February 26, 2004

Around Campus

WPI Signs Agreement with Navy Center

WPI recently entered into an Education Partnership Agreement with the U.S. Navy's Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) for science and engineering related to biomedical technology, acoustics and microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS). Under the agreement, WPI undergraduate and graduate students may earn academic credit for work on defense laboratory research projects with NUWC scientists and engineers. In addition, WPI's Bioengineering Institute assists NUWC in leveraging its resources and promoting the commercialization of Navy research and technology into the private sector.

Regional Science Fair on Campus March 5

Want to get to know tomorrow's scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs? Stop by the Campus Center Odeum on Friday, March 5, to see more than 140 experiment-based projects developed by students at 16 high schools around Central Massachusetts. The students will be competing for several thousand dollars in awards and prizes at the 49th Annual Worcester Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

Students will begin setting up early in the morning and the judging by local scientists, medical professionals and engineers (including Brian Savilonis, professor of mechanical engineering at WPI) will run through the early afternoon. The fair will be open to the public from 1:30 to 4:45 p.m. The action will then move to Perreault Hall in Fuller Laboratories for an awards ceremony at 5 p.m. James B. Sampson, of the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass., will be the guest speaker. The fair is sponsored by WPI and other local colleges, clubs, corporations and professional organizations.

Music Groups to Tour Krakow and Prague

The WPI Concert Band, Stage Band and Jazz Ensemble will tour Krakow, Poland, and Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, between March 7 and 14, performing in jazz clubs, cultural centers and theaters. It will be the 11th international tour for these instrumental ensembles, which are directed by Douglas Week and Richard Falco. Previous tours have taken the student musicians to Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Egypt, England, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Russia and Spain. The Stage Band and Jazz Ensemble will present a pre-tour concert at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 29, in Alden Memorial.

Registration Open for Summer Session

WPI's summer session starts May 17. Web registration for continuing students is now open. For course and registration details, view the online summer catalog.

WPI Web Site Recognized by EDUCAUSE

EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association that seeks to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology, will feature the WPI Web site as its "Site of the Week" the week of March 22. Visitors to EDUCAUSE that week will find a link there to the WPI site. "While this in no way represents an award," says Joan Couse, EDUCAUSE member programs associate, "we do attempt to showcase sites that are well-designed, visually appealing, and easy to use." The current WPI Web site was developed in the spring of 2002 through a collaboration between the staff of University Marketing and the Web Development Office.


WPI's University Ambassadors Announced

President Parrish this week announced the first recipients of WPI's new University Ambassador Awards, which recognize excellence in representing WPI to the outside world. The recipients are

More than 30 faculty and staff members and students, from all corners of the university, were nominated. A working committee narrowed the pool to nine finalists for consideration by a selection committee, which chose the two winners.

"We introduced these awards to convey the important role that everyone in the WPI community has in helping to build the reputation of the university," Parrish said. "Through their efforts, Natalie and Katherine have helped enhance and expand WPI's image, reputation and name recognition. We are fortunate to have individuals like them in our community."

Faculty Honor Garvin; Reception Planned

Ann Garvin, who will retire on March 12 as director of academic advising after 20 years at WPI, was honored at the February faculty meeting with a special resolution and a standing ovation. The resolution noted her many contributions to improving WPI's academic advising program and the work she has done to help faculty members become better mentors to students. Garvin will be feted at a reception in her honor on Thursday, March 4, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Campus Center, Mid-Century Room. The campus community is invited.

Snyder Named Academic Advising Director

Dale Snyder has been chosen to succeed Ann Garvin as director of academic advising. Snyder joined WPI in 1998 as the founding director of WPI's Academic Resource Center after a career in the U.S. Navy. Under her leadership, the center has contributed significantly to raising WPI's first- to-second-year retention rate to over 90 percent. In addition to supporting many students individually and in groups, she has directed the Insight program and the summer bridge program.

Sokal Heads History of Science Society

Michael M. Sokal, professor of history, recently became president of the History of Science Society, the world's largest society dedicated to exploring the history of the social impact of science, technology and medicine. Sokal, who has been a member of the society since 1969 and was its first executive secretary, will serve as president through the end of 2005. A member of the WPI faculty for more than 30 years, he has taught and conducted research in the areas of the history of American science and technology and the history of psychology.

Report From the Cabinet

Feb. 3, 2004, Meeting Summary

FY 04 and FY 05 Budgets: Efforts were still under way to ensure the FY 04 budget will be balanced at year-end. Much attention was being directed at developing the troubled FY 05 budget.

Upper-class Financial Aid Issues: Mike Curley led a discussion of strategies for packaging financial aid for next year for upper-class students, including changes in current policy for WPI aid and/or participating in the summer bridge program. Both of these changes were discussed previously in detail in the faculty Committee on Academic Policy. The impact of changes in WPI aid on the Global Perspective Program was also discussed.

Tuition Rate and Fees for FY 05: Judi Trainor presented comparative historical and peer group data on WPI's tuition, fees and cost of attendance. Discussion centered on options and impacts of increases in these areas for FY 05.

Notaries Public: Janet Richardson reported on her meeting with 10 WPI employees who identified themselves as notaries public. New regulations will require new training and more time to notarize documents. The cabinet agreed these services were important to WPI, and thus directed that training costs continue, as notaries will be paid for by the university.

Athletics Update: Bernie Brown reported on changes next year in the current program as well as significant successes in this year's programs, especially basketball.

Student Healthcare and Costs: Janet Richardson made a presentation on healthcare costs at WPI. The health fee is embedded within tuition for undergraduates ; graduates may elect to pay it to obtain on-campus service in the Health Center. The current fee is the lowest of all schools for which comparative data is available.

Undergraduate Admissions: Kevin Kelly distributed data on admissions to date: numbers and quality of applicants are up from last year, with gender and ethnic distributions remaining about the same. He expects another record year in applications.

Spring '04 Enrollments: Bill Durgin discussed enrollments for spring 2004. Undergraduate enrollment is nearly exactly equal to that predicted, while part-time graduate enrollment is down. Most of the shortfall is believed to be due to the fact that companies are cutting back on educational support for employees. Also, international graduate student applications are down dramatically for next year, as they are at other universities. Impacts on the budget were discussed, that could be serious. Undergraduate enrollment for spring 2004 was essentially on the budget target.

Publications and Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Humanities and Arts


Recent Grants

Chemical Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Computer Science

Diversity and Women's Programs

Did You Know?

Just in time for Valentine's Day, the National Academy of Engineering produced a radio spot for WTOP in Washington, D.C., about work by WPI's Surface Metrology Laboratory that proved that chocolate, like love itself, improves when the temperature starts to rise. WPI's engineers, led by Christopher Brown, director of the Manufacturing Engineering Program, teamed with chocolate researchers to study chocolate with a scanning laser microscope originally developed for NASA. They found that at warmer temperatures, the surface of broken chocolate is rougher, presenting more area to the taste buds, and maximizing the chocolate flavor.
You can learn more about the research at the Surface Metrology Laboratory.

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Last modified: February 21, 2008 08:33:53