Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn or UPenn, although the former is the preferred and recognized nickname of the University) is a private university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a member of the Ivy League.
A faculty of about 4,500 professors serves about 10,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate and professional students; the research community includes 1,000 faculty, 1,000 postdoctoral fellows, 3,000 graduate students, and 5,000 support staff, with a budget of more than half a billion dollars each year. Admissions are noted among the most selective in the United States, and according to The Atlantic Monthly, it is the eighth most selective college in the United States (after MIT, Princeton, Caltech, Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Columbia). Penn also consistently ranks among the top 5 universities in surveys. In the US News & World Report Best College 2005 Survey, Penn holds the No. 4 spot, after Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Admission is extremely competitive.
Some of Penn's more notable programs are its School of Veterinary Medicine, Wharton School of business, School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, Law School, Nursing School, Annenberg School for Communication, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Education, and School of Social Work. It also contains many well-known departments including English, History, Economics, Philosophy, Computer Science, Biology, Psychology and Anthropology. It is also noted for its Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
Penn is an international leader in interdisciplinary programs. In addition to numerous cross-disciplinary majors and joint-degree programs, Penn is home to interdisciplinary institutions such as the Institute for Medicine and Engineering, the Joseph H. Lauder Institute for Management and International Studies, the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, the Executive Master's in Technology Management Program, the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, and the Jerome Fisher Management and Technology Program.
The first medical school in the United States was founded at Penn in 1765. In 1786 Penn was chartered by the state as the first "university" in America. Penn hosts the country's second college of veterinary medicine, and the only college to offer the degree 'VMD' instead of 'DVM' for its veterinary graduates. The world's first all-electronic computer, ENIAC was built at Penn's Moore School of Electrical Engineering .
Located in downtown Philadelphia for over a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has remained. The present campus covers over 260 urban acres (1 km²). Recent improvements to the surrounding neighborhoods include the opening of several restaurants, a large grocery store, and a movie theater on the western edge of campus.
The University of Pennsylvania should not be confused with the Pennsylvania State University (commonly referred to as "Penn State"), another research-oriented (but public) university with the main campus located in the geographic center of Pennsylvania in State College.
Penn's sports teams are called the Quakers. They participate in the Ivy League and the NCAA's Division I (Division I-AA for football). In recent decades they often have been league champions in football (12 times from 1982 to 2003) and basketball (21 times from 1970 to 2004). The Quakers are also part of the Philadelphia Big 5 traditional basketball rivalries.
Penn's home court, the Palestra, is an arena used for Big Five contests as well as high-school sporting events, and Franklin Field, where the Quakers play football, hosts the annual collegiate track and field event the Penn Relays , and once was the home field of the National Football League's Philadelphia Eagles. It was also the site of the early Army-Navy football games.
Penn has been noted for its strong student culture, particularly award-winning a cappella groups, which range from jazz (Penn Counterparts), to traditional groups such as PennSix and Off the Beat to Penn Masala — the world's premier Hindi group, which has received global acclaim. The University of Pennsylvania Glee Club is the oldest continually-performing collegiate performance group in the United States, having been founded in 1862. Penn Singers is the only collegiate group in the United States to have performed all but one of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. The Philomathean Society, Penn's student literary society, was founded in 1813 and is the oldest continuously-existing collegiate literary society in the United States. Mask and Wig is the oldest performing comedy group in the nation, founded in 1889. The Daily Pennsylvanian, consistently ranked as one of the best student newspapers in the country, has been published since 1885.
University of Pennsylvania boarders Drexel University. Also near by are the University City High School and the Ben Franklin Technology Center .
In 1749, eager to create a college to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin wrote and circulated a pamphlet titled "Proposals for the Education of Youth in Pensilvania." Unlike the other four American Colonial colleges that existed at the time -- Harvard, William and Mary, Yale, and Princeton -- Franklin's new school would not focus on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study became the nation's first modern liberal arts curriculum.
Ben Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of the city, the first such non-sectarian board in America, and looked about for the least costly way to build a campus.
In 1740, a group of working class Philadelphians had decided to erect a great preaching hall for the evangelist George Whitefield. It was the largest building in the city, and it was also planned to serve as a charity school for "the instruction of poor children." The fundraising, however, for both the building and the school had fallen short and the plans for both chapel and school were suspended. Franklin saw an opportunity to open his Academy quickly and inexpensively and in 1751 the Academy, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first students. A charity school also was opened in accordance with the intentions of the original "New Building" donors.
The University cites the earlier date as its founding, which enables it to claim to be older than its athletic archrival Princeton. However it is the fifth-oldest college and oldest university in the United States.
It holds the latter claim by the virtue of the establishment of its medical school, the first in the American colonies, in 1765. Penn has continued that innovative tradition with the founding of the first university teaching hospital in 1874; the creation of the Wharton School, the world's first collegiate school of business, in 1881; the construction of Houston Hall, the first American student union building, in 1896; and the building of ENIAC, the world's first electronic, large-scale, general-purpose digital computer in 1946.
Nobel prize winners
- Alan MacDiarmid - 2000 Nobel prize in Chemistry
- Raymond Davis - 2002 Nobel prize in Physics for "pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos."
- Christian B. Anfinsen, Nobel prize winner in Chemistry
- Michael S. Brown, Nobel prize winner in Chemistry
As a sign of school pride, crowds of Quaker fans perform a unique ritual. After the third quarter of football games, the spirited fans unite in the singing of "Drink a Highball." As the last line, "Here's a toast to dear old Penn," is sung, the fans send toast hurling through the air onto the sidelines. Some of the rowdier fans try especially hard to throw the toast as far as they possibly can (sometimes actually attempting to hit the cheerleaders), and this has made it necessary for the cheerleaders to move back off the track onto the turf during this part of the game. Also, in more recent years, some students have become more creative in their choice of projectiles, and it is not rare to see a hail of bagels or donuts, or even a loaf of French bread come flying down from the stands.
This ritual was started by Greer Cheeseman ('77) who was the Drum Major of the Penn Band at the time.
Goal Post Tossing
In past years, the Penn Quakers have won the Ivy League championship, sending the jubilant fans into a frenzy. In celebration, the fans ripped down the goal posts and tossed them into the Schuylkill River. This is one Penn tradition that the administration hopes is short-lived.
At midnight on the eve of the first Economics 001 midterm, students ease their frustrations by participating in a campus-wide shout! Some brave students have even been known to streak through the Quad . . .
Class Day and Hey Day
In April, several class traditions are celebrated. Class Day, which began in 1865 to supplement the final graduation exercises, celebrates the progression of all classes and the departure of the seniors. In 1916, this day merged with Straw Hat Day and became the "day of two events." In 1931, Hey Day arose from these two celebrations. On this day, the juniors gather on Hill Field for a picnic, don straw "skimmers" and canes, and march triumphantly through campus. The procession tradition began in 1949. When the procession reaches College Hall, the students make an arch with their canes to greet the President of the University. The outgoing and incoming senior class presidents then give speeches, and the juniors are "officially" declared seniors.
In 2004, juniors were coated with mustard, relish, ketchup, cat food, and eggs.
One of the oldest Penn traditions is Ivy Day, when the graduating class plants ivy by a building, and an "Ivy Stone" is placed on the building to commemorate the occasion. In 1981, the day was officially moved to the Saturday before Commencement. Also on this day, the prestigious Spoon, Bowl, Cane, and Spade awards are given, honoring four senior men; and the Hottel, Harnwell, Goddard, and Brownlee awards are presented to honor four senior women. During the celebration, a noted individual who is chosen by the class gives an address. Recent Ivy Day addresses have been presented by Penn Parent Joan Rivers, former Philadelphia Mayor and current Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Ed Rendell, and basketball legend Julius Erving (Dr. J).
Some noted University of Pennsylvania alumni:
- Charles Addams: Creator, The Addams Family; he is said to have modeled the Addams Family mansion on Penn's College Hall
- Sadie Tanner Alexander : First African-American woman to receive a Ph.D in the United States; first African-American woman to graduate from Penn Law; first black woman to be admitted to Pennsylvania Bar; Civil Rights activist; appointed to the Civil Rights Commission by President Harry S. Truman.
- Gloria Allred: Lawyer, Feminist
- Christian B. Anfinsen: Nobel prize winner in Chemistry
- Walter Annenberg: Philantropist, former U.S Ambassador to the United Kingdom
- Nnamdi Azikiwe: First President of Nigeria
- Ernesto P. Balladares : President of Panama, 1994-1999
- Chuck Bednarik: Philadelphia Eagles Linebacker
- Bert Bell: Former National Football League Commissioner from 1946-1959, who took the league to unprecedented heights
- Candice Bergen: Actress, best known as TV's Murphy Brown
- Nicholas Biddle: President of the Second Bank of the United States
- Henry Bloch : Founder, H&R Block
- Richard Bloch : Founder, H&R Block
- Len Bosack : Co-founder, Cisco Systems (Internet routers company)
- William J. Brennan: U.S. Supreme Court Justice
- Michael S. Brown: Nobel prize winner in Chemistry
- Ron Brown : NBC International Affairs correspondent
- Warren Buffett: CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, investor, second richest man in the world (attended but did not graduate)
- Britton Chance : Scientist and Olympic gold medallist who made great contributions to spectrometry and biochemistry/biophysics research
- Noam Chomsky: Linguist and activist.
- Gordon Clark: philosopher and Christian theologian.
- Richard Clarke: Author and National Counter-Terrorism Director under the presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
- Bruce Dern: Actor
- Donny Deutsch : Deustch Inc.
- Ira Einhorn: 1960s Hippie leader and imprisoned murderer of Holly Maddux
- Colin Emerle: 1990s musician, bassist for the Echo Orbiter.
- Chaka Fattah: U.S. Congressman representing Philadelphia.
- William Fawcett : Actor
- Richard Fisher: Fisher Brothers Construction, New York
- Harold E. Ford, Jr.: U.S. Representative from Tennessee, candidate for house minority leader, 2002
- Benjamin Gilman : U.S Representative from New York, 1973-2003
- Stephen Glass: Former reporter for The New Republic, author of The Fabulist
- Leonard Goldberg : Former Chairman of 20th Century Fox/TV and Movie Producer
- Oscar Goodman: Mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada and Attorney.
- Hussam Hamadeh : Founder, Vault.com
- William Henry Harrison (flunked out; class of 1791): 9th President of the United States
- Charles Heimbold : U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, former CEO of Bristol Myers Squibb Corporation
- John Heisman: The Heisman Trophy is named after him
- Duncan Kenworthy : Producer, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Notting Hill
- Charles P. Kindleberger: economist, economic historian.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1949-1950): The primary figure in the civil rights movement of the 1960s (took graduate courses, no degree).
- Joe Klein: columnist and political analyst for Time Magazine.
- C. Everett Koop: Surgeon General of the United States, 1981-1989
- Alvin Kraenzlein: four-time Olympic champion
- Andrea Kremer : ESPN sports correspondent
- Leonard Lauder: Co-founder of Estée Lauder; billionaire investor
- Douglas Lenat: Founder of artificial intelligence company Cycorp
- Gerald Levin (Penn Law): former CEO AOL Time Warner
- Peter Lynch: Investor, vice-chairman of Fidelity Investments
- James Mason (senator) : Influential U.S. Senator from Virginia in the early 19th century.
- Thomas McKean: Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Pennsylvania delegate to the Continental Congress
- Michael Milken: Trader/financier
- Andrea Mitchell: NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
- Gouverneur Morris: New York delegate to the Continental Congress, 1778-1779; U.S. Senator from New York, 1800-1803
- Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg: Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, 1789-1791, 1793-1795. Pennsylvania delegate to the Continental Congress, 1779-1780; Pennsylvania representative to the US Congress, 1789-1797
- Kwame Nkrumah: First President of Ghana
- Alassane D. Ouattara : Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire, 1990-1993
- William S. Paley: Founder, CBS Corporation
- Ronald Perelman: Billionaire investor
- Ezra Pound: Famous Poet
- Maury Povich: Talk-show host
- Harold Prince: Famous Broadway Producer with works including West Side Story and Phantom of the Opera
- Stanley Prusiner: 1997 Nobel Prize in Medicine
- Hilary Putnam: Walter Beverly Pearson Professor of Modern Mathematics and Mathematical Logic at Harvard University
- Alan Rachins : L.A. Law and Dharma and Greg actor
- Ed Rendell: Pennsylvania Governor, former Philadelphia Mayor and former Democratic National Committee Chairman
- Melissa Rivers (Birth name: Melissa Rosenberg), Actress and daughter of comedian Joan Rivers
- Owen J. Roberts: U.S. Supreme Court Justice
- Judith Rodin : First woman president of an Ivy League university
- Martin Cruz Smith: Author of Gorky Park
- Arlen Specter: U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, former Philadelphia District Attorney
- John Taylor : First African-American to win an Olympic Gold Medal
- Michael Tiemann: Co-founder of Cygnus Solutions (a GNU software company), now CTO of Red Hat
- Laurence Tisch: Former CEO of CBS
- Donald Trump: Billionaire investor/financier
- Roy Vagelos : Former CEO of Merck Pharmaceuticals
- Cesar Virata : Prime Minister of the Philippines, 1981-1986
- John Edgar Wideman: Author, Rhodes Scholar
- William Carlos Williams: Poet
- Steve Wynn: Chairman and CEO Wynn Resorts, Limited. Former Chairman and CEO Mirage Resorts, Inc.
- Chip Zien: Actor
There are numerous other past and present U.S. Ambassadors, members of congress, governors, and cabinet members, and corporate leaders.
- Dr. Christian B. Anfinsen: Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry
- Dr. Baruch Blumberg: Nobel Prize winner in Medicine
- Dr. Raymond Davis, Jr.: Nobel Prize winner in Physics
- Dr. Gerald Edelman: Nobel Prize winner in Medicine
- Dr. Ragnar Granit: Nobel Prize winner in Medicine
- Dr. Haldan K. Hartline: Nobel Prize winner in Medicine
- Dr. Robert Hofstadter: Nobel Prize winner in Physics
- Dr. Lawrence Klein: Nobel Prize winner in Economics
- Dr. Simon Kuznets: Nobel Prize winner in Economics
- Dr. J. Robert Schrieffer: Nobel Prize winner in Physics
- William Labov - professor of linguistics
- John Bowker (adjunct professor)
- Jeremy McInerney (Associate Professor) - Classical Studies Department
- Mitch Marcus - RCA Professor of Artificial Intelligence - Computer Science Department
- Eugenio Calabi - Thomas A. Scott Professor of Mathematics Emeritus - Mathematics Department
- Richard Kadison - Gustave C. Kuemmerle Professor of Mathematics - Mathematics Department
- David Harbater - E. Otis Kendall Professor of Mathematics - Mathematics Department
- Peter J. Freyd - Professor of Mathematics - Mathematics Department
- Matt Blaze - Associate Professor - Computer Science Department
- Fernando Pereira - Andrew and Debra Rachleff Professor of Computer Science - Computer Science Department
- Aravind Joshi - Henry Salvatori Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science - Computer Science Department
- Stephen Gale - Terrorism expert-Dept. of Political Science.
- Francis X. Diebold - W.P. Carey Term Professor in Economics - Economics Department
- Steven Hahn - Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of History - History Department
- Peter Stallybrass - Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities - English Department
- Bruce Kuklick - Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History - History Department
- Rogers Smith - Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science - Political Science Department
- Britton Chance
- Michael Eric Dyson
- Arthur Caplan
- Kathleen Hall Jamieson - University of Pennsylvania author and media analyst.
- Tufuku Zuberi
- Walter McDougall - Department of History
- John DiIulio - Department of Political Science
- Thomas Childers - Department of History
- Jeremy Siegel - Department of Finance
Penn offers almost 90 majors across its four undergraduate schools:
College of Arts and Sciences:
- African Studies
- Afro-American Studies
- Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
- Biological Basis of Behavior
- Cinema Studies
- Classical Studies
- Cognitive Science
- Comparative Literature
- East Asian Studies
- Earth and Environmental Science
- Elementary Education
- Environmental Studies
- Fine Arts
- Germanic Languages and Literatures
- Health and Societies
- Hispanic Studies
- History and Sociology of Science
- History of Art
- International Relations
- International Studies and Business (Huntsman Program)
- Italian Studies
- Jewish Studies
- Latin American and Latino Studies
- Logic, Information and Computation
- Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
- Physics and Astronomy
- Political Science
- Religious Studies
- Romance Languages
- Slavic Languages and Literatures
- South Asia Studies
- Theater Arts
- Urban Studies
- Vagelos Scholars Program in the Molecular Life Sciences
- Visual Studies
- Women's Studies
School of Engineering and Applied Science:
- Chemical engineering
- Civil Engineering Systems
- Computer and Telecommunications Engineering
- Computer Science
- Computer Science and Engineering
- Electrical engineering
- Materials Science and Engineering
- Mechanical engineering and Applied Mechanics
- Systems science and Engineering
- Biomedical science
- Cognitive science
- Computational biology
- Digital Media Design
- Environmental Systems
Wharton School of Business:
- Actuarial Science
- Business and Public Policy
- Entrepreneurship (second concentration only)
- Environmental Policy and Management
- Global Analysis (second concentration only)
- Healthcare Management and Policy
- Insurance and Risk Management
- Legal Studies (second concentration only)
- Managing Electronic Commerce (second concentration only)
- Marketing and Communication (dual concentration)
- Operations and Information Management
- Real Estate
- Nursing and Health Care Management
- Nursing and Technology
- University of Pennsylvania's website
- Official Penn athletics site
- The University of Pennsylvania Glee Club
- The Daily Pennsylvanian
- The Mask And Wig Club
- Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania
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