Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The WPI Santa Fe Project Center is born

Over the summer, WPI's Provost John Orr gave the green flag for the creation of the WPI Santa Fe Project Center (SFPC) so today all six of our pioneering students who blazed the trail this past spring were at the WPI Global Project Fair, manning the first official Santa Fe table, where dozens of sophomores stopped to ask them questions about the Center they helped create. In the upcoming weeks, I will be offering a number of Information Sessions where interested students will be able to hear more about the new center, so they can decide if Santa Fe is where they want to complete their Interactive Qualifying Project in term D (March-April) of 2011.
Meanwhile, I have also been actively recruiting an interim contingent of about 12 students to bring to Santa Fe this coming spring of 2010 for the second round of preliminary projects just ahead of the first official group of 24-28 the following year.
I will be interviewing for the 2011 season when I fly back from Venice during Thanksgiving week for my customary marathon interview sessions to recruit the new breed of Venice, Boston and now Santa Fe students for the next academic year. The connection between Santa Fe and Venice, which was further cemented by Steve Guerin' s recent visit to Venice for the delivery of the Boat Traffic Simtable to the City's Traffic department, will be strengthened by the upcoming collaborations on several of the new Venice projects which we are developing this term. Simon Mehalek, chief technical officer of the Santa Fe Complex will travel to Venice this fall to be "scientist in residence" at the Venice Project Center, supporting all of the projects that will conclude the protracted 20th anniversary year for the VPC.
Finally, I am also recruiting WPI seniors to work on technical Major Qualifying Projects that will help us break new grounds in our quest to create an Ambient Platform for urban maintenance, management and planning based on the principles of City Knowledge. These joint research efforts will be conducted both in Venice and in Santa Fe, offering projects and internships in the summer and in the terms when the two centers operate (B in Venice and D in Santa Fe).
In true City Knowledge spirit, we should issue a birth certificate for the newly born Santa Fe Project Center!

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