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

Around Campus

Murray to Speak at Biotechnology and Bioengineering Corporate Forum

WPI will host its second annual WPI Biotechnology and Bioengineering Corporate Forum on March 22. Lt. Gov. Tim Murray will be the keynote speaker at the event, which will provide perspectives on the current state of the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical devices industries and their future, and how companies, universities, and government can work together to develop new products to meet the nation's healthcare needs. The forum is part of the 2007 BEI (Bioengineering Institute) Symposium Series.

Laura Allen of MassMEDIC and Eustacia Reidy of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council will be featured speakers. In panel sessions, industry representatives will discuss the biggest challenges and opportunities they see in the healthcare marketplace over the next five years. They will also discuss how their organizations interact with universities and what they expect from those research and educational relationships.

WPI Robotics Team Wins Again

On Sunday, March 18, the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Sciences Robotics Team, sponsored by WPI, won the Motorola Quality Award, which is the major design award for elegance in design and execution, as well as the tournament Champion's Award, at the Silicon Valley Regional Tournament in San Jose, Calif., for its design and construction of team robot “Goat-Dactyl.” On March 3, the team won the prestigious Regional Chairman’s Award in the FIRST BAE Systems/Granite State Regional in New Hampshire, 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.

WPI/Mass. Academy had an “unusually large representation” at the San Jose tournament, according to Professor Ken Stafford, the team’s advisor. They competed in the qualifying matches, reaching a 6th ranking among 48 teams.

“Our goal to be innovatively competitive has been fulfilled,” says Stafford. “Never before have we managed to win in one season a top design award, an overall tournament victory, and the Chairman’s Award.”

Student Employee of the Year Awards

Student employees perform invaluable services for WPI, and their contributions deserve recognition. In conjunction with National Student Employee Week (April 8-14), faculty and staff are invited to nominate their student employees for the first “WPI Graduate Student Employee of the Year” and “WPI Undergraduate Student Employee of the Year” awards.

Criteria: The student may be either a department- or financial aid-funded employee, have made outstanding contributions to WPI and the department they work for, have demonstrated leadership and initiative in the accomplishment of job responsibilities, and have a minimum of one academic year of employment. Nominations should not exceed one page in length. Send nominations to Debbie Bockus at Gordon Library or email dbockus@wpi.edu by April 1.

An awards ceremony will be held on April 12 from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Campus Center Hagglund Room. Nominees and nominators will be invited to attend the ceremony. Dependant upon the number of nominations received, nominating letters will be read by the nominators, their designees, or members of the Student Employee Awards Committee. All nominees will receive a certificate of recognition. The winners of the two student employee awards will be announced at the ceremony.

Summer Session at WPI

After the graduates have received their diplomas and the residence halls have emptied, things get pretty quiet around the WPI campus, right? Hardly!

Summer is a busy time at WPI, with more than 70 undergraduate and graduate classes, a host of sports camps, programs for teachers, and professional development seminars and certificate programs for working professionals. In addition, programs like Camp Reach, Frontiers, Strive, and WUNDERS provide opportunities for middle- and high school students to get hands-on experience in engineering and science and explore college life.

Undergraduate and graduate classes begin the week of May 21. Some classes will end by June 21, while most others will finish by July 5. To learn more about the many opportunities that make WPI a great place to be during the summer, visit www.wpi.edu/Academics/Summer/.


Orr Appointed Provost ad interim

John A. Orr,dean of undergraduate studies and professor of electrical and computer engineering, has taken on the additional responsibilities of provost ad interim.

Orr will serve in this position until the completion of a national search for a new WPI provost to replace Carol Simpson. After more than a decade in administrative positions in higher education, Simpson, a distinguished geologist, is returning to her academic and research interests.

Orr joined the WPI faculty in 1977 as assistant professor of electrical engineering. He was named associate professor in 1981 and full professor in 1986. He served as head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department from 1988 to 2003. In 2006 he was named dean of undergraduate studies, a position that gives him the responsibility for ensuring the quality and effectiveness of all aspects of WPI's undergraduate program. He earned BS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana, and an MS in electrical engineering at Stanford University. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

"I would like to acknowledge and thank Carol Simpson for her important and extensive efforts for WPI and wish her success in her new endeavors," said President Dennis Berkey. "I would also like to express my full confidence in John Orr to lead our academic programs during this transition. His extensive experience in academic administration, including 15 years as an academic department head, has prepared him well for this important responsibility."

Rousseau Earns Two Additional All- American Honors at NCAA Championships

Senior Joel Rousseau of Pittsfield, Mass., capped his outstanding collegiate career by finishing tied for fourth in the 100-yard butterfly (49.27) and sixth in the 100-yard backstroke (51.85) at the NCAA Division III Championships hosted by the University of Houston last weekend. The two performances earned him All-American honors for the fourth and fifth time in his career.

Rousseau, who was seeded second in the 100- yard butterfly after the preliminaries, was just .22 seconds behind the winner. His performance in the 100-yard backstroke was impressive when one considers that he entered the finals seeded seventh, and it was just over an hour after the 100-yard butterfly finals. Rousseau completed the meet by finishing in 23rd place in the 200-yard backstroke (1:55.71).

Junior Jeffery Meyer of Denver, Colo., posted stellar results while competing for the first time at the NCAA Championships. He placed 22nd in the 1,650-yard freestyle (16:09.27), 32nd in the 400-yard individual medley (4:12.87) and 34th in the 500-yard freestyle (4:42.63). The dynamic duo amassed 27.5 points for head coach Paul Bennett’s squad. The pair helped WPI to a 30th place finish nationally at the NCAA Championships.

Tenure and Promotion Awards Announced

The WPI Board of Trustees recently approved the promotion and/or tenure of six members of the faculty.

Granted tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor:

Promoted to the rank of full professor:

Granted tenure:

Design Squad Coming to WPI

Design Squad, an opportunity to improve the public perception of engineering through popular media, will be on campus Thursday, March 29, in Newell Hall (Atwater Kent, Room 116). The seminar, with segments from the WGBH TV series, starts at 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served at 3:45 p.m.

This seminar will discuss a new children’s television program and multimedia campaign, Design Squad, launched this year by WGBH. The show features teens, age 15-18, engaged in designing and building machines.

The show is intended to illustrate for the target audience, ages 9-13, what engineering is and why they might like to do it. Seminar attendees will be invited to discuss the motivation for this effort, the process by which the show evolved, the current content and format, and future directions for this project.

Seminar speaker Dan Frey is an associate professor at MIT, where he conducts research in engineering design and teaches systems engineering, statistics, and robust design. He also serves, along with Professor David Wallace, as content director of Design Squad. Frey has received an NSF CAREER Award, an R&D 100 award, the INCOSE best paper award, the Baker award for Outstanding Teaching, the Aero/Astro teaching award, and the Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The seminar is co-sponsored by the Center for Educational Development and Assessment, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and the Student Government Association.

Publications and Presentations

Humanities and Arts

Dollenmayer, D., and Austrian novelist Anna Mitgutsch, joint reading of Mitgutsch’s novel Haus der Kindheit and Dollenmayer’s translation House of Childhood (Other Press, 2006), Wellesley College, sponsored by the Wellesley German Department and the Austro-American Association of Boston, March 8, 2007.

Mathematical Sciences

Servatius, B., “Hyperperfect Numbers and a Beautiful Mind,” invited address, PME induction ceremony, UMass-Lowell, Jan 29, 2007.


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Thursday, March 22

Forum: Bioengineering Institute Symposium Series 2nd annual Biotechnology/Bioengineering Corporate Forum, featuring Lt. Gov. Tim Murray • Campus Center, Odeum, 9am to 5pm Seminar: Interactive Media & Game Development features the department’s faculty in an “IQP/ MQP Project Pitch Session” • Atwater-Kent, Room 116 (Newall Hall), 11am Baseball: WPI vs. Fitchburg State College • Alumni Field, 3pm Film: Women’s Programs sponsors “Water” as part of Women’s History Month • Olin, Room 107, 6:30 and 9:30pm

Friday, March 23

Film: Women’s Programs sponsors “Not Without My Daughter” as part of Women’s History Month • Olin, Room 107, 6:30 and 9:30pm

Saturday, March 24

Baseball: WPI vs. Springfield College • Alumni Field, noon Baseball: WPI vs. Springfield College • Alumni Field, 2:30pm

Tuesday, March 27

Lecture: Women’s Programs sponsors Leora Tananbaun on “Catfight Women and Competition” • Campus Center, Odeum A, 5pm

Wednesday, March 28

Forum: WPI Partnership Opportunities Breakfast to enhance a business’ efforts in recruiting, diversity, employee education, and research and development • Campus Center, Mid-Century Room, 7:30am Exhibit: Graduate Research Achievement Day to celebrate with a poster-style symposium the research activities of WPI graduate students • Campus Center, Odeum, 1 to 4:30pm Softball: WPI vs. Amherst College • Alumni Field, 4:30pm

Thursday, March 29

Seminar: Interactive Media & Game Development features professors David Finkel and John Wilkes on “Book Report: 21st Century Game Design” • Atwater- Kent, Room 116 (Newell Hall), 11am Lecture: Mechanical Engineering Department sponsors “Volume of Fluid-Based Simulation of Transport Pheonomena at Fluid Phase Interfaces,” by Dieter Bothe, chairman of mathematics, Center for Computational Engineering Science, RWTH Aachen, Germany • Higgins Labs, Room 218, noon Baseball: WPI vs. Worcester State College • Alumni Field, 3pm

Friday, March 30

Softball: WPI vs. Clark University • Alumni Field, 3 and 5pm (doubleheader)

Ryan Cain Accepts Jostens Trophy

An award-winning guard who helped transform WPI's men's basketball team into a regional powerhouse. A talented civil and environmental engineering major who completed a project designing affordable manufactured single-family homes for lowincome families. A caring volunteer who has made a difference through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization of Central Massachusetts.

All of these describe WPI senior Ryan P. Cain, who was chosen from a national pool of finalists to receive the 2007 Jostens Trophy, which is awarded to the year's most outstanding male and female Division III basketball studentathletes. 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). Cain and Lisa Winkle of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., who won the women's trophy, received their awards during a luncheon on March 15, at the Salem Civic Center

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