Day 15 (Saturday, August 7): Duncan to Moore, OK: A beautiful day and fun night with the Oklahoma City Club.

Today was a beautiful riding day—we started out at 5 a.m., and the temperature got only to the low 90s by the time we ended at noon. The roads were also very smooth, with large shoulders to ride on. We noticed a significant change from riding mostly on back roads among large farms to now maneuvering in and out of urban areas. That is likely what the next two weeks will bring in some of the larger metropolitan areas we will be visiting. We had the opportunity to ride through Norman, OK on the way to Moore—what a beautiful city! I was impressed with the large research campus—the University of Oklahoma—that we passed, the technology park, and entrepreneurship center. The road we biked down for several miles was full of small and large companies. By the looks of it, technological and entrepreneurial activity is really hopping. 

The Oklahoma City Club night with incoming freshman Maria

Tonight we had an intimate gathering with the Oklahoma City Club. We wish to thank Chris and Ursula for their hospitality. We wish Marie, an incoming freshman, the very best as she joins the Notre Dame family (she is following in her dad’s footsteps). She joined us with her parents tonight. She will be studying environmental engineering in the fall. In the photograph above, we are with the Oklahoma City club members, and Renate is holding up the newspaper Sulphur Times—we made page 8 of the August 5, 2010 issue!

Chris and Ursula signing the van

Today, riding past one of the research sites of the University of Oklahoma, I started to think about my own research. I get this question a lot: “As a dean, do you still do research?” In fact, I do. For example, I am collaborating with Professor Mark Alber in the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics. We are working to learn how to better determine the age of bruises on children, which is not only important for healing injuries but also plays an important role in abuse cases. Professor Alber is developing a model based on his earlier work on modeling injury and his cardiovascular flow research. We are very excited about this project, as it represents a great way for both of us to be involved in mission-driven research from a physical and applied mathematics perspective. Partners at local hospitals are helping us with the clinical aspects of our work, and we will reach out to the community for testing once we have completed our initial stages of research.

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