Welcome to @WPI

Vol. 1, No. 13 March 9, 2000

Around Campus

Breakfast with the President

If your birthday falls between November and February, you're already familiar with the monthly breakfasts President Parrish has been hosting for members of the WPI staff in the Great Hall of Higgins House. Since last November, the President has been inviting staff members to join him for breakfast during the month in which their birthdays occur. It's an opportunity for employees to get caught up on new developments at the University, mingle with fellow staff members and chat with the President in an informal setting. Employees who've taken the President up on his invitation have found the sessions informative and enjoyable--and the food delicious. So, if you have a birthday coming up between March and October, be on the lookout for your invitation.

Take the Online Image and Marketing Survey

What's your image of WPI? When it comes to attracting the best students, building new partnerships and obtaining new resources, a university's image and reputation are critically important. WPI has launched a strategic effort to strengthen its image, build its reputation and enhance its name recognition nationwide. As the foundation for this initiative, the firm of Lipman Hearne has been hired to conduct a marketing research study.

Lipman Hearne invites you to participate in this important effort by completing the Online Image and Marketing Survey, which begins next Wednesday. Your answers will help WPI better position itself in a highly competitive marketplace.

To participate, just enter the following URL in your Web browser: http://www.wpi.edu/+image, then follow the instructions on the screen. The survey should take about 20 minutes to complete. It will be available March 15-31.

When you complete the survey, your name will be entered in a drawing. Ten lucky participants will win WPI sweatshirts. Your login and identity will not be linked to your answers, assuring that your responses remain confidential.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Michael Dorsey, director of communications, at mwdorsey@wpi.edu or ext. 5609.

MPI Receives $1 Million Gift

The Metal Processing Institute (MPI) recently received a gift of $1 million from Ray H. Witt. The gift will establish the Ray H. Witt Endowment Fund to support metalcasting activities at WPI. The University's Aluminum Casting Research Laboratory will now be called the ACRL-Ray H. Witt Metalcasting Center. Witt, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, is chairman of the board of CMI-Management Services and director of Hayes Lemmerz International.

MPI, directed by Diran Apelian, is the largest industry-university alliance in North America. Through its four centers, which are aligned along specific technologies--casting, powder metallurgy, semisolid processing and heat treating--it establishes a link between university research and industry.

Students Inducted into Honor Society

The following WPI students were recently elected to the national engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi:

James Abbatiello, Erik Berg, John Bottino, Randal Brown, Carlos Calvo, Kristin Carreau, Melissa Carreau, Stefano Ceriana, Matthew Chan, Marie Charpentier, Barry Cipriano, Erin Convery, Joanna Cosimini, Steven Cove, Andrew Crabtree; Patricia DeChristopher, Kevin Dickert, Cuong Diep, Brian Faull , Marco Fontecchio, Katie Gagnon, Peter Golaszewski, Jennifer Hardy, Joe Hausmann, James Heald, Karen Hoffman, Chris Holt, David Holl, Sarah House, Virginia Jerome, Matthew Johann; Nathaniel Keith, Ali Durlov Khan, Micah Kiffer, Alex Knapp, Donna Lamaestra, Bryan Leblanc, Steve Lesser, Irving Liimatta, Benson Li, James Lord, Qui Luu, Jennifer Marinello, Keith Maver, Seth McNear, Vanessa Melanson, Christine Mina, Jeff Moore, Mark Mozynski; Daniel Mungovan, Matthew Munyon, Roya Nabi, Brandon Ngo, Brittany Noga, Jared Odegard, Halil Ozbas, Michael Paonessa, John Pattison, Tracy Patturelli , John Pong, Kyria Prevost, Jami Ricard, Maegan Rivard, Andrew Roberts, Erika Rogers, Lindsay Roymans, Serif Ali Serefli; Jen Shemowat, Katherine Shore, Sarah Snow, Jonathan Tripp, Erica Tworog, Maureen Upton, Victoria Valentine, Maria Vassilieva and Makoto Waseda.

Tau Beta Pi was founded in 1885 to recognize students in technical fields whose academic work and h3 character distinguish them among their peers, just as Phi Beta Kappa does for students in other areas of study. The WPI chapter of Tau Beta Pi was founded in 1910. Membership is limited to students of good character whose academic achievement places them in the top eighth of their junior class or the top fifth of their senior class.

Regional Science and Engineering Fair

The 45th Annual Worcester Regional Science and Engineering Fair will be held in Alden Memorial Friday, March 10. More than 150 student projects from 21 area high schools will be featured. Award winners will be eligible to participate in the state competition at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in May. Exhibits will be open to the general public from 1:30-5 p.m. The awards ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. in Fuller Lab's Perreault Hall.

Gompei 2000 Set to Compete

Gompei 2000, the entry of the FIRST robotics team sponsored by WPI and Massachusetts Academy, will see its first competition March 31 and April 1 in Hartford, Conn. Free bus transportation to and from the event is available each day. The team will also compete in Rutgers, N.J., March 17-18 and at the national tournament in Orlando, Fla., April 7-8. For bus information, e-mail stafford@wpi.edu.

Audition for New Voices

Open auditions for WPI's New Voices 18 will be held in the Green Room in Alden Memorial Tuesday, March 14, from 6-8 p.m.; Wednesday, March 15, from 6-9 p.m.; and Thursday, March 16, from 6-9 p.m. This is an open call for all interested actors; everyone is welcome to audition, and everyone gets a part.

New Voices is an annual festival of plays written, acted, directed and produced by the WPI community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and acquaintances. Everyone is encouraged to participate.

For more information, go to http://www.wpi.edu/~masque, or e-mail danil@wpi.edu.

College Plans Come From Hoop Dreams

Forming connections between local schoolchildren and WPI students has been the goal of Hoop Dreams for four years. This year the program received a new vote of confidence. The Massachusetts Service Alliance provided a $1,200 Massachusetts Promise Mini-Grant to help underwrite activities, adding to the support from a key contributor, the Worcester Rotary Club. The current program kicked off in November. WPI students meet with 20 youngsters from the Worcester Friendly House on Monday and Thursday evenings. The WPI volunteers hail from the academic-oriented Excellence in Mathematics, Science and Engineering Program (EMSEP) and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. They tutor the students and work on school projects in addition to organizing games and activities. Organized by Minority Affairs and Outreach Programs and William Baller, adjunct assistant professor of Humanities and Arts, Hoop Dreams encourages inner- city kids to include higher education in their future. On Tuesday and Thursday, April 18-20, Hoop Dreams will conclude with a two-day campus visit by 60 Friendly House students. The capstone is an awards ceremony Thursday, April 20, from 3-4 p.m. in the lower Wedge. For more information, contact Baller at ext. 5145.

Girls in Science Day at Mass Academy

The third annual Girls in Science Day will take place at the Massachusetts Academy Friday, March 10. This year the academy will host 40 girls from the Leominster Southeast Middle School. Starting at 9 a.m., the girls will participate in hands-on workshops, listen to a panel discussion with engineers, tour the Worcester Regional Science and Engineering Fair and have lunch.

Girls in Science Day is a program to educate and interest local girls in the study of science and engineering, with the hope that they will consider these professions as possible future careers.

Upcoming Music Programs

The following music programs are scheduled for March. For more information, call ext. 5946.

Saturday, March 18, 6 p.m.: Clarence Boyer will lecture on Gospel Music in the Spaulding Recital Hall in Alden Memorial.

Sunday, March 19, 4 p.m.: Roots of Africa concert featuring the WPI Concert Choir and the African Percussion Group and Dance Ensemble, directed by Brian Tsagli and Joseph Owusu-Ansah. Alden Memorial.

Sunday, March 19, 3:30 p.m.: The WPI Brass Ensemble will perform at St. Columbkille Church in Brighton Mass.

Friday, March 24, 5 p.m.: The WPI Jazz Ensemble will perform at the public opening of the Worcester Medical Center.

Sunday, March 26, 3 p.m.: Spring Concert will feature the WPI Glee Club and Orchestra with guest soloist Jeff Howard on violin.

Monday, March 27, 8 p.m.: The WPI Stage Band will perform in the Tilton Hall Student Center at Clark University.

Virtual Job Fair

The Career Development Center is sponsoring the Life and Physical Science Virtual Job Fair March 20-31. The fair will target the following majors: biochemistry, biomedical engineering, biology, biotechnology, chemistry, engineering physics, nuclear science and physics. Over 25 companies are expected to participate. Students must be registered in Career Connections by Wednesday, March 15, to participate. The Virtual Job Fair Web site address will be e-mailed to registered students Friday, March 17. For more information, call ext. 5260.

Fall 2000 Seminar at AAS

The American Antiquarian Society will host a seminar in American studies this fall titled "Romanticism Confronts History: Literary and Material Culture in the United States, 1820-1876." The instructor is Harvey Green, professor of history at Northeastern University, who earned his Ph.D. at Rutgers University. This challenging and unique opportunity is open to two students from each college in the Colleges of Worcester Consortium. For more information, or to obtain an application, call Kent P. Ljundquist at ext. 5383 or e-mail kpl@wpi.edu. The deadline for applications is March 20.

WPI Hosts Property Managers

The North Atlantic chapter of the National Property Management Association is sponsoring a daylong program on professional property management at WPI Tuesday, March 14.

Meeting organizer Clarence Plant, WPI's property administrator, says the seminar will cover many asset management issues. "College and university asset managers should find the presentation on the American Appraisal Association especially helpful," he notes. "We believe this seminar will be of interest to all property managers, especially those at nonprofits in Central Massachusetts."

Speakers include the president of the National Property Management Association and representatives from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Energy and the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium.

Purim Carnival at the JCC

The Worcester Jewish Community Center, 633 Salisbury Street, will host its annual Purim Carnival Sunday, March 19, from 12-3 p.m. Purim Palooza is a community celebration that includes carnival games, costume contests, food prizes, a Pokémon raffle and a moonwalk. Admission is free (tickets for activities and food will be sold). For more information, call 756-7109, ext. 226.

TIAA/CREF Individual Counseling

Charlie Doherty, individual counseling representative from TIAA/CREF, will return to campus Thursday, March 30. For more information or to make an appointment, call Melanie Desiata at ext. 5470, or e-mail mdesiata@wpi.edu.

Human Resources Deadlines

Staff time sheets are due by noon on the Friday before the pay date. Noted below are the scheduled Human Resources and Payroll Office deadlines:

Wednesday, March 15, by 10 a.m.
Monthly Flexcomp claim forms

Thursday, March 16 by 10 a.m.
Biweekly staff payroll authorizations and Flexcomp claim forms
(Staff payroll paid Wednesday, March 22)

Monday, March 20, by 10 a.m.
Monthly payroll authorizations
(Monthly payroll paid Friday, March 31)

Thursday, March 23, by 10 a.m.
Biweekly student payroll authorizations
(Student payroll paid Thursday, March 30)

Thursday, March 30 by 10 a.m.
Biweekly staff payroll authorizations and Flexcomp claim forms
(Staff payroll paid Wednesday, April 5)

All forms submitted to Human Resources and Payroll must be complete and have all of the appropriate approvals in order to be processed. Forms submitted after these dates will be processed in the following payroll.

Employment Opportunities

(current as of March 3)


Senior Staff Accountant


Part-time Central Mail Clerk


Assistant Director


Tenure-track positions




Tenure-track position
Assistant Professor and an open position


Post-doctoral Research Assistant
Multiple fall 2000 faculty positions
Post-doctoral Fellow


Office operations support
UNIX Systems Administrator


Tenure-track faculty positions
Administrative Secretary IV


Technical Trainers, Seminar Leaders
Part-time Receptionist (Southborough campus)


Tenure-track faculty position
Professor of Practice


Faculty position


Two Assistant Professors


Master Teachers
Visiting Scholars


Tenure-track faculty positions


Department Head
Two mechanical engineering faculty positions


Part-time Bowling Alley Manager


Visiting faculty position
Administrative Secretary III


Record Keeping Assistant/Transcript Coordinator


Part-Time instructor

For more information about these positions, visit the Human Resource 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 Human Resources).


Faculty Promotions and Tenure

The Board of Trustees announced the promotion and/or tenure of the following faculty members, effective July 1:

Frederick W. Bianchi, associate professor of music, tenure.
Nikolaos A. Gatsonis, tenure, promotion to associate professor of mechanical engineering.
John A. McNeill, tenure, promotion to associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.
Joseph J. Rencis, promotion to full professor of mechanical engineering.
Fabio H. Ribeiro, promotion to associate professor of chemical engineering.
Angel A. Rivera, tenure, promotion to associate professor of Spanish.
Elke A. Rundensteiner, associate professor of computer science, tenure.
Diane M. h3, tenure, promotion to associate professor of management.
John M. Sullivan Jr., promotion to full professor of mechanical engineering.
Dalin Tang, promotion to full professor of mathematical sciences.
Matthew O. Ward, promotion to full professor of computer science.

New Director of Research Administration

Francois Lemire, currently associate director of the Office of Research Administration at Brown University, has been named director of research administration; he will begin March 20. Lemire replaces Doug Johnston, who in anticipation of retirement, will continue part-time for a few months as a resource to the office and to conduct special assignments.

Emanuel Wins International Award

Alexander E. Emanuel, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has received the 1999 John Mungenast International Power Quality Award. Sponsored by E Source, an energy information service company, and Power Quality Assurance Magazine, the award is given each year for significant contributions to the power quality field. Power quality refers to the ability to ensure a power system's reliability.

John Mungenast, editor of Power Quality Assurance Magazine, said, "For enabling the industry to meet its full potential, Dr. Emanuel has earned the gratitude of the entire electrotechnical world."

Emanuel joined the faculty in 1974. He has received numerous awards, including outstanding teacher and outstanding researcher of the year. He has trained more than 100 engineers to become experts in power quality.

Janack Receives Pembroke Fellowship

Marianne Janack, assistant professor of philosophy in the Humanities and Arts Department, has received a Pembroke Post-Doctoral Fellowship to study at Brown University. The appointment runs from September 2000 through May 2001.

Four fellowships are awarded each year. Fellows participate in a weekly research seminar, lead roundtable debates, present two public papers during the year and pursue individual research. This year's theme at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research of Women is "The Question of Emotion." Janack's research will focus on "Emotion and Rationality."

Woodbury Receives Schweiger Award

David K. Woodbury, president of Woodbury and Co. Inc., recently received the Albert J. Schweiger Award from WPI's School of Industrial Management (SIM) at its annual banquet. The award, established in 1975, recognizes a SIM graduate who has demonstrated sound management principles and integrity in his or her executive position.

The Envelope, Please...

WPI's Student Alumni Society (SAS) came home laden with honors from the ASAP District 1 Conference, held at the end of February at Boston College. The organization brought back four awards: Outstanding Organization, Outstanding Student Member (Fred Tan '01), Outstanding Program (Goat's Head Rivalry) and Outstanding Advisor (Donna Emma Marsella '96, assistant director of alumni programs). Elisa Baker '02 was named District 1 Representative. During her two-year term, she will be responsible for district-wide communications and will be one of eight students nationwide who will serve on the ASAP board of directors, attending the international conference in the summer and the advisory meeting in the winter. As District 1 advisor, Marsella and will assist Elisa in these endeavors.

Student Wins Honors in Essay Contest

Kevin Flanagan, a junior majoring in computer science, won third place in a national essay contest sponsored by the Radical Philosophy Association. The topic was whether capital punishment is justified. His essay, a revision of a paper he prepared for his Sufficiency (advised by Roger Gottlieb), argues against capital punishment, asserting that taking someone's life, unless in defense of your own, is immoral, no matter the circumstances. "When I started this project," he says, "I did not have a stance on capital punishment. This is one of the reasons I wanted to research this topic."

WPI in the News

Media Highlights

Here are some highlights of media coverage the WPI community has received in recent weeks:

Christopher Sotak, head of the Biomedical Engineering Department, was interviewed by HealthSCOUT reporter Adam Marcus for a story on stroke and brain damage. The story was used by the Rocky Mountain News, WXYZ-TV in Detroit and Dr Koop.com in February.

In its February issue, Engineering Times carried story on a WPI project team that worked with the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) to increase awareness of and interest in licensure among engineering students. The story was accompanied by a photo of the team with NSPE officials and Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) in front of the U.S. Capitol.

Worcester's Channel 3 carried an interview on the topic of hacking with Michael Ciaraldi, professor of practice in computer science, Feb. 24.

A special section called Business Review & Forecast (Feb. 24) in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette mentioned WPI in stories about distance learning and information technology. Thomas J. Lynch III, vice president for information technology, and Pennie Turgeon, director of the Instructional Media Center, were prominently mentioned in several stories. A photo of them accompanied the stories. In addition, Christof Paar, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, was featured in a story on computer security, including a photo. McRae Banks, department head and Stoddard professor of management, was interviewed on fiber-optic ventures; former WPI student and T. Breeders founder Morey Kraus was also mentioned.

Read All About It

The Communications Group posts its news releases on the WPI Web site at http://www.wpi.edu/News/Releases/. In addition, top stories are posted on the WPI home page. Posted releases can be accessed by reporters and editors and anyone else interested in WPI news and accomplishments. Currently, you can read more about many of the stories featured in this edition of @WPI, as well as many other stories, including one on workshops the University will be running on industry-university collaboration, distance learning and women in engineering.

Cabinet Meeting Summary

Summaries of Cabinet Meetings are available online to members of the WPI Community on the Cabinet website.



Wednesday, March 8, 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, March 9, 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.


Monday, March 13, 11 a.m., "Caching for Broadcast Disk Systems," Vincenzo Liberatore (computer science faculty candidate), University of Maryland, College Park, Fuller Labs 311.


Wednesday, March 22, 6 p.m., Graduate Management Programs information session, Waltham Campus. For more information or to register, call 781-895-1188, ext. 205.

Wednesday, March 29, 6 p.m., panel discussion on e-commerce, sponsored by the Graduate Management Student Organization, Higgins Labs 116.


Friday, March 17, noon, "From Cradle to Grave: Laboratory Waste Management," Goddard Hall 217. For more information, call ext. 5216 or e-mail dmessier@wpi.edu.


Thursday, March 23, 4:05 p.m., Kinnicutt Hall. Refreshments at 3:45.


Tuesday, March 21, 6:30-9 p.m., registration 6 p.m. Venture Forum Workshop: "Directors and Advisors," Jerome J. Schaufeld, president and CEO of Mass Ventures in Hadley, Mass. Cost is $5 for members, $10 for non-members and free with a WPI ID. Kinnicutt Hall, Salisbury Labs. For more information, call ext. 5075.

Publications & Presentations


Phillips, T.C., Sean S. Kohles, J.F. Orwin, L.T. Brody, R.P. McCabe and R. Vanderby Jr., "Instrumentation to Quantify Exercise Using an Impulse Inertial System," in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics, vol. 16, no. 1, 2000, pp. 60-67.


Falco, Richard, "Creative Directing for the Jazz Rhythm Section," published in the February issue of the International Association of Jazz Educator's The Jazz Educator.

Falco also was an adjudicator for the Rhode Island Music Educators Association's Annual All State Big Band Festival Jan. 29 at the University of Rhode Island. Other judges were Jeremy Green from the New England Conservatory and Don Basterache, U.S. section coordinator for the International Association of Jazz Educators.

Brattin, Joel J., "Jimi Hendrix: Blues/ Recorded Versions," in UniVibes 35 (April 2000), p. 3.

--, "Jimi Hendrix: Concert Files, by Tony Brown," in UniVibes 35 (April 2000), pp. 3-5.

--, "Eyewitness Hendrix", by Johnny Black," in UniVibes 35 (April 2000), pp. 5-6.

--, "Jimi's Deposition 'Interview,' 7 March 1968," in UniVibes 35 (April 2000), pp. 32-42.


Cooper, W.W., L.M. Seiford and Joe Zhu, "A unified Additive Model Approach for Evaluating Inefficiency and Congestion with Associated Measures in DEA," in Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Vol. 34, No. 1 (2000), 1-25.

Recent Grants

EDC Announces Education Grants

The Educational Development Council is pleased to announce the outcome of its competitive grants program. Congratulations to the following faculty on their successful proposals:

Michael Ciaraldi and Glynis Hamel (CS): "An Engineering Approach to Designing Engineering Courses."

Michael Elmes (MG): "Developing a Web-Based Course on Virtual Teams."

Christopher Larsen and Bogdan Vernescu (MA): "Introduction to Analysis: An Alternative to Freshman Calculus."

Angel Rivera and Emilce Cordeiro (HUA): "Latin American Film."

Nathaniel Whitmal (ECE): "An Interactive Laboratory Course in Real-Time Signal Processing."

Worth Noting

When technology reporter John G. Spooner of ZDNet News wanted to learn how researchers are using IBM's new supercomputer, he found a willing source in Homer Walker, head of WPI's Mathematical Sciences Department. Responding to Spooner's immediate deadline, Walker told him about WPI's plans to use the new RS/6000 SP to study topics as diverse as highway safety, arterial blood flow and combustion. Walker also noted that the computer will play a prominent role in a joint research project being conducted by WPI, the University of Utah and the Center for Simulation of Accidental Fires and Explosions (a U.S. Department of Energy-funded organization). Walker said the project will use the supercomputer to model combustion to better understand how fires proceed and "how they may go to catastrophic stages." The story has been picked up by a number of media outlets beyond ZDNet News, including PC Week's print version, which has a circulation of more than 200,000, Yahoo News and MSNBC, both on the World Wide Web. The story was even broadcast by a Texas television station. To read the story, go to http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2435011,00.html.

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Last modified: July 12, 2010 15:48:35