Writing: Articles, Blogs, Interviews

The links below connect to articles I wrote for two University of Colorado Boulder blogs – ATLAS Institute and CU's College of Engineering – plus an alumni magazine for the university's business school. 

• Interview with James McCartney, developer of SuperCollider, a programming language for real-time sound, music and algorithmic synthesis:

• PartoPen technology and maternal health, featuring ATLAS PhD Heather Underwood –

• Computer games as gateway to STEM featuring ATLAS PhD candidate Kara Behnke –

• New sound controller technologies, featuring the Boulder Laptop Orchestra (BLOrk) and the technologies they used in concert –

• 3D tactile technologies for the visually impaired, featuring a unique 3D technology application, Engineering's CS department's research and MS-ICTD student Abigale Stangl –

Articles for business school magazine, University of Colorado 
Boulder, Leeds School of Business:

Below: Alumni magazine article about long-term investing as practiced by CU-Boulder business school alumnus Richard Burridge, written by Ira G. Liss.

Patience, Patience, Patience
Richard Burridge reveals the three most important elements of his “plain vanilla” investment strategy.

"I’m a dinosaur,” Richard Burridge says with a smile.It’s an odd description for a man honored by the University of Coloradowith this year’s George Norlin Award, given to alumni for lifetime achievementand devotion to the betterment of society.

“I went to school in the dinosaur age. I had very basic courses: accounting, finance, marketing. We had securities analysis, but very fundamental as opposed to the quantitative methods taught today," explains Burridge, who also received the Leeds Lifetime Service Award in 2005 and the Distinguished Business Service Award of 2000. 

 “The day I went to work for my first job in 1951, the total volume on the New York StockExchange was 556,000 shares on that day. Selling 10,000 shares might take two or three days. Today that amount is traded in a nano-second! When I started, there were only stocks and bonds; maybe a handful of mutual funds. The sophistication of product and wide range of current instruments did not exist. It’s a whole differentgame now.”

Burridge has been in the game for more than 55 distinguished years. His career in philanthropy and investment management inspires and changes the lives of others. For example:

• Burridge chairs the investment committee for the University of Colorado Foundation's endowment fund, overseeing more than $770 million.• He is Chairman Emeritus of RMB Capital Management in Chicago where he works with his son.
• He serves on the board of Wellness House in Hinsdale, his hometown, which supports cancer victims and their families through interactive programs with other cancer patients.
• He serves on the board of Providence St. Med School, a private K-12 school serving theAfrican-American community on the west side of Chicago. Every one of its graduates has gone on to college since its inception 17 years ago.

In addition to these and other distinguished posts, he has served continuously on the board of Chicago’s La Rabida Children’s Hospital Foundation for 37 years. His investment acumen has enabled La Rabida to build their endowment and grow.Burridge's father led the way to his son's investment career. 

“My father had no formal financial or college training. He was in the insurance publishing business. A cautious person who didn't have a lot of money to invest, he did have a simple strategy. He'd call on companies, visit, and get to know the top officers over a period of two or three years before buying. He’d ask himself, 'Is this management better than the last one I visited?’ He bought minor positions and held them. 

Today I do exactly the same thing.“Fundamental analysis used to be the only way investment firms operated. Review an industry, understand its cycles, markets, and competitive environment. However, I learned early on that the critical variable is -- the management you buy into. You look for a management team that's better than the peer group of a given industry.Burridge refers to his investment strategy as “plain vanilla.” 

“There are only three factors other than management to consider when investing: patience, patience, and patience! Everyone wants short term profits. That’s very hard to achieve. The mistake being made today is the obsession with short-term results. Too often, when a company falls a penny per share short of projections, the stock can go down 10 percent or more. That’s an overreaction to say the least! Many sellers don’t even wait to find out the reason why the company missed its forecast. These people are trading, not investing.

Burridge has seen more than a few ups and downs in the market. How does he manage it? “You’ve got to accept the fact that the market will go through a correction every three or four years, and have the courage (another word for patience) to steel yourself for lower prices. Stop reading the papers every day. The market can be scary. That's why too many people sell at the bottom. 

 “Instead of getting panicked, buy more when the market is down. When you have a good company that sells for $20 (a share), and then something happens around the world that takes all stock prices down, and your stock drops, buy more. In other words, when a stock is under pressure for reasons that are not relevant to the management’s capability or earnings prospects, it’s an opportunity for future investment gain.” 

 How did Burridge come to devote so much of his time to philanthropy?“I got the bug when I was Treasurer of the University of Chicago. I was asked to serve on the board of the La Rabida Children’s Hospital, an affiliate of the University. The meetings were only four times a year, but I got to see the extraordinary work they were doing for people whose economic circumstance could never have otherwise afforded them such excellent care. 

The hospital not only dealt with their chronic medical conditions, they enhanced their patients’ ability to function as normal citizens.“When I see such inspiring results in a school, hospital or other non-profit, I want to help it continue. Not only do I want to give, I want to be part of it. It’s challenging, fun, and rewarding. And I’ve met wonderful people!” 

 The Leeds School of Business has also benefited from Burridge’s devotion and dedication.He generously founded the Leeds School Burridge Center of Securities Analysis andValuation, and continues serving with distinction on the Business Advisory Council. Hisextraordinary service led the school to nominate Burridge for the George Norlin Award.


(note: See how one of these stories appears in layout form in the copywriting section.)

Mary's Woods at  MARY L. HURST
Retirement Community, Lake Oswego, Oregon

Mary’s Woods at Maryhurst Retirement Community is surrounded by natural beauty. The original Convent, known as “The Provincial House,” stands at the center of the community. Built in 1910, with later additions in the ‘50s, the Convent’s architecture and beauty were unsurpassed. 

Considering its footprint, its function seemed inadequate.The Weitz Company was asked to help determine the best possible future for the Convent building considering the new community being designed and built. 

Leave it alone. We could build around the Convent without disturbing its space or use. Although this maintains the beauty and historical features of the building, it was not cost effective. The amount of space the Convent took up would not be used well.

Start over. Probably the most cost-effective solution: tear down the structure and start from scratch. In doing so, the charm, beauty and historical features of theConvent would be lost.And tearing down what had proudly served the Sisters for 91 years went against their values.Adapt and reuse. This plan takes the existing Convent and modifies it slightly to fit the space and programs required by the Sisters.And it preserves the structure’s unique historical qualities. Adaptive reuse could be called our “have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too” scenario.

The Convent building was redesigned for the following uses: a commons area, Convent, restaurant-style dining facilities, provincial offices and high-end independent living apartments.All mechanical and electrical systems were updated. The Chapel’s 1910 structure was seismically reinforced.

Using Format