Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Ohio State University

At The Ohio State University, Buckeye spirit reigns supreme (including the famous dotting of the "i" in Ohio, as depicted in the statue above). OSU hosted this year's biennial U.S. Conference on Teaching Statistics, as it also did in 2007 and 2005. I have attended all three of these conferences and took some pictures this year to supplement the ones I took in 2005.

Two major buildings on any college campus are the main library and the student union. When I visited in 2007, construction had begun on renovations of both these structures. Now, two years later, both are nearing completion. The library, shown immediately below, is scheduled to open during this coming fall term.

Two of the prettier sights on the OSU campus are located between the library and the student union. One is Mirror Lake...

...and the other is the Oval. The only way I could think of to convey the scope of the Oval with my photos was to juxtapose two adjacent areas (this photo from the university's official website does a better job).

With its imposing presence, the Oval reminds me of another great expanse of green, The Lawn at the University of Virginia.

From the eastern end of the Oval, it is a short walk to High Street, which not only forms part of the OSU campus perimeter but also is one of the major thoroughfares in the city of Columbus (see this online historical slide show of High Street).

Walking south on High, one comes across the construction site of the Ohio Union, which is scheduled to reopen in 2010. The following pictorial sequence shows what the front of the union will look like from north to south.

Continuing southward on High Street, one would then encounter the South Campus Gateway, a business development that I first saw in 2007. The Gateway is anchored at one end by former Buckeye football great Eddie George's restaurant...

...and at the other by a huge Barnes and Noble bookstore and movie theatre complex (the latter is not shown).

In what I think is a nice touch, the light-blue sign from the old Long's bookstore (which was located a few blocks north on High Street) is preserved at Barnes and Noble, as shown above. Also shown is an advertisement for a bicycle-riding event with Lance Armstrong to raise money for cancer research at OSU (the name of the event appears to derive from the cycling term, peloton).

Shifting considerably west, one can say of the OSU campus that "a river runs through it," the Olentangy River to be exact. On one side of the river is the legendary Ohio Stadium football palace (shown in my 2005 photos) and most of the rest of the campus. Among the structures on the other side are a number of athletic facilities, including Value City Arena/Schottenstein Center (shown in the distance immediately below in my river pictures).

Lastly, from just south of Ohio Stadium, one gets a look at the "skyline" of the OSU Medical Center.

Monday, June 22, 2009

University of Illinois

Erika Brooks, one of our Texas Tech graduate students, recently traveled through the Midwest. She has kindly allowed me to display some photos she took at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, which are cross-posted from her Facebook page. Illinois is one of only three Big Ten schools I've never been too, so it's nice to have Erika's photos. First, to the right, we have the new McFarland Bell Tower, which is described in this article. I did a little research in preparing this write-up and learned that UIUC already has a bell tower by Altgeld Hall. Now students will have to be more specific than just saying, "I'll meet you at the bell tower."

Next, Erika provides us with a crisp, beautiful shot of the Illini Union, which looks really quaint. You've got to love a student union that has a bowling alley.

Lastly, there's a shot of a campus entrance. It's a little fuzzy; perhaps it was taken at a distance.

Friday, June 12, 2009

University of North Carolina

Whether it's the picturesque scenery, the Tar Heel sports teams' signature powder blue motif, or the bars, restaurants, and shops of Franklin Street, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is one of the nation's most vibrant institutions of higher education. I recently had the opportunity to make my first visit to UNC (to the state of North Carolina, overall, in fact) to attend an academic conference. Naturally, I took the opportunity to walk around the area and take some pictures.

If I had to describe UNC in two words, they would be traditional and green. The campus also has a consistency of building style, featuring red brick, which I think adds to a school's appearance. Below are large photos of two buildings, plus a montage of additional ones.

The aforementioned Franklin Street is the commercial hub of the UNC area, extending several blocks in either direction from the East/West dividing point. Featuring restaurants to fit a wide array of tastes, coffee houses, ice cream parlors, and, of course, plenty of stores to buy Tar Heel clothing and paraphernalia, Franklin Street compares favorably in my mind to other "main drag" college-town streets around the nation.

Few (if any) college-town thoroughfares would be able to exceed Franklin Street's volume and variety of establishments, I would guess. One downside, however, is walkability. Unlike Madison, Wisconsin's pedestrian-friendly State Street, for example, from which automobiles are banned, Franklin Street is five lanes wide, with plenty of cars zooming by. Thus, you'll probably spend a fair amount of time waiting for "Walk" signs at intersections.

There probably aren't many U.S. cities in which you'll see fire trucks painted Tar Heel blue, though. Chapel Hill naturally is one of them!

Finally, by coincidence, today's New York Times ran its weekly "36 Hours in..." travel feature on North Carolina's Research Triangle region, which includes Chapel Hill. A couple of Franklin Street eateries were mentioned, as was the Carolina Inn, which hosted the conference I attended.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

University of California, Riverside

Sothy Eng, a graduate student with us at Texas Tech and a superb photographer, was kind enough to let me post some photos he took on a visit to the University of California, Riverside on this blog. Sothy's pictures are concentrated around the "HUB" (which stands for Highlander Union Building). UCR is a relatively new institution as far as major universities go, having been established in 1954, and there's also been a lot of recent construction on campus. Here are Sothy's shots, which also feature UCR's clock tower (only a tiny amount of which consists of the clock) and verdant, flowery setting.