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Campus News in Brief

School of Art unveils new queer-themed program

Trans-Q Television, an online video variety show sponsored by the School of Art, and the Center for Arts in Society, is set to premiere Friday.

The premiere, which will take place at 6119 Penn Avenue, will include a dance party attended by members of Pittsburgh’s queer arts and music community. Doors will open at 8:30 p.m., and the episode screening is set to begin at 9 p.m. The free event is open to people over 18 years old.

Trans-Q is described in a university press release by executive producer and Carnegie Mellon art professor Suzie Silver as “a Dadaist variety show for the 21st century, or a truly warped fusion of Lawrence Welk, Sonny and Cher, Andy Warhol’s TV, Ernie Kovacs, Flip Wilson, Carol Burnett and Wigstock.”

Silver also said Trans-Q Television’s goal is to offer a series that highlights queer and transgender issues and themes. According to a university press release, the first episode is to have an appearance from drag queen Alaska Thunderfuck as well as highlights from hip-hop producer Le1f’s recent performance at the VIA Festival, an all-transgender/drag soap opera, and a student fashion show in artist Scott Andrew’s MAKESHOP residency at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Andrew, a Carnegie Mellon master’s student in art, is producing the show, which will launch its first six-episode season in January.

Physics professor awarded the Condensed Matter Prize

Luc Berger, professor emeritus of physics, has been announced as a winner of the 2013 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize by the American Physical Society.

The Oliver E. Buckley prize was established by Bell Labs and first endowed in 1952. The prize is awarded for an important contribution to the advancement of knowledge in condensed-matter physics.

Berger co-won the prize with John Slonczewski, an IBM research staff emeritus. Their theory was that a spin-polarized current can influence the relative orientation of the magnetic moment, which will cause the orientation of the moments to switch. This can be used to flip active elements in magnetic random access memory.

This flipping could make magnetic random access memory devices possible. These devices would be able to store greater amounts of data that may be accessed at faster speeds while consuming less battery power.

Fred Gilman, dean of the Mellon College of Science, said in a university press release, “The Buckley Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes awarded in the field of physics, and Luc is richly deserving of this honor.”

Berger and Slonczewski will receive the award in March at an American Physical Society meeting in Baltimore.