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Joseph W. McQuaid: Prizes & playoffs: Well done, UNH

December 09. 2013 6:43PM

Notwithstanding its problems with a new logo, the University of New Hampshire is doing a lot of things right these days.

We aren't sure what Wildcat stamp may be on it, but a satellite launched out at Vandenberg Air Force Base last week has all the markings of work done by UNH scientists.

Meanwhile, two national mathematics prizes, one awarded only once every three years, are going to a UNH lecturer who found his way to freedom in Durham from Mao's Communist Chinese "cultural revolution." Another UNH teacher, featured in a recent issue of our Sunday News, has been awarded two major book prizes for his historical work on Atlantic fishing.

And then there is the little matter of the UNH football team that has won two playoff games and is in the national quarterfinals this Saturday night, showing a can-do, never-give-up attitude of the first order.

UNH graduate student Alex Crew, working under Harlan Spence at the school's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, built the satellites that will probe microbursts in a radiation belt that can jeopardize further space exploration. Look for more news on the "FIREBIRD" satellite program in the future.

We will have a story upcoming on Yitang "Tom" Zhang, who will receive the two math prizes for his work on one of the oldest problems in number theory. the "Twin Prime Conjecture." We don't begin to know math, but it sounds like Zhang would know just how many versions of a UNH logo are still out there in the universe.

W. Jeffrey Bolster's book, "The Mortal Sea," has garnered the American history professor international acclaim, including Columbia University's Bancroft Prize, the American Historical Assn. Albert J. Beveridge Prize, and the James Rawley Prize in Atlantic History.

These are all big deals and justifiable points of pride for UNH. Well done.

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