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Vol. 7, No. 12; March 8, 2007

Around Campus

WPI/Mass. Academy Wins Prestigious Chairman’s Award from FIRST Regionals

The FIRST robotics team from the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Sciences at WPI, which is sponsored by WPI, won the prestigious Regional Chairman's Award at the FIRST BAE Systems/Granite State Regional in Manchester, N.H., on March 3, making the team the first in the competition's history to win the award in two consecutive years. Currently, the team is preparing to compete in the FIRST Championship in Atlanta in April.

The Regional Chairman's Award was presented to the WPI/Mass. Academy team for encouraging the best partnership effort among team participants and best exemplifying the true meaning of FIRST, whose mission, in part, is to motivate young people to pursue opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The team is one of only five that have remained continuously involved in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) since the robotics competition began in 1992. Upon the award's announcement, the team received a standing ovation from the 45 other teams from across the United States and Canada competing in the New Hampshire regional event. The award was presented by accomplished inventor and FIRST founder Dean Kamen (WPI Class of 1973).

The judges called the WPI/Mass. Academy team "legendary" and a team that "does it all," in describing why it deserved the award. The WPI/Mass. Academy team's robot, nicknamed Goat-Dactyl, is a 132-pound, six-wheeled, remote- controlled vehicle capable of sensor-driven autonomous operations that enable it to locate scoring locations and place tubes on them during the beginning of each match.

"While I am very pleased with the sort of influence we have within our own team, this award recognizes the more far-reaching impact the WPI/Mass. Academy team has on the community at large," says team advisor Ken Stafford, adjunct assistant professor and director of WPI’s robotics program. "Our team was recognized as being the benchmark for outreach. Most teams work hard for 6 1/2 weeks to build a great robot, but we work 52 weeks a year to build a great team. I have no doubt that WPI influences hundreds of young people every year to consider engineering and science as an enjoyable, worthwhile, and rewarding choice for school and career."

As a Regional Chairman’s Award winner, the WPI/ Mass. Academy team will compete in Atlanta against the winners from the other 36 regional competitions for the Championship Chairman’s Award.

Women’s Basketball Wins ECAC Tourney

WPI won the ECAC New England Division III women's basketball championship on Saturday, March 3, with a thrilling 58-57 victory over Wheaton College in WPI's Harrington Auditorium.

It was the first ECAC championship for the women's team since 1987. The win brought the team's record to 23-7, equaling the school record for wins in a season established during the 1995-96 season. Tournament MVP Meghan Pajonas, a WPI senior, scored a game-best 20 points.

The team earlier won the regular-season NEWMAC (New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference) title before losing to Mount Holyoke College in the final game of the NEWMAC championship. WPI's men's basketball team, ranked 18th in the nation, succumbed to Stevens Institute of Technology, 68-57, in the opening round of the NCAA Division III men's basketball championship at Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J., on Friday, March 2. WPI was led by senior guard Ryan Cain, NEWMAC Player of the Year, who had 15 points and five rebounds. Cain won the prestigious Jostens Trophy, awarded to the Division III player of the year. (See announcement under "People.")

The men's team, which won the regular season NEWMAC title, only to lose to Coast Guard in the NEWMAC tournament championship game, finished the season with a 22-4 record.

WPI to Host Summer Teacher Workshops

With funding from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE), WPI will host a series of summer workshops for teachers in grades 3 through 8 aimed at strengthening science education by addressing misconceptions teachers and students sometimes hold about the physical sciences. The workshops will be offered over the course of three summers, beginning this year.

The workshops will be funded by a portion of a three-year, $330,402 grant awarded this month through the BHE's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Pipeline Fund to the Central Regional Pre-K to 16 Network, which includes WPI, the University of Massachusetts Medical School (the lead partner), and middle schools in Clinton, Leominster, Worcester, and other local districts.

WPI's portion of the funding will be overseen by its Office of K-12 Outreach, which focuses on science, mathematics, and engineering education. The office offers more than 40 outreach programs that provide learning opportunities and resources for teachers and students in kindergarten through high school, including direct student experiences, professional development for teachers, and relevant, standards-based curriculum to use with students, noted K-12 outreach director Martha Cyr.

"Our aim in helping to strengthen mathematics, science, and engineering education is to improve science and math teaching, bolster technological literacy, and get more students directed toward college and careers in STEM fields," Cyr says. "All of these outcomes can have a profound effect on the regional and national economies."

WPI’s Dickens Collection Expands

The WPI Archives recently received the largest donation of Charles Dickens materials since the bequest made by Robert Fellman in 1996 that established the Robert Fellman-Charles Dickens Collection.

The donation was made by Robert Googins, a longtime member of the Charles Dickens Fellowship and professor of law at the University of Connecticut. The donation includes more than 100 items, including a first-edition American Notes and a set of original serialized parts of the novel Dombery and Son.

In related Dickens news, WPI sophomore Christopher Drouin won the first Robert Fellman Memorial Scholarship Prize. The $500 cash Fellman Prize is awarded for the best essay written on the life and works of Dickens by a WPI undergraduate student or Mass. Academy student. The prize was established by the WPI Archives in memory of Fellman.


Cain Named Division III Player of the Year

WPI senior Ryan P. Cain, a record-setting guard on the university's men's basketball team, has received the 2007 Jostens Trophy, awarded to the year's most outstanding male and female Division III basketball student-athletes. Recipients are honored for their basketball ability, academic prowess, and community service.

The Jostens Trophy is a national award established 10 years ago by the Rotary Club of Salem, Va. (site of the Division III Final Four), which also presents each winner's college or university with the Wooldridge Scholarship. Cain and Lisa Winkle of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., who won the women's trophy, will receive their awards during the Final Four at the Salem Civic Center on March 15.

"I could never have imagined winning this award," Cain said. "It is really an honor and something special that I will cherish forever. There are many great people around me I would like to thank. I especially appreciate all the support I've received from the WPI community."

Cain, of Webster, Mass., played a pivotal role in transforming WPI's men's basketball team into a regional and national powerhouse. Over the past four years, the team has had an impressive 89-20 record, has won four straight NEWMAC (New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference) regular season championships and two NEWMAC tournament titles, and appeared in the last three NCAA Division III championships. Cain, who was recently named NEWMAC Player of the Year, became WPI’s all-time leading scorer during the regular season finale on Feb. 17, surpassing the 1,757-point mark set by Orville Bailey '85. Averaging nearly 20 points per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field (despite facing constant double teams and special defenses), he finished his WPI career with 1,813 points.

This year, Cain became the first student-athlete during WPI Head Coach Christopher Bartley’s six years at WPI to be named a preseason All-American by D3Hoops.com. He earned NEWMAC Rookie of the Year accolades as a freshman, was chosen NEWMAC Player of the Year as a sophomore, and was named an All-New England by D3Hoops.com and the ECAC as a junior.

Publications and Presentations

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Cox, J. R, M. Dabros, J. A. Shaffer, and V. Thalladi, V., "Selective Crystal Growth of the Anhydrous and Monohydrate Forms of Theophylline on Self- Assembled Monolayers," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., vol. 46, pp. 1988-1991, 2007.

Humanities and Arts

Gottlieb, R. S., "9-11 and the American Empire: Some Jewish Questions and Answers," in K. Barrett, J. Cobb, and S. Lubarsky, eds., 9-11 and American Empire: Christians, Jews, and Muslims Speak Out, pp. 141-154, Interlink Books, 2007.

Gottlieb, R. S., "Buddhism/America: Two-Way Street," in Bridges: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theology, Philosophy, History, and Science," The Value of Buddhism for Contemporary Western Society, vol. 13, nos. 3 and 4, pp. 345-361, fall/ winter 2006.

Gottlieb, R. S., "Religious Environmentalism: Some Good News for a Change," emagazine.com, 2007.

Interdisciplinary and Global Studies

Jiusto, S., "The Differences That Methods Make: Cross-Border Power Flows and Accounting for Carbon Emissions from Electricity Use," Energy Policy, vol. 34, no. 17, pp. 2915-2928, November 2006. Jiusto, S., "Triangular Thinking: Reflections on Research Questions and Methodology," Annals of Research on Engineering Education, vol. 2 , no. 3, 2006.

Jiusto, S., and D. DiBiasio, "Experiential Learning Environments: Do They Prepare our Students to be Self-Directed, Life-Long Learners?" Journal of Engineering Education, pp. 195-204, July 2006. Paper selected as feature article in the Annals of Research on Engineering Education, vol. 2 , no. 3, 2006.


Cook, W. D., and J. Zhu, "Within Group Common Weights in DEA: An Analysis of Power Plant Efficiency," European Journal of Operational Research, vol. 178, no. 1, pp. 207-216, 2007. Cook, W. D., and J. Zhu, "Classifying Inputs and Outputs in Data Envelopment Analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, vol. 180, no. 2, pp. 692-699, 2007.

Gregorious, G.N. and Zhu, Joe, "Data Envelopment Analysis as an Alternative Performance Evaluation Tool in Assessing the Efficiency of Funds of Hedge Funds," Journal of Portfolio Management, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 120-132, 2007.

Zhu, J., "How to Publish in Top Journals," College of Management, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Jan. 10, 2007.

Zhu, J., "Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking Using DEA," Department of Industrial and Information Management, the National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, Jan. 4, 2007.

Recent Grants

Mechanical Engineering

Apelian, Diran, with co-principal investigator Makhlouf Makhlouf, for "Commercially Viable, Low Cost, and Energy Efficient Processing of Semi-Solid Aluminum Alloys," from the Advanced Technology Institute, $10,000

Olinger, David, for "Investigation of Airflow and Glide Performance of Round Parachutes," from the U.S. Army, $5,000


Friday, March 9

Lecture: "3D Occlusion Management: Challenges and Techniques," by faculty candidate Niklas Elmqvist of Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique de L’Universite Paris-Sud - Fuller Labs, Room 320, 11am

Monday, March 12

Workshop: Creating Links to Full Text of eBooks, Online Articles, and Content in myWPI" - Gordon Library, Anderson Lab A, 11am

Tuesday, March 13

Workshop: WPI Venture Forum sponsors "Where’s the Money? How to Fund, Build, and Exit Your Business" - Campus Center, Odeum, 6pm

Film: Women’s Programs sponsors "Real Women Have Curves" as part of Women’s History Month - Olin, Room 107, 6:30 and 9:30pm

Wednesday, March 14

Meeting: Tech Old Timers to feature "Russian Icons: Windows to Heaven," by Gordon Lankton, president of Museum of Russian Icons; chairman of Nypro, Inc. - Campus Center, Odeum, 9:45am

Discussion: Women’s Lunch Series to feature "Women’s Rights, Past, Present, and Future" - Campus Center, Hagglund Room, noon

Thursday, March 15

Seminar: Interactive Media & Game Development features Albert Reed of Demiurge Studios on "An Inside Look at the Game Production Process" - Fuller Labs, Room 320, 11am

Fair: On-Campus IQP Opportunities Fair - Alden Memorial, 11:30am

Lecture: "Estimation and Control in Confocal Microscopy," by Professor Sean Anderson of Boston University’s Aerospace and Mechanic Engineering Department - Higgins Labs, Room 218, noon

Film: Women’s Programs sponsors "Volver" as part of Women’s History Month - Olin, Room 107, 6:30 and 9:30pm

Friday, March 16

Film: Women’s Programs sponsors "Like Water for Chocolate" as part of Women’s History Month - Olin, Room 107, 6:30 and 9:30pm Tuesday, March 20

Film: Women’s Programs sponsors "Rabbit-Proof Fences" as part of Women’s History Month - Olin, Room 107, 6:30 and 9:30pm

Wednesday, March 21

Colloquium: Food For Thought Series, "How Many Engineers Does it Take to_?" sponsored by the Center for Educational Development and Assessment - Higgins House Library, noon

Softball: WPI vs. Fitchburg State College - Alumni Field, 4pm Thursday, March 22

Forum: Bioengineering Institute Symposium Series 2nd annual Biotechnology/Bioengineering Corporate Forum, featuring Lt. Gov. Tim Murray - Campus Center, Odeum, 8am

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Last modified: September 24, 2014 15:39:17