Weekly Memo

June 16, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

    I am happy to report that Professor Sandhya Dwarkadas has agreed to serve as Chair of Computer Science effective 1 July 2014. Sandhya received her B.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, in 1986, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Rice University in 1989 and 1993 respectively. She joined our faculty in the Computer Science Department in 1996, and her research interests lie in the areas of parallel and distributed computing, computer architecture, and networks. She has a secondary appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

    I look forward to working with Sandhya and also wish to thank Professor Henry Kautz for his years of service and the vision that he brought to the position and department. I am sure he will be just as successful at the helm of the University's Institute for Data Science. You have our best wishes as you concentrate on this all-important role, Henry.

    Congratulations to the research team of Danielle Benoit, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, for coming up with a way to keep stem cells in place when they are used to regenerate bone tissue. The team encases the stem cells in polymers that attract water and disappear when their work is done. This results in faster and better tissue regeneration. “Our success opens the door for many—and more complicated—types of bone repair,” Danielle said.  You can read more about the project here.

   Two more of our alumni have been in the news recently.

   Rochester Review reports that Orane Barrett ’98 (ChemE) left his job in December as a project manager at Credit Suisse to devote himself full time to his apparel start-up, Kool Nerd Clothing. Kool, Barrett says, is an acronym for “knowledge out of learning.” The aim of the business is to manufacture and sell clothing that will function as “a billboard and a conversation piece” for the idea that intelligence and hard work are cool. As a social entrepreneur, Barrett plans to donate a portion of proceeds and in-kind support to “STEAM” (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education for kids in urban public schools. Read more here.

   Joanne Wu, who earned a B.S. in biomedical engineering in '02 and an M.D. from the School of Medicine and Dentistry in '06 was recently featured by the Democrat and Chronicle in its "Woman to Watch" series. She's a rehabilitation physician at Unity Hospital who also teaches yoga and Pilates.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean