Weekly Memo

Aug. 12, 2013

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     On behalf of the entire Hajim School community, I’d like to extend condolences to the family of Prof. Richard “Dick” Eisenberg, who served on the faculty of Chemical Engineering from 1959 to 1983, and remained an active supporter of the department right up until his death last week at the age of 93. Prof. Eisenberg created the Eisenberg summer research fellowships for undergraduate students, and is remembered as mentor for faculty and students alike. Click here to read more…
      Here's a fine example of the multidisciplinary collaboration that makes this university such a productive research institution. Stephen McAleavey, associate professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Daniel Mruzek, a professor of Pediatrics at the Medical Center, have developed a wearable sensor system that will help toilet train autistic children -- in essence, a moisture pager that can connect to a smartphone app and alert caregivers to accidents. "Dan handles the clinical and psychological side of things," Stephen writes, "while a computer science freshman(!), Dan Hassin, and I have developed a Bluetooth sensor and iPod software for signaling an alarm..." They recently received a grant from the Autism Treatment Network, and are starting a pilot study with collaborators at Vanderbilt and Nationwide Children's Hospital at Ohio State. Well done! Click here to read more.

     Speaking of productivity: One minute, Jannick Rolland, the Brian J. Thompson Professor of Optical Engineering, learned that an all-important grant had been approved to launch her Center for Freeform Optics (CeFO). The next minute she was off to South Korea where she and Kevin Thompson, a visiting scientist at The Institute, have been lecturing and visiting at universities and research institutes, thanks to former student Kyesung Lee, who helped organize their tour. Jannick has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Graduate School of Analytical Science and Technology to help foster exchanges with our University, and is wrapping up her trip instructing students in Changchun, China, on Applied Optics. All of these efforts help build strong ties that could lead to research collaborations and student exchanges. I commend Jannick, not only for her incredible talent, but also for her incredible energy. She definitely knows how to get things done!

    Looks like I'm not the only one intrigued by that C-Pen scanner, one of seven items our students could choose from to determine the gifts we will hand out this year at special events.  Last I checked the C-Pen ended up in second place in the polling at our Facebook page, trailing only the Sony A4-sized digital paper notepad.

    I would like to thank the Hajim School department chairs for their candor and advice at our annual retreat on Friday to assess where we are and where we’re headed. It was a very constructive exchange on issues ranging from making sure incoming freshmen have sufficient math skills, to the staff and capacity concerns associated with our increased enrollment. I appreciate their input.

     Have great week!


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean