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In This Section:

Volume 2, Issue 10
January 19, 2000

In this issue:

Burns to lecture in "Mind and Memory" series

Prof. Joe Burns, TAM, professor of astronomy and the I. P. Church Professor of Engineering, will participate in the Mind and Memory lecture series this spring. As part of THETR 301 Mind and Memory: Explorations of Creativity in the Arts and Sciences (also English 301 and Music 372), he will present "Creative (??) Observations" on February 14, 2:55-4:10, in Uris Auditorium. The lecture series concerns creativity in the arts and sciences. Burns will argue that physical scientists/engineers need creativity in their research and will use examples from the exploration of the solar system to illustrate the point. Members of the engineering community are welcome to attend.

Update on Faculty Senate actions regarding CIS initiative

The Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Programs and Policies (CAPP) has led the Senate's efforts regarding the new initiative in Computing and Information Science (CIS) proposed in the two task force reports. As a result, the Faculty Senate passed several motions (see the University Faculty web site,, including a strongly supported statement that any such initiative be reviewed by the Senate. President Rawlings has delegated Vice Provosts Cohen, Garza, and Sansalone to prepare a proposal in this area by late January. The vice provosts have consulted with Dean of Faculty Cooke, myself as chair of CAPP, and CIS Dean Constable, and likely will consult with others as well.

Gauthier to speak at EE colloquium

The Electrical Engineering Spring Colloquium series will be held on Tuesdays at 4:30 in 101 Phillips Hall. On February 1, Daniel J. Gauthier, associate professor of physics and assistant research professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University, will present "Delay-Induced Instabilities in Semiconductor Lasers." This a joint seminar with the Nonlinear Systems program.

Lectures in the colloquium series are free and open to the public; refreshments are served at 4:15 in the Phillips Hall Lounge. For a complete listing of speakers for this spring, visit the EE web site (

Spring schedule announced for TA training

Calling all first-time and/or non-certified teaching assistants in the College of Engineering!

The college would like to remind TAs and departments that all new and/or non-certified TAs must complete the College of Engineering TA Development Program OR the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Program as a condition for receiving their TA salary. All new TAs (including those in the ITA Program) must attend the introductory session of the Engineering Program on Friday, January 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., beginning with registration in 155 Olin Hall. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

The full spring schedule follows:

Introductory Meeting: First Class Hints & Teaching in a Diverse Community Friday, January 21, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 155 Olin Hall (registration, opening session 9:00-9:45 a.m.) 218 & 245 Olin Hall (10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. workshops) Continental breakfast & lunch provided Concurrent Sessions on Teaching Topics: Effective grading, teaching in a laboratory, leading a recitation, and office hours. Saturday, January 29, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 155 Olin Hall (registration, opening session 9:00-9:45 a.m.) 218 & 245 Olin Hall (10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. workshops) Continental breakfast & lunch provided Microteaching Sessions New TAs should schedule one two-hour session during the week of January 24-28 OR January 31-February 4. Sessions are held in 218 & 245 Olin (5:30-7:30 p.m. or 7:30-9:30 p.m.), and are facilitated by TA Fellows.

Midterm Feedback Process Administered during the 5th & 6th weeks of the semester (February 21-March 3). All TAs, new and returning, are encouraged to participate in this process. Departments will forward notices. Any interested faculty are also invited to participate. Questions? Contact: Pat Spencer, director, Office of Instructional & Research Support 142 Olin Hall,, 254-1399

Duffield Hall project moves into design development

The project has moved into the design development phase in which the building, atrium, and quad designs will be developed in detail. Concurrently, the Project Team and the User Committee are assessing the needs of the new Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC), an initiative that may require clean room space and dedicated laboratories in Duffield Hall. The team is also developing various options for bringing the overall project budget and program into alignment. At the moment, the budget exceeds available resources by about $2.4 M. The team has begun to work with the city to initiate the process required to receive approval to build. Perhaps the most important activity in this process is the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) which includes a series of hearings that help city officials and the public understand how the building will serve Cornell and any potential impact on the community. These hearings will begin over the next few months.

--Mark Spiro, Associate Dean

Gift will endow MAE simulation lab

The Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has just received a major commitment from John Swanson '61 ME, founder of Ansys, to endow the development of a new simulation laboratory. The planning for this lab will occur over the next couple of months; interested faculty members may contact Prof. Sid Leibovich, director of MAE, for more information.

--Marsha Pickens, Asst. Dean, Engineering Alumni Affairs and Development

Discover Magazine now accepting entries

Last year we were pleased and proud to report that two of our faculty members, Asst. Prof. Carlo Montemagno, ABEN, and Prof. Watt Webb, AEP, were finalists in the Discover Magazine Awards for Technological Innovation. This year it could be you!

Discover Magazine is now accepting entries for the 2000 competition. This is the 11th year of the Discover Awards, and according to Pat Janowski at Discover Magazine, "they are meant to honor the people behind the most exciting and relevant recent technological innovations: the researchers who, ironically, usually don't get much recognition for doing this important work."

In addition, the Columbus Foundation chooses one innovation from the pool of entries in the DISCOVER Awards to receive a $100,000 fellowship, recognizing an attempt to improve the world through ingenuity and innovation.

If you have an innovative project to be considered in the Discover competition, fill out the brief entry form online at All initial entries must be received online; the deadline is January 28.

Preliminary totals announced for scholarship campaign

Cornell University has just announced preliminary final totals for the 1999 Scholarship Challenge Campaign. This was a year-long effort to raise $150 M for endowed undergraduate scholarships to earn a $50 M challenge grant; the challenge grant is awarded on a 1:3 basis. The university raised more than $170 M (113.48% of the goal), earning over $56 M additional from the challenge grant donors, who remain anonymous. The amount of gifts designated for engineering scholarships was more than $57.6 M (142.33% of the engineering goal of $40 M). This funding, all for endowment, is in direct relief of the general-purpose budget and helps Cornell maintain its need-blind admissions policy. It should result in long-term indirect help with the portion of the college budget that is allocated by the university. Even though the increase in effort for the SCC seems to have resulted in a short-term decrease in gifts for unrestricted and restricted purposes in the college and departments, with so many alumni involved in giving gifts for scholarship, we should see an increase in all gift activity in the future. This is a great success for Cornell and a tribute to the generosity of our alumni.

--Marsha Pickens, Asst. Dean, Engineering Alumni Affairs and Development

Three Rs reminder from ACCEL: register, reserve, and request

The staff at the Academic Computing Center in the Engineering Library (ACCEL) would like to remind faculty and staff to please register their classes, make their room reservations, and submit their software registration request forms (along with the required items) ASAP. Please look under "Forms" on ACCEL's website at for information and forms. The staff of ACCEL needs to install all software requested for the Spring 2000 semester during the first two weeks of the semester. ACCEL will re-open on Monday, January 24. Initially our hours will be Noon-6:00PM. We will expand our hours to our regular schedule ASAP. We look forward to working with you all again.

New engineering alumni directory now available

A new engineering alumni directory has just been published -- the first one since 1991. A copy will be sent to each academic department as a reference tool. The directory was produced by BC Harris Publishing company, which sells them. Additional copies may be obtained by calling 800 877-6554. This was a project of the Cornell Society of Engineers. The directory includes all engineering alumni for whom Cornell has information. The alumni were polled first and had a chance to ask to be removed from the listing. As with all printed directories, it will become out-of-date quickly, but at least it provides some frame of reference. The long-range plan is to create an electronic community based on this directory, and we will follow with more details on that as they become available.

--Marsha Pickens, Asst. Dean, Engineering Alumni Affairs and Development

Just for fun: Discovery Channel presents engineering feats

We'd like to direct your attention to three Discovery Channel specials that may be of interest to the engineering community, especially civil engineers:

SKYSCRAPERS: GOING UP airs Monday, January 24, 9-10pm and again 12pm-1am EST. Highlights: an exclusive first look at the brand-new, 1,476-foot-tall twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; interviews with world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli and structural engineer Dr. Charles Thornton; and a "day in the life" of the best-loved skyscraper of them all, the Empire tate Building.

BRIDGES: REACHING OUT airs Monday, February 21, 9-10pm & 12pm-1am EST. Highlights: bridge designer David Goodyear's reinforced cement arch cantilevered over a 300-foot-deep gorge in the Oregon high plains; a new 17-mile addition to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel; Japan's Akashi Kaikyo, the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world; and of course the Golden Gate Bridge.

TUNNELS: DIGGING IN airs Monday, March 6, 8-9pm & 11pm-12pm EST. Highlights: a tour inside the longest underwater passageway on the planet, the 33.5 mile-long Seikan Tunnel; construction of a six-mile shaft through the San Bernadino Mountains to provide water to Southern California; a project in Queens, New York, where engineers have to burrow under an active four-lane highway, the existing subway, and a maze of sewage pipes and electrical conduits to create a new express tunnel into Manhattan.

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.