Roller coasters, culture shock, stampeding yaks, the kindness of strangers—HMC Watson Fellows’ adventures
INVISIBLE, INEVITABLE AND TOXIC
CLIMATE CHANGE SYMPHONY
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Anna Gonzalez, vice president for student affairs and dean of students It’s a mellow Friday morning at Harvey Mudd. Students coast on bikes and boards toward early classes; squirrels chase each other around the trunks of oak trees. For Anna Gonzalez, Harvey Mudd College’s vice president for student affairs and dean of students, today is anything but mellow. “The power was out at home,” Gonzalez says, as she arrives on campus. “I had to get ready in the dark!” When she arrives at the Division of Student Affairs office, there are already a few high-priority phone calls to return. Changes must be made to the day’s tightly packed schedule, so Gonzalez and her unflappable executive assistant Kim Nykanen reshuffle the agenda, which includes meetings, meal dates, phone calls and a ribbon cutting.
With Stan Skipworth
With Kim Nykanen
8 a.m. On the way to her first meeting of the day, Gonzalez navigates the short distance between her office in the Platt Campus Center and the dining hall in a hurry, smiling and waving to students as she goes. Though she only arrived to take her position at Harvey Mudd in August, Gonzalez already seems at home, greeting people with hugs, sharing a laugh in passing, even on a hectic morning. “I love it,” she says of the atmosphere on campus. “People work really hard; it’s fast paced. But they really care about each other.” Over a breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, Gonzalez and Stan Skipworth, assistant vice president for
campus safety at The Claremont Colleges Services, discuss security at Harvey Mudd. It’s her first meeting with Skipworth, who agrees with her suggestion that they make it a regular occurrence and says he appreciates her initiative. “I’m interested in renewing and building relationships,” Gonzalez says. “I want people to meet the individuals who help keep them safe on our campus. It’s important to have staff, students and officers to build relationships with one another.” Gonzalez wears her HMC spirit on her sleeve—and on her fingernails, phone case and coffee mug. She also takes it to heart, seeing the value of an HMC
community that extends beyond campus. “I want parents and alumni to partner with us, be role models,” she says. “Parents can really help us by reaffirming our good messages to the students, perhaps by saying, ‘Have you looked at career services?’ ‘If you aren’t feeling well, go to student health.’ Just the basic, don’t-walk-by-yourself-at-night kind of thing. If that’s being reaffirmed by people the students trust in their lives, it sometimes has more resonance than when they hear it from me.”
With health and wellness staff
With Nick Shepherd ’21
Back in student affairs, Gonzalez meets with health and wellness deans Michelle Harrison and Rae Chresfield and Gary DeGroot, director of Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services. “I want students to have an understanding of comprehensive wellness,” Gonzalez says, “not just in emergency treatment or crisis events. Comprehensive, meaning physical, emotional, cultural and mental. If they’re spiritual, that, too. People think of wellness as being one or the other, but it’s really all these things.” Gonzalez tries to give students many options for engaging in activities that promote wellness, from online, avatar-based exercises
that promote healthy cognitive behavior to pop-up events to decompression sessions and more. “We are such driven individuals that we tend to not make time for ourselves in that way. But we have to make the time.” For Gonzalez, making the time for personal wellness includes regular exercise and a healthy diet. It also includes Rafael “Rafa” Nadal, the 9-year-old Japanese Chin spaniel who is her almost constant companion and has become a fixture in the student affairs office. “Having the dog is a wellness thing,” she says. Trained as an emotional support animal, Rafa is available for students who could use some furry friendship as well.
With Gabriela Gamiz
The College’s Director of Community Engagement Gabriela Gamiz and Gonzalez have regular meetings that include discussion of an overarching goal: “How can every experience at HMC encourage students to think about their impact in the world?” Gonzalez says. “That’s what we’re working on. I believe that our students really care about making changes that make our global society better.”
Today’s lunchtime meeting is with North Dorm student leaders, Chris Sundberg (associate dean for campus life) and Leslie Hughes (assistant vice president for student affairs). “I meet with student leaders all the time. At least a few times per week. That’s how I learn how I can support them,” she says. “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t meet with different students every day.”
2 p.m.–5 p.m. After lunch, Gonzalez and Rafa mix some recreation into their schedule, following indoor meetings with staff and students with some time outdoors. When time allows, Gonzalez takes Rafa on “wellness walks” with students. Today’s walk had to be postponed, but they still made it out of the office for a ribbon cutting event, celebrating the opening of the Wellness Greenhouse, a student-led endeavor to provide a place for anyone at HMC to relax and de-stress with some gardening (see page 6).
5:15 p.m. It’s nearly dinner time, and Gonzalez’s day isn’t over yet. Tonight’s schedule includes an Honor Board hearing (she attends all of them) and dinner with student leadership. “At HMC and specifically at student affairs, we are preparing students to be responsible adults, helping them learn how to live outside of HMC, teaching accountability. And along the way, I hope that we can also role model for them a healthy sense of fun, because it’s all about balance.”
FROM THE PRESIDENT
The Harvey Mudd College Magazine is produced three times per year by the Office of Communications and Marketing.
Collaboration at the Core With fall semester winding down and 2018 drawing to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about all this community has been able to accomplish together in the last decade or so. The College’s faculty are committed to making Harvey Mudd a welcoming place to all, both academically and personally, and are actively seeking the best ways to help students succeed and thrive in their courses and majors. Most recently, the Department of Engineering faculty reimagined its Core course, Engineering Systems (or “Baby STEMS”), using underwater robots and real-world problems as their inspiration and combining active learning tutorials and hands-on practicum. The results of their two-year-innovation effort were astounding— evaluation measures showed significant increases in student learning, perceived understanding of the field of engineering and an erasure of a previous gender gap in course performance. The Departments of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics have made similar curricular and co-curricular changes. These enhancements follow on the work completed 12 years ago by the Computer Science Department faculty, who transformed the curriculum for introductory-level courses by creating different entry points based on students’ prior programming experience. In recent years, the College has celebrated a number of firsts, including graduating majority female majors in Computer Science, Physics and Engineering, garnering national attention. These curricular and co-curricular changes have been shared and have benefited colleges and universities around the country. We hope to continue and expand on these successes. Harvey Mudd’s faculty members are here because they love teaching and research focused on undergraduate students. Because of their outstanding work, we’ve made great strides in developing innovative and inclusive curricular approaches that have improved
FALL/WINTER 2018 | VOLUME 17, NO. 1
learning outcomes for our growing and diverse student population. Even more, we’ve shared the results of these efforts in presentations, papers and joint partnerships with other organizations and institutions so that the lessons we have learned in developing inclusive pedagogy can spread. As the faculty continues its review of the Core Curriculum and we anticipate ways we can further improve our academic program, we know that we haven’t always gotten everything right. Like other organizations on the leading edge of change, we’ve experienced both exciting accomplishments and challenges along the way. The important thing is that we continue to work together to achieve our shared goals and that we reassess and learn from our past experiences. We’ve made great strides over the last decade or so, but we all know there is much more we need to do. Last September, we extended an invitation for you to join us for a strategic visioning workshop on diversity, inclusion and equity. Due to the loss of one of our students, we decided to postpone this effort until the spring semester so that our community could grieve and reflect together. The committee leading this effort is in the process of setting a new date, and we hope you will join us. We will send an invitation early in the spring semester. We plan to gather as a community to explore how Harvey Mudd can develop a more detailed vision and plan for diversity and inclusion. In closing, I look forward to our continued work together to develop a new vision for diversity and inclusion. This spring we also plan to host a series of events to celebrate the tremendous success of The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College. At present, we have raised more than $23 million over our goal of $150 million (see Advancement annual report on page 40). We will officially close our campaign on December 31, 2018, and I hope you will join us as we celebrate all we’ve accomplished together during the most successful fundraising campaign in the College’s 61-year history.
Maria Klawe President, Harvey Mudd College
Director of Communications, Senior Editor Stephanie L. Graham Art Director Janice Gilson Senior Graphic Designer Robert Vidaure Assistant Director Sarah Barnes Writer Leah Gilchrist Contributing Writers Melanie A. Farmer, Lia King, Leslie Mertz, Elaine Regus Proofreaders Sarah Barnes, Kelly Lauer Contributing Photographers Shannon Cottrell, Elisa Ferrari, Anil Kapahi, Cheryl Ogden, Deborah Tracey Vice President for Advancement Dan Macaluso Chief Communications Officer Timothy L. Hussey, APR
MAGAZINE.HMC.EDU The Harvey Mudd College Magazine (SSN 0276-0797) is published by Harvey Mudd College, Office of Communications and Marketing, 301 Platt Boulevard, Claremont, CA 91711. Nonprofit Organization Postage Paid at Claremont, CA 91711 Postmaster: Send address changes to Harvey Mudd College, Advancement Services, 301 Platt Boulevard, Claremont, CA 91711. Copyright © 2018—Harvey Mudd College. All rights reserved. Opinions expressed in the Harvey Mudd College Magazine are those of the individual authors and subjects and do not necessarily reflect the views of the College administration, faculty or students. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the express written consent of the editor. The Harvey Mudd College Magazine staff welcomes your input: firstname.lastname@example.org or Harvey Mudd College Magazine Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Boulevard, Claremont, CA 91711 Follow Us!
Features A World Away
For the 50th anniversary of the prestigious fellowship, HMC Watson Fellows describe harrowing, humorous and life-changing experiences from their year abroad. Written by Stephanie L. Graham
The future of transportation is electric, and Motiv CEO James Castelaz is leading the way. Written by Leslie Mertz
Climate Change Symphony
Music has the power to move people. These musicians believe it will move them to act. Written by Melanie A. Farmer
A DAY IN THE LIFE
STUDENT NEWS MY MUDD LIFE: DAPHNE GUO ’19 GARRETT CHEADLE ’19
ALUMNI PROFILE: GARY SMITH ’67
2017–2018 ANNUAL REPORT Cover image: Clarence Wang ’84, recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, poses in Orleans, France at the beginning of his yearlong adventure to study circus life. The Jean Richard circus was one of many he attended. More on page 18.
C O N V E R S AT IO N S O N H A RV E Y M U DD S O C IA L M E DIA
Facebook, Sept. 28, 2018: We posted this Flashback: Sixty years ago this month, an article in Time magazine detailed the challenges facing Harvey Mudd College as it began its second school year. Founding President Joseph Platt said, “We need creative, responsible scientists and engineers.” “Almost missed the Milestones at the end of the article telling of Mildred Mudd’s death at the same time. (I didn't remember that she had been the national president of the Girl Scouts).” –Carolyn Wetzel “Loved reading this. Nice to see Mudd’s core values are still standing.” –David Legen Derry
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Harvey Mudd and Scripps colleges partnered to modify Platt Boulevard to add parking in the central medians, repave the street and improve pedestrian and bicycle access. Before
Make Way for Makerspace Scott A. McGregor Computer Science Center HARVEY MUDD TRUSTEES ENTHUSIASTICALLY
approved moving forward with planning and construction of a new academic building to house makerspace and the Computer Science Department. Named the Scott A. McGregor Computer Science Center, the new building will be constructed at the corner of Platt Boulevard and N. Dartmouth Avenue adjacent to the F. W. Olin Science Center. Trustee Laurie Girand and her husband, Scott McGregor, provided the gift to name the building and many other trustees, alumni, parents and friends helped support the project. Construction begins this summer, and the building is tentatively scheduled to open during the spring 2021 semester. The centerpiece of the building will be a multidisciplinary, collaborative, first-floor makerspace, where faculty and students from HMC and across The Claremont Colleges can gather, create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using
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a variety of tools and materials. It will also add the potential for community outreach programs that engage more K-12 students in the “maker movement,” thus further exciting their interest in pursuing studies in science, engineering and mathematics. It will enhance several programs across campus, including the Clinic Program and the Summer Undergraduate Research Program, and across The Claremont Colleges. The makerspace is being designed to further enhance curricular changes in all academic disciplines. This new space will be adjacent to and complement the work of the College’s existing engineering machine shops, which will be re-oriented with new entrances positioned directly across from the makerspace, creating better flow between the new academic building and the Libra Complex.
Core Q-and-A The Core Review Committee’s goal is to help the College continue to offer an excellent education, to preserve the best features of the current Core Curriculum, to understand and address the known issues in the current Core Curriculum, to continue creating innovative curricula, to make sure everyone who has a stake in the Core can appropriately weigh in on the design, and to understand the impacts and needs of the next Core Curriculum. Faculty considered several proposals and ideas for changes to the Core Curriculum. The current goal of the review process is to narrow and potentially revise these proposals to a few that the faculty is excited about. This set of proposals will move to Stage 2, where they will be shared with the larger community to solicit feedback and to analyze impacts and resource needs. The goal is for the faculty to vote on a Core Curriculum that the community is excited about and that the College has the resources to implement. For the latest information, visit hmc.edu/core-revision.
HMC INQ Class of 2018 HMC INQ is a 10-week intensive startup program open to Harvey Mudd College graduates and their collaborators. Admitted startups receive $120,000, office space, guidance from mentors, legal and cloud services credit, and peer support. The second cohort of the HMC startup incubator gave presentations at Demo Day this fall. Work Patterns: Google Analytics for Organizations (workpatterns.ai) Dmitri Skjorshammer ’11, Moses Duncan ’12 and Praveen Shah ’88 (University of Pune) This tool helps alleviate problems with organizational structure and workflow that become harder to manage as companies expand. Sura Medical: Connected Health for the Medicaid Population (suramedical.com) Jon Engel ’99, Marja Engel ’00 and Noah Rosen ’93 (MIT) Sura Medical, a connected health app made specifically for the Medicaid population, helps people monitor their condition and also suggests behavioral interventions.
Pinwheel: Google Search for Your Personal Network Malous Kossarian ’12, Rich Skrenta ’89 (Northwestern), and Jason Anderson ’10 (Cal Poly SLO) Pinwheel integrates data from apps like Evernote, Eventbrite, Outlook, Box and LinkedIn to help you find that graphic designer from New York that you met at a gathering two years ago. Rivet: 311 Everywhere David Coats ’08 Rivet is a 311 service where people can send a text to 909.939.9395 to report things like piles of garbage, potholes, or other facility maintenance issues. It automatically routes requests to that facility’s phone line, email, or ticketing systems so that a work order is created. ZAM Helmets: Custom 3-D-printed Helmets (zamhelmets.com) Whitman Kwok ’97 and David Stoutamire ’89 (University of Akron) Kwok’s son suffered several concussions while playing hockey, and that inspired him to figure out how to make helmets better. ZAM Helmets are 3-D printed to ensure a custom fit.
AWEARE Technologies: 10x Automotive Radar Dan Hyman ’94 and Mark Hyman ’94 (Cal Poly SLO) Automakers need better sensing technologies to make self-driving cars more autonomous. The team’s software and hardware package features long-range detection that works in a slew of weather conditions and eliminates issues like ghost images (made when radar reflects off of objects).
BumbleBeast: Ultra Powerful Desktop CNC Machine (bumblebeast.co) Hao Cao ’17 and Michael Muzio ’17 Mudders are lucky to have a full range of tools at their disposal (CNC mill, laser cutter, 3-D printer, etc.) and the help to develop expertise using them. Many engineers and designers don’t have access to such equipment. Bumblebeast is a modular desktop manufacturing machine that performs all the functions of these tools, but in one machine.
Xiara: System Security as a Service (xiara.io) Jeff Taylor ’10 and Yoichi Sagawa ’11 The founders saw that existing security monitoring software presented information in a way that didn’t necessarily help the security analysts do their jobs—to quickly identify the most prominent threats, understand how they are impacting the business/ organization, and see what that looks like in the context of their entire infrastructure.
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Sustainable Design and Solutions
Takeaways from the Hixon Center’s second biennial conference By Louis Spanias and Tanja Srebotnjak, Hixon Center for Sustainable Environmental Design
THE HIXON CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTAL
Design welcomed more than 100 attendees and presenters from across The Claremont Colleges and Southern California to its second Biennial Conference for Sustainable Design and Solutions Oct. 5. The goal of the conference was to highlight the urgent need for action toward sustainability, while showcasing the rich and creative ideas and solutions that people and organizations everywhere are testing and implementing. Climate change resilience and adaptation were a main strand of the conversations at the conference. For example, a panel on Sustainable Transportation and Infrastructure featured Sabrina Bornstein (deputy chief resilience officer, Los Angeles), Professor Julie Medero (computer science, HMC), and Professor Paul Steinberg (political science and environmental policy, HMC) and was moderated by Louis Spanias, the Hixon Center’s sustainability program manager. It cut across a number of areas, including the importance of personal behavioral changes and the use of technology and smart infrastructure to identify and manage gradual, long-term threats, such as rising temperatures, as well as sudden, temporary shocks like earthquakes and heat waves. The role of technology was further demonstrated by Warren Roberts (CGU) in a workshop on the sustainable benefits of drones and by posters and presentations throughout the day, including on intelligent air quality monitoring and micro-grid systems for reliable energy supply in low-resource settings. Sometimes, applying lessons from environmental history can further enhance technology’s benefits. Professor Teresa Spezio from Pitzer
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College demonstrated this with her book presentation on how the oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969 and resulting community pressure gave rise to a proactive approach to comprehensive federal environmental policy. The breadth of topics showcased at the conference was thus a powerful reminder of human ingenuity and the ability of people to come together to tackle complicated, pernicious problems. Another thread connecting the day’s programming was the need for science-based and moral leadership, which was eloquently examined by keynote speaker and Claremont City Council member Joseph M. Lyons. Drawing on his own experiences in personal and civic life, he reminded the lunchtime audience that those small, everyday actions to live more sustainably and talking with people who might not agree with us are just as important as the big steps we expect government and the international community to take. His conviction that both community and individual leadership matter is reflected in the resilience and solidarity of communities in California and all over the world ravaged by climate change-enhanced wildfires, droughts and extreme temperatures. Since the path to sustainability is an endurance race that is exhausting and sometimes depressing, the Hixon Center hopes that the conference succeeded in nurturing both the mind and the spirit, promoting new ideas and partnerships, and supporting our students in exploring ways to contribute their knowledge and passion towards a sustainable future.
Mudd in the House Siena Guerrero ’20 and Michelle Harrison, assistant dean for health and wellness, celebrated the opening of the campus greenhouse with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 5. Located Between Atwood and Case, the Mudd Greenhouse provides HMC community members access to soil, seeds, pots tools, supplies and storage for all gardening-related activities. Guerrero and Julia Wang ’20 developed the greenhouse project with help from the Shanahan Student-Directed Project Fund, HMC Wellness (student affairs office) and ASHMC Wellness. They envision it as a place that makes gardening more easily accessible to all as well as a space for the community to enjoy the benefits of gardening while studying or relaxing.
The Harvey Mudd College community mourns the loss of these and other recently deceased community members. NOTES & QUOTES
TALKS ON CAMPUS
“ I f you can’t afford to live in the city, and the city’s projecting a future that requires a certain skillset for a certain level of income, the city’s telling you that ‘we don’t want you here.’ ” Kamau Bobb, from his talk “Who Is A Citizen in the Modern American Technolopolis?” (Sept. 5). Video: youtu.be/fPK4fhEehJg
“ [ Students], really think about
your time in college and after as not simply resume building, not simply building a set of capacities and credentials that will serve you and your family. … think about your role and responsibility in terms of world-building. ” Ruha Benjamin, associate professor of African American Studies, Princeton University, and author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier from her Oct. 24 Nelson Series talk,“Beyond Buzzwords: Innovation, Inequity and Imagination in the 21st Century.”
Chemistry Professor Mits Kubota Longtime Harvey Mudd College Professor of Chemistry Mits Kubota passed away Nov. 11. Kubota served on the faculty of the College between 1959 and 2000 and was chair of the Department of Chemistry from 1989–1995. An inorganic chemist and beloved professor, Kubota had an impressive professional career that included research fellowships at the University of Sussex (1973), Chevron Research Co. (1981) and the University of Venice (1988). Kubota began teaching at Harvey Mudd in 1959. While his primary teaching responsibility was in the area of advanced inorganic chemistry, he taught courses in quantitative analysis, advanced analytical chemistry and instrumental analysis, and recitation and laboratory sections in physical chemistry. He published many papers on organometallic chemistry, and dozens of HMC chemistry students who studied with Kubota went on to earn PhDs or lead research teams at corporations, hold tenure-track professorships at universities or serve in other leadership positions. It was his influence and inspiration of students that led Kubota to receive the 1992 American Chemical Society Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution. Kubota’s leadership in undergraduate research and his exemplary research mentorship of undergraduates at the College were honored in 2015 by an endowed research fellowship. Kubota Fellows take part in a 10-week research project, receive summer stipends, academic year wages, research expenses, conference fees and travel funds.
“W e need to take a hard look at some of the data and AI systems that are around us, asking what it has done to earn our trust, demanding that we, as citizens, actually get a say in how it’s being used and ultimately approaching this space with some caution before we put too much value in these AI systems alone. ” R. David Edelman, former White House Tech Advisor, now director of the Project on Technology, Economy and National Security at MIT, from his Nov. 5 Nelson Series talk, “Ethics in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.”
Chemistry Professor Phil Myhre Philip C. Myhre, professor of chemistry emeritus, passed away at home in Tennessee Aug. 26 following a short illness. Myhre was an important presence at the College, serving from 1960 to 1999. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Nobel Institute of Chemistry in Stockholm prior to joining the Harvey Mudd faculty in 1960 as the new College’s second organic chemist. He served as the second chair of the HMC Department of Chemistry for 10 years, during which he designed and oversaw the construction of the Keck Laboratory. Myhre’s research in physical organic chemistry of reactive species spanned many systems, but he was particularly proud of his decade-long quest with IBM Almaden’s Nino Yannoni to provide concrete
evidence for the elusive structure of the 2-norbornyl cation at 6 Kelvin using doubly labeled compounds created at HMC with student coworkers. Myhre was known to highly value the mentor-undergraduate relationship. He taught courses in first-year chemistry, organic chemistry and advanced organic chemistry and was senior thesis advisor for numerous students, many of whom went on to earn PhD degrees in chemistry and to hold academic posts in colleges and universities. The HMC Alumni Association named Myhre an Honorary Alumnus when he retired in 1999. In 1991, he was the recipient of the newly established American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution. Longtime volunteer and supporter Velma McKelvey Velma Enriqueta Vergara McKelvey, a devoted supporter of Harvey Mudd College since its founding, died July 13. She was 86 years old. She and her husband, George I. McKelvey III, one of the founding administrators of Harvey Mudd College and its first vice president for development (he died in 1998), helped to plan and create its strong financial foundation. Mrs. McKelvey hosted innumerable events for HMC faculty, students, alumni, trustees, donors, friends and family. The McKelveys’ generosity extended to philanthropy as well. The Velma E. and George I. McKelvey Endowed Scholarship was started with a sizeable gift from Mr. William M. Keck II in honor of the couple. Several trustees made donations to this scholarship, and Mrs. McKelvey continued to support it throughout her lifetime. The scholarship was first awarded in 1990–1991 and has supported 19 students in their pursuit of a STEM education. Dean of Students (1968–1971) William L. Swartzbaugh William Swartzbaugh passed away Oct. 17. While at Harvey Mudd, he was a member of the Trustee Committee on Education and Student Affairs, Student-Faculty Committee, Admission, Awards and Scholarship Committee, Scholarly Standing Committee and various joint committees of The Claremont Colleges. He was chairman of Committee of Deans of The Claremont Colleges. His daughter, Jan, shared that he loved teaching the freshman Core course, Science and Society.
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Invisible, Inevitable and Toxic THERE’S A NEW BOOK ENCOURAGING STRONGER
policies to ensure that people act with greater caution around creating and maintaining toxic landscapes. In Inevitably Toxic: Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure, and Expertise, editors/ authors Vivien Hamilton (history of science professor, Harvey Mudd), Brinda Sarathy (Pitzer) and Janet Farrell Brodie (Claremont Graduate University) present a collection of essays that consider exposure of humans to toxic environments that often appear innocuous. “We want to draw attention to the prevalence of these often dangerous spaces,” says Hamilton. “The toxics we consider in the book—radiation and chemical pollution in the air and water—are often invisible to us, and health effects can take years to develop. Our first goal is awareness. “But the real power of historical work is not just to make us more aware of these spaces but also to see that their creation is not inevitable,” she continues. “When things feel inevitable, we feel powerless to change them. But historical investigations show us that these spaces have been created and often mismanaged because of a series of decisions and behaviors. Understanding those patterns can help us to imagine new ways of acting in the future. “We need to envision potential risks and make clear plans to keep bodies and environments safe,” she says. “We need to start anticipating these problems rather than simply reacting.” Working on the book has also changed how Hamilton sees her own position as a change agent in her field. “When I was trained in the history of science, we weren’t thinking about these issues of toxic environments, and yet so much of these stories are about the role of scientific experts. This experience has really expanded my sense of my field.” Hamilton’s chapter in the book draws on her research on the early history of radiology and examines the first safety standards for hospital X-ray rooms in the early 20th century. “Thinking about X-ray rooms as toxic environments put me in conversation with environmental historians and geographers and helped me to consider these spaces in new ways,” she says. “I ask how safety
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standards were developed (i.e., how did early radiologists decide how much X-ray exposure was safe for patients and hospital workers?), who developed the standards (doctors? physicists?) and who was responsible for enforcing them? These first standards in the 1920s offered reassuring tables of numbers showing how thick lead aprons and lead shields needed to be to keep workers safe. The problem was that no one really knew what constituted a safe dose of X-rays. Doctors had made a best guess and then physicists built on that guess, doing research into the absorption and transmission of X-rays by different materials. The seemingly concrete tables of numbers were hiding deep uncertainties.” Hamilton is developing this research into a full-length book on the history of radiology. Though Inevitably Toxic deals with technical scientific subjects, it was written specifically for a wide audience, addressing one of the main issues around social inaction on toxic landscapes. “The question of relationships between experts and citizens is at the heart of a number of stories in our book,” Hamilton says. “Often the people most impacted by toxicity are those with the least agency—in the United States, the impact of industrial pollution falls disproportionately on poorer communities of color, communities who have often been excluded from participating in science. Their lived experience is crucial to understanding the impact of toxicity. The challenge is not simply for scientific experts to find ways of explaining dangers and regulations to non-experts but to find ways to develop partnerships so that scientists, engineers and citizens can collaborate to create solutions.”
At Harvey Mudd, effective science communication is a skill Hamilton seeks to impart to her students. “My course Communicating Science looks at examples of popular science in the 19th and 20th centuries—books, TV, museums, radio,” she says. “We think about the way science is presented in each case. Are audiences being invited to participate in the production of scientific knowledge? Or are they being told that they will never fully understand the complexities of scientific research? The students then work on a project to communicate a scientific concept or discovery of their choice. Many of them are really excited to share the research they are doing as part of their majors. I think it’s a great opportunity for our students to try communicating that work and to think about how they are creating a particular relationship with their audiences.” Hamilton’s chapter in the book draws on her research on the early history of radiology and examines the first safety standards for hospital X-ray rooms in the early 20th century.
As a shallow-water biologist, Catherine McFadden’s usual method of coral specimen collection is via SCUBA diving. She also tends to get seasick if she spends too much time on a boat. So, when her colleague, deep-water biologist and Harvey Mudd postdoctoral researcher Andra Quattrini, asked McFadden to take her place aboard a two-week, deep-sea exploration cruise last summer, it was with some hesitation that McFadden agreed. Fortunately for her, she didn’t get sick, she took her first-ever dive in a submersible vessel, and she ended up being part of an exciting discovery. “We thought there might be some coral at the site, but I was expecting a fairly barren landscape of mud and rock with just some small, isolated coral colonies here and there,” says McFadden, the Vivian and D. Kenneth Baker Professor of Biology at Harvey Mudd College. Instead, McFadden and the expedition’s chief scientist Erik Cordes “landed on a massive coral reef formed by a mix of dead coral rubble and large, dense stands of living coral,” she says. “It’s pretty mind-blowing to know that the existence of this huge biological structure was completely unknown until now and to have been one of the first humans to visit it.”
As it was McFadden’s first dive, she was crowned Queen of the Octocorals when she arrived back on deck. With funding from the National Science Foundation, McFadden’s research group at Harvey Mudd College is developing next-generation sequencing-based target-enrichment methods to study phylogenetic relationships and skeletal evolution in anthozoan cnidarians (corals and sea anemones). McFadden is particularly interested in understanding species boundaries and the generation of biodiversity in shallow-water soft corals, and in recent years she has focused on the coral reef communities of the South China Sea.
IMAGES COURTESY OF WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION
As the Lophelia pertusa grows and dies over many hundreds of years, new Lophelia grows atop the old skeletons, forming 80- to 100-meter high mound structures that stretch further than scientists had imagined. During nearly eight hours in the submersible, McFadden, Cordes and pilot Bruce Strickrott viewed and sampled different coral species, including Enallopsammia, Madrepora and octocorals (plexaurids, primnoids, Anthomastus). Lophelia was by far the most sampled coral.
Researchers are using the deep-sea submersible Alvin to visit previously unexplored locations, including canyons, gas seeps and coral ecosystems, in order to identify and ultimately protect sensitive habitats. Passengers can view their surroundings through any of five portholes or via a television monitor inside. The Alvin is equipped with robotic arms, which the pilot can direct to collect coral samples. A platform on the front of the Alvin holds containers designed for the samples. As the Alvin seats only three people at a time, scientists who remain on the ship above make a list of specimens for their diving colleagues to look for and collect when they’re underwater.
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MAA Honors HMC Math Faculty Mohamed Omar and Francis Su each received prestigious awards during the Mathematical Association of America’s (MAA) 2018 MathFest. For his dedication to teaching and engaging students, Omar received the Henry L. Alder Award, which recognizes beginning college or university faculty, top educators whose teaching has been extra ordinarily successful and whose effectiveness in teaching undergraduate mathematics is shown to have influence beyond the classroom. “It is an honor to be recognized by a leading national mathematics association through the Alder Award,” said Omar. “The Harvey Mudd College community played a pivotal role in making this possible.” Omar is a leading expert on creativity in mathematics. He has collaborated with national leaders in mathematics education to promote creativity as a critical element of learning. He has served on organizing committees for some of the largest high school mathematics competitions in the U.S. and Canada, including the American Mathematics Competition and the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge. He has also created YouTube videos sharing creative techniques for deconstructing standardized test problems. Omar employs sophisticated mathematical techniques to study foundational questions about networks, including questions about the structure
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
of abstract networks, and fundamental questions about networks in neuroscience, motivated by Nobel Prize-winning work. His research also focuses on discrete mathematics: understanding patterns in finite structures. Su was awarded the The Paul R. Halmos-Lester R. Ford Award, given to the best papers published in the MAA’s flagship journal, The American Mathematical Monthly. The paper recognized was the published version of a speech Su gave at the end of his MAA presidency titled “Mathematics for Human Flourishing.” The much-lauded talk explores how the deeply-human themes that drive people to do mathematics can be channeled to build a more beautiful and just world in which all can flourish. Su’s paper was also selected for inclusion in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2018 (Princeton University Press). This is the third time Su’s writing has been selected for the Princeton anthology. Su, the Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics, studies geometric and topological combinatorics, and he has a passion for popularizing mathematics. He is also the creator of the popular Math Fun Facts website and, more recently, the MathFeed app, a math news aggregator. He has been involved with the MAA for many years, serving as one of its youngest presidents from 2015–2017.
Voices for the Voiceless Critters Speak is an environmental art and education project Rachel Mayeri, professor of media studies, created for Brandon Ballengée’s portable museum of Gulf of Mexico biodiversity, Crude Life. In June 2017, Mayeri visited South Louisiana and interviewed a broad range of people to assess environmental recovery seven years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon, the largest oil spill in US history. A shrimper, a state senator, an activist, biologists, and others share their stories. Portrayed as animated animals and other life forms, they give voice to the species of this unique habitat, the largest wetland in North America. From coral reefs to coastal marshes and inland swamps, they speak for the invisible, unheard and overlooked critters who keep the Gulf of Mexico alive. Critters Speak is presented on a tablet, on a webpage (rachelmayeri.com/critters_speak), and as an 18-minute documentary. It was produced with a grant from the National Academy of Science Keck Futures Institute.
Math and Magic Art Benjamin shares some mathemagical secrets in his newest contribution to The Great Courses, the educational site for lifelong learners. “Math and Magic” will help you master card tricks and the mathematical principles behind them, learn shortcuts to those fast mental calculations that Benjamin is known for and understand how to create and solve geometric puzzles and magic squares. In addition to those by Benjamin, courses by mathematics professor Talithia Williams are also available via The Great Courses.
NSF Grants National Science Foundation (NSF) grants represent the largest share of external support for faculty research at Harvey Mudd. Recent NSF-funded projects cover a wide range of topics, including improvements to teaching methods in computer science, researching dark matter particles and designing a new course in inorganic chemistry. Computer Science A new partnership between two existing NSF-funded infrastructures—the Computing Research Association’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CRA CERP) and CSTeachingTips. org—aims to connect student-level data with department-level education practices to provide the computing community with empirically grounded best practices that support efforts for broadening participation in computing. Colleen Lewis, the McGregorGirand Associate Professor of Computer Science, worked with over 30 undergraduate researchers to develop CSTeachingTips.org, a platform for documenting and disseminating effective teaching practices. The new project combines CERP’s data collection infrastructure and CSTeachingTips’ expertise in disseminating computing education practices. Student data on learning experiences and persistence in computing career paths is collected through an existing CERP survey completed by over 7,000 undergraduate students per year. Lewis believes the research “could identify which of the things we do at Harvey Mudd are most correlated with success in broadening participation in computing,” she says.
Physics Astronomers estimate that more than 80 percent of the universe’s mass is made up of dark matter, which
consists of invisible particles that give off no measurable energy except when they collide with one another in exceedingly weak explosions. Brian Shuve, assistant professor of physics, received an NSF grant to explore the vast mysteries of dark matter particles. Shuve is particularly interested in hidden sectors, an intriguing area of dark matter research. Hidden sectors fall outside of the established ingredients of nature, such the well-known particles protons, electrons and neutrons. The theory of these known particles is called the Standard Model and describes how these particles bounce off one another due to forces. Hidden sectors are something else entirely: They contain particles and forces, like dark matter, that aren’t found in the Standard Model. Shuve says, “This suggests that dark matter may hold clues about new types of particles and forces that exist in our world.” Part of Shuve’s research focuses on idea generation, what he describes as “playing around with what these dark-matter particles might be doing and how they might fit into the big picture of how the universe works,” he says. “For instance, if you postulate a new particle or a new force, you have to also do the calculations and simulations to see whether that would disrupt the way that galaxies are formed or would change the universe to something that would be unrecognizable.” The other part of his project involves taking the most promising of the dark particle possibilities and
figuring out how to find evidence of those particles. To study them, Shuve explains, scientists actually try to make dark particles by using particle accelerators. These are huge machines that hurl protons at one another at very high energies. Every now and again, the high-energy collisions yield new particles, some of which just might be dark-matter particles. Shuve worked with three summer students to use new ideas to hunt for evidence for hidden-sector particles in real experimental data at the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Two of the students developed and used software to conduct a preliminary search for hidden particles in a recently released public dataset from the experiment at the LHC, while another student finalized aspects of a study to search for hidden particles in data from the BABAR Experiment at SLAC. “We’re at a turning point in particle physics, where we’re really blowing open our ideas about what dark matter could be,” he says. “This is really the modern equivalent of being an explorer and going to uncharted land: We’re asking questions about why we exist the way we do and why the universe looks the way it does, and that’s very exciting.”
Chemistry Chemistry professor Adam Johnson will participate in an innovative study to develop, test and refine a flexible, foundation-level inorganic chemistry course. As one of the first 20 faculty
(Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource [VIPEr] Fellows) selected for this ground-breaking project, Johnson will join other inorganic chemists from across the country in a community of practice dedicated to improving student learning. Over the course of the project, the VIPEr Fellows will implement evidence-based practices in their courses. Johnson was one of the founding members of the team that initially developed the Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists (IONiC), which is carrying out the project. “I am excited to join this study to show the efficacy of the educational practices we have developed over the last decade with VIPEr,” he says. The study, titled “Improving Inorganic Chemistry Education,” is being led by IONiC with support from the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program. The project team will use classroom observations, analysis of student work, student surveys and faculty interviews to study how changes in the classroom affect student learning, interest and motivation. IONiC’s web home, the Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource (VIPEr; www. ionicviper.org), is the hub for disseminating the course goals, content and pedagogy. VIPEr Fellows will also investigate how IONiC may encourage the adoption of evidence-based classroom practices.
A weekend volunteer program seeks to change the future. Written by Elaine Regus
TIME WAS RUNNING OUT FOR FOURTH-GRADERS
Dorlhe Dabila and Abigail Silva as they scrambled to assemble their robot-powered watercraft. Their challenge was to design a floating apparatus out of Styrofoam egg cartons, masking tape and string that could transport a cargo of pennies across a plastic swimming pool, propelled by a Sphero, a spherical robot controlled by an iPad. The girls were among a dozen or so Vista del Valle Elementary School students participating in the Saturday STEM Academy. On Saturdays during the semester, Academy participants meet in the school cafeteria with coaches from Harvey Mudd College, read science and technology-related stories, discuss their readings and then do a hands-on activity. The Academy started two years ago as a partnership to provide enrichment for Vista del Valle upper-grade students and work-study options for HMC students. “We have a student population here that doesn’t always get these opportunities,” says Vista del Valle Principal Brad Cuff. “We wanted to do something special for them, especially for the kids who are interested in math and science.” Years ago, when Cuff began his teaching career at Vista del Valle, Hal Van Ryswyk, John Stauffer Professor of Chemistry at Harvey Mudd, had a child at the school and used to do science projects with the students. So, when Cuff returned as principal three years ago, he contacted Gabriela Gamiz, the College’s director of community engagement, to reignite the partnership. “The Harvey Mudd students have been great role models for our students by helping them and supporting them, and, of course, their science knowledge, experience and background have been really beneficial and add tremendous value to the lessons,” Cuff says. During a recent session, the young students took turns reading an article about Domino’s Pizza teaming up with Ford to deliver pizzas in selfdriving cars. HMC coaches led a group discussion
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Hannah Larson ’20 helps Saturday STEM Academy students with a science experiment.
about the possible impacts of self-driving cars on a range of professions from truck drivers to UPS delivery workers. “Our goal is to help them think about what this means for their job market in the future,” Cuff says. Following the discussion, the students had a few minutes to complete their watercraft before heading out to the pool for a test run. Dabila and Silva had taped two egg cartons together, so it could carry more pennies. They predicted that when the Sphero got tangled up in the string it would spiral back underneath the vessel and push it across the water. “If it doesn’t work, we can take the big one off,” Dabila says. “Then, we can see what we did wrong and what we can do better.” Not to worry. After removing a few pennies from the second carton, the Sphero responded as anticipated and the voyage was successful.
Tiffany Madruga, a junior in computer science at HMC, has been with the Academy since the beginning and has encouraged several of her friends to get involved. “The students are all really smart and come to conclusions in different ways, and it’s amazing to see how they can work together to apply what they’ve just learned in school to some of the experiments we do in class,” Madruga says. Sitoe Thiam, a senior engineering major, also has been with the program since the start. She expects the Academy will spark the students’ interest in STEM much like her elementary school teacher did by introducing her to robotics. “I hope the Academy gets the students interested in not only STEM fields but interested in learning in general and interested in questioning how things work, how to build things themselves
“ T he Harvey Mudd students have been great role models for our students by helping
them and supporting them and, of course, their science knowledge, experience and background have been really beneficial and add tremendous value to the lessons.
–VISTA DEL VALLE PRINCIPAL BRAD CUFF
and how to figure things out,” Thiam says. Rachel Schibler, a junior mathematical and computational biology major, was looking for a community outreach opportunity when she started helping with the Saturday STEM Academy last fall. “I have been impressed with how much coding the students are able to pick up on and how technologically advanced they are,” Schibler says. Cuff says feedback from his students has been positive, and a lot of them have signed up for more than one session. “Kids typically vote with their feet,” Cuff says. “If they don’t like it, they won’t show up.” Parents are pleased as well. “They like the fact that their children have the opportunity to expand their science understanding, and they like that we’re the only school in the district that offers it,” Cuff says. Kathy Banuelos says her 10-year-old son, Alejandro Salcido, looks forward to coming to the Saturday STEM Academy, choosing it over soccer and Boy Scouts. After a year in the program, Banuelos said her son’s interests have switched from reading and writing to math and science. “Now, he’s interested in the way things work,” Banuelos says. She appreciates Cuff’s passion for science and willingness to volunteer his
time and is grateful to the Harvey Mudd students for talking to the younger ones about studying science in college and opening their eyes to possible careers and how science can be useful in their later lives. Cuff says he can’t stress enough the influence that the HMC students can have on the youngsters. “Some of them will be first-generation college students, so the ability to see and be exposed to college students that are involved in helping them is really important.” Fifth grader Jessica Lopez, who wants to be a professional basketball player when she grows up, says she never really thought about college before participating in the Academy. “Now, one of my goals is to get a good scholarship and major in science,” she says. Danny Ledezma, associate director of community engagement, says that STEM-related activities help bridge the gap between the College, the community and the education field. The partnership is expected to continue and maybe even expand to another elementary school. “The key is getting someone like Brad who is willing to volunteer their time, has the materials available and is enthusiastic and interested in the program,” Ledezma says.
Vista del Valle Elementary School Principal Brad Cuff and HMC students Sitoe Thiam ’19 and Bradley Phelps ’19 watch a Vista student test the robot-powered watercraft he designed.
S T U D E NT N E WS
One of the highlights of fall convocation, the first all-campus gathering of each academic year, is hearing from the student speakers. Here’s some of what they shared with the campus community.
“ L et’s never take anyone here for granted. We build community by building each
other up. We build community by really listening to one another. We build community by taking care of ourselves while caring for one another.
Astronaut Scholar Physics major Nina Brown ’19 was named an Astronaut Scholar for the 2018–2019 academic year by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). The $10,000 scholarship offers the benefit of a mentoring program to help scholars explore their career options. “I’ve been assigned a mentor who works as a systems engineer with the federal government,” says Brown, who is interested in condensed matter and materials physics. “I’m excited to learn about that path and to be a part of a network of thoughtful, successful people who care about science and improving the world around them.” After graduation from Harvey Mudd, Brown plans to work in industry for a few years, then pursue a PhD in condensed matter physics. “I’d ultimately like to work in a field that has a clear, positive impact on people’s lives, such as developing clean energy technology or working in science outreach,” she says.
–J ULIA WANG ’20 (CS/MATH), ASHMC PRESIDENT, ADMISSION TOUR GUIDE, TUTOR AND MENTOR
“ [First years], you’re here because you can grow and thrive at Mudd. This is your
college experience. Build it how you see fit. Be open to knowing that things aren’t necessarily going to go the way that you think they will. And never stop being yourselves. Go find your ‘sauce,’ and get lost in it.
–O MARI MATTHEWS ’21 (COMPUTER SCIENCE), GROOVE NATION DANCE CREW MEMBER, ULTIMATE FRISBEE ENTHUSIAST
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Top Intern Computer science and mathematics major, two-time Google intern and student leader Djassi Julien ’20 made the first WayUp Intern 100 List this summer. He was selected based on his work ethic, contribution to projects and application of his knowledge. Public vote (30 percent) and a professional judging panel paved the way for his selection to the list of “some of the hardest working and most underappreciated members of the American workforce.” More than 140 Harvey Mudd College students do summer internships each year. Julien first learned about the opportunity at Google when doing research about internships for entry-level CS students and, later, when meeting Google representatives at a Harvey Mudd Career Fair. During his first summer, he worked with the search team in Mountain View on a product called Search Lite, and this summer he worked on an ads team in Los Angeles called Active View. He says he felt well-prepared to work at Google as an engineering practicum intern. One of the perks of being named to the WayUp Intern 100 List is a one-year supply of Red Bull Energy Drink. Julien, who is active on campus as a Writing Center tutor, captain of Groove Nation Dance Crew, member of Black Lives at Mudd and Society for Professional Latinxs in STEM, and as an Admission tour guide, is sharing his bountiful supply with friends.
Meet, Greet, Compete PARTICIPATION BY HARVEY MUDD STUDENTS IN
professional meetings and conferences has increased over the years as the College seeks the best ways to prepare students for their chosen careers. Groups of students attended the American Physical Society March Meeting, Grace Hopper Conference and Society of Women Engineers Conference, to name a few. They practice their presentation skills, gain exposure to national and international organizations, and meet technical experts as well as other students and faculty in multiple disciplines. They often bring home awards, too.
Biology When microbiologists from around the world gathered in August for the Molecular Genetics of Bacteria and Phages meeting, they were joined by two Harvey Mudd students whose research was so impressive it garnered a Best Undergraduate Poster award. Joint chemistry and biology majors Lakshmi Batachari ’18 and Chris Doering ’19 presented results of their yearlong study on how gene expression in E. coli unfolds under stress conditions. They were advised by Daniel Stoebel, associate professor of biology. Doering, whose academic interests include molecular genetics, synthetic biology and microbiology, explains their work: “In E. coli, stress response is largely controlled by the transcription factor RpoS, a protein responsible for turning on gene expression,” he says. “Depending on the type of stress, E. coli will activate RpoS, and subsequently gene expression, to differing degrees. Our research looked into how genes respond to RpoS, what patterns of expression we see and what causes those patterns to occur. Previous work in the lab showed that some genes respond very quickly to just a small amount of RpoS (sensitive response) while others required large amounts to get any
expression (insensitive response). Our work found that other transcription factors working with RpoS are responsible for the different types of response and in a few cases we identified the exact culprit.”
Engineering Having won top honors at the regional APICS and Deloitte Consulting-sponsored Case Competition in February, Bohan Gao ’19, Anjaneya Malpani ’18, Ramita Kondepudi ’18 and Peter Leung ’19 (Pitzer) traveled to Chicago in September for the final round, held during the annual conference of APICS, an international supply chain management organization. The team, advised by Kash Gokli, professor of manufacturing practice and Engineering Clinic director, placed third out of seven teams in the final round, behind Bradley University and Georgia Institute of Technology. Their assignment was to evaluate the pros and cons of a potential merger between two fashion companies that produce retail handbags, footwear and accessories. Teams considered factors such as the companies’ supplier costs, warehouse locations, inventory levels, transportation strategies and carrier costs to develop their recommendations. “[Our students] have shown that they can compete with any college and any country out there. They were able to successfully analyze the data, make sound decisions, provide strong solutions, and then present and defend their decisions very effectively—a secret of their success,” says Gokli.
Computer Science & Physics The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) selected 105 students to receive Student Presentation Awards for outstanding research. Two posters by HMC students were among those selected from over 1,000 graduate and undergraduate student research presentations from 300 U.S. colleges and universities. Rex Asabor ’22 was recognized for his research in computer and information sciences. SACNAS judges said his work was “a standout among the student presentations” and that his “communication skills and command of the research topic were exemplary.” His paper, “An Algorithm to Predict Feature-Based Gene Equivalence Between Mouse
Strain Genomes,” is the result of research conducted at The Jackson Laboratory for Mammalian Genetics in Maine, where research teams investigate the genetic basis of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other human diseases and disorders. He participated in a 10-week summer internship and focused on designing an algorithm to predict gene equivalents in strains of mouse genomes. “What that means is you take two mouse strains, look through the gene of one strain and find the genes on the other strain with corresponding function,” says Asabor. This experience was new for him. “It was my first time conducting research, my first time presenting research. I was a freshman and almost everyone there was a junior or a senior, so I was even more surprised by that.” He’ll present his research again at the 2019 Asia Pacific Biometrics Conference in Wuhan, China, in January. Luis Martinez ’19, a physics major, was recognized for his research in astrophysics with Jorge Moreno, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Pomona College. Martinez’s research, “What Lights up a Galaxy Bridge,” focuses on simulating galaxy merges to gain a better understanding of star formation in galaxy bridges. He started the research project last summer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and will continue his work through this academic year. “We are looking at galaxies and how they merge, but we’re not doing observations, we’re doing computational simulations of merging galaxies, so we’re using large-scale realistic simulations,” Martinez says, who looks forward to the research being published next year. “In order to do this, I developed an algorithm that would go through the simulation and identify a bridge. That was part of the project, and then once I did that, I was able to apply the algorithm that I developed to the 27 different simulations.” Martinez will present this research at the 233rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, in January 2019.
MY MUDD LIFE
Daphne Guo ’19 DAPHNE GUO’S FIRST MUSIC-RELATED MEMORY IS
of her sister’s violin lessons. Guo recalls playing in her coloring book, watching her sister and trying to steal the plastic Easter egg filled with dry beans that the music teacher used for vibrato practice. Guo eventually began her own music lessons in piano and violin. Since then, she’s dabbled in flute, oboe and viola, but has concentrated on violin performance. Fall semester marked the 16th year since Guo started playing the violin and the first time performing solo with The Claremont Concert Orchestra. With her family in attendance, Guo performed the Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major Oct. 27 and 28. Becky Ackley, Joint Music Program coordinator, said, “It's really a big deal and a great testament to Daphne's skill.” What is your musical specialty?
I’m definitely just a violinist now, someone who can only read treble clef and has the lung capacity of an asthmatic kitten. As a violinist, I do generally prefer to play orchestral/symphonic music over solo pieces (ironically enough). During your years with the Claremont Concert Orchestra, what have you learned/ gotten better at?
I’m honored to have been concertmaster for the CCO since my sophomore year, and I’ve definitely improved as a leader. In my experiences with school, community and honor orchestras before college, chair seating or placement was based entirely on technical skill—an audition with the repertoire. With the CCO, I’ve felt that Prof. David Cubek, the CCO director and conductor, places more emphasis on personal qualities that he feels will benefit the orchestra, which has, in turn, driven me to improve myself as both a musician (better preparing my own part, listening to recordings of the pieces) and a section leader (anticipating and clarifying confusion about bowings or rhythms, giving cues, coordinating with other principal players). I’ve also learned how to be a better orchestral player, especially when the CCO accompanies soloists each year! What is your major?
I’m a chemistry major on the general (or legacy) track. I did a semester of research sophomore year with Prof. Lelia Hawkins as a Luke Research Fellow, but have done most of my research with Prof.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Jerry Van Hecke ’61 as both a Kubota Research Fellow (two consecutive summers plus junior year in between) and as his current thesis student. My project has been on thermal energy storage in organic acids, and focuses on making binary phase diagrams of combinations of nine different organic acids, documenting their melting temperatures, melting energies and general solid-to-liquid phase behavior. Other activities?
Last semester I joined Music Mentors of Pomona Valley, a 5C club that offers free music lessons to lower-income students in the region. My main activity at the colleges, other than the CCO, is the women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, the Claremont Greenshirts. I joined the team my freshman year and am now one of the captains. The Greenshirts has been where I’ve made some of my best friends and has always been a safe, supportive community both on and off the field. This summer I actually joined a women’s club (community) frisbee team in L.A., so that I would improve technically and get better ideas for how to help lead my college team.
What mentors have helped you along your journey academically and/or musically?
My sister, who is eight years older and finishing her PhD in ecology this year, has always been my mentor and steadfast supporter academically. She has always pushed me to excel and keeps me honest and on time about applying to college and now graduate school. Musically, I owe a lot to my high school violin teacher, Lan Qiu, who invested so much time in my learning and who continued to show interest in my musical activities in college. My college professors have also been supportive. Part of the reason I felt so at home at Mudd was being in the small, dedicated chemistry department; I’ve had a chance to take classes or otherwise interact meaningfully with almost every faculty member. Most influential have been Prof. Van Hecke, who has put up with a lot of my dashing around for frisbee-related activities, and Prof. Hawkins, who is the ultimate role model for passionate, driven, professional women in chemistry. Prof. Rachel Huang, my violin professor at Scripps and Prof. Cubek have made my musical experience at the 5Cs exceptional by encouraging me to try new things (compete in the concerto competition and play modern music with a chamber group) and trusting in me to help lead the CCO.
What are your goals after HMC?
I’m currently applying to grad school in chemistry. I’m hoping to either continue doing research after school or go into teaching (high school level or below). How will you continue your musical interests?
I plan to audition for one of the institutions’ orchestras and make rehearsals fit into my schedule! If that isn’t possible, I'll look into community orchestras in whatever city I end up in or try to find a smaller chamber group to practice with.
Garrett Cheadle ’20 THIS SEASON WITH CMS FOOTBALL, JUNIOR
running back Garrett Cheadle (computer science and mathematics) rushed for 1,305 yards—a feat that earned him the SCIAC Football Offensive Player of the Year Award as well as All-SCIAC First Team and D3football.com All-West Region Second Team honors. His strong season placed him second in program history, behind only the 1,486 yards that Chris Dabrow ’88 (CMC) rushed for in 1987. Cheadle was the first Stag to cross the 1,000-yard barrier since Ryan Gocong in 2002 and broke the single-game rushing record for the program with 274 yards in the 34-21 win over Whittier. Due to an experienced offensive line and a ballcontrol offense that ranks in the top 10 nationally in time of possession, there were a lot of running plays this year. Cheadle carried it 238 times himself (out of the team’s total of 443) to triple his 95 carries from a year ago. He alone ran the ball 41 times in the win over Chapman (for 173 yards) which clinched the NCAA bid for the Stags. Head Coach Kyle Sweeney says Cheadle’s contributions extend way beyond his stat line. “What really jumps off the film at me is how he’s blocked,” says Sweeney. “The number of cut blocks he’s had and big blocks he’s had for other people has been incredibly impressive. But more than anything, what’s made him successful is his heart and desire and the way he goes after it, the way he practices hard and takes scout team reps. It’s exactly what you want out of the guy who right now is your star player.” Like Daphne Guo (facing page), Cheadle has a supportive sibling who inspired him. Your CMS bio says beating your rival in 10th grade was a big sports moment. Describe that.
In 10th grade I played on the varsity team with my older brother, Austin, who was a senior. We both played cornerback, and we were often on the field at the same time. We played against our rivals in the final game of the season, and we won. Winning the last game that I ever played with my brother felt amazing, and I will never forget it. To whom or what do you attribute your speed and agility?
balance. I participate in the football team’s strength program written by our offensive line and strength coach Chris Vicory. This helps me build my strength to become more powerful and explosive while on the field.
to going to practice and meetings every day. My oldest brother, Austin, has always believed in my abilities and supported me by being my workout partner every summer and pushing me to my physical limits.
What appealed to you about playing for CMS?
What are your goals after HMC?
I always wanted to continue playing football, so during my college search, I limited myself to places that had Division 2 or 3 football and reputable STEM programs. Mudd was one of my top choices because of its rigor and how it allowed me to be flexible with my major. Also, CMS had shown continuous improvement in the previous years and, based on the coaching staff, I thought the trend would likely continue.
I don’t have any formal short-term goals for after HMC. But in the long term, I have always wanted to teach math. I am going on my seventh year of formal math tutoring, and math has always excited me in a way that no other subject can.
Regarding academics, describe any research you have done and with whom.
Will football continue to be part of your life?
One day I hope to coach football for a high school team, so I can influence players in similar ways that my coaches influenced me.
This last summer, I was a member of Prof. Geoff Kuenning’s research team for SINA IOTTA Trace Repository, a compendium of trace data used by file systems researchers worldwide. My partner and I managed the SNIA IOTTA Trace Repository website as well as over 10 terabytes of file system traces. Researchers use the repository of scientific data to study how to store computer files efficiently, inexpensively and reliably. Other activities?
During the spring semester, I volunteer for the prisoner education project, PEP. We travel to local prisons to teach classes in STEM. What mentors have helped you along your journey academically and/or athletically?
My running backs coach Wayne Moses has been mentoring the running backs since his arrival in 2017. Coach Moses is extremely knowledgeable about the game of football and is constantly providing us with ways to improve and pushing us to be our best. He is one of the reasons why I look forward
I wouldn’t consider myself particularly fast or quick, but I have been told that I have good vision and
A WORLD AWAY For the 50th anniversary of the Watson Fellowship, we contacted Fellows from HMC and asked them to share experiences from their year abroad. Here are some of their incredible stories. By Stephanie L. Graham
BUILDING MORE HUMANE AND EFFECTIVE LEADERS HAS BEEN THE
goal of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for the past 50 years. Established in memory of the founder of IBM and available to graduating seniors at 40 private colleges and universities across the U.S., the fellowships have allowed nearly 3,000 young men and women to “test their aspirations and abilities, view their lives and American society in greater perspective and develop a more informed sense of international concern.”
HARVEY MUDD WATSON FELLOWS
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Keith L. Woo Study and Performance of the Bass Trombone United Kingdom
David Abe Folk Fiddling Ireland, British Isles
arvey Mudd College nominated its first students for the fellowship in 1976 and has had one or more students selected for the honor nearly every year since. The process is rigorous: Applicants submit a multi-page proposal and references, and endure a rigorous interview process. Only 40 fellows are selected from just over 100 finalists. HMC’s first recipient, Keith L. Woo ’77, a chemistry major with an interest in music and the trombone, says the fellowship fulfilled a dream and provided the personal growth and self-reliance to succeed in his future endeavors. He spent his Watson year in London studying the early trombone (the “sackbut”) in Renaissance music and being mentored by a trombonist with the London Symphonic Orchestra. “I have always considered my Watson fellowship as my first successful grant,” says Woo, who recently retired as a professor of chemistry and associate chair from Iowa State University. “Because of my Watson experience, I encourage undergraduate and graduate students to broaden their interests as a means of enriching their lives.” The stories of other HMC Watson Fellows attest to the indelible impact a yearlong, solo, open-ended, adventurefilled trek can have on recent graduates, who must select countries where they have no, or very little, experience. No formal paper or report is required. They receive a generous stipend ($18,000 in the early years and up to $30,000 today), and they must commit to not returning to the United States or their home country during the year. “I have to admit that I applied for the Watson Fellowship as something of a lark without any real expectation that I would get it,” says Brooke Basinger ’01 (engineering). She explored roller coaster design in 30 countries. “When I actually got the fellowship, the reality sunk in that I would be traveling the world for an entire year by myself without any sort of support structure or home base. It was a bit terrifying.” A mechanical engineer by training, Basinger had always been fascinated by mechanical interactions between the body and the machine. She found roller coasters to be a unique and interesting design challenge. “After all, where else is your design goal to scare the crap out of people without actually hurting them?” she says, “I wanted to understand how different cultures and countries approached both designing and riding roller coasters, and the Watson provided me an unparalleled opportunity to do that.”
James Widergren The Effects of Electrification on Rural Asian Societies Philippines, Nepal, Indonesia
Clarence Wang Circus Families United Kingdom, West Germany
She spent the first several weeks in the U.K. visiting amusement parks, county fairs and boardwalks getting backstage tours from park engineers, learning about the gritty logistics of running and maintaining a roller coaster. She met John Wardley, a leading U.K. roller coaster designer at Alton Towers, where she toured their new flying coaster, Air. Basinger recalls doubting herself after those first few weeks. “There were no grades, no right answers, and no professor or boss to tell me what was expected of me,” she says. “I learned to trust my instincts, take risks and adapt on the fly.” Adaptation became a particularly critical skill when, only six weeks into her fellowship, two planes hit the twin towers on September 11, 2001. After overcoming internet and translation issues, Basinger was able to connect with her brother who lived in New York and with her boyfriend, whose father was a United Airlines pilot. All were OK. “By the end of my Watson, the world as we knew it had fundamentally changed,” says Basinger, whose career in medical device design is a result of her fascination with the mechanical interaction between the body and the machine. She earned a PhD working on implanted retinal prosthetics and is now head of hardware operations at Google’s biotech venture Verily Life Sciences. “Most importantly, I developed the confidence that no matter what weird situation I ever find myself in, I can always trust myself to figure my way out of it.” Being flexible and adaptable allowed Clarence Wang ’84 (chemistry) to travel through Switzerland, France and England and hang around circuses to see what life was like, especially for kids growing up in the traveling/ performing environment. “I bought a VW camper bus so I could stay close to the troupes,” Wang says. “I was allowed to travel on part of the tour of Circus Knie, Switzerland’s largest and oldest touring circus.”
Sugi Sorensen Custom Bicycle Building and Racing France, Italy, USSR
The troupe provided Wang a scarlet jacket with black velvet lapels and cuffs, gold buttons and braid and let him help as a requisiteur (stage hand) moving things in and out of the ring between acts. “I fell in love with a circus employee—a girl who helped with the performing horses—who lived in a circus wagon next to the giraffe!” Wang, who now manages a scientific computing group in R&D at pharmaceutical company Sanofi, says he learned to be open to new opportunities and new people and to take pleasure in the journey. Most of the HMC Fellows agree that the Watson experience took them outside their comfort zone. “The Watson was both the most incredible and one of the most challenging things I have ever done,” Rob Best ’10 (engineering) recalls. He visited China, India, the United Arab Emirates, England and Germany to explore eco-cities, their developing practices and the role of local culture in defining a sustainable city. “I remember on my first day, I landed in Shanghai, China, walked around unable to
Brooke Basinger ’01
Rob Best ’10 in Huangbaiyu, China
“ I fell in love with a
David Somers Vegetarian Lifestyles and Ideals Nepal, England, India
circus employee— a girl who helped with the performing horses—who lived in a circus wagon next to the giraffe! ”
Clarence Wang ’84 with Swiss Circus Knie members
Clarence Wang ’84
Alan Baron Role and Character of Aviation in Foreign Societies France, Italy, Germany, Australia
Douglas Dunston Trumpetmaking Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland
Paul Hagelin Robotic Engineering: Social Impact & Industrial Applications Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark
Natasha Allen ’16 in Tanzania
Alan Baron ’89 in Spain
James Widergren ’82, in the Philippines
Eric Prosser Apprenticeship with European Breweries: Traditional Brewing Techniques Great Britain, Germany, Czechoslovakia
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
read a single street sign, and wondered what I was even doing there. From that moment, the whole year was packed with navigating new cultures and languages while learning to network and find connections that enabled my personal investigation.” He decided to focus on cities that had evolved organically to incorporate sustainable practices, buildings and policies. “Getting to know Shanghai, London, Dubai, Delhi and Freiburg intimately became the best part of my experience,” he says. “I spent a lot of time interacting with locals, learning about the history of each place, and talking with practitioners, drawing direct lines between the culture and history and how the city was evolving.” Best was fascinated with Huangbaiyu, China, a model eco-village designed by an American architect in a rural area north of Beijing and abandoned after the first 40 houses and a school were built. He learned that despite the ecological credentials of the project, it didn’t match at all the residents’ desires or needs. “Yards left no room for chickens and livestock, and the houses didn’t match the cultural principles with which traditional Chinese homes are designed,” he says. “Today, all but one house stands empty, and the village looks apocalyptic. Rusting grain silos, a school with broken windows, and eerily still, yet intact, houses give the impression of a town abandoned after a disease or famine. It is a haunting reminder of the need to create in each place a definition of sustainable that encompasses the social and cultural as well as the ecological.” This lesson and others from Best’s Watson year shaped the way he views cities and sustainable development. It solidified his interest in solving the technological and cultural challenges of sustainable urban development and drove his graduate research: using computational tools to model
Ellen Liu Koto Music of Three Countries China, Japan, Taiwan
Kerim Aydin Tales from the Crossroads A Journey into Turkish Folklore Turkey
environmental and social outcomes of urban planning and energy policy. Today, he works at Arup, a global engineering consulting firm, where he advises cities, universities and private sector clients about reducing energy and water use and lowering their carbon footprint. Watson project proposals need only reflect a student’s passion for, or commitment to, a specific concern, either academic or personal. Though they do often direct a Fellow’s career path. Natasha Allen ’16 (physics) lives in Myanmar and is starting a social enterprise that provides training and access to finance for electricians to improve their businesses and provide better quality electricity to their communities. She says her Watson experience profoundly impacted her life and career. “My Watson project focused on grassroots approaches to rural electrification and took me to Cambodia, Myanmar, Tanzania and (CONTINUED ON PAGE 22)
y experiences, “ M
good and bad, showed me how resilient I truly am and helped me to build a lot of trust in myself to take risks and try new things—like starting a business! ” Natasha Allen ’16
Matthew Summers The Evolving Household: Building Techniques & Urban Sprawl Mexico,Costa Rica, Honduras
CHRISTIAN STEVENS ’14 C H E M I S T RY A N D B I O L O G Y
The Natural Attorneys of the Poor: Bridges of Trust between Marginalized Communities and Medicine Malawi, China, The Republic of Congo and Russia
Describe your experience. I wanted to focus on the relationships between medical professionals and the communities they worked with. Often, poor health care is not the result of a lack of effective treatments or therapies but an inability to communicate with patients and build relationships. Many patients worldwide die of treatable and often even preventable diseases due to our failure to build trust in the medications they are given or the recommendations they receive from doctors. And it was this gap that I wanted to explore. Each location I chose highlighted some form that I thought this sort of relationship might take. I worked in a rural Malawian clinic where health care was provided by nuns without an extensive medical education but who did come from the community. I also worked with western physicians from Baylor Pediatric Institute who worked in Mwanza, Tanzania. In South Africa, I explored post-apartheid relationships between wealthier and often white doctors and their patients. In Hong Kong, I was most interested in the relationships built between often xenophobic physicians and an increasingly immigrant population. In Siberia, I shadowed physicians and nurses who worked with prisoners and former prisoners with tuberculosis. And in Romania, I had the chance to work with an infectious disease specialist who had worked with the same cohort of patients since they were children diagnosed with HIV in the early ’90s. In each of these places, the power dynamics changed and so did the skills required to navigate the relationships. In the 365 days that I was outside the United States, I learned a great deal about relationships between health care providers and communities. But I also had a number of experiences I would never have expected that had nothing to do with medicine. I met people I still talk to today, from all over the world, and made some very close friends. I spent at least a day in 14 different countries and at least a month in six (Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, China, Russia, Romania). I don’t think I’ll ever experience anything like it again.
Kimberly Cornett Anakata Engineering Aspect of Winemaking & Agriculture Germany, Italy, France, Israel
William Washington Study of Fountains Spain, Italy
Christian Stevens met with local chiefs near Maldeco, Malawi.
What location, activity or person(s) were most memorable? On my very last day on the trip, I was in Bucharest, Romania, and had dinner with Dr. Oprea, an M.D./PhD in infectious disease with whom I had spent almost every day for the last 10 weeks. Her work was very close to what I might envision myself doing some day. She became a pediatric infectious disease specialist in the late 1980s and early 1990s when HIV first came to Romania in a torrent. She worked with the first infants who got HIV from their mothers in Romania. Those children, the ones who survived, grew up because she spent time fighting for their access to the few treatments that became available over time. She worked hard to make sure they had the best care, despite most of them being among the very poorest in Bucharest. Today those “kids” are all my age, and I was lucky enough to meet many of them. When we were eating dinner on that last night, I told her the story of watching an infant die in Malawi, and I told her the story of the physician in Malawi who burned out seeing those deaths. I asked Dr. Oprea how she not only did not burn out but in fact seemed to thrive when things got the most difficult. She had stuck with her patients as they got older and even got board certified in adult medicine so that once they became older she could remain their go-to physician. She told me that practicing the art of medicine requires you to neither burn out, nor become numb to the pain your patients feel. She told me that when a patient died, she did not try and put on a strong face and push through. Instead, every morning before she goes to work, she thinks through the patients she has lost. She describes all of those patients as being in the same cemetery, her cemetery. And every
Khaldoun Shobaki Prospects for the Internet in the Middle East United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman
morning, in her mind, she puts flowers on each of their graves. And every day she goes to work for those of her patients still with her. That stuck with me more than any other thing on my trip. She intentionally made herself as vulnerable as possible because she felt that it made her stronger. She made sure she never blocked anything out, but she also ensured she never dwelled too long on the past. She acknowledged it, accepted it, and it made her stronger. This advice she gave me was by far the most memorable thing I got from that year. What are you doing now? I am an M.D./PhD student at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. I finished my first two years of medical school, and now I am beginning the PhD phase of the program. I am working in the lab of Benhur Lee where we do work with a number of species of viruses. My project is a mix of basic science virology and viral engineering. How did your Watson project impact your life and/or career? My year as a Watson Fellow is what convinced me how important it was to practice medicine in service to the poorest and most marginalized communities around the world. It solidified in me the idea to apply to become an M.D. and a PhD in order to work both directly with patients as well as to develop research that can leverage my clinical experience. My time as a Watson Fellow has also convinced me to strongly consider practicing medicine abroad at some point in my career.
Ryan Arndt Exploring Traditional European Glass Blowing Czech Republic, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary
Sarah Shapard Palmer Cultural Attitudes Toward Aging Australia, England, India, Mexico, Tanzania
“ I went to Japan
and totally fell in love with trains. I mean, how can you not nerd-out over trains when riding the Shinkansen!? ” Hannah Groshong ’13
Hanna Groshong ’13 and friend, Veronika, in Jordan
Uganda,” says Allen, who set out to discover how communities can have greater ownership and control over their energy use. Meeting with rural electricians in the southeast of Myanmar, Allen found that many households had solar systems in their homes that weren’t working. “The electricians and I spent some time together troubleshooting to find that there was an issue with the charge controller system, she says.” Together we were able to fix the systems in the village using just a piece of old wire. Moments characterized by co-learning, problem-solving and hunching over solar electric systems were the highlights of my year.” Allen adds, “My experiences, good and bad, showed me how resilient I truly am and helped me to build a lot of trust in myself to take risks and try new things—like starting a business!” Harvey Mudd Watson winners described harrowing, humorous and heartwarming moments, including meeting future partners (both Rob Best ’10 and Priya Donti ’15), creating a muiltilingual, multicultural blues band (Doug Dunston ’90), being picked up by a car full of Kuwaiti girls (Khaldoun Shobaki ’96), becoming an expert haggler (Brooke Basinger ’01) and almost being knocked into
a river by Nepalese goods-transporting yaks (Alan Baron ’89). Overall, however, it was the relationships they formed that many Fellows say were most memorable and meaningful. The nation of Jordan is held in fond regard by Hannah Groshong ’13 (engineering), who looked at how countries provide for people with special needs, particularly in the transition into adulthood. It’s where she met Veronika, who had spent more than 20 years in Jordan caring for people with special needs. Every week, the two friends drove to a small village outside Amman and engaged with a group of moms and their daughters with special needs as well as with friends of Veronika’s who were blind. “Veronika’s loyal friendship and practical care for people was hugely inspiring to me,” says Groshong, whose younger sister, Bailey, has Down Syndrome. The year provided her the opportunity to delve into her sister’s world and think about her needs and her future. “I came back with a better understanding of my role in her future and the ways I can support her in all that she does.” It also led to her career in transportation, Groshong says. “I went to Japan and totally fell in love with trains. I mean, how can you not nerd-out over trains when riding the (CONTINUED ON PAGE 24)
Brooke Basinger International Concepts in Roller Coaster Design England, Spain, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, India, Singapore, Thailand, Denmark
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Anne Short Living and Catching My Food Kiribati, Nepal, Mali, Thailand, South Africa
GWEN SPENCER ’05 M AT H E M AT I C S
Reinterpreting the Gender of Science and Technology in Emerging Economies Tanzania, Swaziland, Kenya, India, Ireland Describe your experience. Life at Mudd was like a technical fire hose, or like a series of back-to-back marathons, which I often loved. As I wrote my Watson proposal as a senior, I knew that I had spent a lot of time (joyously!) parsing formal details, but that I had done less work towards our motto of attaining a “clear understanding of the impact of [our] work on society.” Yet, I knew that scientific enterprises were more subjective, emotional and value-laden than we often acknowledged. That insight came squarely from “The Social Life of Technical Objects,” a terrific course
Gwen Spencer ’05 (right) and a former Smith College student.
Tara Martin Finding the Inner Beat: Cultural Expression Through Movement Brazil, Argentina, Cape Verde
Gwen Spencer Reinterpreting the Gender of Science and Technology in Emerging Economies Tanzania, Swaziland, Kenya, India, Ireland
taught by [HSA Professor] Marianne de Laet. The other huge influence on my proposal was a course taught at Scripps by a visiting scholar from Botswana, Professor Musa Dube (now of the University of Botswana). I initially enrolled in “Feminist Intro to the Bible” to meet a troublesome distribution requirement, but it shaped my perspective deeply. I left that course believing that, in understanding a person’s experience, there is no greater expert than the individual. Over the course of my Watson year, I conducted more than 50 personal interviews with female scientists and engineers in Tanzania, Swaziland, South Africa, India and Ireland. At that time, these were countries where there was at least some national rhetoric that science could play a critical role in the growth of the economy. At the same time, varying by country, there were some strong traditional obstacles to women’s education (sometimes specific to STEM, but not always). I included countries where I was able to find some advance evidence that national need had the potential to broaden participation by women. Sometimes I would find government initiatives, while in other places I talked with women involved in self-organized advocacy (at institutional, national and international scales) or simply women who had navigated scientific careers. I had never traveled independently before, nor visited a country where the amount of money in my pocket might be an average family’s income for a year. Waking up in West Africa a few weeks later to start organizing myself for a whole year was quite a cold shower! Watson is a master class in “Plan to re-plan,” and I discovered very quickly that signals I had detected on the internet from Claremont had about a 30 percent chance of corresponding to a real opportunity to talk to someone. For example, I learned that if you want to meet someone, it is worth allocating a day to just go to where you expect to find them, and then to loiter until you encounter them by chance. Both flattered and startled by the appearance of a stranger from California, your intended interview subject may then feel obligated to add you to their calendar! What location, activity or person(s) were most memorable? I vividly remember many situations where I suddenly became deeply aware of both my tremendous ignorance of world history and the incredible privilege I had already experienced in pursuing my studies. One of my very first and generous
Stephanie Moyerman The Gentle Way of Exploring Cultural Differences Israel, Russia, Japan
contacts was Professor Verdiana G. Masanja (then of the University of Dar es Salaam, now the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology). As a math major myself, I showed up at Professor Masanja’s office ready to ask how she decided to study mathematics. There had not, as it turns out, been a lot of deciding. The reason is that while Professor Masanja was in high school, native Tanzanians were still excluded from most national universities in Tanzania. At that time, mainland Tanzania had only recently gained independence from British colonial rule. After the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, it was suddenly possible for Tanzanians to attend these universities. Well-prepared students had to be found quickly. Based on test scores, students were assigned to disciplines according to the perception of future national need. Mathematics and physics were deemed to be the hardest subjects, so if you excelled at all your exams, that is what was selected for you. Later, after her studies at TU Berlin, Professor Masanja became the first woman from Tanzania to receive a PhD in mathematics. In addition to her research and teaching work, Professor Masanja was the national coordinator for the Female Education in Mathematics and Science in Africa (FEMSA) initiative in Tanzania. Professor Masanja and several of her colleagues I met were in the first wave of Tanzanian women to go to university; they chose firmly to return to their own country and played a dramatic role in shaping the entire modern history of these issues in their lifetimes. I repeatedly encountered stories that touched on similar themes. First, openly stated exclusion from top institutions based on racist colonial legacies. After that, layers of discrimination, based both on sex and on the basis of race or caste. Second, highly accomplished female scientists faced a painful tradeoff: they often found that there was no one to do direct advocacy work but themselves. Professor Rohini Godbole, a particle physicist who is one of a handful of female members of the Indian Academy of Science asked me earnestly, “Shouldn’t there be someone else to do this work? Some experts in social science? What I love and trained in was physics!” Despite the incredible loss of national human capital that occurs when a talented woman can’t obtain training in STEM or can’t gain access to positions where they can use that training, eminent scientists found that criticism of existing systems was usually completely dismissed unless it came from women working in science at the highest levels:
Nikolas Sherrow-Groves The Impact of Structural Failure in Earthquake-Prone Countries Japan, El Salvador, Peru, India
then, they might have a chance. And so, Professor Godbole had worked to use the professional influence she had in numerous initiatives and committees, reserving time away from her true technical intellectual passion. When I talked with Professor Lydia Makhubu, a Swazi chemist retiring from her role as the president of the Third World Organization for Women in Science, she told me that if she could start over, strategically she would completely skip over talking about equality of opportunity, and talk only about how national development suffers when a country ignores half of its technical talent pool. This, she said, was the only real way to get politicians to listen. Remarkably, Professor Makhubu was the first Swazi woman to earn a PhD. What are you doing now? I’m on the faculty at Smith College (a women’s liberal arts college in New England) in mathematics and statistics. Since I arrived at Smith, I’ve taught math to about 400 students (the vast majority are women). I often teach our gateway major course (Discrete Mathematics) which is really fun; the material is so beautiful that it is easy to get students interested. I take a lot of inspiration from great professors I had at Mudd. I also have a broad research program that includes theory topics in optimization, algorithms and graph theory, as well as a range of applied projects often related to network science. One of my favorite parts of being a faculty member has been mentoring student research. How did your Watson project impact your life and/or career? Interestingly, among my major advisees, there is a disproportionally large number of international students. The Watson experience is part of what helps me be curious about where my students are coming from and how their hopes and dreams may depart from a fuzzy mental model I might hold as an American about what a prototypical student wants and should aspire to. At graduation, I frequently meet the families of these students. These families have often sent their daughters halfway around the world to study in a language that the parents can’t even speak. This is so brave, both on the part of the student and the parents. I find it deeply humbling to be trusted in this way, and I take the opportunity very seriously.
Richard Horn Twinkle Twinkle Little Star: How We Wonder What You Are Australia, China, Sweden, Namibia, Chile, Peru
Robert Best Visions of Green: Eco-Cities and Sustainability Across Cultures China, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, England, Ireland
Shinkansen!? This new interest led me to do research in freight rail automation systems in grad school, which then led me to Spy Pond Partners doing management consulting for transportation agencies.” Priya Donti ’15 (computer science and mathematics) encountered kindness and generosity from those who spent multiple days with her as she traveled to remote locations for her exploration of the people and policies behind next-generation electric power systems. She recalls how a visit to Kumamoto, Japan, shortly after the large earthquake in April 2016, allowed her to observe how a strong community reacts to a disaster. “I had been thinking a lot about resilient electricity infrastructure in the context of all the natural disasters that Japan faces, but what really struck me in Kumamoto was the resilience of the people,” says Donti, now a PhD student in computer science and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. “When I was walking around, I saw community. I saw volunteers in the city center serving food. I saw trash trucks sent from other cities to help clean up. I saw temporary vendors in a main market [where] lots of people [were] shopping, smiling, socializing and coming together as a community. It was a city moving on and moving forward.” While traveling in Mexico and Central America during the mid-1990s, Matthew Summers ’94 (engineering) looked at how squatter communities develop into formalized neighborhoods in major urban centers. “It was super interesting and totally different than my experience with civil engineering in the U.S.,” says Summers, a manager for a renewable energy company. “But, most important, the experience allowed me to immerse myself in another culture and language. I learned a lot about myself and changed my world view by challenging my cultural biases and
Veerasak Srisuknimit Where is the Other Half? Exploring the Connections among Unicycling, Cultures and Science Italy, Ghana, India, Brazil, Japan
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
how I approach problems. It also gave me an interest in developing technology that benefits communities.” The realization that “one size does not fit all” was an important lesson for James Widergren ’80/81 (engineering). He visited the Philippines, China, Indonesia and Nepal to learn about the introduction of new technologies into developing nations. Initially he focused on the effects of electrification on rural communities, but his interests grew to encompass appropriate and sustainable technologies in rural Asia. “Most memorable were the efforts individuals and groups were making in Nepal to introduce micro-hydroelectric plants and solar cookers to slow the spread of deforestation,” says Widergren, whose Watson led to his career in international health care. “Most surprising was how much foreign aid money is wasted on inappropriate technologies: inappropriate due to lack of cultural or economic conditions. Infrastructure and equipment do no good if there is no money to train people in its use, operation or maintenance. The Watson instilled in me a sensitivity towards the differing needs and availability of health care resources around the world.” Now CEO and president of the Orgentec Group, which develops tests for infectious and auto-immune diseases, Widergren is also chair of the board of trustees at Keck Graduate Institute for Applied Life Sciences. He’s continued to travel extensively and has been to nearly 100 countries and all continents. The unique experiences and new friendships gained from their year abroad, have inspired many Watson fellows to continue traveling. Ryan Arndt ’97 (physics) is taking a sabbatical in 2019 to travel with his wife and daughters (ages 11 and 8) in South America, Africa and Nepal. “The independence and
Hannah Groshong A New Routine: Exploring the Transition into Adulthood for Individuals with Special Needs Japan, China, Jordan, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany
Dustin Zubke Chasing the Sun: Solar Power Across Cultures Germany, Spain, Australia, China, India
Priya Donti ’15 in Japan
Ryan Arndt ’97 at Waterford Crystal in Ireland
Christian Stevens The Natural Attorneys of the Poor: Bridges of Trust between Marginalized Communities and Medicine Malawi, China, The Republic of Congo, and Russia
exposure to different cultures had a profound impact,” says Arndt, a part-time middle school teacher who spent his Watson year in Italy, Ireland and the Czech Republic exploring the art of glassblowing among European cultures. Irish musicians warmly welcomed David Abe ’81 (engineering) during his time in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to investigate Irish traditional music. At the Conradh na Gaeilge, a pub in Dublin where Abe took informal Irish music sessions, he met and became close friends with Frankie Kennedy (flute) and Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (fiddle), primary school teachers who would go on to found Altan, one of the most popular bands in Irish traditional music. “Through them and others, I developed a lasting passion for the northern style of fiddle music.” Since 1982, Abe and his wife have visited Ireland regularly. “A big highlight is reconnecting with old friends,” Abe says. “We’ve grown up together, seen each other get married, have kids and now grandkids—all while playing our share of tunes along the way.” Now branch head at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C., Abe says, “My Watson year really impressed upon me the power of music to transcend borders and cultures.” Music—a popular interest among Watson winners—is certainly universal. It turns out, so are unicycles. Veerasak Srisuknimit ’12
(chemistry) took the Harvey Mudd tradition to a new level after being awarded a Watson Fellowship to explore the connections among unicycling, cultures and science. “I spent a year traveling with my unicycle and experiencing unicycling cultures around the world,” says Srisuknimit. “I went to what is basically a unicycling olympics in Italy and took part in a 100-km relay race. With five unicycles, I started a unicycling club at a school in Ghana. I tried to learn skateboard tricks for unicycling in Brazil but failed miserably. I trained with a team of children in Japan, where we performed figure skating on unicycles.” Srisuknimit says the Watson has inspired him to enjoy teaching something fun and exciting even if it’s a difficult subject. He is finishing a PhD in chemistry at Harvard University, where he’s studying the enzyme that allows MRSA to become an antibioticresistant superbug. “I find that teaching someone to ride a unicycle is often a lot more challenging than teaching organic chemistry. Both are equally fun and exciting, of course.” After half a century, the Watson Fellowship continues to shape and reward its recipients both during and long after their adventurous year.
David Abe ’81
For HMC fellows’ full stories, see hmc.edu/academics/hmc-watson-fellows David Somers ’87 and Sangay Sherpa, Mt. Everest
“ I spent a year traveling with
my unicycle and experiencing unicycling cultures around the world. ” Veerasak Srisuknimit ’12 Veerasak Srisuknimit ’12 in Milan, Italy
Priya Donti Smart Grids: Policies, People, and a New Pulse Germany, India, South Korea, Chile, Japan
Sophia Williams Listening to Those Who Know: How Can We End Poverty? Jordan, India, Kenya, Greece, Chile
Natasha Allen Switching On: The Pursuit of Universal Access to Energy Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia
Dina Sinclair High School Math Contests: Gender, Culture and Access Brazil, Argentina, Senegal, China, Japan, Finland, Bulgaria
Lam Hunyh Vietnamese Diaspora: Counterspace Through Dance France, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Australia
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Climate Change Symphony Music has the power to move people. These musicians believe it will move them to act. Written by Melanie A. Farmer | Photography by Anil Kapahi
WHEN ONE’S MULTIFACETED PERSONA INCLUDES
statistician, scientist, wife, mother and musician, adding yet another might seem overwhelming. But Susan Lubetkin ’94 has mastered the interdisciplinary life and has taken on what may be her most challenging role yet: activist. During the last few years, Lubetkin and a close friend have been orchestrating a climate change revolution. Terra Nostra (Our Earth), a 30-minute multi– media symphony about climate change, grew out of Lubetkin’s combined passion for symphonic music and science. In collaboration with composer,
conductor and friend, Christophe Chagnard, Lubetkin set out in 2013 on a mission to produce a symphony that translates the global and local implications of climate change through music, poetry and powerful imagery. The work debuted in 2015 in Seattle as part of the 20th anniversary season of the Lake Union Civic Orchestra (LUCO). Since then, she and Chagnard have continued to work on Terra Nostra, securing rights to images, brainstorming ways that the 30-minute production can be used for education and for climate advocacy, and working on a professional recording for wide release.
or Lubetkin, a LUCO veteran and one of the first graduates of the HMC biology program, the motivation behind Terra Nostra stems from her desire to communicate science in a “non-science” way. Information about the impact of climate change has not been easily accessible to everyone, she says, and it should be. “When scientists talk about glacial loss and what a change of 2 degrees Celsius means over decades, it doesn’t really help,” says Lubetkin, referring to the 2 degrees of warming that scientists regard as the point at which climate change becomes dangerous. “The American public doesn’t think in Celsius. Most of us are never going to see a live polar bear. This all can be fleetingly emotional, and the images we’ve seen on climate change impact can feel distant and not relevant.” Lubetkin, who is a longtime member of LUCO and plays the cello in Terra Nostra, considers music fundamental to her being. She began playing the violin in the fourth grade, then switched to the cello a year later. She played throughout her college years, including with the Claremont Concert Orchestra, and during her graduate school years studying quantitative ecology and resource management at the University of Washington. Lubetkin got the idea for Terra Nostra after playing Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony, which is about the horrors of war. She recalls saying, “We need to have a symphony like this about climate change.” Galvanized, Lubetkin sent Chagnard an email with the subject line, “Totally nuts, probably impossible, poorly formed idea … and a dinner invitation.” After working for 20 years with Chagnard, music director at LUCO, former faculty member at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and co-founder and music director of the Northwest Sinfonietta, Lubetkin knew he was the right person to bring her idea to life. He took 18 months to conduct research on climate change and compose Terra Nostra. “The piece is very structured and deals with the notion of time and how phenomena, such as glacier disappearance and prolonged drought, are now occurring at a faster rate,” says Chagnard. “Time is no longer on our side, and I wanted to convey this sense of vital urgency.” Chagnard and Lubetkin launched a Kickstarter campaign to broaden the reach of Terra Nostra (terranostra.org), and they met the fundraising goal. (She notes that Mudders were fabulous supporters.)
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
“M usic is incredibly powerful at expressing huge
social concerns. We get to explore these big, deep, emotional subjects through music, which reaches people in a way that nothing else does. ” SUSAN LUBETKIN ’94
Terra Nostra creators scientist/musician Susan Lubetkin and composer/ conductor Christophe Chagnard
address. Climate change is one of those issues.” In addition to Terra Nostra, Lubetkin has been researching the stated risk estimates of large oil spills in the Arctic as a case study of how scientific research is contracted out, vetted and used in policy making. This work led to a larger examination of how scientific research is reviewed in environmental impact statements, where only 30 percent of research cited is from peer-reviewed journals. Lubetkin’s paper, “The tip of the iceberg: a case study review of grey literature used in environmental impact assessment,” underscores her belief that scientists need to hold their peers accountable. During her postdoc in oceanography, Lubetkin
409 PARTS PER MILLION
DEGREES FAHRENHEIT SINCE 1880
Carbon dioxide levels in the air are at their highest in 650,000 years.
Seventeen of the 18 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001.
In 2012, arctic summer sea ice shrank to the lowest extent on record.
and her colleagues often met for a working lunch, and the conversation would inevitably turn to the impact of climate change on the scientists’ work. “All of us recognized what was happening and were frustrated. It was just scientists talking to scientists, which is the choir preaching to the choir. I realized we needed to deliver the message beyond the choir.” Terra Nostra is one scientist’s effort to do so. “Music is incredibly powerful at expressing huge social concerns,” says Lubetkin. “We get to explore these big, deep, emotional subjects through music, which reaches people in a way that nothing else does.”
MILLIMETERS PER YEAR Global average sea level has risen nearly 7" over the past 100 years.
They hope it will appeal to schools and community groups as well as to local and state-level advocacy programs. In future iterations of the climate change symphony, Lubetkin envisions communities adding their own poetry and images from their surroundings, essentially building a customized symphony about how climate change is impacting them. “We want to help people answer three questions about climate change for themselves: What does climate change really mean? Why should I care now? and What can I do?,” adds Chagnard. “Very few issues touch nearly every life on this planet, human and otherwise, and will require a global effort to
ZERO REASONS The future of transportation is electric, and Motiv CEO James Castelaz is leading the way. Written by Leslie Mertz
JUST THREE YEARS AFTER GRADUATING FROM HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
with a double major in engineering and economics, James Castelaz ’06 started a company that is now the U.S. market leader in transforming fossil fuel-guzzling trucks and buses into zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs). In 2017, the Silicon Valley Business Journal recognized Castelaz’s meteoric rise by naming him one of its “40 Under 40,” citing his leadership as founder and CEO of the 55-employee company, Motiv Power Systems, which holds six patents and five patents pending for power system innovations to enable the shift from diesel and gas to electric power. Harvey Mudd College Magazine caught up with Castelaz at Motiv’s new headquarters in Foster City, California, to find out how he made the leap from student to successful entrepreneur in little more than a decade and what’s new in the quickly evolving field of EVs.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
HMC Magazine: Why did you focus on making
Regenerative Braking Recaptures energy to extend range and reduces wear and tear on brake components.
buses and trucks, the so-called medium-duty vehicles, run on electricity?
Motor Six-phase, permanent-magnet, synchronous axial flux AC motor for powerful, smooth acceleration.
Battery EPIC chassis are battery agnostic allowing for different battery technologies and chemistries. EPIC chassis also utilize automotive batteries which keep purchase and replacement costs low.
Castelaz: About 80 percent of trucks and buses out
there are fantastic candidates for electrification— that includes everything from school buses and shuttle buses to delivery vans and garbage trucks— because they have a set route that brings them back to the depot every night. That overcomes two of the biggest obstacles to electrification: range anxiety and charge infrastructure. The only remaining problem was the total cost of ownership relative to a combustion vehicle, but now that battery prices have dropped dramatically over the past year, payback periods are down to about three years, and that is a huge enabler for the industry. HMC Magazine: Motiv designed its chassis, called
the electric powered intelligent chassis (EPIC), to easily replace a diesel- or gas-powered chassis. How does that work? Castelaz: EPIC uses a proven platform—like Ford’s
E450 and F59 platforms—but is an electric version of those chassis that can drop right into a truck or bus manufacturer’s assembly line and replace their gas or diesel chassis with essentially no need for re-engineering.
Charger Adaptable connector for easy field replacement capable of supporting 25 kilowatt charging.
Adaptive Power Converter (APC) APCs keep batteries balanced and at optimal charge for long service life and great performance.
HMC Magazine: What role does the “intelligent”
part of EPIC play in EVs? Castelaz: Because we’re running on electricity
instead of combustion, we have many more “knobs” to turn within the software. With Motiv’s EV software, we can actively manage power flow between all of the vehicle’s electrical components, and monitor and analyze vehicle data, including battery charge, to stay on top of maintenance, so we can do a lot more than we could ever do with internal-combustion vehicles. Plus, if a fleet adds an electric truck this year, they’re going to find that over that truck’s lifetime, it’s going to get better and better at doing its job in terms of efficiency and safety, because of the software updates that we will continually push to all Motiv-powered vehicles.
to make the EV more efficient based on what its job is, who’s driving it and how the driver is driving it. HMC Magazine: Where did your interest in
engineering come from? Castelaz: My dad was an astrophysicist, and I
enjoyed using a telescope we would roll out of our garage and set up on the driveway of our home in Tennessee. As I got older, I realized I liked the science as discovery, but even more, I enjoyed figuring out how to make instruments work and how to develop the tools needed for those scientific pursuits. HMC Magazine: How did you wind up in
HMC Magazine: Can the software also “learn” how
to run more efficiently for individual drivers? Castelaz: My uncle lived in Orange County and Castelaz: We call that consideration management,
so yes, there are things we can do with the software
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
suggested Harvey Mudd, so I visited the College and thought this seemed like the right place for
me to learn about science, math and engineering. During my time there, I had some really great summer internships, including one working for Professor Dick Haskell [Burton G. Bettingen Professor of Physics] and helping him develop an optical coherence microscope. I also did instrument development during a couple of summer internships at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and I enjoyed that too. HMC Magazine: How did you become an
entrepreneur? Castelaz: I realized that I liked working on these
interesting engineering projects, and I began to think about pursuing my own engineering consulting practice. That led me to the conclusion that I should probably get a PhD, so I went to Stanford University, but then decided to take a leave of absence from grad school and try my hand at entrepreneurship full-time.
I see school districts with school buses that are using Motiv's technology, so we are helping kids get to school without being exposed to the carcinogens that are present with combustion vehicles.
JAMES CASTELAZ ’06
My first try was a company that focused on electric transit buses for the Chinese market, but it didn’t work for a number of reasons. After that, in 2009, I started Motiv. I recruited some of the technical team from that original company, including a couple of my classmates from Harvey Mudd and a couple from Stanford, and began focusing on platform technology—patented battery solutions and the software program—that any truck or bus manufacturer could use to easily build electric versions of their diesel trucks and buses. HMC Magazine: Why was electric power such a
better than I found it and do it in a very concrete way that I can be excited about.” HMC Magazine: Do you get that feeling? Castelaz: I do. I see school districts with school
buses that are using Motiv’s technology, so we are helping kids get to school without being exposed to the carcinogens that are present with combustion vehicles. As a parent myself with four kids, that’s pretty satisfying. Plus, I can look at the carbon that’s being saved by using these EVs, and I can feel good about that too.
lower-maintenance truck and bus fleets, and now we are at this amazing inflection point in the market where we can make the economics work. At Motiv, we are in a strong growth phase, both hiring a lot and increasing production capacity. We’re actively looking for Mudd alums. I think the liberal, interdisciplinary education at Mudd is a great preparation for Motiv and the EV industry. And now we also have some interesting nextgeneration technology products in our pipeline to substantially decrease costs while increasing performance. For the industry and at Motiv, it’s a very exciting time.
HMC Magazine: What’s next for large-vehicle EVs, Castelaz: For me, this was an opportunity to marry
what I thought I was pretty good at, which was electrical engineering, to a global problem. It was something where I could do a gut check and say, “If I dedicate my career to this, I can feel like I’m using my talents in a way that’s going to leave my world
and for Motiv in particular? Castelaz: I think EVs in general are poised to really
take off over the next three to five years. There is big interest through the whole automotive world around EVs. Companies want cleaner, quieter,
Save the Date: Alumni Weekend May 3–5, 2019 Return to campus and join the alliance for Alumni Weekend 2019
Mudders from near and far, far away are invited. There will be special celebrations for the Class of 1969 (50th reunion) as well as for reunion year classes ending in “4” and “9.” Awaken the force within your friend group and return to campus to share memories and catch up on the latest campus sagas. Come solo if you like, but don’t go rogue—complete the online interest form and receive a discount code for $10 off your registration. Online registration opens in January. Four of the undergraduate Claremont colleges (HMC, Pitzer, Pomona and Scripps) share this weekend. Hotel rooms, quickly they go.
More info at alumni.hmc.edu/alumni-weekend
Mudd Travels: Alps and Oberammergau The Oberammergau Passion Play dates to 1634 and is regarded as the most important Passion Play in the world. Performed only once every 10 years in an open-air theater with a cast of nearly 2,000 Oberammergau residents, the iconic performance brings to life the story of Christ in an epic event. It’s just one of the many experiences planned for this trip through Alpine regions of Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. Another highlight: a ride on the legendary Glacier Express, the king of all panoramic
Family Weekend 2019 Feb. 8–9 Meet with faculty and staff and participate in fun activities, like racing balloon-powered cars with your student. Visit the Family Weekend website to register and find more information.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
trains, taking its riders over spectacular bridges and through several tunnels, reaching 2,033 meters above sea level at its highest point and offering an unparalleled view of the Swiss Alps. Pricing starts at $6,999, including air. Visit the trip website for more information and registration details.
An Invitation from AABOG The Alumni Association Board of Governors (AABOG) is the governing body of the Alumni Association and serves as the representative body for alumni within the Harvey Mudd community. The AABOG meets four times each year, and all alumni are welcome to attend.
The next AABOG meeting is Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019.
ALUM N I P R O F IL E
Often Faster, Extremely Useful but Not Smarter
Alumnus maintains that humans still have the mental edge over computers Written by Mara Watkins
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, A RECURRING CHARACTER
in dystopic and utopian sci-fi novels for generations, now plays a starring role in everyday life. From smart speakers to spell check, Siri to social media, artificial intelligence has become integrated with the human experience. Perhaps it’s because AI technology has made life easier and better in enough ways that many people have grown to trust the technology fairly completely. Gary Smith ’67 (mathematics) is not one of those people. In fact, he warned that placing too much trust in computers and big data and not enough in human judgment is dangerous, and comes with serious societal consequences. Smith, the Fletcher Jones Professor of Economics at Pomona College, spoke in September at Claremont McKenna College on the subject of his latest book, The AI Delusion. He has written extensively on financial topics and his statistical and financial research has been featured widely, including in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Much of his research focus—he received his PhD in economics from Yale—has been dedicated to debunking dubious uses of data in statistical analysis. A primary purpose of his new book, he said, “is to try to educate the public so they are not so overawed by AI. That just because a computer program says something, does not mean it is true.” Computers are “extremely useful tools,” Smith acknowledged and admitted his daily reliance on them to do calculations and simulations. However, he suggested examining the “delusion” that computers are smarter than humans. He explained that in the early development of computers there was a practical shift away from trying to program computers to “think” like humans to a design that allowed computers “to complete useful and profitable tasks.” As a result, computers do not understand the world as humans do, nor do they know context; computers “see” by matching pixels
and by looking for patterns. Smith provided numerous examples of computers getting it wrong, such as when a computer camera fails to recognize a roadside stop sign when a small sticker is affixed to its surface. His book also recognizes research by some computer scientists who are programming computers to think and learn more like humans in order to help combat these issues. Data mining is another area that can be very problematic, said Smith. He noted, “The thing about data mining, is that we think that patterns are unusual and therefore meaningful. In fact, patterns are inevitable and therefore meaningless. The bigger the data, the more likely it is that a discovered pattern is meaningless. The more data you have to ransack, the more likely it is that you will find coincidental, transitory correlations,” he said. Smith gave the example of algorithms being used to make bail and sentencing decisions in criminal court, removing human oversight and critical thinking about individual cases. “To send someone to jail for seven years because the AI algorithm said they ought to go for seven years—it’s preposterous.” Smith remarked that if we mistakenly believe that computers are smarter than people, we run the risk of using them to make unchecked and important decisions affecting our lives.
For Smith’s book, see: bit.ly/2SeJbAT View Smith’s Sept. 18, 2018 Athenaeum talk at bit.ly/GSmith92418
1972 Randy Hanvelt (engineering)
is featured on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Profiles in Service (http://bit.ly/Hanvelt18). He is Public Lands Steering Committee chair and supervisor for Tuolumne County, California. A retired global executive (General Electric Co.), Randy, who’s been married to wife, Gloria, for over 50 years, shares that the most adventurous thing he’s ever done was “Race Hawaiian outrigger canoes across the Catalina Channel three times.” Learn more about Randy at http://bit.ly/Hanvelt18. For his long-term, visionary and dedicated service, ACM SIGGRAPH recognized Scott Owen (chemistry) with the 2018 Outstanding Service Award. A member since 1980, he has held various leadership positions within SIGGRAPH, a professional organization for those interested in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Scott was recognized for expanding the Education Committee’s size and number of activities, establishing the SIGGRAPH Conference Educators Program as well as a series of joint Computer Graphics Education Workshops with Eurographics. He was also chair of the organization’s largest conference to date (1997). Scott is a professor emeritus of computer science at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Washington with a dissertation in computational chemistry. He did a two-year post-doc at Georgia Tech and then became a professor of chemistry at Atlanta University where his research interests were in biophysical chemistry. In 1984, he moved to Georgia State University in computer science. His primary interests are in applications of computers and in the use of computer graphics in science and computer science education.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Six members of the Class of 1972 reunited at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, in June 2018 for the occasion of the marriage of Matthew Tunnell, son of Jerry Tunnell. Pictured: Jerry, Floyd Spencer, Don Rodriguez, Rick Greer, Ted Cox, and Dick Jones.
1982 As part of a program to support first-generation students at Northern Illinois University, Ralph Wheeler (chemistry), professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at NIU, described his academic journey. “For decades, I would work 60- to 80-hour weeks,” he said. “I know what it means to be dirt poor and stressed about not knowing whether you’ll go back to school. I tell people all the time education is the only true way I know out of poverty.” Read Ralph’s full story at bit.ly/RWfirst-gen18.
1983 Airbus Americas appointed Amanda Simpson (physics) as its new vice president, research and technology. In this role, Amanda is responsible for establishing the strategic direction and funding opportunities for partnerships with scientific and research communities in North America. She was named an HMC Outstanding Alumna earlier this year.
Scott Gibson (engineering) switched to using his right-half brain at Gibson Outdoor Photography (GibsonOutdoorPhoto.com) and is loving it. He took this photo at Channel Islands National Park, California.
1981 For the website CNBC Make It, Jennifer Holmgren (chemistry) describes why being an introvert is good for business. “The advantage, I think, of being an introvert is you listen more. You think before you speak, often, which means that you’re listening, and I think that’s important,” she says. Jennifer, a 2016 HMC Outstanding Alumna, is CEO of the innovative biotech company LanzaTech. Read the full article at http://bit.ly/Holmgren918. In other news, the first batch of LanzaTech jet fuel was used in October for the very first time on a commercial flight—Virgin Atlantic’s VS16 flight from Orlando to London Gatwick, operated by a Boeing 747 aircraft.
The wife/husband team of Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn (physics) and their colleagues from
JILA, a joint-institute of the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU Boulder) and the National Institute for Standards and Technology, won one of three Governor’s Awards for High-Impact Research. They were recognized for their years of efforts to wrangle X-ray light. The group debuted the world’s first tabletop X-ray laser in 2007. Today, these devices can shoot out pulses of radiation at a millionth of a billionth of a second—fast enough for scientists to image molecules in the act of forming and breaking
chemical bonds. In addition to peering at the workings of atoms, such lasers may also enable new types of semiconductors and medical technologies like CT scans. To commercialize their inventions, Murnane and Kapteyn launched the company KMLabs in the 1990s. The couple also help to lead the STROBE National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. Among other activities, STROBE supports undergraduate students at six universities, including CU Boulder, to “advance imaging science and technology and build the microscopes of the future.” “The quantum technologies and microscopes that the STROBE team and our group are developing are allowing us to understand how advanced materials work—the materials that will be used for next-generation energy-efficient and lightweight nanotechnologies,” said Murnane and Kapteyn, both professors in the Department of Physics at CU Boulder. “We are also passionate about growing high-tech employment opportunities in Colorado.”
1987 Chris Donnelly (engineering) is chief of staff to the
president at Overstock.com. Chris has spent his career innovating at the intersection of product and strategy for both Fortune 500 companies and startups. He brings his over 25 years of experience to his position through which he’ll work to reinforce Overstock’s brand identity and customer journey. Prior to joining Overstock, Chris was chief strategy officer and chief product officer for Oakley where he had P&L responsibility for the $1.9 billion optics, apparel, and accessories company. Also, he was Nike’s director of mergers and acquisitions, where he was instrumental in the acquisition of brands such as Converse, Hurley, Cole Hahn and Bauer, which represent more than $5 billion of Nike’s annual revenues. He also was a manager at Bain & Company where he led teams in the private equity, technology and consumer goods sectors for eight years. Chris has also founded and sold three startups focusing on online consumer data management, innovation consulting and technology. He earned an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
1998 Matthew Dharm (computer science) successfully
organization (now known as Parpro Systems) as chief technology officer until early 2017. He now works for Avnet Inc. as a technical specialist in Broadcom products.
2002 Kyle Lampe (physics) is VP of development for
StableGuard, which seeks to improve horse and rider performance by helping keep the animal healthy and injury-free. StableGuard acquired equine machine learning company Victory Parade, where Kyle was previously CEO. Victory Parade aimed to improve health outcomes for equine athletes by utilizing the latest computer vision and machine learning techniques. Kyle’s software career started early, at the age of 16 interning at Microsoft. After Harvey Mudd, he joined Microsoft full-time, and eventually led a team of developers on Windows Mobile. He left to lead development teams at Zumobi and SnapIn (acquired by Nuance). Returning to Microsoft, Kyle worked as the lead developer on Kinect Sesame Street TV. He was also the lead developer for the Xbox video editing and sharing platform Upload Studio. Prior to starting his own venture with Victory Parade, Kyle worked with Microsoft's Xbox One game streaming team.
2004 In September, Duane Loh (physics) spoke about computational lenses at an HMC Physics Colloquium. He outlined the basic principles of computational lenses in high resolution X-ray and electron microscopy, showed examples of their applications, described new applications that his research group is developing and speculated on the limitations and opportunities in high resolution X-ray and electron microscopy.
2005 The Research Corporation and the Heising-Simons Foundation selected Andrew Wetzel (physics) to be a Scialog Fellow. As part of this early-career investigator fellowship, he joined 50 fellows at the May 2018 Scialog conference on Time Domain Astrophysics in Tuscon, Arizona. Andrew is an assistant professor of physics at UC Davis, where the focus of his research is theoretical astrophysics and cosmology.
(mathematics), who is pursuing a second career as a professional opera singer, was featured for her prowess in historical costuming. Opera Santa Barbara, with whom she is spending the 2018-2019 season as a Chrisman Studio Artist, shared her story in a web article. She describes how she sewed her first costume—“a Renaissance Faire-type gown”—for Halloween and was hooked. “There is a lot of planning and patience involved in the crafting of each costume, but there is also a wonderful sense of relaxation and contentment that comes over me when I sit at the sewing machine for hours, pinning and basting, fitting and sewing.” Read how she does it at http://bit.ly/Lindsay818.
Esteban Molina-Estolano (computer science) was one
of 52 alumni from the four colleges who joined about 60 current students for a day of rehearsals and an evening concert in Claremont in September. This choir reunion for alums from the 1970s to the present was organized by the Joint Music Program. Other Harvey Mudd alumni in attendance were James Au ’81, Heather Audesirk ’11, Melissa Banister ’04, Jack Beers ’70, Whitney Campbell ’79, Steve Ferrier ’78, Ken Kubo ’88, Amber Liggett ’98, John MacDonald ’85
and Jim Wall ’80.
sold his business (JumpGen Systems) to Parpro Inc. in October 2014. He remained with the new
Berkeley, where he’s been five years, studying the electronic structure and dynamics of disordered semiconductors. He focuses on those that are potentially applicable for plastic electronics (especially solar cells). He expects to work in industry on problems related to renewable energy. An NSF graduate research fellowship winner, Brendan has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters and the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
PhD at University of Santa Barbara.
Heather Justice (computer Michelle DeRienzo (engineering) and Chris Gage (physics) were married Sept. 8 at Britt Scripps Manor in San Diego. They would like to give a big shout out to Case Dorm, the place where they met, bonded and fell in love!
Mary Moore-Simmons (engineering) hosted a casual
After HMC, Brendan Folie (physics) joined the Peace Corps and worked for two years as a high school physics teacher in rural Ghana. After returning to the states, he began a PhD in physics at UC
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Physics alumni Marisol Beck, Kathleen Kohl and Casey (Bryce) Cannon ’16, returned to campus for a Physics Colloquium to discuss their post-Mudd experience in the workforce.
to share his company’s unique approach to selfdriving technology. Sean describes May Mobility Inc. as a fast-growing startup focused on deploying technology, establishing customer relationships and paving the way to safe and practical self-driving transportation solutions. Sean said, “We have vehicles operating today servicing actual customers in real-world settings. We are opening service to the general public within months and offering long-term transportation solutions.”
Xinyue (Amber) Cai (physics) is pursuing a physics
happy hour in Denver for local alumni.
Sean Messenger (engineering) returned to campus
Maxsim Gibiansky (physics) and Nichol Chontofalsky, both of Belmont, California, married Oct. 13 in St. Louis. Nichol is a 2009 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Maxsim received a PhD from UCLA. He works at Apple in Cupertino, California.
science) was selected by Robohub for its list “Women in Robotics You Need to Know About 2018.” Heather is a Mars Exploration Rover driver and software engineer at NASA JPL. As a 16-year-old watching the first Rover landing on Mars, she said: “I saw just how far robotics could take us, and I was inspired to pursue my interests in computer science and engineering.” Heather earned her M.S. from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in 2011, interned at three different NASA centers, and has worked in a variety of research areas including computer vision, mobile robot path planning, and spacecraft flight rule validation.
Miranda Parker (computer science), Edward Wang ’12 (engineering) and William Koven ’12
(engineering) attended the sixth annual, weeklong Heidelberg Laureate Forum along with 200 young researchers and more than 30 laureates in computer science and math. Edward and Miranda were young researchers, and William was a guest.
Have you changed jobs? Retired? Celebrated a milestone? We want your news! We compile information from a variety of public sources: campus event notices, newspaper and magazine articles, press releases and Google alerts. Please submit updates to email@example.com.
| Academic Year 2017–2018
Harvey Mudd is on a mission … TO INVEST IN PEOPLE, PROGRAMS AND PLACES THAT WILL ADVANCE THE COLLEGE’S STRATEGIC VISION.
RAISED AS OF JUNE 30, EXCEEDING THE $150 MILLION GOAL FOR THE CAMPAIGN FOR HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE.
TO MAINTAIN A COMMUNITY OF DIVERSE
TO CHAMPION DIVERSITY MC graduates highest-ever percentage of women physics and H computer science majors. A ndrew W. Mellon Foundation supports HMC’s Strategic Vision 2020 with Presidential Leadership Program grant, providing opportunities to increase racial and gender diversity among faculty and to review the Core Curriculum. K apor Center for Social Impact grant funds study about equitable access to computing careers.
TO EDUCATE A NEW GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS AND MATHEMATICIANS PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL FELLOWSHIPS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
1 Astronaut Scholarship 1 American Association for Cancer Research Undergraduate Scholar Award
STUDENTS OF EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY: CLASS OF 2022
TO EXPLORE AND MAKE NEW DISCOVERIES
MC physics researchers discover “optical blasting,” which H could lead to new ways of modifying material properties.
iologists create XenoGI, software to study history of genomic B island insertions in a clade of microbes.
COUNTRIES OUTSIDE THE U.S.
RANKED TOP 10 PERCENT OF HIGH SCHOOL CLASS
Engineers develop new technology for finding, mapping and visualizing undiscovered shipwreck.
F EM A L E
TO ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
F or second-straight year, engineering students win regional American Production and Inventory Control Society competition.
est Undergraduate Engineering Program B –U.S. News and World Report (tied with Rose-Hulman)
Career Placement No. 1 Best –Princeton Review
Value Colleges for Science Majors No. 1 Best –PayScale
Salary No. 1 Mid-career –PayScale
Society LeRoy Apker Award
5 N ational Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (2 students, 3 alumni)
1 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship
TO PROVIDE FACULTY AND STUDENTS WITH UNPARALLELED RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES
TO EXCEL AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS A gain, HMC is top-scoring undergraduate institution in William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition.
1 A merican Physical
TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE ON AND OFF CAMPUS HMC partners with Girls Who Code for new summer program, Campus. IMMERSION program equips elementary school teachers to teach mathematical modeling. Global Clinic students employ community-centered design to improve drainage channels in a Nairobi, Kenya settlement.
P hysicists conduct quantum mechanics research on the Canary Islands. SF grant supports “REU Site: Data Science in N the Life Sciences, Environmental Science and Engineering.” ver $2.5 million in government and private grants O to faculty members.
TO EMBRACE SUSTAINABILITY MC receives Sustainability Tracking, Assessment H & Rating System bronze rating for sustainability performance.
ANNUAL REPORT | ACADEMIC YEAR 2017–2018
THIS ISSUE OF THE HMC MAGAZINE IS ARRIVING
just prior to the official end of The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College, which began in 2011 and will conclude on Dec. 31, 2018. Having surpassed our original $150 million goal last December, the campaign reached $165.8 million as of June 30, 2018, with $18.8 million being added during the 2017–2018 fiscal year alone. One notable success last year was the $17 million committed in just over three months from our alumni and parent communities—and from more than half of our board of trustees—that allowed the board to greenlight the final design and construction of the Scott A. McGregor Computer Science Center. As you likely have heard, this exciting new three-story academic building will not only house the growing Computer Science Department—including offices, research labs, teaching labs and dedicated Clinic space—but also a full-scale, multidisciplinary makerspace.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
BY MARIA KLAWE, PRESIDENT, AND LAURA LARSON P20, VICE CHAIR, HMC BOARD OF TRUSTEES ADVANCEMENT COMMITTEE
For more information on the project and ways to contribute, please visit: hmc.edu/building. A ceremonial groundbreaking is scheduled during Alumni Weekend (Saturday, May 4), and construction begins during summer 2019 with a projected opening in spring 2021. The McGregor Center will join the R. Michael Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning and the Wayne ’73 and Julie Drinkward Residence Hall as one of three beautiful, new facilities that were funded during the campaign. Coinciding with the end of the campaign, we are planning a series of celebrations throughout the spring. We’d like to thank all who contributed, highlight the many ways the campaign has transformed our campus and show how we can build on this success to further strengthen our College. On-campus events will be held Saturday, Jan. 26, and also during Family Weekend and Alumni Weekend. Regional events are planned for Los Angeles, Orange County/San Diego, the Bay Area, Seattle, Chicago and New York. See hmc.edu/ campaign-celebration. As a result of our ambitious campaign and generous donors, we have seen real change across campus. For example, campaign gifts have created and supported 11 endowed faculty positions, 75 endowed scholarships and awards, 46 annual scholarships, and 23 endowed summer research funds and have provided additional support for curricular innovation, community engagement, student support programs, music and arts, and important renovations, including those to the Clinic space, Galileo Auditoria, chemistry instructional labs and Platt Campus Center. Giving to the Annual Mudd Fundd (AMF)— another key area of support for the College— provides funding for the College’s greatest needs, including financial aid, the President’s Scholars Program, annual named scholarships and departmental operating funds. Last year, AMF gifts
totaled $4.17 million, which represented 7 percent of our operating budget. We value every gift we receive and have been particularly pleased to see the number of Annual Giving Leadership Society members (those giving $1,000+, or less for younger alumni) increase from 16 percent of all donors in 2014–2015 to 24 percent in 2017–2018. These gifts from nearly a quarter of our AMF donors represent 93 percent of our total AMF gifts. Each year, we enjoy engaging with our alumni and parents at a number of regional and international events as well as on campus during Alumni Weekend and Family Weekend. Over the past several years we’ve seen a steady increase of alumni and parents returning to campus, and we are now pleased to consistently welcome 700 to 800 alumni and guests at Alumni Weekend and 300 to 400 parents and guests at Family Weekend. Regional events in more than 15 cities in the U.S. and abroad offered alumni and parents valuable opportunities to connect with each other and with HMC faculty and staff. Nearly 30 additional regional events were hosted by alumni, parents and trustees and included several regional gatherings to view the 2017 North American solar eclipse, a Tahoe ski weekend, whale watching and aquarium visits in Monterey Bay, networking events in New York City for financial sector alumni, and dinner in London for European Mudders. On behalf of Harvey Mudd College, we want to express our sincere appreciation to all who support the College. Our students, alumni, parents, trustees and friends never cease to amaze with their generosity fueled by a shared belief in the value of HMC’s longstanding mission. Harvey Mudd is founded on philanthropy, and your continued partnership will always play a huge role in everything we are able to accomplish. What we achieve, we achieve together. Thank you for being a part of our bold mission.
Fiscal Year 2017–2018 Activity All Gifts Received for FY 2017–2018
Gifts from Individuals
TOTAL AS OF JUNE 30, 2018
OTHER INDIVIDUALS, 30%
TOTAL RAISED IN FY 17/18
FACULTY & STAFF, 2%
OTHER ORGANIZATIONS, 1%
TOTAL RAISED FROM CURRENT TRUSTEES IN FY 17/18
Philanthropic Giving by Fiscal Year
Annual Mudd Fundd
Designated/Restricted Endowment Non-endowment Realized Bequests
Total Philanthropic Giving
ANNUAL REPORT | ACADEMIC YEAR 2017–2018
Harvey Mudd College ended the fiscal year with assets of approximately $501 million. This total is comprised primarily of investments of $351 million and of land, buildings and equipment of $122 million. Liabilities of $58 million consist primarily of long-term notes and bonds payable, accounts payable and accrued liabilities. During the 2017–2018 fiscal year, total net assets increased by $30 million. This increase in net assets resulted primarily from gains in the investment pool. As of June 30, 2018, net assets totaled $444 million in three net asset categories: 1) unrestricted (those over which the College has discretion) of $157 million, 2) temporarily restricted (those given to the College for a specific purpose) of $135 million, and 3) permanently restricted (those given to the College to be held in perpetuity) of $152 million.
The endowment market value increased to $317 million at year-end, representing an equivalent of $377,611 per student. Endowment payout supported 21 percent of the College’s operating budget during the fiscal year. The College’s investment pool was well-positioned to capture gains in the broad market. The performance return was 10.4 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, primarily due to gains in global equity investments. The performance of the College’s investment pool this past year generates additional resources to support donorspecified areas, including scholarships, research, faculty support and more.
The College is happy to report strong financial results for this fiscal year and an excellent overall financial position, with the endowment reaching an all-time high. This provides material resources to support the educational mission of this unique institution. With that strong financial foundation, the College looks ahead to the construction of the Scott A. McGregor Computer Science Center and the educational opportunities that this amazing new facility will provide. We look forward to breaking ground soon and to the continued transformation of the College’s facilities.
Financial Operations Total revenues for fiscal year 2017–2018 were $81 million, which includes continued strong support of the College through gifts and grants. Total expenses for 2017–2018 were approximately $67 million. For the year ending June 30, 2018, the College experienced an operating budget surplus after transfers to high priority areas, as approved by the Budget and Financial Planning Committee of the board of trustees. The key factors influencing the positive operating surplus included net student revenues, additional investment income and savings from several temporarily vacant positions.
$317 Million ENDOWMENT MARKET VALUE
WRITTEN BY ANDREW DORANTES, VICE PRESIDENT FOR ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE/TREASURER
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Endowment Market Value
$316,815 $298,859 $283,696
JUNE 30, 2014
JUNE 30, 2015
JUNE 30, 2016
JUNE 30, 2017
The College’s audited financial statements are located online at: hmc.edu/bao/financial-affairs.
JUNE 30, 2018
NET STUDENT REVENUES
(IN THOUSANDS) 2018
Less financial aid
Net student revenue
Private gifts and grants
Tuition, fees, room and board
PRIVATE GIFTS AND GRANTS
(IN THOUSANDS) 2018
Pooled investment gains/(losses), net of endowment payout
Public service Academic support
Other changes in net assets
Change in Net Assets
ANNUAL REPORT | ACADEMIC YEAR 2017–2018
Up for the Challenge One of my favorite Harvey Mudd College Board of Trustees meetings is the one we hold each May during Commencement weekend. As an alumnus, I enjoy commencement with our graduates and their families. As a trustee, I value the privilege of approving the College’s spring candidates for graduation. For me and my fellow trustees, having the opportunity to make key decisions on issues affecting the HMC community is the chance to effect change in a meaningful, positive way, both now and for the future. Every college community faces challenges on the path of progress, and the way a community addresses them is what determines its success. I’m happy to say that the HMC community is adressing several important issues with careful consideration and with the explicit goal of excellence in education. The campus community’s work on the Core Curriculum is critical to ensuring the continued academic excellence of the Harvey Mudd experience. The work by the Faculty Executive Committee and the Core Review Planning Team to review and revise the College’s Core Curriculum continues, and the trustees are grateful to faculty participants for their leadership and commitment. The trustees would like to encourage everyone to find ways to get involved in these efforts in order to ensure many voices are heard. Challenging as it may seem, we are confident the faculty will maintain the rigor and demand of a Harvey Mudd education while nurturing students’ intellectual curiosity and joy of learning. Making sure that our students are supported throughout their academic journey continues to be a priority for everyone. During the College’s search for a new vice president for student affairs and dean of students, we sought out candidates with expertise in leading successful student affairs operations and a commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion. We’re pleased that Anna Gonzalez has all of these attributes and more (If you haven’t already, read more about her on the inside front cover.). She and her staff are guided by the vision of creating an accessible educational experience for all individuals
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
The campus community’s work to review and revise the Core Curriculum is critical to ensuring the continued academic excellence of the Harvey Mudd experience.
and helping students to become global leaders of the 21st century. Our community depends on student affairs to support our students in many ways, and having a strong student affairs division is imperative. As you are likely aware, The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College goal of $150 million was met and exceeded a year ahead of the December 2018 deadline. As of the printing of this report, the campaign total stands at $173,911,439. I look forward to celebrating this achievement with the HMC community in the new year. Generous campaign gifts from alumni, parents, friends and organizations support a range of priorities focused on continued strengthening of academic and student support programs as well as expanding and improving all facilities at Harvey Mudd College. Many of my fellow trustees, along with foundations, alumni, parents and friends contributed to the campaign. We owe a special thanks to board member Laurie Girand and her husband, Scott McGregor, for their generous support to name our newest building. The Scott A. McGregor Computer Science Center will be a place for collaborative learning and community building, and we look forward to beginning construction in summer 2019. During the academic year, the Harvey Mudd community was saddened by several deaths, including Sharon Blasgen SCR ’64, wife of trustee Michael Blasgen ’64 and longtime supporter of the College, as well as Earl Washington, trustee from 1995 to 2003, who helped lead campus diversity efforts. The untimely death of one of our students
was particularly difficult. We celebrate all that these and others have contributed to our community. Although many things have changed since the College’s founding, I am grateful that the core values of this institution, and our community’s commitment to the mission our founders crafted, remain strong. Overcoming challenges reminds us all why we—trustees, faculty and staff—devote our time to this great enterprise called Harvey Mudd College. Our students and graduates are the College’s greatest impact on society, and I am proud to see them go out into the world and continue to make it better.
Wayne Drinkward ’73 CHAIR, HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Donors on the Leading Edge
Leadership Annual Giving at Harvey Mudd College Each year, gifts to the Annual Mudd Fundd (AMF) are immediately put to work—accounting for 7 percent of the operating budget— providing critical support toward financial aid, scholarships, academic department operating budgets and the greatest needs of the College. During the seven years since the launch of The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College, more than $30 million has been contributed toward the AMF. We are appreciative of each and every gift, and have been particularly encouraged to see a steady increase of gifts occurring at the leadership level—contributions of $1,000 or more. This subset of donors has increased by 88 percent since 2011 and now accounts for over 90 percent of all AMF dollars received. While all gifts are important to the College, we are pleased to celebrate and recognize lead AMF donors as members of the Annual Giving Leadership Society at the following levels:
Supporting the Annual Mudd Fundd Through an Annual Named Scholarship To prepare our students to be tomorrow’s leaders, our financial aid program continually stretches to meet the financial needs of students so that their choice to attend Harvey Mudd is possible, regardless of their ability to pay. Annual named scholarships (ANS) provide critical financial support and can be created with a recurring gift of $5,000 or more. Essentially, your leadership-level gift of $5,000 or more annually is comparable to the yearly income from an endowed gift of $100,000. As an ANS donor, you have the opportunity to name your scholarship and receive scholarship reports with details of the specific student that you are supporting, along with personal notes from your scholar. If you are interested in learning more about creating an annual named scholarship, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
President’s Circle: $20,000+ Gold Level: $10,000–$19,999 Silver Level: $5,000–$9,999 Copper Level: $1,000–$4,999 Young Alumni Copper: $500 (5–9 years), $250 (1–4 years) In addition to ongoing recognition of those who invest in the Annual Mudd Fundd at the leadership level, we are deeply grateful for our legacy donors and loyal donors who support all areas of the College. Find the honor roll for the Annual Giving Leadership Society here: hmc.edu/leadership-giving
“No other institution comes close to offering as rounded and intense an education within a diverse yet close-knit community. The world needs more Mudders, more than ever before. The AMF is a great way to ensure Mudders have critical services they need to grow and thrive. We are grateful for the opportunity to support this committed institution and its amazing community.”
SCHOLARSHIP AND STUDENT FINANCIAL AID
YOUR ANNUAL MUDD FUNDD GIFTS AT WORK
–Dipika & Tarun Bhatia P19 Parent Leadership Council (shown above with sons Ronak ’19 and Jai)
“The solid academic foundation I received at HMC benefited me by giving me more options, both in my choice of graduate schools and in my career. Also, some of my ‘brothers in arms’ at HMC became my best friends in life. All of this would not have been possible without the generous financial aid that I received when I was attending Mudd. I am now giving to Mudd to continue this legacy of support that fosters the growth of students.” –David Chi-Ching Ho ’86 (mathematics) Alumni Volunteer
Harvey Mudd College 301 Platt Boulevard | Claremont, CA 91711 hmc.edu/magazine
Deep-Sea Surprise A series of quotidian events leads to a shallow-water biologist reluctantly taking a deep dive. Ocean currents carry her submersible vessel slightly off course. When the vessel lands, biology professor Catherine McFadden becomes one of the first humans to visit a massive, previously unconfirmed coral reef. Over the next several hours, McFadden and a colleague cruise over the unprecedented find: extensive reefs composed of the deep-sea stony coral, Lophelia pertusa. Take the dive with McFadden on page 9.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
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In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Watson Fellowship, HMC Fellows tell us about favorite memories from their yearlong adventures....
Published on Dec 21, 2018
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Watson Fellowship, HMC Fellows tell us about favorite memories from their yearlong adventures....