November 16, 2007

Around Campus

BusinessWeek Ranks WPI MBA Program Tops in Northeast, No. 9 in Nation

WPI is ranked number one in the Northeast and number nine in the nation for its part-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. The honor was announced on Nov. 1 by the national publication BusinessWeek. WPI's program was also ranked number five nationally in student satisfaction and number four nationally in academic quality.

Founders Day Celebrated

Every November, the WPI Student Alumni Society celebrates Founders Day, when one of the Institute’s nine founders is honored throughout the day. As part of the festivities on Monday, Nov. 12, a game of WPI Celebrity Squares (the second in a series of freshman-sophomore rivalry events held during the year) was played in the Campus Center. Acting as squares in the life-size game were members of the student body, faculty, and staff.

In the rankings, 40 percent of WPI's MBA students reported a salary increase due to the experience gained through the program, which was rated best for job changers, according to BusinessWeek. The average salary increase WPI students reported was 46.2 percent. Of the 21 faculty members in the department, 48 percent are tenured. The rating faculty members were given was "A+," and the program's curriculum received an "A."

"These rankings are an acknowledgement of something we as faculty and students have known all along, that we have a fantastic program that provides our students with the ability to change jobs and advance their careers," said McRae Banks, department head and professor of entrepreneurship and strategy, and director of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the Department of Management. "To be recognized in the rankings by a national publication against many other schools that are larger and better funded, demonstrates that we have put together an extremely high-quality program for our MBA students."

BusinessWeek’s 2007 part-time MBA rankings are based on three measures. A student survey, sent to 9,274 part-time MBA students at 81 programs and completed by 3,209 (35 percent), measures general student satisfaction. The academic quality score consists of six equally weighed measures: average GMAT score, average work experience, the percentage of all teachers in the part-time MBA program who are tenured faculty, average class size in core business classes, the number of business electives available to part-time MBA students, and the program's completion rate. A third measure, of post-MBA outcomes, is based on the percentage of survey respondents who say their program was "completely" responsible for achieving their goals.

"Our focus is one of the reasons we stand out," Banks explained. "We believe the successful executives of the future need to understand how to integrate technology and business. So much of business is about innovation, and to an even greater extent, technical innovation. That’s what makes our students so special; they not only understand technical innovation, they know how to turn it into success."

Said Norman Wilkinson, director of graduate management programs: "Technology is driving business, and our program trains students to lead in business and technology. Students and employers can see the results of our MBA program right away, from day one. They don't have to wait until graduation day. Students can come to class one evening, and the next day take what they learned and apply it in the workplace, carrying on WPI's motto of theory and practice."

WPI Biomed Program No. 2 in Nation for Percentage of Degrees Awarded to Women

WPI has been ranked number two in the nation for the percentage of bachelor degrees in biomedical engineering (BME) that are awarded to women. The honor was announced by the American Society of Engineering Education in its October 2007 edition of Prism magazine. In 2006 (the year the rankings are based on), WPI awarded 56.8 percent of biomedical engineering degrees to female graduates. "It’s incredibly gratifying that WPI's BME program awarding bachelor of science degrees to women," said Associate Professor Yitzhak Mendelson, interim head of WPI's Department of Biomedical Engineering. "WPI is fortunate to have engaged the minds and talents of so many women in this specialty."

A total of 83 female biomedical engineering majors make up the 186 undergraduate students enrolled in WPI's Biomedical Engineering Department, which began as a graduate program within the Electrical Engineering Department in 1962.

"Biomedical engineering is a relatively new discipline focused on the application of engineering principles to the solution of problems in biology and medicine for the purpose of enhancing health care," said Mendelson. "Generally, students choose this field in order to be of service to people, the excitement of working with living systems, and the ability to apply advanced technology to solve complex problems in the life sciences."

Masque Presents Romeo & Juliet

Masque, the theatre organization at WPI, and the Department of Humanities and Arts, will present William Shakespeare’s classic romantic tragedy Romeo & Juliet with a twist; the play is set in the near future. The technical and support staff of mostly undergraduate students has created a production that will display new approaches to live performance with integrated video, live audio (backstage), and live music (onstage).

The play’s run, which started Nov. 15, continues through Saturday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) at the Little Theatre.

Professor Susan Vick is directing, and student Christopher Kingsley is the producer. WPI graduate Christopher Osborn co-stars as Romeo, and senior Sara Gouveia plays Juliet. The 25-member cast features undergraduate students, faculty, alumni, and community members.

Tickets cost $5 for the Little Theatre performance, and $2 for a live feed in Riley Commons. Tickets are on sale through Nov. 16 in WPI's Campus Center, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will also be sold on the night of each performance starting at 7:30 p.m.

Savage Soccer This Saturday

The 11th annual Savage Soccer robotics competition at WPI will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17 in the Campus Center Odeum. There will be a live webcast of the competition.

Savage Soccer is an all-day event hosted by FIRST Team 190 (WPI and the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science at WPI).

Established in 1995 as an outreach program, Savage Soccer helps middle and high school students learn about basic robotics principles and teamwork.The competition is a WPI studentmanaged event that provides an interesting, low-cost tournament for approximately 50 middle and high school student teams. Through the generous sponsorship of Intelitek and SolidWorks, this event is free for participants and spectators.

International Dinner

The WPI International Student Council will present the 21st annual International Dinner at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 in Alden Memorial. The dinner’s theme is "Come Experience the World Through Art." The cost to ISC members is $10, and non-members $12. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, Nov. 19, and can be bought at the WPI International House, 28 Trowbridge Road. Seating is limited and tickets sell out early.

Employee Holiday Luncheon Coming Up

With Thanksgiving next week, that means it’s almost time for the holiday event of the year. The WPI Employee Holiday Luncheon will be held on Thursday, Dec. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Harrington Auditorium. Prepare your palate for delicious foods, and, of course, delectable desserts.


Ma Receives Honor from AICE

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the world's leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, has presented

Yi Hua (Ed) Ma, Frances B. Manning Professor of Chemical Engineering at WPI and director of the university's Center for Inorganic Membrane Studies, with its Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology, one of the organization's most prestigious honors, at its annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. Presented at the Honors Ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 4, the award recognizes Ma's sustained excellence in contributing to the advancement of technology in the production, distribution, and application of industrial gases, and for his research, which has advanced the frontier of industrial gases technology. In particular, Ma is being honored for research conducted over the course of more than a decade that led to the develop ment of a novel chemical reactor that uses an ultrathin membrane made from palladium to separate hydrogen derived from natural gas or renewable sources, such as corn.

The work has been funded by major research awards from Shell International Exploration & Production and Shell Hydrogen, and more recently by the U.S. Department of Energy. The reactor is able to significantly reduce the cost of generating hydrogen pure enough to power fuel cells without poisoning their catalysts. Shell hopes to make the reactor the heart of a hydrogen refueling network for cars.

"We at WPI are extremely proud of Ed’s accomplishments and very excited, though not surprised, that our profession has chosen to recognize the high caliber of his lifetime of work," said David DiBiasio, head of the Chemical Engineering Department.

Ma, who joined the WPI faculty in 1967, served as head of the Chemical Engineering Department from 1979 to 1989. He founded the Center for Inorganic Membrane Studies in 1988. He holds a BS in chemical engineering from National Taiwan University, an MS in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and an ScD in chemical engineering from MIT. WPI honored Ma with its 1994 Board of Trustees' Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship; he received the NASA Space Act Award in 1997.

United Way Bake Sale Winners

The annual United Way Bake Sale was held on Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the Campus Center. The event, which featured a baking contest, raised $387 for the United Way of Central Massachusetts.

Contest winners:

Publications and Presentations

Humanities and Arts

Brisson, U., "Feminacentrism in Women’s Travel Writing," Women in German Conference, Snowbird, Utah, Oct. 19, 2007.

Brisson, U., "‘I’m not sure what to do!’ Classroom Instructions in the Foreign Language Classroom," Massachusetts Foreign Language Conference, Oct. 26, 2007.

Delorey, J. F., "A Reading Session That Will Make You Green With Envy," in "Troubador," vol. XVI, No. 1, American Choral Directors Association, Oklahoma City, Okla., October 2007.

Spanagel, D. I., "Imperialism, Piracy, and Science Upon the High Seas in the 1700s," History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., Nov. 2, 2007.

Chemical Engineering

Camesano, T. A., Y. Liu, E. Rotureau, A. Durand, M. Leonard, "Nanoscopic Probing of Amphiphilic Drug Carriers," American Chemical Society’s 234th National Meeting, Boston, Mass., August 19-23, 2007.

Pinzon-Arango, P. A., Y. Liu, K. Holguin and T. A. Camesano, "Cranberry's Action against Escherichia coli and Urinary Tract Infections: Investigating Adhesion and Physicochemical Changes in Bacteria," Methods in Bioengineering Conference; 2nd annual meeting. Cambridge, Mass., July 12-13, 2007.


In the Oct. 5, issue of @WPI, Hasanjan Sayit's name was incorrectly printed. Dr. Sayit is a new assistant professor in the Mathematical Sciences Department.

Pinzon-Arango, P. A., Y. Liu, and T. A. Camesano, "Atomic force microscopy investigation of cranberry juice cocktail's effect on bacterial adhesion," presented at the 234th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Boston, Mass., Aug. 19-22, 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. Visit Social Web to learn how.


Exhibit: "The Cutting Edge: Modern Metallography and the Ancient Secrets of Swordmaking - Gordon Library, third floor, Oct. 23 to Dec. 20

Friday, Nov. 16

Lecture: Computer Science Department presents "Bootstrap: Teaching Mathematics and Programming," by Emmanuel Schanzer of - Fuller Labs, Room 230, 11am

Colloquium: Mathematical SciencesDepartment presents "Entire Solutions and Their Symmetries," by Changfeng Gui of the University of Connecticut - Stratton Hall, Room 203, 11am

Lecture: Mechanical Engineering Department presents "On Countercurrent Two-layer Flows in Thin Channels," by Burt Tilley of Olin College of Engineering - Higgins Labs, Room 116, 2pm

Upcoming Concerts

Friday, Nov. 16

The WPI Honors String Quartet and Woodwind Quintet will present a concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, in Spaulding Recital Hall. Music will include works by Schubert, Vaughan Williams, and Mozart, as well as Shostakovich's Quartet No. 8 in Cm "dedicated to the victims of fascism and war." The concert is free and open to the public.

Sunday, Nov. 18

The Department of Humanities and Arts will present "J.S. Bach, ‘Magnificat,’ D Major, BWV 243," at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18, a concert by the Vocal Performance Lab and Orchestra directed by John Delorey and featuring the works of Distler, Sowerby, and Praetorius. The concert will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 73 Lancaster St. The event is free, and is presented as partial fulfillment for Delorey’s PhD degree in music education with a concentration in choral conducting.

Sunday, Nov. 25

The WPI Brass Ensemble, directed by Douglas Weeks, will present a musical program at Worcester Art Museum, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25. The concert is free and open to the public with admission to the museum.

Thursday, Nov. 29

WPI’s annual Holiday Concert will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 29, in Alden Memorial. The program will feature the WPI Festival Chorus directed by John Delorey, and the WPI Orchestra directed by Douglas Weeks. The ensembles will combine to perform "Gloria: The Sacred Music of John Rutter." Admission is free and open to the public.

Saturday, Dec. 8

The Holiday Pops Concert with the Mass. Symphony Orchestra will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, at Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St. The concert will be conducted by John Delorey.

Monday, Nov. 19

Colloquium: Mathematical Sciences Department presents "Patient-Specific MRI-based 3D FSI RV/LV/Patch Multi-layer Anisotropic Models for Pulmonary Valve Replacement Surgery and Patch Optimization," by Dalin Tang, WPI - Goddard Hall, Room 227, noon

Sunday, Nov. 25

Men’s Basketball: WPI vs. Salem State College - Harrington Auditorium, 4pm

Tuesday, Nov. 27

Discussion: CEDA Food for Thought luncheon features Christine Drew and Laura Hanlan on copyright and fair use for the campus community - Campus Center, Hagglund Room, noon

Thursday, Nov. 29

Lecture: IMGD Speaker Series features Cardell Kerr of Turbine on "Design is to ___ as Peanut Butter is to Jelly: A Presentation of Game Production Tips and Tricks - Olin Hall, Room 107, 10am

Lecture: "Fire Protection Engineers and Architects in the Built Environment," by Jim W. Sealy - Fuller Labs, TV studio, 6pm

Friday, Nov. 30

Colloquium: Mathematical Sciences Department presents Der-Chen Chang of Georgetown University - Stratton Hall, Room 203, 11am

Lecture: Mechanical Engineering Department presents "Novel Phenomena in Vortex-structure Interactions," by Jeffrey S. Marshall of the University of Vermont - Higgins Labs, Room 116, 2pm

Saturday, Dec. 1

Men’s Basketball: WPI vs. Fitchburg State College - Harrington Auditorium, 2pm

Tuesday, Dec. 4

Women’s Basketball: WPI vs. Brandeis - Harrington Auditorium, 7pm

Wednesday, Dec. 5

Wrestling: WPI vs. Springfield College - Alumni Gym, 7pm

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Last modified: February 04, 2008 16:29:56