Weekly Memo

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

I just returned from a trip to Capitol Hill, joining other engineering deans nationwide to advocate for future investments in discovery-based research in science and engineering as well as general funding for educational programs in science, technology, engineering, and math.  As you well know, we are facing challenging times for our nation's budget. Innovation is one of the true drivers for our economy and discovery-based research and education in science and engineering is the true "seed corn" of our future.  We speak much of sustainability, which must apply to our innovation economy as well. With so much competition for limited resources, our government must be strategic in its decisions, using a scalpel as opposed to a hatchet in making budgetary cuts. We will work hard with our Congressional representatives to provide them with the information needed to convey this message.

I’m proud to share that Donovan Rich, a senior mechanical engineering major and ROTC Midshipman, has been selected to become a Naval Reactor Engineer after graduation. Donovan will be working to design and maintain the nuclear reactors and power plants that fuel the Navy. This is a very impressive achievement, one that speaks to Donovan’s hard work and dedication. Congratulations!

Juniors, please be aware that the deadline to apply for the Xerox Undergraduate Research Fellows is Tuesday, February 15. The intensive summer program offers valuable research experience with Rochester professors, GRE preparation, and independent study credit for work that continues into the fall semester. This is a particularly important opportunity for students planning to pursue their studies in graduate school. More information is available here or by contacting Charlana Simmons, associate director of college programs, at csimmons@admin.rochester.edu

On Friday, February 18, the career center will hold its spring career and internship day from 1 to 4 p.m. in the May Room of Wilson Commons. Over 50 companies, both local and national, are sending representatives to answer questions and get a sense of potential candidates’ expertise and education. Even if you are not yet searching for post-graduation employment, the event is an excellent chance to polish your interview skills and get to know potential employers. More information and preparation advice are available here.

The Take Five program offers an extra, tuition-free semester or year of study to motivated students who have not had time, due to rigorous coursework in another field of study, to pursue an intellectual concern. Learn more at from 4 to 5 p.m. on February 14 and 16 in Wilson Commons Room 122. Additional information is available here.

And for all of our entrepreneurially inclined students, the annual Forbes Competition is coming up. If you would like to put your tech business model in the running, you must turn in a statement of intent by this Friday. Please contact Maureen Konopka at Maureen.konopka@simon.rochester.edu for more information.

Today through Wednesday, Jeopardy! will feature “Watson,” an IBM supercomputer, in competition with two of the show’s undefeated human champions. Watson is the culmination of four years of programming, and is specially designed to strategize when to answer questions and untangle the puns and idiosyncratic questioning that characterizes the game’s questions and answers, and do so at an incredibly fast pace. In Rochester, the show will air at 7:30 p.m. on WROC-TV, our local CBS affiliate. This is an entertaining way to see computer engineering in action!


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean