September 23, 2004

Around Campus

Homecoming Weekend is Oct. 8-9

"Celebrate" is the theme of this year's Homecoming weekend, set for Oct. 8-9. Alumni and friends of WPI are invited to come to campus for hours of memories, music and merriment that celebrate the university's past, present and future. This year's Homecoming football game, against Union College, will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday on Alumni Field. For a complete schedule, visit the alumni homepage.

Five to Join the Athletic Hall of Fame

At the annual induction banquet on Oct. 9., during Homecoming weekend, five alumni will join the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame. This year's inductees are Brian C. Learned '97 (football); Jennifer R. Lovin '96 (basketball); Christine A. (Clancy) McNary '86 (field hockey, softball); Francis J. Oneglia '42 (basketball); and Richard H. Wheeler '77 (basketball).

Hispanic Heritage Month Events

WPI continues to observe Hispanic Heritage Month with several events and activities.
Today and Tomorrow: "Promoting Unidad," an opportunity to learn fun facts about Hispanic culture, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Campus Center Lobby. (giveaways and free food)
Friday, Sept. 24: Mambo Mouth, a movie sponsored by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Salisbury Labs 104, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 28: Hispanic Heritage Month Reception at the OASIS (20 Shussler Road), sponsored by Office of Minority Affairs and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 6: "Dance the Night Away," free Salsa lessons sponsored by Office of Minority Affairs and Healthy Alternatives, Campus Center Odeum, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 8: Nueve Reninas, a movie sponsored by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Salisbury Labs 104, 7 p.m.
For more information, call x5796.

Need a Photo of Yourself for the Web?

On Friday, Oct 1, the Academic Technology Center will take photos of WPI faculty and staff members for the WPI Web site. Photos will be taken in Fuller Labs 113 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. No appointment needed; photos will take about 5 minutes.


Richardson Named VP for Student Affairs

Janet Begin Richardson, who has been acting vice president of Student Affairs since May, has been appointed vice president for student affairs. Richardson joined WPI in 1980 as assistant dean of students. During her more than 20 years at the university, she has touched upon all aspects of student life and has held the positions of assistant vice president for student affairs, dean of student life, associate dean of students, and assistant dean of students. She is the first woman to be named to a vice president at WPI.

Clay Named Dean of Students

Philip N. Clay has been promoted from associate dean of students and director of residential service to dean of students. Clay joined the university in 1993 as associate director of residential services; he was named director of residential services in 1994.

Mott Receives Thoreau Society Award

Wesley Mott, professor of English, has received the Thoreau Society's Walter Harding Distinguished Service Award. Mott served on the society's Board of Directors for 14 years, the last six as vice president of publications. He continues to serve on the advisory boards of the Thoreau Society Bulletin and the annual journal The Concord Saunterer, and is series editor of the society's "Spirit of Thoreau" books published initially by Houghton Mifflin and now by the University of Massachusetts Press. The Thoreau Society, founded in 1941, is the oldest and largest organization dedicated to the study and appreciation of an American author.

Students Present Papers at Mathfest 2004

Three WPI undergraduates presented papers Aug. 12-14 at Mathfest 2004 in Providence, R.I., the annual joint summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America and Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society. Ryan Sternberg won the Pi Mu Epsilon Best Paper Prize for his paper "Cartesian Products of Triangles as Unit Distance Graphs." David LeRay's paper was titled "Bifurcation Analysis of the Morris-Lecar Equations." Mary Servatius presented "Making Spirals."

Meet the New Faculty Members

The following new faculty members were introduced by Provost Jack Carney at the first faculty meeting of the year on Sept. 9. (New department heads Eric Overström, Biology & Biotechnology, John Norbury, Physics, and Kathy Notarianni, Fire Protection Engineering, were profiled in previous issues of @WPI.)
Shela Aboud, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, earned a Ph.D. and an M.S. in electrical engineering from Arizona State University and B.S. degrees in physics and engineering physics from Oregon State University.
Jon Abraham, coordinator of the actuarial mathematics program in Mathematical Sciences, has a B.S. in statistics from the University of Iowa and is an E.A. (Enrolled Actuary) and an F.S.A. (Fellow, Society of Actuaries).
Ivan Blank, assistant professor of mathematical sciences, earned a Ph.D. from Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and an A.B. in mathematics from Princeton University.
Maj. Randall Brown, professor and department head, Military Science, has a B.A. in business management from Moravian College and an M.A. in human resource development from Webster University.
Soussan Djamasbi, assistant professor of management, earned a Ph.D. in communications and information sciences from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, an M.S. in computer science from the University of New Mexico, and a B.S. in computer science from Christian Albert Universität in Germany.
John Gau, adjunct assistant professor, Physics, has an M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a B.Sc. In physics from Iowa State University-Ames.
Scott Jiusto, assistant professor in Interdisciplinary and Global Studies, earned a Ph.D. from Clark University Graduate School of Geography, an M.A. in geography from University at Albany, State University of New York, and a B.S. in social theory, social structure and change from Empire State College, State University of New York.
Robert Krueger, assistant professor, in Interdisciplinary and Global Studies, earned a Ph.D. in geography and M.A. in environmental science from Clark University, and an M.S.L. in environmental law and policy and a B.S. in political science from Oklahoma State University.
Jianyu Liang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Brown University and an M.E. and B.S. in physical chemistry from Central South University in China.
Jamie Monat, visiting assistant professpor, Management, has a B.S. in aerospace and mechanical stidies from Princeton University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Stanford University.
Umberto Mosco, Harold J. Gay Professor, Mathematical Sciences, holds the "Libera Docenza" in mathematical methods in physics, Italy, and a degree in physics and a degree in mathematics from the University of Rome.
Sgt. 1st Class Philip B. Riddick, assistant professor, Military Science, is completing a B.A. in computer technology at eArmyU.
Eunmi Shim, assistant professor in Humanities and Arts, earned a Ph.D. and M.M. in musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.M. in piano performance from Seoul National University, Korea.
Capt. Austin L. Sorensen, assistant professor, Air Force and Aerospace Studies, holds a B.S. in foreign area studies (Latin America) from the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Darko Volkov, assistant professor of mathematical sciences, earned a Ph.D. in mathematics at Rutgers University and a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Paris 6.
Jennifer Wilcox, assistant professor of chemical engineering, earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, an M.A. in chemistry from the University of Arizona, and a B.A. in mathematics from Wellesley College.

Publications and Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Sean Kohles, former associate professor of biomedical engineering, wrote to advise us of the following two recent publications. Two of his co-authors, Rani Roy and Melissa Clark, were graduate students at WPI when these projects were completed:

Chemical Engineering

* WPI undergraduate; ** former WPI graduate student
* Ph.D. student

Computer Science

Humanities and Arts

Recent Grants

Biomedical Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Fire Protection Engineering

Interdisciplinary and Global Studies

Mechanical Engineering

Mathematical Science

Total Aug. grants and contracts awarded: $841,747.

Did You Know...

WPI Football Touches Down in Liberty League

WPI's football team has joined the Liberty League as an associate member this fall. Formerly know as the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association, the league sponsors championships in 24 sports and includes members that place a high priority on quality of education. The newly named league includes founding schools Clarkson, Hamilton, Hobart and William Smith colleges, University of Rochester, RPI, St. Lawrence, Skidmore, Union, and Vassar; the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy also joined this year.

The newest member of the Liberty League is off to an outstanding start in the 2004 season. On Sept. 4, the WPI football team buried Endicott, 47-2, as it opened the 115th season of WPI football at Alumni Field. Junior running back Billy Orfalea rushed for 91 yards and seven players scored touchdowns in that game. The following weekend, on Sept. 10, Orfalea rushed for 123 yards and four touchdowns to lead WPI in a 40-7 rout of crosstown rival Worcester State.

Read the full news release about WPI's entry into the Liberty League.

Computer Tips

Goodbye, Floppy; Hello, USB

Gone are the days of the floppy drive. It's time to welcome a new technology: the USB flash drive, also known as disk-on-key, memory key or thumb drive. Most new computers on campus, including those in the CCC labs and ATC laptops, no longer have built-in floppy drives. To transfer files between these computers, you'll use a USB flash drive in the same manner you used to use a floppy disk.

A 128 MB flash drive is equivalent to nearly 90 floppy disks, so there's no worry about cramming that large PowerPoint presentation onto a floppy! USB flash drives require a USB port to operate and are easily recognized by Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

The CCC has these nifty, compact devices for sale at the following prices: 128 MB, $25; 256 MB, $50; 512 MB, $82. Please note that these prices are subject to change, and are determined according to the current shipment cost. Larger capacity drives may be special ordered upon request. For more information, call Kerrie O'Connor at 508-831-5532.

Music in the Air

WPI's musical ensembles will present their first concert of the year Saturday, Sept. 25, at 4 p.m. in Alden Memorial. The concert is free and open to the public. To learn more, contact Doug Weeks at ext. 5696.

Ask Amy

What's the difference between an elliptical trainer and a rowing machine? A friend suggested that I could use either to help me lose weight and build muscle, but I'm worried because I've had problems with my back. Could using those machines do more harm than good? - Amy Marr '96, Director, Web Development

Elliptical trainers are "competitors" of treadmills. They provide low impact exercise by facilitating a sliding motion with the feet rather than a "striking" motion familiar to those who use treadmills or walk or run on pavement. A rowing machine is operated from a sitting position. While there is no striking impact (the workout is delivered primarily to the muscles on the arms, back, and shoulders), use of the machine may not be beneficial for those with knee problems. Lower back discomfort can also occur while using a rowing machine, but this is usually the result of improper warm-up and/or improper form while pulling back on the rope (tipping the head back, for instance, unnecessarily arches the back.) Back injuries or weaknesses often make people hesitant to engage in physical activities, but by properly stretching these muscles and performing static exercises (such as abdominal crunches) with one or both legs bent, back pain and muscular stiffness can be reduced.

What matters most in combining an exercise program with weight loss is consistently hitting three key areas: getting into the habit of regular workouts (30 minutes each day or every other day), working out at a rate that gets you out of breath (increasing your heart rate), and reducing your daily caloric intake. It really doesn't matter which equipment or form of exercise you choose. Studies that compared workouts on elliptical training equipment to workouts on a treadmill, stair stepper, and cycle ergometer found no significant difference in participants' heart rate, calories burned, or oxygen consumption. It's really a matter of choosing what you enjoy and then sticking with it.

Do you have a question about exercise, diet, or nutrition? E-mail


Bonnie Russell, administrative assistant to the director of capital and endowed gifts, recommends Chat Room, a mystery by Linda Hall that delves into the darker side of the internet. Private investigator Teri Blake-Addison is hired by a young woman in her church to find her friend who ran off with someone she met on the Internet and hasn't been heard from since.

Bookshelves is a way to share "good reads."

E-mail your recommendations to atwpi@WPI.EDU; include the title, author, and a few lines about the book and why you liked it.

Venture Forum Focus: What you need to know to be a CEO

The October Venture Forum meeting features an expert in grooming individuals to successfully occupy the top of the corporate ladder. Tom Sherwin, founder and president of CEO Resources Inc., has provided advice and counsel to CEOs as they and their companies move from one plateau to the next. Recently elected president of the New England Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors, Sherwin advises client boards in corporate governance, education, self-evaluation, succession and board strategy development. His presentation, including tips and guidance for those seeking to achieve a leadership position, begins at 6:30 p.m. (registration at 6 p.m.) on Tuesday, Oct. 12 , in the Campus Center Odeum. Admission is $10 for members, $20 for nonmembers, and free for faculty, staff and students with ID,; 508-831-5075.

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Last modified: February 25, 2008 14:11:21