Welcome to @WPI

Vol. 2, No. 13 March 22, 2001

Around Campus

Be Sure to Spring Ahead

Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, April 1. Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead one hour.

Campus Center Opens in Grand Way

It's taken the better part of a century, but the dream of a campus center for WPI has finally been realized. The magnificent new 17,000-square-foot building opened for business this week. Next week, a long list of events and activities is planned to formally open the building in grand style.

Here's who and what you will now find in the new building:

The building also has a host of new meeting rooms, including the Odeum, one of the largest meeting spaces on campus, a game room, a TV viewing area, and a campus information center.

Here is the schedule of events for the grand opening week, which begins on March 26. A few events are by invitation only. All other events are free and open to the community, unless otherwise noted.

Monday, March 26
Noon, WPI Jazz Ensemble, Bartlett Lobby
4 p.m., Reception for student leaders (by invitation)
8:00 p.m. Mentalist Craig Karges, Odeum. Enjoy an evening of ESP with the winner of the National Association of Campus Activities Campus Center Entertainer of the Year award
Tuesday, March 27
Noon, Woodwind Ensemble, Bartlett Lobby
4:30 p.m., faculty and staff reception (by invitation)
8 p.m., Meghan Toohey Band, Odeum; general public $5, consortium students, $3, WPI students, free with ID

Wednesday, March 28
Noon, Simple Harmonic Motion, Bartlett Lobby
8 p.m., debate, Cambridge Union Society of the United Kingdom and the WPI Legal and Social Issues Group, Odeum. Topic: "This House Believes Britain Should Be the 51st State."
Thursday, March 29
Noon, Interstate 8, Bartlett Lobby
5:30 p.m., major donor reception and dinner (by invitation)
Friday, March 30
10:45 a.m., ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication, Odeum
Noon: Grand Opening Celebration with Victorian portraits, snow globes, spin art Frisbees, caricatures, balloon clown, WPI Jazz Ensemble, free food and more
8:30 p.m., Guerilla Improv, Forkey Commons
10 p.m., Disc jockey, Food Court
Saturday, March 31
8 p.m., Hip hop concert with Talib Kweli, Odeum; general public $8, consortium students, $5, WPI students, $3

For more information, contact James McLaughlin, campus center director, ext, 5291.

WPI Students Help Clean Up City

More than 200 WPI students are expected to be part of a group of 1,000 students from the Colleges of Worcester Consortium who will take part in Worcester College Cleanup on Saturday, March 31 (hosted by Assumption College). Participants will gather at the Laska Gym next to the Hagan Campus Center at Assumption at 9: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. The goal of the project is to help make Worcester a better place to live. For more information, call Karen Lynch at ext. 5291.

SpiderGoat Snares FIRST Win

"Gompei," the SpiderGoat, this year's entry by the WPI and the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science in the annual FIRST robotics competition, emerged victorious in during a recent regional competition on Long Island. The team also received the Motorola Quality Award, which recognizes the robustness of the overall design and construction.

"This was a big win for us," says Ken Stafford, manager of academic initiatives at WPI, who serves as coach and mentor to the team. "Everyone-our designers and builders, our scouts, our coaches, our operators, and our pit crew-performed flawlessly. We have a lot to be proud of."

Stafford says the WPI/Mass. Academy team has made minor modifications and improvements to Gompei in anticipation of its next big match, the national finals at EPCOT Center in Orlando, Fla., on April 5-7, where the competition will be 328 other teams. After that, Stafford says the team plans to take Gompei on the road for other unofficial competitions and demonstrations at schools, libraries and churches around the region.

Team 190, the WPI/Mass Academy team, has been involved in FIRST since the competition started in 1992. It is one of six teams in the nation to have participated that long. Today, more than 500 hundred teams are involved in the FIRST competition, including teams from Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico.

CDC Will Hold a Summer Jobs Fair

The Career Development Center will hold its annual Summer Jobs Fair on Wednesday, April 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the campus center. WPI students, from freshmen through Ph.D candidates, are encouraged to attend to gather information, meet prospective employers and learn about what's hot in industry.

Teaching Technology Fellowship Program

The Teaching Technology Fellows Program, a partnership between the Academic Affairs and Information Technology divisions, helps faculty foster teaching innovations, effectively use technology to augment teaching and learning, increase communication and collaboration, and recognize and reward excellence. The program will sponsor up to eight fellows each academic year. They will receive the support needed to redesign a course including:

This program requires a h3 commitment from the faculty member for the entire academic year. Each department may nominate one full-time faculty member. The completed paperwork should be delivered to the Provost's office by March 30. Interested faculty should see their department head for more information.

Trading Places

The move was delayed by winter weather, but the big office swap by staff members in Development and University Relations has finally happened. The following members of the Communications Group, formerly located at 20 Trowbridge Road, can now be found on the third floor of Boynton Hall: Linda Bullens, Mike Dorsey, Bonnie Gelbwasser, Peggy Isaacson, Joan Killough-Miller, Bonnie McCrea and Mike Sherman. Their phone and fax numbers are unchanged.

The following members of the Development and Foundation and Corporate Relations groups have moved from Boynton to 20 Trowbridge: Terry Schmidt Adams, Debbie Bordage, Sharon Davis, Bob Dietrich, Pam DiScipio, Beth Howland, Landy Johnson, Joan Kirejczk, Connie O'Toole, Dan Petrocelli, Denise Rodino and Liz Siladi. They retained their phone numbers, but have a new fax number: 831-6004.

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 22
Biweekly student payroll authorizations
(Student payroll paid Thursday, March 29)

Thursday, March 29
Staff payroll authorizations and Flexcomp claim forms
(Staff payroll paid Wednesday, Wednesday, April 4)

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

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 Faces Around Campus

The following individuals have joined WPI: Robert Baker, Part-Time Central Mail Clerk, Mail Services; Joseph Belsito, Lab Technician, MPI; Mary Bernard, Custodian, Plant Services; Steffanie Carnazza, Biographical Records Assistant, Development and University Relations; Todd Caron, Custodian, Plant Services; Anthony Fernandes, Courier, Mail Services; Joseph Garrepy, Information Systems Specialist/Analyst Programmer, Computing and Communications Center; Michael Grajales, Custodian, Plant Services; Frederick Hutson, Lab Technician, Physics; Susan Jennings, Payroll Manager, Payroll. Michael Tonry, Helpdesk Support Coordinator, Computing and Communications Center.

Masque Announces New Officers

Masque has welcomed the following new officers: president: Meghan Fraizer; vice president and master carpenter: Marc Cryan; vice president and master electrician: Deb Shea; vice president, props: Josette Jaecksch; vice president, publicity: Chad Pytel; treasurer: Smriti Shrestha; secretary: BJ Boettcher; OCFC representative: Chris Cenotti; Masquot: Will Woerter.

The officers comprise the Masque Executive Board and serve through C-Term 2002. 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, visit www.wpi.edu/~masque/.

EDC Announces Grant Winners

The Educational Development Council recently awarded grants to the following members of the WPI community:

Two proposal development grants of $13,500 each were awarded to:
Management professors Sharon Johnson, Arthur Gerstenfeld, Francis Noonan, Amy Zeng and Joe Zhu for "Using Discovery-Based Learning to Explore the Lean Design of Global Supply Chains."
Richard Vaz and Natalie Mello from the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division, Chemical Engineering Professor David DiBiasio, and Mechanical Engineering Professor Chrysanthe Demetry for "The Impact of Study Abroad Experiences on Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Students."

An educational development grant of $4,786 went to Lisa Lebduska, Humanities and Arts, for "Development of Cybertutorials in Writing Guiding Minds."

Cabinet Meeting Summary

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



Wednesday, March 28, noon, "Strategies for the Rational Synthesis of Fullerenes and their Open Geodesic Siblings," Lawrence T. Scott, Boston College, Goddard hall 227 (refreshments)

Thursday, March 29, noon, "Why Some CDPKS (Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinases) Are Membrane-Bound," Dr. Liliana Busconi, National Research Council, Argentina, Goddard Hall 227 (refreshments).

Wednesday, April 4, noon, "Chemosensory Control of Surface Antigen Switching in Nematodes," Sam Politz, WPI physics professor, Goddard Hall 227 (refreshments).


Thursday, March 22, 3:15 p.m., Olin Hall 107.


Thursday, March 29, "Morphing Education by Infusing Technology," hosted by the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science and WPI, events scheduled at the Crown Plaza and WPI (thru March 31). For more information call ext.5509 or visit www.massacademy.org.


Thursday, March 22, 11 a.m., "Static and Dynamic Phases of Vortex Matter in Nanostructured Superconductors," Charles Reichhardt, Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Olin Hall 223 (refreshments in Olin Hall 118 at 10:45 a.m.).

Monday, March 26, 11 a.m., "Terahertz Electronic Excitations in Semiconductor Nanostructures," Carsten A. Ullrich, iQUEST, University of California, Olin Hall 223 (refreshments in Olin Hall 118 at 10:45).

Monday, March 26, 4 p.m., "Squid Magnetometers for Heart Diagnostics," Alex I. Braginski, CardioMag Imaging, Inc., Schenectady, N.Y. and Research Center Juelich, Germany, Olin Hall 107 (refreshments at 3:40 p.m. in Olin Hall 118).

Monday, April 9, 4 p.m., "Protein-Based Three-Dimensional Memories and Associative Processors," Robert Birge, Harold S. Schwenk Distinguished Chair in Chemistry, Uconn Director of the W. M. Keck Center for Molecular Electronics, Syracuse University Research Director of the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Computer Applications and Software Engineering, Higgins Lab 116 (refreshments at 3:40 p.m. in Olin Hall 102).


Tuesday, March 20, 6:30-9 p.m. (registration 6 p.m.), "Marketing and Innovation,", Kinnicutt Hall, $5 members; $10 nonmembers; faculty/staff/students free with WPI ID. For more information, call ext. 5075.


Wednesday, April 4, 6:30-9:30 p.m., topics include: An Entrepreneur's Perspective, A Venture Capitalist's Perspective, The Content of a Business Plan and Developing Solid Financials. Speakers include: Jack Danahy, CEO Qiave; Steve McCormick, Commonwealth Capital Ventures; Ryan Moore, Softbank Capital and Bill Carbeau, ATV Capital, Gordon Library, Seminar Room. For more information or to register, call Gina Betti at ext. 5075 or e-mail gbetti@wpi.edu.

Publications & Presentations


Kohles, Sean S., "Anisotropic Elastic and Transport Properties of Cancellous Bone," at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, San Francisco, Calif., Feb. 26.


Berka, L.H. Forensic Science Column Editor, "William M. Masterton and His Lizzie Didn't Do It!" in NEACT Journal, vol. 19, Winter - Spring, 2001, pp. 28-30.


Fisler, Kathi, "Timing Diagrams as Data Structures in Computer-Aided Verification," presented at Umass-Amherst, March 13.


Brattin, Joel J., "From Handel to Hendrix: The Composer in the Public Sphere, by Michael Chanan," in UniVibes 38 April, p. 3.
Brattin, Joel J., "Jimi Hendrix, by Rita Markel," in UniVibes 38 April, p. 4.
Menides, Laura J. "Elizabeth Bishop: 'She Made the Casual Perfect,'" presented at Sussex University, Brighton, United Kingdom, Feb. 6.
____. "The Poetry and Prose of Elizabeth Bishop," presented at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, United Kingdom, Feb. 15.


Chen, M.-H. and Ibrahim, J.G. (2001).Maximum Likelihood Methods for Cure Rate Models with Missing Covariates.{\it Biometrics, 57}, 43-52.
D'Amico, A.V., Wu, Y., Chen, M.-H., Nash, M., Renshaw, A.A., and Richie, J.P. (2000). Pathologic Findings and Prostate-Specific Antigen Outcome Following Radical Prostatectomy for Patients Diagnosed on the Basis of a Single Microscopic Focus of Gleason Score 7 or Less Prostate Cancer. {\it Cancer, 89}, 1810-1817.
D'Amico, A.V., Wu, Y., Chen, M.-H., Nash, M., Renshaw, A.A., and Richie, J.P. (2001). Perineural Invasion as a Predictor of Biochemical Outcome Following Radical Prostatectomy for Select Men with Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer. {\it The Journal of Urology, 165}, 126-129.
Chen, M.-H.``Conjugate Priors for Generalized Linear Models", Invited Lecture, Division of Statistics, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, March 2, 2001.


Allen H. Hoffman was a member of the National Institutes of Health study section on Geriatrics and Rehabilitation Medicine which met in Washington DC on Feb. 15-16, 2001.


Saeed, K. "Maintaining Professional Competence in Innovation Organizations", Invited Lecture, School of Engineering, Rice University, Texas, March 2001
Saeed, K. "Defining Developmental Problems", Invited Lecture, Independent Activities Program, MIT, January 2001.

Recent Grants

The following is a list of research grants received by WPI in February. Principal investigators are listed first. The Office of Research Administration provides this information.

Politz, S., from NIH, "Genetic Control of Nematode Surface Antigen Switching," $119,588.

McNamara, K., from Lockheed Martin, "Anticipating Mars Sample Return," $77.052.
Ribeiro, F., from Engelhard Corp., "Kinetics of Water-Gas Shift Reaction, $100,00.
Ribeiro, F., from Hyperion Catalysis International, Inc. "Nantubes as Catalyst Supports, $40,000.

Ray, M., from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, "Center of Excellence in DYNA3D Analysis, $49,805.

McNeill, J., from Perkin Elmer Optoelectronics, "CMOS Linear Image Sensor," $6,500.

Zalosh, R., from the National Fire Protection Research Foundation, "International Road Tunnel Fire Detection," $10,000.

Vernescu, B., from the National Science Foundation, "Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Industrial Mathematics and Statistics," $61,171.

Hermanson, J., from NASA, "Stability and Heat Transfer Characteristics of Condensate Fluid Layers in Reduced Gravity," $79,445.
Rong, K., from Delphi, "Dedicated Fixture Design and Verification, $20,000.
Sullivan, J., from UMASS Medical, "Functional MRI of Sexual Motivation in Monhuman Primates," $41,071.
Tryggvason, G., from Chevron Petroleum Technology Co., "Advanced Modeling of Multiphase Flow Problems Phase III, $65,004.
Tryggvason, G., from NASA, "Computational Modeling of the Effect of Secondary Forces on the phase Distribution in Dispersed Multiphase Channel Flows, $95,000.

Total February research grants: $764.636

Worth Noting

Water is flowing into a bathtub at a varying rate, and out of the tub at a steady rate. When will the tub overflow? John Sterman, professor at the MIT Sloan Sloan School of Management, posed that problem to students during a recent lecture on problem-solving at WPI. It seems simple, but the students got it wrong.

The problem, Sterman said, demonstrates that complex systems are difficult to deal with because they are counterintuitive. For example, it's hard to estimate the effects of a public policy after five years because one can't keep track of all the variables, let alone understand how they interact. And, "solutions" create additional problems that require their own solutions, resulting into a cyclical nightmare.

System dynamics provides tools for tackling complexity. It's not a computer program or list of procedures that magically fixes problems. Rather, it's a way of approaching the world that can provide insights into how things work. To date, it has been credited with saving companies billions of dollars, providing key material for improving social programs and policies (like the war on drugs, taxes and environmental concerns), and giving a few students here at WPI something to crow about.

The University has the only undergraduate program in system dynamics in the country. The program is offered by the Social Science and Policy Studies Department. To learn more about the program, or to join the System Dynamics Club, contact Professor Khalid Saeed, head of the department at saeed@wpi.edu. The club's Web page address is www.wpi.edu/~sdclub.

This article was excerpted from a story written by Eric Tapley '01, an interdisciplinary studies major.

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Last modified: February 19, 2008 09:17:03