Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
University of Wisconsin
For the University of Wisconsin system, see University of Wisconsin System.
The Seal of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
|School type||Public (Assisted)|
|Campus size||933 acre (3.8 km²)|
|Enrollment||29,000 undergraduate, 13,000 graduate and post-graduate.|
University of Wisconsin-Madison is the full official name. It is also called UW, UW-Madison, or Wisconsin for short.
The university is located in Madison just blocks from the state capitol building, on an isthmus between two lakes, Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. The main campus comprises 933 acres (3.8 km²) of land, while the entire campus, including research stations, is over 10,600 acres (43 km²) in area.
The campus has its own police force, food service, hospital, recreation facilities, power facilities, and an on-campus dairy.
The University of Wisconsin is divided into twenty associated colleges and schools. In addition to traditional undergraduate and graduate divisions in engineering, education, and letters, the university also maintains professional schools in law, medicine, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy.
In addition to being a highly-ranked school in education, history, and sociology, the university was recently ranked the 2nd best college at which to get an education degree, and the 7th best public school in the United States. In the Gourman report on undergraduate programs, the University of Wisconsin was ranked the third best public university, right after the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Additionally, it was ranked the eighth best university in the United States for overall strength in the undergraduate programs. It is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System.
Wisconsin has been one of the leading public universities in the United States since the beginning of the 20th century and ranks as one of the great research universities of the world. In its strength in a wide variety of academic programs, the University of Wisconsin is rivalled by the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Among U. S. universities, the University of Wisconsin is frequently listed as one of the "public Ivies"—publicly funded universities providing a quality of education comparable to the best private schools. It is often ranked among the top ten public universities in the United States.
Bascom Hall, 1968, with crosses placed by students protesting the Vietnam war, and sign saying
"BASCOM MEMORIAL CEMETERY, CLASS OF 1968"
The university had its official beginnings when Wisconsin was incorporated as a state in 1848. Article X, Section B of the state constitution provided for "the establishment of a state university, at or near the seat of state government..." On July 26 1848, Nelson Dewey, Wisconsin's first governor, signed the act that formally created the University of Wisconsin. The board of regents held their initial meeting in the library room of the capitol on October 7, 1848, and provided John W. Sterling a $500 per-annum salary to become the university's first professor (mathematics). The University's first class, with 17 students, met in a Madison school building on February 5, 1849.
Regents discussed the building of the university, and the original campus was selected. It was comprised of a 50 acre (200,000 m²) tract of land "bounded north by Fourth lake, east by a street to be opened at right angles with King [later State] street, south by Mineral Point Road [University avenue], and west by a carriage-way from said road to the lake." The initial building plans also called for a "main edifice fronting towards the Capitol, three stories high, surmounted by an observatory for astronomical observations." This building, University Hall, now Bascom Hall , was finally completed in 1859. North Hall, constructed in 1851, was actually the campus' first building. Finally, in 1854, Levi Booth and Charles T. Wakeley became the first graduates of the university. Academics continued to improve at Wisconsin, and in 1892, the university granted its first Ph.D. to future university president Charles R. Van Hise.
Other notable historical moments in Wisconsin's first century include:
- In 1861, the Wisconsin Alumni Foundation was founded.
- On April 4, 1892, the campus's first student-run newspaper began publishing. Today, The Daily Cardinal is the oldest student-run campus newspaper.
- 1898 saw UW music instructor Henry Dyke Sleeper write “Varsity,” the university’s traditional alma mater song.
- The Wisconsin Union was founded in 1907, second only to Harvard's among U.S. universities.
- William Purdy and Carl Beck wrote On, Wisconsin in 1909, which became the fight song for UW athletic teams.
- In 1925, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation was chartered to control patenting and patent income on UW inventions.
- The UW Arboretum dedicated itself to restoring lost landscapes, such as prairies, in 1934.
In the years 1966 through 1970, the University of Wisconsin was shaken by a series of student protests, and by the use of force by authorities in response. The first major demonstrations protested the presence on campus of recruiters for the Dow Chemical Company, which supplied the napalm used in the Vietnam War. Another target of protest was the Army Mathematics Research Center (AMRC), clearly identified and centrally located in the Sterling Hall physics building. Director J. Barkley Rosser, an eminent logician, publicly minimized any practical role and implied that AMRC pursued only pure mathematics. But the student newspaper, The Daily Cardinal, obtained quarterly reports that AMRC submitted to the Army. The Cardinal published a series of investigative articles making a convincing case that AMRC was pursuing research that was directly pursuant to specific US Department of Defense requests, and relevant to counterinsurgency operations in Vietnam. AMRC became a magnet for demonstrations, in which protesters chanted "U.S. out of Vietnam! Smash Army math!" In 1970, Karleton Armstrong and three other men stole a van from computer science professor Larry Travis , filled it with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil mixture, parked it next to Sterling Hall, and exploded it, killing physics graduate student Robert Fassnacht . At that time, it was described as "the single most destructive act of sabotage in United States history."
The Badger Herald was founded in 1969. The Badger Herald debuted as an alternative voice on campus. Born to cover and combat the turmoil of the Vietnam protests, the Herald maintains its maverick spirit, though it has shed the “alternative” reputation. Today, they are the largest fully independent daily campus newspaper in the nation. They receive no funding or other assistance from the university in publishing 16,000 issues, five days a week. The University of Wisconsin is to this day the only major American university with two daily student newspapers.
The school's sports teams are called the Wisconsin Badgers. They participate in the NCAA's Division I-A and in the Big Ten Conference; its men's and women's hockey programs compete in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
Current university research
The University is considered a major hub of public embryonic stem cell research. This has brought significant moral questions to the University from various institutions, with restrictions from the Bush Administration's domestic policy restricting some research.
Notable Wisconsin alumni
- Shirley Abrahamson , Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
- Stephen Ambrose, noted historian
- John Bardeen, 1956 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics
- Kenneth Behring , owner, Seattle Seahawks
- Günter Blobel, 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- Paul Boyer, 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- Rita Braver , national reporter, CBS News
- Jane Brody , columnist, New York Times
- Dick Cheney, Vice President (attended as doctoral candidate; did not graduate.)
- Lynne Cheney, Second Lady, writer
- Dale Chihuly, glass artist
- Laurel Clark, astronaut
- Joan Cusack, actress
- Ron Dayne, 1999 Heisman Trophy winner, NFL player, New York Giants
- Jim Doyle, Wisconsin Governor
- Lawrence Eagleburger, former Secretary of State
- Russ Feingold, U.S. Senator
- Michael Feldman, Host of Public Radio’s “Whad‘Ya Know?”
- Michael Finley, NBA player
- Jeff Greenfield , news analyst, CNN
- Jane Kaczmarek, actress (“Malcolm in the Middle”)
- Jack Kilby, 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics for the Integrated Circuit
- Herb Kohl, U.S. Senator
- Robert M. La Follette, former Wisconsin governor and congressman
- Charles Lindbergh, aviator
- Jim Lovell, astronaut, Apollo 13 mission
- Alan G. MacDiarmid, 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- Buddy Melges, America’s Cup Skipper
- Steve Miller, musician
- John P. Morgridge , chair Cisco Systems
- John Muir, naturalist
- Gaylord Nelson, former U.S. Senator and founder of Earth Day
- Arthur C. Nielsen Sr., founder of A.C. Nielsen Co. (TV ratings)
- Joyce Carol Oates, novelist
- Tom Pyle , chairman and president, Pyle Group , former chairman and CEO, Rayovac Group
- Lee R. Raymond, chairman and CEO, Exxon Mobil
- Bud Selig, Baseball Commissioner
- Brewster Shaw, astronaut, Space Shuttle Columbia; former director, Space Shuttle Operations, NASA
- Ben Sidran , jazz pianist
- Tommy Thompson, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; former Wisconsin Governor (1986-2001)
- Daniel J. Travanti , Emmy Award-winning actor
- Frederick Jackson Turner, noted American historian and professor
- Greta Van Susteren, news analyst, CNN
- Butch Vig, musician, Garbage
- Eudora Welty, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
- Frank Lloyd Wright, architect
Notable Wisconsin faculty, former and current
- Har Gobind Khorana, 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- Joshua Lederberg , 1958 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- Howard Martin Temin , 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of reverse transcriptase.
- James Thomson, credited with first successful culturing of human embryonic stem cells.
- John Commons , one of the architects of Social Security in the United States.
- Undergraduate Projects Lab — organization associated with the Department of Computer Sciences that provides undergraduates the resource to pursue self-motivated research projects
- Camp Randall Stadium — the Badgers' home stadium for football
- Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation — The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation is a significant source of research support, independent of government grants.
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