September 14, 2007

Around Campus

Toping-Off Ceremony at Residence Hall

Bill Densmore, a 1945 WPI graduate and trustee emeritus, signs his name on the beam that was placed on top of the residence hall during the August 24 topping-off ceremony.

A traditional topping-off ceremony was held on Friday, August 24, in front of the under-construction residence hall. The historic occasion was attended by approximately 50 faculty and staff members, students, and alumni, who signed their names and wrote messages on one of the final beams to be laid atop the residence hall, scheduled to open in fall 2008. The beam was painted white, and a potted evergreen bush and American flag were secured to it as it was hoisted to the top of the building.

From left, student Brian Skelcher, Agata Lajoie, technical documents specialist for Civil & Environmental Engineering; student Matt Pion, and student Fatima Mancuso enjoyed the August 27 Graduate Student Orientation Luncheon in the Odeum.

Graduate Student Orientation Held

There was a high turnout on Monday, August 27, for the annual Graduate Student Orientation program in the Campus Center. According to Arlene Lowenstein, director of graduate studies, it was the highest turnout the university has seen since the program started more than a decade ago. Students were treated to a luncheon and to a program of speakers and display booths where they could obtain more information about various campus departments.

First Year Experience Supported by Generous Grant from Alumnus

WPI has announced that Eric Hahn, a 1980 graduate of WPI and partner of the Inventures Group in Palo Alto, Calif., has given the university a $100,000 gift to help fund a new approach to WPI's first-year experience. Hahn's grant will begin the transformation of the first-year experience for students at WPI as it enables the university to offer the "Great Problems Seminars." These unique programs prepare WPI students by providing them with a global focus as they embark on their project-driven course work.

The Great Problems Seminars serve as an introduction to university-level research and project work. They take problem solving out of the textbook and into the real world by focusing on themes of current global importance, including societal problems and human needs. A team of four WPI faculty members have developed two Great Problem Seminars for 2007-08:

Feed the World is built around a sequence of projects that are tied to food. It was developed by a chemist (Professor Kristin Wobbe) and a humanist (Professor Rob Traver). Topics range from the chemistry of nutrition to the ethics of price supports and fair trade.

Power the World focuses on various forms of energy resources and the history of their technologies. This seminar was developed by a mechanical engineer (Professor Brian Savilonis) and a historian (Professor David Spanagel). Course topics connect the physics of energy sources such as oil and water to their political and social implications.

"WPI is already recognized as a model of innovation in undergraduate education, and the generous and insightful gift given by Eric Hahn will take the WPI learning experience to an even more engaging level for our students," says Arthur Heinricher, associate dean for the First Year Experience at WPI. "For more than 30 years, members of WPI’s junior and senior classes have applied the knowledge they learn in the classroom by solving important, real-world problems through the university’s project-based curriculum. Now, thanks to Mr. Hahn's gift, WPI is able to extend that opportunity to first-year students. That's a huge benefit to the student, and to the global community that these students are learning to serve."

The addition of the Great Problems Seminars provides students with early exposure to WPI's project -based curriculum and helps them develop the skills necessary for success in their future project work.

"When I learned that the university was looking to extend project-based learning to first-year students," says Hahn, "I wanted to get involved with making that happen. I firmly believe that the creative, hands-on approach that WPI offers its students greatly impacts their development into fully-engaged world citizens."


Fond Farewell as Lowenstein Retires

Arlene Lowenstein gives her retirement speech next to the chair she was presented. Below,Provost ad interim John Orr helps Lowenstein unwrap her present.

A reception was held Thursday, August 23 in the Provost’s Office, Boynton Hall, to celebrate Arlene Lowenstein’s 27 years of service to WPI. Lowenstein, who became the university’s first female dean, retired from her positions as dean of special academic programs and director of graduate studies on August 31.

In her more than two decades at WPI, she held a number of different positions and developed a range of new programs.

At the reception, the Provost’s Office was filled to the max with faculty and staff members, some of whom had worked with Lowenstein since 1980. Lowenstein was presented with a black wooden chair crested with the WPI seal.

"This is a wonderful university " made up of caring,smart, and talented students, faculty,and staff," Lowenstein said. "Thanks to all of you for the friendship and support that you’ve extended to me over the years."There’s tremendous energy and excitement at WPI," she added, " and I’m looking forward to watching it all unfold from my new home in Vermont."

WPI’s Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation hosted its first Technology Exhibition on Sept. 6 in the Campus Center Odeum. Technology experts (professors,students, and businesses) displayed their inventions and let students "play" with them. Simultaneously, technologists explained to students what their devices do, the trials and tribulations involved in developing them, and the satisfaction that occurs from success. Industry representatives talked about building businesses around their inventions. The exhibition’s purpose was to encourage WPI students to think more about innovation and entrepreneurship while pursuing their undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Gateway Park

Grand Opening of Gateway on Sept. 17

WPI’s Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center will officially open with a weeklong celebration Sept. 17-21. The development of Gateway Park is a major investment in the future of life science research and education at WPI. The center will serve as WPI’s hub for graduate education and research in the life sciences and related engineering fields, including regenerative medicine, molecular nanotechnology and biosensors, plant systems, tissue engineering, and untethered healthcare.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 17.

Confirmed speakers include Congressman James McGovern, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, Worcester Mayor Konstantina Lukes, Worcester City Manager Michael O’Brien, State Senators Ed Augustus and Harriette Chandler, Professor Eric Overstrom, WBDC President David Forsberg, and President Berkey.

The Bioengineering Institute Symposium will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, in the Campus Center. On Friday, Sept. 21, at 10 a.m. in Alden Memorial, an Inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Life Sciences and Bioengineering will be held with a convocation to honor 2006 Nobel Laureate Craig Mello, PhD, professor of molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Publications and Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Mendelson, Y., G. Comtois, and P. Ramuka, "A Comparative Evaluation of Adaptive Noise Cancellation Algorithms for Minimizing Motion Artifacts in a Forehead-Mounted Wearable Pulse Oximeter", 29th Annual International Conference of the IEEE-EMBS, Lyon, France, August 23-26, 2007.

Chemical Engineering

Liu, Y.*, J. Strauss*, and T. A. Camesano, "Investigating the Mechanism of Bacterial Adhesion and Viability on Self-assembled Monolayers: A Strategy Toward Prevention of Implant-related Infections," Colleges of Worcester Consortium Research Showcase, Abbott Bioresearch Center, Worcester, Mass., April 11, 2007.

Liu, Y.*, P. A. Pinzon-Arango*, and T. A. Camesano, "Cranberry Juice as a Natural Defense Against Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Investigation of Molecular Mechanisms. Colleges of Worcester Consortium Research Showcase, Abbott Bioresearch Center, Worcester, Mass., April 11, 2007.

Liu, Y.*, J. Strauss*, and T. A. Camesano, "Investigation of Ligand-receptor Interactions via AFM-influenced by Force Loading Rate and Ligandreceptor Contact Time," AFM BioMed Conference- International Meeting on AFM in Life Sciences and Medicine, Barcelona, Spain, April 19-21, 2007. Pinzon-Arango, P. A.*, and T. A. Camesano, "Decreasing Escherichia coli Adhesion Forces by the Use of Cranberry-rich Media: Preventing Urinary Tract Infections," AFM BioMed Conference,International Meeting on AFM in Life Sciences and Medicine, Barcelona, Spain, April 19-21, 2007. Liu, Y.*, J. Strauss*, and T. A. Camesano, "Predicting the Role of Proteins on the Adhesion of Staphylococcus epidermidis Using Interfacial Free Energy Analysis and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) Force Measurements," 107th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Toronto, Canada, May 21- 25, 2007.

Strauss, J.*, Y. Liu*., S. Kavrakis*, E. Milkani*, W. G. McGimpsey, and T. A. Camesano, "Inhibiting the Attachment of Staphylococcus epidermidis Using Selfassembled Monolayers," 107th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Toronto, Canada, May 21-25, 2007.

Liu, Y.*, P. A. Pinzon-Arango*, J. Strauss*, and T. A. Camesano, "How Do Cranberries Prevent Urinary Tract Infections? Fundamental Investigation of Bacterial Adhesion Toward Scientific Merits and Societal Health," International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Boston Area Student Poster Competition, Northeastern University, Boston, June 7, 2007. (Awarded first place in the graduate student category).

* = WPI graduate student

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Eren, E., M. González-Guerrero, B. Kaufman, and J. M. Argüello, "Novel Zn2+ coordination by the regulatory N-terminus metal binding domain is present of Arabidopsis thaliana Zn2+-ATPase HMA2," Biochemistry 46, pp. 7754-7764, 2007.

Yang, Y., A. K. Mandal, L. M. Bredeston, L. F. González-Flecha, and J. M. Argüello, "Activation of Archaeoglobus fulgidus Cu+-ATPase CopA by C ysteine," Biochemistry Biophysical Acta 1768, pp. 495-501, 2007.

Argüello, J. M., E. Eren, M. González-Guerrero, "The Structure and Function of Heavy Metal Transport P1B -ATPases," Biometals 20, pp. 233-248, 2007.

Information Technology

Drew, C., and P. Flanagan, "Bypassing E-Reserves with Durable Links to Subscribed Content: Efficient Access and How to Enable It," Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve 17 (3), pp. 117-127, 2007.


Note: Information for the calendar comes from the Web-based WPI Events Calendar, which is powered by the Social Web. To have your events listed in @WPI, please enter them in Social Web and request that they be added to the appropriate WPI calendar.
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Sunday, September 13

Field Hockey: WPI vs. Regis College - Alumni Field, 1pm Lecture: IMGD Speaker Series features Yusuf Pisan of the University of Technology, Sydney on the "Reflections on "Virtual Worlds, Real Communities" course - Olin Hall, Room 107, 10am

Women’s Volleyball: WPI vs. Rhode Island College - Harrington Auditorium, 7pm

Performance: WPI presents "The Mikado" - Alden Memorial, 7:30pm

Friday, September 14

Lecture: Computer Science Department sponsors Ryan Baker of Carnegie Mellon University on "Toward Educational Software that Detects and Responds to All the Ways Students Choose to Use It" - Fuller Labs, Room 320, 11am

Colloquium: Department of Mathematical Sciences sponsors Milos Bona of the University of Florida on "The Real Zeros Property or an Example of Analysis Helping Combinatorics and Discrete Probability" - Stratton Hall, Room 203, 11am

Performance: WPI presents "The Mikado" - Alden Memorial, 7:30pm

Saturday, September 15

Women’s Soccer: WPI vs. Fitchburg State College - Alumni Field, 11am


Windows Shortcuts

It’s that time of year when we all could use a little more time. Here are some Windows keyboard shortcuts to save you a few seconds! For assistance with these or other computing issues, contact the Helpdesk at x5888 or

Windows LOGO = Display/hide start menu

Windows + L Windows + R = Lock keyboard

WINDOWS + M = Minimize all open windows

WINDOWS + SHIFT + M = Restore the minimized windows

WINDOWS + E = Open My Computer

WINDOWS + F = Search for a file or folder

WINDOWS + F1 = Display Windows Help

Windows + R = Open the Run dialog box

ENTER = Perform command for active button

alt+tab = Switch between open programs

alt+shift+tab = Cycle between open programs in reverse

ctrl+tab = Switch between windows within a program

Women’s Volleyball: WPI vs. Wellesley College - Harrington Auditorium, 1pm

Football: WPI vs. Becker College - Alumni Field, 2pm

Field Hockey: WPI vs. Union College - Alumni Field, 6:30pm

Performance: WPI presents "The Mikado" - Alden Memorial, 7:30pm

Tuesday, September 18

Fair: Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division presents Global Opportunities Fair - Campus Center Odeum, 4-6pm

Thursday, September 20

Lecture: IMGD Speaker Series features Dean O’Donnell of WPI’s Humanities & Arts Department on "The Wide Road: Narrative and Quest Design in an Action RPG" - Olin Hall, Room 107, 10am

Town Meeting to be Held Sept. 25

The WPI community’s fall Town Meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, in the Campus Center Odeum. It will be followed by the annual faculty and staff barbeque on the Higgins House lawn at noon.

The agenda for this meeting is in two parts. WPI President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey will begin with a "State of the Institute" report. Tracy Hassett, vice president of human resources, will address staff opinions, training, and development.

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Last modified: February 05, 2008 14:55:15