Mass. researchers find way to produce ‘green’ biofuels cheaper

The Boston Herald reported on Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Michael Timko developing a novel process using an unusual solvent and an exotic microorganism that may make it possible to manufacture isobutanol and other biofuels more economically.

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Image of Black Hole Sends Science Community Over the Moon

The Telegram & Gazette interviewed President Leshin on her response to humanity getting its first glimpse of a black hole on Wednesday, “Image of Black Hole Sends Science Community Over the Moon.” “Days like yesterday really inspire all of us as space scientists to keep pursuing that giant leap in science ... whatever the next mystery is we want to solve,” she told the T&G on Thursday.

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It’s Time to Consider a Neurodiverse Workforce

An Op-ed by Eleanor Loiacono, professor of management information systems, Foisie Business School, “It’s Time to Consider a Neurodiverse Workforce,” was published in The Hartford Courant.

Hartford Courant Publication
Refugee Resettlement via Analytics

The cover story of ORMS Today, the membership magazine of the Operations Research Society, featured work by an international team, led by Andrew Trapp, professor in the Foisie School of Business, to use analytics to create software to help aid organizations resettle refugees in their host countries.

ORMS Today Publication
WACBA honors WPI associate AD Ann McCarron with Oroszko Courage Award

Associate Athletic Director Ann McCarron was profiled in thisTelegram & Gazette feature. The Worcester Area College Basketball Association established the award to recognize someone who has overcome obstacles,displays courage and has a love for Worcester basketball. “I’m honored to be a recipient of Pat’s award,” McCarron told the T&G. “I’m blessed.”  

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WPI ‘Thinking Cap’ Study Could Improve Online Learning

In their “Eye on Education” segment, WBZ-TV Boston featured research led by computer science assistant professor Erin Solovey, who, through a collaborative $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, will explore the use of sensors to measure brain activity during learning.

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The 5G/AV Connection

Alex Wyglinski, professor of electrical and computer engineering, was interviewed for the April issue of Connected World. ​Wyglinski says “With 5G technology, everything that surrounds us will be connected with each other, seamlessly sharing information and performing coordinated tasks, services, and applications designed to enhance our quality of life across many different sectors, such as education, commerce, transportation, national defense and security, healthcare, entertainment, and so much more.”

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As I See It: Engage Higher Ed Community in Development of New Financial Assessment Tool

In the Telegram & Gazette editorial, President Leshin joined regional private college presidents requesting a role in the state’s new focus on private college accountability spurred by recent college closings in Mass. “We wish to share our collective wisdom and collaborate on the development of this new financial assessment tool that will enable colleges and universities to address short and long-term challenges and, of paramount importance, protect our students,” the editorial stated.

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Still No Testing Code to Stop Burned Fire Hoses

NBC 10 (Boston) and sister station New England Cable News featured research by WPI Fire Protection Engineering in this report. Fire Protection Engineering Associate Professor Kathy Ann Notarianni told the station that while the protective gear the firefighters wear has improved, the hoses are virtually the same as those used a half-century ago.

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WPI Moon Landing Celebration

Worcester News Tonight covered WPI's celebration and presentation of the 50th anniversary of NASA sending men to the moon, which included James L. Green, NASA chief scientist, and Steven M. Rothstein, executive director of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. President Laurie Leshin moderated the discussion, which covered the historical perspective of the United States’ participation in the Space Race against the Soviet Union, how Apollo 11’s legacy still lives on 50 years later, and other topics. (Clip starts at 4:04 mark)

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Brain Trust: WPI Creates Interdisciplinary Approach to Study Neuroscience

Diversity in Action magazine highlighted WPI's new Master of Science program in Neuroscience, which was spearheaded and instituted by Jean King, Peterson Family dean of Arts and Sciences. "The program will provide students with a strong foundation in computational, molecular, psychological, quantitative and interdisciplinary approaches to neuroscience, and is 'just a good blend of all the things that we do readily already, and where neuroscience as a field is emerging and where it is going,'" King said.

Diversity in Action Magazine
WPI professor aims to understand life and death of our cells

The Worcester Business Journal is the latest to report on research by Kristen Billiar, professor and head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, who hopes to close an important gap in the understanding of physical factors that help regulate the life and death of cells in our bodies, and the important roles they play in the development of a wide range of disorders. Co-principle investigators include Nima Rahbar, associate professor of civil & environmental engineering, and Qi Wen, associate professor of physics.

Worcester Business Journal
WPI prof awarded Fulbright

Jennifer McWeeny, associate professor of Humanities and Arts, was noted in the Telegram & Gazette’s College Town (scroll down to 4th item) for being awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to conduct research in Paris from January to July 2020. McWeeny is the second woman in the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award’s history to receive a Fulbright to study philosophy in France, and the fourth woman at WPI to receive a Fulbright scholarship.

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Movers and Shakers

Gregory Fischer, William Smith Dean’s Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Engineering, was noted in the Worcester Business Journal on his being elected a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors.

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Will Worcester’s higher education institutions fall off the Cliff?

The Telegram & Gazette’s Wall & Main column called out WPI as an area university the T&G said sounds most confident in handling a “dramatic” decline in the college age population. “The projected decline is a concern for many colleges and universities, but the degree to which it’s seen as a threat varies greatly by region and unique institutional factors,” said Andrew B. Palumbo, dean of admissions and financial aid.

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CNN Highlights WPI as Test-Optional

CNN aired the commentary piece, noting WPI as among colleges and universities that have adapted test-optional admissions policies.

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WPI Algorave

Worcester News Tonight covered New England's first Algorave, which was brought to PopUp Worcester by Charlie Roberts, assistant professor of computer science. Roberts, along with Gillian Smith, assistant professor of computer science, participated in live coding to create images and music simultaneously for attendees to enjoy. Roberts said one of the goals of the event was to combine computer science with art to make coding easier to digest and more accessible to students. (Clip begins at 9:21)

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WPI study looks at impact of weight-shaming pregnant women

Boston 25 spoke with Angela Incollingo Rodriguez, assistant professor of social science and policy studies, regarding her research about the impact of weight stigma or fat shaming on pregnant and postpartum women.

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Can herbal treatments for malaria work?

Referring to her work as “pioneering,’ Medical Academic included research by Professor Pamela Weathers, biology and biotechnology, on the Artemisia plant, in this article. Her work shows that the leaves of the plant can be made into a therapy that appears to be more effective than a drug at knocking out the malarial parasite.

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A New Kind of Thinking Cap for Online Learning

NSF360 (2:17 mark), the National Science Foundation’s online news channel featured work by Erin Solovey, assistant professor of computer science, on using non-invasive sensors to capture brain wave images to better understand how a person learns using on-line programs. Solovey’s research received $1 million in funding from the NSF.  

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