Friday, February 28, 2014

Venice 2.5 - a year-long celebration

When I started the Venice Project Center (VPC) in 1988, I was barely older than the students.  I was a peer, before I became an uncle, before I became a father figure.
My students are now younger than Nick, my son, who just turned 23.  As we say in Venice: "a lot of water has run under the bridges" since the birth of the VPC.
The age-gap between my students and me has grown quite a bit since then, as a steady stream of over 650, perpetually 20-year-old, WPI students have unwittingly watched me age to the same middle-aged man as my dad seemed to me, back in1988.  A quarter of a century has transpired between the first image and second one in this post.
My dad (Cino) was about as old as I am now when I started the VPC, and on this 25th anniversary year, he turned 79 the day the seven student teams presented their final results.  It was quite a show!
The anniversary only started this year, though, and it will aptly end on Cino's eightieth birthday in 2014, when we hope to round up the silver jubilee by publishing a collection of our answers 25 Questions that people may have about Venice and its Lagoon.
The Jubilee year has started with a bang with the 2013 fall program (WPI's term B13).We had a very talented group of students and they did a marvelous job of summarizing and visualizing 25 years of research.  The results they produced are really impressive -- if I may say so myself -- and are all on display in the revamped Venice 2.5 web site.  I summarized the 25th Anniversary results (thus far) in a presentation I recently gave at WPI.  There is a hidden side to what we did that I exposed in that presentation.  A technology that is my personal holy grail...
I promise I will gradually write a blog post about each of the extraordinary achievements of this year's cohort of WPI students.  They each deserve a custom-tailored kudos.
Given the great start of the Anniversary, it will be a tall task to top this year's quality of outcomes, yet we will try to outdo ourselves next fall (as always), so we can end this year of celebration with an even bigger bang.

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