Welcome to @WPI

Vol. 2, No. 5, Oct. 26, 2000

Around Campus

Food for Thought

The WPI chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha will conduct its 7th annual food drive Nov. 5-11. Members of the Worcester and WPI communities are invited to bring in nonperishable canned foods to contribute to the Friendly House Neighborhood Center of Worcester and the Worcester County Food Bank. Worcester residents will receive empty grocery bags that they will be asked to fill; the bags will be picked up on Nov. 11. Boxes will be placed in WPI departments for members of the campus community who wish to contribute. Monetary donations will also be accepted. Last year the chapter contributed 58,219 pounds of food; this year's goal is 65,000 pounds.

Events Office Relocates

The Special Events Office has moved to Higgins Labs, room 123. The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Special Events Office consists of James Kenary, assistant events manager (ext. 5022), Muriel Perra, events coordinator (ext. 5504), and Cathy Johnson, administrative assistant (ext. 6150).

How to Dispose of Computer Monitors

New regulations established by the state Department of Environmental Protection ban the disposal of computer monitors in landfills and incinerators. This action is aimed at reducing the amount of lead released into the environment.

WPI now recycles its monitors with a local vendor. An area in the basement of Fuller Labs has been established to securely store the monitors. Please submit a work order to Plant Services to have your monitors picked up. For more information, call Dave Messier at ext. 5216.

Home Sweet WPI Home

Members of the WPI community and their families are invited to join alumni for hours of memories, music and merriment during Homecoming Weekend, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3 and 4. For more information, including a schedule, visit www.wpi.edu/Admin/Alumni/Events/homecoming.html.

Writing Workshop Schedule

The Writing Workshop helps WPI students with writing assignments and oral presentations. Trained peer tutors work with writers by discussing ideas and responding to drafts. The workshop, on the upper level of the Project Center, is open Monday to 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. Faculty seeking writing assistance for themselves or writing tutors for their students may call Lisa Lebduska at ext. 5503.

Swing! Swing! Swing!

The annual pops concert featuring the WPI Concert Band and Jazz Band is set for Saturday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Alden Memorial. The concert will feature chamber and solo clarinetist Chester R. Brezniak and jazz vocalist Linda Dagnello. Admission is $7 ($3 for students and senior citizens; free for those under 12). For more information, call ext. 5946.

Training Sessions for "myWPI"

The IT Division is offering demonstration and training sessions for new and current users of Blackboard 5, an online portal and information system known as "myWPI." Here is the schedule (details can be found at www.wpi.edu/Academics/CCC/Training/.

Overview, Fuller Labs 126 (TV Studio), Nov. 9, 10-11 a.m.
Uploading Content, Fuller Labs B27, Nov. 6, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Communication Tools, Fuller Labs B27, Nov. 15, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Assessments/Gradebook, Fuller Labs B27, Nov. 16, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Bring Your Own Materials, Fuller Labs B27, Nov. 1 and 8, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Library Instruction Session Schedule

The following sessions are open to the entire WPI community. All are held in the Gordon Library Training Room, located on the first floor of the library, unless otherwise noted. Register online at www.wpi.edu/Academics/Library/Training/.

For more information, call Christopher Cox, reference/instruction librarian, at ext. 6163 or library-instruction@wpi.edu.

Researching Projects and Sufficiencies: A Library Introduction, Nov. 1, 10-11 a.m.; Nov. 2, 2-3 p.m.
Piranhaweb, Nov. 7, 2-3 p.m.
Current Awareness in the Sciences, Nov. 8, 1-2 p.m.
Adobe Photoshop 5 - Fundamentals, Nov. 13, 9-11 a.m.; Nov. 15, 2-4 p.m.; Fuller Labs 24
Adobe Photoshop 5 - Advanced Techniques, Nov. 14, 10 a.m.- noon; Nov. 29, 1-3 p.m., Fuller Labs 24. (Prerequisite: Adobe Photoshop 5 Fundamentals)
Searching Inspec, Nov. 16, 9-10 a.m., Fuller Labs 27. (Dana Picazio, account representative, INSPEC Inc.) Refreshments will be served.
Advanced Web Searching and Web Site Evaluation Workshop, Nov. 17, 9 a.m.-noon, Higgins Labs 230. (Sponsored by Colleges of Worcester Consortium). Refreshments will be served.
Creating Web Pages with HTML: Basic Web Design, Nov. 20, 10 a.m.- noon; Nov. 28, 1-3 p.m., Fuller Labs 24.
Creating Web Pages with HTML: Advanced Web Design, Nov. 21, 2-4 p.m.; Nov. 30, 9-11 a.m., Fuller Labs 24. (Prerequisite: Creating Web Pages With HTML: Basic Web Design.)

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, Oct. 26
Staff payroll authorizations and Flexcomp claim forms
(Staff payroll Wednesday, Nov. 1)

Thursday, Nov. 2
Biweekly student payroll authorizations
(Student payroll paid Thursday, Nov. 9)

Thursday, Nov. 9
Staff payroll authorizations and Flexcomp claim forms
(Staff payroll Wednesday, Nov. 15)

Wednesday, Nov. 15
Monthly Flexcomp claim forms
Biweekly student payroll authorizations
(Student payroll paid Wednesday, Nov.22)

Friday, Nov. 17
Monthly payroll authorizations
(Monthly payroll paid on Thursday, Nov. 30)
Staff payroll authorizations and Flexcomp claim forms
(Staff payroll Wednesday, Nov. 29)

Thursday, Nov. 30
Biweekly student payroll authorizations
(Student payroll paid Thursday, Dec. 1)

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


Laboratory Manager


Cashier/Accounting Clerk II


Part-time Administrative Secretary III


Faculty Positions


Desktop Systems Administrator
Information Systems Specialist/Analyst Programmer
UNIX Systems Administrator


Tenure-track faculty positions
Administrative Secretary IV


Part-time technical trainers
Records and Financial Services Manager
Manager of Systems Administration
Administrative Assistant for Business and Facilities


Assistant Director, External Affairs
Administrative Secretary IV
Biographical Records Assistant


Tenure-track faculty positions
Computer Systems Manager


Events Manager


Part-time Administrative Secretary II


Part-time Administrative Secretary III
Waltham Campus Coordinator, Graduate Admissions


Part-time Human Resources Data Entry Clerk


Project Manager


Assistant Director, Advanced Distance Learning Network


Administrative Secretary IV (30 hours/week)


Adjunct Faculty (part-time position)
Visiting Faculty Member, Entrepreneurship (full-time, temporary, nine-month appointment)
Part-time Faculty Member-Project Management
Assistant Director, Graduate Management Programs


Faculty position
Lab Machinist


Part-time Temporary Assistant Basketball Coach


Administrative Secretary III


HVAC Mechanic II
Custodian - Residential Services (Temporary)


Assistant Director of Residential Services


Tenure Track Faculty - Economics/System Dynamics
Tenure Track Faculty - Psychology/System Dynamics


Assistant Director of Student Activities
Assistant Director of Leadership and Community Service Program


Administrative Secretary IV

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 Employee Referral Bonus Program applies to all permanent nonfaculty, exempt and nonexempt positions.


Bonus Program is a Success

It has been a year since Human Resources introduced the Employee Referral Bonus Program (see above). Due to its success, this pilot program will be continued. Here are new employees who were referred and the employees who referred them: Paula Moravek referred Rachael Graham; Mary Beth Harrity referred Bruce Fiene; Marie DiRuzza referred Michael DiRuzza,; Patricia Stevenson referred Janice Harrold, Carolyn Kelly referred Janice Frederick and Yvonne Harris referred Donna DeChiaro.

To take part, the referring employee must submit the candidate's resume or employment application to Human Resources, along with a referral form (available in HR). For more information, e-mail Tracy Hassett, thassett@wpi.edu, or call Human Resources at ext. 5470.

Banks Named Coleman Foundation Associate

McRae C. Banks, head of the Department of Management, has been named a Coleman Foundation Associate for 2000-01. The foundation selects a limited number of entrepreneurship educators each year for these positions based on their efforts to encourage and foster entrepreneurism among their students. The award carries an honorarium that Banks will donate to WPI to benefit of the WPI Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization.

Davis Chairs CASE District 1

Sharon Davis, senior development officer in Development and University Relations, has been named chair of the Executive Board of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, District 1. Over the past decade, Davis has held leadership roles in CASE District 1 including as annual conference operations and programs chair, fellowship program chair and district representative to the CASE Committee on Opportunity and Equity.

DeChiaro Receives Travel Award

Donna DeChiaro of the Chemical Engineering Department has received a $1,000 travel award from the Research Administration Office to attend the National Council of University Research Administrators annual meeting in Washington, D.C., from Nov. 5 to 8. NCURA is a leading organization of individuals involved in the administration of sponsored programs at colleges, universities and teaching hospitals.

WPI in the News


The Aug. 31 New York Times story, "What's next: a wave of the hand may soon make a computer jump to obey," distributed through The New York Times News Service, has most recently been picked up by the Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer (circulation 400,593) and the Green Bay (Wis.) News-Chronicle (9,110).

Paramasivam Jayachandran, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, contributed his expertise to the "Skyscrapers" episode of the recent PBS series, "Building Big." Broadcast Oct. 17, the episode featured the Chrysler Building, Reims Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building and Citicorp Center.

Matt Gissel '01, the national Monopoly champion, was the subject of a Living/Arts section feature in The Boston Globe on Oct. 16. Gissel competed in the World Monopoly Championships in Toronto last weekend. The Telegram & Gazette and radio station WTAG also ran stories on him. Matt finished 10th in the world event.

Postnet.com, the online edition of the St. Louis (Mo.) Post-Dispatch, posted a recent WPI news release on the WebQual system to judge the quality of Web sites (see Worth Noting).

A front-page story in the Oct. 17 T&G on WPI's new supercomputer, a gift from IBM, featured a photo of Malcolm H. Ray, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.

The Oct. 14 T&G ran a front-page story on Frederick Bianchi, associate professor of humanities and arts and inventor of the Virtual Orchestra, under the headline, "Orchestra-in-a-computer raises musicians' hackles."

The T&G ran two stories on mock presidential debates put on by WPI students: a preview on Oct. 12 and a front-page story on Oct. 13. The debate was also covered by WTAG . In other political coverage, an Oct. 19 T&G story featured commentary by James Pavlik, professor of chemistry, who was among local citizens asked to watch and analyze the Oct. 17 presidential debate.

Two recent fire-related stories in the T&G mentioned WPI: an Oct. 17 piece on the federal report on the city's tragic warehouse blaze noted that the fire department is working with WPI to develop technology to help find lost firefighters during a fire. An Oct. 16 story about the unveiling of a City Hall plaque honoring the six lost firefighters noted that federal emergency management administrators and Worcester officials will hold the "Disaster-Resistant Community Conference" at WPI Oct. 25.

Cabinet Meeting Summary

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



Friday, Nov. 10, Undergraduate Admissions Open House


Wednesday, Nov. 8, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., Continuing Education "IT Career 2000 Information Session," MetroWest Campus, 225 Turnpike Road (Rte 9 West) Southborough, 800-974-9717
Thursday, Nov. 9, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., Continuing Education "IT Career 2000 Information Session," Waltham Campus, located in the Bear Hill Road/Second Avenue business complex, 800-974-9717


Wednesday, Nov. 1, noon and 5 p.m., All Saints Day Masses, Kinnicutt Hall
Sunday, Nov. 5, 11:30 a.m., Mass, Lower Wedge
Sunday, Nov. 19, 11:30 a.m., Mass. Alden Memorial


Wednesday, Nov. 8, noon, "Regulation of Renal Na,K-ATPase by Small Membrane Protein: A New Control Mechanism for the Sodium Pump?," Elena Aristarkhova, Massachusetts General Hospital, Goddard Hall 227, (refreshments)
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 4 p.m., "A Review of Cases Involving Engineering Science and the Law," Raymond R. Hagglund, WPI mechanical engineering professor, Kinnicutt Hall, Salisbury Labs 115


Monday, Oct. 30, 4 p.m., "Nonlinear Optical Catasrophes and Dark Spatial Solitons," Anton Deykoon, WPI graduate student, Olin Hall 107 (refreshments at 3:40 in Olin 118)


Friday, Oct. 27, 9 a.m. to noon, "Who Me? I Don't Discriminate Against Minorities! Or Do I? " Craig Nelson, Indiana University, Bloomington, sponsored by the Colleges of Worcester Consortium, WPI Class of '57 Excellence in Teaching Symposium series, Founders Hall, Dining Room, 754-6829.


Thursday, Nov. 9, 10:30 a.m., WPI student performance: Nobody Knows You're a Dog, Susan Vick, director of theater, Alden Memorial (coffee at 9:45 a.m.)

Publications & Presentations


Brattin, Joel J., president of the Dickens Society, conducted the annual business meeting and delivered the traditional toast at the Dickens dinner at the Chicago Dickens Symposium, De Paul University, Oct. 13-15. Brattin was elected to serve another term as trustee of the Society and was elected to serve on the Executive Committee for 2001.
Brattin, Joel J., "Letter to the Editor: [The Price of Ale in Bleak House]," Dickensian, vol. 96, part 2 (Summer 2000), p. 151.
Brattin, Joel J., "Drum 'n' Bass: Six New Transcription Books," in Jimpress, no. 69 (Oct. 2000), pp. 41-42.
Brattin, Joel J., "Learn to Play the Songs from Are You Experienced," in Jimpress, no. 69 (Oct. 2000), p. 43.
Note: The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens, published in 1999 by Oxford University Press, appeared this month in a less expensive paperback edition. Professor Brattin served as advisory editor and contributed several articles, including one on Dickens' methods of composition.


Chen, Ming-Hui, and Shao, Q.-M., (2001), "Propriety of Posterior Distribution for Dichotomous Quantal Response Models with General Link Functions," in proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, 129, 293-302, (Article electronically published on Aug. 17).


Aravind, P. K., and Schachterle, Lance, "Three Equations in Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow," presented at the Society for Literature and Science Annual Conference, Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 6.

Worth Noting

Rating a Web Site

How can you judge a Web site before finding out if it gets hits-or gets missed? Eleanor T. Loiacono, assistant professor of management, has developed a system to do just that. Dubbed WebQual, the system scores sites based on a dozen qualities. The final tally can reveal why some Web-based companies succeed while others fail.

WebQual isn't based on mere opinion, but on hard data and analysis. The system grew out of Loiacono's Ph.D. dissertation, in which hundreds of students served as testers. Her advisor at her alma mater, the University of Georgia, encouraged her to think globally about her accomplishment.

"Web sites are everywhere, but nowhere is there a valid and reliable instrument for measuring the quality of these sites," said Richard T. Watson, director of the University of Georgia's Center for Information Systems. "WebQual is the first instrument for measuring Web site quality as perceived by the Web visitor, the only person who can truly assess the value of a Web site. I fully expect that WebQual will become a widely used standard in academe and industry."

WebQual isn't one-size-fits-all; rather, it offers a benchmark score for a particular industry, based on how well a site stacks up to similar sites. Its unlimited potential hinges on the correlation Loiacono found between a WebQual score and a Web surfer's intention to buy a product or revisit a site.

While other quality testing exists, Loiacono has broken new ground. "This is the first academic one that takes into account management information systems and marketing considerations," she said. "This is about finding out what you need to consider when you are creating a quality Web site."

WebQual has been used by a handful of researchers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and as a teaching tool for M.B.A. students at WPI. Its potential, of course, is as wide as the Internet itself.

Maintained by webmaster@wpi.edu
Last modified: July 25, 2008 15:58:03