We Salute the Seniors Community Congratulates Class of 2020 | 20
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION AT HARVEY MUDD
RESEARCH AND CAPSTONE PROJECTS
THE ULTIMUDD GIFT GUIDE
A Space for Everyone Student Artists
Many end-of-spring-semester events pivoted from in-person to online this year, including Scripps College’s annual Senior Art Exhibition. Harvey Mudd College seniors Emily Zhao and Julia Read were among the artists who reinvented their artwork to fit a virtual presentation for the show “A part/Apart” (bit.ly/SSATG2020). Read, a double major in computer science and art, produced a participatory, procedurally generated landscape experience for her project, Inside and Out:
Exploring Self-Reflective Landscapes. In addition to the virtual display as part of the Scripps show, Read developed an interactive website where visitors can experience her landscapes in 360 degrees and create landscapes of their own. 1. “Procedural generation is a technique that is prominent in both the computer science world and the art world,” Read says. “In the tech world, procedural generation is a method of creating data that takes advantage of processing power and computer-generated randomness in order to function algorithmically instead of manually, typically combining human input and algorithms. In the art world, the
randomness and greater visibility obtained by using a system in the procedural generation process are present within generative art as well.” 2. Read says a key aspect of her work is that it is viewable online through affordable virtual reality technology. “I pursued online virtual reality art because I felt strongly about the way it democratizes the dissemination of information and artistic experience in addition to obstructing the commodification of art,” she says.
3. Because of the pandemic, Read says, “mandatory social distancing is closing down museums, opening up virtual galleries [like this online gallery] and driving art further toward a more digital norm. Now, more than ever, this project is a critique on the way we experience art as well as on accessibility within the art world. I sincerely hope that this shift in the art world also shifts the power dynamic within it, too.” 4. Interested in making her work participatory and exploring concepts of “relational aesthetics”—the tendency to make art based on, or inspired by, human relations and their social context—Read developed an interactive tool for procedural landscapes. Viewers are
invited to participate in Read’s project by responding to a series of questions—like, “Safe social connection is one of the best things for the mental health of ourselves and those close to us. Who will you connect with or check in on today?” The answers generate their own unique landscapes. 5. Read’s positive self-reflection experience is based on the concepts of impermanence, connection, empowerment, acceptance and gratitude. “The procedurally generated virtual landscapes are produced by randomized functions that are seeded with the responses obtained from the prompting questions,” she says. “I am exploring the option of
using natural language processing libraries in order to correlate responses more strongly with visual results.” Harvey Mudd College Communications staff generated this otherworldly landscape using a single word, repeated in response to each of Read’s questions. Can you guess the word?
V isit Read’s website at landscapes.juliahread.com
SUMMER 2020 | VOLUME 19, NO. 3
FROM THE PRESIDENT
What It’s Going to Take During fall convocation, our vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty Lisa Sullivan commented that “the key togetherness of Harvey Mudd College, that of partnership and learning, transcends physical boundaries.” I agree completely, especially after seeing the community in action this summer. After the challenge of pivoting to online learning late in the spring semester, our staff, students and faculty worked together all summer planning for possible scenarios for the fall: hybrid (with both remote and in-person learning) or fully remote, as well as all the details associated with each. Each week we waited for state and county officials to provide guidance to higher education, and we were constantly modifying our approaches as updates were released. By mid-August, we were prepared to have over 500 students living on campus. When the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health released its final guidelines for colleges and universities, we were forced to make our final pivot to online learning—not ideal, but necessary given the increasing number of cases in the county. I’m deeply grateful to all members of our community for how they have responded to these challenges as well as to their commitment to offering our students—in particular, another extraordinary first-year class (see page 5)—an exceptional learning environment that happens to be fully online. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work alongside expert colleagues daily as we have adapted to the new realities of these challenging times. I have been particularly impressed by the willingness and
The Harvey Mudd College Magazine is produced three times per year by the Office of Communications and Marketing. Director of Communications, Senior Editor Stephanie L. Graham, APR
enthusiasm of our faculty to re-engineer their courses and adapt them to new delivery methodologies. They have approached these challenges in true Harvey Mudd fashion—evaluating efforts from the spring transition to online learning and using that information to develop new and even more innovative approaches for fall. We’ve welcomed new faculty members this fall (page 8) as well as a new board of trustees chair (page 7) Jim Bean ’77, a math alumnus, longtime trustee and experienced higher education professional. During these unprecedented times, Jim and I believe that Harvey Mudd has an opportunity to rise to these new challenges, identify innovative curricular and co-curricular solutions and lead the country in successfully educating students during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Despite the difficulties the College faces, I look forward to what this academic year brings. There remains a robust and exciting schedule of events for students (online talks, health and wellness workshops, career fairs and social activities), work on several initiatives (see page 4 regarding the new Core and page 5 for diversity and inclusion plans) and preparation for the eventual return to campus. As a community, we continue to move forward with a focus on remaining creative and flexible in our problem-solving efforts. Standing strong together— regardless of our physical location—helps us ensure that what makes Harvey Mudd College so special can continue to endure.
Art Director Robert Vidaure Senior Graphic Designer Joshua Buller Assistant Director Sarah Barnes Writer Leah Gilchrist Contributing Writers Judy Augsburger, Kelley Freund Contributing Photographers Dan DeVries, Keenan Gilson, Deborah Tracey Proofreaders Sarah Barnes, Kelly Lauer Vice President for Advancement Hieu Nguyen 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 © 2020—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.
Maria Klawe President, Harvey Mudd College
The Harvey Mudd College Magazine staff welcomes your input: email@example.com or Harvey Mudd College Magazine, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Boulevard, Claremont, CA 91711
Student Scholarship We Celebrate the Class of 2020
This year, Summer Research Program participants showed great resourcefulness and flexibility.
The HMC community joined forces to deliver best wishes to seniors, who found their own special ways to celebrate graduation.
The Ultimudd Gift Guide
In our first gift guide, we feature some creative, entrepreneurial alumni who provide a distinct service or produce original, hand-crafted products full-time or as a hobby.
Departments SPACE STUDY
Capstone Projects Projects culminating during the 2019–2020 academic year include individual research done by graduating seniors and design projects completed by first-year students.
Clinic Projects As with all coursework in spring 2020, students completed Clinic projects through virtual, online collaboration with liaisons, who made the transition with their teams.
JULIA GOLDSTEIN ’88 08
“ This is a perfect opportunity for Harvey Mudd
to lead. We are the problem solvers. This is not time for talk but a time to find solutions and share them with others.
—JAMES BEAN ’77 CHAIR, HMC BOARD OF TRUSTEES. PAGE 7
C OL L E G E NE WS
A New Core THE COLLEGE STRIVES TO CREATE AN EQUITABLE
educational environment and offer a curriculum that prepares STEM leaders who graduate with a clear understanding of the impact of their work on society. With this goal in mind, the faculty voted on May 8, 2020 to approve a new Core Curriculum. The rollout out of this new curriculum will begin in the fall of 2021 or 2022, determined, in part, by the ongoing pandemic. Known as Four Courses with Optional Electivity, the curriculum addresses two major themes that drove the review process: a refined focus of topics, which will give students more time to reflect on what they learn and a more direct engagement with the “impact” part of Harvey Mudd’s mission. The new curriculum encourages students to take roughly four courses per semester during Core, with the option to take a fifth, elective course. One feature of the curriculum is the presence of an “impact” course, which all students will take in their fourth semester and is a nod to the language in the College’s mission statement: “… with a clear understanding of the impact of their work on society.” The particular nature of this course is still being developed; in the near term, it will likely focus on aspects of climate change. Work on this new Core Curriculum began in 2015. At the request of the HMC Teaching and Learning Committee, consultants from the Center for Inquiry of Liberal Arts visited HMC intent to answer the question, “What can the Teaching and Learning Committee do to support a true sense of achievement among students?” The consultants produced an 18-page report on their findings, “Learning at Mudd: Insight into the Student Academic Experience” (aka the Wabash Report). This report proved controversial when confidential remarks were made public. As a result, administrators and faculty members pledged to make the process more transparent and expanded efforts to include students in developing the new Core. Led by Tom Donnelly, then Core Curriculum director, the Core Review Planning Team (composed of faculty, students, a staff member and the president of AABOG) moved the College’s Core review process forward. During spring 2017, the College hired external consultants to talk to faculty, students and alumni regarding perceptions of the Core goals and the current Core implementation. The consultants
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
posed seven questions, including: How well does the current Core address the College mission statement? and How well does the current Core meet the needs and interests of our students? Following its internally generated self-study of the Core, HMC had an external team on campus Nov. 13–15, 2017 to meet with all College constituencies and gather first-hand information about its Core. The team’s findings, insights and recommendations were discussed in multiple community forums. At the end of the fall 2017 semester, after months of data collection and discussion throughout the HMC community, the faculty voted to approve a goals statement: The Core Curriculum at Harvey Mudd College seeks to nurture students’ intellectual curiosity and joy of learning, provide them with foundational knowledge and skills needed for advanced study in STEM disciplines and begin a critical engagement with the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. In keeping with HMC’s STEM-focused approach to liberal arts education, the Core introduces students to thinking critically about consequential problems and complex issues, making connections across disciplinary boundaries, communicating and collaborating effectively, and understanding how their personal and professional actions impact the world around them.
Regular updates and progress reports flowed to the HMC community via e-mail, information sessions, alumni and parent e-newsletters and the Harvey Mudd College Magazine, and through alumni and parent meetings and events. “Throughout the entire Core review, we worked closely with ASHMC and staff representatives, as well as the AABOG leadership. At each stage, we made the process as transparent and open to input as possible,” says Donnelly. After multiple Core Curriculum workshops for faculty, Core proposals were requested on April 27, 2018. Following review and discussion, the faculty voted on six Core proposals March 5, 2020. Since arriving at a new curriculum, an Implementation Committee has been working with departments and the faculty to finalize important details, like understanding the downstream impact of the new Core on each department, determining the timeline for introducing the new Core courses and evaluating whether the requisite funding and staffing are in place.
D etails of the new curriculum can be found online at hmc.edu/core-implementation.
Class of 2024 3,397 APPLICATIO NS
Diversity and Inclusion at Harvey Mudd HOW CAN HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE JOIN EFFORTS TO
eliminate racism and do something that will have meaning and impact? In an email to the community in June, President Maria Klawe shared the College’s many different approaches for addressing current issues and student requests. Here are some of the initiatives and plans underway. • During the summer, the Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) served as lead organizer or co-host for events focused on anti-racism and diversity, including Mudd Talks events and “Shifting Narratives: Using Education as a Tool for Protest and Dismantling Systemic Racism,” co-sponsored with the 7Cs’ Office of Black Student Affairs. •L ed by Kathy Van Heuvelen, associate professor of chemistry and associate dean for faculty development and diversity, and Darryl Yong, professor of mathematics, faculty and staff were invited to read How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and participate in several large or small discussion group sessions. OID staff are encouraging students to read and discuss the same text during fall semester. • Th e Division of Student Affairs added anti-racism sessions as part of New Student Orientation. •H arvey Mudd College became an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, an independent professional development, training and mentoring community for faculty members, postdocs and graduate students to help them make successful transitions throughout their careers.
• The Division of Student Affairs established an Intergroup Dialogue Program on Race and Ethnicity. Interested faculty, students and staff will be trained facilitators for an eight-week module that engages participants to explore and reflect upon their personal and social responsibility for building an equitable and socially just society.
DEFER R ING ADMISSIO N TO FALL 2 0 2 1
FI RST-YEA R EN RO L L M EN T
• The offices of Institutional Diversity and Institutional Research will host a series of Equity Scorecard Sessions featuring higher education leadership expert Estela Bensimon in the fall and spring semesters. The goal is to increase knowledge about interrogating numerical data and discovering patterns that lead to inequities for students of color. Participants will gain an understanding of the Equity Scorecard process while identifying indicators for an equity scorecard for their areas.
53% MEN 47 % WO MEN
• The offices of Advancement and Academic Affairs are discussing ways to raise resources to develop curriculum that addresses systemic racism.
• Vice President for Student Affairs Anna Gonzalez and Arianna Figueroa (OID) are HMC’s representatives for the new Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athletics Diversity Task Force. • Beginning with the high school class of 2021, HMC will not require applicants to submit SAT subject tests, a policy change that is expected to remove a barrier to applying to the College and help further diversify its student body.
63% IDENTIFY AS STUDENTS O F CO LO R (U.S. )
CALIFO R NIA
INTER NATIO NAL
TR ANSFER STUDENTS
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Advisory Trustee Wayne Drinkward ’73
New to the board Ramona Sequeria P23 President, U.S. Business Unit, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, USA Inc. Mar Hershenson P24 Founder and managing partner, Pear VC
Returning to the board Howard Deshong III ’89, P21
Term Re-elections Matthew Ferri, Laura Larson P20 and Mike Schubmehl ’02 (three-year terms) Vice Chair Kevin Schofield P13, P13 (one-year term)
COVID-19 and Campus Life Anticipating that the 2020–2021 academic year would be unlike any other in the College’s history, the Division of Student Affairs spent much of the summer making plans for fall residence life and establishing Stay Safe at Mudd guidelines, including protocols for prevention, quarantine and isolation. In partnership with ASHMC leadership, Anna Gonzalez, vice president and dean for student affairs, established an advisory board composed mostly of students, which met regularly with staff to plan for fall. But after an Aug. 14 conference call with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the county made it clear that colleges and universities would not be
allowed to have students in residence except under very limited circumstances (students who have no alternative residential options). As a result, HMC decided to only offer remote learning during the fall semester. The Stay Safe at Mudd planning efforts will be repurposed when the College is allowed to reopen. “To our incoming first-year students and their families, we regret that your welcome to our community will have to be a virtual one,” said President Maria Klawe in a community message to the Class of 2024, “but we know that our faculty, staff, students and their families will do all they can to make you feel at home.”
For the latest developments regarding impacts of the COVID pandemic on HMC,
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Recent Graduate Trustees Lindsay Wray ’08 Chief science officer, Eighteen B Karen Morrison ’08 Assistant director, California Department of Pesticide Regulation
Summer Session Despite the online-only format dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer Session program exceeded expectations. There were increases over last year in number of courses (31 versus eight) and enrollments (540 versus 58), and the online format attracted many more high school-age students. Admitted HMC students were offered the opportunity to take up to three courses (two Core), and several alumni took advantage of the lifelong learning opportunity. Evaluations were overwhelmingly positive. The format of next year’s Summer Session—in-person only or a combination of in-person and online—will depend on multiple factors, including the pandemic.
“We Are the Problem Solvers” James Bean ’77 is the third alumnus to become HMC Board of Trustees chair JAMES BEAN ’77 HAS SERVED IN HIGHER EDUCATION
since 1980 and has held academic leadership positions since 1993 at the University of Michigan, the University of Oregon, and at Northeastern University, where he was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. In addition to his degree (mathematics) from HMC, he has an M.S. and PhD from Stanford University in operations research. His academic career has spanned multiple disciplines, including business and engineering. Bean is a widely published scholar interested in genetic algorithms, integer programming and infinite horizon optimization who has received grants from federal institutions and industry. A number of organizations have benefited from his expertise, including General Cable (production control), Penford Products (production scheduling) Homart Development (divestiture scheduling), General Motors (scheduling and equipment replacement/capacity planning), Michigan Consolidated Gas Company and IBM (equipment replacement), Bethlehem Steel (capacity planning) and Tektronix (forecasting). Bean received HMC’s 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award for his commitment to improving society and for exemplifying the mission of Harvey Mudd College. Now, as board chair, Bean is leading his alma mater with a problem-solving mindset.
and values. Our culture, mission and values will be critical to Harvey Mudd’s problem-solving during the upcoming, difficult year. In my role as provost at Northeastern University I had a leadership role in preparing them for reopening in the fall. That experience has helped my understanding of the challenges facing Harvey Mudd this fall. What should the HMC community should know about the board?
The board is a complex group with varied talents and perspectives that help enrich the conversations on the campus. Roughly half are alums or parents. The entire board brings experiences in business management, higher ed, the law, finance, investing, biotech, human resources and other areas. The College could not afford to hire these people as consultants, yet they are so committed to the mission and the community at Mudd that they volunteer their time, treasure and talents for the good of the community. I have always been impressed with their level of commitment and concern for the College. From the legal perspective, the board owns the College. The board hires the president who is the chief executive of board policies. The president executes the shared governance culture with faculty, staff and students that is the Mudd culture.
and we must find solutions to these challenges and accomplish our mission while keeping everyone safe. This is a perfect opportunity for Harvey Mudd to lead. We are the problem solvers. This is not time for talk but a time to find solutions and share them with others. In a small college like Mudd, the lean administration, while spectacularly talented, just needs more help with the large number of issues presented by the crisis. During this time, the board will play a crucial role in being a sounding board, adding our experiences to the conversation, and participating in the many committees working on the problems. I have great confidence that the Harvey Mudd community; faculty, staff, students, administration and board, will help our higher ed community find the new normal. What are your long-term goals for the College?
Foremost is the commitment to the mission laid out by the founders. It is more important today than it has ever been. In these unusual times, out next primary goal is to make sure that Harvey Mudd uses the current crisis as an opportunity to become stronger and more relevant in the new world that follows the crisis.
You’ve been on the HMC board since 2011. What led you to join? What accomplishments are you proud of?
You have assumed leadership of the board during a chal-
I spent most of my career in Michigan, so being engaged with the College was not so easy. I had moved to Oregon just before Maria asked me to consider the board. It was the right opportunity at the right time. I am most proud of the many years as chair of Budget and Financial Planning Committee. Due to the great work of the administration, faculty and staff, we have had a surplus every one of those years. Our board committee provides oversight, asks questions and helps us keep aligned in budgeting philosophy.
lenging time. What are your thoughts about this moment
How might your prior history at HMC and career in academia inform your work as board chair?
Having been a student at Mudd, then a board member for nine years before becoming chair, I have a good sense of the Mudd culture, mission
and the role the board will serve in guiding Harvey Mudd College through uncertainty and change?
We are in uncharted waters. No one knows how to solve the problems we face this coming year since we have not faced them before. But we cannot simply quit. The crisis will be with us for several years,
“ This is a perfect
opportunity for Harvey Mudd to lead. We are the problem solvers.
—JAMES BEAN ’77
FAC U LT Y N E WS
New Scholars Join Faculty Teachers/scholars bringing their expertise to the College will join the departments of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts, and Mathematics. Ekaterina Babintseva,
Hixon-Riggs Early Career Fellow in Science and Technology Studies, is a historian of science and technology who examines the history of computing and psychology in the 20th century.
Anup Gampa, assistant
professor of psychology, researches the relationship between an individual’s psychology and social movements, racism and capitalism.
Jamie Haddock, assistant
professor of mathematics, works in optimization, applied convex geometry and mathematical data science.
Haydee Lindo, assistant
professor of mathematics, is a commutative algebraist with research interests in homological algebra and representation theory.
Heather Zinn-Brooks, assistant
professor of mathematics, is an applied mathematician working in complex and nonlinear systems whose goal is to communicate mathematics in a way that is exciting, relevant and inclusive.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Postdoctoral Program Appointees Three scholars—Morgan Carr-Markell, Sarah Kavassalis and Joseph Wirth—have been hired as part of a pilot three-year postdoctoral program that responds to the increased demand for faculty members equipped with the ability to teach computational skills. With the Postdoctoral Program in Interdisciplinary Computation, the College seeks to equip more faculty members to teach students computational skills that are applicable within a wide variety of disciplines. Carr-Markell is a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota, studying honey bee foraging behavior in landscapes with reconstructed prairie ecosystems.
Kavassalis is pursuing a PhD in the Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, where she’s studying how global change—whether climate or land use—affects the composition of the atmosphere and how the composition of the atmosphere in turn affects global change. Wirth earned his PhD in microbiology from Franklin College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Georgia. An expert in the microbial physiology of pathogenic bacteria, he is investigating the roles of putative genes involved in virulence and oxidative stress in Campylobacter concisus, Campylobacter jejuni and Helicobacter hepaticus using molecular genetics and biochemical techniques.
Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Jeff Groves, professor of literature and former dean of the faculty, has been named the inaugural director of the HMC Makerspace in the McGregor Computer Science Center. Groves will oversee the final development and furnishing of the makerspace and associated media studio and will facilitate planning for the use of these important new campus and consortial resources. Promotions and tenure appointments were approved during the May meeting of the HMC Board of Trustees. Karl Haushalter (chemistry and biology), who received promotion to full professor, researches DNA repair processes to understand the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis, aging and evolution. He is active in community efforts to support those living with HIV-AIDS through education and empowerment. His work in this area has applications to the COVID-19 pandemic, a topic he discussed in the April 23 Mudd Talks virtual presentation with epidemiologist Nadia Abuelezam ’09. Kash Gokli (engineering) assumes the Oliver C. Field Professorship of Manufacturing and Engineering Economics as a full professor with tenure. He has more than 30 years’ experience in manufacturing, engineering, product development, quality management and process improvement and regularly mentors HMC student teams for case competitions sponsored by the Association for Supply Chain Management. Albert Dato (engineering), Matina Donaldson-Matasci (biology), Jae Hur (biology), Julie Medero (computer science) and Beth Trushkowsky (computer science) all received tenure and promotion to associate professor.
Fifty Flipping Years Founding Class member Gerald Van Hecke ’61 celebrates a half century of teaching at HMC.
THE PROBABILITY OF A COIN LANDING ON ITS EDGE
is rare—maybe 1 in 6,000. But that is what occurred in 1960 when Gerald Van Hecke ’61 took out a silver 50 cent piece and flipped it to determine his Harvey Mudd major. He told his roommate Don Gross ’61, “Heads it’ll be engineering. Tails, it will be physics. And if it lands on the edge, it’ll be chemistry.” The coin bounced off his hand and straight into a crack between the sidewalk and the platform of East Dorm. So, chemistry it was. After earning his bachelor’s in chemistry (with distinction) and a master’s and PhD in physical chemistry from Princeton University, Van Hecke worked briefly as a chemist for Shell Development, then returned to teach at HMC. Fifty years later, the Eagle Scout and former chemistry department chair is celebrating a milestone and reflecting on teaching, research, his many students and what it’s like experiencing a rarity of another kind: being a faculty member at one’s alma mater. When I came on board, a piece of chalk and a blackboard were your means of communication. One of the biggest changes in education was the Xerox machine. Before that, we had mimeograph machines that involved a lengthy process. So if you wanted to hand out a homework assignment tomorrow, you had to plan a few days ahead. The Xerox machine brought us the ability to put an image on clear plastic sheets to use on an overhead projector. You could prepare things ahead of time by xeroxing your images and drawings onto a plastic sheet. Or you could use the plastic sheet and draw on it. So a lot of people put the chalk down and just wrote on plastic sheets. The overhead technology had a tremendous impact on people. And then came the computer around 1984. I became a devotee of PowerPoint around 2012. I do virtually all my presentations with it. That actually made this [pandemic] shutdown pretty easy for me; with Zoom and PowerPoint, I have very little disruption from the way I present classes. The technology is really there to provide new things. I just hope that people don’t get so enamored of it that they forget that you’re talking to a human who has a finite brain, comprehension and concentration.
Mits Kubota (HMC 1959–2000), who had just started teaching when I was a junior, and then of course was on the faculty when I came back, gave me some important advice: travel. Go to meetings. And I did. When I joined the faculty at Harvey Mudd I got into an area that was just beginning and was entirely new to me: liquid crystals. I didn’t draw on PhD work or what I had done at Shell. The International Liquid Crystal meetings were held every second year and, in the off year, the American Chemical Society held meetings. I had a meeting of a professional nature involving liquid crystals somewhere in the world every year. After over 30 years of attending these, I racked up a few name tags; only a small part of them are on a wall in my office. That’s something I pass on to junior faculty—go to meetings. It’s a way to develop and meet new colleagues and, probably even more important, to try and publish papers. Students are the research. From the first days, there were few times I actually went in to the laboratory and did things myself. We’d find students who were interested in a particular area that I had a mutual interest in. The first couple years in liquid crystals, I’d never made one in my life. So we looked at how to make them. I’d work with a student to make sure that they put the ground glass joints together and didn’t heat something that was a closed vessel with a flame. We would get results and pursue the next steps based on those results. Students do the work, and it’s my job to help them understand what they’ve done and prepare communications telling the world what we’ve done in papers and presentations. But students have been the heart of it, and I think that’s been one of the strengths of the College. There are fundamental things in every discipline that haven’t changed. There are a lot of things that have been added to those disciplines. Chemistry is an immense field. How do you choose a selection of topics to introduce your first-year students to the subject of chemistry? Everything in the world is a chemical. Our current chemistry program has selected things, but who’s to say they’ve selected the right thing? With knowledge multiplying maybe twofold every 10 years, that’s a factor of eight already. It’s picking and choosing, and that is a major challenge for all science. Faculty can pick their favorite topics, but a litmus test for every course should be what do our students need to know.
Van Hecke ’61 with students
Among Harvey Mudd’s institutional successes is our broad education—the taking of biology, engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry and humanities courses. The fact that we are not trying to turn out a specific type of chemist or biologist or engineer. Another success is the development of undergraduate research. That started at the College in 1958 with a chemistry colleague who came from the University of Washington with a fresh PhD and hired students into his lab and started a research program in the department. Now one of the hallmarks of this institution is the extent and the quality of the performance of our students in independent undergraduate research. And, of course, the Clinic programs. Clinic started later than research and has developed into an outstanding program. Those three I’d say are the most outstanding attributes of the College: the broad-based education that includes the humanities, independent research and open-ended Clinic projects. The highlights from my career so far are aspects of teaching as a deferred reward—when students come back and tell you how much they appreciated what you did. Also, students don’t pull pranks on faculty they dislike. One day I found my office full of paper cups on the floor—full of water. It turns out if you get a broad enough piece of cardboard or wood, those paper cups are strong enough together to walk on. So that’s what I did, and it was no problem. In terms of appreciation, it was really pretty nice a couple years ago when some people put together a solicitation to build a fund in my name to support chemistry students. That’s a really nice thing to have somebody do for you.
FAC U LT Y N E WS
FACULT Y P R O F IL E
“ We have been
working in the field of compositionally complex alloys, which has opened a lot of room for creativity because the range of possible alloys to explore is massive.
With an international research group, engineering professor Lori Bassman continues the quest for unique metal alloys. Written by Leah Gilchrist METALLURGY IS THE SCIENCE OF EXTRACTING METALS
from their ores and modifying metals for use. Researchers study metal purity, strength, hardness, how well metal can be bent and shaped, and if it can be forged or machined. “A lot of work in metallurgy has been small, incremental improvements to existing alloys,” says engineering professor Lori Bassman, who leads an applied mechanics research group at Harvey Mudd College. “But we have been working in the field of compositionally complex alloys, which has opened a lot of room for creativity because the range of possible alloys to explore is massive.” Traditional alloys, including steel and aluminum, are formed using a primary solvent element combined with small quantities of other elements. Compositionally complex alloys typically consist of at least four elemental components and contain substantial content of each. The Bassman group employs an interdisciplinary team of student researchers to create new alloys and computationally simulate their structures and properties. Their experimental work is performed at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia with colleagues Bassman has collaborated with for 14 years, including Kevin Laws, a leading expert in compositionally complex metal alloys. Support from the National Science Foundation and the Jude and Eileen Laspa Fellowship in Applied Mechanics has allowed Bassman to bring 32 HMC students to the UNSW School of Materials Science and Engineering for summer research since 2009. The Bassman research group and their UNSW collaborators have found great success with several published papers, conference presentations and multiple filed patents, including one as recently as February 2020 for a family of novel compositionally complex metal alloys that could be a substitute for stainless steels. Nicknamed “chromalume,” the novel alloys combine aluminum with the iron-chromiummanganese system to achieve a unique combination of ductility, cost and processability.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
—LORI BASSMAN, PROFESSOR OF ENGINEERING
Engineering majors Stephanie Blankley ’20, Doug Raigosa ’20, Natalie Krieger ’21 and Jackson Baker ’21 worked on the alloy family in the summers of 2018 and 2019. Each received training then chose what they wanted to focus on (producing alloys, electron microscope characterization or mechanical characterization). “Most steps require more than one pair of hands, so everyone gets to learn how to do many things, but they each have ownership of specific parts,” says Bassman, who admits that the computational aspect is harder to explain in an accessible way. Yet, her students often surprise her. “I didn’t expect to have a student do computational work on the chromalume/stainless steel substitute project in 2019, but Holly Frank ’20 (physics) saw the experimental results from the year before and, on her own, formulated the project that she conducted.” Research during summer 2020 was similarly enthusiastic. Bassman and her student researchers—based at their homes throughout the
United States—connected virtually with colleagues in Australia and Sweden and made key contributions in the quest to develop the chromalume family of alloys. Bassman collaborated with joint math-physics majors Savanah Diaz ’22 and Anna Soper ’22 on computational research, building from Frank’s work, using density functional theory and other computational methods. “The goal is to understand how the addition of aluminum prevents the brittle sigma phase that is an issue in some stainless steels from precipitating in chromalume,” Bassman says. “Before we can really have an accurate model of how aluminum achieves this, we need to be able to accurately model the sigma structure, which has a 30-atom unit cell.” Soper sought to understand the placement of the four atomic species on the sigma lattice using a strategy called cluster expansion. Diaz developed methods to examine the geometric and electronic structures of sigma phase and to interpret the
Emily Hwang ’20
Summer 2018 research group: Professor Bassman, Stephanie Blankley ’20, Doug Raigosa ’20 and Simone Griffith ’19.
results. HMC alumni Aurora Pribram-Jones ’09 (chemistry), Jonas Kaufman ’17 (physics) and Adam Shaw ’18 (physics) were co-mentors for this work. “Once we can model sigma, we will be running versions of it with varied amounts of aluminum and trying to decipher why and how it is destabilized once enough aluminum is added,” Bassman says. Engineering majors Alexandra Loumidis ’22 and Kaitlyn Paulsen ’22 used thermodynamic modeling software to construct a four-dimensional phase diagram of the chromalume family. Working with Patrick Conway (Jönköping University) and Laws, they developed tools in MATLAB to process data produced by the thermodynamic modeling software for the phases of each composition at a range of temperatures. In addition to explaining variations found experimentally, the team’s work is guiding upcoming experiments at UNSW.
Stephanie Blankley, Jackson Baker ’21 and Natalie Krieger ’21 polish samples in preparation for scanning electron microscopy and hardness testing.
A fifth student, Emma Cuddy ’21 (physics), worked with UNSW researchers and the alumni co-mentors to predict color in precious metal intermetallic compounds like purple gold (AuAl2) and to develop a computational method to predict color in more complex alloys. Laws has made commercial connections on colored alloys that are part of the motivation for the work. “The group uses an impressive fraction of the periodic table regularly and explores a wide range of material properties,” Bassman says. So far, she and her students have used 35 elements in alloys; their colleagues at UNSW have used even more. “With all the degrees of freedom in element selection and composition, there’s great promise for tailoring material properties specifically for different applications.”
While work on alloys is intricate and consuming, the schedule is flexible enough for some fun. This year, Bassman encouraged her students to hold weekly virtual social events, including making Australian desserts with colleagues in Sydney and sharing them over Zoom and watching an Australian rules football game together. The HMC students also continued the annual tradition of hosting a Fourth of July party—virtually this year—for their Australian friends. The summer research students continue their work this fall, and Bassman hopes to return with them to UNSW next summer.
FAC U LT Y N E WS
Spring Retirements AFTER DECADES OF SHAPING THE CAMPUS
community and developing future scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs, four members of the Harvey Mudd College faculty announced their retirement this spring. “Our faculty retirees are leaving a rich legacy and have been extraordinary contributors to the life of the College,” says Lisa Sullivan, dean of the faculty. “Each has left an indelible imprint on the community and, thereby, on the College’s history.”
Anthony Bright John Leland Atwood Professor of Engineering Science
Anthony Bright joined the Department of Engineering at Harvey Mudd in 1986. He was department chair (1989–1990 and 2002–2007) and twice served as director of the Engineering Clinic, what he calls “my greatest privilege” and the “jewel in the crown of the HMC experience.” Bright has been involved in teaching and developing the interdisciplinary systems engineering STEM of courses offered by the engineering department. His research interests include drops, bubbles and liquid jets: how they form, how they merge and how they change shape. In 2005, he founded Global Clinic, which prepares students for the future challenges of practicing engineering, science and mathematics in a global context. His many contributions include serving as an advisor to HMC’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and advisor to the Etc. Players drama group. Bright says, “What has always kept me excited and enthused about HMC is the passion for teaching and learning displayed by my early faculty mentors and colleagues in all departments.” Some of his plans for retirement include continuing with his “lifelong learning project, writing, hiking, playing guitar, amusing the grandkids and enjoying Taco Doritos with scotch.”
Mary Cardenas LaFetra Chair in Environmental Engineering
Mary Cardenas has been a member of the Department of Engineering since 1995—the first female engineering professor at HMC—and has served as Engineering Clinic director and associate dean of faculty for academic affairs. A specialist in environmental engineering, aerospace engineering
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
and fluid mechanics, her research focuses on the numerical modeling of various fluid/contaminant systems. She is an expert on the transport and fate of fine-grained sediments and contaminants in water bodies, including rivers and large lakes, and has done research on sediment transport in Lake Michigan. As an educator, she focused on hands-on, project-based undergraduate engineering education and was co-designer of the sophomore-level, modelrocket-based experimental engineering course and the first-year Studio Methods Engineering Design course. She has supervised undergraduate research projects on marine hydrokinetic turbine modeling; groundwater modeling for nuclear repositories; contaminant fate and transport in the Great Lakes; and model rocketry data acquisition. Cardenas is the co-author of the Journal of Engineering Education paper, “Use of ’Studio’ Methods in the Introductory Engineering Design Curriculum,” and she revised, updated and enlarged the book Modern Engineering for Design of LiquidPropellant Rocket Engines. Cardenas’s influence in the department increased the percentage of HMC students who ended up in aerospace fields and helped increase the number of women propulsion engineers in the field. She also was a longtime mentor to HMC’s SWE chapter.
Gary Evans Ruth and Harvey Berry Professorship in Entrepreneurial Leadership
Gary Evans has long championed entrepreneurship at Harvey Mudd College, where, since 1981, he’s served as professor of economics in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts. An expert in enterprise and entrepreneurship, financial institutions, and small business development, he’s taught courses in macroeconomics, entrepreneurship and finance. Evans often utilized online teaching and learning and shares free online chapters in finance and macroeconomics as well as short instructional videos—what he calls targeted open online topics (TOOTs). Employing a variety of strategies, Evans strategically connected and inspired innovative students and alumni. In 1990, he founded the Harvey Mudd College Entrepreneurial Network, supported by a loyal cadre of alumni and friends. Its first meetings were held in Berkeley, Santa Clara, La Jolla and San Francisco and included Joe Costello ’74, electronic design automation pioneer, and Dan Meacham ’95, analog subsystem designer.
Evans encourages all entrepreneurial-minded students to attend Entrepreneurial Network meetings. In 2017, Evans partnered with entrepreneur Josh Jones ’98, DreamHost co-founder, to start the Harvey Mudd incubator HMC INQ. Evans says he will continue working with Jones and other alumni entrepreneurs.
Patrick Little J. Stanley and Mary Wig Johnson Professor of Engineering Management
Patrick Little began his tenure at HMC on a four-year visiting appointment before being hired as the Johnson Professor of Engineering Management in the Department of Engineering in 1996. He taught a variety of courses including engineering design, systems engineering, civil engineering, project management and industrial engineering. He was director of the Global Clinic Program and the Engineering Clinic Program for 11 years total. He served as chair of the faculty from 2016–2019. With department colleagues Clive L. Dym and Elizabeth Orwin ’95, he co-authored the book Engineering Design: A Project-Based Introduction, now in its fourth edition. He is also the author of many journal and technical papers, covering topics including design education, railroad reliability and engineering ethics. In recent years, Little has collaborated with Tom Maiorana from the University of California, Davis on a two-year National Science Foundation-sponsored project to understand choices that students make about graduate school and the ways that graduate programs present themselves to students. Little says highlights of his career include serving as the interim co-director of the Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity (The Hive) in 2015 and coaching The Claremont Colleges Intercollegiate Roller Hockey team (they won the WCRHL Division 3 championship several times). This year, he was named an Honorary Alumnus by the HMC Alumni Association Board of Governors. In addition to some railroad consulting in retirement, Little says he plans to garden, travel and collect Japanese woodblock art. “But mostly, I want to spend time with my wife, Judy.”
o learn about giving opportunities related to a T favorite professor or other individual, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Harvey Mudd community mourns the loss of two longtime professors. Richard G. Olson ’62 Physicist, historian and Harvey Mudd alumnus Richard G. Olson died June 27. Former chair of the faculty and chair of the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts, Olson was a prolific writer with more than 60 published works on the history of science. He served on the Harvey Mudd faculty for 35 years before his retirement in 2011. A member of the Harvey Mudd College Class of ’62, Olson was a National Merit Scholar and physics major. He earned honors, was valedictorian of his class of 32 peers and received an NSF fellowship to undertake graduate work in physics. After receiving his PhD in the history of science in from Harvard 1967, Olson taught for two years at Tufts University and then for nine years at the University of California, Santa Cruz, returning to HMC in 1976. His research and teaching focused on the history of science, with a special emphasis on the interactions between the natural sciences and other cultural domains, including those of religion, political ideology and issues of gender and ethnicity. He also was director of the Science, Technology, and Society Program at The Claremont Colleges.
Olson was a member of various diversity committees and provided valuable input to the College’s diversity efforts. In 2005, he was awarded the Henry T. Mudd Prize for his efforts in faculty recruitment, supportive leadership in academic initiatives, commitment to diversity and community engagement and for his commitment to students. In 2012, the HMC Alumni Association recognized Olson with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In a 2015 Presentation Days speech on campus, Olson highlighted the challenge of engaging a liberal arts approach to STEM education at Harvey Mudd College. He said, “American liberal arts colleges and universities today breed ever more sophisticated professional specialists; yet few of these specialists, who have tremendous know how have had even half of the exposure to ethical and aesthetic judgements, notions like ’responsibility,’ ’citizenship,’ ’compassion’ and the tragic and comic dimensions of life, as the average Harvey Mudd graduate.” Olson is survived by his wife, Kathy Collins Olson; a brother, Gary C. Olson; and Gary’s wife, Tina. The family requests that remembrances in his honor be made to the Richard G. Olson ’62 Endowed Scholarship Fund at Harvey Mudd College.
William K. Purves The founding member and former chair of the Department of Biology at Harvey Mudd College, William K. Purves, died April 22. Purves was the Stuart Mudd Professor of Biology from 1977 to 1995 and served as chair of the department of computer science from 1985 to 1990 and of the department of biology from 1985 to 1995. Throughout his career as a scientist and educator, Purves was inspired by his students and the chance to help shape their education. A plant physiologist, Purves majored in biology at Caltech before earning a master’s degree and doctorate from Yale University. He taught biology, biochemistry and botany at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for 12 years, and chaired its biology department before leading a group of biological sciences departments at the University of Connecticut in 1973. In 1977, he moved to HMC. When asked why the head of a group of departments at a big research university would leave for a position as the only biologist at a small engineering school, he replied that he was strongly attracted by the promise of teaching some of the best undergraduates in the world at a very ﬁne college. Purves was instrumental in launching the biology program, becoming its founding member and helping raise funds for the program. On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the
Department of Biology, the College featured an interview with Bill Purves in the spring 2013 HMC Bulletin. Purves shared some of his favorite memories of his early years at Harvey Mudd, centering on his efforts to capture his students’ imagination and to illustrate certain concepts, like explaining the direction in which an RNA molecule grows by making up a story about “Dimitrios the one-armed line dancer.” He elected early retirement in 1995 after teaching introductory biology for 34 consecutive years to concentrate on research directed at learning and scientific education. He turned to his passion—how students learn—and helped start a company that created educational software on CD-ROMs. He also collaborated with longtime colleague Roger Schank on ventures to replace current schooling with effective and stimulating courses. Purves is the 1994 recipient of a Harvey Mudd Honorary Alumni Award and the 1995 Henry T. Mudd Prize, which recognizes outstanding members of the HMC community. Purves is survived by his wife, Jean, a son, David, and grandchild, James. The family requests that gifts in his honor be made to the William Purves Endowed Life Science Summer Research Fund at HMC or to Parkinson’s disease research.
An Interactive Summer
Distance restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic made aspects of the Summer Research Program problematic, but faculty members and students showed great resourcefulness and flexibility. Christopher Clark, associate dean of research and experiential learning/professor of engineering, and LaTiara Rashid, research assistant, devised a program that showcased research and scholarship from all departments. In seeking to make it as interactive as possible, their efforts included organizing Summer Weekly Seminars and MicroWorkshops delivered via Zoom and establishing a blog that features students’ descriptions of their summer projects. We’ve highlighted several projects.
HUM A N I T I E S, S OC IA L SC I E N CE S, A N D T HE A RT S
CO MPUTER SCIENCE
Predicting Food Bank Demand
Model-based Reinforcement Learning in Atari 2600
Historical Memory and Poetry in Postwar Spain Advisor: Isabel Balseiro, professor of comparative literature Student: Ignacio Lista Rosales ’22 Spain’s 2007 Law of Historical Memory sought to redress wrongs experienced by victims on both sides of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) and condemned the Franco regime. Exhumation of the repressed past has witnessed a burgeoning among scholars like Balseiro, who studies the poetry of María Acuña (1928–1994), a survivor of the fratricidal war. Though she never completed elementary school, Acuña wrote a poetry of great precision, lucidity and a musical fluidity that merged Spanish and castúo (her regional dialect). Poesía descalza (Barefoot Poetry), Acuña’s first collection, was released in January, and this summer Balseiro began working on a second volume of her poetry. Lista Rosales aided this effort by transcribing unpublished manuscripts as well as a series of Acuña’s poetry recitals and interviews.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Advisor: Timothy Tsai, assistant professor of physics Student: Steven Litvack-Winkler ’21 The goal of the project is to analyze news articles to determine how the coronavirus has affected food banks in the U.S. and around the world. To make sense of a very large number of news articles—far more than a single person could read—they used natural language processing techniques to analyze the data. Their goal is to identify specific topics (like closures, lack of funding, food shortage, volunteer safety and shortage of volunteers) within the news articles, and then track the prevalence of those topics over several months.
Advisor: Erin Talvitie, associate professor of computer science Students: Bowen-Wang Jiang ’22, Siyi Xintong-Zhao ’22 In the field of model-based reinforcement learning (MBRL), the goal is to create artificial agents that learn to make predictions about their environments and then use those predictions to make decisions. However, unlike humans and other animals, which can do this flexibly in a wide variety of complicated tasks and environments, artificial MBRL agents tend to be brittle and unscalable. Even minor flaws in a predictive model can cause catastrophic failure during planning. Using Atari 2600 games as a challenge problem, researchers are studying various approaches to measure and track uncertainty about the agent’s predictions so that the agent can use its model when it is most accurate and ignore it when it might be misleading. An agent that can successfully do this would be able to flexibly apply model-based learning in a broad class of problems, benefitting when it is possible to make reliable predictions while remaining robust to complex environments that are difficult to model.
A heatmap compares the performance of a LaMSA system to that of a muscle-only system.
Locusts (pink circles) and their trajectories (colored lines)
BI O L O GY
M ATHEM ATICS
Response of Pathogenic Bacteria to Physical Stress
Swarming Locusts: Deducing Insect Interactions from Field Data
Unraveling the Physics of Ultra-Fast Biological Systems
Advisor: Dan Stoebel, associate professor of biology Students: Emily Petroni ’21, Gabriella Teodoro ’21
Advisors: Andrew J. Bernoff, professor of mathematics, and Jasper Weinburd, HMC postdoctoral fellow Students: Shanni Lam ’22, Jacob Landsberg (Haverford), Anna Kravtsova (Eastern Washington University)
Advisor: Mark Ilton, assistant professor of physics Students: Mason Acevedo ’22, Jackson Castro ’22, Jason Chen ’22, Rose Didcock ’22, Bradley Gonmiah ’23, Kaanthi Pandhigunta ’23, Lucien Tsai ’24
This summer, a devastating plague of locusts is ravaging the Horn of Africa and threatening food security in the region. Students supported by an NSF Data Science REU and HMC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program analyzed the individual mechanisms that drive the formation of locust swarms. Working with video footage from collaborator Jerome Buhl (University of Adelaide), students used computer-vision software (Trackmate) to extract the position of each locust as trajectory data over time. Statistical analysis of this time-series data set reveals how locusts align their direction with neighbors, how they avoid collisions and how densely they pack together. Examining these mechanisms informs our understanding of the formation and persistence of swarms, supports agent-based modeling efforts and provides clues that may eventually lead to more effective methods for locust control.
When faced with a predator, the trap-jaw ant escapes by snapping its jaws on the ground so fast that it launches itself into the air. They employ muscle, spring-like tissue (apodeme) and other structures to perform a latch-mediated, spring-actuated movement (LaMSA). The muscle loads energy into the apodeme, and a latch initially prevents movement, holding the energy in place. When the latch disengages, the stored energy is released in a fraction of a second, launching the ant into the air at a high velocity. The HMC Physics of Soft Matter Lab (posmlab.org) studied LaMSA systems, answering questions like: For what size scales and parameters are LaMSA systems more powerful than direct muscle-driven systems? How might LaMSA systems be used to inform the efficient design of microrobots? Student researchers developed an open-source computational model to describe the loading, unlatching and launching of LaMSA systems.
Bacteria have evolved many ways to survive environmental stressors, including by changing the transcription of their genes. RpoS is a protein that regulates this process. The amount of RpoS that a cell makes depends on the species and the type of stress it faces (such as osmotic shift or starvation). The Stoebel Lab studies the RpoS stress response, its regulon and downstream effects, how RpoS itself is regulated, and the variation of RpoS induction in different environmental contexts and bacterial strains. This year, researchers shifted to more analysis and consolidation of data with a computational and statistical focus. They analyzed existing gene expression data sets to compare the transcriptional response of a single strain of E. coli to different stresses and compiled several years’ worth of experimental work measuring RpoS expression in multiple species in response to different stresses.
Selected Capstone Projects
Projects culminating during the 2019–2020 academic year include individual research done by graduating seniors and design projects completed by first-year students. Here we’ve selected senior projects that demonstrate some of the many academic achievements. View more projects in the online document at adobe.ly/2FbR7l2.
Figure 1: Cofactor F430
1 Figure 2: Ni(cyclam)
Figure 3: Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and Trichloroethylene (TCE)
HUM A N I T I E S, S OC IA L SC I E N CE S, A N D T HE A RT S
Mapping Floral Resources for Bees Using Drone Imagery
Dechlorination of Carcinogenic Pollutants Using Nickel Cyclam
Advisor: Matina Donaldson-Matasci, assistant professor of biology Student: Arya Massarat ’20
Advisor: Katherine Van Heuvelen, associate professor of chemistry Student: Brandon C. Wada ’20
Poor nutrition among modern-day honey bee colonies is contributing to their decline. Yet understanding how the diversity and abundance of flowering species around a colony affects its health remains difficult because of the manual labor required to analyze these large foraging landscapes. Massarat describes a procedure for automatically mapping the species of flowering plants around a colony from overlapping drone images. He developed a pipeline for stitching the images together, identifying plants within them and classifying each plant by its species. The resulting map of the flowering species surrounding a colony could be used in future experiments that aim to assess how a colony’s health and foraging behavior is influenced by the spatial distribution of the floral species in its vicinity.
Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and Trichloroethylene (TCE) are common industrial pollutants. They are excellent organic solvents; however, they are recognized as carcinogens. This research focuses on converting these compounds into ethylene by mimicking reductive dehalogenation nickel chemistry found in nature. Chemists simulate the environment of the nickel center of cofactor F430 through the model compound Ni(cyclam) (cyclam = 1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane). Reduction of Ni(cyclam) using NaBH4 in ethanol produces the nickel borohydride species Ni(cyclam)(BH4)2, which is capable of reducing PCE and TCE2. By investigating the kinetics of the reduction reaction, researchers are measuring the activation energy of the reaction in order to better understand the reaction mechanism.
“The Pour” Advisor: Ken Fandell, professor of art, Michael G. and C. Jane Wilson Chair in Arts and the Humanities Student: Risa Purow-Ruderman ’22 Made of metal miniatures glued to a set of press-on nails, this tea set merges practical objects with the decorative nail art to produce a nominally functional yet completely impractical art piece. The piece, created in Art 179 - The Expanded Studio, plays with readymade objects and the physical humor arising from the comically small volumes of liquid that nonetheless must be kept upright. The nails are wearable but cannot be tipped without spilling their contents. The teapot holds a small amount of tea that can pour from the spout (though not without uncomfortably contorting one’s hand), the pitcher holds a few drops of cream and the bowl holds sugar that can be spooned into the teacups, each holding a single drop of tea.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
E N GI N E E R I N G
M ATHEM ATICS
Analysis of the Life Span of a Pointe Shoe as Related to Pressure
Social Justice and Post-Secondary Mathematics Education
Advisor: Kevin Williamson, assistant professor of dance and dance department chair, Scripps College Student: Taylor Sloop ’20
Advisor: Dagan Karp, associate professor of mathematics Student: Lily E. Friedberg ’20
Developing a Radio Frequency Plasma Reactor for Use at Undergraduate Institutions
Pointe shoes are the most important tool for a ballet dancer, but they break down quickly because they are made of burlap and glue. The goal of this project is to determine a standard for a “dead,” or broken-down, pointe shoe so that more effective methods for improving the lifespan of the pointe shoe can be explored. This project focuses on using pressure sensors to quantitatively describe a dead pointe shoe. Based on data gathered, a consistent pressure difference was found between new and dead shoes in many different ballet poses; therefore, pressure sensors could be an effective way to identify shoes that have broken down too much to dance in.
Friedberg reviewed and synthesized foundational literature of critical theory, critical education theory and critical math education and reflected on pedagogical practices that are informed by these theories. She proposed a classroom module that implements some of these practices in a 50-minute undergraduate lecture and measured its effectiveness in teaching linear algebra content and improving student attitudes toward the intersections of mathematics and social justice.
Advisor: Tom Donnelly, professor of physics and chair of the faculty Student: Rachel L. Barcklay ’20 Plasma, or ionized gas, is one of the four fundamental states of matter. Many naturally occurring plasmas, such as lightning, Earth’s ionosphere and solar winds, are necessary to life on Earth. In the last century, artificially created plasmas have also become integral to modern technologies: They are required for semiconductor device fabrication, developments in nuclear fusion power, and materials synthesis. Barcklay investigated the use of plasmas for gas phase materials synthesis. While many current methods of gas phase materials synthesis require expensive and potentially hazardous equipment, this work develops a radio frequency plasma reactor which is relatively inexpensive and suitable for use at undergraduate institutions.
Value Added As with all coursework in spring 2020, students completed Clinic projects through virtual, online collaboration with liaisons, who made the transition with their teams. The online experience was a unique challenge for the 56 Clinic teams, which rely heavily on teamwork. Zach Dodds, Computer Science Clinic director, remarked, “We will remember the challenges that 2020 added. But its physical distancing only served to highlight the shared commitment and the closeness of common purpose created by each of the year’s Clinic teams.” Projects Day, the College’s annual celebration of student achievement, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the community paid tribute to the Clinic sponsors who return year after year to work with students. Ten-year Milestone Awards went to Meggitt and Niagara Bottling, and five-year awards went to Google, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Steelcase and Webroot.
Find the Clinic Projects Directory at hmc.edu/clinic/clinic-events
CO M P UT E R S C IE N C E / B IO L OGY C L IN IC
ENG INEERING CLINIC
COMPUTER SCIENCE CLINIC
Antibodies and Machine Learning
IoT Device Fingerprinting
Automated Kafka Consumer Scaling
Dassault Systemes BIOVIA liaisons: Ian Kerman and Reza Sadeghi Advisors: Jessica Wu and Naim Matasci Students: Emily Zhao ’20, Tom Dougherty ’20, Xingyao Chen ’20, Rachel Schibler ’20, Chan Hong ’23
Juniper Networks liaison: Mounir Hahad Advisor: Qimin Yang Students: Jonah Cartwright ’20, Jonathan Schallert ’20, Leonardo Vilchez ’21, Caleb Norfleet ’21, Radja Saminada, Maia Gibson ’21
CrowdStrike liaisons: Eric Schow and Luke Hunter ’03 Advisor: Lucas Bang Students: Ali Parker, Owen Gillespie ’20, Quinn Hirsohn, Julius Lauw ’20, Zack Rossman
The proliferation of IoT devices worldwide comes with increased network vulnerabilities, with unsecured devices potentially capable of exposing personal and corporate information. It is essential for Juniper Networks to identify all the IoT devices on a customer’s network. To help Juniper Networks accomplish this goal, students developed an algorithm combining the intrusion detection system, Zeek, and machine learning to fingerprint devices based on behavioral patterns of network traffic.
Cyber security company CrowdStrike is a leading provider of cloud-native endpoint protection. Students sought to develop an application to automate consumer group scaling decisions in real-time for its Kafka clients. Their system ingested live application metrics and used an algorithm to make scaling decisions, which were sent to an infrastructure endpoint. Their aim was to strike a balance between the cost of deploying consumers and the potential for delayed processing in order to minimize manual intervention during the scaling process.
Antibodies have become prominent therapeutic agents but are costly to develop. Existing approaches to predict developability depend on structure, which requires extensive laboratory or computational work to obtain. To address this issue, the team developed a machine learning model to predict developability from sequence alone by extracting physicochemical and learned embedding features. Their model achieves high sensitivity and specificity on a dataset of 2,400 antibodies, suggesting that sequence is predictive of developability, enabling more efficient development of antibodies.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Consise, Healthy, Frugal
These specialized Clinic projects with a distinct social justice focus allow students to utilize their talents in math and computer science to help solve complex problems related to climate, air quality and food insecurity.
Visualizing the Effects on California of a Global Climate Restoration Strategy: Ice911 Research Ice911 Research has developed a climate restoration technology that increases sea ice reflectivity, potentially slowing global warming. Their high-quality simulations of this intervention are data rich but difficult to distill into graphics and conclusions understandable by decision makers. Seniors Gabriella Giordano, Michael Streinz, Parker Andrews, Cade Curry and Matthew vonAllmen used this data to provide clear and concise illustrations of regional and global climate impacts of this intervention.
Addressing the Effects of Traffic on Air Quality at Claremont High School: Sustainable Claremont
EN GI N E E R I N G C L INIC
M ATHEM ATICS CLINIC
Training Neural Networks
Credit-Market Data Filtering
Syntiant liaisons: Dave Garrett and Atul Gupta Advisor: David Harris Students: Henry Limm ’20, Will McDonald ’20, Vicki Moran ’20, Taylor Sloop ’20, Maxime Vienne, Yaqub Mahsud ’21
Tradeweb Markets Inc. liaisons: Stefan Kutko and Justin Peterson ’85 Advisors: Talithia Williams and Jessalyn Bolkema Students: Anna Serbent ’20, Mingyu Zheng, Tse Yang (T.Y.) Lim ’20, Cat Ngo ’20, Jeremy Jess
Syntiant’s Neural Decision Processor, the NDP101, can run a small neural network with a coin cell battery at a low energy cost. The NDP101 is used in devices to listen for words that activate a voice assistant. The team explored the use of the NDP101 in a new setting: Instead of using a microphone, the team used a sensor that measures movements. This sensor is part of a prototype that uses the NDP101’s neural network to recognize distinct hand gestures that a smartwatch might experience in daily use.
Tradeweb is exploring alternative architectures for its credit market filter, with the goal of making it more horizontally scalable. The team built out a MongoDB-centered filter and testbench for monitoring the filter’s performance. The entire pipeline (testbench and filter) was deployed on Amazon Web Services to match the scale of standard trading activity and to see if the database-centered approach achieved the desired performance metrics.
Local non-profit Sustainable Claremont is concerned about the health of children who are exposed to vehicle emissions and air pollution during school drop-off and pick-up times. Seniors Kylie Hetzel, Daniel Ashcroft, Isaiah Fujii Bresnihan and Jasmine Se measured the air quality at Claremont High School with air sensors, mathematically modeled the potential effects of traffic and worked alongside the students to initiate healthier commuting behavior and raise awareness of environmental issues.
Food Waste Analysis Through a Handheld Scanner App: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank The L.A. Regional Food Bank alleviates hunger by feeding more than 300,000 food insecure people every month. Team members Morgan Carothers, Shannon Collier, Sol Cruz, Kayley James and Erin Jimenez sought to reduce the amount of food waste generated from their donations, allowing them to feed more people. After researching the intake process and identifying sources of information loss, they created reports and an app that document the contents of donations, helping the food bank decrease its food waste.
IN A SHOW OF LOVE, RESPECT AND ADMIRATION FOR THE CLASS OF 2020,
the Alumni Association gathered written and video tributes to the class from alumni around the world, who joined together to offer a heartfelt virtual embrace (See bit.ly/classof20-virtualhug). Academic departments held receptions via Zoom to reflect on seniorsâ€™ accomplishments, President Maria Klawe created personalized congratulatory posters upon request, and there was a Senior Celebration webinar May 17. We also wanted to hear about the creative ways families celebrated their studentâ€™s graduation from Harvey Mudd. Thank you to everyone who shared comments and/or photos of their events; this is just a small sample from our 208 spring graduates. We look forward to when we can gather with the Class of 2020 on campus for the traditional HMC Commencement ceremony.
Anant Kandoi “Thank you HMC for giving a wonderful four years to Anant and imparting invaluable knowledge and overall development to him. We celebrated Anant’s home quarantine graduation ceremony in Mumbai, India, by decorating our house with photos of Anant’s memories of the time spent at HMC. We had a couple of friends over to celebrate the occasion. We had requested messages from some professors, and they were extremely kind to send their personal congratulatory video messages for Anant. Anant’s friends from HMC made a very nice video of their time and journey of four years. We popped a celebratory champagne and had a celebration cake and lunch for Anant.” – Prashant Kandoi P20
“We played ’Pomp and Circumstance’ while Alex opened the diploma he received in the mail. We had a Zoom party where family and friends gave him advice. It was very nice— four relatives over 93 years old and six under 30 and all ages in between. And, he had his good friends from HMC and CMS swim team ’shelter in place’ with him for two weeks to celebrate graduating.” – Lucy Carrico P20
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
“We had a small celebration with local family and a champagne toast in a Zoom get-together with family in other states.”
“We celebrated Michelle’s HMC graduation with a surprise drive-by of family and friends. We put out an HMC banner and congratulations balloon bouquet and sent Michelle out to the front of the house at the designated time. It was a great success! Lots of honking, waving and signs and her favorite surprise: her twin sister, Kate, cycling by (after an 18-mile ride from her house)!”
– Bryan and Christina Romero P20
– Heather Allen-Lilly and James Lilly P20
Cole Kurashige “Celebrating our graduate Cole in the time of COVID– 19! We watched the two programs online, and I had tears whenever I saw his name or his picture. Decorations, a special dinner, cake and, of course, gifts!” – Anne Kurashige and Reid Kurashige P20
Madeleine Carolyn Kerr “Madeleine’s sisters and brothers celebrated a two-day party in honor of their sister. Beaches reopened, and we took a shoreline walk from the Hermosa Beach Pier to Malaga Cove Market to have an iced coffee and dolmas. Afterward, we enjoyed Madeleine connecting with the physics department and her fellow classmates. The following day, we surprised Madeleine with a decorated home and entryway with balloons and huge picture posters of Madeleine in action as a physicist and actor. We watched President Klawe’s address and later enjoyed an outdoor meal with grandparents and masks, detailing our favorite memories of Madeleine’s college life. We unanimously agreed: ‘Isaac’s Eye’ and Madeleine as Macbeth at Pomona College were top experiences. Thank you, Mudd and The Claremont Colleges!” – Stephanie Culver P20
Meenakshi Venkatraman “Meena’s cousins in India planned a special treat by getting everyone to dress up just as we would have for graduation. We had a Zoom meeting with family in Bangalore, Mumbai, San Diego and Singapore. We each talked about our memories of her and her achievements at various stages in her life. It was a very special moment for her knowing everyone was there cheering her on and celebrating the momentus occasion!” – Pushpa Venkatraman P20
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Stephanie Blankley “We hosted five additional HMC students who shared Easter, Mother’s Day and Stephanie’s graduation with us. Sangrias and mojitos were the graduation theme, with an ’open house’ staggering of guests outdoors and plenty of food throughout. Three dogs and a pool added to the celebration on a gorgeous sunny day. ” – Marie Blankley P20
Forest Kobayashi “The highlight was the math department’s Zoom celebration for the seniors! And, we made pizza.” – Richard Monkman P20
Miles President “As Miles’ parents, we made an extra effort to ensure Commencement weekend was made particularly special for him. We decorated the inside of the house as well as the outside (to Miles’ mild embarrassment), and I made his favorite dinner and dessert. We had not played a board game in ages, so we played Monopoly on Saturday night. That was very much appreciated by Miles as he always enjoyed playing board games with us when he was younger. There was lots of laughter that night. A few family and friends joined us on Commencement day to celebrate while maintaining social distancing in our backyard. Our nextdoor neighbors also stopped by with balloons, a ’congratulations’ sign and sprayed silly string on Miles while playing Kool & the Gang’s ’Celebration.’ It was a happy and memorable weekend.” – Jitske De Groeve P20 and Kevin President P20
Jenna Kahn (and Isaac Zinda, Syndey Wallace, Prakarsh Pandey) “When HMC closed, our daughter, Jenna, returned home to Georgia—with three friends. The four Mudders completed their classes living in our basement. We held our own little graduation ceremony in the living room with ’diplomas’ we made ourselves. Danny officiated in his own graduation gown from his MBA ceremony. Even the dog, Honey B, participated. Each Mudder also received a cool cutting board adorned with a ’steampunk’ brain and inscribed with Harvey Mudd Class of 2020 (awesome Etsy find). We completed the celebration with a home-cooked feast and champagne in our dining room festooned with graduation decorations. Congratulations HMC Class of 2020!” – Diane Harris, Danny Kahn, Maya Kahn P20
The Ultimudd Gift Guide 2020 In our first gift guide, we feature some creative, entrepreneurial alumni who provide a distinct service or produce original, handcrafted products full-time or as a hobby. We are proud to feature these businesses during this turbulent time as a way to support our community members and provide you with potential gift items for the upcoming holidays or for any special occasion.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Skin Care with B-SilkTM Protein | $45–$65 A materials scientist with a PhD in biomedical engineering, biology alumna Lindsay Wray ’08 knew the unique properties of silk protein could offer a different approach to skincare. With a team of scientists, she patented a way to bioengineer spider silk protein using a fermentation process with inputs of yeast, water, sugar and salt. The proprietary ingredient B-SILK™ PROTEIN, made up of 18 repeating blocks of an amino acid sequence found in natural spider silk, works by shielding skin from environmental aggressors and locking in hydration; it’s vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable. Eighteen B | eighteenb.com/collections
Heritage Hard Cider | $15–$28 Laura and Wes Cherry ’90 (engineering) moved to Vashon Island, Washington, in 2010 with the dream of planting an apple orchard and starting a cidery. Their award-winning ciders—made from mostly English and French traditional cider apple and perry pear varieties—are sold regionally and can also be shipped direct-to-consumer in 39 states. Dragon’s Head Cider dragonsheadcider.com/store
Custom crispy jerky sampler | $15 These thin and crispy beef chips are all the rage in Hawaii. Keane “Puna” Kaneakua ’06 (engineering) has embraced his culinary passion and crafted a new spin on the classic beef jerky snack. Following the motto “dream it, dry it, devour it,” his company, Jerky Labs, offers a variety of flavors from sweet to savory as well as different sizes and customizable labels for any occasion. The bestselling sampler pack comes with three of the most popular flavors: Lemongrass, Garlic Parmesan and Korean BBQ. Free shipping in the U.S. Jerky Labs | jerkylabshawaii.com/collections
Outdoor Gear Subscription Service $29.95 (monthly); $249.95 (quarterly) Cofounders Rob Little ’06 (engineering) and Jared Peterson started out in corporate America (Lockheed Martin and Apple) but, while earning MBAs at Wharton School, they bonded over a mutual passion for the outdoors and entrepreneurship. With Cairn, they seek to disrupt the way outdoor brands and consumers interact. Their subscription box will help you discover bestin-class outdoor products and remember that what feeds your soul is just outside. Collections include up to $50 of retail value (Monthly Original) or $300+ (Quarterly Obsidian). Products are full-sized and fresh (never overstock or close-outs). Free shipping in the U.S. Cairn | getcairn.com
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Headphones and related tech | $100–$500 In 2016, Zeke Burgess ’01 (CS/math) co-founded Periodic Audio Inc. (PAI) with a team of like-minded audio quality enthusiasts to research the impact of advanced material science in the context of high-fidelity sound. A few years, over a dozen “best sound” awards and hundreds of positive reviews later, PAI continues filling customer’s heads with esoteric materials and amazing sound. Use the code HMCMAG2020 to get a 40% discount on in-ear monitors and electronics. Periodic Audio Inc. | periodicaudio.com
Kids’ programming board game | $20 Dan Shapiro ’97 (engineering) created the board game Robot Turtles to teach programming principles to his 4-year-old twins. It went on to become the bestselling boardgame in Kickstarter history. The game teaches kids programming basics without a computer and allows them to boss around adults, “Just like programming is about bossing around computers.” It’s easy, with simple cards like forward, turn, function frog and even lasers! Robot Turtles | robotturtles.com
“Sunset at Its Beach, Santa Cruz, California”
Global photography prints | From $15–$150 Google software engineer Sheldon Logan ’06 (engineering) says he opened an online store to motivate himself to improve his photography. You’ll find landscape, floral and wildlife images from his travels throughout the Caribbean, Europe and the Americas, including scenes from Iceland, Russia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Lucia and his homeland, Jamaica. Get images printed on your favorite medium: canvas, wood, metal and more. Logan’s World Photography | logansworldphotography.com/online-store
Wearable health device | From $249 After his own weight-loss journey, software engineering veteran Sameer Sontakey ’08 (computer science) become obsessed with health and how one can take better control of their well-being. In 2016, he co-founded Biostrap, a health wearable platform offering advanced science-based technology to improve global health. Facilitating data collection through a clinically validated wrist-worn device, Biostrap utilizes machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide insights into one’s physiology and overall health. Additional Biostrap sensors (shoe pod, external heart rate monitors, thermometer) help users manage stress and monitor things like sleep and heart health. Biostrap | biostrap.com
3D-printed geometric earrings | $9–$12 Doug Pollard ’89 (math) and Laurel Pollard ’89 (physics) use math, code and a 3D printer to create beautiful geometric earring designs. Made with love, using compostable PLA filament, the earrings make the perfect gift for math and tech enthusiasts. Pollard 3D Prints | etsy.com/shop/Pollard3Dprints
Glowforge Pro, 3D Laser Printer | $5,995 Dan Shapiro ’97 paid his room and board at HMC by building laser light shows and selling them online. Now, he’s the cofounder and CEO of Glowforge, the 3D laser printer. Hundreds of thousands of creators, artists and entrepreneurs create magical things in minutes using their Glowforge, a combination of cutting-edge electrical, mechanical and computer engineering that’s easy enough to use with the press of a button. Glowforge | glowforge.com
Nature photography | From $48 for canvas prints Möbius Necklace | $40 Christopher Hanusa ’01 (math) is a professor of mathematics and mathematical artist based in New York City. Inspired by the beauty of mathematics, he started a mathematical jewelry business where every piece is 3D-modeled using computational software and then 3D-printed in nylon or in metal through a lost wax casting process. His pieces are found in gift shops, including the National Museum of Mathematics. The featured necklace (available in silver, bronze or brass) consists of a Möbius strip—a non-orientable surface—formed by connecting two ends of a thin rectangle after a twist. Hanusa Design | hanusadesign.com
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
After a 35-year career in engineering (Hewlett-Packard, Medtronic), Scott Gibson ’80 (engineering) decided, in 2016, to circle back to an early love of photography. Shooting landscapes and wildlife combined his love of the outdoors, exercise and capturing interesting still and motion images. Select photo products and prints, related to themes like “Wild Horses,” “Fall Colors” and “Water,” are suitable for home and office décor. Gibson Outdoor Photo | GibsonOutdoorPhoto.com
Consider wines from these vineyards, where alumni work • Brander Vineyard, Santa Barbara County (Fred Brander ’72). Classically styled wines, primarily Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. • Senses Wines, Sonoma, California (Chris Strieter ’10). Expressive, terroir-driven wines from the Sonoma Coast and beyond.
Sit ’n Stare 2.0 (9-inch mini version | $600 Janet Cooke Hansen ’90 (engineering) is an LED artist, creating illuminated fine art as well as custom lighted clothing (enlighted.com). This framed electronic light panel displays a variety of hypnotic geometric patterns, including sound-reactive effects, which can be customized with an optional iOS interface. Janet Hansen, artist | janethansen.com
Suggest other alumni business owners for a future gift guide. email@example.com.
• E&J Gallo Winery (Tom Smith ’80). Its California and Washington wineries produce wines and spirits for over 90 brands. • Klipsun, Red Mountain, Washington (David Gelles ’66). Distinct wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon. • Eleven Winery, Bainbridge Island, Washington (Matthew Albee ’91). Off-beat varieties, including Malbec, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot, Roussanne and Viognier. • Trinchero Family Estates, Napa (Dana Fowers ’96). Creators of the first White Zinfandel; over 50 wine and spirit brands. • Rombauer Vine, Napa (Matthew Owings ’98). Distinctive, fruit-driven wines.
Alumni Association Awards, 2020 Outstanding Alumni Vicky Colf ’95 (engineering) Field/title: chief technology officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment; HMC trustee Specialty: technology research and development, and innovation strategy Known for overseeing the development of the entertainment industry’s first digital supply chain, the Emmy Awardwinning Digital End-to-End managed content service, which changed the way entertainment content is delivered. Words I live by. Make it better—and, for the longer term, stewardship—no matter what “it” is. I believe it is our responsibility to leave a place or a project better than we found it and to never pass up an opportunity to make things better. It is incredibly important to keep learning, to be curious and never lose your energy to learn new things and be expansive in your exploration. Always try to be kind, especially when you don’t feel like it. And, try to assume people are doing the best they can. What’s been rewarding. Having the ability to work side-by-side with my teammates with organizations like STEAM:CODERS and Girls Who Code has been one of the most rewarding parts of my career thus far. I’m incredibly grateful that we are afforded the space and ability to dedicate our time and skills to these organizations. Each time we host an event for these students, it’s clear how important it is for those of us who have careers in technology to reach out and lift up underrepresented groups. We’re hopefully showing them some of the fun that you can have in tech, and providing encouragement and relatable examples that demonstrate all the possibilities that open up with a foundation in computer science or engineering. Advice for current students or recent graduates. I really believe, based on experience, that the most difficult and trying times are the ones that give you strength and insight to draw from later in life. This period of time holds valuable lessons for us all despite the fact they are sometimes obscured by hardship and struggle.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Thomas D. Wang ’85 (mathematics and physics) Field/title: academic physician, University of Michigan Specialty: in vivo imaging of the liver and digestive tract for early cancer detection
My inspiration. My father, James P. Wang, was an immigrant from Taiwan. He used his intelligence, determination and diligence to pursue a career in science and improve the quality of life for his family.
Known for developing first video endoscope sensitive to fluorescence for rapidly identifying pre-malignant lesions over large mucosal surface areas, a patented approach that is widely cited as a major impetus for the convergence of fluorescence spectroscopy and endoscopy. He also pioneered the use of fluorescence-labeled peptides to detect over-expressed cell surface targets in vivo to identify pre-malignant mucosa. He has filed over 30 patents on novel optical imaging technologies.
What’s been rewarding. To be able to attend some of the best academic institutions in the U.S., including HMC, MIT, Harvard and Stanford.
Words I live by. Do your best, God will do the rest.
Advice for current students or recent graduates. Be well-educated in the fundamentals of science. Pursue a broad range of interests. Remember, change is inevitable, survival is not.
Joel Greer ’70 (mathematics) Field/title: researcher, Capitol Counsel LLC Specialty: health outcomes research, end-stage renal disease program and cost effectiveness analyses of clinical trials Known for inventing the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke Poverty Measure (while a PhD student at Cornell University). It was adopted as the standard poverty measure by the World Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank and incorporated into the Mexican constitution, and used as an index for its poverty-reduction program.
Van Hecke Prize Bruce Worster ’64 (physics), was recognized for his extraordinary level of support for and commitment to the College, its students, alumni and mission. He has been a member of the HMC Board of Trustees since 1998 and was a 2009 Outstanding Alumnus and a 2019 recipient of the Lifetime Recognition Award. He previously served several terms on AABOG, including a term as president. With his wife, Susan, he established the Susan and Bruce Worster ’64 Professorship in Physics and has supported capital projects and scholarships, including the Class of ’64 Endowed Scholarship. He held technical and leadership roles in several Silicon Valley companies and started his own, Ultrapointe Corporation, before joining telecommunications company JDS-Uniphase Corporation, from which he retired in 2001 as vice president. Worster holds many patents for the integrated confocal laser imaging system and related technologies used to analyze defects on silicon wafers.
Honorary Alumni Gary Evans has long championed entrepreneurship at Harvey Mudd College, where, from 1981 to 2020, he served as professor of economics in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts. An expert in enterprise and entrepreneurship, financial institutions, and small business development, he’s taught courses in macroeconomics, entrepreneurship and finance and is an advocate of online teaching and learning. He has strategically connected and inspired innovative students and alumni. In 1990, he founded the HMC Entrepreneurial Network, and, in 2017, Evans partnered with entrepreneur Josh Jones ’98, DreamHost co-founder, to start the Harvey Mudd incubator HMC INQ, modeled after Y Combinator.
A faculty member since 1996, Patrick Little holds the J. Stanley and Mary Wig Johnson Professorship in Engineering Management. He directed the Engineering and Global Clinic programs for 11 years total and served as the interim director of the Fred and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity during its founding years. He served as chair of the faculty from 2016 to 2019. As an expert on transportation and reliability, he analyzed the operations and maintenance practices of many railway organizations. In addition to authoring papers on engineering education, he co-authored the widely used text Engineering Design: A Project-based Introduction.
Lifetime Recognition David A. Baylor joined the HMC Board of Trustees in 1999 and is now an emeritus member. He has over 40 years of experience as a broadcast executive spanning satellite, over-the-air network and public television. A Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, he led the design and implementation of several industry innovations, including closed captioning, network television’s first national satellite interconnection system and digital satellite TV. His teams have earned several Technical Emmy Awards, and he was named Black Engineer of the Year in 1997 for his career achievements. Baylor is a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran, entrepreneur and philanthropist, who supports several community organizations and colleges, including Harvey Mudd. Wayne Drinkward ’73 (engineering) recently retired from his position as CEO of Hoffman Construction Company, the Pacific Northwest’s largest construction company. In addition to his industry engagement, Drinkward has been an active volunteer and supporter of many community service organizations. He joined the Harvey Mudd Board of Trustees in 2005 and served as its chair from 2012 to 2020. He was instrumental in the creation
of the R. Michael Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, which houses a recital hall that bears his name. In 2015, the board named a new residence hall in honor of Wayne and Julie Drinkward in recognition of the support and leadership they have provided to the College. Michael G. Wilson ’63 (engineering) is producer of the James Bond film series together with his sister, Barbara Broccoli, and is chairman of EON Productions. He received a juris doctor from Stanford Law School and worked for the Department of Transportation before joining Surrey & Morse, where he became a partner specializing in international tax and business transactions before transferring to EON Productions in 1972. In addition to producing and co-writing Bond films, Wilson and Broccoli released The Rhythm Section and have executive produced independent film projects and co-produced stage productions. Wilson is a leading expert on 19th-century photography and directs the Wilson Centre for Photography. A fellow of the Science Museum London, he serves as a trustee for several organizations, including Harvey Mudd College.
Order of the Wart Laura Palucki Blake, assistant vice president for institutional research and effectiveness, received the Order of the Wart in appreciation for the contributions to the alumni community during her six-year tenure. An expert in assessment, she works with faculty, departments, programs and the academic leadership of the College to act on evidence of student learning and provide guidance on grant project evaluations and program review. Her research interests include the development of assessment strategies that promote institutional improvement, access and equity for women and others traditionally underrepresented in STEM, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
“We are alumni of Harvey Mudd College and we stand against systemic racism …”
Good Company HMC constituents nominated their favorite quarantine coworker during this time at home. Favorite colleagues ranged from pets to plants, and the Harvey Mudd community voted for their favorites. Here they are! 3
These words begin the letter of support written by Harvey Mudd alumni. To read the letter and sign it as alumni of the College, visit bit.ly/MuddAlumLtr-sum20.
N A L IT
YO U UP TO CH EE R M OS T LI KE LY
Walter Nissen ’00
MO ST LIK ELY TO SU CC EED
1. B EST P ERSONALITY
4 . MO ST LIKELY TO CH EER YO U UP
“Clicky is a superlative coworker. He is incredibly supportive and seems to consistently find ways to back me up.”
“Their worst habit is flipping their water dish and pooping in their food dish.”
Clicky the Stink Bug | Jessica Mezzacappa P20
Hal Harris ’62
Over 100 alumni, faculty, students, staff and parents donned masks and followed distancing guidelines while participating in the HMC Alumni Association’s first Virtual 5K Mudd Runn April 26–May 10. Individuals participated by running, jogging, walking and unicycling. Results can be found here: https://bit.ly/MuddRunn2020.
CU TE ST
Klara (with Jason Gallicchio) | Danae Schulz
Captain Crunch, Cheerio and Cocoa Puff | Karen Angemi
5. MO ST LIKELY TO SUCCEED
Mo Zhao ’16 | Akhil Bagaria ’16 “Mo and I were roommates in Case all through Mudd.”
“A bundle of mischief and curiosity”
3 . FUNNIEST
Fan | Luis Viornery ’18 “Keeps the environment bearable except between 2 and 3 p.m.” Andrea ’21 and Edgar P21 Zavala
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Follow the link for more details about
each winner: https://bit.ly/QuaranPal20
1967 Gary Smith’s (math) latest book Pitfalls of Data
Science was published by Oxford University Press.
Together with his wife, Kay, Dick Silver returned home in February to Kentucky after serving a third time as a Portuguese-speaking senior missionary couple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They served most recently in Marietta, Georgia, in a congregation serving the whole northwest corner of the state. “Previously, we had gone to Mozambique (2002) and Angola (2006). We assisted people in getting medical and dental care and emergency food supplies, and helped in classes to teach English to Brazilians. It is interesting that in such a densely populated, high cost-of-living area, there are a large number of low-income people, living on daily incomes alone. We are soon to celebrate our 56th anniversary.”
1963 Michael Blasgen (engineering) writes, “The time
I spent at Mudd, now years ago, has served me well. I continued my education in graduate school in engineering and did research in computer and software design for another 30 years. Now retired, I continue to serve HMC as a trustee.”
1966 Gary Seeger (physics) is still working as the vice
president of quality assurance and regulatory affairs at Stellartech Research Corporation in Milpitas, California. Stellartech designs, develops, manufactures and services medical devices. Its specific niche is therapeutic energy delivery systems for tissue ablation, cutting and coagulation, which can be radiofrequency, ultrasound, microwave, X-ray or cryo energy. Gary continues to umpire Little League baseball at all age levels and also runs, hikes and lifts weights.
In Memoriam Robert Prodan ’71/72 Robert Prodan ’71/72 (engineering) passed away on April 7, 2020 after a heroic battle with his third bout of head and neck cancer. He courageously fought cancer for the past seven years. An engineering major and longtime supporter of the College, Bob spent his career at The Boeing Company and Loral Aerospace.
GreenFire Energy Inc. announced in April the appointment of Andrew (Andy) J. Van Horn (physics) as director of applied research. He will apply GreenFire Energy’s closed-loop geothermal technology to new industrial applications and accelerate the company’s product development initiatives for renewable energy. He is an expert in energy technologies, environmental markets, regulations and policies, and was the founder and managing director of energy advisory firm Van Horn Consulting for 33 years. Andy pioneered the development and application of complex integrated assessment models for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Electric Power Research Institute, and delivered expert testimony regarding electricity and natural gas assets, markets, contracts, regulations and rates in state and federal proceedings. He helped develop and implement the U.S. cap-and-trade market for sulphur dioxide (SO2) and set the price for the first SO2 allowance trade in 1992. He has examined the effects of California’s AB 32 rules on California Carbon Allowance (CCA) and western electricity markets, and has served as an Independent Evaluator of procurement processes and contracts for two major California utilities.
1970 For Mudd Talks on May 27, Andy Hoffer (physics), lead inventor and founder of Lungpacer Medical Inc., discussed why diaphragm pacing can help patients at risk of failure to wean from mechanical ventilation.
Joel Voelzke ’83 Joel David Voelzke ’83 (engineering) crossed the bar on April 28. He worked for nine years as an electrical engineer for Litton Guidance and Control Systems, Singer Librascope and Teledyne Systems Company. Joel earned a J.D. from USC in 1995 and managed a law practice, specializing in intellectual property law. Janine Midori Fujioka SCR ’84 recalls that he was a “sportsman and an adventurer at heart” with many hobbies: “sailing, skiing at Mammoth, backpacking, SCUBA near Channel Islands, ballroom dancing, skydiving, running track on Santa Monica Community College fields. He sailed with HMC Sailing Club, sang in Four Colleges’ Choir and wrote poetry in calligraphy.” Phil Wolf ’83 recalls a rogue road trip from California to Oregon on ten-speeds, returning by freight train like hobos. A longtime supporter of the College, Joel volunteered with L.A. County Bar Association Domestic Violence project and took his engineering skills to Rebuilding Together, renovating disabled elderly residents’ homes in South Central L.A. Visitmykeeper.com/profile/JoelVoelzke.
Stephen Hinch ’73/74 (engineering) spends his
LanzaTech, where Jennifer Holmgren (chemistry) is CEO, is launching a new company that will make sustainable jet fuel in partnership with Mitsui, Suncor and All Nippon Airways. For Holmgren (a 2016 HMC Outstanding Alumna), the launch of LanzaJet is the next step in the process of bringing to market her company’s technology, which promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb climate change by creating a more circular carbon economy.
Jonathan Gay (engineering) is focusing his energy and resources on caring for the natural systems of our planet. He writes, “I graze cows to improve grasslands and store carbon while restoring watersheds, soils and native plants on ranch land in Northern California. Seeing oak trees I have planted bear acorns, raising three young children and enjoying the swallows as they come back to ponds I built and tend is my way of dreaming of a healthy future for our planet.”
spare time writing non-fiction books. He shares: “Now that I’m retired and sheltering at home like everyone else, I’m using the time to write my next book. It’s a popular account of the canyon country of the American Southwest, tentatively titled, The Slickrock Desert: Journeys of Discovery in an Endangered American Wilderness.” Check out his Amazon Author page at https://bit.ly/Hatch-20.
1974 Timothy O’Donnell (physics) worked at National
Semiconductor, US2 and then ARM. He was president of ARM Inc. and established the U.S.-based operation of ARM in 1991 until retiring in 2002. ARM was a startup company in the semiconductor intellectual property segment. Timothy was responsible for worldwide sales and business development for the corporation. He has been instrumental in developing partnership agreements and business models with many of the major corporations worldwide. While at ARM, Timothy helped grow the company from a small startup to a company with a significant impact on the industry, through an IPO and reaching a market capitalization of $10 billion. Today, ARM-based chips are used in cell phones, tablets, smart TVs, automobiles, IOT devices and more. There have been more than 150 billion ARM-based chips shipped to date. View the talk he gave at Alumni Weekend 2019: http://bit.ly/ODonnell19
Fernando Urbina ’83/84 (engineering) is celebrating
five years of retirement (after working for 25 years at Apple).
In May, E-therapeutics announced the creation of a Scientific Advisory Board headed by Paul Burke (chemistry), principal of Burke Bioventures LLC. As chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, he works with the company to appoint additional international advisors experienced in genetics, computational approaches to drug discovery and deep drug development expertise, across small molecules and RNAi. Paul was the founding head of Pfizer’s global Center of Excellence for targeted drug delivery and imaging and chief technology officer of its oligonucleotide therapeutics unit. He held executive director positions at RNA Therapeutics (Merck & Co.) and Amgen (Pharmaceutics).
Kathleen DeWitt sent this update in April: “I am
working with an NGO by the name of Field Ready, which is working in developing countries to provide locally made COVID-19 medical and WASH equipment for dealing with the crisis or preparing for it. Probably the biggest concern here in Kurdistan is the refugee and IDP camps: poor conditions, lack of income, untreated stress and trauma and poor medical facilities all contribute to conditions where the virus could spread like wildfire. The same is true for the numerous camps around the world housing millions of displaced people, who have lost everything due to violence (conflict and war), which the developed world seems to be ignoring.”
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
Mark Sellers (engineering) writes: “Since May 2017,
I’ve been working at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as the associate laboratories director for the Mission Assurance Division. Two new grandbabies turn one this year. My wife, Ann, and I enjoy the outdoors as we both recover from hip and knee surgeries. Sucks getting old.”
Kyle G. Roesler (math) was
an Air Force officer for seven years and then had a 20-year career at Lockheed Martin in satellite design, test and operations. Now, he’s retired and is a full-time novelist. Two recent novels are The Navel of the World, which gives the reader a tour of Easter Island and delves into the life of a local rookie cop trying to prevent terrorists from using the island’s extra-long airport runway (expanded by NASA as an emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle) as a stopping-off point. The cop’s story continues in Moai Walks into a Tiki Bar with the addition of his wife. The pair visit Los Angeles and Hawaii while trying to chase down kidnappers and find out what happened to Amelia Earhart. Find Kyle’s books on Amazon, Nook and iPad.
1991 Chang Hee Kim (chemistry) is CEO of GoDX,
which seeks to democratize diagnostics in order to bring rapid, low-cost diagnostics to everyone. The company is focusing on developing a fasttracked FDA emergency test called CoronaChecker to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They’re also working on an at-home CoronaChecker test.
1993 Jeffrey Reid (physics) is featured in a May Forbes
article about using data and genomic approaches to drug discovery. As head of genomics and data engineering for Regeneron, he works in the Genetics Center, a research initiative that seeks to improve patient care by using genomic approaches to speed drug discovery and development.
manager at Mazda, working on the new CX-30. According to a Truck Trend Network interview in May, his primary areas are “steering, handling, ride, brakes, active safety systems, and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), with some involvement with powertrain and HMI (human/ machine interface).”
1996 Darin Grant (CS) is the CTO at Animal Logic which
WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE
made effects for the Matrix movies and produced a number of animated features, including Happy Feet, The Lego Movie and Peter Rabbit. He’s worked in the industry alongside many HMC grads since about two weeks after graduating and has “loved every minute of it.” He’s also recommended recipients of Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences over the past 15 years.
1997 Raul Martinez (engineering), Derek Stanford (math) is a Democratic member
of the Washington State Senate, representing District 1. Derek previously served in the Washington House of Representatives for the 1st District. He graduated with a master’s degree in mathematics from Claremont Graduate University and a PhD in statistics from the University of Washington. He previously worked as a principal investigator on a research project for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and runs an analytics solutions and consulting business. Nathan Wiedenman (engineering) retired from the
Army in 2014 after some great R&D assignments at West Point, overseas and at DARPA. He spent a few years leading an office for entrepreneurship at Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, then moved to Rochester, Minnesota, last year to work for Mayo Clinic. He’s part of Mayo’s Office of Translation to Practice, where he helps discover, evaluate and support new medical innovations for broader adoption and potential commercialization.
1995 Dave Coleman (engineering) grew up loving cars.
A former engineering editor at a car magazine and a performance rally racer, he’s now vehicle dynamics
spoke about "Intellectual Property Considerations for Startups" for HMC’s Mudd Talks in June. He received his law degree from the University of Utah in 2000. After working as an attorney for over 15 years, Raul decided to open his own law firm in 2019 and specialize in domestic and foreign patent prosecution, patentability opinions and infringement opinions. Craig Meyer (engineering) quit his job, had a touring
bicycle made and 3D-printed some accessories for it. He has ridden a little in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, and a lot in Cambodia and Thailand. He’s preparing for a Laos mountain-road trip. His goal is to make it through Vietnam and China and into Russia. He writes that he’s learning a lot about himself and others, “the differences between peoples and cultures, and to appreciate and cherish my own.” Dan Shapiro (engineering), serial entrepreneur
and CEO and cofounder of Glowforge, is working to make one million Ear Savers that are free to essential workers. (See his products in the Gift Guide, pages 29 and 30.)
1998 Jim Campbell (math) completed a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of Southern California in 2019. His dissertation topic was the global observation of soil moisture from space using signals of opportunity, such as GPS signals, reflected from Earth’s surface. He was supported by a fellowship from his employer, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. Michael Wolf (CS) is the manager of the Scalable
Algorithms Department at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque.
2002 One of the mathematicians who discovered how to prove a version of the “rectangular peg problem” is Joshua Greene (math), a 2002 MAA Morgan Prize winner for work in topological combinatorics. He is now a professor at Boston College. According to Quanta Magazine, “Greene and [Andrew] Lobb’s proof built on [Herbert] Vaughan’s work. But it also combined several additional results, some of which were only available very recently. The final proof is like a precision instrument, which has just the right combination of ideas to produce the outcome they wanted.”
2003 Trevor Gile (engineering) writes, “What do you do
with your 1-year-old daughter? Fly her to New Zealand of course! It was an amazing adventure with the family. Now it’s back to the real-world exploring challenges at work in domains I’ve barely touched; that sounds familiar. But, if you’re into automated hardware/software co-optimization and deployment to custom embedded systems, I have a job for you. Pick-up basketball games have returned as a weekly activity. Not quite as intense as the good ol’ days, and definitely not as much jumping, but it does surface a bit of nostalgia for them. If you’re ever in San Diego, you are always welcome.”
2006 Sarah Fogenburg (biology) is the quality assurance
and regulatory affairs manager for a Corning Life Sciences location in Woodland, California. Her specialty is animal serum for cell culture, research,
pharmaceuticals and medical devices. She also serves on the International Serum Industry Association Regulatory Committee. In April, Cytovale, co-founded by Ajay Shah (engineering), received $3.38 million in additional funding for its sepsis diagnostic system. COVID-19 patients are at high risk for sepsis.
2007 Alice Clifton (engineering) is a PhD candidate at
the Georgia Institute of Technology studying the history and sociology of technology and science. Her dissertation is a study of the development of U.S. engineering cultures and white masculinity.
memories are formed, and how they might influence our perception of the past and future.” Read the article: https://bit.ly/Tsao-Sci520
backpacking as much as possible while working at Sandia Labs in California.
Alyssa Pierson (engineering), MIT CSAIL research
scientist, co-created a UVC-equipped robot that powerfully disinfects surfaces and neutralizes aerosolized forms of the coronavirus. The disinfecting robot can cover a 4,000-square-foot warehouse in just half an hour and neutralize approximately 90% of coronaviruses on surfaces. Researchers believe this approach could be useful for autonomous UV disinfection in environments like factories, restaurants and supermarkets. The project is a collaboration between CSAIL, Ava Robotics and the Greater Boston Food Bank.
is moving into the field of clinical informatics, the ever-growing bridge between technology and healthcare. She describes it as “data science, project management and caring for people all rolled into one.” Sameer Sontakey’s (CS) company has partnered with
2009 Janet Komatsu (engineering) joined Profusa, a
biotech startup that is pioneering tissue-integrating biosensors for real-time monitoring of the body chemistry. The technology can detect and continuously transmit actionable medical-grade data for personal and medical use. Albert Tsao (physics) is featured in the May issue
of The Scientist discussing a theory of how our brains keep track of time. “The theoretical and experimental advances made by [Marc] Howard, Tsao, and others in this field are helping to reshape researchers’ understanding of how episodic
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
David Marangoni-Simonsen (engineering) has been
Shayni Saftler (biology) is a registered nurse but
UCLA and Tulane to study the effects of COVID-19 on patients. Biostrap produces a clinical-grade wearable device that can monitor a number of vital signs during a person’s various waking, active and sleeping states. (See this item in our gift guide, page 29.)
Beverly Yeh (biology) is a recent Teach for America
alum, and she’s continued to teach middle school math in her placement district. Prior to Teach for America, she taught English in Fukui Prefecture, Japan on the JET Program. She says, “My journey after graduation has been unlike many Mudders’ paths, and I do not regret a bit of it!”
2015 Paul Jerger (physics) wrote to share that the review
paper, “Utilizing Site Disorder in the Development of New Energy-Relevant Semiconductors,” was recently accepted into ACS Energy Letters. Co-authored by four HMC alumni—Celeste Melamed, Allison Mis, Eric Toberer ’02 and Adele Tamboli ’04—the paper considers “possible enhancements to energy-related applications through the integration of disorder-tunable materials in devices such as light-emitting diodes, photonics, photovoltaics, photocatalytic materials, batteries, and thermoelectrics.” Ariel Willey (engineering) does
Audrey Lawrence (CS) works in the autonomous
vehicle industry, and is based in Seattle leading mapping and infrastructure at a startup, CARMERA, which makes HD maps for AVs.
2012 Renee Gittins (engineering) discussed the rise of
older gamers in a January 2020 GameDaily.biz article (bit.ly/GittinsGameDay120). She was also featured on Venturebeat.com (March 24) describing the partnerships and resources being offered during the COVID-19 crisis “to continue to help developers around the world achieve fulfilling and sustainable careers in game development.” Renee is executive director of the International Game Developers Association.
sustainability consulting for green buildings. She did HVAC engineering for a couple years before realizing she wanted to have a broader understanding of the whole building’s sustainability story. She writes, “I’m not currently in an engineering role, and it fits me well. I help architects, engineers (civil, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing), landscape architects and contractors design and build projects to meet green building certifications (LEED, fitwel, WELL and others). I use my engineering background to check the work of engineers and tell them how to fix things if necessary. We manage the whole process of certification, from early conceptual design to the end of construction, keeping all team members on track and organized.”
ALUM N I P R O F IL E
Mind the Gap There’s a disconnect between engineering and marketing that Julia Goldstein is uniquely qualified to bridge. Interview by Kelley Freund Photo by Dan DeVries DURING ENGINEERING CLINIC HER SENIOR YEAR,
Julia Goldstein ’88 took on most of the report writing while her teammates did the coding. While studying materials science at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, she honed her writing skills. As a process development engineer in the semiconductor packaging industry, Julia wrote quarterly reports and articles for trade magazines. So, in 2001, she decided to shift to professional writing. Now with her own communications company, she’s been published in trade and business journals and has written about everything from stormwater management and 3D printing to transportation and sustainability.
Describe your Harvey Mudd experience. I found out about Mudd at a college fair. I liked that it wasn’t purely a tech school but had a focus on the humanities. I was leaning toward liberal arts schools with a major in the sciences, so Harvey Mudd seemed like the right blend. I came in as a physics major but realized that wasn’t a good fit for me and switched to engineering. I took a materials science class my junior year. I had never heard of materials science, but that course was fantastic. I got so excited about the whole idea that you could tailor materials to have specific properties, like improved strength, by adding specific elements or subjecting the materials to precise heat treatment.
How did your engineering work lead to a writing career? I was doing contract work as a technical consultant, and I was starting to take on more of a project management role for one of my clients. My kids were 2 and 4 at the time. My youngest wouldn’t nap at preschool, so I had to start picking him up at noon, which prevented me from spending more time on-site for this project. I started thinking about other options, and I realized I had always been the engineer who did the writing. I discovered that Advanced Packaging Magazine was looking for
a technical editor. That job came with flexible hours, and it was something I could do at home. Most of the people who read the magazine had no idea that the publication’s Silicon Valley office was in my dining room.
You now have your own company, JLFG Communications. What do you write about? I call it technical marketing communications. I help businesses and government agencies tell their stories through blog posts, articles, case studies, reports and white papers. I also blog about materials and sustainability on my website. I’m planning to launch an online course teaching marketing writing to small and midsize manufacturing businesses. There is often a disconnect between engineering and marketing, and I want to bridge that gap and help companies create more effective content in-house.
You also wrote a book, Material Value, published in 2019. What is it about and why do you think it’s important? In Material Value, I look specifically at two classes of engineered materials: plastics and metals. I focus on these because they are so prevalent in society and because of the incredible amount of waste and sometimes toxic exposure that occurs from building products out of these materials. In the book, I discuss the challenges facing the manufacturing world, how manufacturers
can make choices that are less wasteful and less harmful to people and the environment, and the role of individuals, agencies and governments in improving the use and reuse of materials. The book also has interviews with business leaders who really care about sustainability.
What do you want people to do after reading your book? I hope that readers will develop a new appreciation for the environmental impact of the products they buy. If they decide to keep their cell phone longer before upgrading or reduce their reliance on disposable items, that’s a win. For those working at a manufacturing or technology company, I want them to look at their employer’s website. Is there a sustainability or social responsibility page and, if so, does the company act on its promises? If the message is lacking, there is an opportunity to push for changes in company policy.
What are your next projects? I’ve written another book, geared toward a consumer audience and dealing with all the confusion surrounding recycling and composting. I’m planning to launch Rethink the Bins in November 2020. I lead workshops and webinars on recycling, so there’s interest in this topic, and it’s great to have the opportunity to educate people. I recognize that smarter recycling is not going to alleviate climate change, that there are many other things that need to happen. But this is a small piece of it, and if people can learn a few best practices, maybe we can make recycling work.
Samuel Woodman (biology) has been working as
Alex Echeverria (engineering) works at The Boeing
a contractor at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center doing both coding/data analysis and fieldwork. He built an R Shiny tool for creating ensembles of species distribution model predictions (Woodman et al. 2019, bit.ly/WoodmanRShiny19), and is part of a team assessing the risk of whale entanglement in fishing gear off the U.S. West Coast. He spent two, five-month field seasons at Cape Shirreff, Antarctica, collecting and analyzing data related to pinniped and seabird reproduction, foraging ecology, growth, abundance and distribution, and survival. Other projects have included collecting data for sea lion diet studies and creating tools to analyze data collected during research cruises and aerial surveys.
Company on ASICs for satellites and is considering returning to grad school. Josh Tawabutr (physics) is pursuing a PhD in physics
at Ohio State University. He’s working on QCD with Yuri Kovchegov, specifically on the proton spin problem.
2018 Carla Becker (physics) has been working at KeraCel
Inc., a solid-state battery startup which aims to produce safer, higher energy density and cheaper batteries via 3D printing, allowing production of batteries of any shape and size. She started as a materials engineer but has also taken on a project management role collaborating with a third-party company to digitize all of the data taking, develop data visualization tools specific to company needs and classify data with machine learning. “It has been interesting navigating my way through some odd situations that come up when you’re the only woman at the company. It’s been awesome living in the Bay with so many other Mudders around to hang out with!”
Gabriel Quiroz (engineering) took some time to travel
and relax before starting work. He went to Vegas, Peru, Athens, Italy and Spain with friends and family then packed up and moved to the Bay Area to begin work at Apple as a software engineer. Angela Sun (engineering) works at efyian Inc., a medical diagnostic startup based out of Keck Graduate Institute. She writes, “We’re developing a device that will essentially combine the accuracy of a central lab test (gain results you get when you go to a doctor’s and get your blood drawn) with the simplicity of an off-the-shelf test (think pregnancy strips). In my role as one of two engineers on the team, we not only develop device prototypes, but we also help with assay development.”
Rachael Kretsch (biology) completed an M.A. in Laura (Xin) Zhang (physics) is a graduate student at Princeton Plasma Physics. She did a summer internship at Siemens Corporate Technology to study the intersection of artificial intelligence and physics, mainly using AI to help predict the future of physical systems “while making sure that the prediction still obeys the laws of physics that we know and love.” She shares: “I’m being reminded of the reasons that I ended up in physics, that physics is still the only thing that I love too much to live without. On the other hand, as a woman in physics, it was quite a shock to go from Mudd (where my class of physics graduates was majority women) to a graduate program where I was the only one in my cohort, and second in the entire program.” She and Sierra Jubin, a Williams grad, started a Women in Plasma Physics chapter at Princeton and have organized and participated in science education (K-12) and undergraduate outreach and mentoring programs.
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE
science and security at King’s College London. She writes, “After a year of fun in London and lots of reading and writing about science from an international security perspective, I am happily back in lab in California starting my PhD in biophysics at Stanford.” Kristin Lie (engineering) works at Millennium Space
Systems in Los Angeles in the Structures group. There, she analyses and tests small satellites, “which I think is the coolest!” She says, “I’ve been using a lot of skills from HMC engineering and learning a lot as well. Outside of work, I enjoy climbing and I’ve been trying to improve my cooking/baking skills.”
2019 Bella Lee (engineering) is working as a mechanical
engineer in the testing division at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems.
Your News Have you changed jobs? Retired? Celebrated a milestone? In addition to updates you submit, we compile information from a variety of sources: campus event notices, newspaper and magazine articles, press releases and Google alerts. Please submit updates to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Connections Continue Determined that the pandemic wouldn’t get the better of them, the HMC Alumni Association set out to demonstrate that physical distancing need not result in social disconnection. In collaboration with the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations, they helped plan virtual events (like 5K Mudd Runn) and webinars (Mudd Talks, Alumni Virtual Hangouts) to help the community stay informed, in touch and entertained during this time of uncertainty. The Community was invited to learn about the Core Curriculum and Revision process and alumni discussed intellectual property, hackers and entrepreneurship. Alumni experts joined the battle against COVID-19 by sharing their knowledge about technology to support ICU patients, using 3D printing to help fight COVID and managing stress, to name just a few of the presentations. A web page contains links to many of these online events as well as ways to stay connected and support the community. The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations will continue to host virtual events throughout the academic year and post the results/recordings on the Online Offerings website, bit.ly/3jjCdIw.
Mudd Talks A virtual discussion series open to the HMC community. Speakers select topics in their area of expertise for an hour-long conversation or presentation followed by a Q-and-A, via Zoom Webinar. Find Mudd Talks on the HMC YouTube channel. youtu.be/cQl0tVkn7NM
Alumni Identity Intersections Speaker Series A virtual webinar series open to alumni and current students. Alumni share ways their personal experiences have influenced them and how they have learned to integrate identity, sense of purpose and passion into their work. The series connects current students and alumni who may share similar experiences.
Alumni Virtual Hangouts These casual events that help alumni connect over Zoom range from happy hours to trivia nights to board game nights to workshops. Hosts select the activity or hobby to feature.
MuddCompass As part of ongoing efforts to keep the HMC community connected, the offices of Alumni and Parent Relations and Career Services are partnering
to launch an online engagement platform powered by PeopleGrove. Students and alumni can connect online to network, find or offer career support and share personal or professional development information. The Office of Career Services is developing career education programs for students. Alumni are invited to share their experiences, knowledge and advice through resume reviews, interview prep and networking advice. During a recent event, “Navigating an Unpredictable Job Market Featuring HMC Alumni,” panelists shared ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of Institutional Diversity invites alumni to engage with students through programs like the Chat and Chew lunch series, I’m a First series, AntiRacist Program series, and The Power of Using Your Voice program. Those wishing to share their expertise and advice for any of these programs are welcome to fill out the Volunteer Form at bit.ly/3gFg3ih.
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With the holiday season fast approaching, we have you covered for fun, practical or unusual gifts. Look no further than our first gift guide, featuring Harvey Mudd alumni, who have turned technical skills and creativity into full-time or part-time businesses. See page 26.
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