Revolutionary thinking? Colleges let students opt out of admissions exams.

The Christian Science Monitor ran a lengthy story about test-optional practices at universities nationwide, and included comments from Andrew Palumbo, dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, and WPI sophomore Hezekiah Owuor. The story explores how universities are increasingly reinforcing the importance of students’ talents and character.

WPI is researching ways to help your car survive New England’s salt-covered winter roads

MassLive reported on WPI's research to help cars survive New England's salt-covered winter roads. ​Adam Powell, associate professor of mechanical engineering, was awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office for the research.

 

WPI Receives Funding from the National Science Foundation to Develop a Website that Children Can Use to Design and Play Math Games

WBUR talked to Erin Ottmar, assistant professor of learning sciences and psychology, about the NSF grant she and other WPI researchers received to develop a website that children can use to design and play math games that develop computational thinking skills. "Currently, there's very few K-8 teachers who are trained in computer science, so part of the idea is to bridge that gap and be able to increase computational thinking for our students," Ottmar said.

Central Mass. college enrollment grew 9% over decade

The Worcester Business Journal reported that WPI, which has the largest enrollment of any college in Central Massachusetts, saw its student body grow from 4,002 in the fall of 2010 to 5,371 in the fall of 2018, the latest year for which information is available through the Worcester Business Journal's research department.

5 takeaways from Day 2 of the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum

The Robot Report quoted Gregory Fischer, professor of mechanical engineering, in its coverage of the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum in California. He described the work done at WPI’s PracticePoint development and testing facility on robotic systems that can work on a patient inside an MRI machine. “We’re adding cooperative control like that for an autonomous car, with the doctor pushing the gas and the robot steering,” said Fischer, who is also director of PracticePoint. “PracticePoint is working in real time in clinical environments.” 

Ring Recommends Users Update Their Home Security System Passwords After String of Hacking Incidents

Time interviewed Craig Shue, associate professor of computer science, for this article (scroll down to 8th graph).  Shue told Time he agrees hackers are likely getting Rings users’ account information from third parties. “I would also encourage everybody to do their own form of risk assessment and determine what they need in these devices and whether it’s worth the risk to have that functionality,” he added. 

 

Fat-shaming pregnant women isn’t just mean, it’s harmful

An article written by Angela Incollingo Rodriguez, assistant professor of social science and policy studies, was published in The Conversation. Rodriguez’s research suggests that nearly two-thirds of pregnant and postpartum women experience some form of weight stigma. In the article she writes, “As a health psychologist studying weight stigma and its consequences, I see pregnancy as an important new avenue for research.”
 

How to Fix College Admissions

The Wall Street Journal spoke with Dean Andrew Palumbo, admissions and financial aid, for this article. (Go down to header: “Get Rid of the SAT and ACT”; scroll down two more paragraphs). “If it’s not a great predictor and potentially acting as a barrier for students who are at or above peers but bad testers, what message are we sending?” Palumbo told the newspaper.

WPI Researcher to Develop Analytical Tool for Asylum Cases

NPR Hartford reported on Andrew Trapp, associate professor of operations and industrial engineering, developing analytical tools to estimate capacities for holding sites, judges, and other resources needed to humanely process migrant asylum cases at the U.S. southern border. 

Researchers Creating a New Wireless Sensor to Monitor Newborn Babies

WBUR interviewed Ulkuhan Guler, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Integrated Circuits and Systems Lab, on her developing a sensor the size of a Band-Aid to measure a baby’s blood oxygen levels. 

I Took a Break From the Classroom to Help Do Research. It Made Me a Stronger Teacher.

EdSurge published an article by seventh-grade teacher Andrew Burnett, FA Day Middle School in Newton, in which she sited her work with Neil Heffernan, the William Smith Dean's Professor of Computer Science and the director of the Learning Sciences and Technologies Program at WPI. She detailed how her research for Heffernan, involving ASSISTments, a responsive online learning tool based in learning science that was founded by Heffernan and his wife, impacted her teaching when she returned to the classroom.

Solar panels are good for the environment and your wallet, but are they safe?

Boston 25 News interviewed Professor Milosh Puchovsky, fire protection engineering, was interviewed about potential fire hazards associated with solar panels on homes. “Just having the panel on the roof would change the risk because you are introducing an electrical current where one was not previously,” he told the station, adding that rooftop solar panels can be safe and effective if properly installed and regularly maintained after installation.  

WPI Engineers Create Wireless Oxygen Sensor for Sick Babies

Boston 25 reported on WPI researchers developing a sensor the size of a Band-Aid to measure a baby’s blood oxygen levels, a vital indication of the lungs’ effectiveness and whether the baby’s tissue is receiving adequate oxygen supply. This wearable device will be flexible and stretchable, wireless, inexpensive, and mobile - possibly allowing the child to leave the hospital and be monitored remotely.

Don't trust the Trusted Platform Module – it may leak your VPN server's private key (depending on your configuration)

The Register reported on Berk Sunar, professor of electrical and computer engineering and leader of  the Vernam Lab,  and Daniel Moghimi, a PhD candidate in the electrical and computer engineering department, leading an international team of researchers that discovered serious security vulnerabilities in computer chips made by Intel Corp. and STMicroelectronics. The flaws affect billions of laptop, server, tablet, and desktop users around the world. The proof-of-concept attack is dubbed TPM-Fail.

 

WPI Explores Robots In The Workplace

WBZ News Radio interviewed Cagdas Onal, associate professor of mechanical engineering about a $3m NSF grant WPI received to study how humans and robots can co-exist in the workplace.

WPI Gets $1M Grant to Enroll Worcester Students in STEM

The Telegram & Gazette reported on the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarding WPI a $1 million grant to help low-income, high-achieving students earn a STEM degree from the university. WPI Director of Multicultural Affairs and Biomedical Engineering Professor Tiffiny Butler is principal investigator, while Katherine Chen, executive director of the STEM Education Center, is co-principal investigator. 

What I wish I knew then: 11 tips for success from powerful female executives

President Leshin contributed to this Boston Globe section. Her advice, “Don’t just find a mentor — build a mentorship network.”

 

Suicide-by-Text Is a Disturbing New Form of Domestic Violence

Vice cited work by Professor Emily Douglas, head of the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies, for this article. The publication cited a 2016 analysis co-authored by Douglas, that found while women are more likely to be injured (or killed) in domestic violence disputes, men and women inflict violence on their intimate partners at roughly the same rate.

Drone and rover tag teams could help solve the world’s deadly land mine problem

Under Emerging TechDigital Trends interviewed Craig Putnam, associate director of robotics engineering, about the student-led project that is developing the autonomous rover and payload-deploying drone. The goal is to find and safely destroy hidden munitions that kill or maim as many as 20,000 people around the world each year. Putnam told Digital Trends, “the goal was to come up with a system that was as low cost as reasonably possible so that it could be afforded by some remote village that has a problem with land mines in the area.”

Jazz History Database

WBZ radio aired a segment last night and this morning about WPI’s Jazz History Database. Rich Falco, director of Jazz Studies and assistant teaching professor of music, discussed the unique collection. WPI has compiled hundreds of CDs, cassettes, and other materials from jazz artists, families, and musical societies. Students digitize the analog versions of the jazz performances and enter them into the database.   

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