Weekly Memo

Sept. 21, 2015

Dear members of the Hajim School community:
   “They kind of throw you in feet first on the first day. It was a lot of on-the-job training,” says Wendy Snyder '17 of Mechanical Engineering about serving aboard Robert Ballard's seagoing exploration vessel Nautilus this summer. Wendy was not just along for the ride; she piloted the vessel's two unmanned Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) that traverse the ocean floor. Click here to read more. “It was amazing,” Wendy said. “I’d do it all over again if I could.”

     Each day this semester, the Computer Science Undergraduate Council will offer 3-6 hours of free, walk-in tutoring to all students taking computer science courses. The tutoring takes place in Hylan 301. "It  is a very informal setting where people can walk in and ask their questions to one of our volunteer undergraduate tutors," says Hassler Thurston '17, the Tutoring Chair for CSUG.  "In the past, people have found the program useful for debugging, understanding basic programming and theoretical concepts, and for forming study groups." For more information and the schedule, please visit bit.ly/cs-tutoring. Thanks to CSUG and its volunteers for providing this!

  And please click here for a sneak preview of the new Science & Engineering Quadrangle that will transform the area enclosed by Goergen Hall, Hylan Hall, Hutchison Hall, the Computer Studies Building and the future Wegmans Hall. The makeover, which will start next spring and be finished by next fall, will include new walkways, trees, seating, and a botanical rain garden.  

   Congratulations to Alexander Anderson '16 of Optical Engineering who has received the Michael Pate Optical Sciences Memorial Scholarship in addition to three other awards recently. Alexander spent his summer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, developing a suite of software tools and performing a design survey of freeform telescopes. You can read more about Alexander and his accomplishments here.

      And congratulations as well to the NullSpace team for winning the Student Achievement Award at Digital Rochester's fifth annual  Greater Rochester Excellence and Achievements in Technology (GREAT) Awards ceremony last week. NullSpace, you'll recall, has developed a low-cost virtual reality system consisting of wearable technology -- suit and gloves -- that allows the user to feel the surface and impacts of a virtual environment.  The NullSpace team and the other student teams entered in the contest explain their projects in this video.

     Four Hajim School seniors are among the 10 recipients of this year's Garnish Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by the University's Athletic Department. The award honors students who lead teams on the field of play while also doing outstanding work in the classroom. Boubacar Diallo of Mechanical Engineering competes in the triple jump in track and field. Jennifer Ford of Chemical Engineering is an outside hitter for the women's volleyball team. Katie Knox of Mechanical Engineering runs with the cross country  team. And Matt Mender of Biomedical Engineering is a defensive tackle for the football team. It is no small accomplishment to take on a demanding engineering curriculum and excel in team sports at the same time. My hat is off to all four of these scholar-athletes. You can read more here.

     The latest issue of Rochester Review includes a Q&A with Dylan Wadler '18 of Mechanical Engineering and Thomas Pinella '18 of Computer Science describing how they won last spring's DandyHack's Spring '15 hackathon with their Message in Bottle social media site. They offer some good advice.

     The magazine also takes a look at Asst. Prof. Jong-Hoon Nam's use of computer simulations and a novel microfluidic chamber to study the biomechanics of the organ of Corti in the human ear. This could lay groundwork leading to better hearing aids and more finely customizable implants.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean