Class of 2021 spells out CWRU on football field

A look back: The Daily’s most interesting stories of 2017

At Case Western Reserve University, each year is filled with student, faculty, staff and alumni successes; research breakthroughs; and big moments that add to our storied history. Last year was no exception.

2017 was a year that saw the university named one of the country’s Top 10 Centers for Biomedical Research, and ranked 18th in the world for innovation impact, 13th among research universities for research commercialization, 37th nationally in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” rankings and 34th in The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education list.

In 2017, Forbes named MD/PhD candidate Gloria Tavera to its “30 Under 30” list in the health care category.

At CES 2017, Case Western Reserve University had 10 booths, full of student- and alumni-founded startups.

And that’s only the beginning.

While the start of the year is a time to look ahead—setting resolutions and goals for 2018—it’s also a good opportunity to reflect on some of 2017’s highlights. Take a look at some of our top-read and favorite stories of 2017 (in chronological order)—and be sure to tell us your favorites in the comments.

And the Academy Award goes to…Case Western Reserve alum Geoff Wedig

Geoff Wedig (CWR ’94) won an Oscar for technical achievement, sharing it with software engineer Nicholas Apostoloff for software they wrote to animate faces.

Wedig has worked on such films as MaleficentTRON: LegacyThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Night at the Museum 3.

CWRU places two of top three finishers in national student startup competition at South by Southwest

Two student startups received impressive accolades this spring at South by Southwest’s student startup competition. Parihug, founded by Xyla Foxlin, came in second place, while Reflexion Interactive Technologies, co-founded by Matt Campagna, placed third.

Parihug connects Bluetooth- and WiFi-enabled teddy bears to allow people to hug loved ones over long distances, while Reflexion Interactive Technologies developed a device that can rapidly screen for concussions.

Man with quadriplegia employs injury bridging technologies to move again—just by thinking

A team of Case Western Reserve University researchers gave a man with quadriplegia the chance to move again—just by thinking. By pairing a brain-computer interface with recording electrodes and a functional electrical stimulation system, researchers restored brain-led movement to a paralyzed person—believed to be the first time this has ever occurred.

The research team included: Bob Kirsch, chair of Case Western Reserve’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and executive director of the Functional Electrical Stimulation Center; Bolu Ajiboye, assistant professor of biomedical engineering; Benjamin Walter, associate professor of neurology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine; and Jonathan Miller, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and director of the Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery Center at University Hospitals.

Video: Class of 2017 share post-grad plans—and CWRU’s role in their success

We caught up with the Class of 2017 as they geared up for post-graduation success. They shared their future plans and explained how Case Western Reserve helped them get there.

Studies help understand why some people are so sure they’re right

Jared Friedman, a PhD student in organizational behavior, and Anthony Jack, associate professor of philosophy, helped shed light on why people hold so strongly in their beliefs, even when evidence disproves them.

Two studies looked at the personality characteristics behind dogmatism, both in religious and nonreligious people.

The Class of 2021 by the numbers

In August, we welcomed approximately 1,300 new students to campus to comprise the Class of 2021.

Upon their arrival, we wanted to learn a little more about their background. Our newest students represent 41 countries, 700 hometowns and more than 900 high schools, and during their time in school, they were highly involved in volunteer work, sports and the arts.

Now, with a semester down, they have already begun to make their impact on campus.

Case Western Reserve surpasses expanded campaign goal of $1.5 billion well ahead of schedule

The university exceeded its capital campaign goal once again—raising more than $1.5 billion over the course of the campaign, thanks to the support of nearly 55,000 donors.

The announcement came in October during the Blue Block Party at homecoming. At the same time, the university announced a $20 million gift from Bob Aiken, a 1952 graduate who majored in mechanical engineering, and his wife, Brenda, to the biomedical engineering department.

Alumnus Richard H. Thaler earns Nobel Prize for work in behavioral economics

In October, Case Western Reserve University alumnus Richard H. Thaler (ADL ’67, HON ’03) was named the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for pioneering work in behavioral economics.

Thaler is a professor of economics and behavioral science at the University of Chicago, and is known for placing an emphasis on how psychology impacts economic decisions.

Team of CWRU undergraduates takes first place in Cleveland Medical Hackathon

A team of undergraduate students came away big at the Cleveland Medical Hackathon in October. Josef Scheidt, Rohan Sinha, Nsisong Udosen, Francesca McDonald and Rishi Maheshwari placed first for their concept for the CrasBand, a device that can be worn on the wrist to monitor cardiac health in real time.

At the competition, the undergraduates went up against teams mostly composed of health professionals with PhDs. For their win, the students had the chance to present their idea during Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit.

Dancing with holograms: CWRU stages first-of-its-kind mixed-reality dance performance using Microsoft HoloLens

With the help of the Microsoft HoloLens, the Department of Dance put on a new type of production—one that involved holograms.

Imagined Odyssey was the finale of Vistas, the department’s fall show. All of the show’s 80 audience members donned the Microsoft HoloLens, a mixed-reality headset.