Volume 4, Number 1 - September 5, 2002

In this issue:


Around Campus

WPI in U.S. News & World Report
Along with this year’s college rankings, the Sept. 23, 2002, Boston Metro edition of U.S. News & World Report, the annual "America’s Best Colleges" issue, will include a three-page advertorial featuring WPI and its unique approach to education.

Remembering Sept. 11
WPI will observe the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives that day with two events. Members of the WPI community are invited to gather at the flagpole in front of Alden Memorial at 10 a.m. to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. At noon, several members of the campus community will offer words and reflections on the tragedy in a ceremony in Harrington Auditorium.

New Initials, New Mission
Goodbye IMC; hello ATC. The Instructional Media Center has changed its name to the Academic Technology Center. Born in the late 1960s, the center has played an important role in WPI's academic programs ever since. As the IMC, it served as a hub for the exploration, development and dissemination of technology solutions that enhance teaching and learning. The name change is a reflection of the center’s enhanced focus on its mission to develop and promote the use of information technology in teaching, learning and scholarship. Part of the Information Technology Division, the ATC will continue to provide a wide variety of technology-based services in support of the teaching, learning, presentation and communication needs of students, faculty and staff. To learn more about the center and its services, call x5220, drop by Fuller Labs Room 113, or visit their new website

Learning English
WPI’s English as a Second Language seminar classes begin Sept. 4. Meeting Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the classes are open to spouses and partners of WPI students and staff and faculty members. The classes develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. All classes meet at International House, located at 28 Trowbridge Road. For more information, call ext. 6033.

Golf Tournament for Nicoletti Family
The Petersham Fire and Police departments are sponsoring a golf tournament on Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Petersham Country Club to benefit the family of Denise Nicoletti. If you wish to play or sponsor the tournament with a contribution call John Orr at x5273 or e-mail him.

Tatnuck Spreads the Words
Tatnuck Bookseller wants to donate 1,000 dictionaries to local schools and youth organizations, including the Boys and Girls clubs and the Willis Center. Through its Back to School Action Plan, the local bookstore is encouraging customers to donate their old dictionaries on or before Sept. 30; in exchange, they’ll receive a coupon that entitles them to purchase an American Heritage Collegiate thumb-indexed, hardcover dictionary for $15 (retail price $25). "This is a way we can easily give kids the tools they need for a solid education," says Tatnuck President Lawrence J. Abramoff. "Dictionaries are expensive, but most people have an old one sitting around the house that they should probably upgrade." Dictionaries may be donated at any Tatnuck Bookseller location. For more information, call 508-756-7644 or visit Tatnuck's website.



New Assistant Alumni Directors Named
The Alumni Relations Office recently welcomed two new assistant directors.

Jennifer Riddell, who will work with the classes of 1980 to 2002 and with the Student Alumni Society, was most recently an admissions counselor at the Greater Boston campus of the University of Phoenix. Before that, she worked in the campus life office at Brandeis University. She earned her bachelors degree at Simmons College and her masters at Northeastern.

Pam Discipio will work with the classes of 1960-1979 and Tech Old Timers. A graduate of Eastern Nazarene College in business administration, she joined WPI more than a decade ago and has worked in the Development Office since 1995, most recently as administrative assistant to the director.

Notes Beth Howland, director of alumni relations, "The entire staff of the Alumni Relations Office looks forward to working with our alumni as well as current students (alumni-in-training), academic departments and programs to promote WPI and increase pride in the institution."

New Academic Operations Director Named
Laurie A. Smith has been named director of academic operations in the Provost’s Office. She was most recently operations manager in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, where she was responsible for the overall operation of laboratories and stockrooms in Goddard Hall. She replaces Jynan (Nan) Chang, who left WPI recently to pursue an opportunity in the business world.

New Faces on Campus
Richard J. Rogan, CPA, is the new associate controller. With several years of experience in auditing and business management, he comes to WPI from ePartners; prior to that he was with Surebridge Inc. (Lynx Technology Corp).

Kevin Wynn has been named assistant director of media relations. He was previously employed at Harpell, an integrated marketing agency based in Maynard. Prior to that he did award-winning public relations work at largest PR agency in Nevada. He earned a bachelor’s degree at UMass Lowell and a master’s in communications from Emerson College.

Tara Myers has been appointed e-marketing director in University Marketing. She earned a B.A. at Boston University and spent several years in editorial work at Northeastern University. Her most recent position was with Euro RSG Circle, a leading Internet consulting firm, where she developed strategic content architecture and e-marketing solutions and analysis for major international consumer product and service clients.

Jeannette Doyle is the new assistant director of the Career Development Center. She joins WPI with over eight years of experience earned at George Washington University and Fitchburg State College. Her background highlights include cooperative education, career counseling and employer relations. She will coordinate the Major Selection Program, the CDC Mentoring Program, corporate tours and shadowing activities, and act as CDC's liaison to the universities' Insights Program.

Fisler Runs High School Teachers Workshop
In July, Kathi Fisler, assistant professor of computer science, led a workshop on teaching introductory computer science for computer science, math and science teachers at the high school and college level. The workshop was part of TeachScheme!, a multiuniversity effort to promote an introductory computing curricula focused on program design rather than just programming. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the project provides week-long summer workshops, software and teaching materials, all free of charge to teachers; WPI contributes graduate credits to teachers who complete the program.

Employment Opportunities
A complete list of currently available positions is posted on the Human Resources Web site.

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.

WPI in the News

Professor David Cyganski talked about SANs (storage area networks) in the July 1 issue of ComputerWorld.

Professor Malcolm Ray discussed highway barriers on "Inside Edition," a nationally syndicated television program, on July 18.

The July 22 edition of Mass High Tech included an article on WPI's STRIVE program.

The July 26 New Hampshire Business Review covered the certificate programs WPI offers at Teradyne.

On July 29, the Worcester Business Journal ran a lengthy feature on the Mass Academy and WPI's support of this unique public/private high school partnership. Mass Academy director Robert Salvatelli was interviewed.

Professor Jonathan Barnett was quoted in a July 30 Boston Globe story on post 9/11 building construction. On Aug. 8, Barnett began a sweep through the Australian media to discuss his work on a study of the collapse of the World Trade Center, with an interview on ABC Australia, the country's national radio morning news show, and Sunrise, a national TV morning news show. He was also photographed for the Australian Herald Sun and the Melbourne Express. On Aug. 11, he appeared on the "The Susan Mitchell Show" in Perth; the next day he was on the "The Scott Wales Show." He was interviewed on Aug. 14 for the program "Australia Today" on ABC radio 6PR in Perth and on Aug. 15 by the Australian Financial Review.

Professor Steven Bullock was interviewed about Freemasonry on NPR’s "Public Interest" program on July 31.

Tool & Moldmaking Product News ran an article on WPI’s Haas Technical Centers, complete with a cover photo, in the July-August issue.

The August 2002 issue of Yoga Journal carried an interview with Mary Cox, director of health education, recreation and wellness, who discussed WPI’s Healthy Alternative House.

The August issue of Attache, the USAir in-flight magazine, included a profile of WPI's distance learning program.

The Aug. 11 Sunday Boston Globe featured an article on job placement for engineering and technology graduates which quoted Yvonne Harrison, director of the Career Development Center.

Phillip Clay, dean of students, was quoted in a recent front-page story in the Sunday Worcester Telegram & Gazette about housing on Worcester college campuses. The August 15 T&G included an article in which Worcester's Mayor cited WPI as one of the city's strengths.

Arlene Lowenstein, dean of Continuing and Professional Education, authored an article titled "Top Reasons to Return to School for IT" in an Aug. 15 T&G education insert

Timothy Gerrity, director of WPI's Bioengineering Institute appeared on WTAG on Saturday, Aug. 17.

For summaries of where WPI has been in the news, please visit the official WPI In the News section of the WPI Web site.

Cabinet Meeting Summary

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


Thursday, Sept. 5, 3:15 p.m., Olin 107.

Wednesday, Sept. 11, 10:30 a.m., "Use and Training of a Police K-9," Officer Steve Cortis, Worcester Police Department, Campus Center Odeum (coffee at 9:45 a.m.).

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 6:30-9 p.m. (registration at 6 p.m.): "Business Outlook," Michael G. Olivieri, publisher of the Boston Business Journal, Campus Center, $10 members; $20 nonmembers; faculty/staff/students free with WPI ID. For more information call 508-831-5075.

Publications & Presentations

Brown, D.C., chair, session on Frameworks for Design, AID'02: International AI in Design Conference, Cambridge, U.K. July 2002.

Brown, D.C., "Functional, Behavioral and Structural Features," KIC5: 5th IFIP WG5.2 Workshop on Knowledge Intensive CAD, St. Julians, Malta. July 2002.

Brown, D.C., chair, session on Prototype KIC Systems, KIC5: 5th IFIP WG5.2 Workshop on Knowledge Intensive CAD, St. Julians, Malta. July 2002.

Brown, D.C., coordinator, Working Group on Features and their Role in KIC systems, KIC5: 5th IFIP WG5.2, workshop on Knowledge Intensive CAD, St. Julians, Malta. July 2002.

Burge, J.E., and D.C. Brown, "Discovering a Research Agenda for Using Design Rationale in Software Maintenance,'' Poster, AID'02: International AI in Design Conference, Cambridge, U.K. July 2002.

Burge, J.E., and D.C. Brown, "Integrating Design Rationale With a Process Model," Workshop on Process Modeling, AID'02: International AI in Design Conference, Cambridge, U.K. July 2002.

Chen, Z.F., and D.C. Brown, "Explorations of a Two-Layered A-Design System: The Influence of New Agents on a Design System," workshop on Intelligent Agents in Design, AID'02: International AI in Design Conference, Cambridge, U.K. July 2002.

Farncombe, T.H., H.C. Gifford, M.V. Narayanan, P.H. Pretorius, P. Bruyant, M. Gennert, and M.A. King, "An Investigation into the Impact of Photon Scatter in the Detection of 67Ga Tumors Using Channelized Hotelling and Human Observers," Proc. IEEE Nuc. Sci. Symp. Med. Im. Conf., pp. 2214-2218, San Diego, CA. Nov. 2001.

Saeed, K., and Lyneis, J. M. "Coaching Students to Build Better System Dynamics Models," Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference for K-12 Education. Durham, NH, New England Conference Center. June, 2002.

Saeed, K. "Articulating Developmental Problems for Policy Intervention," invited presentation, IFORS Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, University of Edinburgh. July 2002.

Recent Grants

Sotak, C., for "Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need," from the Department of Education, $144,585.

Rudensteiner, E., for "Data Warehouse Maintenance Over Dynamic Distributed Information Sources," from the National Science Foundation, $75,000.

Ward, M., and E. Rudensteiner, for "Order, Spacing and Clustering in Visual Exploration of Large-Scale Data," from the National Science Foundation, $140,000.

Heineman, G., for "Coping with Complexity: A Standards-Based Kinesthetic Approach to Monitoring Nonstandard Component-Based Systems," from Columbia University, $116,335.

Brown, D., A. Emanuel, and H. Hakim, for "ASA: Using Assessment Information to Enhance Students’ Academic Progress," from the National Science Foundation, $99,976.

Cyganski, D., for "Performance Enhancing Protocol for Military Satellite Services," from Raytheon Satcom Systems, $84,500.

Vernescu, B., and A. Heinricher, for "REU Site: Research Experience for Undergraduates in Industrial Mathematics and Statistics," from the National Science Foundation, $82,042.

Lurie, K., and S. Weekes, for "An Analytical and Numerical Study of Dynamic Materials," from the National Science Foundation, $176,584.

Nandram, B., for "Bayesian Approaches to Estimation and Analysis of NCHS Data," from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, $47,366.

Mayer, J., for "Center for Nuclear Technology and Society," from Radiation, Science & Health Inc., $80,000.

Pryputniewicz, R., for "Determination of Hysteresis of MEMS Sensors and Gold-tin Material Characterization by ACES Methodology," from Draper Laboratory, $100,000.

Rong, Y., for "GOALI: Integrated and Computerized Setup Planning and Fixture Design," from the National Science Foundation, $28,200.

Sullivan, J., for "Segmentation Algorithm Development for SD Ray Brains," from UMASS Medical School, $2,065.

Sullivan, J., for "Registration Algorithm Development for 3D Brain Images," from UMASS Medical School, $8,260.

Sullivan J., for "Web Applications and Database Development for the Center for Comparative Neuroimaging (CCNI)," from UMASS Medical School, $18,302

Sullivan J., for "Tcl/TK Graphical User Interface Using a VTK Kernel," from UMASS Medical School, $9,883.

Total July grants and contracts awarded: $1,213,098.

Worth Noting

The Seeds of the Plan Planted 40 Years Ago

"After a hundred years of proving itself, Worcester Tech was finally ready to assert itself." That’s how Mildred Tymeson described the sense of anticipation that greeted the arrival of WPI’s 10th president 40 years ago this fall. A 1926 West Point graduate, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and the recently retired commander of NATO's land forces in southern Europe, General Harry P. Storke would initiate one of the most monumental eras of change that WPI had ever seen.

By the end of his first year in office, he developed a 10-year facilities plan that, bolstered by a $15 million capital campaign, would produce Harrington Auditorium and Gordon Library, among other campus improvements. But Storke realized that the Institute’s greatest need could not be satisfied with bricks and mortar. WPI’s academic program was stagnating, and without fundamental change, the school’s very future seemed in doubt.

Frustrated by a lack of interest shown by the academic department heads in educational reform, Storke, in 1968, appointed a planning committee of young faculty members and asked them to consider all feasible possibilities for WPI’s educational future. The committee took its charge seriously, and over a two-year period engaged in a remarkable process of discussion, research, debate and creative thinking. The committee produced three reports, the last of which outlined the basis for the program we know today as the WPI Plan.

Revolutionary in every sense of the word, the Plan was approved in May 1970 by a divided faculty after an intense debate. By that time, Storke had retired and WPI’s 11th president, George Hazzard, had taken office. Looking back a few years ago, William Shipman, who chaired the faculty planning committee, expressed admiration for Storke and his motivation for setting in motion such a fundamental change at WPI. "Storke's hope all along had been to make WPI worthy of being in the private sector," Shipman said. "That's why we have a private sector—to innovate."

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Last modified: February 15, 2008 10:19:35