- The Telegram and Gazette conducted a Q&A with Michael Ahern, director of corporate and professional education and an instructor for WPI’s Foisie Business School, on his role as WPI’s principal investigator for a cybersecurity research team assessing the vulnerability of the U.S. power grid to attacks.
- WPI scientists are using visualization tools and mixed reality to explore complex biological networks, a depiction of a system of linkages and connections so complex and dense it’s been dubbed the “hairy ball.” Dmitry Korkin, PhD, associate professor of computer science and director of the university’s bioinformatics and computational biology program, leads the research team.
IEEE’s membership publication interviewed Kevin Sweeney, a professor of finance with the Foisie Business School, about the growing popularity of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. Sweeney discusses the pros and cons of the system, which is now being accepted by major retailers such as Expedia and Overstock.
In light of the devastating California wildfires that have killed 17 people, Newsweek interviewed Fire Protection Engineering Professor Albert Simeoni, asking him if these types of fires always must be devastating to human life and property. Simeoni, who studies wildfires and is a former firefighter, said damage can be minimized through science and consideration of fire behavior. “If you look at the photos, you see the houses are very close to each other and basically there’s a domino effect where if one house is burning it spreads to another.”
The Telegram & Gazette profiled IMGD Professor Lee Sheldon’s unique approach to teaching in the article. Sheldon runs this class as a game, rather than a traditional lecture. Aside from teaching students how to craft their own game characters and character narratives, they also develop skills that are translatable to real world skills, such as public speaking, resume writing, and decision making.
The Boston Globe profiled research by biomedical engineering professor Songbai Ji in this article. Ji is developing animated brain maps that show how brain tissue deforms and stretches after impact, which could prove valuable in understanding concussions. “Ji hopes someday to show players and coaches what each hit has probably done to the brain - the minute it happens.
The Boston Globe consulted with Robert J. Gegear, assistant professor and director of the New England Bee-cology Project at WPI, for insight into bee behavior, following a tragic incident in which a Foxborough man died after being stung multiple times by yellow jackets.
U. S. News & World Report reported on a rigorous study by the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT that took a hard look at education technology and cited ASSISTments, a free homework platform created by computer science professor Neil Heffernan, as one program that is having a measurable positive impact. “We had the guts to expose ourselves” to randomized control trials, Heffernan said, adding that he now has grants for ongoing work on the program.
Patricia A. Stapleton, assistant professor of Social Science & Policy Studies and director of The Society, Technology and Policy program, wrote an “As I See It” op-ed in the Telegram & Gazette. In the article, Stapleton noted that debating the impact of climate change is a distraction that “undermines public support to develop and implement hazard mitigation plans.”
Monica Blondin, executive director of student aid and financial literacy, says WPI has increased student aid by 9 percent in the past five years, totaling $78 million last year; added more financial literacy classes for students and, in August, announced $5,000 grants for students to conduct overseas projects.
Bill Marcus interviewed Professor Songbai Ji, biomedical engineering, about his research using advanced neuroimaging to develop highly specific computer models of the head and brain to better diagnose concussions in real time. Ji’s work is funded by two grants from the National Institutes of Health.
The Associated Press interviewed Marco Kaltofen, associate research engineer, for this article. "The problem with organic peroxides is they react with themselves. That's why we refrigerate them," Kaltofen told The AP, referring to organic peroxides, which caught fire at the plant amid the devastating flooding.
WCVB-TV Boston featured Albert Simeoni, professor, fire protection engineering, discussing WPI’s latest wildfire/wind tunnel technology, designed to help fire scientists to learn more about how wildfires burn in different environments, a blaze’s intensity, and what firefighters and urban housing developments face.
The Conversation published this article by Patricia Stapleton, assistant professor and director of the Society, Technology and Policy Program.
Inside Higher Ed published the article on WPI’s efforts to enroll more female students. WPI saw the female share of its incoming class go from 34 percent to 43 percent in a year, after adjusting aid policy. President Laurie Leshin, was interviewed for the article and described new changes in policies and efforts begun 10 years ago, when WPI admissions became SAT-optional.
Professor Yuxiang Liu's work regarding "Optical tweezers" and their use in moving nanoscale particles and measuring nanometer-scale displacements was recently published in the e-magazine of AMSE.org. This work is particularly "useful in biological and physical research, for example, measuring the motion of individual motor proteins or the mechanical properties of polymers."
WPI announced Global Projects For All, a university-wide initiative that will provide all students with access to an off-campus project experience. Beginning with the class of 2022, every full-time, degree-seeking student will receive a Global Project Scholarship, a credit of $5,000, to defray the cost of an off-campus project.
The latest edition of Advanced Manufacturing includes a guest column by Bogdan Vernescu, vice provost for research, about the importance of the manufacturing engineering education (MEE) grant program.
The Boston Globe’s ‘STAT’ section published an article today on WPI research aimed at helping the heart recover after parts of it die from lack of oxygen. “I want to fix people with heart attacks,” George Pins, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering, told STAT. “I think it’s an important global health care problem and there’s significant unmet need.”
Kristin Tichenor, WPI senior vice president, was quoted in the article. “The quickest way to bridge the gap between the number of people we need with computing expertise to fill jobs and those with the talent to do that work, is to encourage more women and underrepresented minority students to pursue computer degrees in college,” she said.