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Message from the Dean

November 3rd, 2008

Just as last week’s memo opened with a description of SEAS’ forthcoming course in nuclear engineering, this week I begin with yet more exciting news on the programmatic front: The University’s latest offering, Archaeology, Engineering and Architecture, promises both an interdepartmental learning experience for students, as well as an enhanced global perspective.

Under Program Director and SEAS’ own Renato Perucchio, a professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, students will learn how engineering methodologies, as well as archaeological, architectural, historical, and anthropological practices, shaped technology — and in turn, how those interdisciplinary relationships helped mold ancient civilizations and the pre-industrial world.

Foundation and core courses include “Engineering in Antiquity,” “Ancient Architecture,” and “Medieval Archaeology,” and students will have opportunities to go abroad and collaborate with faculty at a number of prestigious foreign academic institutions. Nationally speaking, this truly is an extraordinary program, and I am pleased that the School of Engineering is playing a key role in its introduction — and in the enhanced preparation of our graduates for the world that awaits them.

Speaking of curriculum, today, Monday November 3, two speakers, Kevin Schulte and Ernie Pritchard, from Sustainable Energy Developments, Inc, an Ontario, NY based company that commercializes wind turbines, will make presentations on “large” wind and “small” wind turbines in CSB 523, from 12:30 to 2:30pm. This presentation is part of the course “Energy for the 21st Century,” and all UR faculty and students are welcome.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s weekly colloquium from 4 to 5:30 p.m. this Thursday, Nov. 6, will welcome visitor Poorvi Vora, an assistant professor of Computer Science at George Washington University. Professor Vora is an expert in cryptology and will present the lecture, “Privacy and eBay’s Second-Chance Offer.” (As an aside, another of Prof. Vora’s research interests is electronic voting. How timely!) This event will be held in room 209 of the Computer Studies Building, and a speaker’s reception beforehand, from 3:30 to 4 p.m., will include refreshments with an informal opportunity to chat with our visitor.

My weekly office hours on Friday, Nov. 14, are scheduled later than usual, from 10 to 11 a.m. in Lattimore 309. If we’ve yet to meet — or, of course, even if we’ve met before — I encourage you to stop by.

Obviously, one of my priorities as dean is to build on SEAS’ sense of community, and to that end, we have put together an online SEAS Events Calendar. To add it to your Google Calendar, simply go to your personal calendar and select Add — which will give you the option to add a Public Calendar. You can then search for the calendar named “UR SEAS Events.” Since this is a public calendar, anyone can view it. If you would like to add an event to the calendar, you’ll need to contact your department administrator. I hope it will prove a valuable tool for keeping us all connected, and I encourage everyone to visit it often.

Finally, it’s time to announce last week’s winners of the 7th Annual ASME Jack-O-Launcher competition, which I had the distinct honor of co-judging on Halloween in Dandelion Square. First place – Team “Last Night” – made up of members of the university’s Mini Baja racecar team. Team Last Night also won “Best Mechanical Design.” Second place – Team “Bacon” – consisting of UR swimmers. Third Place- Team “Livonia High School” — composed of Livonia juniors and seniors. Livonia also won “Longest hang-time.” Congratulations to all participants for engaging in design and contributing to a very enjoyable afternoon.

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