Welcome to @WPI

Vol. 1, No. 14 March 23, 2000

Around Campus

Spring Ahead

Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, April 2. Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead one hour.

Have You Taken the Survey?

There's still time to take the online Image and Marketing Survey. 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 until March 31.

The survey is part of a marketing research study being conducted for WPI by the firm of Lipman Hearne. The research will form the foundation for a strategic effort to strengthen the University's image, build its reputation and enhance its name recognition nationwide.

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 831-5609.

Making an Impression

Much of the afternoon of the annual winter retreat of the WPI Board of Trustees in February was devoted to presentations on two of WPI's new research thrust areas. Presentations on the work under way in WPI's Metal Processing Institute gave trustees a flavor of WPI's internationally known research in materials. The presenters were MPI Director Diran Apelian, Mark Richman, associate professor of mechanical engineering, Chickery Kasouf, associate professor of management, and Reinhold Ludwig, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Nikolaos Gatsonis, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and newly named head of WPI's Aerospace Engineering Program, and James Hermanson, associate professor of mechanical engineering, led the presentation on the aerospace thrust area. They shared the floor with several students, who reported on their own research. They were graduate students Larry Byrne and James Usowicz, and two members of the Class of 2000, Jurg Zwahlen and Maria Vasillieva.

"The presentations were very well received by the trustees," notes WPI Provost John Carney III. "They were struck by the quality of our research and by our collaborations with an impressive array of industry and government sponsors. I think they were particularly impressed by the confidence and sophistication displayed by our students."

Scientists to Debate Discoveries

The Department of Chemical Engineering has announced the first in a series of Distinguished Lectureships in Chemical Engineering. Sponsored by Procter and Gamble Co., the lectures will be held annually with the objective of bringing together scientists who have made outstanding contributions to various fields of chemical engineering. The first Distinguished Lectureship will be held Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Fuller Labs' Perreault Lecture Hall. The symposium is titled "Surface Science in Catalysis: A Knowledge Base for Discovery." Organizer William R. Moser, professor of chemical engineering, will present internationally known experts Michel Boudart of Stanford University, Gerhard Ertl of the Fritz-Haber Institute in Berlin and Gabor Somorjai of the University of California at Berkeley. Ertl and Somorjai will share their discoveries, ideas, conclusions and expectations for the future. Boudart will moderate the discussions and offer his analysis of the status of the field.

For more information or to register (by March 30), call ext. 5250.

Trends in Latin America

On Wednesday, April 12, WPI will join with the New England-Latin America Business Council to present a conference titled "Emerging Trends in Latin America." The conference in Founders Hall begins with registration and breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. following lunch and final comments. Topics include "Telecommunication Privatization in Costa Rica: Opportunities and Risks," "The Changing Scene in Latin America: Capital Investment Activities" and "How the Internet is Changing How We Do Business with Latin America."

The goal is to increase student and faculty knowledge about the culture and opportunities in Latin America. The cost is $30 for members of the New England-Latin America Business Council and $50 for nonmembers. Admission for those at WPI is still to be determined. For more information, call Mary Anne Cleary at 617-434-0928, e-mail nelabc@aol.com or go to the Web site www.nelabc.org.

Students Volunteer during Spring Break

Members of the Newman Club gave up some of their vacation to volunteer their time at Youville House, a shelter for battered women and their children in Worcester. Volunteers were: Andrew Careau, David Chevrier, Jennifer Cooper, Kerri Dagesse, Jason Field, Theresa Green, Alex Haley, Diane Jordan, Jim Koniers, Charles Lemire, Daniel Lopes, Ian Miller, Chris O'Malley, Erin O'Shea, Ryan Petti and John Richardson.

The Newman Club is a student organization that has existed on campus since 1915. Although it is primarily composed of Roman Catholic men and women, it is open to all students. One of the most active student organizations on campus, its programs include a number of off-campus volunteer projects such as this one at Youville House.

Writing and Oral Presentation Assistance

The Writing Center helps WPI students with writing assignments and oral presentations. Trained peer tutors work with writers by discussing ideas and responding to drafts. The center, on the upper level of the Project Center, is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students are encouraged to make appointments on the center's Web site, www.wpi.edu/Academics/Depts/HUA/WC/. Appointments should be made as early in the draft writing process as possible. Faculty who would like assistance with their projects or with integrating writing into their curriculum should contact Lisa Lebduska at lisaleb@wpi.edu.

Masque Announces New Officers

Masque welcomed the following new officers: President, Suzanne D. Foss; Vice President, Master Carpenter, Richard Miyaski; Vice President, Master Electrician, Meghan Fraizer; Vice President, Props, Jessica Buckingham; Vice President, Publicity, Deborah Shea; Treasurer, Jeremy Hamond; Secretary, Shauna Malone; OCFC Representative, Stephen Christopher and Masquot, Derek Gelinas. The officers comprise the Masque Executive Board and serve through C-Term 2001. With the honor of being elected to their offices by their peers comes a great deal of responsibility, including maintaining Masque's reputation for producing excellent theatre at WPI. For more information about Masque, visit its Web page at www.wpi.edu/~masque/.

Gompei 2000 Rumbles at Rutgers

Twenty-four students from the Massachusetts Academy and WPI traveled to Rutgers University last weekend on a "shakedown cruise" for Gompei 2000, the robot the team has entered in this year's FIRST competition. Going up against 40 other teams, Gompei won five of ten matches. Ken Stafford, manager of academic initiatives, filed this report:

"We were eventually able to get all systems operating incrementally through the tournament. We demonstrated that we could hang from the bar, pick-up balls from the floor, score into the goals, and dazzle the field with our nimble drive line. But it took time to sort out all these capabilities. The team worked miracles, completely wiring up, chaining up and redesigning the ball collection system in only a few hours.

"A highlight was the incredible attention our pit area received. Our reputation must have preceded us. We were overwhelmed by other teams taking pictures of our drive line and transmission. The top-ranked teams were constantly checking on our status.

"Our sights are set firmly on Hartford, where we hope to polish our halo and bring home the gold."

The UTC New England Regionals in Hartford are set for March 30 and April 1, with 41 teams expected to compete. A reminder: free bus transportation to and from that event is available each day. For information, e-mail stafford@wpi.edu.

Campus map update

If you know of changes that need to be made to the current campus map, e-mail them to mccrea@wpi.edu or contact Bonnie McCrea at ext. 5306 by Monday, March 27. A revised map will be available by Tuesday, March 28.

The map is available as a PDF file on the WPI Web site at http://www.wpi.edu/about/visitors/campusmap.html. You can open the file with the Adobe Acrobat reader (http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/readstep.html)An updated map will be provided to Office Services in Boynton Hall (ext. 5150), which can print multiple copies for a fee.

Tax Seminar

On Wednesday, March 29, at 4 p.m. in Salisbury Labs 104, William Authenrieth, a tax payer education specialist from the IRS in Boston, will assist international students who had income in 1999 in completing tax forms. Forms are available at the International House, 28 Trowbridge Road. For more information, call ext. 6030.

Umoja/Unidad Experience

The Admissions Office will host WPI's fifth Umoja/Unidad Experience Thursday, March 23-25. Outstanding multicultural students from across the country have been invited to this overnight program. Umoja/Unidad participants live in residence halls, attend classes and dine with host students while learning about academics, social life and support services here on campus.

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

On Friday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m., the American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, will present author Christopher Cokinos, who will read selections from and discuss his latest book, Hope is the Thing with Feathers. This work looks at the extinction of six North American birds and interweaves the fascinating stories of these species with Cokinos' own experiences. For more information, call 755-5221.

Acappellafest 6

Simple Harmonic Motion, WPI's male a cappella group, will present Acappellafest 6 Saturday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in Riley Commons. Admission is $6 ($4 for students). The event will feature appearances by some of the greatest a cappella groups in New England. For more information, call ext. 5946.

Citywide Cleanup

More than 500 WPI students are expected to be part of a group of a thousand students from the Colleges of Worcester Consortium who will take part in Worcester College Cleanup, Saturday, April 1, hosted by Assumption College. Participants will gather at the Laska Gym next to the Hagan Campus Center at Assumption College at 8 a.m. for a continental breakfast, after which they will pick up supplies and be assigned to work groups. Volunteers will be bused to their assigned locations and work until 1 p.m. For more information, call Lindsey Freed at ext. 5291.

ROTC Honors

Members of the WPI community are invited to attend the annual Army and Air Force ROTC Joint Awards Ceremony Monday, April 3, in Alden Memorial. The event begins with a reception at 5 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

Library Exhibit

Gordon Library will feature works on Panel and Paper by Agnes Wyant in the 3rd flloor gallery, Tuesday, April 4-June 4. A reception will be held April 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Poetry Reading and Book Signing

The WPI Administration and the Department of Humanities and Arts, with Tatnuck Bookseller, will sponsor a poetry reading featuring Kofi Anyidoho, 1984 Poet Lauriate of Ghana, Tuesday, April 4, at 4:30 p.m. in Fuller Labs, Perreault Hall. The book signing, sponsored by Tatnuck Bookseller, will take place immediately following the poetry reading in the lower lobby of Fuller Labs. Books, cassettes and CDs will be available.

Summer Jobs Fair

The Career Development Center, in conjunction with the Society of Women Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers, will hold the annual Summer Jobs Fair Wednesday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Alden Memorial. Last year 29 companies and 600 students participated in the fair, which helps students secure relevant summer internships.

To prepare students, the CDC will sponsor "Corporate in Residence Week" March 27-31. Representatives from Boston Scientific, GE, VHB, NorTel Networks and Northrup Grumman will be present. Students may have their resumes critiqued and practice their interviewing skills.

Make A (Musical) Note

Several music programs are scheduled for the coming days. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.


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 at the Worcester Art Museum.


Monday, March 27, 8 p.m.:

The WPI Stage Band will perform in the Tilton Hall Student Center at Clark University.


Saturday, April 1, at 8 p.m.:

The WPI Stage Band will participate in the University of Rhode Island Intercollegiate Jazz Festival.


Sunday, April 2, 3:30 p.m.:

The WPI Glee Club will perform in Alden Memorial.


Saturday, April 8, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.:

The WPI Jazz Group will host the International Association of Jazz Educators annual Jazz Choir and Jazz Combo Festival in Alden Memorial.


Saturday, April 8, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.:

Legendary jazz drummer Chico Hamilton will conduct a special clinic/workshop for the participants in the IAJE Jazz Choir/Jazz Combo Festival in Alden Memorial. Hamilton will sign CDs and cassettes (available for purchase) after the clinic. Admission is free.


Saturday, April 8, 8 p.m.:

A concert will feature the Donna Bryne Quartet in Alden Memorial. Admission is $12 for the general public and $6 for students.


Sunday, April 9, 10 a.m.:

The WPI African Percussion and Dance Ensemble will perform at a worship service at the First Unitarian Church, Main Street, Worcester.


Friday, April 21, 1 p.m.:

The WPI African Percussion and Dance Ensemble will perform at the Worcester Ecotarium for an Earth Day Celebration.


Sunday, April 30, 3 p.m.:

The WPI, Wells College and Boston University Glee Clubs will perform in Alden Memorial. Admission is $5 for the general public and $3 for students.

For more information, call ext. 5946

It Doesn't Hurt To Give

An American Red Cross blood drive will be held Wednesday, April 5, and Thursday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Founders Hall basement. For more information, call 792-5923, ext. 22.

Celebrate Memories on Traditions Day

Traditions Day, the annual look back at the people and events in WPI history, will get under way at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, with the Candle Walk. It begins on Reunion Plaza and moves through the campus, ending at Higgins House for a reception and tour.

The calendar for Thursday, April 13, is filled with activities and exhibits of interest to members of the WPI community and the public. The program includes exhibits focusing on WPI traditions in the Upper Wedge at 11:30 a.m.; the Freshman-Sophomore Pennant Rush at 4:30 p.m. on Alumni Field, followed by a cage ball competition; a dinner, open to the entire campus, at 5:30 p.m. in Morgan Hall; WPI Jeopardy at 7 p.m. in Riley Commons; and the Alma Mater Singing Contest at 8 p.m. in Riley Commons.

For more information, e-mail sas@wpi.edu.

New Faculty Award Established

A new honor has been added to the awards presented each spring to meritorious members of the WPI faculty. The Trustees' Award for Outstanding Academic Advising, which will be presented during the annual Faculty Convocation, joins the existing awards for outstanding teaching and outstanding creative scholarship and research.

Tuition Set for 2000-01

In February, the Board of Trustees approved a 4.98 percent increase in undergraduate tuition and fees for the 2000-01 academic year, bringing the total to $23,122 (a separate social fee will increase from $130 to $140). There will be a corresponding increase in summer tuition rates. Graduate tuition will be increased by 6.35 percent to $703 per credit hour. Rates for room and board will increase by an average of 9.87 percent, as a network connection fee of $300 will now be part of the room charge.

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:

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

Thursday, April 6, by 10 a.m.
Biweekly student payroll authorizations
(Student payroll paid Thursday, April 13)

Thursday, April 13, by 10 a.m.
Biweekly staff payroll authorizations and Flexcomp claim forms
(Staff payroll Wednesday, April 19)

Monday, April 17, by 10 a.m.
Monthly Flexcomp claim forms

Tuesday, April 18
Monthly payroll authorizations
(Monthly payroll paid Friday, April 28)

Thursday, April 20
Biweekly student payroll authorizations
(Student payroll paid Thursday, April 27)

Thursday, April 27
Biweekly staff payroll authorizations and Flexcomp claim forms
(Staff payroll Wednesday, May 3)

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 17)


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


UNIX Systems Administrator


Tenure-track faculty positions
Administrative Secretary IV


Program Manager
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


Graduate Internship/Research Assistantship, Applied Mathematics
Tenure-track faculty positions


Department Head
Manager of Robotics Laboratory


Part-time Bowling Alley Manager
Part-time Administrative Secretary I


Administrative Secretary III


Record Keeping Assistant/Transcript Coordinator


Part-time Instructor


Director of Admissions

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).


Directorships in Mechanical Engineering

Provost John F. Carney III recently announced the app ointment of Christopher Brown as director of the Manufacturing Engineering Program (MFE) and Nikolaos A. Gatsonis as director of the Aerospace Engineering Program. More...

Fulbrights in Residence at WPI

LeePeng Tan, winner of a Fulbright fellowship and an associate professor of business and accountancy at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, is in residence in the Social Science and Policy Studies Department through the first week of April. She is studying the effects of free trade in her native Malaysia using the methods of system dynamics. As a bonus, she has brought her daughters with her to enjoy the American experience. Daughter Vei Lin Lau has been a visiting scholar in WPI's Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, gaining valuable insight into the workings of a U.S. research laboratory. Eight-year-old Yun Feng attends school locally. More...


Thomas J. Wollinger, a resident of Schoellkrippen, Germany, a town near Frankfort, arrived at WPI last August and will study here through May 2001. A Fulbright scholar, he is working with Christof Paar, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and head of WPI's Cryptography and Information Security Group. Wollinger is the lead author of a research paper accepted for a U.S. Department of Commerce conference in New York City in April. The high-profile conference aims to select the next federal encryption standard for computer security.

WPI in the News

Media Highlights

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

Ryszard J. Pryputniewicz, director of the Center for Holographic Studies and Laser micromechaTronics was featured in the Sunday Telegram's March 19 issue in a front page article titled "WPI's micromachine work turning science fiction into reality." The story, by higher education reporter Cynthia Koury, discussed research advances on machines too small to be seen with the naked eye.

McRae Banks, department head and Stoddard professor of management, was interviewed twice by the Career Channel, an in-flight audio feature produced by TWA. In January, Banks talked about distance education generally and the special case of WPI's Graduate Management Program. In February, he discussed why people leave work to return to school to pursue a graduate degree.

WPI's Newman Club was featured on Worcester's Channel 3 Nightly News in a report describing members' cleanup efforts at Youville, a shelter for battered women and their children. The segment included interviews with Father Peter J. Scanlon, Catholic chaplain, and Jennifer Cooper, volunteer organizer. Sixteen Newman Club members took part in the community-service project.

Chris Brown's elective course, Technology of Alpine Skiing, received additional notice in the March 13 National Society of Professional Engineer's U.S. Engineering Press Review. The full-page feature originally appeared in the February issue of the American Society for Engineering Education magazine, Prism. The review noted that the course was developed as part of a series on the technology of everyday things and that the class incorporates experiments, demonstrations and dissection of slow-motion videos of skiers and their equipment in action.

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. Reporters and editors, and anyone else interested in WPI news, can access posted releases anytime.



Today and Thursday, April 13, 4:05 p.m., Kinnicutt Hall. Refreshments at 3:45.


Thursday, April 6, Biomedical Engineering and Minimally Invasive Surgery Symposium, "Endovascular Grafting and Laparoscopic Techniques," Sean S. Kohles co-chair, UMass Memorial Hospital in the Endoscopy Conference Room H1-776. For more information or to register, call 856-7553.


Wednesday, March 29, 11 a.m., "Aerosol SANS: A New Technique for Probing the Structure of Nanodroplets," Chemical Engineering Associate Professor Barbara E. Wyslouzil, Goddard Hall 227.

Wednesday, April 5, noon, "What the Other Half of GH06 is Doing," Chemistry and Biochemistry Assistant Professor Kristin Woobe

Wednesday, April 5, 4 p.m., "Arson Fraud Investigation," Frank D. Hart, Department of Treasury Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, Boston Field Division, Salisbury Labs 115.


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

Publications & Presentations


Hofri, Micha, S. Battiato, D. Cantone, D. Catalano and G. Cincotti, "An Efficient Algorithm for the Approximate Median Selection Problem," presented at the fourth CIAC 2000, Rome, Italy, March 1-3. Published in the conference proceedings, LNCS 1767, 226--238, Springer-Verlag Heidelberg, 2000.


Brattin, Joel J., "The Letters of Charles Dickens, The Pilgrim Edition: Volume Eight, 1856-1858, ed. Graham Storey and Kathleen Tillotson." Nineteenth-Century Prose, vol. 27, no. 1 (Spring 2000), pp. 95-97.

Fontanella, Lee, "Clifford: Peripecias, excursiones nobles y viajes regios," at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, in Oviedo, Spain, March 9.

Mott, Wesley T., "The Battle for Walden Woods," presented at the Boston University Alumni Club of Cape Cod, West Dennis, Feb. 12.


Chen, M.H., J.G., Ibrahim and Q.-M. Shao, "Power Prior Distributions for Generalized Linear Models," in the Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference, 41, 121-137, 2000.


Burnham, N. A., D. Gourdon and C. Duschl, "Molecular Tribology of Highly Ordered Monolayers," Nanotribology Workshop-Critical Assessment and Research Needs, NIST Gaithersburg, March 13-15.

Recent Grants

The following is a list of new research grants received by WPI in February. The Office of Research Administration provides information about these awards.

 Datta, R., "Mechanistic Studies and Design of Highly Active Cuprate Catalysts," $92,936 from the University of Iowa.

Pryputniewicz, R.J., "Electro-Optic Holography (EOH) Engineering Study," $50,000 from Mason & Hanger Corp.

Rong, Y., "Development of an Analytical Tool for Part Load Design," $100,000 from WPI's Center for Heat Treating Excellence.

Sisson, R., "Quenching," $135,450 from WPI's Center for Heat Treating Excellence.

Thompson, R.W., Graduate Internship, $50,000 from United Technologies.

Tyler, J.A., "Impacts of Watershed Fragmentation and Restoration on Fish Habitat, Migration and Production in Great Lakes Tributaries," $115,514 from the University of Michigan.

Worth Noting

April Fool's Edition: It's that time of year again when merry pranksters prepare to spring surprises on the unsuspecting. With April Fool's Day falling on a Saturday this year, members of the WPI community are advised to expect the first day of April to arrive a little early here on campus. The much-anticipated annual parody editions of Newspeak and the WPI home page are the latest manifestations of a long tradition of pranks at the University. A few classic acts of mischief have become part of the official history and are celebrated annually on Traditions Day and Founders Day.

The third-floor chapel in Boynton Hall was the site of several memorable pranks. In 1870, for example, students substituted a dictionary for the Bible just prior to a reading by Principal Charles Thompson. Unfazed, he recited the 91st Psalm from memory as if nothing was awry. In 1884, Milton Higgins' horse Buckskin was led up the spiral staircase to the chapel and left there. A veterinarian was called in to bundle up the animal and lower him with block and tackle.

Other pranks involved feats of cunning and strength. Once, a load of cordwood delivered to Milton Higgins' barn was stolen and placed on top of the Washburn Shops-still in the wagon that had delivered it. In the early 1950s, students managed to carry a Crossley (a very small car) up to the fourth floor of Sanford Riley Hall.

Those interested in reading more about the highlights and sidelights from more than 130 years of WPI are encouraged to browse at the University's official histories, both of which are now on the Web. To read Seventy Years of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Herbert F. Taylor, 1937) and Two Towers: The Story of Worcester Tech 1865-1965 (Mildred McClary Tymeson, 1965), visit the online archives at www.wpi.edu/Academics/Library/Archives/online.html.

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Last modified: July 19, 2010 09:03:53