December 2, 2004

Around Campus

When It's "Frosty" Outside

Snow Announcements: When severe weather hits this winter, announcements about snow-related closings or delayed openings will recorded on the Weather Line, 508-831-5744, a special number set up just for such announcements. They will also be posted on the WPI home page. You can also tune into the following television stations: WBZ (channel 4), WHDH (channel 7) and WCVB (channel 5), and these radio stations: WTAG (580 AM), WORC (1310 AM), WBZ (1030 AM), WRKO (680 AM), WSRS (96.1 FM) and WXLO (104.5 FM).

Pay Policies: In the event of inclement weather (if there is no announced closing), the following pay procedures will be followed:

IAFE Recognizes Financial Math Program

The International Association of Financial Engineers has accepted WPI's professional master's degree program in financial mathematics as one of its member programs and certified that WPI's program meets the organization's standards. "This recognition by IAFE is currently the closest thing there is to accreditation in the emerging, and still unregulated, field of financial mathematics," notes Domokos Vermes, associate professor of mathematical sciences.

Besides exposure and name recognition for WPI in the financial area, WPI's link-up with IAFE will lead to expanded employment opportunities for WPI graduates, adds Vermes, who has been invited to join IAFE's education committee. "Involvement with the committee offers WPI valuable insight and guidance as it seeks to expand the professional financial mathematics program from its current promising startup status to its full potential."

D.C. Center's 30th Anniversary Noted

Alumni, faculty, students and staff will gather for a special reception at the Rayburn House Office Building in the Nation's Capital this evening (Dec. 2) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the university's first off-campus residential project center. President Dennis Berkey will be the featured speaker.

The Washington, D.C., Project Center opened in 1974, just a few years after the launch of the WPI Plan. Since then, student teams have conducted hundreds of Interactive Qualifying Projects for dozens of federal agencies, professional associations and other organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the Smithsonian.

The D.C. Center was the first node in WPI's global network of residential project centers, which now number more than 20 and span five continents. WPI's first overseas center, in London, observed its 15th anniversary in 2002. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the project program in Denmark.

Faculty Approves New IMGD Major

At its November meeting, the faculty voted to create a new bachelor of science program in Interactive Media and Game Development, which will begin officially with the 2005-06 academic year.

The first major of its kind in the United States, it will focus on the development of interactive media and computer games, emphasizing both the artistic and technical aspects of these fields. It will be administered jointly by the Computer Science and Humanities & Arts departments and its faculty will be drawn from both departments.

Review the Fundamentals of Engineering

The Extended Education Office will offer a review course for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. Classes will be held on the WPI campus on Mondays from 6 to 9 p.m. for 11 weeks beginning Jan. 17. The fee is $275 for WPI undergraduates and $425 for others. For more information, call 508-831-5517.

Service Provider Directory Online

A directory of individuals who provide services that may be of interest to members of the WPI community is now online at The directory was compiled by the Campus Center Office based on suggestions from members of the campus community.

"Charles Dickens" Reads A Christmas Carol

Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Mr. Fezziwig and the other immortal characters from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol will come to life on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall of Higgins House in a performance by nationally touring actor and scholar Bert Hornback, who portrays the author, complete with Victorian attire. Like Dickens, Hornback travels with his own reading stand, a replica of the specially designed reading desk that Dickens used for his public readings. After the performance, Hornback, still in character, will answer questions from the audience. A reception and book signing will follow. The performance is made possible by support from WPI's Humanities & Arts Department and Student Activities Office.

United Way Drive Raises Over $21,000

The recently concluded annual United Way appeal at WPI raised over $21,000 from the WPI community, an increase of 12 percent from last year; participation was up 10 percent. The following members of the faculty and staff won prizes for their participation:

"Thailand in Crisis" Focus of Hull Talk

Cholthira Satyawadhna, director of Thai-Asian studies at Rangsit University and Radcliffe Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University will present a talk titled "Thailand in Crisis: Getting To Know Thai Society When in Crisis" today (Dec. 2) at 4 p.m. in Atwater Kent Room 219. The talk is part of the Hull Colloquium Series on Society and Technology.

In her talk, Satyawadhna will put recent events in Thailand, including sectarian violence and massacres in its southern provinces, and accusations that the government has been engaged in human rights violations and ethnic discrimination, in a broader context of social change in Thailand, one in which the civil and political rights of the Thai people have become more recognized and respected.


Health Center Physician Honored

Dr. J. Barry Hanshaw, physician for WPI's Health Services, received the Career Achievement Award from the Worcester District Medical Society on Nov. 17. Hanshaw, the first chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, was honored "for leadership in community pediatrics, actively involving practicing physicians in teaching while providing tertiary cars to children in Central and Western Massachusetts," according to a story in the Telegram & Gazette.

Zwiep Receives ASME's Highest Honor

Donald N. Zwiep, emeritus professor and emeritus head of the Mechanical Engineering Department, was recently recognized as an Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. ASME's highest honor, honorary membership, recognizes distinguished service that contributes significantly to the attainment of the goals of the engineering profession. One of four individuals to receive the award this year, Zwiep is the first person from WPI to receive the honor. His contributions to engineering and engineering education span more than 50 years, during which time he has been a leader in engineering education and professional technical organizations. His service to WPI, ASME, and numerous other universities and organizations is evidence of his lifelong contribution to the enrichment of engineering.

Three Students Feted at Awards Night

The 2004 Student Awards Night for the Worcester chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers was held at WPI on Nov. 18. The following three students won Chapter SME Outstanding Student Awards: Michael Caputo '05, Ryan St. Gelais '06, and Steven Tufo '05. Jack Healy, director of the Massachusetts Extension Partnership, was guest speaker.

Publications and Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Mendelson, Y., and Billiar, K.L., "A Laboratory-Centered, Intermediate-Level Course in Biomedical Engineering Design," presented at the First Conference of the Partnership for Educational Biomedical Engineering Laboratories (PEBEL), Washington D.C., June 2004.

Computer Science

Dougherty, D.J., and Selkow, S.M., "The complexity of the certification of properties of Stable Marriage," Information Processing Letters 92:6 (2004), pp 275-277.

Humanities and Arts

Dollenmayer, David, and Even, Susanne, "Using a Macaronic Novel in Second-Year German," presented at Wellesley College, Nov. 18.

Falco, Richard, received the 2004 Jazz at Sunset Jazz Festival Award for outstanding contributions in the areas of jazz performance and education.

Forgeng, Jeffrey L., "Arms and the Man': Evolution and Meanings in the Age of Armor," Mobile Museum of Art, Alabama, Nov. 6, 2004.

Provost Office

Schachterle, Lance, "Using NSSE for Retention and Improvement of First-Year Programs at WPI," presented at the MELMAC (Maine) statewide conference on retention, Rockport, Maine, Oct. 29.

Schachterle, Lance, "Using Data and Outcomes Assessment to Nurture an Intentional Learning Environment," presented at the AAC&U Conference, Philadelphia, Nov. 12.

Recent Grants

Fire Protection Engineering

Zalosh, R., for "AFRL Water Mist Suppression for Hydrogen Peroxide," from Streamline Automation LLC, $56,338.

Mathematical Sciences

Lui, R.Y., for "Collaborative Research: Two Dimensional Cell Motility Model," from the National Science Foundation, $70,000.

Yakovlev, V.V., for "Modeling and Optimization of Electromagnetic Pasteurization," from the Michigan Research Institute, $77,635.

Correcting Our Facts

In the Nov. 4 edition, three grants were listed under the incorrect department. Grants received by Roger Lui and Vadim Yakovlev, both of the Mathematical Sciences Department, and Robert Zalosh, of Fire Protection Engineering, were listed under Computer Science. We regret this error. All three grants are listed again in the current issue.

Ask Amy

Facts about Holiday Eating

Fact 1: Some studies, including one reported in the March 2000 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that people typically gain up to seven pounds over the six-week holiday season (Thanksgiving to Super Bowl Sunday); other studies put the typical holiday weight gain at closer to just three-quarters of a pound to a pound.

One thing all studies agree on is that those who start out overweight prior to the holidays gain the most weight--up to five pounds, in some cases. Those who, consciously or unconsciously, are able to adjust the quantify of food they eat at any given meal and increase the amount of exercise they do to account for their increased food intake, have much more control over their holiday weight gain. Those who have a harder time making such adjustments are more likely to put on the extra pounds.

Fact 2: Gaining three-quarters of a pound might not seem like a big deal, but even a few extra ounces can add up over the years into big weight gains. In fact, weight put on during the holiday period accounts for most of a person's total weight gain for the full year. Those who gain five or more pounds are more likely to go on a diet than those who gain one pound, but just think about what just a pound a year will add up to over the long haul.

Fact 3: How easy is it to gain a pound? It's simple: just eat an additional 67 calories per day.

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

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Last modified: February 21, 2008 14:39:20