Weekly Memo

Aug. 25, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     This week 480 incoming freshmen will arrive on campus with high hopes of becoming engineers. Some will be better prepared than others to meet the rigorous academic challenges of our curriculum; some will be more realistic than others about what they plan to accomplish in their first semester and beyond.

     Regardless, let’s do our best to help them all feel welcome, to answer their questions, and to get them off to a good start at this important crossroads in their lives.
     Jim Zavislan, our Associate Dean, will officially welcome the Hajim School Class of 2018 at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Strong Auditorium; there will also be a Q&A session on math, computer science and engineering majors from 4-5 p.m. that day in Lander Auditorium.
    My thanks in advance to all of our faculty, undergraduate coordinators, administrative staff and peer advisors who are going to be very busy helping this record number of new students get settled in. I am truly grateful for all your efforts on their behalf.
      We also have a very talented group of new faculty members to welcome to the Hajim School family this academic year. John Criswell, Philip Guo, and Ji Liu (Computer Science), Gonzalo Mateos (ECE), and Hussein Aluie and Christopher Muir (MechE) are here already; Andrew White (ChemE) and Thomas Howard (ECE and Computer Science) will officially come on board in January. I am especially pleased to see the strong computational skills they bring with them. Our research efforts and our students will benefit greatly.

       Thanks to our department chairs for a productive day-long retreat last week. We discussed a wide range of topics, shared success stories, and talked about some of our key goals, including increased student participation in study abroad and continued retention of underrepresented minority students.

       On a final note, congratulations to John Bruning, a University trustee and member of our Dean’s Advisory Committee, who will be inducted into the Rochester Business Hall of Fame on Oct. 7 at the Riverside Convention Center. Bruning is the retired president and CEO of Corning Tropel. The late Robert Hopkins, the former director of The Institute of Optics and an esteemed professor there, was co-founder of Tropel and will also be inducted into the hall of fame. Hopkins was a pioneer in many respects – in integrating the computer as a practical tool in optics design, in recognizing the potential of lasers in optics, and in embracing entrepreneurship decades before it became a common goal for faculty members.

     As always, I am eager for classes to begin and look forward to another exciting school year. Keep me updated and have a great week.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean