Rover-Drone Combo Hope to Spot and Destroy Landmines

BBC News profiled WPI landmine-related research in this segment. “I believe we’re probably the first that’s been doing the robot drone duo in the context of looking for landmines. Initially, it was just the aerial part then we worked on the rover. Now we’re trying to bring it all together,” Craig Putnam, associate director, robotics engineering, told the BBC. The student teams are developing the autonomous rover and payload-deploying drone to find and safely destroy hidden munitions that kill or maim as many as 20,000 people around the world each year.

WPI's $8M Grant for ASSISTments

Boston 25 reported that WPI is getting an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to scale up ASSISTments, a middle-school math assessment tool. ASSISTments was created by Neil Heffernan, the William Smith Dean Professor of Computer Science and the director of the Learning Sciences and Technologies Program at WPI, and his wife, Cristina Heffernan.

Wireless Sensors to Improve the Performance of Prosthetics for Individuals with Upper Limb Amputations

WCVB-TV interviewed Professor Ted Clancy, electrical and computer engineering, as part of their feature on his teaming with experts to develop wireless sensors to improve the performance of prosthetics for individuals with upper limb amputations. “To be able to use both the hand and the wrist at the same time is a big challenge for a prosthetic,” Clancy told WCVB. 


WPI Researcher Working to Make Police, Soldiers Safer

WBUR interviewed Nikhil Karanjgaokar, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, who’s aiming to create a bulletproof vest in which the materials inside the vest could instantly change properties, providing greater shock protection at the exact point of impact. “You just feel safe knowing that know matter what sort of impact comes your way you’re protected,” he said.

The new wave of business cyber attacks

Associate Computer Science Professor Craig Shue was interviewed by the Worcester Business Journal for this article. As companies increase their defenses, hackers, meanwhile, react. “It is an arms race. We do have an ebb and flow going back and forth,” Shue said. “It almost feels like a competitive sport at times

Reverse Engineering the Climate Crisis Is Not Only Possible—It's Necessary

Jennifer Wilcox, the James H. Manning Chaired Professor, was interviewed for this Audubon article. (scroll down to 13th graph). The article noted her being coauthor of a report issued last year by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that calculated the negative emissions needed to avoid the most serious impacts of CO2-driven warming by 2100. “Wilcox says-working to grow forests, revamp agriculture, innovate technologies, and deploy every tool we have. As she puts it, “We need to do it all,’” the article stated.

Persistence Is Not Always Productive: How to Stop Students From Spinning Their Wheels

Neil Heffernan, professor of computer science and director of the Learning Sciences and Technologies Program, had his opinion piece published in Ed Surge

WPI Professor Wins NSF Grant for Work on Materials that May Lead to Improved Bullet-Proof Vests

ASEE First Bell included research conducted by Nikhil Karanjgaokar, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, in this article. He is aiming—in part—to create a bulletproof vest in which the materials inside the vest could instantly change properties, providing greater shock protection at the exact point of impact. The work is being funded by a five-year, $500,000 Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation.


Icelandic National Broadcasting Service Interviews WPI Undergraduate Students Doing Project Work in Iceland

RUV theIcelandic National Broadcasting Service, interviewed WPI undergraduate students Kyle France, Veronica Melican, Sam Moran, and Suverino Frith from the university’s Iceland Project Center about their recommendations to improve bus service (6:47 mark). 

WPI names Winston Oluwole Soboyejo provost and SVP

The Worcester Business Journal carried the news of  Winston Oluwole Soboyejo being named provost and senior vice president.

WPI Students Developing Robot that can Find and Detonate Landmines

Boston 25 news broadcasted a segment on WPI students, under the guidance of Craig Putnam, senior instructor, computer science, developing an autonomous rover and payload-deploying drone that work together to search for and detonate landmines.

Suicide Prevention Leader's Death Leaves College Counselors Shaken

The Telegram & Gazette interviewed Charles Morse, associate dean and director of counseling, for this article. The director of the University of Pennsylvania’s psychological and counseling services department jumped to his death last month. “This is personal for a lot of us, as well as professional,” Morse told the T&G.

A Trio of African American Women Faculty Taking on New Roles

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education noted Tiffiny A. Butler, teaching professor of biomedical engineering at WPI, being named director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs here at WPI.

Test-Optional Admissions: The Next Frontier

Inside Higher Ed published this opinion piece by Andrew Palumbo, assistant vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions and financial aid. “I share WPI’s path to eliminating test scores from our merit-based scholarships with the hopes of encouraging my colleagues at other schools that either have test-optional admission policies or are in the process of considering such a policy to keep this next frontier of the test-optional movement in mind,” he wrote.

Would you pay extra to drive in an express lane if it meant avoiding traffic?

Boston 25 included an interview with Suzanne LePage, an instructor of civil engineering, in its segment, "Would You Pay Extra in an express lane if it meant avoiding traffic?" LePage worries that this would still create a traffic hierarchy based on who can pay. “Anytime you introduce a cost to things, you have to think about equity and justice and is that now restricting access to some people in our population.”

‘I know I can do it’: WPI student looks forward to an engineering-related career — despite blindness

In a front-page article, The Boston Globe profiled WPI student  Jack Duffy-Protentis. “The sky’s the limit for Jack,’’ his mother told The Globe. “He’s innovative. He’s all personality. The experience at WPI made me realize that it’s not a disability for Jack. He’s differently abled, that’s all.’’​

Worcester Red Sox Partner With Tech Startup Standard Cognition to Open the First Autonomous Checkout Store in a Pro Sports and Entertainment Venue

The Associated Press quoted WPI Provost ad interim Winston Soboyejo in its article about the Worcester Red Sox partnering with a California tech startup to open what’s billed as the first autonomous checkout store in a pro sports and entertainment venue. The team made the announcement about the new facility for the future Polar Park on campus yesterday. “WPI is dedicated to creating the workforce of the future, which will include cutting-edge fields like AI, machine learning, and data and computer science,” Soboyejo said. WPI is the academic technology advisor for the team.

Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot hits the street, work sites

Jing Xiao, director, robotics engineering, was interviewed for this The Boston Globe article. “Its entertainment value is already very obvious,” she said. “But because it’s so versatile in going over all kinds of terrain, it can be very useful for applications such as search and rescue.”

US$25 million grant to develop cold spray repair

In WPI research news, Materials Today is the latest to report on the university receiving a $25 million award from the Army Research Lab to be used by Danielle Cote, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, and Kyle Tsaknopoulos, a postdoctoral fellow at WPI. They’ll use the funding to advance a cold spray 3D printing technique that could be used to repair military vehicles and equipment.

WPI Graffiti Artist

Worcester News Tonight aired a story about a new mural at WPI created by internationally renowned graffiti artist Panmela Castro. Castro’s painting, which was done on a wall in Salisbury Labs, features Abby Kelley Foster, a 19th century women’s rights activist from Worcester. The work was done in celebration of Arts and Sciences week at WPI.