E. coli Maltose-binding Protein across the Endoplasmic Reticulum Membrane."

Jan Randall and her students presented papers and posters on their research on footdrumming as alarm signals in endangered kangaroo rats at the American Society of Mammalogists 76th Annual meeting, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D., June 15-19, 1996, and the Annual Meeting of Animal Behavior Society, North Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, August 3-8, 1996.

John Stubbs co-authored "Two Genes Encode Highly Similar Chloroplastic NADP-Malic Enzymes in Flaveria," in the August 1996 issue of Plant Physiology. Also "Mapping of a Newly Discovered Human Gene Homologous to the Apoptosis Associated-Murine Mammary Protein, MFG-E8, to Chromosome 15q25," appeared in the December 15 issue of Genomics.

Maureen C. Whalen presented her research on Xanthomonas campestris at two professional meetings: the Eighth International Symposium on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, in Knoxville, Tennessee in July, and the Molecular Biology of the Tomato Conference in Berkeley this past August.


Scott Gronert co-authored "Theoretical Studies of Eliminations 5. Intermolecular vs. Intramolecular Eliminations: An Ab Initio Study of the Gas-Phase Reaction of NH2- with CH3CH2SCH3," in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, December, 1996.

Bruce Macher gave an invited lecture at the Glycobiology Gordon Conference in Ventura, California, Feb. 2-9: "Structure-function analysis of human alpha 1,3 fucosyltransferase: amino acids involved in acceptor substrate specificity." He also co-authored: "Structure/activity studies of anti-inflammatory peptides based on a conserved peptide region of the lectin domain of E-, L-, and P-selectin," which appeared in Glycobiology, December 1996.

James B. Orenberg co-authored "Estimated detectability limits of iron-substituted montmorillonite clay on Mars from thermal emission spectra of clay-palagonite physical mixtures," in the November 26, 1996 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Peter Palmer co-authored "Advanced Automation for Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry--New Opportunities for Real-Time, Autonomous Analysis," in Artificial Intelligence Applications in Chemistry, published by Wiley this year.

Ursula Simonis was awarded the Presidential Award for Professional Development of Probationary Faculty for the 1997 Academic Year. She co-authored "Determination of the Ion Exchange Constants of Four Aromatic Organic Anions Competing for a Cationic Micellar Interface," which appeared in the February 1996 issue of Langmuir. Professor Simonis attended several conferences this year, presenting: "Value of Pulsed-Field Gradient Enhanced Experiments for 1H and 13C NMR Assignments of Paramagnetic Model Hemes," at the XVIIth International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems, Keystone, Colorado, August 1996; "Synthesis and NMR Studies of Paramagnetic Model Hemes," at the 8th Annual Northern California ACS Undergraduate Research Symposium in San Francisco, May, 1996; and at the 37th Experimental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Conference in Pacific Grove in March 1996, she co-presented two papers: "Assignment of the Hyperfine Shifts in Paramagnetic Bis-Cyanide Ligated Model Hemes," and "1D and 2D Natural Abundance 13C NMR Investigations of Paramagnetic Model Hemes: Resonance Assignment of the Porphyrin Macrocycle." She presented a short course titled "Introduction to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy" at the 1996 American Chemical Society Pacific Conference, San Francisco, October 31, 1996. She co-authored "Novel Strategy for Assigning Hyperfine Shifts Using Pulsed-Field Gradient Heteronuclear Multiple-Bond Correlation Spectroscopy," published in the November issue of Inorganic Chemistry.


Bill Hsu co-authored "Let Us Build System-Friendly Networks—Build Them Hierarchically," which appeared in the August 1996 publication International Conference on Parallel Processing Workshop on Challenges for Parallel Processing.

Jozo Dujmovic wrote "Artificial Intelligence, Expert Systems and Neural Networks," in A Comparison of Training Methods for Preferential Neural Networks—Proceedings of the IASTED (International Association for Advancement of Science and Technology) International Conference, published this year. He presented two papers at the Computer Measurement Group 96 conference in San Diego, December 8-13: "A Method for Evaluation and Selecion of Complex Hardware and Software Systems," and, with Computer Science graduate student James B. Law, "A Control System for a Network Performance Measurement Environment."

Stan Osborne and members of the Computer Science faculty hosted the first "virtual" UN conference on a computer located in the Computer Science Department, Solutions for Cities at Risk (, which took place 26 August 1996 - 25 October 1996 in cyberspace. Officials from 22 countries came together to discuss disaster management scenarios and exchanged practical solutions in a virtual conference. Anyone with access to the worldwide web could watch the proceedings. Note: The founding of the UN was hosted in San Francisco. The first "virtual" UN conference was hosted on a computer located at San Francisco State University.

James Smith wrote C++ Toolkit for Scientists and Engineers, a textbook covering the latest enhancements to the C++ language, published by International Thomson Computer Press, 1997.


Karen Grove presented "Enriching Geoscience Courses for Non-Science Majors with Laboratory Exercises Based on Internet-Derived Imagery" at the Oct. 28-31 Geological Society of America Conference in Denver. She was elected the 1997 president of the Society for Sedimentary Geology, Pacific Section.

John Monteverdi has co-authored a paper "A Supercell Thunderstorm with Hook Echo in the San Joaquin Valley, CA," which appeared in the June 1996 issue of Weather and Forecasting. His appointment as editor of the same journal has been extended through 1997.

Ray Pestrong and his daughter, Jordana Pestrong, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at NYU, have written "Social and Political Agendas Involving Risk: A Study of Earthquakes and Other Natural Disasters," a chapter in Approaching Natural Disaster, published by Open Door Publishers, Los Angeles, l996.


Physics: The Nature of Things, co-authored by John Burke and Susan Lea, was published in October by West Educational Publishing Company.

Geoffrey Marcy received the Manne Siegbahn yearly award in Stockholm, Sweden, Oct. 4, an award recognizing outstanding physics research in the past year sponsored by the Nobel Committee for Physics. He delivered a lecture titled "Discovery of the First Planets Orbiting Sun-like Stars" to physicists at Stockholm University. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, an international astronomy organization dedicated to both professional and educational activities in astronomy. With R. Paul Butler, Marcy co-authored "The First Three Planets'' in The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the Optical Spectrum, published by SPIE: International Society for Optical Engineering; "The Planet Orbiting 47 Ursae Majoris," and "The Planetary Companion to 70 Virginis'', both in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, June, 1996; "Achieving Radial Velocity Precision of 3 m/sec," in Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, June, 1996; "Brown Dwarfs in the Pleiades Cluster Confirmed by the Lithium Test," in the September 20 issue of the Astrophysical Journal; and, in the November 1996 issue of the American Journal of Physics, he reviewed "Extraterrestrials: Where Are They?" Co-authored with R. Paul Butler and SFSU students Eric Williams, Heather Hauser, and Phil Shirts, "Three New 51 Peg-Type Planets'' in the January 10 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters, and "The Planet Around 51 Pegasi," with Butler and Williams, has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal. Dr. Marcy was featured in "In a Golden Age of Discovery, Faraway Worlds Beckon," a New York Times front-page article, February 9, 1997; also, "Hunting New Worlds Far Afield," a Washington Post front-page article on December 25, 1996; and in a NOVA presentation on PBS, February 18, "Hunt for Alien Worlds."


Tim Hollibaugh edited and contributed a chapter to San Francisco Bay: The Ecosystem—Further Investigations into the Natural History of San Francisco Bay and Delta with Reference to the Influence of Man, published in December 1996 by the Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Michael Josselyn presented three papers at the INTECOL conference on Wetland Ecology in Perth, Australia. He described work conducted at RTC on the invasion of non-native plants in San Francisco Bay. Gretchen Coffman, a graduate student in biology, also presented a paper on the ecological assessment of coastal wetlands.

Wim Kimmerer co-authored "Changes in the zooplankton of the San Francisco Bay estuary since the introduction of the clam Potamocorbula amurensis" in San Francisco Bay: The Ecosystem—Further Investigations into the Natural History of San Francisco Bay and Delta with Reference to the Influence of Man (edited by Tim Hollibaugh). Dr. Kimmerer gave two presentations at the State of the Estuary Conference, organized by the San Francisco Estuary Project, on Oct 10-12. He spoke on introduced species and their effects on the composition of zooplankton in the northern estuary, and the effects of flow/X2 on fish and invertebrates of the estuary.


Mark Cushey presented a paper at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, Dec 15-19. The title of his presentation was: "Three-Dimensional Modeling of the Field-Scale Transport of Nonpolar Organic Compounds: Methodology and Comparison with Site Data."

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Updated by Lannie Nguyen-Tang on August 3rd, 2000