The mission of a major research university necessarily involves offering instructional programs over a broad spectrum of disciplines and professions. The very diversity of these programs can lead to public confusion as to whether the university has enough internal discipline to focus its energies on a manageable set of scholarly pursuits in order to have as great an impact as possible among scholars worldwide. Even within such a major university, scholars can be unaware that colleagues in other schools of the university are pursuing a research agenda that is complementary and very relevant to their own agendas.
To communicate the true worldwide impact of the University of Pittsburgh’s research to our entire “family” and to alert our faculty and students to the strong relevance of research in other parts of the University to their own interests, the Pitt Chronicle began, with its April 2003 issue, to present research themes for which the University of Pittsburgh is renowned and for which current University efforts are building to enhance our worldwide impact. While there are other themes in which the University has true strength, the 12 themes described in the recently completed Pitt Chronicle series cover a remarkable fraction of the total University scholarly effort. Most themes bridge the gaps among several schools of the University, and even when this is not the case, always more than one academic department is involved. While most themes embrace the work of one or more of our famous “star” professors, the full impact of our efforts in each theme can be appreciated only by considering the work of a large array of strong professors and their students.
We now are publishing the articles of the Pitt Chronicle series on this Web site, in the hope that it will be of some enduring value to faculty, students, alumni, and friends of the University as questions arise about the strength and character of the University’s research. Obviously, fast-paced research programs change with time, and significant changes may already have occurred in the research groups highlighted in some articles of this series, but the description of the focus and the basis of the University’s strength in a given area is, in each case, still valid and will remain valid for years to come.
We hope you enjoy this collection and that you will find it a useful reference as the University continues to develop in the coming years.
|Name:Olivera J. Finn|
|Organization:||University of Pittsburgh|