December 18, 2003

Around Campus

We’ll See You in 2004

This is our last issue of the year. Publication resumes on Thursday, Jan. 15. Deadline for that issue is Friday, Jan. 9. Happy Holidays.

Open During the Holiday Break?

Most of WPI’s offices and departments will be closed for the holiday break (Dec. 24 through Jan. 2). If your office needs to remain open for any time during that period, please notify Human Resources in writing so this can be communicated to Campus Police and Plant Services.

New Division of Extended Education

Effective Jan. 1, WPI’s Continuing and Professional Education and Corporate Education offices will be combined to form the new Division of Extended Education. According to Provost John F. Carney III, the merger will enable the university to more efficiently meet the needs of all non-traditional learners in a focused, cost-effective manner.

The new division will be managed by John Minasian and Arlene Lowenstein; Minasian will be responsible for the overall management of the new division, including administration, budget, marketing, and sales and operations; Lowenstein will be responsible for the management, administration, growth and development of WPI’s seminar and corporate training programs (she has already assumed management of the administration of WPI’s summer school activities).

President’s IQP Winners Announced

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2003 President’s IQP Awards:

First place: "Building a Cyclist’s Comfort Guide," Jonathan Bayreuther, Joel Lofgren and Smriti Shrestha, advised by Holly Ault

Second Place: "Recommendations to Improve Quality of Life at the Pakkred Home," Thomas Battistini, Melinda Palma, Amanda Roberts and Christopher Vigneau, advised by Chrys Demetry and Rick Vaz

Third Place (tie): "Optimizing Parking Regulations Enforcement and Revenue Collection in the City of Cambridge," Jennifer Flynn, Paul Fydenkevez, Brian McCarthy and Christine O’Connell, advised by Fabio Carrera and Angel Rivera

"Analysis Model of Resources for Costa Rican Firefighters," Patrick Lahar, Brittany Doucette and William Durgin, advised by H.J. Manzari and Susan Vernon-Gerstenfeld.

"Water Management in the Upper Catchment of the Kuiseb River Basin," Erin Hicks, J.R. Johnson and Michael Torelli. advised by Steve Pierson and Creighton Peet.

WPI Series at the Museum of Science

In January, the Museum of Science in Boston and WPI will present a three-part lecture series, "Technologies That Are Changing Our World," featuring WPI faculty.

Jan. 14: "The Next Generation of Information and Communications Technologies: What Does the Future Hold?" Brian King ’93 and William Michalson ’85, professors of electrical and computer engineering.

Jan. 21: "Nanotechnology: The Next Small Thing," Nancy A. Burnham, professor or physics, and W. Grant McGimpsey, professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Jan. 28: Panel Presentation: "The Hydrogen Based Economy: Dream or Reality?" with Ed Ma, professor of chemical engineering, on "Hydrogen Production"; Ravindra Datta, head, Chemical Engineering Department, providing "An Introduction to Fuel Cells"; and James P. Dunn ’67, president, Center for Technology Commercialization, discussing "One Application, A Fuel Cell-Powered Airplane."

William W. Durgin, vice president for research and associate provost, will moderate the lectures, which will take place at 7 p.m. in the Cahners Theater. The lectures are free; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 617-589-0419 or 617-589-0417.


Brattin Contributes to Web Site for PBS’ Dickens

It’s difficult to scan the TV Guide or arts calendar this time of year without encountering a production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. A new three-part

PBS series premiering Dec. 17 focuses on the man behind

Ebenezer Scrooge and many other of literature’s best-loved characters. Joel J. Brattin, professor of English literature, contributed four essays to the Dickens companion Web site: "Dickens' Writings," "Dickens and America," "Dickens and Serial Fiction" and "Dickens the Social Critic." You can learn more at

New Computer Science Head Announced

Professor Michael Gennert has been named head of WPI’s Computer Science Department. Gennert, who received a B.S. in computer science, a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering, and an Sc.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, joined WPI in 1987 as an assistant professor and was named associate professor in 1993.

Gennert's research interests include computer vision, image processing, artificial intelligence, and scientific databases, with ongoing projects in biomedical image processing, application of fractal models to pavement analysis, VLSI implementation of median filtering, stereo vision, and very large spatio-temporal databases. Author or co-author of more than 50 papers, he is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical engineering honor society, Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the computer science honor society, ACM, IEEE, and the IEEE Computer Society.

Update Your Campus Directory

Human Resources has released the following updates to the 2003-04 campus directory. Please make a note of them in your copy.

  1. Please change the phone number for Beth Howland in the Alumni Office. It should be 6074.
  2. Please change the titles for the following faculty and staff in Chemistry & Biochemistry:
    Patrick Delaney: Adjunct Professor
    Zofia Glazer: Adjunct Assistant Professer
    Uma Kumar: Adjunct Assistant Professer
    Cindy Philbrick: Administrative Assistant VI
    Salvatore Triolo: Adjunct Assistant Professor
  3. Please add the following individuals to your directory:
    Academic Technology Center
    Walkowiak, Sara
    On-line Delivery Coordinator
    Fuller Labs B24
    508-831-5000 x 6723
    Civil & Environmental Engineering
    Albano, Leonard D.
    Associate Professor
    Kaven Hall 105
    508-831-5000 x 5492

Publications and Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Downing, B.R.,* Toner, M. and Pins, G.D., "The Influence of Collagen Membrane Microtopography on Keratinocyte Proliferation and Differentiation." Fall Meeting of the Materials Research Society, Boston, Mass., December 2003.

Balestrini, J.L.,* Walsh, S.E.,* Downing, B.R.*, Tressel, S.L.,* Coughlan, K.A.,* Billiar, K.L., and Pins, G.D., "Characterizing Surface Modifications of Basal Lamina Analogs to Enhance Keratinocyte Function and Tissue Regeneration." Fall Meeting of the Materials Research Society, Boston, Mass., December 2003.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Abu-Lail, N.I., and Camesano, T.A., "Role of Lipopolysaccharides in the Adhesion, Retention and Transport of Escherichia coli JM109," in Environmental Science & Technology, 2003, 37, 2173-2183.

Abu-Lail, N.I., and Camesano, T.A., "Role of Ionic Strength on the Relationship of Biopolymer Conformation, DLVO Contributions, and Steric Interactions to Bioadhesion of Pseudomonas putida KT2442," in Biomacromolecules, 2003, 4, 1000-1012.

Humanities and Arts

Brattin, Joel J., "Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience, by Greg Tate," book review in UniVibes 46, Dec. 2003, pp. 3-4.

Brattin, Joel J., "Hendrix and the Blues," film review in UniVibes 46, Dec.2003, p. 10.

Brattin, Joel, Jimi Hendrix: Musician, by Keith Shadwick, San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2003.

Forgeng, Jeffrey L., David Cram (of Oxford) and Dorothy Johnston (of Nottingham), Francis Willughby’s Book of Games: A Seventeenth-Century Treatise on Sports, Games, and Pastimes., Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003.

Gordon Library

Cox, C., "Problem-Based Learning," presented at Are They Learning What We’re Teaching? New Ways to Reach Your Patrons, NELINET, Southborough, Mass., Nov. 24.

Mechanical Engineering

Ault, H.K., A.H. Hoffman and L. Manrique, "Design of a Dynamic Bi-ski Armrest Mechanism," in proceedings of the RESNA 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tenn., June 2003.

Hoffman, A.H. and H. K. Ault, "Design Course Projects that Aid Persons With Disabilities," in proceedings of the 2003 Frontiers in Education Conference, Boulder, Col., Nov. 2003.

Shankar, S. and M.M. Makhlouf, "Nucleation of the Eutectic Phase in Al-Si Hypoeutectic Foundry Alloys," in proceedings of the European Congress on Advanced Materials and Processes, Lousanne, Switzerland, Sept. 2003.

Warke, V. and M. Makhlouf, "Inclusion Removal from Molten Metals by Particle Flotation: A Mathematical Model and Computer Simulations," in proceedings of the Tenth Conference on Modeling of Casting, Welding and Advanced Solidification Processes, edited by D. Stefanescu et al., pp. 599-606, Sandestin, Fla., May 2003.

Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics

Snoddy, Gregory, "A Model for Change: Incorporating Athletics into Education and Prevention Efforts," presented at the National Bacchus/Gamma Alcohol and Other Drug Conference, Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 2003.

Recent Grants

Academic Affairs

Cyr, M., for "Collaborative Research: Teach Engineering—Hands-on Engineering," from the National Science Foundation, $273,265.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Mallick, R., for "Determination of Structural Strength of Plant Mix Recycled Asphalt Pavement," from Maine Department of Transportation, $28,346.

Mallick, R., for "Relating Hot Mix Asphalt Pavement Density to Performance," from UMass Dartmouth, $45,569.

Computer Science

Heffernan, N., for "Affordable Cognitive Modeling

Authoring Tools Using HCI," from the Office of Naval Research, $67,070.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Brown, D., for "Analysis of Car Noise Received by Hands-Free Microphones," from Bose Corp., $7,000.

Brown, D., for "Automotive Speech Recognition Evaluation Tools and Process," from Bose Corp., $7,000.

Looft, F., D. Apelian and W. Michalson, for "WPI

Nanosat Program," from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), $43,829.

Cyganski, D., J. Orr and W. Michalson, for "Precision Indoor/Outdoor Personnel Location System," from the Department of Justice, $996,497.

Mechanical Engineering

Gatsonis, N., for "Compact Induced Current Hall Thruster," from Busek Co. Inc., $35,445.

Sullivan, J., for "Development and Refinement of Registration and Warping Algorithms Necessary to Transform MRI and Histological Images into a Standardized Reference Space," from the UMass Medical School, $75,000.

Ram-Mohan, L.R., for "Wavefunction Engineering of Spintronic Devices in ZnO/Mgo & GaN/AIN Quantum Structures Doped Transition Metal Ions," from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), $126,087

Total Oct. grants and contracts awarded: $1,776,039.

Did You Know?

Program Teaches Students How to Cook

Move over, Food Network! For students who want to know how to prepare quick, cheap, tasty and nutritious meals, the action isn’t on TV, but in kitchen of Morgan Commons. This year, WPI’s Healthy Alternatives Office has been running a new nutrition and cooking series for undergraduates, featuring Rich Perna, executive chef of Chartwells.

Once a term, Perna welcomes students to his kitchen, where he prepares a meal and then lets participants sample the final product. Students go home with a bag of free groceries and recipes. This year’s programs are "Making Recipes From Scratch" (B Term), "Regional Cooking" (C Term), and "Dining Etiquette" (D Term). To learn more, visit the HAO web site.

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Last modified: February 20, 2008 08:43:40