Volume 106, Number 4


A life aquatic

Biology professor Michael LaBarbera has spent his career immersing students—and himself—in an underwater world and the unending adventure of science. Plus—Unplanned encounters: Surprise specimens in the lab.

Glimpses: Beauty in numbers

Mathematics historian Judith Victor Grabiner, SB’60, teaches math to the liberal arts masses.

Scrap mettle

Entrepreneurs meeting the demand for raw materials, not environmental virtue, drives the expansion of the recycling industry. Plus—Trash talker: Author Adam Minter, AB’93, weighs in on the wide world of waste.

Epic crossing

John Snyder traversed Ethiopia seeking inspiration for a screenplay. Instead he captured a landscape about to disappear.

Editor’s Notes

In any language

The sounds of March.


Readers sound off

Readers react to the previous issue’s cover image (with a bullseye), raise matters of race and scholarly evidence, pine for Milton Friedman’s influence in response to the financial crisis, rev their critical engines over advertising, and more.

On the Agenda

A laboratory for humanists

Humanities dean Martha Roth and social sciences dean Mario Luis Small discuss the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, “a laboratory for humanists.”

C Vitae

Encyclopedic knowledge

After more than three decades at Britannica, editor in chief Dale Hoiberg, AM’74, PhD’93, knows the encyclopedia business inside out.

Alumni Essays

American Hustle and me

Leslie Maitland, AB’71, recalls her role breaking the story of the real Abscam, which inspired the “terrifically amusing satire” American Hustle.

The things they carried back

Nissa Rhee, AB’06, surveys the legacy of war with American veterans returning to Vietnam.

UChicago Journal

Operatic range

A campus festival explores the influence of Chinese opera.

Modeling change

Plus-size model Amanda Tice, AB’06, believes her work can have a positive effect on women’s lives.

Best bettor

Chicago trader David Frohardt-Lane, SM’00, put his statistics education to lucrative use.

American studies

Leon and Amy Kass develop an online curriculum that inspires insight into the national soul.

Interpret station

An interpreter in residence holds “office hours” for visitors to the Smart Museum of Art.

Disturbing results

Researchers show that quality of sleep has a profound effect on cancer growth rates.

Popular science

David Saltzberg, SM’91, PhD’94, keeps the research realistic on The Big Bang Theory.

Interview: Call of the wild

Going to the Law School helped Natalie Shapero, JD’11, let her poetry loose.

William Rainey Harper’s Index: Promising statistics

A program to reduce the financial and psychological obstacles to the college application process makes an impact in its first year.

Fig. 1: Surge protection

A simple way to reduce wasteful government spending.

Original source: Old hand

In 17th century anatomical drawings, death—and life—were much more present than in today’s medical textbooks.

For the record: University news

Gift to UEI helps low-income students prepare for college, diverse accomplishments recognized, UChicago Medicine’s cancer research receives an infusion of funds, India honors prolific scholars, Zimmer supports the South Side as the site for the Obama library, and the Center in Delhi names an executive director.

Citations: Faculty research

Prehistoric sharks that migrated like salmon, African Americans’ long commutes, babies’ nuanced social observations, and genetic findings that complicate the story of how dogs evolved from wolves.

Peer review


The Magazine lists a selection of general interest books, films, and albums by alumni. For additional alumni releases, browse the Magazine’s Goodreads bookshelf.


Highlights from the latest alumni news columns.

Degrees of honor

The 2014 alumni award recipients have made their mark on the University, their field, or their cause. The University of Chicago Alumni Association will recognize them at a ceremony in Rockefeller Chapel during this June’s Alumni Weekend.


The Maroon guided ’80s preps through the last Lascivious Costume Ball.


University obituaries

Recent trustee, faculty, staff, and alumni obituaries.

Lite of the Mind


Face time at the Magazine’s Instagram account.