Weekly Memo

May 12, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     I invite all of you to attend our annual diploma ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. It's a perfect setting for a particularly memorable occasion -- not just for our graduates and their families, but for all Hajim School faculty and staff who have helped these students reach such an important threshold in their lives.

    Our 2014 graduating class includes 247 seniors, 186 master's students and 54 Ph.D. students. Among our seniors, 26.7 percent are women, 13 percent are international students and 7.8 percent are under-represented minorities. Biomedical Engineering leads the way with 69 graduating seniors, followed by Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering tied with 49 each, Chemical Engineering with 36, Electrical and Computer Engineering with 21 (including our first two graduates in Audio and Music Engineering) and Optics with 19. Five other students majored in Engineering Science. I am especially pleased to see that the effort to increase the undergraduate enrollment at The Institute of Optics is bearing fruit.

    The graduate students represent 25 countries; 28 percent are female. ECE accounts for more than a fourth of our master's and Ph.D. graduates, leading in both categories for a total of 68, followed by Optics with 41.

    We've got some important news to report from the Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences, which has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of a national road map for photonics. The United States has led the world in developing fiber optics, lasers, digital imaging and flat panel displays, but our global share of photonics manufacturing has dropped to less than 10 percent. CEIS will lead the effort to identify key priorities to address this problem. This is a major step in our efforts to bolster the photonics industry, not only nationwide but in the Rochester region, which boasts more than 100 companies in the optics and photonics industry. You can read more about this exciting initiative here.

     Roman Sobolewski, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Senior Scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, is a visiting scientist at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in the Republic of Korea through May 20. He is giving two seminars and exploring closer collaboration between our institutions. These visits often prove to be very fruitful. Thanks, Roman, for representing us at Gwangju.

     Congratulations to these Hajim School students who participated in this year's Charles and Janet Forbes Competition: Qihui (Fiona) Pu and Kyle Fedorchak, seniors in BME, who took first place and $5,000 for their UR DermMates project; Courtney Astemborski and Chad Pickering, also seniors in BME, who took second place and $3,000 for their Hemo-Box project; and Felix Kim, a senior at The Institute of Optics, whose Ovlay project tied for third place. He received $500.

    A clarification is in order regarding last week's item about the Ovitz team (which won the grand prize at the Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest). The PhD program at The Institute of Optics is in "optics," not "optical engineering."
     As I told members of the Visiting Committee recently, our Hajim School athletes tend to be very disciplined students in their time management. You can read more about Hajim School students who find time to excel in varsity sports AND in the classroom in this story at our homepage.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean