Editor's Note

They delight, amuse, enlighten and frustrate. They will follow our commands, but sometimes leave us shaking our heads or our fists. They are patient and faithful servants who thrive with just a little care and attention, but who can occasionally catch a virus or two. And though we might swear that things were easier before we had them, we know our lives would not be as rich or rewarding without them.

Perhaps it's not surprising that the same descriptions can apply to dogs and computers, for like canines, computers seem programmed to make us happy. Across the WPI campus, hundreds of computing machines hum eagerly, waiting to answer their owners' beck and call. Their owners have taught them some remarkable tricks. On the pages that follow, you will get a computer's-eye view of how Information Age technology has transformed life and work on our campus.

Features Year In Review

The Indispensable Tool
With the ubiquity of the Internet today, it's easy to forget how brief the life of this remarkable network of networks has been.

Hot-Wiring a Freshman Class
These days, every college asks prospective students for e-mail addresses...

There's no "queue" in registration
Registering for classes at WPI used to mean conga lines of students moving one, two or three steps at a time toward the harried staffers seated at desks in Harrington Auditorium. But thanks to the Internet, that dance is over.

Classroom at your Fingertips
The first thing I did to research this story was to send someone an e-mail message...

The latter-day chalkboard
Learn to manage a company. Develop fire safety plans. Operate information technology systems. Engineer a healthier environment. The best part is, these days you can study these and other disciplines at WPI no matter where in the world you are.

The "i" team
What does it take to become Yahoo! Internet Life's 10th most wired university in the nation?

50% and growing
When Alumni Affairs Director Tina Gorski-Strong '84 checks her mail, she's more likely to turn on her computer than open an envelope.

The world-wide library
Computers are nothing new at WPI's Gordon Library.

Silicon-based (social) life
Greg Snoddy paints a perfect picture of interaction in the Information Age...

Making Plans, Expanding Horizons
Last year, long before the worldwide countdown to the new millennium ratcheted into full gear, WPI was already aggressively formulating a blueprint to position and strengthen the University for the 21st century.

Alumni Master Plan Takes Shape
New ideas and new plans were also the big stories for the WPI Alumni Association in 1997-98.

WPI Celebrates Its Expanding Global Reach
The Global Perspective Program drew a record number of undergraduates last year.

Honors for Accomplished Faculty
Five WPI professors were honored with National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program awards.

New Program Broaden WPI's Educational Horizons
In 1997-98, WPI became the first university in the world to offer a bachelor's degree program in system dynamics.

Economics and Education, Focus of Two Major Meetings
One of the year's highlights was the May meeting of the Industry/University/Government Roundtable on Enhancing Engineering Education.

Financial Summary and Highlights
On June 30, 1998, WPI completed another highly successful year, both operationally and financially.

University Relations: Record Year Sets Stage for Campaign
For the Office of Development and University Relations, 1997-98 was spent setting the stage for the future.

Strategic Planning Paves Road to Next Campaign
During the year, PIC used SPSC recommendations and the reports of 13 task forces to formulate five goals and 21 strategic initiatives...

Front Cover

Back Cover
James M. Behmke '00, an electrical engineering major from Seekonk, Mass., spent the summer of 1998 in Italy with a project team that helped plan a 10th anniversary celebration for WPI's Venice Project Center. For more highlights of 1997-98, see Making Plans, Expanding Horizons. Photo by Patrick J. O'Connor.

Last Updated: 4/8/99 20:12:55 EDT

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