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Arts & Sciences

September 2014

Evolution or Revolution? Hearing from the Faculty Learning Community on WPI Courses of the Future
Tuesday, 9/16/2014 12:00 PM-1:20 PM
Campus Center, Hagglund Room
Evolution or Revolution? Hearing from the Faculty Learning Community on WPI Courses of the Future
Presenters: Joe Beck (CS), Jim Cocola (HUA), Rob Lindeman (CS/IMGD) and undergraduate students

For more information, e-mail

The Revenge of the Losers: The Continuing Relevance of Anti-Federalism in American Culture
Thursday, 9/18/2014 4:00 PM-5:00 PM
Fuller Laboratories, Lower Perreault - free
Lecture by Saul Cornell of Fordham University
Professor Cornell is the author of two prize-winning works in American legal history. He is one of the nations leading authorities on early American constitutional thought. His work has been widely cited by legal scholars, historians, and has been cited by the U.S Supreme Court and
several state supreme courts. Professor Cornell has also been a leading advocate of using new media to teach history and is the author of a new American history text book, Visions of America. This path breaking book uses visual materials to illustrate the competing visions that have shaped American history.

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Prof. Susan Landau, Social Science and Policy Studies, WPI, Interdisciplinary Pathways Towards a More Secure Internet: A Report from an NSF Cybersecurity Ideas Lab
Friday, 9/19/2014 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Fuller Laboratories, 320
For more information, e-mail

Exploring the Science of Metals: From the Synthesis of Metallacrowns to Cellular Utilization
Friday, 9/19/2014 12:00 PM-1:00 PM
Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, GP1002 Seminar Room
Ann Stemmler, Ph.D.
Chemistry Department
University of Michigan-Dearborn

Host: Professor Arne Gericke
For more information, e-mail

Robotics Engineering Seminar (WPI Only)
Friday, 9/19/2014 2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Higgins Laboratories, 102
Professor Masayuki Inaba
University of Tokyo
Director, JSK Robotics Laboratory

Masayuki Inaba is a Professor at the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo.
He received B.S of Mechanical Engineering in 1981, M.S and Dr. Degrees of Information Engineering from The University
of Tokyo in 1983 and 1986 respectively. He was appointed as a lecturer in 1986, an associate professor in 1989, and a
professor in 2000 at the University of Tokyo. His research interests include key technologies of robotic system, humanoid
and software architecture for advanced robots. His research projects have included hand-eye coordination in rope handling, vision-based robotic server system, remote-brained robot approach, whole-body behaviors in humanoids, robot sensor suit with electrically conductive fabric, musculoskeletal humanoid development, humanoid specialization for home assistance, and developmental integration systems with open source robot platforms. He received several awards including outstanding Paper Awards in 1987, 1998 and 1999 from the Robotics Society of Japan, JIRA Awards in 1994, ROBOMECH Awards in 1994 and 1996 from the division of Robotics and Mechatronics of Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Best Paper Awards of International Conference on Humanoids in 2000 and 2006 with JSK Robotics Lab members.

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stART on the Street Festival - Jazz
Sunday, 9/21/2014
Park Avenue, Park Avenue, Worcester, MA
The WPI Jazz Ensemble directed by Professor Richard Falco will perform at the festival.

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Stochastic Analysis Common-Xingjie Li (Brown University)-Equation free method for computing self-similar solutions of Smochowski's dynamics
Monday, 9/22/2014 4:00 PM-5:00 PM
Stratton Hall, 308
ABSTRACT: In this joint work with Yannis Kevrekidis, Govind Menon and Matthew Williams, we illustrate the computation of coarsely self-similar solutions of Smochowski's dynamics by using the recently developed "equation-free" approach. Dynamic renormalization and fixed point algorithms for the macroscopic density dynamics are applied to the results of shortly evolved dynamics in a simple simulation.

This approach holds promise for location coarse self-similar solutions and the corresponding exponents in a variety of multiscale contexts.

For more information, e-mail

Jazz Master Class
Wednesday, 9/24/2014 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Alden Memorial, Spaulding Recital Hall - free and open to all
Guest artists Grace Kelly
For more information, e-mail

The Beams are Creaking a Masque Production
Thursday, 9/25/2014 - Saturday, 9/27/2014 7:00 PM-8:30 PM
Little Theatre
"The Beams are Creaking" Masque Production. For more details:
Sponsored by: Masque and the Humanities & Arts Dept.
For more information, e-mail

CIMS Colloquium-Vanessa Lopez (IBM)-Simulating heat and mass transfer in buildings equipped with sensor networks
Friday, 9/26/2014 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Stratton Hall, 203
ABSTRACT: We consider the problem of modeling heat and mass transfer in buildings equipped with a network of sensors and a data management system which gathers the sensor data in real time. Such sensor measurements serve as input data for the boundary value problems for systems of partial differential equations comprising the physical models. First, we describe a simplified physics model for simulating air and heat transfer in data centers and show results from a case study indicating that the model produces approximations to temperature distributions which compare favorably with 3D experimental thermal measurements, even when the amount of input information provided by the real-time sensor data is limited. We then consider the problem of simulating humidity along with air flow and heat transfer, specifically in environments where natural convection is dominant. We will discuss modeling tools and techniques that facilitate performing simulations of the physical phenomena at hand and which are suitable for coupling with measurements gathered via sensor networks.
For more information, e-mail

Walk to Cure Cancert UMass - WPI Jazz
Sunday, 9/28/2014 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
UMass Memorial Medical Center, 55 Lake Ave North, Worcester, MA
The WPI Jazz Ensemble directed by Professor Richard Falco will perform at the Walk to Cure Cancer. Please view the UMass Campus website for details:

For more information, e-mail

October 2014

Colloquium-Jianjun Huang (WPI)-Title TBA
Friday, 10/3/2014 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Stratton Hall, 203
For more information, e-mail

Master Class/Clinic with Composer
Monday, 10/6/2014 6:00 PM-8:00 PM
Alden Memorial - free and open to all
Will Todd, composer "Mass in Blue" open rehearsal with WPI Stage Band & Master Singers of Worcester.
For more information, e-mail

Homecoming WPI Stage Band
Friday, 10/10/2014 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Campus Center, Campus Fountain Stage
For more information, e-mail

WPI Physics Department Colloquium, "THz Spectroscopy: Studying Carrier Dynamics and Solar Energy Conversion in Nanostructured Materials and Progress Toward THz VCD," by Dr. Charles Schmuttenmaer, Yale University, Department of Chemistry
Monday, 10/13/2014 4:00 PM-5:00 PM
Olin Hall, 107 - FREE
Terahertz spectroscopy has proven itself to be an excellent non-contact probe of charge injection and conductivity with sub-picosecond time resolution. One may exploit this capability to study a variety of materials, and here we choose to probe the transient photoconductivity of dye-sensitized nanostructured wide band gap semiconductors photosensitized by high oxidation-potential chromophores. These systems are of interest in the area of renewable energy research and artificial photosynthesis.

I will also describe recent efforts, both experimental and computational, to probe and understand low frequency vibrational modes in organic molecular crystals. Calculating these modes has proven challenging because of the large influence of weak van der Waals interactions which are difficult to treat computationally for periodic systems, i.e., crystals. In addition, efforts toward measuring vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) in the far-infrared will be reported.

Refreshments will be served in Olin Hall 118 at 3:30 P.M.
Sponsored by: WPI Physics Department
For more information, e-mail or call 508-831-5258.

Veterans Inc. Gala Military Ball
Saturday, 10/25/2014 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Historic Armory Building, 44 Salisbury Street, 44 Salisbury Street, Worcester, Worcester, MA
Performance by WPI Jazz Ensemble, directed by Richard Falco. For more details please visit their website:

For more information, e-mail

Mechanics Hall E.&G.G Hook Organ
Sunday, 10/26/2014 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Mechanics Hall, 321 Main Street, Worcester, MA
Mechanics Hall E.&G.G Hook Organ (aka The Worcester Organ) Rededication Concert in honor of its 150th Anniversary.
Sponsored by Mechanics Hall and Worcester AGO, with guest instrumentalists: WPI Brass, Douglas Weeks, Director Tickets TBA, 3 p.m.
For more information, e-mail

November 2014

Colloquium-Gwen Spencer (Smith College)-Influence Beyond Exposure: Tackling an Economic Variant of Seeding Viral Spread
Friday, 11/7/2014 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Stratton Hall, 203
ABSTRACT: The problem of seeding "contagion" in social networks has attracted substantial attention for its connection to viral marketing. Simple information-spread models yield nice mathematical properties that allow theoretical algorithmic traction. This work often points to some form of "exposure" as the best paradigm for designing seed sets. While exposure-based seeding may spread awareness effectively, being aware of a behavior often doesn't result in a decision to adopt it. When environmental economists describe decisions to engage in green behaviors, when sociologists model norm-spread, and when game theorists consider choices to adopt cooperative strategies in repeated-game-play, a common more-complex spread mechanism emerges. What can we learn about how to virally market biking to work, adopting health-related behaviors, and cooperating at an equilibrium that is mutually beneficial?

I'll mention convergence results for this spread mechanism, (daunting) hardness results for the seeding question, and (heartening) computational results from heuristics derived by truncating an exact (inefficient) Integer Program. Compared to exposure-based seeding, the advantage of a seeding paradigm that establishes "critical mass locally" appears largest when the network is highly clustered (as social networks often are).

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Colloquium-Mert Gürbüzbalaban (MIT)-Title TBA
Friday, 11/14/2014 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Stratton Hall, 203
For more information, e-mail

Michael S. Harper Poetry Reading
Sunday, 11/16/2014 2:00 PM-4:00 PM
Salisbury Laboratories, SL 104
Michael S. Harper is University Professor Emeritus of Literary Arts at Brown University, was the first state poet laureate of Rhode Island (from 1988-1993), and has published ten books of poetry. You can learn more about him at:

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