Western New England University Presents "Origami and Math are Friends"

Posted March 5, 2015

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The D’Amour Library Athenaeum Series will host a presentation called "Origami and Math are Friends" by Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Thomas Hull, on Thursday, March 12 at 4:00 p.m. in D’Amour Library, room 319. The event is free and open to the public.

Over the past 40 years the art of origami (paper folding with no cuts) has gone through a remarkable renaissance. At the same time, researchers are discovering the elegant math behind origami more and more. Learn about this art form, the math behind it, and the ways origami is now helping us design heart stents used to open clogged arteries and deploy solar panels on a variety of spacecraft.

origami_in_spacejpg“Art influences math and math influences art,” explains Dr. Hull. “More recently, this origami renaissance is inspiring new applications in physics, engineering, and technology.”

The Athenaeum Series is designed to provide a forum for communication, conversation, and discussion of scientific, literary, and other topics. This event is co-sponsored by the Western New England University Department of Mathematics and D’Amour Library.

For more information about this event, contact Vicky Ludwig at 413-796-2265. 

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Duggan Middle School Students Go to Court With Help From School of Law

Posted March 5, 2015

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Students from Duggan Middle School recently argued their “legal case” before U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni and an adult jury. This courtroom drama was the culmination of an 11-week Mock Trial Program created by Discovering Justice, a Boston-based non-profit organization that teaches civic and justice education primarily in underserved communities in Massachusetts. 

“Any opportunity to have middle school children get out of the classroom and gain exposure to a positive real world environment they might not otherwise experience is important,” explained Judge Mastroianni. “This program expands their knowledge of the world and challenges them. It exposes them to new opportunities and allows them to explore their own abilities these kids never realized they had.”

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Western New England University School of Law partnered with Discovering Justice to bring this program to Duggan Middle School and supplied law students to teach the middle school students. Law students Rose Colon and Tatenda Chitemeere assisted the Duggan students in their mock trial.

“The best part was being in the courtroom,” explained seventh grader Tlayah Cheeks (seen above). “It was really good to learn all about being a lawyer because that’s what I what to be when I grow up.”

“The mock trail was very exciting,” remarked sixth grader Henry Greer (seen below). “We had to argue in front of a real judge and a real jury. It taught me a lot about the law and what it’s like being in court.”

duggan_11jpgThrough curriculum, field trips to courthouses, and afterschool programs, Discovering Justice prepares young people from grades one through eight to value the justice system, realize the power of their own voices, and embrace civic responsibility.

“We are very excited about working with the Duggan School as they implement their innovative social justice curriculum,” explained Law School Dean Eric Gouvin. “The Mock Trial Club has given our law students and the Duggan students an opportunity to work together to learn about the judicial system and the constitutional rights that protect students while they are at school. Western New England looks forward to working with Duggan and Discovering Justice to continue this program in coming years.” 

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Front: La-Shae Jones, Alisha Moran, Taliyah Cheeks, Henry Greer, Jay-Leah Franqui.  Back: Maxwell Ofon, Matthew Tatum, Mykaylah Brown, Western New England Law Student Rose Colon, Ahquel Perkins

To view additional photos from the mock trial, click here. To download a photo, double click the photo, then click the downward pointing arrow in the bottom right corner of the photo.

 

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Students Help Advance Fight Against Breast Cancer

Posted March 4, 2015

wne_engineering_logojpgA device designed to improve breast cancer lumpectomy procedures and reduce the risk of infection was developed as part of an engineering and business Senior Design Project, and was recently awarded a U.S. patent no. 8,932,251. The device will make it easier to transition from lumpectomy surgical procedures to radiation treatment. The patent is assigned to Western New England University.

“Existing devices leave a catheter on the outside of the breast prior to positioning an applicator within the breast. This causes a greater risk for infection,” explained Dr. Steven Schonholz, a breast surgeon and director of the Center for Comprehensive Breast Health at Noble Hospital in Westfield, MA. “Our device removes this risk.” 

The Biopsy Spacer device and method of operation dr_steven_schonholzjpgwas invented in 2011 by a team including Dr. Steven Michael Schonholz, students Christopher Baltazar, Brian Kozniewski, Stephen Lauzon, Teresa Mitchell, Yah Laetitia Sangne, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Glenn E. Vallee, Professional Educator James C. McKeon, and Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Robert T. T. Gettens. 

“Students absolutely love working on projects that directly impact people. Having an opportunity to work with a surgeon on the front lines of the fight against breast cancer gives students such a great feeling of accomplishment,” explained Professor Gettens. “Working collaboratively with Dr. Schonholz has been such a positive experience. He’s a true innovator and a fantastic person.”   

“The students were amazing. They developed multiple concepts and ultimately designed a prototype,” remarked Dr. Schonholz. “Working with Western New England University allows me to use their experience while explaining a medical procedure and what might improve it.” Dr. Schonholz collaborated with the Western New England University students and faculty on the project when he was the medical director of the Breast Care Center at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield.

For a complete description of the device click here.

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SIAM Student Chapter Formed at Western New England University

Posted March 4, 2015

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This past September Western New England University received acceptance by the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) to begin a student charter. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Adam M. Fox, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, and Dr. Qazi E. Hoq, Associate Professor of Mathematics, over 40 University students became charter members of SIAM.

“The main purpose of SIAM is to introduce students to the many applications of mathematics in the world around them through lectures, panel discussions, field trips, and workshops”, says Dr. Fox. “The chapter facilitates engagement between University students, industry leaders, and the greater applied mathematics community,” added Dr. Hoq. Fox and Hoq are faculty advisers to the chapter.

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L to R: John Connelly, Sarah Vogel (Chapter President), Ivan Bylinkin, Enam Hoq (faculty advisor), Jake Fishter (Chapter Treasurer), Emily Gahr, Adam Fox (faculty advisor), Kelsey Hawkins (Chapter Secretary). Absent from photo Chapter Vice President Tianna Procon.

SIAM engages participation by students and faculty from many departments on campus including math, applied math, mathematical sciences, statistics, computer science, engineering, economics, physics, and other sciences. The purpose of a chapter is to generate interest in applied mathematics and computational science by providing students opportunities.

The activities of student chapters can include lunch discussions about career opportunities in applied math and computational science, lectures given by guest speakers, team projects such as undergraduate competitions, social functions, and field trips to industrial laboratories, and SIAM section meetings.

“Our biggest event in the fall was a panel discussion about internships. The students enjoyed the discussion and benefited from the advice of the four panelists,” says Sarah Vogel, Chapter President, “Future events include trips to Google on March 11 and on March 27, the group will visit Twitter. In addition, we plan to bring a bio-medical engineer in to speak about research and careers in that area. There will also be an event discussing career advice in fields that involve mathematics.”

Student membership in SIAM is free. For more information about the chapter or to join, e-mail siamwne@wne.edu.

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NCAA Vice President Dan Dutcher to Speak at Western New England University on March 11

Posted March 3, 2015

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Dan Dutcher, NCAA Vice President for Division III, will be the 20th speaker in the Center for International Sport Business (CISB) program series, “For the Love of the Games.” Dutcher’s presentation will take place on Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m. in the Lyman and Leslie Wood Auditorium (formerly Sleith Hall). Dutcher joined the NCAA in 1986 as a legislative services assistant before being promoted to Director of Legislative Services in 1991, and then to his current position on the NCAA President’s Cabinet in 1996. 

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The theme of Dutcher’s talk is “World of Opportunities in NCAA Division III.” This event is free and open to the public, and is made possible by a generous grant from the Western New England University Alumni Association.

curt_hamakawa_web.jpgCISB Director Curt Hamakawa and Dutcher were NCAA colleagues at the beginning of their respective careers. Hamakawa said, "The University is fortunate, indeed, to have a person of Dan Dutcher’s stature and experience pay a visit to Western New England University to talk about some of the hot topics in intercollegiate athletics.”

Prior to joining the NCAA, Dutcher worked as an attorney for Hobbins and Martin in Saco, Maine, Dutcher’s home state. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Dutcher earned his law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law.

Established in 2007, the CISB is a forum for the study of the business of sport with an international emphasis. In addition to the distinguished speaker programs that bring prominent personalities from sport and business to the University community, the CISB organizes a summer Seminar Abroad program that takes students to the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup.

For more information, contact Curt Hamakawa at 413-782-1786 or curt.hamakawa@wne.edu.

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