Weekly Memo

April 21, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

    Have you ever turned a paper plate into a loudspeaker? Not only can it easily be done, it was a great way for students from our IEEE Student Branch to connect with 5th graders at Mendon Center Elementary School recently. Kudos to Jeremy Warner '15 ECE for pulling the road show together with help from Ph.D. student David Anderson ECE, from master's students Yuqing Guo ECE and David Heid AME, and from Andrew Hevey '14 ECE, Edward Samuels '15 ECE, Gary Ge '16 ECE, and Breanna O'Reilly '17 BME. Wendi Heinzelman, the faculty advisor for the branch, got some "amazing" thank-you notes from the 5th graders, many of whom had their parents go out and buy materials that same night so they could replicate what they had learned. "It was a HUGE hit from all accounts,"  Wendi notes.

    Members of our Visiting Committee received valuable updates on UR Ventures, our Medical Technology and Innovation master's program, and student placement during their recent meeting here. Especially enlightening was an  on-site visit to some of the labs being used for our new Audio and Music Engineering major. Thanks to Mark Bocko, ECE Department Chair, for arranging the tour, and to instructors Stephen Roessner and Rob Lavaque and AME sophomore Frank White for demonstrating what students are accomplishing in the program. And thanks to all our chairs for the personal updates they provided on their departments. Many of the committee members specifically mentioned how useful they were.

       Both a sad farewell and a warm welcome are in order. Pia Bunton, the AS&E Director of Graduate Enrollment, has served the Hajim School well, representing us at events and conferences across the country, spearheading the implementation of the SLATE application system, and providing professional development opportunities for graduate students. We wish her all the best as she leaves for North Carolina, where her husband has been accepted in a fellowship program at UNC. Our new Director of Graduate Enrollment, Gretchen Briscoe, who begins May 5,  brings a wealth of experience in the areas of recruitment, marketing, data systems, and analysis, most recently at SUNY Brockport, and will be a great resource for us as we continue to expand our recruiting efforts and use the SLATE platform for recruiting, admitting and enrolling graduate students. Welcome, Gretchen!

      Congratulations to:
       -- Alex Iacchetta, a Ph.D. student working with James Fienup, the Robert E. Hopkins Professor of Optics. Alex has received a 2014 NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship for his proposal, "Astro-Interferometric Modeling and Spatio-Spectral Reconstruction," in concert with activities at the Goddard Space Flight Center. The fellowship, worth about $68,000 a year when stipend and various allowances are included, is for one year, renewable for an additional two years. Kudos to James as well, for a string of outstanding student accomplishments coming out of his lab.
       -- Professors Wayne Knox, Krystel Huxlin and Jonathan Ellis and their researchers for winning the prize for the "most commercializable project" at the poster session of the annual Technology Showcase, sponsored by the Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences. A lot of us have our fingers crossed for their work on noninvasive vision correction using ultra-fast, femto-second lasers. It could revolutionize eye care. 

      -- Francis Hinson, a sophomore in Computer Science and co-founder of Chesscadamey, which won first place at the 2014 Carnegie Mellon Venture Challenge, an undergraduate intercollegiate business plan competition.

      -- BME sophomore Susan Butler, who has been accepted into an IES Abroad program to study the Japanese language in Nagoya this summer.

      Check out this video featuring Duncan Moore, the Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake Professor in Optical Engineering Science, who explains why it is so hard to pinpoint the location of the blackbox from that missing Malaysian airliner.

     Upcoming events of note:
     Tim Talley '88, an ECE alumnus, will be on campus Wednesday to talk about how he successfully pitched U-Lace, his Rochester-based firm that makes colorful customizable laces for shoes and sneakers, to billionaire Mark Cuban during a recent segment of ABC's Shark Tank. It should be an entertaining -- and enlightening -- presentation, starting at 4:45 p.m. in 407 Schlegel.

     And be sure to set aside some time on May 2 to drop by our Senior Design Day, which will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Goergen Athletic Center Field House. More than 50 "capstone" projects completed by our seniors will be highlighted during the poster session. This is a proud moment for them, and an opportunity for our underclassmen to gather some tips for their upcoming projects.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean