Weekly Memo

Dec. 2, 2013

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

    Congratulations to Xi-Cheng Zhang, Director of The Institute of Optics and the M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics, for being elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This is a prestigious award, the kind that Universities routinely cite as a benchmark of faculty excellence. Xi-Cheng was elected for "distinguished contributions to the generation and detection of broadband terahertz waves, particularly for free-space electro-optic sampling and terahertz air photonics with femtosecond lasers." Well done, Xi-Cheng, and well earned!

    Congratulations as well to Laurel Carney, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, who has received a five-year renewal for her NIH-NIDCD grant entitled “Auditory Processing of Complex Sounds." The new emphasis for the next five years is to investigate neural coding of speech sounds, starting with vowels. This new direction is possible thanks to the collaboration with Joyce McDonough, Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Linguistics.  This grant will support graduate students and a post-doc in BME, Linguistics, or related fields who are interested in speech coding in the brain.

     A fascinating example of interdisciplinary research that includes engineers will be on display Wednesday during a symposium on "3D Digital Archaeology: Reconstruction, analysis and conservation of cultural heritage" starting at noon in the Eisenberg Rotunda. Organized by Renato Perucchio, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director of the Program in Archaeology, Technology, and Historical Structures, and Elizabeth Colantoni, Assistant Professor of Classics in the Department of Religion and Classics, the symposium will feature experts from around the world talking about 3D modeling, visualization, and analysis—including engineering evaluations—of complex archaeological structures and data. The symposium is free and open to the public; click here for more information.

    Here's a study abroad opportunity for engineering and computer science students that could  be a gateway for anyone interested in government service. The Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. There's an emphasis on studying less commonly taught languages, including  Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili.  And recipients must agree  to work for the federal government in the national security arena.  If you are interested, the application deadline for Summer 2014, Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 is Feb. 5. So students who want to go for Spring 2015 must plan ahead.

     Check out our Facebook page for several fellowship opportunities that have deadlines coming up, including the UNCF Merck Undergraduate Research Scholarship, the SMART (Science Mathematics and Research for Transformation) Scholarship for Service, and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.

    As we near the end of 2013 I'd like to thank all of you who have contributed to the Hajim School annual fund -- and urge those of you who haven't to please consider doing so. No matter how large or small, these gifts make it possible for students to benefit from the Hajim experience with financial aid, and enrich that experience with study abroad, internship and career opportunities, with e-socials, and with great hands-on experiences like the Baja SAE Team. Click here to make a contribution.

     As always, keep me updated and have a great week.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean