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Note: Some media outlets require users to log-in. The Gordon Library offers the WPI community free access to a number of newspapers. Visit newspaper database for details.  

WPI Problem-Solving Hits the Mark at NEIA

Professor Joseph Sarkis, Foisie Business School, was quoted in an article by the New England Innovation Academy (NEIA) on WPI’s signature project-based curriculum, the Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP). A group of WPI juniors teamed up to complete an IQP involving sixth-grade curriculum at the NEIA, which served as project sponsor.  “The WPI IQPs serve many purposes and were designed as such. We seek to allow the students leeway in the paths they wish to link theory and practice. As advisors, we may provide general guidance, but students need to plan the project and execute it,” Sarkis said.

Schools outline transfer agreements for displaced Becker College students

The Telegram & Gazette noted WPI in an article on Becker College’s decision to close at the end of this academic year. WPI is one of the colleges and universities that announced it has developed a pathway plan for the Becker college community, including acceptance into our Interactive Media and Game Development program.

WPI Fire Protection Engineering Professor Using Grant to Research Wildfire Burn Pattern Indicators

Professor Albert Simeoni, head of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering, was interviewed about his being awarded $519,893 from the National Institute of Justice to evaluate the reliability of burn pattern indicators used by investigators to determine the starting point of wildfires.

WPI to go test-blind in admissions, labeling standardized test scores as unnecesary

A story on WPI’s move to no longer consider SAT or ACT scores in its admission process was included in The Telegram & Gazette.  The change to fully “test-blind” admissions will begin with the Fall 2021 application cycle and supports WPI’s mission of expanding access to a high-quality STEM education to all students.

WPI No Longer Considering SAT Or ACT Test Scores For Admission, Citing ‘Problematic Correlations’

WBZ-CBS Boston reported on WPI’s move to no longer consider SAT or ACT scores in its admission process. The change to fully “test-blind” admissions will begin with the Fall 2021 application cycle and supports WPI’s mission of expanding access to a high-quality STEM education to all students.  WBZ quoted President Leshin in its report appearing on the station’s website. “I’m proud that WPI is one of the very first STEM universities to fully eliminate the test score barrier,” Leshin said. “WPI’s immersive project-based approach to STEM education engages students in solving real problems around the world, and our most successful students are those with drive, curiosity, and passion—factors that no standardized test can measure.

This STEM College Will Stop Looking at ACT and SAT Scores. Its Admissions Dean Explains Why.

The Chronicle of Higher Education interviewed Andrew B. Palumbo, assistant vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions and financial aid, for an article on WPI’s move to no longer consider SAT or ACT scores in its admission process.

Underdog WPI looks to upset MIT in round of 16 in BattleBots World Championship on Discovery Channel

MassLive featured WPI’s BattleBots team in their article. WPI’s Ribbot robot is a 250-pound, frog-like battle bot that can travel up to 20 mph. The team, consisting of nine members, was the underdog, with MIT’s Uppercut robot the favorite as the school was seeded fourth. (WPI ended up winning).

WPI's Team Capricorn Competing in NASA's Space Robotics Challenge

Mike Gennert, professor of robotics engineering; Carlo Pinciroli, assistant professor of robotics engineering; and Ashay Aswale, a PhD student in robotics engineering, were featured in a TV segment describing their participation in the NASA-sponsored Space Robotics Challenge. About a dozen undergraduate and graduate students have made measurable contributions in the competition.

WPI Professor Says Mars Rover Landing a Leap Forward for Autonomous Robots

Mike Gennert, professor of robotics engineering, offered his thoughts on the impact of NASA’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars. “Perseverance picked its own landing spot as it got near the surface,” said Gennert, “so it was able to avoid rocks and other obstacles as it landed.” In the TV segment, Gennert added that it has “much more autonomous ability” than other rovers.

Mars Rover Perseverance Touches Down

President Laurie Leshin was interviewed by NECN about the successful landing of NASA’s Perseverance Rover on Mars. As a former NASA administrator, Leshin discussed the importance of this mission for the future of space exploration.

WPI Advances to Finals of Space Robotics Challenge

Carlo Pinciroli, assistant professor of robotics engineering, discussed how WPI’s Team Capricorn advanced to the finals of the NASA-sponsored Space Robotics Challenge. The WPI team is seeking to program virtual robots to locate and extract valuable resources from the Moon. “This has a direct financial and economic interest because there are lots of resources on the moon that are important to access,” he said.

Advocates hope pandemic shift away from requiring SAT and ACT will help diversity

Andrew Palumbo, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management  & Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid, appeared in a story in about the impact of test-optional admissions processes on creating a more diverse campus. In the story, Palumbo noted that WPI has stopped awarding financial aid based on student test scores and has withdrawn from the National Merit Scholarship program. “We redirected those dollars to go back to need-based aid,” Palumbo said.

Marie Tharp’s groundbreaking maps brought the seafloor to the world

David Spanagel, associate professor of humanities & arts, was quoted in the Science News article, “Marie Tharp’s groundbreaking maps brought the seafloor to the world.” “That’s why her map is so powerful,” Spanagel told the publication. “It allows people to see the bottom of the ocean as if it were a piece of land, and then reason about it. That’s a transformative thing that she’s able to accomplish.”

College Presidents Decry Jan. 6 Riots

President Leshin was noted in The Telegram & Gazette’s College Town section, “College Presidents Decry Jan. 6 Riots.”

Toys with Wings: Creating Value through Collaborative Entrepreneurial Mindset Learning

Ahmet Can Sabuncu, assistant teaching professor, Mechanical Engineering; and students Jonathan Han and Natalia Han were featured in this article. This discusses Toys with Wings, an emerging learning and teaching experience in a junior-level Mechanical Engineering course at WPI where students develop an entrepreneurial mindset by using the Vygotsky Cycle – a learning theory that uses social interaction to strengthen comprehension -- to complement the engineering design process.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Chemical Engineers: "Why Not Make Waste Work for Us?"

Nearly 80 media outlets, reported on research projects led by Michael Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering; Aaron Deskins, associate professor of chemical engineering; and Nikolaos Kazantzis, professor of chemical engineering, that explore finding applications for nitrogen-rich waste products and converting marine plastics into ship fuel.

These Metal-Based Catalysts Can Boost Biofuel Yields

·A thought leadership piece about how metal-based catalysts can boost biofuel yields by Mike Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering, was published in Biofuels Digest.

New law requires portable gas containers to add devices to protect against explosions

NBC News cited tests conducted in 2013 by Ali Rangwala, professor of Fire Protection Engineering, that led to passage last week of the Portable Fuel Container Safety Act of 2020, which establishes performance standards to protect against portable fuel container explosions. The piece showed that under certain conditions — including a very low volume of gasoline left inside — gas container explosions are possible.

WPI awarded $3M for graduate data program

In the article, “WPI Awarded $3M for Graduate Data Program” the Worcester Business Journal reported on WPI using a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a unique graduate curriculum to train the next generation of scientists who can apply chemical sciences along with data analytics, mathematics, and computing power to reduce energy usage, waste, and pollution. Elke Rundensteiner, professor of computer science, founding director of the Data Science program, and principal investigator on the grant, is collaborating with Michael Timko and Aaron Deskins, associate professors of chemical engineering, and Randy Paffenroth, associate professor of mathematical and data sciences, among others.

As Students Return, New England Colleges Are Seen As Models Of Testing And COVID Control

President Leshin was quoted in the WGBH report, “As Students Return, New England Colleges Are Seen As Models Of Testing And COVID Control.” “Here in Massachusetts, I think we’re actually lighting the way on how to live and learn in the age of COVID,” Leshin told the station. “I really sincerely hope that other parts of the country look to our successful model and set up a way that they can do the same because we’ve shown that it’s possible to stay open and keep operating with relatively low case numbers.”