Weekly Memo

June 30, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     Poster sessions are a staple of academia -- an effective way for students and researchers to display their projects and discuss their findings with their colleagues. Now, imagine one of those posters the size of a wall, connected to a Blue Gene/Q super computer and BlueHive 2 Linux computer cluster, so that, at the touch of a computer keyboard, multiple data sets can appear side by side, along with animated 3D representations -- of the human heart, for example, or of a complex protein strand. The VISTA Collaboratory, previewed last week in Carlson Science and Engineering Library, is the new data visualization lab that will help our students, faculty and researchers better understand and analyze the reams of data now at their fingertips. As David Topham, Executive Director of the Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation, said: “We can see relationships between data that computers cannot. But in order to do that you have to have the information in front of you so you can see the patterns and connections that matter. In other words, you need to be able to see the forest and the trees simultaneously.” This is tangible evidence of our University's commitment to be at the forefront of Data Science -- and to ensure that our faculty and students are leaders in this field. These are exciting times indeed!

    Congratulations to another Hajim School scholar athlete. Adam Pacheck, who graduated this spring with a double major in biomedical engineering and physics, has been elected to the Capitol One Academic All-America Second Team for Men's Cross Country and Track & Field in Division III.  Pacheck earned a total of 12 varsity letters -- four apiece for cross country, indoor track and outdoor track -- and was a three-time NYSCTC champion. Yet he still managed to maintain a 3.92 GPA. That's an outstanding accomplishment.

    Congratulations as well to these students who have seized upon great opportunities to get some hands-on research experience this summer.

    Seth L. Schober ’16 of Electrical and Computer Engineering will be at the University of Kaiserslautern through the German Academic Exchange Service-Research Internships in Science & Engineering Scholarship (DAAD-RISE) program.  He will be studying the effect of subjecting various metamaterials to radiation in the terahertz range in order to create optically tunable metamaterials.

    Natalie Y. Tjota ’16 of Biomedical Engineering, another DAAD-RISE scholar, will assist on a project in Muenster, Germany, geared towards studying cellular responses to long-term exposure to stressful environments.

     The DAAD-RISE program will take Steven Torrisi ’16 to  the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Northeast Germany to assist in the design of the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator fusion reactor. This fall, he plans to join the laboratory of Nicholas Vamivakas, Assistant Professor of Quantum Optics and Quantum Physics at The Institute of Optics..

    Tyler Vasquez-Dorn, a rising sophomore in Biomedical Engineering, is spending eight weeks as a  Fleming Scholar this summer at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, conducting research on the biomechanics of mice, specifically how arthritis affects their joints. He is one of 12 students chosen from among hundreds of Oklahoma high school graduates who applied.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean