President Laurie Leshin has been named to the Worcester Business Journal’s "The Power 50," its annual list of the most powerful people in the Central Massachusetts business community. The WBJ writes “When we seek to create this list every year, we focus on the people who use their positions to have an outsized influence on the business community. We want to tell the story of a changing region and economy through the people creating that change.” The annual list section also includes a brief article on each nominee; here is a link to President Leshin’s page.
The Worcester Business Journal interviewed Rob Krueger, associate professor of social science & policy studies, about why the city of Worcester seems to no longer construct skyscrapers. Towers are often built for two main reasons, Krueger noted: land values are high, or a builder or owner wants to spend the money.
Stating that President Laurie Leshin has raised the profile of WPI “significantly,” the WBJ published this story in its Business Leader of the Year section. “Under Leshin, WPI has made an aggressive push into Boston's hotbed of tech companies, innovation and young talent,” the WBJ reported. “It is WPI, not Harvard University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that has a classroom and collaboration space in the Seaport.”
The Worcester Business Journal reported on work funded by a $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new smartphone app to monitor chronic wounds. The work is led by Emmanuel Agu, associate professor of computer science and coordinator of WPI’s Mobile Graphics Research Group, with co-principal investigators professor Diane Strong and associate professor Bengisu Tulu, both of the Foisie Business School, and Peder Pedersen, a retired professor of electrical and computer engineering.
- Assistant professor of computer science Kyumin Lee, assistant professor of computer science has developed algorithms that have proven highly accurate in detecting fake “likes” and followers across various platforms like Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter. His work is funded by a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.
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.
WPI’s Yanhua Li, assistant professor of computer science and data science, received a $174,596 grant from the National Science Foundation for a transportation study involving a "hub-and-spoke" model: an alternative urban transit system. He also appeared on WBUR radio discussing his grant.
This article includes comments by Vibram USA President and CEO Michael Gionfriddo on how he taps the talent pool at WPI.
The Worcester Business Journal takes a look at the intellectual property policies at area colleges, with an interview with Todd Keiller, WPI’s director of intellectual property and innovation.