Foxborough father may have been stung by ‘aggressive’ yellow jackets, experts say

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.

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3 Lessons Learned From Education Technology Research

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. 

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As I See It: Major storms & climate change: Rethinking our approach to the elephant in the room

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.”

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Area colleges offer more aid as tuition rises

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.

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A New Way to Measure Potential Football Concussions

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. 

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CHEMICALS BURNING AT TEXAS PLANT ARE UNSTABLE IF NOT COOLED

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.

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Cutting Edge: New research aims to douse wild fires

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. 

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Will CRISPR fears fade with familiarity?

The Conversation published this article by Patricia Stapleton, assistant professor and director of the Society, Technology and Policy Program.

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How a Tech-Oriented University Boosted Female Enrollment

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. 

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“Optical Tweezers” Move Matter at Cellular Level

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."

 

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Global Projects For All at Worcester Polytechnic

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.

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More US funds needed to address workforce skills gap

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. 

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This team is on the verge of creating a beating Band-Aid for the heart. Just don’t call it goopy

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.”

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WPI, Girls Who Code partner to help shatter perceptions

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.

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Cutting Edge: PABI

WCVB TV 5’s Chronicle aired a story about PABI, a sophisticated and loveable robotic penguin developed by WPI and Salem State University that could change the way behavioral therapies are provided to children with autism. PABI is the brainchild of WPI mechanical and robotics engineering professor Gregory Fischer and Salem State University School of Education professor Laurie Dickstein-Fischer. 

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All Too Familiar Bias

President Laurie Leshin was quoted in this article regarding a leaked internal memo at Google that raised questions for women looking to enter Silicon Valley tech companies or join academic STEM departments.

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WPI opening innovation hub in Boston’s Seaport District

The Boston Business Journal reported on WPI’s announcement that the university is leasing innovation space in Boston’s Seaport District as it expands its economic development efforts across the Commonwealth. 

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Data science can help us fight human trafficking

The Conversation published this Op-ed by WPI’s Renata Konrad, assistant professor of operations and industrial engineering.

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Building Risk: Large Wood Structures Present Challenges for Firefighters

Brian Meacham, associate professor of fire protection engineering, was interviewed by NBC Boston for this segment. The segment focused on the use of lightweight engineered wood and its structural integrity when exposed to flame. 

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Bee Bill

Rob Gegear, assistant professor of biology and biotechnology, was interviewed in a story about legislation being filed by State Representative Carolyn Dykema of Holliston to minimize the use neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides that have a harmful effect on bees and bee colonies—a major threat to the ecosystem and agriculture. 

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