October 23, 2003

Around Campus

Fall Back

Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday, Oct. 26. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour. Check out the following sites to learn more:

Care for a Taste of Culture?

WPI’s International Student Council is hosting its 17th annual International Dinner with food and entertainment from around the world. The event begins at

6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, in Alden Memorial. Tickets, available at International House, 28 Trowbridge Road, are $8 for ISC members and $10 for nonmembers. For more information, call 508-831-6030 or e-mail isc@wpi.edu.

Help Lambda Chi Alpha Help the Needy

The WPI chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha will launch its 10th annual food drive on Nov. 8. Members of the Worcester and WPI communities are invited to bring in nonperishable canned food to contribute to Friendly House 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 Nov. 15. Boxes will be placed in WPI departments for members of the campus community who wish to contribute. Monetary donations are also accepted.


Lew Yan Voon Receives Balslev Award

Lok C. Lew Yan Voon, professor of physics, received the Balslev Award at a ceremony on Sept. 19 at the National Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark. The award is given each year by the Balslev Foundation to a science or engineering professor from a university outside of Denmark to promote collaboration in electronics and related areas with professors at Danish universities. Professor Lew Yan Voon elected to use the monetary portion of the award to finance a leave of absence from WPI and spend two months as a visiting professor at the Mads Clausen Institute, University of Southern Denmark, in Sonderborg, where he collaborated on a project in the area of semiconductor nanostructures.

Hints From the Helpdesk

What to Do If You're New: Do you have new staff or faculty members in your department? The Computing and Communications Center is there to assist them with accounts, computer orientation and computing needs. Give the Helpdesk a call at x5888 or send e-mail to helpdesk@wpi.edu.

Report From the Cabinet

October 14, 2003, Meeting Summary

United Way: Eric Buch, President of United Way of Central Massachusetts, discussed this year's fund-raising campaign, including a significant matching program from the Stoddard Foundation. He reviewed the increased community needs in terms of the current downturn in the economy, and the main program objectives for the upcoming year.

Presidential Search: Dr. Parrish reported on the work of the presidential search committee, which prompted considerable discussion on envisioning where WPI needs to go, given our current programs and the economy, and perceptions about future job opportunities. The president cautioned the cabinet and the community not to defer these crucial envisioning discussions until his successor is named, but to pursue them vigorously throughout the whole community during this year.

Budget Status: Judi Trainor indicated that the shortfall against budget for this year from undergraduate tuition is projected at about $1 million, when netted against the tuition escrow fund. It was caused by a combination of the smaller freshman class, a freshman discount rate higher than budget, and the financial needs of returning students, whose families have been negatively affected by the economy. The shortfall in the graduate area could be as much as $500,000. It is clear that steps will need to be taken now to achieve a balanced budget by June 30.

Extensive discussion ensued concerning directions WPI would need to consider and eventually pursue to position itself in the current economy, with current and possible new programs and with increasing competition from both state universities and some private urban comprehensive universities.

2007-08 Calendar: Chuck Kornik presented for discussion the draft calendar for 2007-08, pending cabinet adoption of the rolling five-year-out calendar.

Enrollment Data, Sponsored Program Data: Bill Durgin distributed the 2003 Fact Book and a set of data and statistics he had distributed to the trustees. He commented that graduate enrollment is at the projected target, but credit hours are somewhat below target. Several new "feeder" programs from Corporate Education certificate offerings toward WPI graduate degrees have been introduced and may yield more students later this academic year.

He also called attention to the significant increase in funded research, from $13 million to almost $20 million in total extramural support. Four departments now enjoy "major league" per capita external funding for research: Chemical Engineering, at over $300,000 per person, and Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, at roughly $100,000 per person.

Admissions Event: Bernie Brown and Kevin Kelly reported on the outstanding Columbus Day Open House for prospective students, noting that many sessions had overflowing audiences. However, a recurrent issue of great concern was financial aid, both in the first-year and for continuing students.

Publications and Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Billiar, K.L., C-H. Lock, V. Lopez, and A. Throm, “Effect of EGF on the Mechanics of a Cell-Derived Matrix,” presented at the Biomedical Engineering Society annual fall meeting, Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 2.

Shonat, R.D. and A.C. Kight, “Imaging of Oxygen Tension in the Mouse Retina,” in the Annals Biomedical Engineering. 31:1084-96. (cover photograph); also selected for inclusion in Virtual J. Biol. Phys. Res. 6(5), Sept. (www.vjbio.org) Kight (2003).

—A.P. Koretsky, “Expression of Myoglobin in the Transgenic Mouse Brain,” in Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 530:331-345 (2003).

—”Development of a Laboratory-based Course in Experimental Physiology for Biomedical Engineering Undergraduates,” in Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition. American Society for Engineering Education, Session 1309.

— “Oxygen Delivery to the Retina and Related Visual Pathology,” in Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 510:249-254 (2003).

—A.C. Kight , “Frequency Domain Imaging of Oxygen Tension in the Mouse Retina.,” in Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 510:243-247 (2003).

—K. M. Hawkins, “Development of an Automated Anesthesia System for the Stabilization of Physiology in Rodents,” in Proceedings of the 2003 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Fall Meeting, Nashville, Tenn, Abstract 1.1.1.

—A.S. Norige, “Developing Strategies for Three-Dimensional Imaging of Oxygen Tension in the Rodent Retina, “in proceedings of the International Society on Oxygen Transport to Tissue 31st Annual Meeting, Rochester, N.Y., Abstract S10-3 (2003).

—K.M. Hawkins, “Choroidal and Retinal Oxygen Tension Imaging: Towards a Three-Dimensional Representation of Oxygen in the Vessels that Supply the Rodent Retina, presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2003 Annual Meeting, Abstract Program Planner accessed at www.arvo.org, Abstract 4873.

—Norige, A.S., P.M. Troccolo, J.M. O’Toole and E.F. Ryder, “Replication of Directionally Selective Pathways in the Retina Using Simulated Artificial Neural Networks, in proceedings of the IEEE 29th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, Newark, NJ, Abstract 1.6.0-3 (2003).

—Anderson, K.L., N. Iftimia, G.J. Tearney and B.E. Bouma, “Feasibility of Two-Dimensional Color Imaging in Coronary Vessels Using a Single-Mode Fiber Catheter,” in proceedings of the IEEE 29th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, Newark, NJ, Abstract 15.4.4-2.

—Winner: Travel Award (to KLA) for travel to the NEBC 2003 Conference.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Pavlik, J. W. and C. Changtong, "Photochemistry of Phenyl substituted 1,2,4-Thiadiazoles. Furan Trapping of Reactive Intermediates, Paper No. 160, 31st Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Saratoga, N.Y., June 17, 2003.

—S. Laohhasurayotin, and N. Kebede, "Vapor Phase Photochemistry of Cyanopyridines", Paper No. 161, 31st Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Society, Saratoga, N.Y. June 17, 2003.

—C. Changtong and V.M. Tsefrikas, "Photochemistry of Phenyl Substituted 1,2,4-Thiadiazoles. N-15 Labeling Studies, "Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2003, 68, 4855-4861,

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Albano L.D. and Fitzgerald, R.W., "Design Fires for Structural Performance," presented at Designing Structures for Fire, Joint SFPE/SEI Conference, Baltimore, 30 September 2003.

—Johann, M., Fitzgerald, R.W., and Meacham, B.J., "Fire-Robust Structural Design: A Framework for Integration of Structural Engineering and Fire Protection Engineering," poster presentation at Designing Structures for Fire, Joint SFPE/SEI Conference, Baltimore, 30 Sept.

Computer Science

Sarkozy, G. and S. Selkow, "On Bipartite Generalized Ramsey Theory", in Ars Combinatoria 68(2003), pp. 57-64.

— S. Selkow, "An Application of the Regularity Lemma in Generalized Ramsey Theory", in the Journal of Graph Theory 44 (2003) pp. 39-49.

—S. Selkow and E. Szemeredi, "On the Number of Hamiltonian Cycles in Dirac Graphs", in Discrete Mathematics, 265/1-3 pp. 237-250 (2003).

Humanities and Arts

Brattin, Joel J. "Introducing Charles Dickens." Kickoff lecture for the Modern Climate of Opinion lecture series, Unitarian-Universalist Church, Worcester, Oct. 5.

— "The Failure of Plot in Little Dorrit." International Dickens Symposium, Oakland University, Rochester, Mich., Oct. 11.

Gottlieb, Roger S., “Is There an Alternative,” in Tikkun , vol. 18, no. 5 pp. 71-73.

Menides, Laura, "Marianne Moore's Poems," a poem in Sahara: A Journal of New England Poetry, Summer 2003, 22.

—, "Reunion in Greece, A Sestina," won honorable mention in the 2003 poetry contest sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association, and judged by poet Jeffrey Harrison. Menides read the poem on Sept. 14 at the Winners' Reading at Village Arts Gallery, Worcester.

—Poetry Reading, Street Beat Poetry Venue, July 24.

Mott, Wesley T., Conducted bicentennial annual meeting of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society, Cambridge, Mass., May 23.

— "Reading Emerson's Essays." Session at Summer Teachers' Seminar, The Institute at Walden Woods. Lincoln, Mass., July 10.

—Part of public reading of Emerson's eulogy "Thoreau," Thoreau Society conference, "Thoreau and the Emersonian Influence," Concord, Mass., July 1

—"Emerson and Transcendentalism," Thoreau Society Annual Gathering concluding panel "Emerson, Thoreau, and Transcendentalism," Lincoln, Mass., July 13

—"Transcendentalism." In “Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World." 4 vols. Edited by Karen Christensen and David Levinson. Thousand Oaks/London/New Delhi: Sage, 2003. Pp. 1400-02.

Sokal, Michael, Thinking Inside the Box: The Real World Places Real Constraints on Engineers, Scientific American Oct., pp. 98-99.

Did You Know?

WPI graduate William Thompson represented Nicola Sacco, right, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, helping them take their fight for justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

William G. Thompson, Class of 1884, played a pivotal role in one of the most infamous legal cases of the 20th century: the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti. The son of WPI’s first president, Charles O. Thompson, William Thompson left WPI early to practice law in Boston. He served for a time an assistant U.S. attorney and earned a reputation as one of the city's best legal minds.

In 1921, Italian immigrants and radicals Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were convicted of the murder of a paymaster in South Braintree. After they were denied a new trial, they asked Thompson to take over their defense. Offended by what he saw as improprieties in the conduct of the trial and convinced of his clients' innocence, he uncovered new evidence and mounted appeals that ultimately took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Despite Thompson’s efforts, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on Aug. 22, 1927. On the night before his death, Vanzetti summoned Thompson to his cell to take down his final statement.

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Last modified: February 19, 2008 09:10:59