March 25, 2004

Around Campus

Be Sure to Spring Ahead

Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, April 4. Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead one hour.

Presidential Candidates Will Visit Campus

The field of candidates for the post of WPI's 15th president, originally more than 130 individuals, is now down to three finalists. Campus visits have been scheduled with two of the finalists; a visit for the third is being planned. All of the visits will include an open meeting with faculty, staff, students and alumni. Both open meetings will take place in Olin Hall 107. Here is the schedule for the first two finalists: Friday, March 26: Open meeting with Candidate No. 1, 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 30: Open meeting with Candidate No. 2, 11 a.m. For more information, including details about the candidates, visit the Presidential Search Web site.

London Project Center Photos on Display

The Gordon Library will feature "London Project Center: A Look Back," photographs taken by Karen A. Verrill '96 during and since her studies at the London Project Center in 1994. For more information, e-mail or call ext. 6612.

Time to Order Commencement Regalia

Those wishing to purchase or rent regalia for Commencement (May 22) should call the bookstore at ext. 5247 no later than April 9 to ensure the proper caps, gowns and hoods will be available. You will need to provide your name, height and jacket size, and for hoods, the exact degree and conferring institution. Caps are one-size-fits-all.

Ups and Downs for Charity

The sisters of Alpha Gamma Delta and the brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha will host their annual Teeter-Totter-A-Thon from noon on Friday, April 16, through Wednesday, April 21, on the Quadrangle. Proceeds will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Members of the WPI and Worcester communities are invited to contribute to the students as they ride the teeter-totter. For more information, contact Katrina Hildebrand at 508-736-8713 or

WPI Celebrates Graduate Research

The WPI community is invited to "A Celebration of Graduate Research at WPI" at 5:30 p.m. on April 14 in the Higgins House Great Hall. Steven L. Salzberg, senior director of bioinformatics at the Institute of Genomic Research and research professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Biology at John Hopkins University, will deliver the keynote address, titled "Genome Paleontology: Discoveries from Complete Genomes." To register, visit the Graduate Studies & Enrollment web site.

Health and Benefit Fair Set for April 15

Human Resources will host WPI's third annual Health and Benefits Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, in the Campus Center Odeum. More than 20 vendors, including representatives from WPI's health and retirement plans, local gyms, oil companies and local banks, will participate. Items donated by many of the vendors will be raffled off at the end of the day.

Celebrating Memories on Traditions Day

Traditions Day, the annual look back at people and events in WPI history, will begin with a candlelight walk starting at Reunion Plaza at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7. The walk will end at Higgins House for a reception and tour. Thursday, April 8, will feature a pennant rush and cage ball contest on Alumni Field at 4:30 p.m.; WPI Jeopardy at 6:30 p.m. in the Campus Center; and the Alma Mater Singing Contest in between Jeopardy rounds.

Tired of Winter? Attend the Library Luau

The Gordon Library invites you to take part in in a fest of fun and food in the spirit of a traditional Hawaiian Luau on Thursday, April 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second floor of the library. Attendees will be able to meet with representatives from several of the library's most popular electronic products and services.

Donate Blood; Win Red Sox Tickets

Alpha Gamma Delta and Phi Gamma Delta will sponsor a Red Cross Blood Drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7, and Thursday, April 8, in Founders Hall Basement. Positive ID is required to donate blood. Donors will be eligible to win tickets to a Red Sox/Yankees game at Fenway Park. For more information, call 508-791-7444, ext. 122. Walk-in donors welcome.

Did you See it? WPI is "Site of the Week"

As reported in the Feb. 26 issue of @WPI, EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association that seeks to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology, is featuring the WPI Web site as its "Site of the Week" this week. The organization says it seeks to showcase sites that "are well-designed, visually appealing and easy to use." To see the link to the WPI site, visit EDUCAUSE.


Ljungquist Writes for Wharton Collection

Kent Ljungquist, professor of English in the Humanities and Arts Department, wrote the introduction and notes for Ethan Frome and Selected Stories by Edith Wharton (New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2004). "Readers of Wharton's 1911 novel may remember that her title character took a year of study 'at a technological college at Worcester and dabbles in the laboratory with a friendly professor of physics,'" Ljungquist notes. "Inspired by his period of study at Worcester, Frome aspired to be an engineer, only to settle into the culturally and emotionally impoverished world of Starkfield, Wharton's fictional village in Western Massachusetts."

Orr Named Co-Director in Silicon Valley

John Orr, professor and former head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has been named co-director of WPI's Silicon Valley Project Center. He will share the director duties with David Finkel, professor of computer science, who has managed the center since its inception in 2000. The center, located in the heart of one of the nation's most famous hotbeds of technological innovation, is dedicated to Major Projects in computer science and electrical and computer engineering. "David deserves the thanks of the community for his hard work, as does John for his willingness to share in making these extraordinary opportunities available to our students," says Paul Davis, dean of interdisciplinary and global studies.

Publications and Presentations

Academic Affairs/K-12 Outreach

Chemical Engineering

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Humanities and Arts

Recent Grants

Biology and Biotechnology

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Computer Science

Fire Protection Engineering

Mathematical Sciences

Mechanical Engineering


Total February grants and contracts awarded: $1,378,760.

Bone Marrow Drive March 29

A bone marrow drive to benefit Patrick Newell, 26, of Spencer, Mass., will be held on Monday, March 29, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Campus Center, Odeum A and B. Newell, the stepson of Bob Pepin, supervisor of custodians at WPI, suffers from acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Newell, who worked with the WPI grounds crew as a student several years ago, had a stem cell transplant last fall, but his cancer recurred in February. He is now undergoing chemotherapy while waiting for the donor registries to find a match. Registering takes a few minutes and a small sample of blood; most health insurance plans will cover the cost of the testing.

For more information call Yvette Rutledge at ext. 5220; e-mail Bob at; or call the Caitlyn Raymond International Registry at UMass Memorial Medical Center at 508-334-8969.

Correcting Our Facts

The following faculty members were omitted from our report on tenure and promotion awards in the March 11 edition. The editors regret this error.

Joe Zhu, associate professor of management, granted tenure.

Alex A. Zozulya, tenured and promoted to professor of physics.

Did You Know

It's not often that students win awards for just hanging around, but the team of young men and women from the WPI/Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science's FIRST Robotics Team did just that recently. Well, to be accurate, it was their ingenious robot that did the hanging; the students picked up some impressive honors for designing the systems that enabled it to perform this show-stopping acrobatic feat.

The robot, Gompei the MOH (Magic Occurs Here) Goat, was designed for this year's round of FIRST robotics contests. FIRST, the creation of Dean Kamen '73, inspires high school students to get excited about engineering and science by having them participate in a national robot competition modeled after big-time sports.

The Mass Academy robot, developed in collaboration with students, faculty and staff from WPI, uses a unique defense mechanism that enables it to hang from a bar 10 feet high, at the same time keeping other teams from scoring. The design won the team the Engineering Inspiration Award, one of the highest honors presented at the Granite State Regional competition in Manchester, N.H., and the Xerox Creativity Award at a regional contest in Phoenix, Ariz., where the team placed 8th among 36 entrants. The WPI/Mass Academy is one of six teams that has taken part in FIRST since its inception in 1992.

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Last modified: February 21, 2008 08:53:51