Worcester News Tonight featured the news of PracticePoint at WPI’s Gateway Park being named the site of the first so-called “sandbox” by Gov. Baker who was on campus yesterday to announce the new grant program. “It’s going to be about engineering and data science, and those are two areas where WPI is a national leader,” Gov. Baker said (8:45 mark). President Laurie Leshin added, “There’s so much innovation happening right here in the heart of the commonwealth, right here in Worcester. It’s fantastic to see the state recognizing that.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CNN aired the commentary piece, noting WPI as among colleges and universities that have adapted test-optional admissions policies.
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)
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.
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.