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Story Ideas for Media 10-16-06


Ohio State is largest campus in the nation.
The Ohio State University is #1 in the nation in more than football. New autumn quarter enrollment figures show the Columbus campus has the nation's highest enrollment, with 51,818 students.
Enrollment at Ohio State has fluctuated slightly each year at around 50,000. However this year's enrollment reflects the fact that more students than expected are accepting admission to Ohio State and more students are staying to continue for another year.
Recently, there's been a jockeying for position for the top spot among Arizona State University at Tempe, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Texas at Austin and Ohio State at Columbus. Arizona State, which was largest last year, reports 51,234 this year; Minnesota reports 50,402 and Texas reports 49,738 students.
Ohio State's first-year class of 6,162 students, recruited from 19,000 applicants, is the most talented and best-prepared in the university's history in terms of test scores and class rank, continuing a trend that began 12 years ago. And as Ohio State students have become better prepared academically, more are staying in school and graduating. In 1994, 78 percent of freshman stayed to their sophomore year. This year, a record 91.5 percent of first-year students who entered a year ago have returned. CONTACT: Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.


The science of mitigating voter waiting times.
In 2004, long lines were the story at many voting locations across Ohio. More than $100 million has been spent to address the elections issues that occurred two years ago. An Ohio State University engineering professor who has taught courses in waiting line analysis (queuing theory) has researched the problem in Franklin County and developed statistical techniques to address allocation of voting machines. Ted Allen, associate professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Ohio State, says wait time is a function of ballot length, and so allocation should take ballot length into consideration along with other factors including the number of voting locations. Allen conducted the research this summer, while on leave from Ohio State to develop software for his company. CONTACT: Ted Allen, (614) 668-4769.


People who self-censor opinions also avoid public politics.
Americans who are reluctant to openly express their opinions when they believe others disagree also tend to avoid publicly visible political activity, such as working for a political campaign or circulating petitions, a new study shows.
Andrew Hayes, study co-author and assistant professor of communication at Ohio State says the results suggest that today's divisive political environment may make some citizens unwilling to participate publicly in the democratic process.
Although this idea is not by itself new, the study is one of the few that links reduced participation to individual differences such as personality.
"In a polarized, hostile political climate some people decide not to participate because they're afraid of the social ramifications of doing anything that might reveal their opinion to others," said Hayes. CONTACT: Andrew Hayes, (614) 688-3027; Hayes.338@osu.edu. SEE: