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RIGHT AS REIN Not long after retirement, aerospace engineer Murray Thompson ’72 took to the saddle and became a cow horse champion. | 24








Stavros Busenberg (right), late professor of mathematics (1968–1993), with a student, circa 1970.

Clearly Inspired Chalk board. White board. Smartboard. Over the years, the technology has changed in the Harvey Mudd classroom, but the commitment to personalized undergraduate education has remained. Faculty members are not just teaching science, engineering, mathematics and humanities—they also are mentoring future colleagues. Talithia Williams, associate professor of mathematics, shown here with Jacob Rosalsky ’18 and Monica Mikkelsen ’18  in the Shanahan Center outdoor classroom, says, “The beauty of being at a special place like Mudd is in the personal relationships I get to build with my students outside of the classroom. It's those moments that will define their undergraduate experience and give them not only the academic tools, but the mentorship needed to be successful after graduation.”






HARVEY MUDD’S MISSION CALLS US to educate engineers, scientists and

mathematicians so they may assume leadership in their fields with a clear understanding of the impact of their work on society. Since the College’s earliest days, research has stood as a critical component to fulfilling this mission. Today, we stand on the shoulders of the many faculty members who worked so hard to begin these programs by laying a solid foundation that has spanned more than 50 years. Established in 1960 by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the 10-week Summer Undergraduate Research Program has grown through a steady increase in both internal and external funding to become a mainstay of the Harvey Mudd student experience. The College is widely recognized as a leader in undergraduate research and, despite its size, spends roughly $3 million per year on cutting-edge research—the vast majority of which directly involves students. A significant amount of this funding comes through faculty-generated, nationally competitive grants from government agencies, corporations and foundations (read about the most recent grants on page 14). Other support comes from private gifts and funding from the College. Students across all departments take advantage of high-impact experiences throughout the year through undergraduate research, internships, service learning and independent study projects that naturally build on our intense academic program. Summer research and experiential learning opportunities further enhance our students’ experience and offer them the chance to explore more deeply topics of particular interest. These summer opportunities immerse students in the type of real-world problem solving rarely seen at the undergraduate level and further build on the experience they gain working on projects throughout the academic year. During the last several years, faculty and students have taken these efforts even further by exploring courses and experiential learning opportunities that provide chances to directly engage the community. These community engagement experiences provide wonderful learning opportunities for our students while serving our community (see page 4). Through these programs, our students gain even greater insight into the impact their work can and does have. Take for instance the research Musa Kiyani ’15 is doing in South Africa researching global health issues (see page 18) and that of Astronaut Scholar Sherman Lam ’16 (see page 21), who has contributed to two projects in the Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics as he aspires to “push the boundaries of space exploration with robotics.” We want to ensure that every student who wants to pursue a summer research or experiential learning opportunity has the chance to do so. That is why we have made fundraising for experiential learning a key priority of The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College. As you read more about how our faculty and students are building on the strong foundation established all those years ago at Harvey Mudd, I hope you will consider supporting experiential learning by making a gift at

Maria Klawe President, Harvey Mudd College

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Heard Online Conversations on Harvey Mudd social media Facebook, Aug. 28, 2014: We displayed the 1957 Orientation schedule for comparison with the 2014 Orientation schedule: “‘Scripps open house.’” –Katie Kimberling ’16 “I spy the math review and chem proficiency quiz.” –Calvin Leung ’17 “We should bring back frosh vs. faculty volleyball. That sounds awesome.” –Ari Hausman-Cohen ’15 “They started a bit later in September back then.” –Dan Hugo ’93

Harvey Mudd College reached 5,000 Facebook fans in mid-October. Thank you! Continue spreading the word about our exclusive content and lively conversation.

harveymuddcollege harveymuddcollege harveymudd



24 Herd Mentality

Murray Thompson ’72 skillfully maneuvers the sport of reined cow horse.

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 Art Director Janice Gilson Graphic Designer Robert Vidaure Contributing Writers Amy DerBedrosian, Eric Feezell, Ashley Festa, Douglas McInnis, Chris Quirk, Tamara Savage ’15, Mara Watkins Proofreaders Eric Feezell, Kelly Lauer

28 Scents, Sensibility and Science Sarah Reisinger ’99 helps conserve scarce resources by converting natural substances into plentiful products.

30 A Signal Achievement

A desire to clear headset static leads Don Simkins to a prolific career in national reconnaissance.

Contributing Photographers Seth Affoumado, Deb Hewitt, Jeanine Hill, Saxon Holt, Matthew Mahon, Primo Morales Vice President for Advancement Dan Macaluso Assistant Vice President of Communications and Marketing Timothy L. Hussey, APR 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 © 2014—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. Find the magazine online at The Harvey Mudd College Magazine staff welcomes your input: or Harvey Mudd College Magazine Harvey Mudd College 301 Platt Boulevard, Claremont, CA 91711




What Greater Service INSPIRING NEW OR RENEWED passion for the STEM fields, helping increase the pool of potential STEM professionals from underrepresented groups—these are just two of many goals pursued by Harvey Mudd College community members. There’s quite a lot of work involved, including establishing mutually beneficial relationships and ensuring complementary visions. An array of projects on display during the Sept. 15 community partnerships showcase highlighted the collaboration that goes into a range of service-oriented endeavors. Director for Community Engagement Gabriela Gamiz says, “From summer internships at local NGOs to service

projects abroad, these programs provide powerful learning experiences for students and bring tangible benefits to the Harvey Mudd community and to the community at large.” Posters and informal demonstrations—led by students, faculty and staff—showcased two dozen community engagement efforts, including many that encourage youngsters to become interested in and enthusiastic about the STEM fields. “These programs serve to strengthen and diversify the STEM pipeline and help underrepresented students discover a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics at an earlier age,” says Gamiz.






1. Jane Douglass, a Pilgrim Place resident and Napier Initiative chair, and Morgan Mastrovich ’16 discuss how the Napier program connects coursework with community engagement. 2. Emma Zang-Schwartz ’15 describes her work with Esperança (more on page 6). 3. Homework Hotline mentor tutors Jeanette Liu ’16, Alex Rich ’16 and Natasha Allen ’16 display their enthusiasm for the over-the-phone mathematics and science tutoring service for students in grades 4 through 12. 4. Sam Woodman ’16 assisted alumna Karen Martien ’95 (not shown) from Southwest Fisheries Science Center with research related to interbreeding between Bottlenose and Frasier's dolphins. 5. Gabriela Gamiz, community engagement director, says, “These programs provide powerful learning experiences for students and bring tangible benefits to the Harvey Mudd community and to the



community at large.”





Interns Explore Global Health THE DONALD AND DOROTHY STRAUSS Internship

for Social Understanding is a 10-week summer internship program designed for students interested in working with a community service organization. Emma Klein’s homestay father regularly sends emails asking when she will return for a visit. Her amazing host family and many new friendships were among the best aspects of her internship in Tanzania, she says. Klein ’17 worked with Support for International Change, living in a rural village and helping with HIV education and awareness. “Seeing how different the health situation is in countries like Tanzania that don’t have the resources we have makes me want to do more,” says Klein, who sees herself one day working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization. “My dream job would actually be one of those people working on Ebola in Africa right now.” Emma Zang-Schwartz ’15 traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, to work with the nonprofit Esperança, which provides medical supplies and performs lifechanging surgeries in partner countries Nicaragua, Bolivia, Peru and Mozambique. As a development and program intern, Zang-Schwartz used her social media expertise to help spread the word about Esperança and to spur donations from Phoenix-area clinics and hospitals. The teamwork she observed made an impact on Zang-Schwartz. “Simple things here make a huge difference in other places,” she says. “If we pool our resources and work with local partners, we can help everybody learn how to put these things to use and make a difference.”

Emma Klein ’17 (second from right) worked with Support for International Change to promote HIV education and awareness.

f we pool our resources and “ Iwork with local partners, we

can help everybody learn how to put these things to use and make a difference. – EMMA ZANG-SCHWARTZ ’15

Nicaraguan volunteers establish an irrigation system, work supported by Esperança, the nonprofit Emma Zang-Schwartz ’15 served.



Days of Service AMID RESEARCH AND STUDY this summer, Harvey Mudd students found time to plan and participate in several “days of service.” In all, 62 students and five dean of students staff members were involved with three projects serving community members from Claremont, Pomona and elsewhere in the Pomona Valley. Harvey Mudd Summer Institute (SI) students hosted a day of STEM and college access workshops for the students and parents of Uncommon Good. SI students, their mentors and DOS staff led campus tours and a series of panels, workshops and hands-on STEM activities. Residence life mentors volunteered at a community health fair in the city of Pomona, helping with a variety of tasks to ensure the event ran smoothly. Students and staff members helped serve food and entertain the children. Ashuka Xue ’16, a state-certified health educator for Covered California (the state’s health insurance exchange), provided information to participants about insurance options.   Residence life proctors partnered with the Claremont Homeless Advocacy Program (CHAP) to host a community café on campus. The proctors planned a menu, shopped for supplies, cooked dinner and then ate with the program participants, welcoming them as neighbors and community members. Jake Dittes ’15 says, “I have enjoyed every opportunity I’ve gotten to hang out with, and especially eat with, the CHAP participants. It’s a great group.”

Students served community members from Claremont, Pomona and elsewhere in the Pomona Valley.

Gifts Supporting Community Engagement Hotchkiss Dean of Students Fund Longtime Harvey Mudd supporters Patrick ’66 and Penelope Barrett ’67 (shown above, right, with Maddie Hansen ’15 and Jeanette Liu ’16) created an endowed fund that supports the work of the Office of the Dean of Students, especially the promotion of student leaders interested in community outreach and engagement. The fund also recognizes the legacy of Eugene Hotchkiss III, Harvey Mudd’s first and only dean of the College and its first full-time dean of students. The DOS office suite has been renamed the Gene and Sue Hotchkiss Dean of Students Office. (Read more about the Barretts on the inside back cover.)

Holen Community Engagement Fund This fund, established with gifts from Marnie L. Holen P16, supports Harvey Mudd faculty in the development of courses related to community engagement. Three faculty members received stipends this summer for curriculum development of proposed courses on science fairs, building interfaces with community and improving bicycle access in nearby cities. The new classes will be offered during the academic year 2015–2016.

The New Millennium Experiential Learning Fund Alumni Aaron Archer ’98 and Gregory Rae ’00 joined resources to establish a fund to benefit students engaged in community service projects. The first recipients will be named during spring 2015. Sophia Williams ’15 helps prepare dinner for Claremont Homeless Advocacy Program participants.

To learn more about supporting faculty members and students engaged in or creating programs serving the community, see





Delicious Ranking IN ADDITION TO NO. 1 RANKINGS on several lists—Top 10

Colleges for a Major in Math (USA Today), Best Undergraduate Engineering Program (U.S. News & World Report; tie with RoseHulman), highest mid-career salaries of all U.S. college and university graduates (PayScale) and Students Study the Most (The Princeton Review)—Harvey Mudd was ranked on a new list this year: Best Colleges for Food, created by website The Daily Meal. Harvey Mudd Dining Services offers scratch-made culinary selections, such as Brazilian barbecue, Thai curries, Korean tacos and pozole, for which students often line up early in anticipation. “We have invested heavily in kitchen equipment and talented chefs in order to make possible any menu imaginable,” says Miguel Ruvalcaba, dining services general manager. “We also work closely with our student-run food committee to make their on-campus dining experience varied and fun.” The Daily Meal lauded Harvey Mudd for going trayless and offering reusable cups and to-go containers. Students can track the nutrition of all meals through My Fitness Pal and Fitbit, with whom Harvey Mudd partners, and they can enjoy some healthy competition during Copper Chef competitions (modeled after HGTV’s Iron Chef). The College debuted on The Daily Meal’s list at No. 46 out of 75 U.S. colleges and universities.

WE’RE NOT SURE yet what it will be named, but Harvey Mudd’s newest residence hall is taking shape at the east end of campus. The foundation components are finished, and installation of the structural steel, which began the week of Nov. 17, is scheduled to be completed by late January. The campus’ largest dorm is on track to open in time for fall semester 2015.




Northeast Dorm?

Notes & Quotes

A Mudder’s Inspirational Journey

Talks on campus

“You think the green revolution was big. The next generation of new food is going to be spectacular.” Adam Arkin, expert in both synthetic and systems biology, speaking Oct. 9 about “Building a Foundational Infrastructure for Engineering Cells for Use in an Uncertain World,” Bruce J. Nelson ’74 Distinguished Speaker Series

“The hero scientist that defeats cancer will likely never exist. … Instead, team-based approaches using cross-disciplinary tools are really what is up-ending the tradition and delivering results faster. … Mathematicians are becoming part of the team of scientists that are helping to deliver these results.” Trachette L. Jackson, cancer research pioneer, speaking Oct. 10 about “Mathematical Models of Tumor Angiogenesis,” Michael E. Moody Lecture

“Nature is truly the greatest engineer of all time because when you think of biological systems, nature has figured out how to extract materials and energy from the environment and convert that into self-replicating, self-repairing, adaptable, moving—sometimes even thinking—machines, all with remarkable efficiency and elegance. And the products of almost four billion years of evolution are all finely tuned … to solving a really important problem … the problem of being alive.”

Virginia Mudd, granddaughter of Harvey Mudd, shares “a story of mystery, adventure and love” in her second book, Bicycling Home, My Journey to Find God (Sunstone Press). Spurred by the desire to overcome a food addiction, Mudd found peace and inspiration in her many bicycle adventures. A California native who now resides in New Mexico with her husband, Mudd has been involved in politics, business, the arts and education, including supporting scholarships at Harvey Mudd.

Trustee Update

The Harvey Mudd College Board of Trustees added three new members, bringing board membership to 36. Luke Mastalli-Kelly ’14, founder and CEO, Starfish Enterprise LLC. (He’s the College’s youngest-ever trustee.)

Venkat Varadachary, senior vice president for information management and chief data officer, American Express

Jacky Wright, vice president, Microsoft IT Strategic Enterprise Services

Frances Arnold, protein engineering expert, speaking Oct. 15 about “Innovation by Evolution: Engineering Tiny Life,” Bruce J. Nelson ’74 Distinguished Speaker Series

View talks in their entirety on Harvey Mudd’s YouTube channel, FALL / WINTER 2014




Super Conductor

On the 25th anniversary of her historic tenure promotion, Kerry Karukstis transitions into a new role: chair of the Department of Chemistry. LET’S BEGIN WITH THE CHOCOLATE CAKE. Not only because dessert first is a great idea, but because it’s the treat that Kerry Karukstis remembers sharing with colleagues during the 1989 celebration of her tenure promotion, a milestone for Harvey Mudd College. Karukstis became the first woman in a technical discipline to receive tenure and the second woman faculty member—the late J’nan Morse Sellery, professor of literature and Karukstis’ friend and mentor, was the first. The event is but one of many highlights of Karukstis’ 30 years at Harvey Mudd. When Karukstis arrived in 1984 from a postdoctoral position at UC Berkeley, the Harvey Mudd student body set an enrollment record for the second year in a row (544 students; 103 women). A biology course requirement was added to the Core, and Hewlett-Packard Co. gave the Department of Engineering an HP9000 computer system, continuing the trend of increased computer use across campus. Along with teaching courses in general chemistry, physical chemistry and biophysical chemistry to a growing, diversifying student body on an expanding campus and co-authoring several publications and two chemistry books, Karukstis held many leadership positions throughout the years, including that of faculty chair. Recipient of the 2003 Henry T. Mudd Prize for outstanding service to Harvey Mudd College, Karukstis became chair of the Department of Chemistry this fall. She spoke with Harvey Mudd College Magazine about her prolific academic career, which grows richer with each passing year.

What brought you to Harvey Mudd?

Harvey Mudd was a singular institution in that it valued both excellent teaching and supported faculty research with undergraduates. That dual expectation for faculty was rare. Secondly, the national reputation of the chemistry department was a huge draw for me. When I arrived, the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA had recently



published the only ranking to this day of undergraduate chemistry departments in the nation, and Harvey Mudd ranked number one. The third reason is the department is clearly strengthened by the Harvey Mudd Core. Over the years, I’ve really begun to understand the significance of that Core. I hear it from our alumni, but I see it now in my teaching as I’m able to rely on that foundation in my courses. We can offer a much more challenging curriculum because of the Core. And, frankly, as we see the direction science is continually moving in—more interdisciplinary work—the ability to rely on that Core helps us continue to stand out.

Why have you stayed?

I think for faculty at undergraduate institutions one doesn’t think about leaving. In fact, a number of years ago it was much more difficult to move from one institution to another. Over the years, I’ve continually found new avenues for faculty development, and I think that keeps things fresh. For example, the research that I’m pursuing now is very different than my initial research area. After I received tenure, I had the confidence to switch directions. I originally conducted research in the area of photosynthesis, the very fast reactions that take place once chlorophyll absorbs light. And now I conduct spectroscopic analyses of surfactants in different liquids, trying to understand how these molecules organize on their own into incredibly interesting three-dimensional structures. I use the same spectroscopic technique—fluorescence—but have a totally different research focus. Having the opportunity to be chair of the faculty along with various committee chair positions over the years has presented new opportunities. I really enjoyed being chair of the faculty because I was able to work with faculty members from all disciplines as well as with the board of trustees. Seeing a little bit more behind the scenes, particularly how the board operates, was fascinating. And participating

Kerry Karukstis

in events like the groundbreaking for the Shanahan Center was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—I’m immensely proud of the gold hard hat I got from that event. But, what particularly provided the greatest faculty development opportunities for me was working outside of the College and getting involved in the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). That has been a huge part of my professional life. I had opportunities to meet faculty from many different institutions, across many disciplines. I was able to work on issues of national importance as well as serve as president, edit several books and accept invitations to speak at the National Academies. One of the reasons why I think many of us have stayed at Harvey Mudd, including me, is that we realize that we’re a very unusual institution in terms of everyone’s commitment to the College and to its mission. It’s been extremely rewarding to know that you have colleagues of like mind all working together. That’s been really important to me.

t’s been extremely “ Irewarding to know

that you have colleagues of like mind all working together. That’s been really important to me. – KERRY KARUKSTIS

Describe your involvement with CUR and how that led you to become a proponent for undergraduate research.

In 1993, I had the opportunity to run for chemistry councilor for the CUR. I was elected to the first of many terms of office. And it was that association with CUR that gave me an opportunity to work on national issues facing undergraduate research. Having that opportunity was really instrumental in my life. I think I’ve been able to bring back to the campus an awareness of what’s going on in the undergraduate research landscape and share what we need to do if we want to continue to be at the forefront. I’ve always believed that the best form of undergraduate research is a project in which both student and faculty member are invested. That shared investment enables faculty to do a better job of mentoring and is likely to lead to more meaningful results that one can publish. And because of that shared investment, students and faculty members are peers. It’s this manner of envisioning undergraduate research that has enabled Harvey Mudd to take undergraduate research to a completely different level. My current involvement with CUR is focused on a National Science Foundation project where I am a co-principal investigator with two other former presidents of CUR. We’ve been working with several state systems (Cal State, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and CUNY) and private consortia (Great Lakes College Association and the Council of

Public Liberal Arts Colleges) to foster system-wide/ consortium-wide change that advances undergraduate research at both the institutional and system level. We’ve edited a book, Enhancing and Expanding Undergraduate Research: A Systems Approach, that will be published by Jossey-Bass in the spring to showcase the transformative change taking place to infuse an undergraduate research culture across these campuses.

The Department of Chemistry is known for beginning the summer research program at the College. What else should people know about the department?

We’ve had summer research since the start of the College, and it’s been almost continuously funded by the National Science Foundation. The department has had capstone senior research thesis requirements since the start of the College, and we’re proud of that as well. In fact, I think that’s one of the hallmarks of the department: close student/faculty collaboration on a research question of mutual interest. The National Science Foundation ranks us as the number one department on a per capita basis for the percentage of students who earn PhDs, and that’s among undergraduate and graduate institutions. While we’re immensely proud of that, the faculty like to think of themselves as supporting students in any career direction. And we really do try to

support their intellectual and personal growth in whatever direction that might be. Chemistry faculty members have won numerous national awards for both their teaching and their research; it’s an incredibly accomplished group of individuals. We continue to be viewed as one of the top undergraduate chemistry departments, and we’re proud of that recognition.

What are some of your goals as chair of the chemistry department?

I’m truly looking forward to my time as chair because the position will have some interesting challenges. I want to be an advocate for all the students, faculty and staff in the department. I’m particularly interested in promoting a very modern curriculum and maintaining research opportunities with research-grade instrumentation. I hope to be the best advocate that I can be for the department and seek to use our resources and the College’s resources to advance the department’s initiatives in the best manner possible.









Harvey Mudd College faculty members are more than just experts in their research fields—they’re multitalented, worldly and loads of fun. As Mudders get to know their professors through the course of their undergraduate studies, they discover all kinds of amazing stories and quirky predilections. The five tenure-track faculty members who began work this fall are no exception. See if you can match the following anecdotes with the correct faculty member.





I once tried to eat a 5-pound burrito called “Burritozilla.” I also recently failed the 6 Food Under challenge: 1-pound burger, cheese fries, milkshake, four deep-fried Oreos and a fruit cup in 30 minutes (the cheese fries did me in).

Before deciding to go to grad school and pursue a career in academia, I was trained as a postpartum doula, and I once attended three R.E.M. concerts in three different cities in a span of four days.

I once went skydiving as a first date, and I’ve bungeejumped from the Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa.

I lived in a Tibetan monastery for a month, worked on Wall Street for a year and have made over 500 pies.

I like to read crime/mystery novels by Raymond Chandler, and I’m fascinated by forensic anthropology and deciphering crime scenes (even took a class on it in college).

Beth Trushkowsky

Julie Medero

Albert Dato

James Boerkoel

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Matina Donaldson-Matasci Assistant Professor of Biology

Assistant Professor of Engineering

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Research focus: the use of crowdsourcing to create human/machine systems that aid in answering difficult questions.

Research focus: natural language processing, machine learning and educational applications of language technology.

Research focus: collective behavior in social insects, particularly communication in honey bees and defense in ants.

Research focus: the synthesis and applications of nanomaterials.

Research focus: the intersection of artificial intelligence and usercentered design, with a focus on human-robot teamwork.


Answers: A. Albert Dato, B. Julie Medero, C. James Boerkoel, D. Matina Donaldson-Matasci, E. Beth Trushkowsky


Research, Awards, Activities

A first for faith and science

Faculty chairs

As a new Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), chemistry Professor David Vosburg considers himself a diplomat between scientists and people of faith. “I joined the ASA as a PhD student because I was disappointed with many scientists’ inaccurate stereotypes of Christians as well as many Christians’ false generalizations about scientists,” says Vosburg, who is active in campus Christian fellowships and has written and spoken extensively on the relationship between science and religion. The ASA is an international network of Christians in the sciences that explores the relationship between science and Christianity and fosters dialogue between two often opposing viewpoints. A longtime member of the group, Vosburg is the first Claremont Colleges faculty member to be honored with the distinction of Fellow. “Dialogue can only flourish when we build trust, when we genuinely seek to understand others’ views, and when we do not root our responses in fear,” says Vosburg, who hosted an all-day conference on the Bible, evolution and human origins in October. Sponsored by BioLogos, the event featured two Old Testament scholars and a biologist in conversation.

Honors and appointments

Endowed faculty positions—chairs, professorships and fellowships— are among the most important gifts because they enable the College to recruit, retain and recognize its most outstanding faculty members. The board of trustees approved the following appointments this fall.

Hal Van Ryswyk, a Department of Chemistry faculty member since 1986, was appointed to the inaugural John Stauffer Professorship in Chemistry, established in 2014 by the trustees of the John Stauffer Charitable Trust and with matching funds from the College. An important addition to the $150 million Campaign for Harvey Mudd College, the John Stauffer Chair supports a senior member of the chemistry faculty who has attained the rank of full professor. Van Ryswyk uses zinc oxide nanoparticles, nanorods and nanotubes as the photoanode in combination with a range of zinc porphyrins to better understand the interactions of dye and photoanode in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). His goal is to create low-cost photovoltaics that can be produced easily for largearea applications. In other work, Van Ryswyk recently published a paper in the Journal of Chemical Education exploring a novel technique for probing the structure of large molecules.

Susan Martonosi has

been named to the Joseph B. Platt Chair in Effective Teaching. She studies operations research with a focus on problems in homeland security and malaria intervention policy. She is president of the Forum for Women in Operations Research and Management Science of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Weiqing Gu, the Avery Professor of Mathematics, focuses on differential geometry and topology, Grassmann manifolds and computer-aided geometric design.

Sharon Gerbode is the Iris and Howard Critchell Assistant Professor of Physics. Gerbode focuses on two areas at the forefront of experimental soft matter physics: colloids and adaptive biomaterials.

Alison Cool is the 2014–

2015 Hixon-Riggs Early Career Fellow in Science, Technology and Society. She is working on a book manuscript based on her dissertation, an ethnographic study of Swedish economists, behavior geneticists and psychologists who conduct twin studies or use data on twins to investigate genetic and environmental influences on social and economic behavior.

IT recognition Extendible hashing, a database access technique with a dynamic structure that grows and shrinks gracefully as the database grows and shrinks, is considered a major contribution to the information industry. In recognition of his role as a co-inventor, mathematics Professor Nicholas Pippenger was named to the IT History Society’s Honor Roll, which honors individuals who are considered cornerstones of the IT industry. Pippenger worked on extendible hashing while at IBM Research with colleagues Ronald Fagin, H. Raymond Strong and Jürg Nievergelt (ETH, Zurich, Switzerland).






One fish, two fish

Pair interactions

Students and teachers in three states will participate in a groundbreaking national study to examine how intensive training can affect elementary school teachers’ use of mathematical modeling. Mathematics education research has shown that students who work on real-world problems show less anxiety toward mathematics and are more likely to see it as relevant and useful.

The natural, periodic migration patterns of humans, animals, insects and even bacteria provide us with essential information. Seeking to better understand these movements, Harvey Mudd Associate Professor of Engineering Chris Clark has teamed with biologist Chris Lowe of California State University, Long Beach, and student researchers to develop a mobile, multi-robot sensing system capable of monitoring individuals and populations that share common behaviors resulting in periodic movement patterns. The team uses autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to track and model multiple fish with multiple robots. The quantity and resolution of the motion data, of both individuals and populations, will be the first of its kind. Their research is funded by a continuing three-year grant from the National Science Foundation. “The data will allow biologists to see motion patterns at a fine scale as well as characterize motion of not just one fish, but multiple individuals within a school (population of individuals),” says Clark.

Pairings of interacting organisms, like parasites and their hosts, interact in complex ways. Ran Libeskind-Hadas, R. Michael Shanahan Professor of Computer Science and department chair, is part of a team of computational biologists studying these and other organisms as part of the project “Algorithms and Tools For Phylogenetic Tree Reconciliation,” funded by a three-year National Science Foundation grant.

Rachel Levy

Associate Professor of Mathematics Rachel Levy will co-direct the IMMERSION project, funded by a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation. “Mathematical modeling is an important tool for problem solving and forecasting in many jobs,” says Levy. “The activities provide opportunities for students to practice innovation and communication as well as reinforce and apply mathematics concepts in new contexts.” Levy, along with researchers at George Mason University and Montana State University, will oversee the study in partnership with school officials in Pomona, California (Pomona Unified School District); Fairfax, Virginia; and Bozeman, Montana, as well as with an advisory board of school district mathematics specialists and nationally recognized mathematics educators. The implementation team will include Gabriela Gamiz, Harvey Mudd director for community engagement, as well as a group of Harvey Mudd undergraduate researchers.



nderstanding these “ Ucomplex interactions is … important … for discoveries that contribute to human health and the longterm health of our environment. – RAN LIBESKIND-HADAS

The broader impacts of this multidisciplinary work include a variety of applications, such as monitoring oil spills, securing ports and tracking varied species that follow periodic motion patterns, including insects, birds and whales.

“Understanding these complex interactions is both important for the advancement of basic science and for discoveries that contribute to human health and the long-term health of our environment,” says Libeskind-Hadas. “Our work seeks to find the best-supported histories of pairs of phylogenies by identifying the evolutionary events that link them.” Participating Harvey Mudd undergraduate researchers are able to experience a facet of research in computational biology. In keeping with the College’s vision for diversity, a stated goal of the project is to involve those from traditionally underrepresented groups. Libeskind-Hadas says this work will advance scientific knowledge as researchers develop new algorithms, new methods for summarizing and visualizing large numbers of different tree reconciliations, and new software tools that facilitate fundamental biology research.

Publications CS for biologists

Don’t disturb this groove

An interdisciplinary, collaborative effort has resulted in a book lauded for its practicality. Pavel Pevzner, a computer science professor at University of California, San Diego, remarked in an online review, “In my 20 years as a professor, I have never run across a textbook on bioinformatics algorithms that a biologist can read from cover to cover and understand. This is the one.” The book is Computing for Biologists: Python Programming and Principles, written by Eliot Bush, associate professor of biology, and Ran Libeskind-Hadas, R. Michael Shanahan Professor of Computer Science and department chair. It provides biology students and educators with the basic tools of computing—specifically, the ability to write Python programs—enabling them to better grasp fundamental concepts in computational biology and bioinformatics. Each section offers a compelling biological problem and then provides the algorithmic and programming tools necessary to solve it. Computational biology activities include gene finding, sequence alignment and phylogenetic tree reconstruction. Interactive in nature, the text refers to numerous corresponding programming exercises available online. In addition to being used in the Harvey Mudd course CS5 Green, the textbook has also been adopted at Franklin & Marshall College and the Stevens Institute of Technology. “We want to help train biologists who are comfortable with computing, and we think a good way to do that is to motivate their early learning with biological problems,” says Bush.

Dancing is an essential means of communication for bees, explains Harvey Mudd biology Professor Matina Donaldson-Matasci. She and co-author and University of Arizona biology Professor Anna Dornhaus, investigate the goal behind the groove in the paper “Dance Communication Affects Consistency, but Not Breadth, of Resource Use in Pollen-Foraging Honey Bees,” published in October by PLOS ONE, an international, peer-reviewed, online publication. “Unfortunately, the modern agricultural dependence on monoculture means that bees are often just foraging on one type of flower at a time, and they may go for long periods without any natural forage at all,” says Donaldson-Matasci. “In a more natural setting, a colony might have access to dozens of different kinds of flowers blooming at once. Since each bee typically focuses on one type of flower, the colony needs some way to coordinate which forages on what, so that the group as a whole gets a balanced diet from many different flower types.” Honey bees perform the “waggle dance” to tell fellow bees where to find particular kinds of flowers. Because bees dance longer and more enthusiastically for better resources, dancing helps the group direct more bees to the best patches of flowers—but, by concentrating solely on the best ones, they might also limit the variety of their diet. To address these questions, researchers interfered with the bees’ dancing and studied how their pollen diet changed.

“What we found is that the dance actually doesn’t affect the diversity of their daily diet, but it does make it more consistent from day to day. This suggests that the bees are able to use the dance to help focus on particularly good flower patches day after day, without compromising the diversity they need within each day,” says Donaldson-Matasci, who runs her bee lab at Harvey Mudd with undergraduate researchers. Researchers use a combination of field experiments with honey bees, laboratory experiments with ants, mathematical models and computer simulations to explore how different types of communication systems are suited to different types of environments and social structures.

Novel chemistry technique Pursuing a cool idea for the simple joy of advancing the field: That was the motivation behind the collaboration between chemistry Professor Hal Van Ryswyk and Carleton College Professor of Chemistry Deborah Gross. Van Ryswyk, whose research focuses on solar energy conversion, and Gross, whose expertise is in atmospheric chemistry, have mutual interest in the novel electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) technique and decided to team up to research it. The result is a July 2014

Journal of Chemical Education paper that describes SNAPP-MS—selective non-covalent adduct protein probing mass spectrometry—a technique that allows for the detailed examination of surface charges on proteins in solution. Gross developed an open-ended laboratory experiment that illustrates the power of electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, and Van Ryswyk helped adapt it to other techniques. Several student researchers from both colleges were active on the project.




The Cooperation of Many Minds

Discoveries and improvements sought through new initiatives

AT HARVEY MUDD, solving problems begins with understanding relationships. By working together, the College community—the alumni, trustees, faculty, students, staff, parents and friends of the College—demonstrates that it is a powerful force for progress. Just take a look at these new initiatives that allow Harvey Mudd to disseminate its knowledge and effect change across the nation and around the world.

Consortium Coordination A $280,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation and a $50,000 commitment from the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges will provide the 5-Cs further opportunities to plan together based on consortial strengths. It will allow the colleges to consider and develop ways to collaborate more intentionally, look at what’s working and what’s not within the consortial arrangement, and think together about teaching, faculty and curricular planning and resource management. Debra Mashek, associate dean for faculty development and associate professor of psychology, will direct the project.

Debra Mashek, associate dean for



faculty development, will direct the 5-C Collaborations Project.


Computer science students work with Prof. Geoff Kuenning on a class project. The new BRAID initiative and two Harvey Mudd

Harvey Mudd College and the Anita Borg Institute (ABI), a nonprofit organization focused on advancing women in computing, have launched an initiative to work with computer science departments at 15 universities across the United States to increase the percentages of undergraduate computer science majors that are female and students of color. Building Recruiting And Inclusion for Diversity (BRAID) is supported by three-year funding commitments from Facebook, Google, Intel and Microsoft. Harvey Mudd President Maria Klawe and Telle Whitney, president and CEO of ABI, will lead the BRAID initiative. Under BRAID, undergraduate computer science departments across the country have committed to implementing a number of approaches that have been successful at Harvey Mudd and other institutions. “The BRAID initiative is the most exciting project I’ve been involved with to expand diversity in computer science,” says Klawe.

MOOCs promote CS to a wider audience.

The Proactive Bystander The undergraduate Claremont Colleges have united to create a program called Teal Dot Bystander Training, an offshoot of violence prevention training program Green Dot, begun at the University of Kentucky. “The overarching goal of Teal Dot is to mobilize a force of engaged, proactive bystanders,” says Angelica Ibarra, Harvey Mudd assistant dean for institutional diversity. Training sessions are offered to students, staff, faculty and administrators, who participate in interactive exercises that help them to recognize potentially dangerous situations and learn how to safely intervene.

Digital Humanities The emerging field of digital humanities involves the study of the interactions between literature, art, performance, history, electronic media, data analysis and new technologies, placing these interactions at the center of humanities research and pedagogy and deepening our understanding of human culture. A $1.5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will allow the five undergraduate colleges to strengthen and expand digital humanities (DH) teaching and scholarship

across The Claremont Colleges and beyond. Pitzer College Professor of Media Studies Alexandra Juhasz, a leading national scholar in digital humanities education and critical Internet studies, will direct the project in collaboration with other faculty and administrators. The digital humanities initiative will focus on four areas aimed at creating a collaborative, vibrant DH community at the colleges: summer training institutes; digital course development; a new collaborative digital research studio; and community programming.

MOOCs the Mudd Way Harvey Mudd will offer three MOOCs (massive open online courses) beginning February 2015. Offered free of charge via, these courses are designed to help students and teachers. Four teams of Harvey Mudd students collaborated with faculty members over the past year to develop two of these MOOCs. Middle Years Computer Science (MyCS), an introduction to computer science course aimed at middle and high school teachers, is based on Harvey Mudd’s highly successful intro to CS course and was adapted for middle and high schoolers with the help of a grant from the National Science Foundation. How Stuff Moves is a physics course on mechanics for advanced high school/early college-level students. While the main course content for both came from professors, the student teams translated that content into the MOOCs—building the original online platform and leading video-taped demonstrations, group learning activities, hands-on lessons and problem set explanations, all based on the collaborative learning style practiced at Harvey Mudd. The third course, Programming in Scratch, will be the first MOOC focused solely on teaching Scratch, a user-friendly programming language designed for young students. The course was developed by computer science Professor Colleen Lewis and aims to help teachers, students and their parents learn computer science concepts through fun and engaging videos and exercises. Through these MOOCs, Harvey Mudd College hopes to encourage more young people to pursue science, math and engineering, particularly those from groups underrepresented in STEM, including women, students of color and those from rural areas.




Healing Through Understanding Written by Mara Watkins


filled with family gatherings where the dinner table was the center stage for hours of storytelling. He is fascinated by how a person’s story is influenced by psychology, culture and environment. Kiyani wants to understand people through their stories and use that information to help them heal. He has already traversed four continents—Asia, Europe, North America and Africa—in his quest to help others and to prepare himself to become a physician. Growing up in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Kiyani felt pressured to study engineering. He says it is the convention in Pakistan for boys to aspire to become engineers and girls to become doctors. Even Kiyani’s parents, both practicing physicians, expected their middle son (Kiyani has two brothers) to study engineering, seeing it as a route to a respected profession that would require fewer years of costly schooling. Kiyani took and excelled at all the preengineering courses, but when he was introduced to biology as an 11th grader, he was hooked. Before starting classes at Harvey Mudd, Kiyani had been to the United States only a couple of times. He admits to feeling uncomfortable at first. Kiyani studied English throughout his schooling and had no trouble understanding his classmates or writing in English but still felt self-conscious about his speaking skills. He says he still thinks and dreams— and swears—in Urdu, his first language. It is hard to imagine this soft-spoken student saying a bad word in any language (he speaks English, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi). Kiyani is the embodiment of Harvey Mudd’s vision of global engagement and informed contributions to society. He has supplemented his studies at the College with a summer program in South Africa researching global health issues, as well as a semester abroad in a pre-medical program at King’s College London that included time shadowing clinicians. During summer visits home to Pakistan, he participated in clinical research projects. His recent studies in London further cemented his interest in medicine but also gave him an appreciation for the small classes and easy access to professors at Harvey Mudd. Kiyani also says that, unlike in Pakistan, where “rote learning and testing” are stressed, he appreciates Mudd’s emphasis “on learning for learning’s sake.”



Musa Kiyani ’15 is a world traveler, researcher, mentor and published author—and he’s just getting started.

Kiyani has certainly embraced this idea. He originally took courses in psychology to fulfill his graduation requirements but grew so interested in the subject he decided to pursue a dual major. His Pomona College psychology advisor, Professor Sharon Goto, describes him as “the ideal student.” As part of his major requirements, Kiyani will write two theses and is currently at work on a proposal for a project that combines his passion for both biology and psychology. He is also taking beginning flute lessons with the hope that this will translate to the bansuri (a transverse flute popular in the Indian subcontinent). Despite all of the academic demands, Kiyani has managed to make time for the needs of others. Harvey Mudd chemistry Professor David Vosburg, one of Kiyani’s mentors, says, “Musa’s exposure to poor communities in Pakistan has blessed him with great compassion.” Kiyani has administered oral vaccines in Pakistan’s rural areas and tutored children displaced and orphaned after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. Kiyani continues to tutor several Pakistani students, including one especially promising student who is now studying for her

college entrance exams. He holds tutoring sessions every other week via Skype, often placing the calls after midnight due to the time difference. He has also volunteered in Claremont to provide weekly guidance and geometry help for a disadvantaged high school student. Kiyani’s desire to aid others even led him to design and author (in English) a physics textbook. While studying for his O-level and A-level British Council international exams, Kiyani was frustrated with the cost and quality of the foreign study materials available. He took it upon himself to address this problem, writing the text and then revising and upgrading it yearly to meet current standards. His tenacity paid off, and he personally delivered the reduced-cost physics text to schools in Islamabad and Rawalpindi this past summer. Clearly, Kiyani’s life is far from textbook. He’s applying now to medical schools and sees neurology as a possible fit for his background and interests. Informed by his work with others and influenced by multiple cultures, Kiyani is well on his way to an epic life story.



MuddHacks Written by Tamara Savage ’15

SUSTAINED BY take-out food and determination,

more than 100 students participated (either on teams or individually) in MuddHacks, the College’s first-ever hardware hackathon. The goal of the contest is to create—something—in one night. Those somethings included a combination of Arduinos, sensors, PVC pipe, wood, lots of wires and a large amount of tape. One student team created a wearable drink dispenser, which consisted of flexible tubes that ran from the user’s hand to a backpack with a variety of drinks. Flexing one’s fingers dispensed the corresponding drink from pouches via a pump in the backpack. The team admitted they’d had some issues with water pressure, evidenced by the wet floor near their station. Another student designed a way to get information while lying in bed. He created applets that the user could select to display on a screen viewable from his bed (which, during the hackathon, was some chairs pushed together, a pillow and a blanket). One applet let the user see a live Twitter display (with an automatic scroll option), and another told the user which of the two nearest dining halls was the better option for the next meal. Two students modified a foosball table to address what they saw as a significant flaw: The players had to operate a coin slot each time they scored in order to retrieve the ball. So, they removed the coin slot and installed sensors that were connected to a motor that automatically rotated the

Erin Paeng ’17, Cherie Ho ’17 and Shaan Gareeb ’17, winners of the first MuddHacks

ball dispenser, eliminating the need to operate the coin slot. Faculty judges Erik Spjut, Qimin Yang, Zachary Dodds, Kash Gokli and Matthew Spencer selected the winners of the first MuddHacks. 1st place: Erin Paeng ’17, Cherie Ho ’17 and Shaan

Gareeb ’17. “Leap Motion Controlled Helicopter.” Modified a store-bought helicopter to be flown by a Leap Motion controller.

fully calibrated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measurement that is processed by an Arduino, displayed to an LCD display and used to operate a “safe box” that is opened based on BAC level. 3rd place: Alex Trudeau ’18, Jane Wu ’18, Alex Goldstein ’18 and Jacob Rosalsky ’18. “Pong Bot.” Fashioned a robot that throws ping pong balls consistently.

2nd place: Adam Schiller ’16, Paul Jolly ’16, Kunal

Menda ’15 and Eddie Gonzales ’16. “PEAK – The Ultimate Application of Breathalyzer.” Created a

All Aboard Fifty-five students, five faculty members and two staff members traveled to the world’s largest gathering of women technologists to take part in networking, events and talks at the annual Grace Hopper Conference, held this fall in Phoenix, Arizona. Among the memorable events were a session with President Maria Klawe in discussion with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and numerous networking opportunities. Junior Mai Ho marveled at the crowd gathered to talk about issues that women face in tech. “One of the most memorable aspects of the entire conference was meeting and networking with so many passionate and talented women and hearing from those who've experienced the field and its problems.”





The World Is at Harvey Mudd The international student population at Harvey Mudd is growing. Now 11 percent of the student body, these students bring with them rich perspectives and experiences, contributing to a vibrant campus community. In the Class of 2018, international students hail from 16 different countries, with the most coming from India, China, Canada and South Korea. For one of its “Voices: Real Life, Real Perspectives” panel discussions, the Office of Institutional Diversity invited international students to convey what it means to them to transition to a new country. Sharing their unique stories were Aman Fatehpuria ’17 (engineering major, India), Ji Su Lee ’15 (engineering, South Korea and Singapore), Christian Modjaiso ’17 (mathematics, Democratic Republic of Congo) and Raunak Pednekar ’17 (chemistry or engineering, India). Here are some excerpts from the discussion. What has been difficult?

Christian: Fellow African students that I know say that one of most confusing experiences is being at a restaurant. If you ask for cheese, they ask if you want American cheese, this kind of cheese, etc.; or if you ask for sauce, there’s ketchup, barbecue sauce. … When you don’t know all the options it becomes very frustrating. Then I developed a strategy: When the person starts talking, I act like I know all the options and ask, what would you recommend? Aman: The relationship between teacher and student here is extremely different. Here there’s a more personal relationship where teachers know you by name and you can interact with them much easier. It took me some time to adjust and communicate on an open level. Back home, we didn’t talk to our teachers outside of class. What do you wish people knew?

Christian: International students are not as boring as they seem. For many, the problem is just language. If you try to translate a joke from your local language, it’s very difficult, especially if you don’t speak English. By the time the joke comes out, it sounds awkward, or you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about. … Things that are exceedingly hilarious back home, if you try to say them here, people here don’t get it, and vice versa.



International students Aman Fatehpuria ’17, Ji Su Lee ’15 and Christian Modjaiso ’17 describe their experiences, both amusing and serious, during a community forum.

Raunak: There’s a tendency to homogenize a very large region. … There is a lot more diversity in individual countries than is expected or assumed in the U.S. In what ways has the community made international students feel welcome?

Ji Su: International Place, the 5-C office for international students, has been a huge benefit. I volunteer there and meet a lot of international students from all the campuses. I’m able to ask upper-class students questions about American culture without feeling I am asking something stupid or something I shouldn’t. Christian: Back home, people tend to judge you on your achievements. If you do well, they will treat

you nicely. If you do poorly, they won’t treat you too seriously. When I made mistakes here, I’d think that [mathematics] Prof Jakes would be very angry or lose respect for me. It was surprising that he treated me the same way regardless of what I did. It helped me realize that people are not going to write you off because of a few mistakes. This helps you to feel more a part of the community. What is your advice for new international students?

Aman: Be open to new experiences and people. Don’t limit yourself to your roots. You’ll find it much easier to integrate into this new world. You will get through it.

Tasman Loustalet ’16

Where No Robot Has Gone Before ALL OF SHERMAN LAM’S projects have a purpose. Even the flame-throwing robot he built for the Combat Robots Club. His research and personal projects help him gain a stronger foundation in software and electromechanical systems, knowledge he can use to help advance the development of intelligent robotics for the sake of space exploration. “I believe robots are the key to exploring places where humans may never go and to expanding our understanding of the universe,” says Lam, a junior engineering major and recipient of the 2014 Astronaut Scholarship, the largest

Cheering Section Harvey Mudd athletes/ scholars in CMS sports

Fall sports by the numbers


believe robots are the key to exploring “ Iplaces where humans may never go and to expanding our understanding of the universe. – SHERMAN LAM ’16

merit-based monetary award given to science and engineering undergraduate students in the United States. Lam is the College’s 22nd recipient. Lam has contributed to two robotics research projects in the Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics (LAIR), advised by Associate Professor of Engineering Chris Clark. The first required Lam to develop an autonomous agent that planned paths for underwater robots called sea gliders. Lam collaborated with researchers from the University of Delaware, and their work will be used to help study sharks and sturgeon along the East Coast of the United States. His current project involves designing a low-cost system for autonomous quadrotor localization. In addition, Lam has repaired a remote control aircraft, fabricated an amateur rocket and

refurbished a small maker-space for the Harvey Mudd College Fabrication Studio. His other contributions to the Harvey Mudd community include serving as co-president of the Fabrication Studio, co-president of the Combat Robots Club, machine shop proctor and Autonomous Vehicles Lab proctor. Lam is also a recipient of the Harvey Mudd College Davies Engineering Prize (2013) and the Lois and Joseph Marriott Aeronautical Endowed Scholarship (2012, 2013 and 2014). Upon graduation, Lam intends to continue pursuing his research in robotics software and hopes to work at an institution such as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory or SpaceX. “I aspire to push the boundaries of space exploration with robotics,” he says.

The number of seconds Tasman (Zorg) Loustalet ’16 won by at the SCIAC Multi-Dual Cross Country Meet in October. He led the entire race and finished with a time of 25:29.3. Loustalet earned SCIAC Athlete of the Year honors by having the lowest combined finish at the SCIAC Multi-Dual and SCIAC Championship. He is the first men’s cross country runner in CMS program history to become a twotime All-American.


The moment defender Sara Tweedy ’15 scored the final goal for the Athenas in the Oct. 15 soccer game against Whittier (5-0). Tweedy made the fifth goal of the game, her first of the season.


Number of yards run in the Oct. 11 CMS vs. La Verne game by running back Nick Gott ’17. He ran for over 100 yards in the first half and ignited the offense with a 54-yard run in the Stags’ first possession, resulting in a touchdown three plays later. The Stags won 40-24.


The winning score for doubles partners Sarah Kukino CMC ’15 and Kyla Scott ’18 at the USTA/ITA Small College West Regional Championship Sept. 26-28. They beat Pomona-Pitzer’s Emily Kuo and Emily Chen in the semifinals. In singles, Scott won the consolation bracket. The CMS women’s tennis team claimed both the ITA singles and doubles titles. Find the latest sports news at








5 6

2 22


Measure Twice, Cut Once

RC Baker Foundation Machine Shop, Galileo Hall, B004 A whole may be greater than the sum of its parts, but parts are still vital. All Mudders entering the machine shop learn this lesson as they get hands-on design experience using sophisticated machinery for fabricating and assembling a wide variety of items for research, Clinic and experimental projects. Six weeks during fall semester are known as hammer season, when budding engineers in Introduction to Design and Manufacturing (E4) head to the machine shop to build a double-headed machinist’s hammer from scratch. For many, it’s their first experience using shop machinery or hand tools—but only after they pass the safety test and agree to abide by the shop’s strict rules. Don some safety glasses and take a look inside.







Head shop proctor Taylor Peterson ’15 instructs Senghor Joseph ’17 at a lathe, which uses programmed axial and longitudinal dimensions to machine axisymmetric shapes with a high degree of accuracy. The main shop’s oldest manual lathe, a 1964 EE Monarch (not shown, but similar to this Cincinnati lathe shown in a 1985 photo), is the easiest to learn on, says Peterson: “It’s more approachable, with better visibility and maneuverability, and it produces higher-quality parts in terms of dimensional accuracy and surface finish.”



What look like identical robot twins are actually computer numerical control (CNC) mills, used to fashion a wide variety of complex parts, such as contoured bulkheads for E80 rockets. CNC mills boast a higher degree of accuracy and improved repeatability over the manual mills. Richard Piersall ’16, in training to be a head shop proctor, looks on as Liz Lee ’17 remakes the head of her hammer. Currently there are 29 shop proctors—including two head proctors and two associates—easily recognizable by a trademark yellow “Apron of Dignity.” Becoming a proctor is rewarding, says head shop proctor Sean Messenger ’15 (not pictured): “I get a lot more experience working with my hands and using the machines as well as a huge amount of management experience.” Dedicated tool stations were an idea engineering Professor Kash Gokli brought from his extensive background in manufacturing. Each station offers designated “parking spaces” for any drill bit, collet or cutting tool associated with the nearby machine. Rigorous proctor training and stringent checkout protocols have also improved inventory tracking.


The shop has adopted a “continuous improvement” philosophy espoused by many world-class companies, says Gokli. Many improvements have been proctor driven. Under the direction of the Harvey Mudd College machine shop manager, head proctors have spent countless hours uploading project tutorials, forms, regulations and more to the shop’s all-inclusive Wiki page. Other improvements around the shop—ID card holders and clearly demarcated aisles, for example—have also bolstered shop efficiency and safety. Remote camera capability is a recent shop addition. Before, a roving proctor made scheduled rounds between the shop facilities. Now, activity may be monitored from this single screen in the machine shop, and proctors can modify their rounds to address concerns in real time. LED lighting provides increased camera visibility, and Gokli and the shop manager can monitor the rooms remotely for added safety. Bonny Chen ’17 fashions a hard face for the hammer project. The lathe lets Chen revolve parts at a variety of angular velocities and move a cutting tool to any point in a two-axis reference frame in order to produce endless axisymmetric profiles. Chen’s come a long way from her first shop assignment—an ocarina: a small, pipeshaped flute. “I definitely felt intimidated at first, but the shop proctors organize time for students to come in and work one-on-one,” she says. “I feel like every time I leave the shop I have learned something new.”





HERD MENTALITY It takes a special breed of horse and rider to be successful in the sport of reined cow horse. WRITTEN BY CHRIS QUIRK PHOTOS BY SAXON HOLT AND PRIMO MORALES

unless you follow the sport or grew up on a ranch, you have probably never seen a horse do anything quite like this. Crouching with hooves outstretched and haunches high, intent on the cow’s next move, the horse looks more canine than equine, like a border collie at work. The cow darts left and right in an attempt to get past horse and rider to rejoin its herd. Each time, the horse sprints, bounds and slides to a halt to cut off the cow’s path. A back-andforth dance of feints and dashes continues until the horn sounds, horse and rider relax, and the relieved cow is enfolded by the herd.



he sport is reined cow horse, consisting of herd work, rein work and cow work, and sometimes referred to as a Western form of dressage. It requires riders of the highest skill and superlatively trained, smart and athletic horses. And unless you have met Murray Thompson ’72, you probably don’t know any aerospace engineers who are also prizewinning horsemen. Thompson won the 2011 Non Pro Bridle category at the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) world championship at the age of 62. He began riding at 50. Thompson spent 39 years in aerospace, primarily working on satellite launches. Starting with Hughes Space and Communications right after graduating from Harvey Mudd College, he stayed with the company through various incarnations until retiring, when he bought a 20-acre ranch near Fresno so he could train full time. When Thompson began his engineering career, the satellite business was in its infancy. Bruce Shuman was an engineering colleague of Thompson’s. “Back then, to launch a satellite, you had 25 or 30 programs doing different things—tracking location, finding ground stations or aiming thrusters, for example,” Shuman recounts. “Each program might have been written by a different department, and the outputs for one program were the inputs for another, so it got complicated. The genius of what Murray did, working with his colleague Mike Schecter, was to streamline the whole process by creating one big program to track all the data you needed for the satellite.” “Previously, individual data for a particular satellite was hard coded into the source code,” Thompson explains. “We created an architecture where all that data resided in a database unique to each satellite.” Hughes went from launching a satellite every two or three years to launching half a dozen per year. “In the end we only had three launch failures, and to my knowledge not a single, solitary problem traced back to software,” says Shuman. While Thompson was still working in aerospace, his daughter became interested in riding. “When she started showing, I was following her around and saw a reined cow horse class and thought it would be fun,” Thompson says. The reined cow horse discipline was developed by vaqueros in the Southwest and California. Huge numbers of cattle had to be managed, often on an open range. Riders needed to control their horses



Here, Thompson rides Smart Time Tuck, a top prizewinning cow horse. The duo claimed the 2011 championship in the Non Pro Bridle category.



with as little input as possible so they could have hands free for herding tasks. To accomplish this, horse and rider needed to be in exquisite sync, working together to separate particular cows from the herd or control their movement on the range. It could take years to fully train a horse in the maneuvers that would make it effective. The events at reined cow horse competitions include compulsory patterns of loping and galloping— including displays of agility like high-speed sliding stops and spins—and herding loose cows with strategic riding to guide a cow’s movements, often at full speed. Riders use no ropes, depending on speed and guile to control the cows. The sport has professional divisions for the top-level riders on the very best horses, and several non-pro divisions for competitors who must ride their own horses. Thompson started taking riding lessons in 2000. Before long, he found himself driving five hours each way to Madera to learn rein work and cow work with Lyn Anderson, a horse trainer and world champion pro NRCHA rider. Eventually, Thompson bought his own horse—one Anderson had trained— to start competing seriously. It turned out to be not just any horse. The horse was named Smart Time Tuck. “That may be my all-time favorite horse,” says Anderson. “Even though I’d not ridden much yet, I knew this horse was talented. It was like the difference between driving a passenger car and a high-performance one,” says Thompson. Russ Greathouse, a friend and fellow non-pro rider, agrees. “Zip—that’s the horse’s barn name— was really something, but any trainer will tell you the rider has to push the right buttons at the right time.” At first, Thompson’s engineering proclivities served him well. “My analytical background was helpful in training because I knew how to break down problems and isolate things that weren’t working,” he says. Then they got in the way. “Murray is precise,” says Anderson. “That is good for the reining

patterns, which take careful preparation. Working with cows was tougher for him, as cows don’t follow patterns. He was green at first and would make pilot errors instead of trusting the horse, because the horse actually knew better than he did. Eventually, though, they became a really good pair.” “In herd work—separating the cow from the herd—the rider does the least,” says Thompson. “Everything happens so quick that it works best if the horse is just reacting instinctively, which comes from its training.” “A lot of people—especially men, though not Murray—come in here, and they treat the horses like they are cars,” Anderson says. “You know, do this and the horse will do that. But horses are thinking beings, not mechanical beings. The people that make the best riders are the ones that are able to analyze what they are doing and adjust.” Before long, the awards started piling up for Thompson, and he moved up the ranks until he was competing in the top non-pro division. Then came the 2011 season. “I was there when Murray won that world championship,” Greathouse recalls. “Murray, Lyn Anderson and I all drove down there together in Lyn’s big rig. Murray’s focus was phenomenal, and he peaked at exactly the right time. It was an exciting moment to witness. Murray won the Non Pro Bridle, Lyn won the Open Hackamore competition, and I was reserve [second] in the Non Pro Two Rein. When we pulled out of there, we tried to take all the money in Texas with us! We didn’t quite, but anytime you’re fortunate enough to get a check it’s fun.” “It’s basically a miracle if you win,” says Thompson. “In the recent competition in Reno, a pro rider on one of the best horses I saw was having a spectacular run, and at the last second, the cow they were working just ran over them. Two years of training and in the last few seconds it all falls apart. It was beyond the control of both horse and rider; they just got a bad cow, as they call it. There is so much that can go wrong, and to win it, all has to go right.” “Murray is devoted not just to winning but to being a good horseman, and he always tries his utmost,” says Anderson. “There’s no quit in the man.”






ake a sniff. Your laundry detergent, deodorant and cosmetics might seem odorless, but they likely contain a fragrance. Even your toilet paper probably has fragrance added to mask unsavory smells resulting from the manufacturing process. Sarah Reisinger ’99 plays a key role in putting the fragrance there. As the senior director of the flavors and fragrances group for Amyris in Emeryville, California, she uses synthetic biology to create the ingredients for a wide range of consumer and industrial products. “Fragrance and flavor products touch every aspect of life, even if we’re not aware of it,” says Reisinger, a biology alumna. Reisinger recognizes that not everyone

limited supply. Reisinger and her colleagues help conserve these resources by converting other natural substances into plentiful products. Some call what they do synthetic biology. Others think of it as genetic engineering. Reisinger talks about pushing the limits of what is possible in science. “We’ve reengineered the central metabolism of some of the organisms we’re using,” she explains. “We’re able to change the theoretical yield of an organism. And we’re not delivering strains making miniscule amounts—we’re producing at a manufacturing scale. There aren’t enough trees in the world to provide the fragrances we’re supplying, and especially to do it sustainably and consistently.” One organism Amyris works with is yeast. Proving that there’s more to yeast than beer or bread, Reisinger describes how they transform yeast to yield a fragrance that otherwise

and into production at the company’s Brazilian biorefinery. More recently, she’s seen the sugarcane-derived biofuel that she worked on in her early years at Amyris approved for use as a jet fuel and incorporated in a flight. The desire to see something in its entirety led Reisinger to biology in her first year at Harvey Mudd. She’d come to college planning to study chemistry and someday become a professor. Though organic chemistry turned out to be her favorite course, biology proved the more alluring field. Reisinger says, “I was interested in understanding the relationship of a lot of reactions in biology—the organism as a whole—rather than the individual reactions in chemistry. This is what interests me in all of science.” She continued in biology, earning both master’s and PhD degrees in plant and microbial biology from UC Berkeley. As a doctoral student, she worked in a lab studying

There aren’t enough trees in the world to provide the fragrances we’re supplying, and especially to do it sustainably and consistently. – SARAH REISINGER ’99

is comfortable with flavors and fragrances created in a lab, especially those that go into foods. She counters the critics by pointing to the value of her work to consumers, companies and society as a whole. “Amyris focuses on renewable, sustainable products that are biologically derived. We work with partners to identify where we can have the most positive benefit,” says Reisinger, noting that the company has developed technologies to contribute to the production of antimalarial drugs and alternative fuels. “We also offer stable pricing. As our climate changes, this is much more important. Events such as earthquakes and hurricanes cause price volatility. Companies, just like people, want to know a product will be available at a predictable price.” Like fuels, many common flavoring agents are petroleum based. Similarly, cosmetics incorporate emollients that in nature are found in olive oil or shark livers, each with a

comes from plant oils. They optimize some of the plant’s DNA for yeast, then turn this into the basis for commercial production of the oil. Their goal is a high-quality product comparable to its natural source. She says, “We make an oil the plant normally makes, but we make it in our factory.” Reisinger was the first scientist to join the flavors and fragrances group when Amyris branched into this business. Her role has grown with it, but the science remains central. “The rewards of my work are seeing the science and the excitement of bringing a renewable product to market. Having sustainable options is important to me,” Reisinger says. “I’ve learned that I’m very results oriented. I like to see products come to fruition, and I’ve had the pleasure of taking our products from first experiment to manufacturing metric tons.” Reisinger brought the first fragrance oil she created at Amyris to manufacturing scale

cell division in bacteria to understand how to identify new targets for antibiotics. Between graduate programs, Reisinger spent three years at Kosan Biosciences, a pharmaceutical company focused on cancer therapeutics. These days, Reisinger spends most of her time managing the Amyris flavors and fragrances team and relationships with corporate partners, working with legal staff and developing product plans. She’s also involved in creating several new fragrance compounds and products that haven’t yet been made public. “Every product Amyris is successful with benefits the industrial market and the consumer. We’re trying to build out an industry. That’s how we’re going to have sustainable products for the world,” Reisinger says.

View Reisinger’s fall 2014 Nelson Series talk at



A desire to clear headset static leads Don Simkins to a prolific career in national reconnaissance. Written by Ashley Festa Photo by Matthew Mahon


expected to attend college. He was just trying to make the family business run a little smoother. The company, based in San Bernardino, California, provided lighting equipment for stage shows and concerts featuring big-name bands like the Beach Boys and Black Sabbath. Simkins did setup and teardown, operated the spotlight and controlled the stage lights. Crewmembers and event organizers communicated through headsets about the next light setting for the concert. “There was a lot of interference in the headsets,” Simkins says. “If the organizers called for a blue stage and we couldn’t hear the request, things went wrong. So I became very interested in trying to make the headset signal stronger and cleaner.” That interest planted deep roots. Simkins set up equipment in his bedroom to build amplifiers, adjusting the high and low frequencies to create the clearest signal. He pursued his passion for signal processing throughout his entire career. With patience and persistence, he made groundbreaking and enduring changes in the field of U.S. intelligence, which earned him recognition as one of the greatest pioneers of national reconnaissance. Getting there was a long and unlikely road.



It takes a lot to get to the point where you achieve what you want to achieve. I made my contributions over a long period of time. –DON SIMKINS ’74/75

Engrossed in electronics Simkins’ high school was in a rough part of town. Teachers placed little emphasis on academics. They just worried about survival. “Teachers voted me most likely to succeed, but no one encouraged me to go to college,” Simkins says. “In my family, college wasn’t a consideration.” So he didn’t apply anywhere. But the headset problem nagged at him. Hoping to find a satisfying solution, Simkins headed to a nearby junior college to study math and physics. He didn’t intend to do anything with the education other than improve the concert communication problem. He would later realize that an electrical engineer would have the answer, but at the time, Simkins didn’t even know what that was. But he was talented. An instructor at the junior college pushed him to attend a four-year school. The instructor knew someone who worked in admission for Harvey Mudd College, and Simkins’ mother had heard of the school. So he submitted an application. “I was never a serious student,” he says. “I had the highest SAT score in high school, but a B average.” Even after being admitted to Harvey Mudd, Simkins remained committed to the family business, always believing it would be his livelihood. Even so, he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1974 and a master’s the following year. “I thought it would be a shame to not use my degree and just go back to stage shows,” he says. “I was keen on doing what a real engineer would do.”

Simkins brought his electrical

So, he took a job at Electromagnetic Systems Laboratory (ESL) Inc. in northern California to find out. But he still traveled back to San Bernardino every weekend to work concerts with the family. Gradually, he helped less and less. “Stage lighting stuff is fun, but it wasn’t the mental challenge of mathematical algorithms I was working on,” Simkins says. “It didn’t compare intellectually to what I was doing at ESL.” At the same time, he noticed a huge gap between his level of technical expertise and that of co-workers who had PhDs. Recognizing that a doctorate would allow him to make the most significant contributions, he decided to pursue a PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford University. He finished his dissertation in just 14 months while ESL footed the bill. Only days after he earned his degree, Simkins hopped on a plane to Australia, where he spent the first 16 months of his new career working on digital signal processing algorithms for ESL.

Pinnacle of achievement Simkins moved on from the static-y headsets, but the essence of his work remained the same. He brought his electrical engineering skills to the field of U.S. intelligence, working on geolocation algorithms and mitigation of radio signal interference for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). In March 2014, the NRO inducted 61-year-old Simkins into Pioneer Hall, the highest honor that can be bestowed on someone working in the field of national reconnaissance. To be inducted, a person’s contributions must be specific, unique and, most of all, revolutionary. Fewer than 100 people are named in Pioneer Hall. “We see the recognition as the Nobel Prize of National Reconnaissance,” says Robert A. McDonald, director of the Center for the Study of National Reconnaissance. “It’s not for lifetime achievement, not as an expert in the field. It’s for someone who creates something that changes the direction and scope of national reconnaissance.” Simkins’ contributions remain classified information because they’re critical to the ongoing success of national reconnaissance, McDonald says. “Even though Don’s contribution is from years ago, the benefit and impact are still being realized in today’s activities of the intelligence community.”

engineering skills to the field of U.S. intelligence, working on geolocation algorithms and mitigation of radio signal interference for the National Reconnaissance Office.

Persistence pays off As a child, Simkins remembers adjusting radio and television antennae to mitigate interference. “It was a relatively unsophisticated way to fix it,” he says.

Advances in technology gave engineers more control and precision in handling signals, which are critical for reconnaissance. As a government contractor, Simkins began processing signals digitally when the field was in its infancy, well before many commercial applications appeared. Simkins focused almost exclusively on emitter location his entire career, spending the past 22 years at a joint defense base in Australia as a lab engineer. The NRO restricts the information Simkins may divulge to the public domain. Without specifics, Simkins says he worked on algorithms for digital signal processing, intending to locate emitters to find out whether they were of interest to reconnaissance. The location of the device sending out a radio signal could be important in protecting troops, for example. When radio waves are detected, satellites provide information about where the waves originate. Simkins’ work provided more precise geolocation algorithms to detect a signal’s source. “To find the location of an emitter, you have to measure relative time and frequency very precisely,” Simkins says. “That sometimes involves cleaning up the signal or making the algorithm robust enough so it isn’t affected by interference.” His biggest challenge in that mission was forcing the current technology to do his bidding. His work relied on satellites, but he needed them to accomplish tasks they weren’t designed to do. Simkins faced a constant battle—collecting information to determine what the problem required him to do and then discovering a way to work around the limitations of the existing technology. After he found a way to achieve a given task, another area of the problem inhibited his progress, so he’d have to find a work-around for that, too. “It takes a lot to get to the point where you achieve what you want to achieve,” he says. “I made my contributions over a long period of time.”

Enduring discoveries In Simkins’ field, most engineers use the algorithms that he developed over many years. “Wherever I go, people know me if they work in this area because of the widespread use of my equations.” Simkins approaches the end of his work refining geolocation algorithms with the NRO Pioneer Hall recognition, which he describes as a highlight of his life. “It’s not only an honor for the moment; it validated my career,” he says. “It was gratifying to have other people say my work really meant something, and it was important for the country. It’s a nice way to be able to exit my career.”




Alumni Weekend 2015: The Ultimate Throwback Celebration! | May 1–3 Celebrate Alumni Weekend 2015 in classic style with the ultimate Throwback Celebration, beginning Friday, May 1, and concluding Sunday, May 3. This year, it really is as easy as 1-2-3! We’re highlighting reunion year classes ending in “0” and “5,” but all years are welcome to attend. The Class of 1965, Harvey Mudd’s fifth class to celebrate a 50th reunion, will receive special recognition and have ample opportunities to reflect about life “back in the day.” Visit the Alumni Association Web page at or contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at or 909.621.8436.

Dancing the night away at a party at East, circa 1965.

Are you LinkedIn? The Harvey Mudd College Alumni Association group on LinkedIn provides an ideal starting point to connect with fellow alumni. Join the 2,300+ alumni who are already members, and participate in discussions, post and view jobs, and receive Harvey Mudd news and event updates. Find more information and a link to the group on the Alumni Association website at All requestors are verified as alumni of Harvey Mudd College prior to being approved.

Family Weekend 2015: Fun is a Breeze at Harvey Mudd | Feb. 6–7 Start your “air-powered” engines! At the upcoming Family Weekend, don’t miss your chance to race balloon-powered cars, explore the campus and participate in activities with students, faculty and staff. Visit the Family Weekend Web page at to find:  • Schedule of events • Hotel information • Registration form Contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at 909.621.8436 or





Political Scientist Written by Eric Feezell Photo by Seth Affoumado


effective at controlling rats, also poisons rodent predators, so an environmental group wants to ban its use in state conservation areas. It seems like policy that likeminded organizations would rally behind. Yet another conservation group opposes the bill. Are there partisan motivations? Unforeseen environmental impacts? What’s an agreeable and safe solution? Ask Karen Morrison ’08. A former California Council on Science and Technology science policy fellow at the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee (SEQC), Morrison reviewed the recommendation to ban the rodenticide. The SEQC focuses on the impacts of proposed legislation on the “built environment,” the manmade infrastructure and products that comprise our communities and, in the case of the rodenticide, that sometimes have unintended consequences on the natural world. The committee’s jurisdiction includes environmental quality, air and water quality, integrated waste management and hazardous waste. “It’s a lot of territory to cover,” says Morrison, who spoke this year at Harvey Mudd’s Convocation. And solutions are rarely simple. In the foothills, the rodenticide has unintended harmful effects on natural predators like hawks and cougars. On an island, however, it’s an effective weapon against rodents that would otherwise decimate flightless bird populations. Each environmental group makes a sound scientific argument. “In reviewing legislation, often you have environmentalists versus business interests,” says Morrison. It becomes even more complicated when two similar groups have differing views on the same problem. How do you find a place where these two sides can agree? In this case: compromise. An amended bill bans the use of the rodenticide in designated areas only. Though it lacks the exactitude of a scientific solution, it is enhanced environmental legislation that satisfies both sides. And that’s the job—one that Morrison has had to learn quickly.

the “ Ipolitics,  don’t love but I

think scientists increasingly recognize we’ve been absent in the political discussion. – KAREN MORRISON ’08

“I knew none of what I’m talking about right now a year ago,” she says. Hard to believe. An organic chemistry PhD, she’s versed enough in the legislative process to pass for a junior legal scholar. Her technical understanding of environmental issues and ability to synthesize them into clear language make Morrison a great fit for work that straddles science and public relations. “At Mudd, most of the people I interacted with weren’t chemists,” says Morrison. “I learned quickly how to talk about chemistry in ways that wouldn’t make people run away from me,” she jokes. But it’s a seriously useful skill in the world of policy analysis, where the framing of a bill’s language can be as crucial as its underlying facts. This type of work is far off from the chemistry research of her past, with red tape that would frustrate many scientists. But Morrison sees it for what it is: an imperfect, human process made more effective when informed by science.

“I don’t love the politics,” she admits. “But I think scientists increasingly recognize we’ve been absent in the political discussion.” Morrison insists the interplay between science and politics needn’t be contentious. She relishes the chance to explore the space in between them and improve our world in the process. “That’s really what I care about,” says Morrison. “Are we encouraging practices that promote public and environmental health?” The learning curve of the political arena keeps Morrison sharp. She’s developed a fascination for local politics and can enumerate the quirks of California’s legislative process. Her appetite for knowledge is as strong as ever—a trait invigorated by her undergraduate study. “At Mudd, people are passionate about science, but also about learning,” says Morrison. “That’s something that I’ve carried with me through school—this position of loving the process of learning something new.” That pursuit continues. She’s accepted a position at the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, analyzing data and developing policy related to state waste management. Morrison would like to see more STEM specialists in the political arena. “Elected officials hold real power in enacting science-based legislation,” she says, “and this is one of many ways that scientists can get more involved.”




1966 A book by Michael Beug, the mycologist featured in the summer issue of Harvey Mudd College Magazine, has been nominated for a PROSE Award for best 2014 book. Ascomycete Fungi of North America, co-authored with Alan and Arleen Bessette, was nominated in the single-volume reference/science category.

1967 Charlie Westbrook is among “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds, 2014,” according to a list produced by the Thomson Reuters Corporation. Charlie says, “It is nice to be recognized. ... In at least one coordinate system, I have done something valuable.” He encourages fellow alumni to check the list for more Mudders.

1970 | Reunion Year

Pat Adams SCR ’72 and Eric Adams, and Martha Reich SCR ’71 and Cary Reich have been friends for almost 50 years. Eric and Cary were roommates several times, beginning their first year in 1966. “We have kept up our friendship throughout the years, even though we have always lived on different coasts,” says Martha Reich, who shared the photo.

1975 | Reunion Year In an Aug. 20, 2014, interview in Spaceflight Insider, Jim Erickson, Curiosity’s project manager, describes the rover’s wheel issues and their impact on the mission’s future. Since the robotic explorer landed on Mars in August 2012, the wheels have sustained substantial damage from jagged rocks and rough terrain. Jim says, “Added precautions are now taken in planning routes and each day’s drive. Minimizing fresh wheel damage is also a factor in selection of longer-term routes. The mission has invested in some added Earth-based testing of how wheels sustain damage. Some modifications to flight software for the wheel motor controllers are being considered



as part of the occasional flight-software upgrades that are a planned process during the mission. One possible change under consideration would allow varying the power to individual wheels during a drive, to counteract the effect of one wheel pushing another into a rock.”

1978 Mike Hayashi, a longtime engineering executive with Time Warner Cable (TWC) who has played an important role in the development of key cable technologies and services, will retire in 2014. TWC’s Denver-based executive vice president of architecture, development and engineering, Mike is a 36-year cable vet and advanced video pioneer. During his 22-year career at TWC, Mike has been a force in the development and deployment of next-generation cable services—including advanced analog, digital video, cable telephony and video-on-demand—and has also been instrumental in the development of CableLabs-led initiatives such as OpenCable. Mike started his cable career at Pioneer Communications of America as staff engineer for Warner Cable’s pioneering Qube project. He later joined Scientific-Atlanta (now part of Cisco), where he developed requirements for the first integrated electronic program guide and helped the company enter international markets. Gary Pinkerton joined Pinkerton Retirement Specialists of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, as the senior vice president wealth advisor and director of professional alliance and institutional services. He moved from Ohio to merge his practice, Pinkerton Wealth Management, with that of his brother Dan Pinkerton, founder of Pinkerton Retirement Specialists. Gary is a certified financial planner and accredited investment fiduciary, has served as a corporate director and is a published author and speaker. A classical violinist, Gary has played with the Cleveland Philharmonic, Ft. Collins Symphony and many others.

1980 | Reunion Year Alec Kercheval graduated his 11th and 12th PhD

students in December 2013 at Florida State University, where he is professor and director of financial mathematics. Alec says, “We have an active M.S. and PhD program in financial mathematics (www.math. HMC students are welcome to apply. I was awarded a five-year Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant for Mathematicians, so maybe I will get to California a bit more often! I would love

to be able to visit HMC again in 2015 for our 35th reunion, since the 30th was so much fun.”

1983 “High-Performance Trebuchet (Catapult) Development,” a Department of Engineering seminar presented Nov. 12 by Leonard Vance ’83/85, captured the imaginations of those in attendance. Leonard explored the path of analysis, innovation, experimentation and development which, he says, led him from what he thought would be an easy two-week school project to a 10-year trek to set the world’s record, currently in excess of 2,800 feet. Leonard is the acting chief engineer for space applications at Raytheon Missile Systems and principal investigator for the DARPA SeeMe program, developing inexpensive nanosatellites for tactical applications. Outside of work, he is a longtime volunteer coach for the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) organization and has led student teams to four national championships. He enjoys hydrofoil sailing, hiking and occasionally developing high-performance trebuchets.

1986 Peter So and his colleagues at MIT were selected by the National Institutes of Health for the first round of Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative awards. The team includes Peter, an MIT mechanical and biological engineering professor, and Elly Nedivi, principal investigator at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and professor in the MIT departments of Biology and Brain and Cognitive Sciences. They will explore how the integration of excitatory and inhibitory inputs (synapses) within a single neuron supports information processing in normally functioning brains—and how it is altered in dysfunctional networks impacted by disease. The Nedivi and So labs have been collaborating for more than a decade to develop methods for monitoring synapses across neurons in the mouse visual cortex. Peter joined MIT in 1996 as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and now serves as the director of the MIT Laser Biomedical Research Center. His lab has pioneered numerous optical microscopy and spectroscopy techniques.

1987 Two years ago, Scot Kleinman decided to return to school and enroll in a distance-learning executive MBA program at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa


The trek to Walla Walla, Washington, covered 90 miles and well over 3,600 feet, “one of our most challenging climbing days.”

After a final 1,400-foot climb covering 44 miles, including spectacular views of the San Juan Islands, all arrive at Pinky and Susie’s home in Bellingham, Washington. The couples celebrate with champagne.

Big Hole Valley, Montana, “mosquito capital of the world. ... We discovered that mosquitoes can fly up to 10 miles an hour.” –DJ and PN

Tail wind to Ennis, Montana, allows them to make 72.1 miles in four hours, 13 minutes, with an average speed of 17.1 miles for the day. Yak burgers in Elma, Washington.

Two-days’ rest in Tabernash, Colorado.

Ryan Arndt ’97, Pinky’s riding partner in 2000, met the duo on the way to Hood River, Oregon.



Snake River Valley, Idaho. “The canola fields are blooming and the hills are covered in bright green and yellow.” –DJ and PN



Big Adventure

Stop at Lander Brew Fest in Lander, Wyoming: ice cream and a cheese wheel (deep-fried cheeseburger without the bun).

FOR SIX WEEKS this past summer, former Batesers Richard (Dick) Jones ’72, P98 and George (Pinky) Nelson ’72 rode their bikes across much of the United States from St. Augustine, Florida, to Bellingham, Washington. Supported by their wives Joan and Susie, the determined duo braved storms, multiple flat tires and hordes of ravenous mosquitos, and both celebrated wedding anniversaries during their more than 3,000mile trek. They averaged about 70 miles per riding day. It was the longest bike ride either had ever attempted but, hands down, it was the best.

Lyons to Ness City, Kansas, 96.4 miles, 600 feet.

Visit Pinky’s nephew in Springfield, Missouri.

Tornado warning, but no tornado, in Guffey, Colorado.

Visit Shiloh National Military Park to view the site where Grant’s troops beat Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston and Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard.

Ascent to Alma, Colorado, the highest town in North America (over 10,500 feet).

START: ST. AUGUSTINE On the 107-mile ride to Gainesville, Florida, Pinky runs Dick off the road avoiding a big snake.

Surprise thunderstorm near Shiloh, Alabama.




Shidler College of Business. Highlights during that time included a three-week trip to Asia—with visits to Korea, China, Vietnam and Thailand—and getting to know the other students, all excellent managers and leaders throughout Hawaii. Scot finished in May and remains in Hawaii (“longer than anywhere else in my life”), contemplating his next move. As of July, he became associate director for development at Gemini Observatory. He’s traded his water ski in for a surfboard and scuba gear, and his daughter, born in Hawaii, is now “ruling the universe at only 4 years of age.” Visit Scot’s blog at

1988 In the Electronic Design article “A Look Behind the Mask of Multi-Patterning,” Michael White explores the various MP approaches, how they differ by technology node and where the IC manufacturing/ IP/EDA ecosystems are in the delivery of solutions. Michael, director of product marketing for Calibre Physical Verification products at Mentor Graphics, has held various product marketing, strategic marketing and program management roles for Applied Materials, Etec Systems and the Lockheed Skunk Works. An engineering graduate, he also received an M.S. in engineering management from the University of Southern California. Find the article at

1990 | Reunion Year

article “ Something Electric in Bellevue: The History of Sucker Punch” by IGN Middle East. The company’s latest game is inFAMOUS First Light for PS4, featuring re-playable battle arenas with worldwide leader board support.

Kelly Beck was named interim track and field coach this past August. A longtime assistant coach, Kelly is in his 25th year coaching track and field and cross country at CMS, and this is his 29th year with the program. He was a four-year member of both the track and field and cross country teams. His track coaching duties over the years have included work with the distance teams, and he coached the sprinters from 1995–2010. He has coached 18 individuals and six relays who have achieved 35 All-American titles, including one NCAA national champion. An engineering graduate, Kelly started coaching at CMS after HMC. In 1992, he earned a master’s degree from the U.S. Sports Academy in sports management. The assistant coach for both cross country teams in the fall, Kelly also serves as the sports information director for CMS Athletics.

This fall, Tony Gnecco—the “Red Rocket”—was inducted into the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) track and field champion Hall of Fame. The anchor on the 4×400 meter relay team that qualified the Stags for the NCAA Championships three out of four straight seasons, Tony was named Harvey Mudd’s Athlete of the Year as a junior. He was a two-time SCIAC

This year, Robert Knop joined the faculty of Westminster College (Pennsylvania) as associate professor of physics. A Harvey Mudd physics graduate, Robert earned his master’s degree and PhD in physics from the California Institute of Technology. Knop’s interests are cosmology, galaxy evolution, and interacting and active galaxies, as well as numerical and computational astrophysics. Recent


1989 Brian Fleming was featured in the Sept. 12, 2014,


champion (4×400 in 1988, 400 in 1989) and a twotime All-American (4×400 in 1988 [2nd], 4×400 in 1989 [8th]). In 1986, Gnecco set the record for first years in the 400 meter at 49.22. The relay team’s 4×400 meter time from the 1988 NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships still holds at 3:12.60. Gnecco is still fifth all-time among CMS runners in the 400 meter (48.46), and the 4×400 meter teams he anchored are still first, sixth and seventh all-time (they were first, second and third when he graduated). Tony, an engineering major, was active on campus, serving as sports editor for The Muddraker, as a member of the campus Christian Fellowship and as a proctor of South during his senior year. After Mudd, Tony went on to a career in software development in Livermore, California, where he lives with his wife, son and daughter. Though his running days are behind him, he says, he coaches his daughter’s soccer and track teams and frequently plays golf with his son, who is a member of the middle school squad.


projects with students have included building simulation software for “physics 1”-type systems (rods, balls, springs and gravity) and morphological classification of interacting galaxies imaged with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, comparing morphological features with spectroscopic signatures of star formation.

1991 In July 2014, Bruce Hinds moved to the University of Washington MSE department, where he is the Campbell Professor of Materials Science & Engineering. His research group is trying to produce nano-scale materials that can mimic natural process for applications ranging from health care, energy storage/generation and water purification. After Harvey Mudd (chemistry), Bruce completed PhD work on the MOCVD growth of high-temperature superconductors at Northwestern University. He went on to postdoctoral physics research at North Carolina State to study the interface states in the Si/ SiO2 system, then received an NSF-JSPS fellowship to work with nano-scale fabrication of single electron floating gate memory at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. In 2001, he joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky to start a research program for functional materials at the nm-scale. He received an NSF Early Career Award, Presidential Early Career Award and a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellowship from the National Academy of Science.

1993 Tas Dienes is CTO of SmartAction, a provider of

artificial intelligence voice self-service. The company received CUSTOMER Magazine’s 2014 Speech Technology Excellence Award for its Intelligent Voice Automation (IVA) technology, which helps businesses deliver faster, more accurate self-service in their call centers.

1998 Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Program Manager Allison Barto received the Women in Aerospace Achievement Award at the annual Women in Aerospace Awards ceremony on Oct. 29. The WIA award is given annually for noteworthy achievement or contributions to a single aerospace project or program that represents a breakthrough or milestone in the aerospace field. Allison was recognized for her outstanding contributions as Ball’s

program manager for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope program. She leads the team delivering the telescope’s optical assemblies to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. In addition to 20 optical assemblies, Ball is developing the cryogenic electronics used to align and phase the optics in flight; cryogenic radiator assemblies; wavefront sensing and control software to determine the motions necessary to phase the telescope in flight; and optical system engineering support. Ball’s work on JWST extends through the optical commissioning of the observatory following launch scheduled for October 2018. “The James Webb Space Telescope program has allowed me to combine my passion for solving hard problems and my background in astrophysics to a program that is going to expand our knowledge of the universe in ways we can’t predict today,” says Allison, who joined Ball Aerospace in 1998 as a systems engineer. This year, Dylan and Tarah Helliwell celebrated the 20th anniversary of their meeting during Summer Institute (called Bridge Program back then). They are married with two kids. Ben Ver Steeg, co-founder and vice president of

engineering at TruTouch Technologies, returned to campus for the Department of Engineering Seminar Program to share his insight on “Lasers, Beer and the Ongoing Revolution in Photonic Sensors.” TruTouch develops, manufactures and sells patented noninvasive alcohol detection and biometric testing systems. In 2013, the company raised $2.2 million to finance the expansion of sales of its products into the global energy, mining and transportation industries.

1999 PicoBrew, where co-founder Avi Geiger is CTO, exceeded its crowdfunding campaign goal and raised $661,026 from Kickstarter backers last year, then completed a $1.2 million Series AA round from angel investors this past May. In an October 2014 GeekWire article, CEO Bill Mitchell, a former Microsoft executive, described how the automatic all-grain beer brewing system works: “This thing eats hops, grain, yeast and water—and poops out great craft beer.”

2001 Mike Beebe is co-founder and chief operating officer

of Matterport, a company that sells a specialized camera for creating 3-D images of rooms. In July, Matterport raised $16 million in order to accelerate

its mobile efforts. According to a company news release, the Mountain View, California-based company wants to continue pursuing sales of its high-end homegrown camera while also taking its technology into mobile devices, starting with Google’s Project Tango tablet, developer versions of which are due to go on sale in late 2014. Matterport launched its $4,500 3-D camera and cloud service in March, focusing on business markets such as real estate and interior design.

2002 Michael Schubmehl, Harvey Mudd trustee and quantitative researcher for Jump Trading, visited campus in September to talk to students about the U.S. stock market. Michael discussed the technological evolution of trading and how a simple set of rules gives rise to an enormously rich set of problems that have captured the imaginations of some of the best minds in computing, mathematics and basic science.

2003 Kami and Tom Galvani and their two-year-old daughter, Mallory, welcomed twin boys Asher and Keaton on June 20. They reside in Phoenix, where mom and dad are attorneys. David Uminsky, his wife,

Lindsay Gifford, and eldest daughter, Nayeli, welcomed baby girl Mayra Simone into the family on May 8. David was recently named the director of the master’s in analytics program at the University of San Francisco, in addition to founding the B.S. in data science. He is proudly teaching his girls the mantra, “West is best!”

2005 | Reunion Year Seneca Harberger, a fourth-

year medical student at Temple University School of Medicine, is one of seven scholars selected as a 2014 Pisacano Scholar and the second Temple medical student selected for the award. Seneca—considered a future leader in the field of family medicine—has received multiple scholarships and is pursuing a concurrent master’s degree in urban bioethics, with a thesis focused on the health needs of the homeless population of North Philadelphia. In addition to the

coursework, he has been heavily involved in several organizations in the Temple community, including Temple Emergency Action Corps Homelessness Initiative. David Lipke, assistant professor of materials science

and engineering in the Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University, is one of 149 university researchers nationwide to win funding for research equipment from the United States Department of Defense. Lipke will use the $308,667 award to design and install a xenon-arc image furnace for the synthesis and characterization of materials in ultra-high temperature (up to 3,000 degrees C) environments under a variety of atmospheric conditions ranging from high vacuum to elevated pressure. “This instrument will provide us with exciting new research capabilities, especially for processing of materials under conditions previously only achievable in highly specialized, sometimes inaccessible laboratories,” says David, who joined Alfred University after completing a two-year National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the Air Force Research Laboratory (Edwards Air Force Base, California). Carl Yerger is on a sabbatical from his position

at Davidson College to be at Carnegie Mellon University during the 2014–2015 academic year as a Eugene P. Shelly Visiting Assistant Professor, a position designed to foster collaborations in both teaching and research.

2006 Chicago’s first electric garbage truck was the focus of an Oct. 3, 2014, Fast Company article, which included an interview with Jim Castelaz. Jim is CEO and founder of Motiv Power Systems, designer of the truck’s electric powertrain. Jim says, “If you look at regular trucks, they get around 1.4 miles per gallon. They’re spending a lot on fuel, every mile, every day, every year. The fuel bill for a truck over its lifetime is much higher than the purchase price. If you can reduce that, the truck can pay for itself.” According to the article, the city of Chicago plans to purchase up to 20 of the new trucks over the next few years, and Motiv plans to begin working with other cities.

2008 Generation Orbit Launch Services Inc. welcomed Zack Rubin as lead engineer of the engineering team’s Structures Division. Zack oversees the design, prototyping, integration and testing of flight




structures, mechanisms and separation systems for the GOLauncher family of vehicles. Previously, he worked as a structures engineer and dynamic environments engineer at SpaceX.


By observing how hydrogen is absorbed into individual palladium nanocubes, Stanford materials scientists—including Tarun Narayan—have detailed a key step in storing energy and information in nanomaterials. The work could inform research that leads to longer-lasting batteries or higher-capacity memory devices. The team, led by Jennifer Dionne, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford, studied how metallic nanoparticles composed of palladium absorbed and released hydrogen atoms.


Nadia Abuelezam defended her dissertation “Individual-based HIV transmission and prevention models: evaluation, calibration, and application” at the Harvard School of Public Health on March 11. She graduated with a doctor of science in epidemiology in May and is now a postdoctoral research fellow at HSPH. Nadia married Vincent Minucci on April 26 in Buxton, Massachusetts. Mudders in attendance included: Nathan Jones, Hallie Kuhn, Oksana Sergeeva, Christina Snyder, Mariam Youssef ’08 and Mina Youssef ’07. Oksana A. Sergeeva and Nathan A. Jones welcomed

their son, Chase D. Jones, on April 12. In the meantime, Oksana completed her thesis, which she defended in May before graduating with a PhD in biochemistry from MIT in September. Nathan is continuing his PhD from Harvard at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, so he can collect data at the Large Hadron Collider. Therefore, the family has moved to Switzerland! Oksana is starting a postdoc at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in cell biology while Chase learns French and becomes a cute Swiss baby.

2010 | Reunion Year Bo Chen writes, “In January 2014, I left UCSD’s math department with a master’s degree and started work as a software engineer in machine learning at Palo Alto startup Infer. Prior to this, I did a stint as a trader on Wall Street with Jane Street Capital, alongside several other Mudders (Andy Niedermaier ’04, Aaron Pribadi ’12 and Dan Houck ’16).”



Cornell University School of Operations Research and Information Engineering (ORIE) undergraduates voted Alice Paul their Teaching Assistant of the Year. She was a TA for “Optimization II,” taught by Professor Leslie Trotter in spring 2014. Alice earned a mathematics degree from Harvey Mudd and has completed her second year in ORIE’s PhD program. She is working on her PhD research under the direction of Professor David Williamson and interned during the summer at General Electric in Niskayuna, New York.

2013 Katie Hauser, engineering alumna and new Intel

employee, worked with undergraduate interns from Oregon State University on a smart bike helmet prototype that dials 911. In an Intel Free Press article, Katie says, “I find it fun and rewarding to help current students with projects like this … help them learn things for themselves while pointing them in the right direction. I enjoy tutoring and teaching because I learn so much from it, too.” Read more at

Your News Matters Have you changed jobs? Retired? Celebrated a milestone? We want your news! We also compile information from a variety of public sources: campus event notices, newspaper and magazine articles, press releases and Google alerts. Please send updates via email:

In Memoriam Stu Hooper ’92, co-founder of the Covington-based technology company CitiLogics, died one day after first responders rescued him from the waters at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina, where he and his family were vacationing. Strong rip currents were reported in the area. “Stu’s passing is a huge personal loss for everyone at CitiLogics. He was a brilliant engineer and innovator, and he brought an unyielding precision to our company,” co-founders Jim Uber and Sam Hatchett said in a statement. An accomplished engineer, successful entrepreneur and respected scholar, Stu developed work that has been cited in over 130 research publications. Stu was born on Jan. 23, 1970, and spent much of his childhood in Brazil. He graduated from Harvey Mudd in 1992 and earned a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1996. Stu ultimately chose the unknown of starting companies over a more predictable career path. He co-founded his first company, Summers and Hooper, while at UC. The company provided engineering and analytical laboratory services to drinking water utilities and consulting firms nationwide. It was eventually sold. He also worked as a researcher at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta. Stu and Jim formed CitiLogics in 2009. After initially focusing on water security, the company now builds software to help municipal water systems manage their supply and infrastructure. It’s a potential game-changer for the nation’s network of water utilities, which have approximately 880,000 miles of piping and other infrastructure buried under ground. Stu is survived by his wife, Debbie Moll, and sons, Julian and Maceo.


HAR VEY MUDD IS ON A MISSION... To invest in people, programs and places that will advance the College’s vision

$150 million The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College launched

To blend art and science

To attract and retain diverse students of extraordinary ability

To provide unparalleled undergraduate research opportunities















$1.2 million

granted by the National Science Foundation for faculty research

To educate a new generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL FELLOWSHIPS & SCHOLARSHIPS

Astronaut Scholarship................................... 1 Watson Fellowship........................................ 1 Gilman Scholarship....................................... 2

Concert series inaugurated in the Wayne ’73 and Julie Drinkward Recital Hall

To attract and retain talented teacher/scholars


National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship................... 11 (4 students; 7 alumni)

To update infrastructure to maintain a dynamic learning environment

new endowed faculty chairs:

The Michael G. and C. Jane Wilson Chair in Arts and the Humanities (Ken Fandell); LeonhardJohnson-Rae Chair (Zachary Dodds); Malcolm Lewis Chair of Sustainability and Society (Paul Steinberg)

To lead by example

Historic Harvey Mudd Class of 2014: More engineering degrees conferred to women (56%) than to men

To demonstrate excellence

President Maria Klawe named to Fortune’s list of the

“World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” Renovations to Parsons include new Clinic areas and updated spaces for the departments of Engineering and Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts.

To prepare passionate problem solvers to contribute to society

“Best Value College” –Princeton Review

Ranked No. 1

nationally for return on investment –PayScale

ADVANCEMENT REVIEW AS STUDENTS RETURNED to campus in September 2013, the doors were wide open at the R. Michael Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, where our amazing faculty eagerly awaited the opportunity to teach and mentor students in this bright and energizing new facility. Soon after, the College community gathered for a dedication ceremony honoring Mike and Mary Shanahan for their generosity, along with that of the many alumni, students, parents, faculty, trustees and staff who helped make the building a reality. Throughout the fall, we took Harvey Mudd on the road in a series of alumni and parent events titled, “Mudd Matters: Our Character, Our Campus, Our Course.” President Klawe shared the College’s message and was joined in each city by trustees, faculty, alumni and parents, who discussed the future of Harvey Mudd. On February 1, the community gathered again at the Shanahan Center to celebrate the much-anticipated public launch of “Mudd on a Mission: The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College.” The excitement of this seven-year, $150 million comprehensive campaign—which grew to $102 million during the two-and-one-half-year quiet phase—continued to spread as we took to the road again with a series of “Mudd on a Mission” events. Each event, hosted by a local trustee, featured faculty and students sharing stories about why they chose Mudd, how the College is helping shape them and why the world needs Harvey Mudd. Through these and many other activities throughout the year—including alumni/ parent-hosted events, career forums, Nelson and Annenberg lectures, traditional and social

Written by Dan Macaluso, vice president for advancement

media outreach, and record numbers attending Family and Alumni weekends—people can clearly see the impact of Harvey Mudd College on the community and especially on our students, who aspire to make a difference in the world. There is an ever-increasing excitement for and commitment to the advancement of Harvey Mudd College. This September, the Campaign topped

People can clearly see the impact of Harvey Mudd College on the community and especially on our students, who aspire to make a difference in the world. $111 million in gifts and pledges—significantly increasing the number of endowed faculty positions, increasing the number of available summer research awards, strengthening financial aid, expanding community engagement opportunities and supporting the Annual Mudd Fundd. In addition, students rallied for the second year to raise funds for a summer research award from 45.5 percent of the student body, and alumni participation overall increased to 30.1 percent. I am excited by all we accomplished together last year and am grateful to everyone who invested time and resources toward strengthening and expanding our ability to fulfill the mission of the College. Thank you for being a part of this remarkable community. Ho Nam ’88 and Jeff Byron P07 attended the Mudd Matters event in Palo Alto, California.


Overall Student Participation

Overall Alumni Participation

45.5 %






Foundations, 12.4%

Individuals, 84.7%

$14,646,260 Total



Other Organizations, 0.6%

Corporations, 2.3%





Alumni, 49.8%

Current Trustees, 5.9%

Other Individuals, 29.1%



Parents, 6.5%

Faculty & Staff, 8.7%

$12,400,419 Total






Annual Mudd Fundd






Designated/Restricted Endowment Non-Endowment Bequests

$5,938,530 $3,427,914 $1,735,656

$2,911,276 $33,411,509 $42,449

$2,108,095 $4,512,517 $177,685

$4,741,254 $14,515,862 $264,010

$1,982,768 $3,300,100 $435,813






Total Philanthropic Giving




Written by Andrew Dorantes, vice president for administration and finance/treasurer

Financial Position HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE (the College) ended the fiscal year with assets in excess of $450 million. This total is composed primarily of investments of $333 million and of land, buildings and equipment of $92 million. Liabilities of $33 million consist primarily of long-term bonds payable and of accounts payable and accrued liabilities. During the 2013–2014 fiscal year, total net assets increased by $36 million. This increase in net assets resulted from an increase in the value of the investment pool from both realized and unrealized gains in the value of investments. As of June 30, 2014, net assets totaled $417 million, comprising three net asset categories: 1) unrestricted (those over which the College has discretion) of $161 million, 2) temporarily restricted (those given to the College for a specific purpose) of $132 million, and 3) permanently restricted (those given to the College to be held in perpetuity) of $124 million.

the positive operating balance were increased enrollment, lower-than-anticipated financial aid needs, additional grant and Clinic revenues and savings from unfilled faculty and administrative positions.

Financial Operations


Total revenues were $66 million for fiscal year 2013–2014, compared to $80 million for fiscal year 2012–2013. The decrease is primarily due to a significant unrestricted gift received in 2012–2013. Total expenses for 2013–2014 were approximately $58 million. For the year ending June 30, 2014, the College experienced an operating budget surplus after transfers to high-priority areas, as approved by the Board of Trustees Budget and Financial Planning Committee. The key factors influencing

The College is pleased with the positive operating results and endowment returns achieved during the past fiscal year. We are proud of the new Shanahan Center and the upgrades to classrooms, labs and offices. We are also excited to have broken ground on a new dorm this summer. The administration and trustees remain focused on providing quality resources for Harvey Mudd students as the College continues its plan of measured growth.

Endowment Investments The endowment produced a performance return of 15.8 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. The strong performance return was the result of a diversified portfolio of investments and exceeded policy portfolio benchmarks. The market value of the endowment was $284 million at year’s end, representing an equivalent of $353,736 per student. Endowment payout supported 20 percent of the College’s operating budget during the fiscal year.

ENDOWMENT MARKET VALUE (in thousands) $300,000





$241,584 $225,509


$208,454 $200,000




Endowment Market Value

$284 million 42


June 30, 2010

June 30, 2011

June 30, 2012

June 30, 2013

June 30, 2014

See audited financial statements at


Year ended June 30 (in thousands)

Net Student Revenue 50%

Tuition, fees, room and board Less financial aid Net student revenue Federal grants Private gifts and grants Private contracts Endowment payout Other revenue Total Revenue



$47,676 -$14,589

$44,345 -$13,619

$33,087 $2,474 $15,815 $1,697 $11,999 $1,341

$30,726 $3,042 $31,728 $1,873 $11,200 $1,355



Federal Grants 4%

Total Revenue

Private Gifts and Grants 24%

Other Revenue 2%

Private Contracts 2%

Endowment Payout 18%

Instruction 42%

Research 5%

EXPENSES Year ended June 30 (in thousands)

Auxiliary Enterprises 12%

Total Expenses

Public Service 2%



$24,333 $3,103 $956 $5,982 $6,839 $9,634 $7,045

$21,914 $3,052 $917 $5,834 $5,757 $8,870 $6,702



Excess revenues/expenses



Pooled investment (losses) Other changes in net assets

$26,567 $804

$13,560 $550



Instruction Research Public service Academic support Student services Institutional support Auxiliary enterprises Total Expenses

Academic Support 10%

Institutional Support 17% Student Services 12%

Change in Net Assets



BETTER TOGETHER AS THIS PUBLICATION WENT TO PRESS, the Campaign for Harvey Mudd College—the College’s comprehensive fundraising campaign—had received more than $113 million in gifts and pledges toward the overall goal of $150 million. This substantial progress toward our goal is due to strong support from alumni, parents, trustees, donors and friends who want to help ensure that a steady stream of passionate problem solvers can address the most pressing issues of our time. I’m proud that the board continues to provide strong support. Bolstered by the addition of 10 new and two returning members during 2013–2014, the board has accomplished a tremendous amount toward fulfilling our shared vision. During the past academic year, the board has renewed efforts to communicate more clearly and openly with the campus community. We’ve been meeting with students and faculty members to discuss several matters, including topics related to the Honor Code, maintaining and strengthening the College’s mission during College growth and the drought in Southern California.  Another area of great interest to the board is our strategic vision priority related to diversity. As you know, the six themes of the College’s strategic vision provide a strong framework for College improvements. The College has made steady progress in diversifying the faculty and student body over the past several years. However, there is more work to be done, including further addressing the socioeconomic diversity of the College’s students. We’ve improved the percentages of women and international students on campus, and, through the work of our Office of Institutional Diversity and Sumi Pendakur and Professor Darryl

Yong ’96, the College has begun to greatly enhance both programming and conversations around a broad set of issues important as we foster a more diverse campus community. With the completion of the R. Michael Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning with its new creative and performance spaces as well as the renovation of other campus facilities, the College has provided a home for enrichment activities. There are now even more student organizations and leadership opportunities with a strong focus on teamwork and collaboration. In partnership

The six themes of the College’s strategic vision provide a strong framework for College improvements. with the Claremont University Consortium, Harvey Mudd has added resources for students in mental health and wellness as well as in diversity—all key components of our efforts to nurture and develop the whole person. Participation in study abroad has grown, and we have added an Office of Community Engagement, improved sustainability efforts and supported curricular efforts for courses that combine academics with community engagement. Discussions on this and other strategic vision priorities were at the forefront during the November Saddle Rock board retreat. We will continue such discussions as we refine priorities and ideas for the future.

Wayne Drinkward ’73 chair, Harvey Mudd College Board of Trustees

44 44


I continue to be motivated by the members of the Harvey Mudd community. One such inspirational figure was Norman F. Sprague III, an active and dedicated member of the board for 35 years who died March 14. The grandson of Harvey S. Mudd and a Harvey Mudd Lifetime Recognition Award recipient, Norm always took the long view of Harvey Mudd College’s strategies and policies. The College is in a strong financial position due in large part to his generosity and sage advice. Harvey Mudd College is truly on a mission, and we appreciate the efforts of everyone, past and present, who support the College we all love.

Early and Often Giving to Harvey Mudd is an annual event for Pat and Penny Barrett and has been for more than 40 years. They started small, but over time made larger gifts. Their latest donation created the Hotchkiss Dean of Students Fund to honor Eugene Hotchkiss III, the College’s first dean of students, and his late wife, Suzanne. The Barretts had been friends with the couple since their undergraduate days. The fund pays for student projects outside the College. One such effort collects adhesive bandages that have reached their expiration date but are still usable, and sends them to countries where people may die for lack of basic medical supplies. “These projects are in line with Harvey Mudd’s goal to train socially responsible graduates,” says Pat ’66 (engineering), a retired intellectual property attorney. Other gifts from the couple established the Pat Barrett Music Studio and the Penny Barrett classroom in the Shanahan Center. The Barretts also created two endowed scholarships in honor of their parents. “We saw the scholarships as a way for future students to attend when they might otherwise not have had the resources,” says Penny ‘67 (engineering), now a full-time volunteer. The Barretts hope current students follow their example, starting while they’re still enrolled. “Even if it’s only a dollar,” says Penny. Says Pat, “It’s important to start early. Once you get into the habit of giving, you tend to continue it.”

Penny ’67 and Pat ’66 Barrett

is on a mission


The world needs Harvey Mudd. And Harvey Mudd needs you. To learn more about the Annual Mudd Fundd, please visit

Harvey Mudd College 301 Platt Boulevard | Claremont, CA 91711

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Claremont, CA Permit No. 35

Festive Fall Sophomores Emma Klein and Elyse Pennington celebrate the fall season during the Halloweiner party, an annual tradition for North Dorm. The event made BuzzFeed Community’s Top 5 College Halloween Traditions. The publication marveled at this “gigantic Halloween BBQ. They cook hundreds (yes, hundreds) of pounds of meat for the entire student body. Hamburgers and hot dogs instead of candy on Halloween?!”

Harvey Mudd College Magazine fall/winter 2014  

Featured alumni- A retired engineer becomes a cow horse champion; a biologist makes scents out of science; and an engineer's obsession leads...

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