ENews Princeton Engineering

July 2007

Photo of H. Vincent PoorA very successful academic year culminated in June with 168 members of Princeton's senior class receiving engineering degrees and heading off to work in developing nations, pursue graduate degrees and embark on wide-ranging careers. We eagerly await a new group of freshmen in the fall, but even before then, Princeton Engineering has opened its doors to another group of learners. More than 200 high school students, undergraduates from other colleges and public school teachers will be on campus to participate in summer outreach programs, many of which are in engineering.

These programs provide an exciting opportunity for engineering faculty, staff and students to share their talents and resources with a diverse audience. Take, for example, the Princeton University Materials Academy. Nearly 50 students from local high schools will participate in P.U.M.A. this summer, learning about materials science through hands-on experiments, such as the design of sustainable ceramic water filters for the developing world. This is one of the ways we are engaging as many people as possible in an educational experience that prepares teachers and students alike to think critically about technology and use it to improve the world.

I hope you have a restful and rejuvenating summer.

-- H. Vincent Poor *77
Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical Engineering

Graduating seniors honored at Class Day

From outstanding research to dedicated service to the School of Engineering and Applied Science, members of this year's graduating class were recognized for their achievements and contributions at the engineering Class Day ceremony Monday, June 4.

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Class Day photo

Female graduate enrollment reaches record high

The number of women enrolling in graduate school at Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science will reach a record 32 percent of students in the fall of 2007. By contrast, the nationwide average of women enrolled in graduate engineering hovers at around 20 percent.

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For computers or humans, theory of learning inspires unusual mix of subjects

This year marks the 10th anniversary of a class that yokes two very unlikely subjects -- philosophy and engineering.

"I think our course is probably the only one in the world that is cross-listed as a philosophy-electrical engineering class," says electrical engineer Sanjeev Kulkarni who teaches the course with philosopher Gilbert Harman. MIT Press recently published a book drawn from lectures delivered by Harman as the winner of the Jean-Nicod Prize, which were based on the course with Kulkarni.

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Book jacket cover image

Hypersonics expert whisks students to the leading edge of aeronautics

If asking students to design an airplane doesn't seem challenging enough, how about a supersonic jet? No, how about a "global hyperliner," a vehicle that could carry a person out of the atmosphere and nearly halfway around the world in three hours?

That is the challenge that Kevin Bowcutt, the chief scientist of hypersonics for Boeing, put to a class of 35 Princeton students this semester. A visiting lecturer of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Bowcutt created a supercharged version of the department's capstone "Aircraft Design" course.

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Felten and Internet experts ponder privacy issues

Google"s new "Streetview" mapping service and other examples of the emerging flood of digital information were the subject of a panel discussion on privacy at Princeton's 2007 Reunions.

Led computer privacy and security expert Ed Felten, a group of alumni at the front lines of the digital revolution discussed the benefits and pitfalls of the information and anonymity provided by the Internet.

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Eight Princeton Engineering professors recognized for excellence in teaching and mentoring

Sanjeev Kulkarni and Alexander Smits were honored with the University's highest teaching commendation, the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching, at Commencement June 5. Princeton Engineering presented its Distinguished Teacher Award to Ed Zschau and Erhan Cinlar at Class Day June 4, when three junior faculty members were also recognized. Additionally, the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning honored Christodoulos Floudas with a Graduate Mentoring Award during the Graduate School's hooding ceremony June 4.

Teaching award story

Graduate Mentoring Award story


Suite of prestigious national awards for Princeton Engineering professors

A National Science Foundation CAREER Award, ONR Young Investigator Award and Burroughs Wellcome Career Award are among the recent accolades of Princeton Engineering faculty members.

Awards and honors


Alumni excel in diverse careers

New posts obtained by Princeton Engineering alumni include Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University and an appointment in the Serbian government.

Alumni news


New in EQN, the Princeton Engineering blog

Entrepreneur-in-residence Greg Olsen demonstrates how to drink water in space; Sir Gordon Wu ponders China's past, present and future; and Szymon Rusinkiewicz casts Swiss chard in a whole new light...

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Photos by Frank Wojciechowski

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