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Preview: Princeton University News Releases

Princeton University Press Releases

The latest press releases from Princeton University.


Princeton University holds 270th Commencement

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 12:38:00 -0400

Princeton University awarded degrees to 1,268 undergraduates in the Class of 2017, three from former classes and 520 graduate students at its 270th Commencement Tuesday, June 6.

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Princeton reaffirms climate pledge

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 13:45:00 -0400

Princeton University has reaffirmed a statement it made in 2015 expressing the hope that the then-upcoming U.N. Climate Negotiations in Paris would “lead to significant progress in promoting clean energy and other positive actions to address the environmental impacts of climate change.”

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Princeton unveils preview of new main website design

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:00:00 -0400

Princeton University has made public a preview version of a new design for its main website and is seeking comment from the University community and other visitors to the site. The preview site is at

Biased bots: Artificial-intelligence systems echo human prejudices

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:00:00 -0400

Princeton University-based researchers have found that machine-learning programs can acquire the cultural biases embedded in the patterns of wording, from a mere preference for flowers over insects, to discriminatory views on race and gender.

Twice as bright: Earth-sized planets with two suns could still be habitable

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 16:00:00 -0400

Scientists know that two-star systems can support planets, but the question has remained whether an Earth-size terrestrial planet were orbiting two suns could it support life. A study in the journal Nature Communications has now found that an Earth-like planet orbiting two stars could be habitable if it were within a certain range from its two stars.

Mathematician Pardon receives top national award for young scientists

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 13:00:00 -0400

John Pardon, a Princeton University professor of mathematics, has received a National Science Foundation Alan T. Waterman Award, which is the nation's highest honor for scientists and engineers younger than 35. The prize carries a five-year, $1 million grant. Pardon was recognized for "revolutionary, groundbreaking results in geometry and topology" that "have extended the power of tools of geometric analysis to solve deep problems in real and complex geometry, topology and dynamical systems."

Princeton offers admission to 6.1 percent of Class of 2021 applicants

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:00:00 -0400

Princeton University has offered admission to 1,890 students, or 6.1 percent of the record 31,056 applicants for the Class of 2021, in what is the University's most selective admission process to date. Last year, the University's admission rate was 6.46 percent. The class size is expected to be 1,308 students for the Class of 2021.

Eliminating competition: Poison and mating regulate male-roundworm populations

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 15:30:00 -0400

In many species, mating comes at the steep price of an organism's life, an evolutionary process intended to regulate reproductive competition. But Princeton University researchers report that males of the roundworm species Caenorhabditis elegans have doubled down with two methods of checking out after reproducing — a lethal gene activated after mating, and pheromones released by other males. The findings provide insight into how aging, longevity and population are naturally regulated for different species and sexes.

Researchers create 'time crystals' envisioned by Princeton scientists

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 13:00:00 -0500

Theories developed at Princeton University led to the creation of time crystals reported in the journal Nature March 9 by two groups of researchers based at Harvard University and the University of Maryland. Time crystals feature atoms and molecules arranged across space and time and are opening up entirely new ways to think about the nature of matter. They also eventually may help protect information in futuristic devices known as quantum computers.

Asian pollution, heat waves worsen US smog

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 09:15:00 -0500

An influx of pollution from Asia in the western United States and more frequent heat waves in the eastern U.S. are responsible for the persistence of smog in these regions over the past quarter century despite laws curtailing the emission of smog-forming chemicals from automobile tailpipes and factories.

Lead dressed like gold: Laser-altered molecules cast alchemy in a different light

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 15:30:00 -0500

Since the Middle Ages, alchemists have sought to transmute elements, the most famous example being the long quest to turn lead into gold. Now, Princeton University theorists have proposed a different approach to this ancient ambition — just make one material behave like another. The researchers demonstrate that any two systems can be made to look alike, even if just for the smallest fraction of a second.

John Mather, remembered as a 'great mathematician,' dies at 74

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:15:00 -0500

Princeton University Professor of Mathematics John Mather, remembered as a "great mathematician" with a reserved and pleasant demeanor, died Jan. 28 of complications from prostate cancer at his home in Princeton. He was 74.

Worms farm germs: Discovery illuminates complex natural relationships

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:00:00 -0500

Princeton University researchers have found that the roundworms Caenorhabditis elegans have a sure-fire method of ensuring a steady supply of a bacteria they eat — they grow their own. The worms carry the bacteria Escherichia coli along with them, and drop bacteria along the way to create thriving new bacterial colonies that the worms later return to "harvest" and eat.

How temperature guides where species live and where they'll go

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 12:00:00 -0500

A Princeton University-based study could prove significant in answering among the most enduring questions for ecologists: Why do species live where they do, and what are the factors that keep them there? The ranges of animals in the world's temperate mountain areas — often presumed to be determined by competition — may actually be determined more by temperature and habitat, the researchers report. The findings indicate that species living in temperate mountain habitats — particularly in the northern latitudes — could face even greater repercussions from climate change than previously thought.

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Princeton joins court challenge to federal immigration executive order

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 11:50:00 -0500

Princeton University and 16 other universities filed a friend-of-the-court brief Monday supporting a legal challenge to the Trump administration's Jan. 27 executive order on immigration.

Wave of the future: Terahertz chips a new way of seeing through matter

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 13:30:00 -0500

Princeton University researchers have drastically shrunk the equipment for producing terahertz — important electromagnetic pulses lasting one millionth of a millionth of a second — to the size of a microchip. The simpler, cheaper generation of terahertz has potential for advances in medical imaging, communications and drug development.

Studies point way to precision therapies for common class of genetic disorders

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 15:00:00 -0500

Two Princeton University studies are opening important new windows into understanding an untreatable group of common genetic disorders known as RASopathies that affect approximately one child out of 1,000 and are characterized by distinct facial features, developmental delays, cognitive impairment and heart problems. The findings could help point the way toward personalized precision therapies for these conditions.

In crowd wisdom, the 'surprisingly popular' answer can trump ignorance of the masses

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 10:30:00 -0500

Crowd wisdom tends to favor the most popular information, not necessarily the most correct — mass ignorance can cancel out a knowledgeable minority, resulting in the wrong answer becoming the most accepted. To improve wisdom-of-crowds surveys, Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed what they call the "surprisingly popular" algorithm, wherein the correct answer is that which is more popular than people predict.

Eisgruber, other university presidents ask President Trump to 'rectify or rescind' immigration order

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 16:40:00 -0500

Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber and 47 other American college and university presidents today sent a letter to President Trump urging him to "rectify or rescind the recent executive order closing our country's borders to immigrants and others from seven majority-Muslim countries and to refugees from throughout the world." "If left in place," the letters says, "the order threatens both American higher education and the defining principles of our country."

Prentice to succeed Lee as Princeton provost

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:00:00 -0500

Dean of the Faculty Deborah Prentice will take office as Princeton University's provost on July 1, succeeding Provost David Lee. Lee has decided to return to full-time teaching and research after serving since 2013 as the University's second-ranking officer.

President Eisgruber issues statement on federal immigration executive order

Sun, 29 Jan 2017 16:45:00 -0500

Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber issued a statement to the University community Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, on the federal immigration executive order.

In African 'fairy circles,' a template for nature's many patterns

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:15:00 -0500

Scientists have long debated how large-scale plant patterns such as the famous "fairy circles" of Namibia form and persist. Now, a new Princeton University-led study suggests that instead of a single overarching cause, large-scale vegetation patterns in arid ecosystems could occasionally stem from millions of local interactions among neighboring plants and animals. The work could explain many patterns throughout the world.

Climate change to alter global pattern of mild weather

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:00:00 -0500

Scientists from Princeton University and NOAA have produced the first global analysis of how climate change may affect the frequency of mild-weather days, which are defined as having temperatures between 64 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 30 degrees Celsius) with low rain and humidity. The current global average of 74 mild days a year will drop by 10 days by 2100, with mid-latitude areas such as the United States experiencing more mild days and tropical areas seeing more hot and humid days.

Viral escape hatch could be treatment target for hepatitis E

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Researchers at Princeton and Rutgers universities have found that the hepatitis E virus — an emerging liver virus historically found in developing countries but now on the rise in Europe — uses a technique to spread infection that scientists could in fact exploit to treat the disease.

Earth's moon formed millions of years earlier than previously believed

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:00:00 -0500

Researchers at Princeton University and the University of California-Los Angeles have found that the moon is at least 4.51 billion years old, or 40 million to 140 million years older than scientists previously thought. The findings — based on an analysis performed at Princeton on samples brought back from the moon in 1971 — provide an approximate date for the impact that could allow scientists to estimate when life on Earth began.

Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:00:00 -0500

Princeton University researchers have discovered that the bacteria behind the life-threatening disease cholera initiates infection by coordinating a wave of mass shapeshifting that allows them to more effectively penetrate their victims' intestines. The researchers also identified the protein that allows Vibrio cholerae to morph, and found that it's activated through quorum sensing. The findings could lead to new treatments for cholera that target the bacteria's ability to change shape or penetrate the gut.

Tree-bark thickness indicates fire-resistance in a hotter future

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 09:00:00 -0500

A Princeton University-led study has found that trees worldwide develop thicker bark when they live in fire-prone areas. The findings suggest that bark thickness could help predict which forests and savannas will survive a warmer climate in which wildfires are expected to increase in frequency.

Princeton University is significant contributor and catalyst to New Jersey economy, quality of life

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 15:00:00 -0500

Princeton University has a substantial impact on the New Jersey economy, generating an annual total of $1.58 billion in economic output as an employer, research and innovation leader, sponsor of construction projects, purchaser of goods and services, and financial and civic contributor to local communities. That total supports an estimated 13,450 jobs with $970.7 million in earnings.

The fire through the smoke: Working for transparency in climate projections

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 09:45:00 -0500

To help policymakers more confidently prepare for the effects of climate change, a group of preeminent climate scientists evaluated the scientific work and expert judgments behind the most recent projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change regarding the potential ecological, social, economic and meteorological repercussions of climate change.

Electron-photon small-talk could have big impact on quantum computing

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 14:00:00 -0500

In a step that brings silicon-based quantum computers closer to reality, researchers at Princeton University have built a device in which a single electron can pass its quantum information to a particle of light. The particle of light, or photon, can then act as a messenger to carry the information to other electrons, creating connections that form the circuits of a quantum computer.