Tesla Orchestra’s New Project Lights Up Music Scene

Case Western Reserve University’s Tesla Orchestra is known for its innovative projects. Take, for example, its entire existence: It’s a musical group that uses tesla coils to convert music into lightning—the only university-based traveling group of its kind.

Now, the brains behind Tesla Orchestra are launching Open Spark Project, in which musicians around the world, especially here at Case Western Reserve, are encouraged to submit their songs and get them turned into lightning. One act already signed on to the project? Former Case Western Reserve student Gregg Gillis, aka mashup master Girl Talk.

So how, exactly, does this work? Members of Tesla Orchestra—a group that has comprised about 80 members in its short history—built musical tesla coils, devices that shoot out giant bolts of electricity tuned to reproduce all the notes on a keyboard, explained alumnus and project manager Ian Charnas (CWR ’05). The end result is that it looks like lightning and sounds like music, and it’s something better seen than explained; check out a video of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” here.

For the Open Spark Project, musicians can submit their videos online from now until May 2, and on May 14, Tesla Orchestra will stream live video of all the songs on the project’s site. Read more about the project.

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Spartan Hall of Fame: Jim Donnelly

Jim Donnelly
Jim Donnelly

The Spartan Hall of Fame will induct seven new members at its Hall of Fame Banquet and Fundraiser April 30. Over the next few days, The Daily will provide a look at the inductees—from their CWRU accomplishments to where they are today.

Jim Donnelly (CWR ’85) was a standout running back during one of the winningest eras in the football program’s history. The Cincinnati native finished his career with 2,372 yards and 22 touchdowns—each school records at the time he accomplished them. In 1984, he helped lead the Spartans to their first-ever undefeated season (9-0). Donnelly was a first-team All-North Coast Athletic Conference selection in 1984 and an All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference honoree in 1983. In the classroom, he was a three-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American as a mechanical engineering major with a 3.96 GPA. Read more about Donnelly and the Hall of Fame banquet.

Campus News

On May 21, Google will begin making changes to make a number of new applications available to Case Western Reserve University. The enhanced service will permit the addition of 36 other familiar Google applications like Reader, Picasa and Blogger to our @case.edu domain. No action is required to allow the transition to take place. However, the first time you log into any of the Google Apps after your account has transitioned, you will have to accept a new Google terms of service agreement. If you have a personal Google account that is tied to your @case.edu account in any way, Google will provide you a wizard to help resolve any conflicts at that time. A confirmation of your transition will be emailed to you from apps-noreply@google.com.

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The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) invites the community to participate in the 3rd Annual Unity Banquet and Scholarship Benefit Raffle. Prizes include a Dell Latitude 2110 Netbook Computer and two round-trip Continental Airlines tickets. A portion of the proceeds from the raffle will go toward underrepresented student scholarships at CWRU and the Voices of Glory spring benefit concert. Tickets may be purchased at the OMA office (Sears Building 450) until April 15 and at the Unity Banquet. Winners will be announced April 20. Visit the OMA website to learn more.

For Faculty and Staff

faculty at commencementThe Commencement Office is seeking dependable Case Western Reserve employees to help make commencement 2011 a special and memorable day for graduates. Time off within the work week will be given with advance approval from a direct supervisor. Contact Lauren Biddlecombe at 368.2229 for additional details.

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“Power and Politics on Campus for Women Faculty” will be presented Thursday, April 14, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the 1914 Lounge of Thwing Center. Sponsored by the Women Faculty Leadership Development Institute of the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, this workshop will help women faculty members understand their own comfort levels with power, identify different types of power in their environments and learn strategies to enhance their competencies in this area. RSVP to Susan Freimark.

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At the next UCITE session, the leaders of new academic advising initiatives from various departments will share their ideas and the results so far. The discussion will be held April 14 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Herrick Room, on the ground floor of the Allen Building. Pizza and soda will be provided; RSVP to ucite@case.edu.

For Students

Commencement speakerStudents are invited to share their ideas for next year’s commencement speaker. The Commencement Speaker Committee is surveying the campus community for commencement 2012 speaker nominations. The following criteria are considered when selecting candidates: Have high degree of name recognition among students; have notable achievements in academic, artistic, humanitarian, environmental and/or other enterprises; can serve as a role model for students; may have Case Western Reserve or Cleveland connection; and strong public speaking skills. Submit suggestions online by Friday, May 1.

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Undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in medicine are invited to attend an informational session with Lina Mehta, associate dean for admissions, and Christian Essman, director of admissions, to discuss the application process. The session, Inspirations and Aspirations, will be held tonight from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the School of Medicine’s third floor lecture hall (E-301).

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Spartans at Progressive FieldThe Case Western Reserve University baseball team will play its annual game at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, on April 20 versus Otterbein University. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Prior to the game, CWRU will honor its baseball senior student-athletes. Admission is free, but all spectators must have game tickets, available for download here. For more information, click here.

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The newly formed organization Ars Poetica, a group that focuses on the creative and performing arts, is planning an arts showcase event at The Spot on Friday, April 22. Any student who would like to perform individually or as part of an ensemble with friends or other artistically inclined people can sign up by emailing Jocelyn Tucker.

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Doan Brook cleanupCome help the Student Sustainability Council and Net Impact CWRU celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up our local section of Doan Brook. The cleanup will be located at Rockefeller Lagoon and will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 17. Meet in front of the Botanical Gardens at 12:45 p.m. to walk over. Go online for more information and to register for the event.


On April 14, as part of Writing Week, there will be a Creative Readings/Case Reserve Review launch event at 4 p.m. in Guilford Parlor. Students, faculty and staff will read from their own work, and authors and artists featured in the Spring 2011 issue will exhibit their work in a multimedia presentation.

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Richard Hanson
Richard Hanson

On April 18, Mortar Board will host “Reflections on a Career in Science with Richard Hanson” from 6 to 8 p.m. in Strosacker Auditorium. Hanson, professor in the Department of Biochemistry, will give a lecture reflecting upon his life and career at Case Western Reserve. The event name has been updated to reflect that this is not Hanson's last lecture on campus.

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The Case African Students Association will host its 2011 cultural show, “Mission Africa: One Love,” on Saturday, April 16, in Carlton Commons. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., and the events of the show, which include African dancing, poetry readings, and a fashion show, will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door on the day of the show ($6 for undergraduate students; $8 for all others). Contact ots@case.edu for more information or any questions.

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Our Town
Kelly McCready as Emily and Zachary
Olivos as George in the prize-winning play.
Photo by Peter Jennings.

The Eldred Theater Series presents Our Town, Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play that tells the story of the inhabitants of Grover's Corners and explores the increasingly elusive meaning of community. This is the play's final weekend, with shows April 14, 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. and a matinee April 17 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Eldred Theater Box Office or by calling 216.368.6262. For more information, go online.

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CWRU Dance presents MaDaCol, the university’s dance ensemble featuring undergraduate dancers and members of the community with choreography by Christopher Bell, Kristy Clement, Claire Cobb and Ying Xu. Performances will take place April 14-15 at 8 p.m. and April 16 at 7 and 8:30 p.m. at Mather Dance Center. Tickets are available at the door.

The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

Et al.

On March 31, mechanical engineering students Austin Schmidt and Solomon Alkhasov competed against nine other universities in the regional ideaLabs competition at University of Akron. The presentation of their business concept Affinity Algorithms earned the duo second place.

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In case you missed them on campus, the Humans vs. Zombies game ended at the beginning of April, with 156 players taking part and only two surviving to the end. Wyatt Hoch and Michael Harrison were the first human winners in more than two years. Find more information online.

April 13, 2011

A daily newsletter published by the Office of Marketing & Communications, Case Western Reserve University. Submit items for inclusion to: case-daily@case.edu.

In the News

Avon Tax Proposal to Cover Interchange Costs Riles Affected Residents

The Plain Dealer, April 12, 2011
The city of Avon wants to tax landowners for part of the $27 million project to build an interchange on Interstate 90, which has many homeowners up in arms because they feel the entire city will benefit from the interchange. Jonathan Entin, professor of law and political science, said those closest to the interchange likely would see the most economic benefit, though, so what the city is doing isn’t inherently illegal.

Cuyahoga County: $1.3M Grant Expands County's Pre-K Program

WKYC, April 11, 2011
The PNC Foundation and George Gund Foundation donated $1.3 million to the Universal Pre-kindergarten Program, Cuyahoga County's pre-K program. An independent review of the county's UPK Program conducted by Case Western Reserve University showed the program has a positive effect on the 1,000 children it serves, preparing them to succeed in school.

Annual Dinner/Auction Raises Money for Medical Students

The News-Herald, April 11, 2011
A dinner and auction for the Jason Madachy Foundation will be held this weekend in Eastlake. This year, the foundation hopes to provide stethoscopes for first-year students at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

Higher Ed News

Federal Budget Deal Spares Pell but Shrinks Research and Education Programs

The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 12, 2011
Details released about last weekend’s federal budget deal, which is expected to be passed this week, keep the maximum Pell Grant but cut anywhere from $53 million to $260 million in research funding at the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, respectively.