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The Daily brief: Aug. 30, 2010

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Arriving today | Sophomore College students. Later this month, some of them will head to the Peruvian Amazon (“Conservation and Development Dilemmas in the Amazon” with Prof. Bill Durham), Jackson Hole, Wyo. (“Environmental and Geological Field Studies in the Rocky Mountains” with Page Chamberlain) or Gettysburg (“The Face of Battle” with Prof. Scott Sagan). Some sophomores are already in the field: Ashland, Ore., (“Learning Theater” with Profs. Rush Rehm and Linda Paulson) and Monterey, Calif. (“Natural History, Marine Biology, and Research” with Prof. Stuart Thompson).

Not arriving today | Overseas Seminars students. (Flashback.)

Stanford students who participate in ROTC programs at nearby universities speak on a panel in May 2010. (File/The Stanford Daily)

ROTC | As Stanford weighs whether or not to revive ROTC, some say it’s the right question for elite colleges to be asking.

Saturday, SP1, New York Times | “Stanford’s Luck Is a Star in the Crowd.” Pete Thamel writes: “Standing out by blending in, [redshirt sophomore Andrew] Luck has finally given everyone at Stanford a reason to cheer. The university’s best quarterback prospect since John Elway, Luck is a former high school co-valedictorian and a potential top pick in the N.F.L. draft…’Jim [Harbaugh] has taken Stanford kids — and they all come from pretty good families; I’m sitting in the parents’ section with doctors and lawyers — and he’s convinced them they are a group of lunch-pail, blue-collar, smack-you-in-the-face, union kind of guys,’ Oliver Luck said. ‘I just love the irony of that. It’s the last school you would anticipate where you could create that.’…Perhaps the part Andrew Luck likes best is that his profile on campus has not changed. During his freshman year, one of the resident assistants in his dormitory, Roble Hall, sent out occasional articles about Luck as part of an e-mail newsletter to the dorm’s residents. After the R.A., James Barton, had done it a few times, Luck sent a polite e-mail. ‘Hey, James, could you tone down sending those e-mails with stories about me?’ Barton recalled the message saying. ‘It’s kind of embarrassing.’ With college football coming off a season when celebrity quarterbacks like Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford dominated the landscape, Oliver Luck said that his son picked Stanford in part because he did not want to sign autographs on campus or be stalked by fans with cellphone cameras.” @StanfordFball tweeted Luck’s photo shoot with The Times on Aug. 18.

Video | Harbaugh cancels team meetings on Friday night, says he’s taking the team to “the Shoreline movie theater there in Mountain View” instead. Coach: “Each man will also get $10 worth of popcorn.”

Dalai Lama | Tickets went on sale today for the Dalai Lama’s Oct. 14-15 visit to Stanford. Public talk at Maples Pavilion: $20/student, $40/faculty, $60-80 general. Conference talk at Memorial Auditorium: $30/student, $75/faculty, $165 general. Rathbun lecture at Memorial Church: pricele — random drawing of students.

Sweet talk | Prof. Cliff Nass on why people treat devices like humans. “To find out, I ran an experiment at Stanford University,” Nass writes. “After being tutored by a computer, half of the participants were asked about the computer’s performance by the computer itself and the other half were asked by an identical computer across the room. Remarkably, the participants gave significantly more positive responses to the computer that asked about itself than they did to the computer across the room. These weren’t overly sensitive people: They were graduate students in computer science and electrical engineering, all of whom insisted that they would never be polite to a computer.”

Countdown | Fifteen days until freshmen. (h/t Dean Julie.) The Unofficial Stanford Blog has published its perennial course guide. Seinfeld appears.

Tomorrow | Stanford’s fiscal year ’10 ends. (FY09 in review.)

Overheard | What to order for lunch at Treehouse between football practices: two grilled chicken tacos, a slice of pepperoni pizza, “and a cup for water, please.”

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