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In This Section:

Volume 12, Issue 14
February 24, 2010

In this issue:

Two faculty members and trustee elected to NAE

Two Engineering faculty members and a member of the Cornell Board of Trustees were included in the 2010 elections to the National Academy of Engineering:

Thomas W. Parks, professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  For contributions to digital filter design, fast computation of Fourier transforms, and education.

Stephen B. Pope, Sibley College Professor of Engineering, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.  For contributions to the modeling of turbulent flow, including the development of probability distribution function methodologies for turbulent combustion.

N.R. Narayana Murthy, Cornell trustee and chairman of the board and chief mentor, Infosys Technologies Ltd., Bangalore, India.  For contributions to the development of global information technology services.

"Election to NAE is perhaps the highest honor of the engineering profession, and I am delighted to see Cornellians getting much deserved recognition," said Interim Engineering Dean Chris Ober. "I'm particularly proud that we have two faculty members on the list. Tom and Steve truly deserve this well earned honor, and their accomplishments reflect both the high caliber of our faculty and the stimulating intellectual environment of the college. Please join me in congratulating them on this wonderful achievement."

Memorial service planned for Prof. Ken Torrance

The Engineering community is invited to attend a celebration of the life of Prof. Ken Torrance, MAE, to be held on Saturday, February 27, at 11 a.m. at the Statler Hotel. Prof. Torrance passed away unexpectedly on February 15 as a result of a heart attack.

Awards and honors in the Engineering Community

Asst Prof. Ehsan Afshari, ECE, has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award for his work in designing integrated circuits. The five-year, $400,000 award will fund Afshari's ongoing research into circuits that can generate signals at terahertz frequencies and process information at very high speeds with low power consumption and using standard silicon processes.

Asst Prof. David Bindel, CS, won a Sloan Research Fellowship. The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.  These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to 118 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

Prof. Ken Birman, CS, has won the 2010 IEEE Tsutomu Kanai Award. The Kanai Award recognizes major contributions to the state-of-the art distributed computing systems and their applications.  In the evaluation process, criteria include  seminal nature of the achievements, practical impact, breadth and depth of contributions, and quality of the nomination.

Asst Prof. Hakim Weatherspoon, CS, won a 2009 IBM Faculty Award. The IBM Faculty Awards is a competitive program intended to foster collaboration between researchers at leading universities worldwide and those in IBM research, development and services organizations, and to promote courseware and curriculum innovation to stimulate growth in disciplines and geographies that are strategic to IBM.

Cornell was among 103 competitors at the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest held in Harbin, China, Feb 1–6. The team, calling itself the Big Red Bears, included grad student Yun Jiang, CS, Jiaqi Zhai '12, and Jong Hwi Lee '10 CS. Coach Hooyeon "Haden" Lee’10 reports that Cornell finished 15th, with only one North American university placing higher (Stanford at 14). This result is the Cornell's best in the past decade.

Lunch and learn with Harry Lewis

The College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Institute is co-sponsoring the Feb 25 visit of Harry Lewis, the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, Harvard College Professor, and former dean of Harvard College. Lewis, the author of Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future? and coauthor of Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, has been called one of Harvard College's most engaged and provocative deans.

Lewis's visit includes two public lectures and an RSVP lunch:

Excellence Without a Soul, a conversation about undergraduate education
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM, Thursday, Feb 25, 226 Weill Hall

Informal faculty lunch and discussion with Prof. Lewis
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM, Thursday, Feb 25,166 Hollister (McManus Lounge)
Sponsored by the Teaching Excellence Institute; RSVP to TEI director Kathryn Dimiduk.

Dilemmas of Privacy and Knowledge, new technologies, data, and privacy
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM, Thursday, Feb 25, B-17 Upson

More information is available online.

BEE showcases research in Friday's symposium

The 2010 Biological and Environmental Engineering Research Symposium will be held Feb 26. The symposium promotes scientific exchange among BEE lab groups and encourages networking inside and outside the department. BEE graduate students and researchers will share their latest findings as oral or poster presentations. Oral presentations are from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM in 125 Riley Robb. The poster session is 12:45 PM to 2:45 PM in 400 Riley-Robb. Topics include soil, water, DNA, biofuels, and biosensors. Details and an abstract book are available on the BEE  Web site.

Registration open for CCMR symposium

Registration is now open for the 2010 CCMR Symposium to be held May 18 in Statler Hall's Beck Center. The focus this year is Nanostructured Functional Materials by Design. Confirmed guest speakers include Professor Christopher B. Murray, the Richard Perry University Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Graciela Blanchet, chief technology officer of Nanoterra Inc. in Cambridge, Mass.

Registration, available online, is open through May 14 with an early-bird discount through April 16. For more information, visit the symposium Web site.

Workshop for staff will focus on handling change

Engineering staff members are invited to participate in a program offered by CU Library and the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program titled Individuals in Transition, an informative and useful workshop on how individuals experience and respond to transitions either in their personal or work life. The purpose of the program is to help individuals manage the transitions that are created by the changes we are currently facing at the university.

Key topics include:

  • Handling change successfully
  • Moving through the neutral zone, capitalizing on the creativity of that time
  • Launching a successful new beginning
  • Rethinking work lives to make them less vulnerable to workplace changes

The program is free for Cornell Library staff. College of Engineering staff participants will be charged $100 to attend. Please obtain supervisory approval prior to registering. Find more information and register online.

Mattin's Cafe now has online food ordering

Mattin's Cafe in the Duffield atrium is the newest member of Cornell Dining's online food ordering system. Now you can order and pay for your favorite menu items right from your computer to avoid long lines at the cafe. Simply go to and click on the Click & Go logo to get started. It's that easy.

Submitting announcements to Information Update

Please send your news notes to Announcements will be published no more than twice and should be limited to about a hundred words or less. The next issue of Information Update, published biweekly during the academic year and monthly in the summer, will be July 10, 2013. The deadline for submissions to this next issue is Friday, July 5, 2013 at 5 p.m. Information received after the deadline will be published in a future issue if appropriate.