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Renovation Project Revitalizes Cal Poly P Landmark

CCC crew members work on the Cal Poly PWork has begun to renovate the Cal Poly P, a hilltop landmark that has overlooked the campus and city of San Luis Obispo for nearly a century. “The area around the P has deteriorated over the years and is in need of repair,” said Leigh Ramirez, Cal Poly’s interim executive director of Facilities Management. “The project will correct some erosion issues and restore the P to a safe condition for students to continue the tradition of decorating the monument to commemorate campus activities and displays of school spirit.” Late last year, the university temporarily stopped that decades-old tradition over safety concerns that erosion had made footing around the concrete structure unsafe for students toting 5-gallon buckets of paint, brooms, brushes and paint rollers. The commitment to improving and maintaining this iconic Cal Poly landmark and its tradition of decorating the P was so great that members of the student-run University Union Advisory Board of Associated Students Inc. OK’d funding for the project — the first major overhaul of Poly P since 1997. Read more on the project.

Cal Poly Ethnic Studies Student Receives CSU Trustees’ Award

Mario Espinoza, Cal Poly's CSU Trustees Award winner for 2015Cal Poly comparative ethnic studies student Mario Espinoza of Modesto, Calif., was awarded the 2015 California State University (CSU) Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. The awardss are presented annually to one student from each of the CSU system’s 23 campuses. Honorees are selected for their superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. As part of the recognition, Espinoza will receive a $6,000 scholarship. Espinoza, a first-generation college student, will begin his senior year in the fall. Since transferring to Cal Poly from Cuesta College in fall 2014, Espinoza has been active on campus as a peer counselor for the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex and Allies) group, co-chair of the cultural club Movimiento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlán (M.E.X.A.), and volunteer at the Cal Poly Pride Center and MultiCultural Center. In the community, Espinoza is a volunteer event coordinator with the AIDS Support Network. Find out more.

Cal Poly and UC Berkeley Receive $6 Million Grant to Enhance Collaboration in Data Science

Cal Poly and UC Berkeley have received a $6 million grant from a three-foundation partnership to further develop an open-source software that already influences the way work is done in a variety of industries such as genetics and finance. The software package, called Project Jupyter, makes data science more collaborative and interactive. Think Google Drive with a brain. The new funding comes from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Fernando Perez of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Brian Granger of Cal Poly will lead the effort. Project Jupyter is the evolution of Perez and Granger’s work developing the IPython Notebook, a popular user interface for interactive computing across multiple programming languages. “More than a million people are currently using Jupyter for everything from analyzing massive gene sequencing datasets to processing images from the Hubble Space Telescope and developing models of financial markets,” Granger said. Find out more.

Cal Poly Marketing Faculty Members Receive Professorship Awards

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business recently named Professors Lynn Metcalf and Brennan Davis as recipients of the Hood Professorship in Marketing. The award, founded by a family of Cal Poly alumni, is given each year to marketing faculty who push boundaries to evolve student learning opportunities and support the objectives of the college and university. A committee from within the Orfalea College of Business — including members from its Marketing Area Task Force, the Executive Partners program, and the Dean’s Advisory Council — manages the selection process. The award’s endowment provides resources, which wouldn’t otherwise be available, to further the faculty’s personal and professional development. Read more on Metcalf and Davis.