February 12, 2004

Around Campus

Skull Taps 15

Skull, WPI's senior honorary society, recently tapped 15 members of the WPI community. Founded in 1911, Skull honors students, faculty, staff and alumni for their contributions to the betterment of the university. Those tapped from the Class of 2005 are:

Ryan Carey, biomedical engineering
Adam Epstein, mathematics
Jacob Given, environmental biology and theater
Joseph Gruttadauria, mechanical engineering
Christopher Hamman, electrical and computer engineering (concentration in signal processing)
Katrina Hildebrand, technical communications
Laura Holberger, biology
Megan Holmes, biomedical engineering
Jocelyn Lally, mechanical engineering (concentration in design)
Thomas Nogueira, chemical engineering
Sid Rupani, mechanical engineering (concentrations in aerospace and design)
Anthony Smith, electrical and computer engineering
Tony Wieczorek, technical communications

Also tapped were David Baker '81, principal consultant for Blackstone Automation, LLC, and Roger Steele '91, assistant radiological safety officer, laser safety officer and lab manager in WPI's Physics Department.

Annual Theme and Cathedral Concerts

The WPI Concert Band, directed by Douglas Weeks, administrator of applied music, will hold its annual theme concert on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 5 p.m. in Alden Memorial. The theme is Nautical Music. Weeks will also conduct the Brass Ensemble and the Orchestra during WPI's annual concert in St. Paul's Cathedral at 10 Chatham Street in Worcester on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m. The concerts are free and open to the public. For more information, call ext. 5696.

APO Sleep-out Set for Feb. 18

On Wednesday, Feb. 18, Alpha Phi Omega, WPI's national co-ed service fraternity, will hold its annual "sleep-out," in which students spend the night on the sidewalk outside Harrington Auditorium to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless in Worcester and to raise money for local homeless shelters.

Masque Presents The Rivals

Masque, the WPI theater organization, and the Humanities and Arts Department will present Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals, tonight, tomorrow and Saturday (Feb. 12, 13 and 14) in Alden Memorial. Performances are at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5, general public, and $3, WPI students.

The Rivals, first performed in 1775, is a situational comedy about a young woman and the many men who vie for her heart and her hand in marriage. The play is most famous for one particular character, Mrs. Malaprop, from which the English language gets the term malapropism. To learn more, visit the Masque web site.

WPI Will No Longer Sponsor Three Sports

WPI has announced that it will not sponsor varsity sport programs in golf, men's tennis and women's tennis as of the 2004-05 academic year. All three Division III teams compete in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

"This is a difficult and painful decision, as we have greatly valued the participation and experiences of these student-athletes in our athletic program," notes Dana L. Harmon, director of physical education, recreation and athletics. "However, with the loss of funding projected for our department next year, we believe it is necessary and in the best interest of the overall varsity athletics program." The athletic program will continue to sponsor 20 varsity sport teams with no further reductions in sport offerings planned, Harmon says.

The decision to no longer sponsor these three sports was part of an overall plan to address a projected budget shortfall for the 2004-05 fiscal year and to reposition the university financially to enable it to emerge from the national economic downturn in a strong fiscal position. Other steps taken as part of this plan include eliminating 42 administrative and staff positions from across the university (some 30 percent were vacant), delaying filling six faculty positions in six academic departments, reducing some full-time administrative and staff positions to part-time.

These actions were taken only after several months of intense discussion and study by WPI's senior administration, during which many possible courses of action were considered.

The administration was responding to a mandate from the Board of Trustees to take steps that would be more than a short-term stopgap-that would, in fact, be a true repositioning of the university's finances.

"In short," according to President Edward Alton Parrish, "the trustees want WPI to continue to be a fiscally strong institution with the resources it needs to fulfill its mission as a world-class university and continue to make strategic investments in people, programs and facilities that will enable the university to respond effectively to future challenges and opportunities."

Summer Internship and Co-op Job Fair

The annual Summer Internship and Co-op Job Fair will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Campus Center Odeum. Thirty companies, looking for students in all majors for summer, co-op and full-time positions, are registered to attend (see the CDC site for a full list). The event is co-sponsored by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers.

Celebrate Black History Month at WPI

WPI's observance of Black History Month continues with the following programs:

Monday, Feb. 16
Sweet Potato Day, Morgan Hall, sponsored by Minority Affairs, all day
Wednesday, Feb. 18
"Wild Style," Terrance Turner, president, Black Student Union, Olin Hall 107, 8 to 10 a.m.
Monday, Feb. 23, to Friday, Feb. 27
Race Machine, a machine that shows how a person would look if they were of a different race, Campus Center, Lobby
Tuesday, Feb. 24
African Dinner and Drumming, sponsored by the International Student Council, Campus Center, Odeum, $3, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 25
The Meeting, a movie, Campus Center, Odeum, 7 p.m.

For more information on these events, call ext. 5796.


IEEE Appoints Demetriou to Three Posts

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Control System Society's Board of Governors has appointed Michael A. Demetriou, associate professor of mechanical engineering, to three positions: associate editor of Transactions on Automatic Control; associate editor of the Conference Editorial Board, and chair of the Technical Committee on Distributed Parameter Systems. Demetriou's research focuses on such areas as adaptive estimation and control of distributed parameter systems; fault detection, diagnosis and accommodation of dynamical systems; and modeling and vibration control of flexible structures, panels, membranes, smart actuators and sensors.

Report From the Cabinet

Jan. 20, 2004, Meeting Summary

Operating Budget Status: The president and others reviewed the FY 04 budget. Data from spring enrollments and other areas were not yet available, so new projections for the budget for the remainder of this fiscal year could not be made for several weeks. Judi Trainor asked for accurate reviews of accounts in the first six months of FY 04 as soon as possible. The president indicated that the FY 05 budget under development might still have a shortfall, requiring WPI to continue current restructuring and budget enhancement measures.

Capital Budget Overview: John Miller distributed data on various proposed capital projects. Discussion involved their impact on the operational budget, both immediately and through amortization. Thomas Lynch discussed capital expenses in IT, and Michael Curley commented on changes in financial aid allocation strategies for this year's incoming class.

Summer Term Update: Arlene Lowenstein distributed slides concerning new strategies for summer session. She is implementing several changes based on student surveys and focus groups. These include new demand-driven course scheduling and starting E-Term before Commencement in order to end the seven-week term before July 4.

FIRST Presentation: Ken Stafford discussed the FIRST Robotics program's extensive K-12 outreach, which yields a number of matriculants every year. He said the program engages about 230 WPI students each year and helps build WPI's-name recognition at the various regional and national contests where WPI competes. The program not only involves students in engineering and helps them develop those interests, but promotes teamwork and leadership.

Notaries Public: Lance Schachterle said he understood the process for notarizing documents on campus had become more complex, and that several current staff members who serve as notaries public do not plan to be recertified. He suggested, and all agreed, that WPI should inventory the need for notary services on campus and take steps to keep the number of notaries at a level appropriate to this need. Janet Richardson agreed to share the lead in this project.

Open House: Kevin Kelly said that with more than 550 people in attendance, the Jan. 19 Open House for high school juniors and seniors was the second largest January open house of the last six years.

Publications and Presentations

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Vaz, Richard, "Linking Assessment to Curricular Improvement: Enhancing Learning Outcomes in Engineering Design Projects," invited presentation, New England Association of Schools and Colleges Fall Assessment Forum, Worcester, Mass., Nov., 2003.

Vaz, Richard, and Orr, John A., "ECE as a Pre-Professional Undergraduate Program," in IEEE Transactions on Education, vol. 46, no. 4, pp 429-433, Nov. 2003.

Humanities and Arts

Menides, Laura Jehn, "Tomorrows," a poem in Theatre of the Mind, London: Noble House Publishers, 2003, pp. 4-5.

Menides, Laura Jehn, "Reunion in Hydra, Greece: A Sestina," in the Worcester Review, vol. 24, pp.103-104.

Interdisciplinary and Global Studies

Demetry, Chrysanthe, DiBiasio, David, Mello, Natalie A., and Vaz, Richard, "Study Abroad in a Culture of Assessment," presented at the sixth annual colloquium on International Engineering Education, Warwick, R.I., Oct. 2003.

Vaz, Richard, "Lessons Learned: 15 Years of WPI Service-Learning Projects in Thailand," presented at the 22nd International IPS-L Conference, Chiang Mai, Thailand, January 2004.

Vaz, Richard, moderator, "Promoting Campus Dialogues to Put Civic Learning at the Core," presented at the 2004 annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Washington, D.C., January 2004.

Krueger, J. Robert, and Vaz, Richard, "Creating Opportunities for Service Learning: The Worcester Community Project Center Approach," presented at the 2004 annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Washington, D.C., January 2004.

Mechanical Engineering

Andreeva, T.A., Meleschi, S.B., and Durgin, W.W., "Experimental Investigation of Statistical Moments of Travel Time in Grid-Generated Turbulence," 42nd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, Nevada, Jan. 5-8, 2004.

Recent Grants

Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science at WPI

Bonneau, Jacklyn, for "Laboratory Instruments for Inquiry Physics," from Best Buy Children's Fund, $2,500.

Did You Know?

The world's first commercial radio station was developed by Henry P. Davis, Class of 1880. In 1920, when he was vice president for engineering and manufacturing for Westinghouse, Davis became impressed with the growing interest in the entertainment value of radio broadcasting. In particular, he noted the popularity of an amateur radio station manned by Frank Conrad, assistant chief engineer at Westinghouse. Seeing the commercial potential of the new medium, Davis authorized Westinghouse to set up radio station KDKA.

On Nov. 2, 1920, it became the first commercial station to go on the air. Davis, himself, stood before the microphone on that historic day to read the results of the presidential elections. A visionary and a skilled inventor (he earned more than 80 patents), Davis continued his interest in broadcasting throughout the remainder of his career and today is widely considered to be the father of commercial broadcasting. When the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was founded in 1926, he became its first chairman, a post he held until his death in 1931.

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Last modified: February 20, 2008 09:31:27