I am absolutely not a “numbers person." I mean, I’m fine with math. I won the multiplication tables contest in my third-grade class, aced algebra and was moved up to A.P. math in high school. (Though I did fail my first college calculus course, so maybe I lost something when I turned 18.)
As an adult, it’s not like I hate numbers, my mind just works differently. While my husband will give directions like, “Take I-96, get off at exit 110, turn right, go 2.5 miles and it will be on your left,” I’m more apt to say, “Stay on the freeway, get off at Okemos Road, turn right until you get to Hamilton and it’s on your left.”
Or, if I’m being completely honest, I might actually say, “Turn right until you get to where the Tuba Museum used to be and it’s on your left.” In my family, we call those Bay City directions because my parents, who grew up there, constantly gave directions based on former landmarks.
But I absolutely can appreciate using numbers to get a point across. I love watching the numbers of vaccinated people grow and am dismayed watching numbers related to the latest surge in cases of the virus.
There are lots of ways to count the successes seen at MSU in the last year. We compiled some of the best ones and presented them in a pretty cool way in the latest MSUToday feature, Spartan research wrapped. Take a look and learn how many labs have operated during the pandemic, how many COVID-related projects were proposed, where MSU ranks in research expenditures and more. And, if you’re a Spotify user (and even if you aren’t), I think you’ll love the fun presentation.
Here are a couple of other numbers from the last seven days:
- 450 million — That’s how many years ago a brain connection existed in ancient fish, as discovered by a recent MSU research team, helping researchers rewrite evolutionary history and shape future health studies.
- 2014 —The year that MSU researcher Anil Jain and his team began developing a fingerprint recognition system to track vaccination records in an effort to save children’s lives.
- 7 — The date in April of this year that MSU physicist Witold Nazarewicz and a former research associate, published a paper showing how MSU’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams can spot signatures of unusual nuclear events and use those as windows into the nucleus.
- 339 million — The amount of dollars that MSU and growth along the Medical Mile in Grand Rapids will net Kent County in economic impact in a year.
- 10 — As in top 10, where MSU’s Formula Racing Team finished in a global competition.
- 57,000 — The number of hours of service donated by more than 12,000 Spartan volunteers in more than 1,000 locations since the first Global Day of Service in 2013. This year’s day is coming up on April 17, so sign up for a project and let’s grow that number!
- 80% — The percentage of MSU students who plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine when available to them. Last Friday, the university began offering vaccines to enrolled students.
- 1 billion — As in electrical junctions one-billionth of a meter in size that are the building blocks of next generation electronics, according to Sneha Banerjee, an electrical engineering grad student. Check out a Q&A with her to learn more.
- 12 — The age student Samantha Thompson was when she attended MSU’s soccer camps and fell in love with campus. Now studying plant pathology and molecular plant sciences, she’s finding ways to make a difference in the food we eat. Read her Student view to learn more about her.
- 17 — The number of years Impact 89FM, MSU's student-run radio and media organization has earned College Radio Station of the Year honors, including this year.
- More than I can count — The really big number of stories I could share about incredible work being done by Spartans all around the globe. It honestly is amazing to me that especially during this last year, we kept plugging along, making discoveries, helping people, teaching students and creating a better world.
No matter how you add it up, Spartans are pretty incredible. Whatever challenges we have around the next corner, I’m certain we’ll figure them out. Count on it. #Spartans Will.