Dean Kamen Addresses Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Graduates

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

CAPTION: Dean Kamen addresses the graduating class, telling them one hundred things they need in order to succeed. A large version of this photo, as well as other photos of the event, are available in the 134th Commencement photo archive.

WORCESTER, Mass. - May 18, 2002 - Dean Kamen, alumnus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), founder of DEKA Research Corp. and inventor of the IBOT mobility device and the Segway Human Transporter delivered the commencement address at the University's commencement exercises.

"Get involved and remind the world we are proud of being scientists, physicists, chemists, and engineers," Kamen told the graduating students. "Find ways to make the world understand what is important and be a voice in creating the culture and direction of the society we live in." He challenged the graduates to help young people; especially girls and minority students find the passion of science and technology. "There is a race between real knowledge and catastrophe. Don't let catastrophe win."

He then told the crowd he would give them a list of the one hundred things needed to succeed.

"First - find an important problem to work on. Your education at WPI gave you the tools, now you get to pick the problem," he explained. "The second is 'don't ever give up. And the other 98 things just don't matter. You make your living by what you do, and you make your life by what you give."

The university awarded 615 bachelor's degrees, 318 master's degrees and 25 Ph.D.'s during the ceremony. Fourteen graduates received their commissions to the Army, Navy or Air Force as part of the commencement exercises. Honorary degrees were presented to:

George A. Cowan '41, senior fellow emeritus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Institute Distinguished Fellow of the Santa Fe Institute, and one of the world's leading authorities on nuclear weapons diagnostics.

David M. Lederman, founder, chairman, president and CEO of ABIOMED Inc. in Danvers, Mass., developer of the AbioCor, the first self-contained, implantable artificial heart, which is currently undergoing FDA-approved clinical trials.

Sheila Tobias, a leading authority and author on mathematics and science education. The author of Overcoming Math Anxiety, the best-selling 1978 book (recently released in an updated edition) and 10 other influential volumes, Tobias has spent much of her career exposing biases in the way math and science are taught.

Because of inclement weather, commencement exercises were held indoors for the first time since 1989.

About WPI

WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education, and is recognized as one of the leading outcomes-oriented undergraduate programs preparing people for success in our technological world. Since its founding in 1865, WPI has broadened and perfected an influential curriculum that balances theory and practice.

This innovative and unique combination of educational methods, learning environment and a worldwide network of project centers is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, WPI supports the academic and research pursuits of over 2,500 students and 200 faculty pursuing opportunities to blend technological research and practice with societal needs, delivering meaningful real-world benefits.

For over a century, WPI has awarded advanced degrees in the sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as the management of technology and business. Our alumni include Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry; Harold Black, inventor of the principle of negative-feedback; Carl Clark, inventor of the first practical airbag safety system; Dean Kamen, inventor of the first wearable drug infusion pump; and many others who contribute to the transformation of our technological world.