Weekly Memo

April 27, 2015

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

   Our annual Design Day this Friday showcases 60 capstone projects that our seniors and Center for Medical Technology and Innovation students have been working on this school year. I strongly encourage all members of the Hajim School community to drop by to congratulate these students and appreciate their hard work from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Goergen Athletic Center Field House. I especially encourage this year's juniors to attend. This is a great opportunity for them to gain some insights -- and motivation -- for their own projects next year.  Also, students attending between 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. will have a chance to network with members of our Visiting Committee. who will on campus for  their spring meeting. We'll also announce this year's Dottie Welch award recipient. Click here for a sneak preview of the projects that will be on display.

     The Department of Computer Science has been working hard to close the gender gap in that field, and create an inclusive environment for female students.  UR Women in Computing is further evidence of that. The student group, which has been meeting the last few semesters, is dedicated to recognizing and supporting women in computer science, on our campus and at others around the world, and will officially become part of CSUG -- the Computer Science Undergraduate Council this fall. In the meantime, Violeta Lopez '17, Lauren Pien '16 and Tergel Purevdorj '16 recently held a mini hackathon to create a web page for officer elections and recruitment. Click here to learn more about the group.  

     Last Friday marked the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope amid great expectations. Those expectations were soon dashed when the first photos came back blurry. Click here to learn how two of our Optics faculty members -- Duncan Moore and James Fienup (then at the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan) -- played key roles in solving the problem. The Hubble has been sending back iconic images of space ever since.

     The fifth "Energy for the 21st Century Symposium" this coming Friday in Goergen Hall will include a presentation by our IGERT students on their solar energy outreach in Ghana and talks by guest speakers Robert Enick, Professor at the University of Pittsburgh; Peter Vollhardt, Professor at Berkeley; and Safa Motesharrei, a Systems Scientist at SESYNC at the University of Maryland. IGERT stands for the NSF-funded Integrative Graduate Education Research and Traineeship program for PhD students in engineering and science. This has involved about two dozen students here, many from the Hajim School, in researching solar energy and then applying what they learned in Ghana -- for example teaching students how to build solar-powered cell phone chargers. You can learn more about the conference and register here.

    I encourage any of our young faculty who missed last week's AS&E workshop on the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program to see the video of the presentation for some great advice on how to apply, including some great insights from a panel of UR faculty members who have received these awards. Thanks to  Wendi Heinzelman,  the Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Danielle Benoit,  Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, for participating on the panel.

      Congratulations  to Wendi as well for helping to organize last month's visit to the University of Ghana by a 12-member UR delegation to explore how the two universities could work together on research projects, faculty visits and student exchanges. Other members of the delegation included Paul Ampadu, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Paul Funkenbusch, Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Chunlei Guo, Professor of Optics; and Renato Perucchio, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Archaeology, Technology, and Historical Structures Program. Thanks to each of you! You can read more about their visit here.

    ECE alumnus Ryan Aures '06 ('07 MS) has been  named  2015 Young Technologist of the Year by the Technology Alliance of Central New York. Ryan is lead systems engineer in the Defense and Environmental Solutions division of SRC, the not-for-profit research and development company that was spun off from Syracuse University Research Corporation. Ryan works in electronic warfare threat simulations and has been instrumental in developing test and evaluation capabilities for next generation electronic warfare jamming platforms.

     We are entering the final days of the annual United Way campaign with the Hajim School leading all University divisions with a 56 percent participation rate. Thanks to all of you who have made a contribution. Those who haven't, please consider doing so by clicking here. Our University is our region's largest employer. By helping the University meets its share of the campaign's goal, we help United Way address the challenges of violence; poverty; low graduation rates; and ever-increasing numbers of older adults and their caregivers in our community.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean