UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences -- Spire e-newsletter -- Spring 2007
Spring Has Sprung: A Message from Dean Grasso

Dear Parents, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, & Friends,

Spring has arrived in beautiful Burlington. It is with this invigorating sense of rebirth that we are continuing many positive and exciting changes in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS). The student-centered nature of our educational experience was the primary and compelling impetus for Curriculum 21, our curriculum reform initiative. The effort is being spearheaded by Jeff Marshall, Director of the CEMS School of Engineering, and Jim Burgmeier, Chair of Mathematics and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The objective of the reform effort is to best poise our graduates to be the creative, innovative designers and leaders that our nation needs in the 21st century. This was the subject of a recent article entitled "Holistic Engineering" that I co-authored for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Our faculty members continue to bring great distinction to our College and University. I am delighted to announce that Computer Science professor Josh Bongard has been recently selected to receive the prestigious and highly competitive 2007 New Faculty Fellowship from Microsoft Research. There are only five such awards nationwide this year, and in their notification letter to Josh, Microsoft noted that they were "very excited by his work and the potential of that work to have a broad impact."

Mike Rosen, our Coordinator of Design Education, has been very successful this year in arranging a number of industry-sponsored senior design projects. These projects will involve interdisciplinary teams of senior engineering students, who will work on a real-world engineering project. Some of our sponsors include General Dynamics, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, CVPS Cow Power, and Qimonda.

Together we are taking CEMS to new heights! You can learn about more of our exciting initiatives in this issue of Spire.

Warm wishes to all for a wonderful summer season,
Domenico Grasso, Dean

P.S. Please drop us a line and stay in touch.

Protecting the Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell CEMS alumni and Advisory Board Member Steven Arms ('81) and his company are using sensors and transmitters to change the way that engineers look at fatigue. Williston, Vermont-based MicroStrain, working in conjunction with the National Park Service, received funds from the National Science Foundation to develop cutting edge technology that will track potentially damaging strains, and monitor vibrations and shock loads.
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CEMS Faculty Members Edit Prestigious Journals

Prestigious Journals The history of scientific journals dates from 1665 when the French
Journal des sçavans and the English Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society first began systematically publishing research results. Over a thousand journals were founded in the 18th century, and the number has increased rapidly ever since. (D. A. Kronick, "History of Scientific and Technical Periodicals," 2nd ed. Scarecrow, 1976)

Today the role of peer-reviewed journals is critical to furthering the progress of legitimate science. The operation and review process of these journals is typically conducted under the oversight of a distinguished board of Editors. At UVM, the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences is home to many world-class scholars that serve as either Editors-in-Chief or Associate Editors of prestigious journals.

"Editorial positions are important career milestones for faculty who have achieved excellence and recognition in their chosen fields of study," says John Hughes, provost of UVM. "The comprehensive knowledge required to be an editor reflects extensive study of a specific field. We are proud to have many of our faculty serving as editors and associate editors for these important scientific research journals."

Click here to learn about the
many journals that our faculty members edit

Calling All Alumni!

UVM Connection The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences is always looking for ways to stay connected with our alumni. One of the best ways you can ensure that you are receiving information from the College and University is to go online and sign up with UVM Connection.

It's very easy to do, and you can rest assured that we will never sell or rent your information to anyone. Simply log on to the following website and follow the directions:


National Conference and Summer School
Move from Brown University to UVM

Conference The University of Vermont's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) will host two summer advanced educational opportunities: Wolfram's A New Kind of Science (NKS) Summer School, June 25-July 13, and Wolfram's NKS Conference, July 13-15.

Dr. Stephen Wolfram Both educational initiatives, previously held at Brown University, will provide opportunities to experience original research at the frontiers of science with Dr. Stephen Wolfram, author of Mathematica. Mathematica is used by nearly two million researchers because the technology can seamlessly integrate numeric and symbolic computational engines, graphics systems, program languages, document systems, and advanced connectivity to other applications.

"NKS has opened the doors to dramatic new directions in research, and the UVM Complex Systems Center highlights the importance of these emerging advances," said Dr. Wolfram. "We're excited to see such rapid growth in the field and look forward to working with UVM to create new research possibilities in the future.

"UVM is gaining increased international attention for its efforts in Complex Systems. The move of the Wolfram New Kind of Science Summer School and Conference from Brown to UVM will enhance these efforts and create even more opportunities on the UVM campus," says Dr. Joseph K. DeRosa, Director of Systems Engineering, The MITRE Corporation.

"It's an honor to host both the Wolfram NKS Summer School and the Wolfram NKS Conference," says Domenico Grasso, CEMS Dean. "Our new UVM Complex Systems Center focuses on the need for technological solutions that can address the complexities of our world."

Wolfram's NKS Summer School
June 25 - July 13, 2007

This three-week school consists of lectures and individual research projects relating to core NKS issues. Students will work with project mentors to create computer experiments programmed in Mathematica, and individual presentations will be made at the conclusion of the school. more

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University of Vermont
College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
109 Votey Hall
33 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, VT 05405-0156

Protecting the
Liberty Bell
CEMS Faculty Members Edit Prestigious Journals
Calling All Alumni!
National Conference and Summer School Move from Brown University
to UVM
Featured Alumna:
Diane Greene '76
Featured Alumna:
Valerie Day '84
Featured Student:
Laura Balzer '07
Featured Faculty Member:
Dr. Chris Danforth
Featured Alumna: Diane Greene '76

Diane Greene

As an undergraduate in the UVM/CEMS Mechanical Engineering program, Diane took time from her studies to relax by co-founding the first women's ice hockey team. She fondly remembers Dr. Von Branimir von Turkovich for his continual confidence and encouragement. more

Featured Alumna: Valerie Day '84
Valerie Day

Valerie's successful career began at UVM where she earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Her distinguished academic career resulted in a nomination for the coveted Mary Jean Simpson Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Women and Tau Beta Pi membership. more

Featured Student - Laura Balzer
Laura Balzer
Creating a Global Impact — CEMS Student Wins
Highly Compettive
Goldwater Scholarship

Mathematics is a universal language understood in all cultures and countries; with such a worldwide presence, it's not surprising Laura Balzer is enthralled with the thought of using mathematics to serve humanity and to make the world a better place!

"I've always loved math!" says Balzer. "My earliest memory is sneaking off to do my older brother Bryan's math homework." more

Featured Faculty Member: Dr. Christ Danforth
Dr. Chris Danforth

Lots of scientists and engineers will tell you that as children, they loved taking apart old computers, radios, tv's or other appliances, and then putting them back together. Not Chris Danforth, Assistant Professor in the Mathematics Department of the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences...  more

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