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That Went By Fast: A Summer In The News For WPI

August 26, 2022

The news doesn’t take the summer off, and students and faculty from WPI filled the pages and airwaves of local, regional, and national outlets to offer expertise, share experiences, and highlight the unique advantages of the university’s project-based education. Here’s a taste of what was going on at WPI during the dog days:

The New York Times: The Chain of Failures That Left 17 Dead in a Bronx Apartment Fire

A months-long collaboration between WPI and the New York Times yielded an immersive look at how a fire in the Bronx earlier this year turned so deadly so quickly. Albert Simeoni, head of Fire Protection and Engineering, and postdoctoral fellow Muthu Kumaran Selvaraj worked on smoke modeling for the Times’ report on the fire, which killed 17 people. 

The Boston Globe: Before the iRobot acquisition, Massachusetts was already at the forefront of all things robots

In a story on Massachusetts’ robotics boom, the Boston Globe singled out WPI as a critical supplier of talented robotics engineers for the industry. 

“It’s a fantastic school with great kids. We’d love to have as many of their kids as we can.” 

Washington Post: What does it mean for a hotel to be carbon neutral?

The Post spoke with Social Science & Policy Studies Department Head Rob Krueger about what the term “carbon neutral” means for hotels, and how people using a sustainable building can change the way it functions.

“Once you put the label of green or sustainable on something, many people tend to stop asking questions.” 

Financial Times: How decades of clashes with China led to Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip

The Financial times interviewed Professor Jennifer Rudolph, an expert on modern Chinese political history, on her thoughts about the potential impact of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. 

NBC Boston: Letting Nature Be Your Teacher 

Associate Professor Lisa Stoddard of the Department of Integrative & Global Studies within The Global School spoke with NBC10 as part of their Climate 2022 coverage about the Farm Stay Project Center in Paxton, Massachusetts. Through the partnership with Turn Back Time, WPI students are helping some of the youngest learners get excited about environmental education through the university’s project-based education.

WBUR: The role of the bubonic plague in Shakespeare's plays

Associate professor Michelle Ephraim was interviewed on WBUR Radio Boston about her popular “Infected Shakespeare” class at WPI that studies how the famed playwright understood and wrote about pandemics and infectious diseases, as part of the station’s “Brilliant Boston” series.

“I usually begin the segment on pandemics, plagues, by saying, with the idea of creating a suspension of disbelief, 'Imagine what it would be like!' Now we can, unfortunately."

GBH: Black Hole Symphony Translates the Sounds of Black Holes into Orchestral Music

Boston Public Radio had Adjunct Professor of Music David Ibbett on to talk about the “Black Hole Symphony” he performed at the Museum of Science. Ibbett worked with astrophysicists to turn the different aspects of a black hole galaxy into a concert and immersive experience that includes audio and visuals.

Telegram & Gazette: Some Worcester Neighborhoods are Hotter than Others. Here's Why it Matters

WPI Associate Professor Steve McCauley, Department of Integrative & Global Studies (DIGS), discussed “heat islands” with the Telegram & Gazette as part of a USA TODAY Network reporting project called “Perilous Course,” a collaborative examination of how people up and down the East Coast are grappling with the climate crisis.

“Through his research at WPI, McCauley has studied how areas with high rates of foreclosure, eviction and crime increase overall vulnerability during high temperatures.” 

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