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Vol. 2, No. 8, Dec. 21, 2000

Around Campus

Last Issue of the Millennium

This issue of @WPI is the last of the year and the millennium. Publication resumes Thursday, Jan. 11. Deadline for that issue is Friday, Jan. 5.

Offices Open During Holiday Break?

The majority of WPI offices and departments will be closed for the holiday break, Saturday, Dec. 23, through Monday, Jan. 1. If your office needs to remain open for any time during this period, please notify Human Resources in writing so this can be communicated to Campus Police and Plant Services.

WPI Named a Leadership Institution

WPI has been selected as one of 16 "Leadership Institutions" in the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Greater Expectations Leadership Consortium. A major goal of Greater Expectations is to create networks of institutions using innovative practices in undergraduate education. Leadership Institutions will form the hubs of these networks.

Richard F. Vaz, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and associate dean of the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division, will serve as WPI's campus liaison.

"WPI has been chosen for this recognition because of your visionary design to improve achievement for all students," said Andrea Leskes, director of Greater Expectations, in a Dec. 6 letter to President Parrish. "We firmly believe your faculty and staff will contribute importantly to the work of the Greater Expectations initiative, just as the institution will serve as a model for other colleges and universities across the country."

Institutions selected for this honor were characterized by innovation, a supportive culture and a link between liberal arts and pre-professional study. In addition, they showed a "learning by doing" approach to off-campus work in community projects or internships.

WPI, the only technological university to be so honored, joins Central Connecticut State, Colgate, Duke and Indiana-Purdue universities; State University of New York at Stony Brook; The Evergreen State, Hampshire, King's, Prince George's Community, University of Hawaii-Kapi'olani Community and Richland colleges; and the universities of Michigan, Nebraska-Lincoln and Southern California in the designation.

President's IQP winners announced

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

First place: Abel Alvarez-Calderon '02 (management engineering) and Karen Kosinski '02 (biotechnology) for "Aquaculture Techniques Applicable to Developing Nations." Alvarez-Calderon and Kosinski were to complete a project in Zimbabwe, but those plans were quashed because of political problems. With only three weeks to regroup, they reworked their project for Costa Rica, where they achieved the goal of helping fish farmers become more efficient and profitable.

Second place (tie): Shauna Malone '02 (biotechnology), W. Lucas Churchill '02 (mechanical engineering), Jimmy Cook '01 (mechanical engineering) and Felix Rieper '02 (computer science) for "Geographic Information System Development in Costa Rica"; Steven Meyer '01 (biomedical engineering), Daniel Erickson '01 (chemistry), Ruben Brito '01 (electrical engineering) and Joanna Cosimini '01 (biomedical engineering) for "A Study of Employee Satisfaction at the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability."

The GIS project was sponsored by the Costa Rican National Fire Department, which had been struggling with communications during emergencies. The Royal Hospital looked at a stressful working environment at a facility for the profoundly disabled in London.

Third place (tie): Christopher Holt, '01 (computer science), Micah Kiffer '01 (mechanical engineering) and Keith Peterson '01 (electrical engineering) for "Transcription and Cataloguing of the Robinson Reports"; Justin D. Greenough '01 (computer science), Stephanie D. Janeczko '00 (biology) and Thomas J. Pfeiffer '01 (biotechnology) for "An Assessment of the Impacts of Relocation in a Thai Village."

For the Robinson Reports project, students devised a system to make important historical documents more accessible to scholars at a London museum. In the village relocation project, team members assessed the impacts of a relocation program in Thailand.

A news release with additional details about the winning projects can be found online.

"Engineering the Future" Lecture Series

The Museum of Science in Boston, in conjunction with WPI, is offering visitors an inside look at the many exciting facets of engineering in the 21st century with a three-part lecture series titled "Engineering the Future":

Jan. 17: "Discovery! Creativity! Innovation! - The Real Lives of Engineers" with Richard D. Sisson Jr., director of WPI's Material Science and Engineering Program and professor of mechanical engineering.

Jan. 24: "It Is Rocket Science - Preparing for the Space Age" with Fred J. Looft, professor and associate head of WPI's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and director of the WPI/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Project Center.

Jan. 31: "Up Close and Personal With a Robot Named Gompei" with Ken Stafford, manager of academic initiatives at WPI and visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science.

The moderator for the series is William W. Durgin, K.G. Merriam professor of mechanical engineering and associate provost for academic affairs. All three lectures are free and include museum admission. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The lectures will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Cahners Theater. For more information, call 617-589-0419.

MetroWest Momentum

As a way of addressing the needs of the region's growing technology-based companies, MetroWest Momentum, in partnership with WPI and NEESCom Corp., presented a technology forum Dec. 6 at the MetroWest campus. Arlene Lowenstein, dean of continuing education, offered welcoming remarks and Mara Aspinall, president of Genzyme Pharmaceuticals, delivered the keynote address. Anthony Pini, president of NEESCom, presented a case study for the technology sectors expert panel, which included moderator Rick Holmes, opinion editor at the MetroWest Daily News; Tom Lynch, vice president for information technology at WPI; David Burns, executive vice president at Fast Search & Transfer; Michelle Drolet, president of ConWest Corp.; and Jack Littman-Quinn, chief executive officer at OneCore.

Resolve to Improve Student Writing at WPI

The Center for Communication Across the Curriculum seeks to identify and train h3 student writers with equally h3 interpersonal skills to become peer tutors. Students who successfully complete the training course may work as paid writing tutors in the Writing Workshop or for designated courses. Faculty who wish to recommend candidates should e-mail lisaleb@wpi.edu or call Lisa Lebduska at ext. 5503.

CAC Closes for the Holidays

The Center for Communication Across the Curriculum, which offers students writing and oral presentation assistance, will close for the winter holiday at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 18, and open for C Term on Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. Students seeking help may make an appointment at www.wpi.edu/Academics/Depts/HUA/WC or drop in at the upper level of the Project Center.

Toys for Tots

In the spirit of the holiday season, the staff of WPI's Continuing Education Department donated more than 40 toys to needy kids in the Worcester area. The annual Toys for Tots campaign is conducted by the Marine Corps Reserve, together with the Air Force Junior ROTC group at Burncoat High School in Worcester. On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 12 cadets from the Junior ROTC came to Continuing Education to collect the toys and offer their thanks for WPI's generosity and holiday spirit. High-school junior John Parretti said 14,000 Worcester-area kids received gifts from Toys for Tots last year and that the project is one of the JROTC's many community service activities. Dean Arlene Lowenstein presented the toys and praised the young men and women from Burncoat for their efforts in the Worcester community. Program Manager Geri Cyr, who launched the Toys for Tots effort, said it helped raise everyone's holiday spirit and that she hopes WPI will be involved again next year.

Armory Plans Several Programs

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

Performances of the Higgins Minstrel Troupe, Arms and Armor Demonstration, appearances of Sir Andrew the walking knight and drop in workshops will occur daily from Tuesday, Dec. 26, through Sunday, Dec. 31.

The exhibit, "Romance in Steel: The Heritage of Armor," will run from Tuesday, Jan. 2, through Sunday, June 3. An opening reception with refreshments will be held Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 6:30 p.m.

Founder's Day is Sunday, Jan. 7. From noon to 4 p.m., a free open house will be held with reenactments and demonstrations. Admission is free throughout January to individuals with First Night buttons (not applicable to groups or special programs).

Employment Opportunities

A complete list of currently available positions is posted on the Human Resources website.

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.


New Events Manager

Jane Grant has joined WPI as events manager. A graduate of Clark University, where she also served as an admissions officer, she has most recently been marketing manager at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Prior to that she was associate director of affiliate relations for the ABC Television Network in New York. She will be part of WPI's events team, a one-stop service to assist the community in scheduling, planning and implementing events. Grant joins Jim Kenary, Muriel Perra and Cathy Johnson in the events operation, which will eventually be located on the entry level of the new campus center. Until the center opens, Grant's office will be located in the Higgins House Carriage House with Jim Kenary and Jim McLaughlin (after Jan. 2). Muriel Perra and Cathy Johnson currently work in Higgins Labs 123. To contact Grant, call ext. 5090 or e-mail jgrant@wpi.edu.

Ram-Mohan Named to Fellowship

L. Ramdas Ram-Mohan, professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering, has been elected a fellow of the Optical Society of America. He was recognized for his "development of the paradigm of wavefunction engineering and, through software, making it practical for optimized quantum well laser design."

WPI in the News

Press releases are posted on the WPI Web site for the convenience of reporters, editors and anyone else interested in news of the university. Current and archived releases can be read at http://www.wpi.edu/News/Releases/.

The Dec. 18 Boston Globe ran a Living/Arts story, "Devoted to Dickens," a profile on Joel J. Brattin, professor of English in the Department of Humanities and Arts.

The December issue of ASEE Prism had a full-page story on Nancy Pimental '87, who has seen much recent success in television and film. The story was written by WPI alumnus Ray Bert.

The Dec. 15 Worcester Telegram & Gazette ran a reaction story on the long-awaited outcome of the presidential election, quoting WPI senior Benjamin Carl.

The Dec. 14 T&G Business section printed a large story titled, "Students widen city horizons," on the international student population majoring in management. The reporter quoted Norman P. Wilkinson, director of graduate management programs.

Two items on WPI were included in the Dec. 13 T&G Worcester Diary column: One was on WPI's contribution to an information kiosk in the Goddard Memorial Park. The other noted the WPI-sponsored lecture series, "Engineering the Future," at the Boston Museum of Science next month.

The London-based M2 Presswire, which distributes to international media outlets, has picked up a number of recent WPI press releases, including ones on WPI's AAC&U Leadership Institution award, the President's IQP award winners, the "Mad Cows and Frankenfoods" lecture and the WPI-Museum of Science Lecture Series.

The Nov. 27-Dec. 3 issue of Mass High Tech included a story headlined, "WPI uses grants for a Community Project Center," announcing the new Worcester-based center.

The Dec. 12 T&G ran a story, "Drive for Goddard memorial blasts off," mentioning WPI.

William W. Durgin, associate provost for academic affairs, and Narayan Gangadhar, a graduate student, were quoted in the Dec. 8 T&G story, "Grad students in no hurry to unionize." In the same issue, in the business section, a major story, "Expert Links bad feed, mad cow," featured a WPI speaker, Caspar Wenk, of the Institute for Animal Nutrition in Switzerland.

The Dec. 3 Boston Sunday Herald ran a story on the one-year anniversary of the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire tragedy, mentioning that WPI was working with the state on accountability systems that track firefighters inside buildings.

The Dec. 1 Boston Business Journal quoted Jamshed Mistry, assistant professor of management, in a story on the rebound of the Boston Bank of Commerce, New England's only African-American-owned bank.

The State News Service ran a story on WPI alumnus Jason Wening's visit to the White House as part of a celebration for disabled athletes taking part in the Paralympics. The Nov. 22 T&G ran a similar story.

The Nov. 15 Palm Beach Post in Palm Beach, Fla., joined the many papers printing news of the WPI Costa Rican student projects.

Homer Walker, head of the Mathematical Sciences Department, was interviewed about WPI's new supercomputer for a story on Oct. 24 on Boston public radio station WBUR's "Here and Now" program. The story was subsequently picked up by NPR-affiliated WFCR radio station in Amherst, Mass., on Oct. 25.

The November issue of the magazine Upgrade ran a story titled, "Education Anytime, Anywhere Case Study: WPI and Blackboard Deliver the Three C's-Content, Context and Certification," quoting Pennie Turgeon, director of the Instructional Media Center and Advanced Distance Learning Network.

Cabinet Meeting Summary

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



Friday, Jan. 12, Undergraduate Admissions Open House


Tuesday, Jan. 9, seminar, "Computer Modeling and Microwave Power Industry," hosted by the Center for Industrial Mathematics and Statistics and the Industrial Microwave Modeling Group. Information: ext. 5495.


Thursday, Jan. 11, 10:30 a.m., "Service for 300: Behind the Scenes of Chartwells," Joe Kraskouskas, director of WPI Dining Services, Alden Memorial (coffee at 9:45).

Publications & Presentations


Kohles, Sean S., J. B. Roberts; M. L. Upton; C. G. Wilson; A. L. Schlichting; L. J. Cooper; R. A. Thibeault and L. J. Bonassar, "Anisotropic Elastic and Transport Properties of Cancellous Bone," Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 28(S1), p. S6, 2000.
_____, M. B. Clark; Chris A. Brown and J. N. Kenealy, "Profilometer Variance in Implant Roughness Characterization," Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 28(S1), p. S17, 2000.
_____, D. Pazzano; K. A. Mercier; J. M. Moran; S. S. Fong; David D DiBiasio; Jill Rulfs and L. J. Bonassar, "Comparison of Chondrogenesis in Static and Perfused Bioreactor Culture" Biotechnology Progress, 16(5):893-896, 2000.


Brown, David C., "AI Views of Conceptual Design," keynote presentation, CAID & CACD 2000: Third International Conference on Computer-Aided Industrial Design and Computer-Aided Conceptual Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Nov. 26-28.


Mott, Wesley T., editor, "The American Renaissance in New England," vol. B: Boston and Cambridge Writers, Detroit: Gale, 2000. (Second in a 3-part series).
Mott, Wesley T., "Henry Beetle Hough" in Encyclopedia of American Literature of the Sea and Great Lakes, edited by Jill Gidmark, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2000: 198.


Vaz, Richard; John F. Zeugner; Nicholas Arcolano and Brynn Hart, "Making Connections: Interdisciplinary Projects in International Settings," invited presentation, NEASC Annual Meeting, Dec. 7, Boston. (Nick and Brynn were the first students to ever present at the NEASC Annual Meeting, according to NEASC representatives.)


Burnham, Nancy A., and R.J. Colton, "Nanomechanics," in Scanning Probe Microscopy and Spectroscopy: Theory, Techniques and Applications, pp.337-69, D.A. Bonnell (ed.), 2nd edition, Wiley-VCH Publishers, New York (2001).

Worth Noting

On Jan. 22, WPI will formally inaugurate the latest outpost in its large and growing network of global project centers, a network that stretches all the way from the slums of Bangkok to the gleaming high-tech office buildings of Silicon Valley. The latest addition to the Global Perspective Program is a little closer to home. In fact, it's right here in our own backyard.

The Worcester Community Project Center takes the considerable experience that WPI and its students have gained completing projects that have made a real difference to sponsors and residents around the globe and applies it to the needs of the Worcester community.

"The center will provide world-class project experiences in Worcester where WPI students and faculty can be of significant help to local agencies," notes Assistant Provost Lance Schachterle, the center's director. "This is the only community outreach in the region allowing students to conduct research projects of benefit to the community as a graduation requirement. "

The center will build on a history of mutually beneficial relationships between WPI and its home city that stretch all the way back to the university's founding in 1865. Projects will focus on the needs and concerns of private and public Worcester agencies, local government, public interest groups and nonprofit organizations. The first five will be completed by the end of this month:

Worcester Mayor Raymond Mariano sponsored a background IQP for the center, completed last summer. Titled, "How Does Worcester Work?" it examined two case studies: the Union Station rehabilitation and the need for a new vocational high school.

John B. Anderson will serve the center as coordinator in charge of local arrangements. Currently a history professor at the College of the Holy Cross, he has been mayor of Worcester and a Worcester City Council member. "The Worcester Community Project Center is a great concept," he says. "It matches this city's strengths with its needs in a very positive fashion."

The center received funding from local foundations: $1 million from the Stoddard Charitable Trust, $500,000 from the Fletcher Foundation, $250,000 from the Ruth H. and Warren A. Ellsworth Foundation, and $60,000 from the Mildred H. McEvoy Foundation. These gifts will also provide an endowment for the center.

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Last modified: July 12, 2010 15:38:52