In Brief

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A & S Distinguished Faculty Lecture takes a look at the stars

Dr. John Laird, chair of the physics and astronomy department, will discuss “The Fossil Record of the Milky Way and the Search for Old Planets” as the next speaker in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series. His talk will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 8) in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater.

The Milky Way Galaxy contains hundreds of billions of stars, which preserve a fossil record of the galaxy’s past. Laird will explain how the motion and chemical composition of stars formed at different places and at different times provide clues that allow us to reconstruct a picture of the galaxy’s formation and evolution, including the gradual production of atomic elements essential for the formation of planets and life.

Searching these fossil records of the galaxy’s stars may reveal that these stars harbor planets, even old planets orbiting the stars. These extrasolar planets open new windows to understand the formation of our own solar system, and may eventually provide the means to detect extraterrestrial life.

Laird has a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University.

The free event is open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture.

Assistance available with new Financial Management Solutions system

Financial Management Solutions (FMS) is now the University’s official system for conducting financial transactions. The system is available at

As with any new system, there will be new processes to learn. The project team reminds users that help is available.

The BG@100 training team will be available at the project office (414 E. Wooster St.) this week and next to assist users with entering their work into FMS. The campus community is invited to come to the training room Wednesday and Thursday (Feb. 7 and 8) from 8:30-11:30 a.m.; Feb. 14 from 8:30-11:30 a.m., and Feb. 15 and 16 from 1:30-4:30 p.m. for help.

All FMS-related questions should first be directed to the Technology Support Center at 2-0999, or by email at It is important that inquiries be directed to this central location so the “back offices” can direct their focus on completing processes using FMS.

The BG@100 Web site will continue to be a source for FMS information. Training manuals and interactive demonstrations will be available for reference in completing transactions. Any user who still needs to complete FMS security forms to gain access to FMS can obtain the forms and processing details on the Web at

The BG@100 FMS project team thanks everyone who has supported, assisted and participated in making the conversion to FMS possible.

February 5, 2007