Welcome to @WPI

Vol. 1, No. 8 Dec. 16, 1999

Around Campus

The last of 1999

This issue of @WPI is the last of the year. Publication resumes Thursday, Jan. 13. Deadline for the Jan. 13 issue is Friday, Jan. 7.

Offices open during holiday break?

The majority of WPI offices and departments will be closed for the Holiday break from Friday, Dec. 24, until Tuesday, Jan. 4. If your office needs to remain open for any time during this period, please notify the Human Resources office in writing so this can be communicated to Campus Police and Plant Services.

Holiday time cards and pay schedules

Monthly paid employees will be paid Thursday, Dec. 23. Students will be paid as regularly scheduled Thursday, Dec. 23. Time cards are due by 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 17. Staff will be paid Thursday, Dec. 23. Time cards are due by 10 a.m. Friday, Dec 17. Please record your actual hours worked through Friday, Dec. 17. Record the hours you are scheduled to work from Dec. 18 through Dec. 25. Please keep a copy for your records and make any adjustments on your next time card.

Holiday lunch reminder

President Edward Alton Parrish invites WPI employees to join him at a Holiday Luncheon tomorrow, Dec. 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Harrington Auditorium.

Parrish a close second for IEEE presidency

WPI President Edward Alton Parrish came in a close second in his bid for election as the next president-elect of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The international professional organization, which has a membership of 334,000 engineers, scientists and students in electrical engineering, electronics and allied fields, recently announced the results of the voting. The final tally was:

Joel B. Snyder, 18,632 Edward Alton Parrish, 17,396 Raymond D. Findlay, 15,940 Lloyd A. Morley, 11,982

"I'd like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone in the WPI community who helped in this important effort," Parrish says. "It's clear that your efforts on my behalf made a big difference. Though I did not win, my election raised WPI's visibility within one of the world's largest communities of engineers and was another step along the way toward helping us win greater name recognition, which is one of our most important strategic goals."

Awards night honors three

The 1999 Student Awards Night for the Worcester chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) was held at WPI Nov. 22. The following three students won Chapter 25 SME Outstanding Student Awards, which included a $50 stipend: Eugene Campbell, a junior manufacturing engineering major; Rebecca K. Dowd, a sophomore mechanical engineering major; and Serif Serefli, a senior manufacturing engineering major.

WPI Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Christopher A. Brown served as guest speaker, presenting a program titled "Manufacturing Engineering Education at WPI, Past, Present and Future." In addition, a team of two WPI students, Michael Bruno, a senior manufacturing engineering major, and Luis Velasquez, a senior mechanical engineering major, made a presentation of their Major Qualifying Project, "Redesign of the Robotic Arm."

President's IQP winners announced

Congratulations to the following winners of the President's IQP Awards:

First place: Jovanna Baptista '00, Sean Landrette '00 and Alyssa Schlichting '00 for "Refining the Wheelchair Prescription Process," advised by Humanities and Arts Professor Joel Brattin and Mathematical Sciences Associate Professor Peter Christopher.

Second place: Kevin Dickert '01, Loren Gordon '00, Jennifer Hardy '01 and Vanessa Melansons '01 for "A Study of Marketing Possibilities at Lankester," advised by Director of Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Washington Project Centers Susan Vernon Gerstenfeld and Management Professor Arthur Gerstenfeld.

Tied for third place: Kyriacos N. Felekkis '00 for "Health Care System of Cyprus," advised by Social Science and Policy Studies Professor John T. O'Connor; and Anne-Marie Chouinard '00, Gregory Halloran '00 and Jill Hubbard '00 for "Speech, Language and Hearing Centre," advised by Social Science and Policy Studies Professor Douglas Woods and Chemical Engineering Professor Robert Thompson.


New phone numbers for reference department

The Gordon Library's Reference Department now has its own phone number, 831-6700, which rings in the Reference area. In addition each Reference staff member now has a unique number: Joanne Beller - 6162, Chris Cox - 6163, Don Richardson - 6161, Carmen Brown - 6159.

Library hours during winter recess

Friday, Dec. 17, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 18, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 19, CLOSED
Monday, Dec. 20 - Thursday, Dec. 23, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 24 - Monday, Jan. 3, CLOSED
Tuesday, Jan. 4 - Friday, Jan. 7, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 8 - Sunday, Jan. 9, CLOSED
Monday, Jan. 10 - Wednesday, Jan. 12 - 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. T
hursday, Jan. 13 - Regular Hours

Learning English

Enroll now for English as a Second Language classes. You may register for the ESL Seminar, which meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday; ESL for Spouses, which meets Tuesday and Thursday; and TOEFL Preparation on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. All classes meet at the International House, 28 Trowbridge Road. For more information, call ext. 6033 or e-mail esl@wpi.edu.

Armory plans busy January

The following programs at the Higgins Armory Museum, 100 Barber Ave., Worcester, are open to the public in January.

Genealogy Brown Bag Lunch, Thursday, Jan. 6, noon-1 p.m. Twelfth "Knight" Celebration, Saturday, Jan. 8, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" is the inspiration for reenactments and other Renaissance activities. Fencing classes, Saturdays, beginning Jan. 8, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Eight sessions; all levels of expertise. Founder's Day, Sunday, Jan. 9, noon-4 p.m. Free open house with reenactments and demonstrations. "Take It to the Curator," Tuesday, Jan. 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring up to five arms and armor objects for historical evaluation. Genealogy Brown Bag Lunch, Thursday, Jan. 20, noon-1 p.m. Special Exhibition, "A Double-Edged Weapon: The Sword as Icon and Artifact," Jan. 20-June 2000. Opening reception Thursday, Jan. 20, 5-7 p.m.; refreshments.

General admission to the museum is $5.75, $5 for senior citizens, $4.75 for children age 6-16 and free for children age 5 and under and members. For more information and fees for particular programs, call 508-853-6015.

Employment Opportunities

(current as of Dec. 13)


Events Manager

Biomedical Engineering

Tenure-track positions Part-time Adminsitrative Secretary III

Chemical Engineering

Tenure-track position Assistant Professor and an open position

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Organic and General Chemistry Instructor Post-Doctoral Research Assistant Multiple fall 2000 faculty positions Post-Doctoral Fellow

Computer Science

Tenure-track faculty positions

Continuing Education

Technical Trainers, Seminar Leaders Administrative Secretary III (MetroWest campus) Part-time Receptionist

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Tenure-track faculty position Professor of Practice

Fire Protection Engineering

Faculty position

Instructional Media Center

AV Manager


Two Assistant Professors Management Information Systems faculty positions

Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science

Master Teachers Visiting Scholars

Mathematical Sciences

Visiting assistant professorships Tenure-track faculty positions

Mechanical Engineering

Department Head Two mechanical engineering faculty positions

Physical Education and Athletics

Part-time Assistant Volleyball Coach Part-time Assistant Baseball Coach


Visiting faculty position

Research Administration

Director of Research Administration

Social Science and Policy Studies

Part-time Instructor


Telecommunications Analyst

For more information about these positions, visit the Human Resources Web site at http://www.wpi.edu/Admin/HR/Jobs/.

WPI's Human Resources Office encourages current employees to refer qualified individuals to apply for jobs at WPI. For each person you refer who is hired and who successfully completes six months of active service, you will receive a $500 bonus. The new Employee Referral Bonus Program applies to all permanent non-faculty, exempt and nonexempt positions posted on or after Sept. 1, 1999.

To take part in the program, the referring employee must submit the candidate's resume or WPI employment application to the Human Resources Office along with a referral form (available in the Human Resources Office).


Demetry to receive young teachers award

Associate Professor Chrysanthe Demetry has been selected to receive the Bradley Stoughton Award for Young Teachers for the year 2000 from ASM International, the materials information society. Demetry was cited "for exceptional pedagogy as applied to materials education and the ability to motivate students and generate interest in materials science."

The Stoughton Award, accompanied by $3,000, was established in 1952 in memory of an outstanding teacher of metallurgy and dean of engineering who was president of ASM. The award recognizes young teachers of materials science, materials engineering, design and processing who impart knowledge and enthusiasm to students. Presentation of the award will be made at the annual ASM Awards Dinner in October in St. Louis. More...


Continuing Education

Wednesday, Jan. 12, 1 and 6 p.m., Information Session, "Advance Your Career with IT Training," MetroWest Campus, 225 Turnpike Road (Route 9 West) Southborough. For more information, call 800-974-9717. Thursday, Jan. 13, 1 and 6 p.m., Information Session, "Advance Your Career with IT Training," Waltham Campus, 60 Hickory Drive. For more information, call 800-974-9717.

Faculty Meeting

Thursday, Dec. 16, 4:05 p.m., Kinnicutt Hall. Refreshments at 3:45 p.m.

Mathematical Sciences

Friday, Dec. 17, "Embedding Trees in Graphs with Large Girth," Tao Jiang, University of Illionois, Stratton Hall 202.

Tech Old Timers

Thursday, Jan. 13, 10:30 a.m., "New Mission of Downtown and Brownfield Development," David Forsberg, WBDC President, Alden Memorial.

Publications & Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Kohles, Sean S., Co-chair, "Surgical Applications of Engineered Tissue." Presented at the Biomedical Engineering and Minimally Invasive Surgery Symposium, UMass Memorial Health Care University Campus, Endoscopy Center, Worcester, Dec. 2.

Humanities and Arts

Brattin, Joel J. "A New Letter: Emerson Declines an Invitation." In Emerson Society Papers, vol. 10, no. 2 (Fall 1999), p. 8. Fontanella, Lee. "En que consiste el valor de una fotografia o de una coleccion fotografica?" Inaugural lecture for the First University Congress on Spanish Photography, Universidad de Navarra (Pamplona), Nov. 25. Mott, Wesley T. Selected for inclusion in the 1999 edition of Contemporary Authors, published by Gale Research, which describes the annual as "the primary directory in the world for author information." Singman, Jeffrey L. "Daily Life in Medievel Europe." Westport, Conn., and London: Greenwood Press, Sept. 1999.

Mathematical Sciences

Chen, M.-H., Dey, D.K., and Shao, Q.-M. (1999), "A New Skewed Link Model for Dichotomous Quantal Response Data." In Journal of the American Statistical Association, 94, 1172-1186. Delcroix, Sophie (graduate student in Master of Applied Statistics program), "Bayesian Analysis of Cancer Mortality Rates from Different Types and Their Relative Occurrences." Presented at the Delcroix National Center for Health Statistics, Washington, D.C., Dec. 6. Wiedie, Ann H., "Variable Product Guarantees: Assessing the Risks." Presented at the Society of Actuaries Annual Meeting, San Francisco, Calif., Oct. 17-20.

Worth Noting

While, technically, the 20th century won't end for another 12 months, @WPI knows that this knowledge won't stop the end-of-millennium celebrations planned for this New Year's Eve. So in this, our last issue of 1999, we thought we'd offer our own millennial moment, a look back at the state of WPI 100 years ago.As the end of the 19th century approached, WPI, barely three decades old, was a much different place than it is today. It was certainly smaller, consisting of just four buildings on the outskirts of a small city. It enrolled fewer than 200 students who paid $160 a year for the privilege of taking part in a rigid, demanding program that has been likened to an academic boot camp.

The school was also facing some of the severest tests of its young life -- agonizing challenges that led some members of the WPI community to fear for the Institute's future. Enrollment was off significantly, the treasury was deep in debt, and the faculty ranks had been decimated.

The faculty defections were spurred by a controversial decision made in 1896 by newly installed president Thomas Mendenhall and the Board of Trustees. They sold off the highly lucrative business of selling hydraulic elevators made by students in WPI's Washburn Shops. Mendenhall feared that the commercial venture was distracting from the school's educational mission, but for many, the decision seemed to strike directly at WPI's core philosophy of merging classroom learning with hands-on experience. About half of the faculty resigned, including Milton Higgins, first superintendent of the Washburn Shops, and George Alden, first head of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

The school survived the crisis, rebuilt its faculty and its finances, and developed new programs -- including one in the emerging discipline of electrical engineering -- that kept new students appearing at its door. Through it all, WPI's founding mission remained intact, as did its spirit of innovation. As the University looks ahead to the almost unimaginable opportunities and challenges of the century ahead, its worth taking a moment to think about where we've been, and how far we've come.

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Last modified: July 19, 2010 09:16:10