Weekly Memo

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

I’m pleased to report that as the spring flowers continue to blossom in Rochester—despite the late-season snow—so, too, do our faculty, students, and alumni.

First, I must offer congratulations to our colleague Xi-Cheng Zhang, Director of the Institute of Optics. He has been selected to receive the Optical Society’s 2012 William F. Meggers Award, presented annually by OSA in celebration of outstanding work in spectroscopy. This prestigious honor recognizes Dr. Zhang’s exceptional contributions to the study of coherent generation and direction of ultra-broadband THz waves for far-infrared spectroscopy. The award will be presented to him at Frontiers in Optics 2012, OSA’s yearly meeting, on Oct. 15 in Rochester.

The Hajim School has also just learned Dr. Zhang has been named the 40th Honorary Professor of Moscow University. He will formally receive the title in June at the TERA conference, during which Moscow University’s Rector will invite Dr. Zhang to present a lecture. It should prove to be a very special ceremony.

I also commend Eby Friedman, Distinguished Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Dr. Friedman’s paper, co-authored with his colleagues from Technion, has been selected for the 2012 IEEE Circuits and Systems Society VLSI Transactions Best Paper Award. “Unified Logical Effort—A Method for Delay Evaluation and Minimization in Logic Paths with RC Interconnect” was published in May of 2010.

In addition, I am proud to include two Biomedical Engineering students and an alumna among this week’s list of recent Hajim School accolades. Seniors Catherine Marando and Douglas Clift and 2011 graduate Kelli Summers have won Whitaker International Fellows awards. The goal of this fellowship program is to provide students opportunities to gain international experience, either in education or research—or both—after they have completed their undergraduate degrees. (The Institute for International Education, the same organization that sponsors Fulbright grants, manages the program.) Catharine’s award will support her research in the study and treatment of glaucoma at Imperial College in London. Douglas will use his award to study musculoskeletal tissue engineering and biomaterials development at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. And Kelli Summers will head to Vienna, Austria, to study methods and mechanisms for developing molecular-contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging.

Finally, I wanted to share a delightful personal story from Steve Ivancic and Sarilyn Swaygnim, both doctoral candidates in Mechanical Engineering. On April 14, they took part in the Diamond Dash, a contest sponsored by Cornell’s Jewelers in Pittsford. For two hours, they (literally!) ran around downtown Rochester, stopping at different locations to tackle trivia questions, math equations, and logic problems. Competing against 300 other couples, they ended their 7-mile trek at the Convention Center. It was there they learned they’d had the most correct answers and won the contest—as well as a $13,000 diamond engagement ring. As they were collecting their prize, Steve got down on one knee and proposed. Sarilyn happily accepted.

Have a pleasant and productive week.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean