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In This Section:

Volume 8, Issue 2
August 24, 2005

In this issue:

Tsinghua University president to speak on Friday

Faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to attend a presentation by Dr. Gu Binglin, president of Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, on Friday, August 26, 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. in room G10 in the Biotechnology Building. The lecture is titled " Significant Changes in Chinese Higher Education."

Chinese higher education has developed rapidly in past decades. What major educational reforms have been carried out, what significant changes have happened, and what will be some future challenges that Chinese universities are facing with? This presentation will give some review and comments on these issues.

College hosts grad orientation today

The College of Engineering will host an orientation program for new graduate students on the Engineering Quad today (Wednesday, Aug 24) from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Activities include Cornell Outdoor Education Teambuilding exercise, tours of the Engineering library and selected Engineering labs, a welcome address by Engineering Dean Kent Fuchs, and a barbeque. New grad students are encouraged to stop by the tent on the quad for more information.

Ice cream social to welcome new students today

Members of the Cornell Engineering community are invited to come and meet first-year and transfer students at the ice cream social under the tent on the Engineering Quad at 2 p.m. (serving until 3:30) today (Wednesday, Aug 24). This event is part of the orientation program for engineering undergrads; see the Engineering Advising web site for more information:

Faculty awards and honors

As reported last issue, three members of the Engineering Faculty -- Alyssa Apsel, ECE; Hod Lipson, MAE; and Abraham Stroock, CBE -- were recently selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering's 11th annual Frontiers of Engineering program. In addition, Asst. Prof. Jeff Varner, CBE, who will join the Cornell engineering faculty this fall, was also been invited to participate in the program.

Research on passive walking robots by Prof. Andy Ruina, TAM, was featured on the cover of the August 6 issue of Science News. Read the story online,, or visit Ruina's web site for more information on the research:

Welcome to new faculty and staff

The following individuals have joined the Engineering faculty this fall:
  Chris Andronicos, associate professor, EAS
  David Erickson, assistant professor, MAE
  Lara Estroff, assistant professor, MSE
  Oliver Gao, assistant professor, CEE
  Mark Lewis, associate professor, ORIE
  Jeff Varner, assistant professor, CBE
  Warren Zipfel, associate professor, BME
Look for these new faculty members to be featured soon on the Engineering web site.

Meredith Graham has joined the college as associate director of admissions and will oversee the transfer and engineering ambassador programs. Most recently Meredith was the recruiting coordinator and academic advisor for the College of Science at Purdue University. She also had prior experience as an academic advisor for freshmen engineers at Purdue, as well as experience in the research and development department at Procter and Gamble. Graham has a BA in chemistry from The College of Wooster and a master's degree in education from Kent State.

Sara Hernandez has joined the Office of Diversity Programs in Engineering as an assistant director. Sara has several years of experience in student admissions including two years as assistant director of admissions and multicultural recruitment with Cornell's Undergraduate Admissions Office. She also has experience conducting educational outreach programs for various student populations. Hernandez has a BA in zoology and Spanish from Ohio Wesleyan and she is a candidate for a master's degree in regional planning from Cornell.

Jill Schaffer has been hired as an assistant director of admissions and will oversee areas such as event planning and data management. Schaffer was an undergraduate computer science major in the College of Engineering, receiving her BS in 2001. She then continued on at Cornell to receive her master of engineering degree in 2002. For the past three years she has worked both at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. At Clarkson she specialized in database programming for their alumni department. She is also a fourth generation Cornellian.

Trolley Bridge closed

The Trolley Footbridge (which crosses Cascadilla Creek between Snee Hall and Collegetown) will be closed to all pedestrian traffic until approximately September 9. The closing is required to accommodate needed repairs to the bridge. Please use the walkway along the access road behind Snee Hall to Central Ave as a detour.

CMI deploys Windows cluster

The Computational Materials Institute (CMI), a unit of the Cornell Theory Center (CTC), has deployed the world's fastest Windows-based high-performance computing cluster dedicated to basic research in computational materials science.

The new equipment will support innovative research into metallic and composite material and structure damage simulation to help predict more accurate life expectancies for air and spacecraft. Grants from the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research provided the funding.

Prof. Anthony Ingraffea, CEE, is CTC associate director and CMI coordinator. See News & Announcements on the Theory Center web site for more information.

MSE hosts special seminar, begins fall series

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering seminars are held on Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. in 140 Bard. Refreshments will precede the seminars at 4:00 p.m. in the MSE Lounge, 260 Bard.

Aug 25: Dr. Monika Backhaus,Corning Incorporated, "Solid Oxide Fuel Cells - a Playground for Solid State Chemistry"

Sep 1: Dr. Chris Wolverton, Ford Motor Company,"Atomic-scale Materials Modelling at Ford Motor Company "

There is also a special seminar scheduled for Friday, August 26, at 2:30 p.m. in 140 Bard:

Prof. Harm-Anton Klok, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, "Biologically-Inspired Materials Science: Learning From, Mimicking Of and Interacting With Proteins"

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.