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Can we hear you now?

When Transformations was launched two years ago, it was our hope that the magazine would be half of an ongoing dialogue. The aim was to make this a publication that would not just talk to you, but would give you a chance to have your say, too.

WPI's alumni and friends are interesting, involved, accomplished people with intriguing ideas and opinions. Providing a forum for those voices could only make this a more lively and thought-provoking magazine. Well, that was the plan, anyway.

Our first seven issues have, for the most part, been a one-way conversation. The problem, it seems, is that we simply didn't provide the right opportunities for us to "hear" your voice. As we begin work on issue No. 8, we're doing something about that.

The Winter 2004 issue will be the first overseen by Amy Dean, Transformations' new editor. Amy has already developed a number of interactive features that I'd like to preview for you here.

"Illuminations"

WPI's faculty members are experts in a wide range of fields. What if you could turn to those authorities for answers to your questions about technology, science, the arts, current events, or everyday life? That's the idea behind this new feature.

So, what do you want to know? Why does a curve ball curve? What's the next big thing on the Internet? When will fuel cells be in every home? Send your questions to transformations@wpi.edu or mail them to the editor at Transformations, WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280 (be sure to include your name, your class year, and your contact information). We'll select a few to share with the appropriate faculty experts. We plan to publish at least one question and answer in each issue, and share others on the Transformations Web site.

"The WPI Exchange"

There are nearly 30,000 Transformations readers. Odds are that many of them share your interests, hobbies or passions.

Do you have a timeshare to swap? Are you looking to fill in the gaps in your World's Fair souvenir spoon collection? Want to find out about the best places to eat in Melbourne, Australia? This new classified ad section will give you the chance to ask our entire readership. There's no charge. All we request is that you keep your text short.

Submit your classified note to exchange@wpi.edu or send it to WPI Exchange, Transformations, WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280. (This service is strictly for exchanging items, services, or advice--no items for sale, please.)

"Vox Alumni"

In each issue, we will pose a question and invite readers to send in their responses. We'll gather up a small group to publish in the next issue, and put others on the Web. Please keep your answers brief. Here's your first question:

What single invention or new technology has done the most to change the quality of your life (for better or worse)?

Send your answer to transformations@wpi.edu or snail-mail it to the editor. We'll publish the most intriguing responses in the Winter 2004 issue. OK. Those are just a few icebreakers to get the conversation going. Maybe you have ideas for others. We'd love to hear them.

Amy and I encourage you to continue to send in letters to the editor. That's another excellent way to join in on the never-ending discussion that a good magazine should strive to develop and maintain. Thanks for listening. Now, we're all ears.

Michael Dorsey
Director of Communications

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Last modified: Sep 15, 2004, 15:41 EDT
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