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Vol. 1, No. 15 April 6, 2000

Around Campus

Gompei Among Top Teams in Hartford

After a slow start at the UTC New England Regional FIRST Competition in Hartford last Friday, the Mass Academy/WPI team improved steadily. The team was picked by the seeded Aztechs of Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, along with the NYPRO/Clinton High School team, to compete as an alliance against others in the seeded rounds on Saturday.

After Friday's competition, the Academy/WPI team received the Honeywell Leadership in Control Award for displaying the most innovative control system or application of control components to provide unique machine functions. Ken Stafford, manager of academic initiatives, noted that Gompei's driveline and sophisticated software also received rave reviews. A busload of Mass Academy juniors and two busloads of Doherty High School supporters drove down to cheer on Friday.

Here are the highlights from Saturday, as reported by Stafford. "Selected by the Aztechs due to our awesome blocking and defensive power, we were held in reserve to tackle vulnerable opponents. We made it through the quarterfinals, but were eliminated in a close two-out-of-three series in the semifinals. Overall, we placed 3rd or 4th out of 41 teams (FIRST uses a rather incomprehensible method for determining a team's place within a bracket)."

The team travels to the national championships this weekend at Disney World's Epcot Center. Last year, they placed eighth in the Epcot event.

Mathematicians Cook Up Campuswide Contest

WPI kicked off a campuswide mathematics contest last Friday in Founders Hall. The event featured a cooking demonstration followed by card tricks. "The cooking has a dual role," explains Brigitte Servatius, associate professor of mathematical sciences. "For one, it is a pun on the word 'dough,' since students can win up to $500 in prizes. For another, there are math-related concepts involved with cooking, such as determining the surface tension of rising dough."

Card tricks that rely on math were presented by S. Brent Morris, a mathematician with the National Security Agency. Sponsored by United Technologies Corp., the contest will conclude at the end of April, which is National Math Awareness Month. For more information, contact Servatius at 508-831-5361 or bservat@wpi.edu.

Town Meeting Set for April 18

President Parrish has invited members of the WPI administrative and support staff, including union employees, to a "town meeting" Tuesday, April 18, from 11 a.m. to noon in Perreault Hall. "It has been about a year since we met to talk about the results of the Employee Opinion Survey and to share with you the views of the community related to many aspects of our operation," Parrish notes. "Since then I believe much has happened of a very positive nature to enhance the work environment and the effectiveness of WPI. I want to share not only that progress, but also solicit your continuing thoughts as to how we might best address issues that are of concern to you." Supervisors are urged to make time available so all staff members can attend this important session.

Math Mavens Win Honors

Two teams from WPI were among 445 teams participating in the 2000 Mathematical Contest in Modeling (282 teams from 163 U.S. institutions and 213 teams from nine other countries). Teams of up to three undergraduates researched and submitted a solution for an open-ended modeling problem.

The paper "Assisting Air Traffic Controllers: An Early Warning Collision System," submitted by Jon Kennedy '00, William Kennerly '00 and Casey Richardson '00, with advisor Bogdan Vernescu, was a meritorious winner (in the top 15 percent). The team also won a meritorious ranking in the 1999 contest.

"Packing in the Good Vibrations," submitted by Brian Ball '01, Jonathan Moussa '02 and James Stickney '00, with advisor Richard Jordan, received an honorable mention (in the top 44 percent). More information about the competition can be found at http://www.comap.com/undergraduate/contests/mcm/2000Results.htm.

Time's (Almost) Up

The online Image and Marketing Survey was extended by one week, but that week is up at midnight tomorrow (April 7). To participate, go to http://www.wpi.edu/+image and follow the instructions on the screen.

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.

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.

What's New on WPI's Web?

Like the rest of the Internet, WPI's Web site is constantly growing. Here's a look at some new additions:

E-cards: Send an electronic postcard to family and friends featuring one of more than 100 WPI scenes. Nearly 1,000 of these cards have been sent in just three months. (www.wpi.edu/About/Ecards/)

Virtual Tour: An enhanced version of WPI's online tour uses virtual reality technology, offering 360-degree views of the campus (even inside some buildings). More interiors, including residence hall rooms, classrooms and lab, are being added. (www.wpi.edu/about/tour.html; requires an updated browser and free QuickTime plug-in)

Special Pages: A special birthday wish for President Parrish is among the humorous creations in a Web archive. (www.wpi.edu/Academics/Library/Web)

Revamped Sites: The Continuing Education Office, the Metal Processing Institute and the Gordon Library all have updated looks with new graphics, easy-to-navigate layouts and expanded information. The library site is based on portal sites, like Yahoo and Excite, with more information on the front page and a pull-down menu that provides fast access to services and forms. (www.ce.wpi.edu; www.wpi.edu/Academics/Research/MPI/; www.wpi.edu/Academics/Library)

WPInet: This restricted area has sensitive internal documents, including the Strategic Plan, the student fact book and course evaluations. (www.wpi.edu/Intranet; access granted only to on-campus computers and to users who enter their CCC UNIX username and password)
A complete list of major changes can be found on the Web Coordinators' Office Web site, www.wpi.edu/Academics/Library/Web/. The Web Coordinators appreciate feedback and ideas for future additions, which should be sent to webmaster@wpi.edu.

All's Fair in Health and Banking

Open enrollment Health Fairs for Fiscal Year 2000-01 are scheduled for Tuesday, April 11, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 13, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Tuesday, April 18, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Morgan A. Call ext. 5470 or e-mail David Everitt at deveritt@wpi if you have any questions.

A Bank Fair will be held in conjunction with the Health Fair Tuesday, April 11, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday, April 13, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Morgan A. Faculty and staff are encouraged to take this opportunity to learn more about direct deposit and other financial services available from local banks.

Be Prepared

An Oral Presentation Workshop to prepare candidates for the Provost's MQP awards competition will be held Wednesday, April 12, at 4 p.m. in Fuller Labs 320. For more information, call Barbara McCarthy at ext. 5939.

Ups and Downs for Charity

Members of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and Lambda Chi Epsilon fraternity are climbing aboard their teeter-totter once again to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Association and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. The Teeter-Totter-A-Thon will be under way around the clock on the Quad from April 13 to April 18; a separate team will teeter-totter at the Greendale Mall during business hours. The public is invited to cheer on the seesawing students and support a worthy cause. For more information, call 480-7404.

April 20 is Project Presentation Day

Each year on Project Presentation Day WPI opens an exciting window on one of the most important and successful innovations in technological education. This year, as in the past, project teams representing nearly every academic discipline will present the results of their Major Qualifying Projects to the faculty members who advised them and to representatives of the organizations that sponsored them.

From 7:30 a.m. to noon, Corporate Relations will sponsor an Open House in Salisbury Labs 124. While there, you may pick up Project Presentation Day programs, campus maps and WPI program brochures, and mingle with faculty and staff. Programs will also be available at presentation sites.

For more information and a complete schedule of presentations, visit http://www.wpi.edu/Pubs/PPD/.

Please note: The Humanities and Arts Department will hold its project presentations Thursday, April 27, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. in the Gordon Library Seminar Room. A reception will follow from 5 to 5:30 p.m.

TIAA/CREF Individual Counseling

Charlie Doherty, individual counseling representative from TIAA/CREF, will be on campus Thursday, April 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Morgan B. For more information or to make an appointment, call Melanie Desiata at ext. 5470 or e-mail mdesiata@wpi.edu.

Still Time to Make Reservations

Reservations are still being accepted for the Faculty Convocation and Dinner Tuesday, April 25. The convocation is at 5 p.m. in Kinnicutt Hall; the reception and dinner follow at 6:30 and 7 p.m. in Alden Memorial. Checks or cash ($16 per person) should be sent to Joan Shanahan, faculty governance coordinator.

WPI Presents its New Voices

New Voices 18, WPI's showcase of theater arts, will be presented in Alden Memorial from Wednesday, April 19, through Saturday, April 22, at 8 p.m. Each program includes a 15-minute intermission. The festival is free and open to the public.

Upcoming Music Programs

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

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.

See the World at the Cultural Festival

WPI's International Student Council will sponsor a Cultural Festival from noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 29, in Alden Memorial. The event will celebrate the many cultures of the WPI community through exhibits, calligraphy, videos, food samples, music and dance. The festival is free and open to the public. For more information, call the International Student Council at ext. 6030.

Commencement Help Needed

The Student Activities Office requests your assistance during one of WPI's showcase events: Commencement. "Occurring on Saturday, May 20, Commencement provides the opportunity for us to truly celebrate our campus, and provides you with the opportunity to congratulate our graduating seniors and graduate students," says Greg Snoddy, director of orientation and student activities.

"One of the most important tasks during Commencement is assuring that our graduates are lined up in the correct order. To facilitate this, we rely on volunteers. Your involvement and attendance will be of significant importance to our graduates. While you're here to enjoy the ceremony, why not help us make this a successful and well-ordered event?" Contact Student Activities Office at ext. 5291 if you wish to participate.

Summer Session

WPI summer session starts June 1. WPI students may register via the Web at http://registrar.wpi.edu or at the Projects and Registrar's Office now through June 1.

Be A Sport This Summer

WPI will host a number of sports camps this summer. The dates are:
Baseball: June 19-June 23
Football: June 25-June 29
Coed Basketball: July 3-July 14
Coed Soccer: July 17-July 21
Rowing: July 17-July 22
Field Hockey: July 24-July 28 (evenings)
Girls Basketball: July 24-July 28
Field Hockey: July 30-Aug. 3 (overnight)

For more information, contact Ken Kaufman, coordinator of summer sports camps, at ext. 5243 or e-mail kkaufman@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:
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 April 3)


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 (Waltham campus)


Administrative Secretary II


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

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).


Fitzgerald Elected SFPE Fellow

Robert W. Fitzgerald, professor of civil and environmental engineering and fire protection engineering, has been elected a fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. He will formally receive the honor at an investiture ceremony in Denver in May. "This is a well-earned and long-overdue recognition of Bob's many contributions to the profession and the program at WPI," says David Lucht, director of the Center for Firesafety Studies.

Outstanding Students

WPI's Office of Academic Advising recently presented the Outstanding Women Student Awards and the Outstanding Minority Award for 2000 to seven undergraduates. The honorees are: Marietta E. Anderson Award, Vanessa Melanson '01; United Technologies Corporation and Society of Women Engineers Award, Leena Razzaq '01; Bonnie-Blanche Schoonover Award, Katherine Shore '01; Ellen Knott Award, Nikole Howard '02 and Elizabeth Caswell '02; Gertrude R. Rugg Award, Nina Simon '03; United Technologies Corporation Minority Award, Jason G. Brown '02.

WPI in the News

Thailand's leading English-language newspaper, The Nation, carried a story on WPI in its Feb. 29 edition. The long article, which included two touching photographs, told of the joy felt by Bangkok youngsters when their kindergarten received 10 free computers from WPI. The machines were given to the Duang Prateep Kindergarten in Klong Toey, home to some of Thailand's poorest children. Ten teams of WPI students recently returned from Thailand, where they conducted projects at the University's Bangkok Project Center.

Cryptography research by Christof Paar, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, was the focus of a story in the March issue of Graduating Engineer & Computer Careers. "Papers Tout Programmable Logic's Crypto Prowess," a story in the Feb. 21 issue of Electronic Engineering Times, described work by Paar and graduate student Adam Elbirt.

Kristin Connarn, a senior biotechnology major, and Judith Miller, professor of biology and biotechnology, are credited under a review of a Web site, "Science in the Real World: Microbes in Action" in the March issue of ASM News.

Supporting WPI's Center for Heat Treating Excellence is one way the aluminum industry can take advantage of such "centers for excellence" with the goal of recruiting students for jobs, according to an article in the March 10 issue of American Metal Market Briefings.

The March 27 issue of Mass High Tech featured a photo of middle school girls participating in the annual Mass Academy Girls in Science Day. The headline read "WPI brings girls, science together for a day."

The March 13 edition of Nation's Restaurant highlighted WPI's Clean Plate Award effort, a drive that is reducing the amount of food that goes from students' plates to the trash. Joe Kraskouskas and Alpha Phi Omega are cited under the headline, "Chartwells sweetens pot in attempt to reduce food waste."

Cabinet Meeting Summary

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



Friday, April 21, noon, "The Big Spill: Chemical Spill Prevention and Clean-up," Goddard Hall 217.


Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Distinguished Lectureship: "Surface Science in Catalysis: A Knowledge Base for Discovery," Fuller Labs, Perreault Hall. For more information, call ext. 5250 or visit http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Depts/ChemEng/Conferences.


Wednesday, April 12, 11 a.m., "Rings, Cages, Prisms and Cubes: The Myriad Forms of Water Clusters," Kenneth D. Jordan, University of Pittsburgh, Goddard Hall 227.


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


Monday, April 24, 4 p.m., "What We Know About What Pynchon Knows About Physics," Humanities and Arts Professor Lance Schachterle, Olin Hall 107. Refreshments, 3:40 p.m., Olin 118.


Thursday, April 13, 10:30 a.m., "Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary," Deborah Carey, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Alden Memorial.


Tuesday, April 18, 6:30-9 p.m., registration 6 p.m. Venture Forum Workshop: "Finding the Funds," Michael O'Malley, general partner and co-founder of Inflection Point Ventures. Cost is $5 for members, $10 for non-members and free with a WPI ID. Salisbury Labs, Kinnicutt Hall. For more information, call ext. 5075.

Publications & Presentations


Kohles, Sean S., "Orthotropic Index for Bone," presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, March 12-15, Orlando, Fla.


Brown, David C., selected participant, AAAI 2000 Spring Symposium on "Smart Graphics," March 20-22, Stanford, Calif.


Brattin, Joel J., "Noel Redding's Forthcoming CD, "Thank You--Goodnight and Good Luck," in Jimpress 67 (April 2000), p. 34.

Shannon. Thomas A., "Ethical Issues in Genetics," presented at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Wash., March 8.


Zhu, Joe, "Setting Scale Efficient Targets in DEA via Returns to Scale Estimation Method," in the Journal of Operational Research Society, vol. 53, No.3 (2000), 376-378.


Wilkes, John M., "When Education Becomes Policy Research: Six Rounds of the AEGIS Game at WPI," presented at the 15th National Association for Science, Technology and Society Meeting, Baltimore, Md., March 2-4.

Wilkes, John M., Patrick Kaplow, Andrew Davis, Jason Hudson and Max Liberman, "Reception Given Efforts to Reform Science Education," presented at the 15th National Association for Science, Technology and Society Meeting, Baltimore, Md., March 2-4.

Wilkes, John M., and Keith McCormick, "College Attendance and Type Since 1957: When 15% of Students are College-Bound, What Percent are Intuitives?" presented at the Fourth Biennial Education Conference of the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, Gainesville, Fla., March 9-12.

Wilkes, John M., "The MBTI-GCSI Connection: Complementary or Converging Measures of Learning Styles?" presented at the Fourth Biennial Education Conference of the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, Gainesville, Fla., March 9-12.

Recently, five WPI students gave presentations at two national conferences. Prof. Wilkes was their advisor:

Patrick Kaplo '00, Andrew Davis '02, Jason Hudson '01 and Maxim Liberman '01, "Reception Given Efforts to Reform Science Education," presented at the 15th National Association of Science, Technology and Society Meeting in Baltimore, Md., March 2-4.

Eric Tapley '01, "The ACT and the SAT: Do They Promote the Same Types of Learners?" presented at the Fourth Biennial Education Conference of the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, Gainesville, Fla., March 9-12.


Burnham, N. A., "Interpreting Stiffness and Damping Data from Polymer Composites," presented at the Naval Research Laboratory Surface Chemistry Branch, Washington, D.C., March 9.

Worth Noting

Word for the day: Quasquicentennial. It means 125th anniversary, a milestone few organizations ever reach. Last Sunday, the WPI Glee Club invited alumni from several generations back to campus for a concert in observance of its quasquicentennial. Today's Glee Club began life in 1874 when nine members of the Class of 1876 came together as the Technical Glee Club to sing college songs. Since then, under several directors, the organization has grown in size and stature, performing in venues around the world-often in partnership with choristers from the likes of Radcliffe, Regis, Smith, Wellesley, Wells, Wheaton and Wheelock colleges. Louis Curran, who joined the faculty in 1966 as WPI's first professor of music, has directed the group since then. Among the milestones the group has recorded under Curran's baton are its first concert at a site distant from Worcester (in Washington, D.C., during the tumultuous April 1968 weekend following Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination); a 1977 concert at Mechanics Hall (the first choral performance in the newly restored building); and a recent performance of a Busoni piano concerto with the Concord (Mass.) Orchestra (which led Boston Globe reviewer Richard Dyer to note the group "pumped out sound of ringing quality in comprehensible German"). The club has launched a fund-raising drive to establish an endowment of $50,000 to assure that it will be in fine fettle on its sesquicentennial (150th anniversary).

For more on the Glee Club Quasiquicentennial, visit the Glee Club Website.

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Last modified: July 12, 2010 11:07:56