February 23, 2006

Around Campus

WPI Celebrates Women's History Month

March is National Women's History Month. This year's theme, "Women: Builders of Communities and Dreams," honors the spirit of possibility and hope set in motion by generations of women in their creation of communities and their encouragement of dreams. To celebrate, WPI's Office of Women's Programs will host these events:

For more information, e-mail shell@wpi.edu or call 508-831-5819.

Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Want to get to know tomorrow's scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs? Visit the Campus Center Odeum on Friday, March 10, to see experiment-based projects developed by students from high schools around Central Massachusetts. The students will be competing for several thousand dollars in awards and prizes at the 51st Annual Worcester Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

The fair will be open to the public from 1:30 to 4:45 p.m. An awards ceremony will take place at Perreault Hall in Fuller Labs at 5 p.m. William E. Theurkauf, professor in the Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, will be the guest speaker. The fair is sponsored by WPI and other local colleges, clubs, corporations, and professional organizations.

Professional Writing Program

The Committee on Academic Operations recently approved a proposal to change the name of the program in Technical, Scientific, and Professional Communication to Professional Writing. The interdisciplinary nature of the program and its degree requirements remain the same. The goal of the Professional Writing program is to prepare communication professionals who can bridge the gap between scientists and engineers and the public by presenting technical information in accessible and useful ways. Find out more.


Professor Receives National Recognition

Jennifer L. Wilcox, assistant professor of chemical engineering, is representing the National Science Foundation in New Faces of Engineering 2006, an annual tribute to the nation's top young engineers sponsored by the Engineers Week Foundation. Wilcox, the only honoree from New England, is also the only college or university faculty member and one of only five women included. As a result of this honor, Wilcox was featured, along with 15 other engineers representing national engineering societies and federal agencies, in a full-page ad that ran in the national newspaper USA Today on Wednesday, Feb. 15. She is also featured on the Engineers Week Web site. The announcement of this year's New Faces occurred just prior to the start of National Engineers Week, Feb. 15 through Feb. 25.

Wilcox is being recognized for her groundbreaking research, which focuses on finding ways to eliminate toxic metals, such as mercury, arsenic, and selenium, from the gases emitted by coal-fired power plants, and for the innovative spirit she brings to her classroom teaching. For example, she recently taught the first graduate course at WPI in molecular modeling. Several projects completed in that class have been submitted as a manuscript to a scientific journal for publication.

Wilcox joined the WPI faculty in 2004, after earning her Ph.D. in chemical engineering and her master's in chemistry at the University of Arizona. Soon after arriving at WPI she won the NSF CAREER Award, the agency's most prestigious honor for young faculty members, which is supporting her research on the chemistry of power plant flue gases. Read more about her selection.

Traveling the Same Route as Dickens

Joel J. Brattin, professor of English, and Ken Bresler of Newton, Mass., producers of the first Commemorative Great International Walking Match and Perambulatory Dickens Seminar in 2003, will rewalk the course for a second time on Sunday, March 5. The event recreates the Great International Walking Match organized by Charles Dickens 138 years ago. The walk retraces the 13 1/2 mile route that the 56-year-old Dickens, his tour manager George Dolby, and the American publisher James Osgood took through biting winds and snowdrifts from Boston to Newton Centre and back to Boston.

The walk begins at 9:30 a.m. from Peet's Coffee at 776 Beacon St., Newton Centre, rain or shine. For more information, contact Ken Bresler at 617-969-4055, or ken@bresler.us.

Falco Appointed Senior Adjudicator

Richard G. Falco was appointed Senior Adjudicator for the Rhode Island Music Educators Association's All State Big Band Jazz Festival at the University of Rhode Island, Feb. 4, 2006.

Operations Manager Directs Operetta

Paula Moravek, operations manager in Chemistry and Biochemistry, is stage director for a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Grand Duke produced by the Sudbury Savoyards. She previously directed Blithe Sprit and Hay Fever for the company, but says this is her largest directorial effort. She is also a member of the board of trustees for the all-volunteer group, which performs a large-scale operetta and several smaller productions each year. All proceeds from the event are donated for the relief of world hunger; over $70,000 has been raised over the past five years. Tickets for The Grand Duke, which runs from Feb. 24 to March 4, are on sale now. For more information, contact Paula at pmoravek@wpi.edu, or visit the website.

Publications and Presentations

Computer Science

David Brown was one of 17 invited attendees from the United States at the Indo-US Workshop on Integrated Design Engineering held in Bangalore, India, Jan. 5-7, 2006. The event, organized jointly by the Indian Institute of Sciences and Carnegie Mellon University, had about 90 attendees. It was the first workshop of its kind, intended to investigate and stimulate research interaction and collaboration between the two countries in the area of design engineering. The United States delegation consisted mostly of academics representing Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Sociology, and Industrial Design. Representatives from NIST and the NSF also attended, as well as their counterparts from India.

Humanities and Arts

Falco, Richard G., "Creative Directing for the Jazz Rhythm Section," International Association for Jazz Education, Mass. Chapter Database, Jan. 2006.

Nikitina, Svetlana, "Three Strategies for Interdisciplinary Teaching: Contextualizing, Conceptualizing, and Problem-Centering," in the Journal of Curriculum Studies, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 251-271, 2006.

Social Science and Policy Studies

Radzicki, Michael J., "A Post Keynesian-Institutionalist-System Dynamics Macroeconomic Model." Invited Lecture. The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. Jan. 25, 2006.

Recent Grants

Chemical Engineering

Dixon, A., for "Connecting Catalytic Chemistry to External Particle Conditions Via Computational Fluid Dynamics," from the American Chemical Society, $119,906.

Wilcox, J., for "An Ab Initio Investigation of Heterogeneous Mercury Kinetics with Bromine-Embedded Surfaces," from the Environmental Protection Agency, $10,000.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Arguello, J., for "Structure-Function of Heavy Metal Transport CPx-ATPases," from the National Science Foundation, $172,920.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sunar, B., for "A Hardware Software Co-Design Approach for Flexible Cryptography," from the Intel Corp., $84,736.

Gordon Library

Obien, R., for "Preservation of Robert Fellman-Charles Dickens Collection," from the National Endowment for the Humanities/National Foundation on the Arts & Humanities, $3,887.

Mathematical Sciences

Heinricher, A., B. Vernescu*, and S. Week*, for "Focus on Mathematics: Creating Learning Culture for High Student Achievement," from Boston University, $84,631.

Yakovlev, V., for "Neural-Networks-Based FDTD-Backed Computational Schemes for Microwave Inverse Problems and Optimization," from the EADS Foundation d'Enterprise, $270,970.

Mechanical Engineering

Apelian, D., for "Materials and Process Design for High Temperature Carburizing: Integrating Processing and Performance," from the Department of Energy, $114,784.

Johari, H., for "Interaction of an Inflated Parachute Canopy with Upstream Vortices," from the Army Research Office, $72,699.

Johari, H., for "Separation Control by Surface Deformable Actuators," from the Office of Naval Research, $21,619.

Rong, Y., and Rick Sisson*, for "An Energy Savings Model for the Heat Treatment of Castings," from the Department of Energy, $165,534.

*Co-principal Investigator

Total January grants and contracts: $1,121,686.

Computer Tip

Making Your Move: Tab Key

Are you jumping back and forth from the keyboard to the mouse while surfing the Web or completing a form? There are several keyboard shortcuts that will save you time. For example, you can use TAB to move from one field to another. It does take a little while to become familiar with them, but you will be able cruise from site to site or data field to data field in record time.

All shortcuts consist of typing one or a combination of keys. If you see a plus (+) sign, it signals you to hit both keys simultaneously.

The word "control" used below describes an object in a window or dialog box. Examples of controls include push-buttons, scroll bars, radio buttons, and pull-down menus.


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Last modified: July 26, 2010 09:20:59