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WORLD CHANGERS Alumni impact finance, design and medicine

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All Systems Go The site of a fierce duel for mining rights, Moonbase Epsilon “sits atop the universe's largest reserves of epsilonium, a rare compound useful in making very small things such as microcontrollers, nanomachines and hats for gnomes.” The more friendly than fierce competition to stake a claim on this fictitious land took place during the E11 Autonomous Vehicles class, a hands-on, interdisciplinary introduction to mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering, computer science, design, systems and controls. Students built their robots with the ability to bump-touch station sensors or transmit codes to claim as many as possible. Christopher Clark, associate professor of engineering (blue shirt), says “E11 provides many HMC students with their first experience building a real system from parts, programming it to provide intelligence and applying it to accomplish a task. It can be an incredibly empowering experience for them.” Pictured are Phuong Nguyen ’17, Senghor Joseph ’17, Savannah Baron ’17, Sherman Lam ’16, Rebecca Thomas ’14, Clark, Cyrus Huang ’16, Kyle Lund ’17 and Daniel McCabe ’17.






Big Picture Each of us influences the world in large and small ways. As an artist, I think of these changes as small splashes of color on a canvas. Inches away from it, you can’t see the beauty of the big picture. It’s only when you step back and refocus that you begin to see how each individual stroke joins with its neighbors to form something compelling. Harvey Mudd is a lot like that. Each of us, in our own way, strives to do something positive with the gifts we’ve been given. Taken individually, these may seem like very small things. However, when you step back and look at everything this College and its graduates have achieved since our founding, the result is incredible. Take, for instance, the impact of our extraordinary friend and longstanding trustee Norm Sprague III, who passed away on March 14. The grandson of our namesake, Harvey S. Mudd, he had served as a board member for 35 years. Although he never attended the College, Norm, through his many years of service, had a lasting impact. In 2010, the Alumni Association honored him with its Lifetime Recognition Award. At the time, he said that Harvey Mudd wasn’t an easy place from which to graduate, but that “those of you who have done so have earned something really special.” He was right. Norm witnessed firsthand the positive impact this College has on its students. He also saw the impact our students and alumni have on the world. In this issue of the magazine, we profile three alumni who are making their own special mark upon the world. Andrew Lees ’76 helps explore new, lower-cost vaccination options, while Elizabeth Johansen ’01 helps design innovative medical devices—both are working to bring better treatment options to the developing world. Mahesh Kotecha ’70 helps find secure development capital for African countries to power infrastructure and other improvements. Learn more about their stories beginning on Page 20. To ensure a steady stream of STEM leaders like Andrew, Elizabeth and Mahesh, Harvey Mudd launched the public phase of its comprehensive fundraising campaign— Harvey Mudd is on a mission—with an aggressive goal to raise $150 million toward supporting key priorities identified in our strategic vision. We celebrated the public launch with a wonderful event that included a panel of faculty, trustees and students discussing the impact the College has had on their lives and their work. We continued the launch with regional celebrations in cities across the country (see our Flickr site for event photos, We are proud to announce that in the last two years, the College has quietly raised $103 million toward its campaign goal. Your generous gifts have made a tremendous impact on Harvey Mudd’s ability to carry out its mission. Through campaign support, we have expanded our engineering program by hiring Kash Gokli, who specializes in manufacturing (see Page 8). More recently, with the support of our alumni and friends, we have created two new endowed faculty chairs— one in humanities, social sciences and the arts and a second in computer science. Learn more on Page 10. Harvey Mudd remains committed to its founding mission to educate scientists, engineers and mathematicians who are well versed in the liberal arts and who understand the impact of their work on society. This commitment drives our strategic vision and continues to fuel our ambitious goals, both colorful and compelling.

Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College



Watch Out World Armed with strong technical experience and training, supportive mentors, passion and determination, three Mudders make a difference.


Engineering Art An artist at heart, Erika Adams ’95 designs for the mind and soul.

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Heard Online

SPRING 2014 VOLUME 12, NO. 2

Facebook, Jan. 31, 2014: Responses to our post about the Gaebler family article in the fall/winter magazine. We noted that the Gaebler family holds the record with six family members who've attended Harvey Mudd.

The Harvey Mudd College Magazine is produced three times per year by the Office of Communications and Marketing

Conversations on Harvey Mudd social media

Director of Communications, Senior Editor Stephanie L. Graham

So what, four more and they get the 11th free? Hi Dave! Hi Rob! –Eric Harley ’04 And I bet they all got in on their own merit instead of through some sort of wacky legacy admit policy. Yes, I’m looking at you Ivy Leagues! –Jen Lindsay ’02 Their mother is looking down on them with the satisfaction of a job well done. Loved this article! –Brenna McDonnell McNamara

We welcome your posts and tweets.


Art Director Janice Gilson Graphic Designer Robert Vidaure Contributing Writers Amy DerBedrosian, K. Emily Hutta, Doug McInnis, Chris Quirk, Elaine Regus, Shari Roan, Tamara Savage ’15, Mara Watkins, Koren Wetmore Proofreaders Eric Feezell, Kelly Lauer


Contributing Photographers Seth Affoumado, Webb Chappell, Margarita Corporan, Keenan Gilson, Anil Kapahi, Cheryl Ogden, Julie Woodward Vice President for Advancement Dan Macaluso


Opinions about the content of Harvey Mudd College Magazine are welcome. Letters for publication must be signed and may be edited for clarity and brevity. As with many older alumni, my vision is dimming, so that your magazines are hard to read. Please consider these changes to make your publication more user friendly. 1. A magazine the size of US News and World Report is easier to handle for those with arthritis, and it survives U.S. mail better than one the size of Life. 2. Please use a font size of at least 12-point type, preferably 14-point size. Please use a plain sansserif font, such as Arial or Helvetica. The ruffles and flourishes in other fonts may look pretty to younger eyes, but these add no value for impaired vision and are harder to read. 3. Please print black text against a white background. Please do not print dark text against a dark background or light text against a light background. Mark Goldstein ’65 Editor’s note: Thank you for your comments, Mark. We appreciate the constructive criticism and will be attentive to the readability issues you've noted.

I was just reading my Harvey Mudd Magazine, and I wanted to compliment you on it on many levels. First, it’s beautifully laid out, and has really great design. Second, the content is very compelling.  Third, the writing is really great, and the stories very interesting. All in all, it’s really, really great. Great enough to make me stop and write an email to compliment everyone who had a hand in making it. GREAT work. I get a ton of magazines like this and never has one caused to me to stop and say, “This is really great!” I’m so glad the first one that caused me to say that was yours. Bill Gross P08, Idealab Thank you so much for including Ben’s internship on the timeline in the HMC Magazine along with the article describing the Huppe and Strauss experiences last summer. It was heartwarming to read. We always appreciate receiving the magazine, but must admit it takes some time for us to get up the courage to open and read it since Ben died. We are so grateful for the ways that HMC has remembered and honored Ben. This is one more example of that and also helps to get out the word to students who might be interested in applying for internship funds. Maggie Lewis P14 and Bob Huppe P14

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



Harvey Mudd is on a Mission BUOYED BY THE MORE THAN $103 MILLION in gifts and pledges already raised during the leadership phase of the campaign, Harvey Mudd College launched its $150 million comprehensive campaign Feb. 1. “Harvey Mudd is on a mission,” says President Maria Klawe. “We seek to fund the people, programs and places that will allow us to ensure that a steady stream of passionate problem solvers is available to address the most pressing issues of our time.” The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College, the largest in the College’s history, seeks to expand and strengthen the College’s renowned undergraduate science and engineering education—an innovative, interdisciplinary and hands-on educational experience that includes a unique commitment to the humanities, social sciences and the arts. The campaign will also enable the College to share its innovative practices with others to improve STEM education nationally. “There is no question this nation needs more students preparing for and graduating from science and engineering disciplines,” says board of trustees and campaign Chair Wayne Drinkward ’73.

Fundraising priorities include: Funding new endowed faculty positions to support the broad and rigorous curriculum Expanding experiential learning opportunities both on- and off-campus, in the United States and abroad Increasing funding for annual and endowed student scholarships Bolstering funding for Harvey Mudd’s community engagement efforts, some of which help prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers in the STEM fields

Expanding artistic and musical events at the College and supporting student extracurricular activities, such as art, music and athletics Improving and expanding the College’s infrastructure, including the construction of a new residence hall and academic building

Sisi Cheng ’15, Elly Schofield ’13, Kevin Schofield P13, President Maria Klawe, Jim Boerkoel and Liz Boerkoel gather at the Campaign for Harvey Mudd College launch.



Friends We’ll Miss HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE TRUSTEE Norman F. Sprague III, an active and dedicated member of the board of trustees for 35 years, died March 14, 2014, at the age of 67. He was the grandson of Harvey S. Mudd, for whom the College is named. “Norm was a truly extraordinary person as well as an amazing supporter of Harvey Mudd College,” said President Maria Klawe. “We will miss him dearly.” Sprague was the son of Caryll Mudd Sprague and Norman Sprague Jr., a founding trustee of the College. Sprague carried on the family tradition of deep involvement with the College, joining the board in 1979. He served for many years as chair of the Investment Committee, supporting the College through financial guidance and his own philanthropy. Sprague donated generously to Harvey Mudd to fund multiple student scholarships, as well as the construction of the Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons and Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning. “Norm always took the long view of Harvey Mudd College’s strategies and policies,” says Wayne Drinkward ’73, chair of the board of trustees. “On fiscal matters, he was a voice for conservatism and managing within our means. The solid financial position the College enjoys today is in large part due to our adhering to that sage advice.” In 2010, Sprague received an alumni association Lifetime Recognition Award for his years of “extraordinary and enduring service” to Harvey Mudd College. The Sprague family has a long history of supporting Harvey Mudd College through the Mildred and Harvey Mudd Foundation and the Caryll and Norman Sprague Jr. Foundation. Two of Sprague’s brothers-in-law are also deeply committed to the College: William Mingst served as a trustee from 1998 to 2012, chaired the board from 2007 to 2012 and is currently a trustee emeritus; Joe Connolly was recently named a trustee. Sprague was an orthopedic surgeon and early pioneer in the field of arthroscopic surgery, performing the first procedures at UCLA and chairing the UCLA Instructional Course in Operative Arthroscopy for 14 consecutive years. In addition to private practice, he taught orthopedic surgery at UCLA and lectured widely throughout Europe and North America. In his later years, Sprague turned his attention to investment activities, serving on the board of the Mesabi Trust as cofounder and general partner of Cyprus Partners and Sprague Family Securities. He was active in civic and philanthropic work in addition to his service to Harvey Mudd College.

He served on the boards of Nature Conservancy of California, Natural History Museum of Santa Barbara, Harvard-Westlake School and Cate School, among others. Sprague is survived by his wife, Marianne; their six children; and six grandchildren. Stuart Harvey Mudd, second cousin of Harvey S.

Mudd (namesake of the College), died Jan. 21 in Takoma Park, Md. He was 86. Mudd was a physician and National Institutes of Health researcher whose specialties included metabolic disorders. According to The Washington Post obituary, “He was a primary contributor in figuring out how various forms of metabolic disorders occur and in developing processes to prevent, treat, cure or mitigate such disorders… His research led to the practice of putting folic acid into the flour supply to help prevent birth defects. Manufacturers also made changes in baby-food formulas as a result of his work.” A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, he helped fund a professorship at Harvey Mudd named after his father: the Stuart Mudd Professorship in Biology (held by Stephen Adolph).

Norman F. Sprague III

Suzanne Troxell Hotchkiss, 84, died Nov. 4, 2013, in Lake Forest, Ill. Her husband of 50 years, Eugene Hotchkiss, was the former dean of Harvey Mudd College (1966–1968). After the couple left Claremont, Eugene became President of Lake Forest College (1970), where Suzanne continued as an active volunteer for the college and community. David S. Sanders, 87, longtime Harvey Mudd

College faculty member and Claremont resident, died Feb. 23 in Carlsbad, Calif., where he was living in retirement. He is survived by his wife, Mary Frances, his two sons, a daughter and six grandchildren. He completed his education entirely at UCLA, culminating in his Ph.D. in 1956. He taught for several years at the University of Maryland, College Park, before joining the Harvey Mudd faculty in 1959. His research was in American literature, with a special interest in the writings of John Dos Passos. He served as department chair and as the chair of the Faculty Executive Committee before retiring in 1991. “His teaching inspired many, and he made a lasting contribution to the development of our College,” says Jeff Groves, dean of the faculty.

David S. Sanders





Gen Why? Resting in the center of the Great Mall is a pattern of pavers with mathematical significance. Boora Architects and the landscape architect 2.Ink Studio generated the paver pattern using a cellular automaton called Conway’s Game of Life (the “game” is a zero-player game, where future iterations of the pattern are determined only by its initial state and the rules of the game). The idea of using a pattern generated by this system was suggested to the design team by Eli Brandt ’95 (mathematics), brother of Boora Architects associate Josh Brandt. The design team selected a detail from generation 313 of a pattern developed by Hartmut Holzwart “showing Gabriel Nivasch’s slipping-stripe reaction.”

Statistics 42' diameter circle Granite pavers are Academy Black granite quarried in Clovis, Calif. All pavers are the same color. The on/off state of each pixel is achieved with two different surface treatments. Compressive Strength: 15,729 PSI The circle is part of the fire lane turnaround required by the L.A. County Fire Department and is designed to support the weight of a fire truck The circle contains 3,220 whole or partial pavers



Creating New Frontiers Written by Tamara Savage ’15

HARNESS THE POWER of the Internet and, when

you have an idea, just run with it, advised activist-investor Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of Reddit. During his visit to campus Jan. 21, Ohanian pointed out that the World Wide Web is flat— links to websites, including those to the White House, CNN and major companies, for instance, are equally accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. More than ever, the Internet makes it easy for people to “just start doing stuff.” And this, Ohanian says, is the power to “create new frontiers.” Something else the Internet offers is free material; as long as you have an Internet connection, you have access to nearly unlimited information. This provides an opportunity for self-teaching, a strategy employed by Ohanian and Reddit cofounder, Steve Huffman. Ohanian says he “had no idea what [he] was doing” when first starting Reddit. He showed a

screenshot of the first version of Reddit’s website, which he called “janky, because the first version is always janky, and that’s okay.” This previously “janky” website now gets more than 100 million visitors every month. “Failure is an option,” Ohanian says. “It’s okay.” He emphasized the importance of failure as part of the process and encouraged students not to be afraid of it. He also talked about competitors—specifically, not paying attention to them, “Because that’s when you stop innovating and start worrying.” He also gave a spoiler: “Ideas are worthless. Execution is key.” And, he emphasized the importance of action and, particularly, action “without their permission”— that is, doing something because it is possible. “Entrepreneur is just French for ‘has ideas, does them,’” Ohanian says. Ohanian concluded his talk with a fireside chat with Harvey Mudd alumni Jon Schwartz ’13 and

Alexis Ohanian

Max Friefeld ’13 co-founders of the 3-D printing company, Layer by Layer. The two engineering majors began working on their startup while still at Harvey Mudd and have now successfully launched their company. Schwartz and Friefeld spoke about learning how to build a company and experiencing and overcoming obstacles. The trio encouraged current students to pursue and act on ideas they are passionate about.

Notes & Quotes

From the Bruce J. Nelson ’74 Distinguished Speaker Series

I think these are amazing jobs, and women are not getting their share of them, and that’s crazy. These jobs are high paying, they are flexible, they are creative, they are collaborative, they are fun. I love my job. I have loved every minute of my work. Jocelyn Goldfein, director of engineering at Facebook and a Harvey Mudd trustee, spoke about the need for more software engineers during her talk Jan. 29.





Success in the Making

Kash Gokli brings manufacturing expertise to the department of engineering Written by Stephanie L. Graham

HIKING THROUGH THE SNOWY, scenic high Himalayas was a frequent pastime for Kash Gokli, who lived in India for much of his youth. This penchant for exploring the unexplored helps explain why the invitation to fill a new faculty position at Harvey Mudd College held such appeal. The opportunity arose during his time in Cincinnati, Ohio, at Amano USA Holdings Inc., where he was vice president of manufacturing and senior vice president of total quality management and best practices. He had heard of Harvey Mudd, knew of its reputation, and the time was right for a change, for something “exciting.” Gokli liked that the College sought to leverage existing strengths in design education and introduce manufacturing and modern management practices into its top-tier engineering program. “My goal is to enhance students’ ability to design by providing them a practical knowledge of manufacturing techniques and processes,” says Gokli, who became professor of manufacturing practice in fall 2012. A graduate of Gujarat University, India (B.S., mechanical engineering) and the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign (M.S., industrial engineering), he has more than 30 years’ experience in manufacturing, engineering, product development, quality management and process improvement. After arriving in Claremont, Gokli began working with Department of Engineering colleagues to develop Manufacturing Planning and Execution (MPE)—the College’s first such course—to help close the gap that many felt existed (and that a department assessment revealed) between the first-year E4 Introductory Engineering course and Clinic, taken by juniors and seniors. “In E4, students learn the design process, as well as prototyping; the next steps are mass production, quality and distribution,” says



Gokli, who also teaches E4 and is advisor to two Clinics. Gokli’s MPE class covers how products are designed and built in a high-volume industrial environment with six sigma-level quality and includes visits to manufacturers, interactive lectures and group exercises. Gokli works closely with other engineering department faculty, including Fletcher Jones Professor of Engineering Gordon Krauss, who arrived in 2013. The two are developing a design, manufacturing and management (DMM) course sequence, which will help students develop complex and functional products required by many Clinic sponsors. Also in development is a management course that will be taught by Gokli, Krauss and Pat Little, the J. Stanley and Mary Wig Johnson Professor of Engineering Management. “We want to provide an understanding of how companies, people and finances are managed in a technical enterprise,” says Gokli. “This DMM sequence will give our graduates an advantage, and we believe this is a faster route to engineering leadership positions.” The new, multi-course sequence—E4; Manufacturing Planning and Execution; New Product Development; and Management of Technical Enterprise—provides a complete skillset and exposure to a wide array of knowledge in the department’s tradition of training “informed generalists.” Engineering majors Brian Cheney ’14 and Cierra Owens ’14 say they appreciate Gokli’s engaging, participatory style and the hands-on aspects of MPE. “In every class, students learn a lesson that is applicable in real life,” says Cheney, who interned at a company that manufactures radio frequency chips for cellphones and was able to relate class lessons to his experiences. Gokli’s emphasis on continuous improvement

resounded with both students. “After graduating, I will be working at SpaceX as an avionics build engineer, where I will need to solve manufacturing problems,” says Owens. “Professor Gokli has taught us that finding the root cause and determining a solution to a problem is a huge benefit to a company and will make future manufacturing processes more efficient.” Gokli invites executives to his classes to share “what they see from where they sit.” His first guest was engineering graduate Nabeel Gareeb ’86/87, P17, former head of MEMC Electronic Materials and International Rectifier, two technology companies that Gareeb helped lead to significant profitability. Gareeb worked with Zee Durón ’81 to help fund Gokli’s position as the first step in bringing increased awareness regarding the integrated nature of design and manufacturing to Harvey Mudd. “I think the implementation of the DMM sequence will be a pivotal moment in HMC’s history, and I am glad I was able to help initiate this evolution,” says Gareeb, an advisor to the department. “These courses will help students understand how to design and produce ‘hard’ products such as semiconductors and automobiles, as well as more nuanced products, such as software and services, in a more streamlined fashion. The sequence will allow the growth of the next generation of engineering and manufacturing leaders and will significantly increase the contribution of the students and, thereby, the effectiveness of the Clinic Program.” The new strategy affects Global Clinic in particular. Gokli’s connections in Mumbai, Bangalore and at the university in Ahmedabad, the city where he grew up, expand the potential for new partners and the exposure for Harvey Mudd and its students.

Newly Tenured Tan IN JANUARY, the Harvey Mudd College Board of

Trustees voted to promote Chang Tan, a professor of Chinese language and culture in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts, to associate professor with continuous tenure. “As the board recognized, this promotion is richly deserved,” says Jeff Groves, dean of the faculty. For Tan, that vote of confidence marks a turning point in her professional and personal life. In her new role, Tan hopes to develop courses that have not been offered at Harvey Mudd before, including a course on Modern Asian Art and a seminar that explores the role of creativity across disciplines. That’s in addition to the courses in Chinese language, culture, art and film she’s been teaching since joining the faculty in 2008.

“I really enjoy teaching. The best moments in the classroom are when I step back and let students show me what they can do with an assignment or a project. They continually surprise me.” In addition to teaching, Tan will soon publish a book she’s been researching and writing for the past five years. Loosely based on her dissertation at The University of Texas at Austin, the work is tentatively titled Copy, Borrow or Steal: Modes of Appropriation in Contemporary Chinese Art, and it explores the complex dynamics between appropriation and creativity. Tan visited galleries, museums, studios and art foundations in China, Hong Kong and Singapore to gather information from artists, archives and secondary resources.

Research, Rinse, Repeat

Who Rules the Earth? Paul Steinberg, professor of political science and environmental policy, has worked with more than 100 students to create entertaining, multimedia educational tools that highlight social scientists’ vast research literature exploring what it will take to shift society onto a more sustainable path. Steinberg, who was recently named to the Malcolm Lewis Chair of Sustainability and Society, wrote and produced the animated film Who Rules the Earth? through a collaboration between Harvey Mudd College and the California Institute of Arts. It’s one of several works created as part of The Social Rules Project, which also includes a book to be published by Oxford University Press in fall 2014. “The basic message of Who Rules the Earth? is simple: We need to take a close look at the rules that shape our daily behaviors and change them where necessary if we’re going to get society on a more sustainable path,” says Steinberg. “The goal is to encourage people to move beyond the little things they can do for the planet—ride a bike or recycle a can—to become engaged citizens in rewriting the rules we live by.”

Chemistry professor Shenda Baker and Harvey Mudd Trustee Emeritus William Wiesmann, co-founders of bio-pharmaceutical company Synedgen, have launched their first product, Synedent, a new oral rinse that freshens breath and helps clean teeth and gums, without the burn or irritation of harsh oral rinses. The rinse is made from naturally derived and environmentally compatible ingredients and relies on a patented combination of natural-based products that help to rinse the mouth without harsh detergents or alcohol. In January, the company launched its first significant production of Synedent in the Claremont area and online. A major focus of Baker’s research with undergraduates has been the study of chitosan, a natural product derived from shrimp shells. The ingredient chitosan-arginine (Chitosan Argininamide), Baker says, is what makes Synedent so effective.

“What does the fox say?” Professors Rachel Levy, Liz Orwin ’95 and Qimin Yang get in the spirit of the SWE Games by reacting to their prompt, “What does the fox say?” Their interpretation of a much-spoofed viral music video delighted the audience, including SWE members Fabiha Hannan ’16 and Maya Johnson ’14 (background). A lighthearted competition between students and professors (Professor Bill Daub also participated), the event featured various challenges performed collaboratively and individually, and the audience voted for its favorite group. The Society of Women Engineers held the games to deepen the bonds between students and professors while providing an end-of-first-semester stress reliever.

Shenda Baker



The Wilson Chair was established through a gift from Michael Wilson ’63 and Jane Hurley Wilson CAMPUS SCR ’64. Appointing Fandell to this chair was ideal CURRENT because of Michael Wilson’s personal passion for photography.   “We are delighted that Ken Fandell is the first recipient of the Michael G. and C. Jane Wilson THE CAMPAIGN FOR HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE Chair,” says Michael Wilson. “Ken is a wonderful addition to the humanities department, which is such an essential part of the Harvey Mudd experience. He is the first artist to hold a professorship at the College, and will no doubt bring a unique perspective to the campus.” A Harvey Mudd trustee and renowned film proIN SUPPORT OF THE CAMPAIGN for Harvey Mudd ducer (James Bond franchise), Wilson is an expert on 19th-century photography. He began collectCollege, alumni and friends have endowed two Harvey Mudd College faculty positions: one in com- ing photographs in 1978. In 1998, he opened the puter science and another in the humanities, social Wilson Centre for Photography, one of the largest private collections of photography. In addition to sciences, and the arts (HSA). serving as a trustee of the College, Wilson serves Endowed faculty positions—chairs, profeson the boards of several other nonprofits, including sorships and fellowships—are among the top the National Media Museum, the Carnegie Institupriorities in the College’s ongoing $150 million tion for Science and Cape Farewell. He and his wife, comprehensive fundraising effort, which launched Jane, divide their time between Los Angeles and publicly this past February. These positions allow the United Kingdom.  the College to attract, retain and celebrate its outstanding faculty.  “Our faculty work incredibly hard and are New Faculty Chair in  unparalleled in their commitment to students,” Computer Science says President Maria Klawe. “Endowed faculty positions allow us to recognize their extraordinary Zachary Dodds, professor of work and add critical resources to hire additional computer science, was named faculty.”  to the newly established Leonhard-Johnson-Rae Chair. Dodds researches computer HSA Chair  vision-based robotics and specializes in computer The Michael G. and C. Jane science education and curricWilson Chair in the Arts and ulum design. He co-created a Humanities is held by Ken new introductory Harvey Mudd CS course, CS5, Fandell, an associate profesdesigned to engage students in exploring the range sor of art who specializes in and power of computer science and its impact on photography. Fandell previsociety in a learning environment that appeals to ously worked at the School of women and men alike. Along with other interventhe Art Institute of Chicago, tions, the course has helped Harvey Mudd create where he served as chair of the a more balanced computer science major cohort. Department of Photography and was known for This curricular effort now extends to middle and teaching an eclectic range of courses, from Introhigh school students as MyCS, or Middle-years ductions to Photographic Image Making to more Computer Science, a CS curriculum that has advanced classes covering specific themes and reached thousands of U.S. middle-graders across theories, including one called “Nothing.” Themes the Southwest.  in his work—drawing, sculpture, sound, video, text, collage, installation and photography—often The endowed faculty position in computer revolve around oppositions, such as small and large science is the result of combined gifts from three and the quotidian and the transcendent. Known donors—the estate of Wyllis M. Leonhard, Brian nationally and internationally, Fandell has artwork W. Johnson ’98 and Gregory P. Rae ’00—and in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, celebrates a common vision. In 1984, then-trustee New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Bill Leonhard and his wife, Wyllis, designated an Chicago, among others. insurance policy to support distinguished


Passions and Partnerships Create Endowed Chairs



faculty. Years later, and yet unconnected, Johnson began exploring a similar desire to support faculty with his friend Rae, a trustee of the College. The connection occurred after Wyllis Leonhard passed away; her son, William Leonhard Jr., worked with the Office of College Advancement to connect his parents’ gift with that of Johnson and Rae and to create a new endowed faculty chair. “My father was an engineer who felt strongly about supporting engineering schools financially through endowment for faculty positions and student scholarships,” says Leonhard. “Both of my parents truly believed that a strong, well-founded education was the key to lifelong success and dedicated their philanthropic efforts toward supporting that belief.”  Through this intersection of past and current support, three individuals made a greater impact on the College than each could have made individually.   “Helping to endow a faculty chair has been a lifelong goal of mine, and I feel privileged to be able to bring that goal to fruition in cooperation with such generous co-donors, “ says Johnson. Donors to both endowed professorships took advantage of a generous matching contribution made possible by Michael and Mary Shanahan (see below).

Shanahan Matching Fund As part of a transformative gift to The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College, Michael and Mary Shanahan established a matching gift program that allows donors to double the effect of their personal gifts. Under the terms of this challenge—as long as funds remain—new endowment gifts of $25,000 or more from a single donor toward a campaign priority are eligible to be matched by an equal amount (up to $1.5 million). Eligible gifts may be paid out over a period of up to five years, with matching funds being applied to each payment. To learn how you can take advantage of this gift match, contact: Dan Macaluso VP for Advancement
 909.621.8335 | Matt Leroux
 AVP for Development and Constituent Programs 909.607.0902 | To learn more about The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College, visit


Giving Apps a Hand Written by Koren Wetmore

FORGET YOUR COMPUTER mouse and touch

screen. Soon you’ll control applications with a wave of your finger or hand. But before developing such technology, infrastructure must be created. Enter Harvey Mudd College seniors Tiffany Lim, Jeb Brooks and Jasper (Zheng) Duan, who are part of a Global Clinic team working with Intel, Mozilla and the National University of Singapore (NUS) to develop a comprehensive software library that will help support advanced computer vision applications for web browsers. The applications will analyze streaming video images captured by a webcam, interpret them and then translate the images into actions. “That might involve being able to recognize a hand is there in the first place, plus how many fingers there are, their orientation and their direction of movement,” says computer science Professor Bob Keller, faculty advisor for the Intel Global Clinic team. “And it needs to do that in real time, as you move your hand, so it has to be reasonably high performance.” Sponsored by Intel, the Global Clinic project— codenamed “Haswell”—revolves around Intel’s new high-performance multicore processors. Mozilla is developing a parallel version of JavaScript that will drive Haswell, allocating processes simultaneously across the cores for improved performance. The three Harvey Mudd seniors are collaborating with the NUS student team to develop the library based on the parallel JavaScript language. The culmination of the Global Clinic team’s work includes a demonstration of the library in action. Coordinating the two student teams stretched the students’ skills as much as the computer science aspects of their work. “It takes a lot of flexibility to juggle different people with different needs and skills while also making sure the project moves forward in the best way possible,” says Lim, project manager for the Harvey Mudd team. To address the different time zones and tasks, the team relied on weekly conference calls, emails and an online wiki to stay connected and apprised of each other’s challenges, insights and progress.

They also traveled to each other’s schools—the NUS team came to Harvey Mudd last fall and the Harvey Mudd team traveled to Singapore over winter break. For most of the team members, the experience is their first work with a real-world client and their first global collaboration. “Working with an international team has been fun and eye-opening,” Lim says. “Our teams get along brilliantly, and we have had the opportunity to pick [the NUS team’s] brains about their computer science experiences, educational systems and standards and their culture in general. It’s been a valuable experience for us all to see how similar and different students outside our own countries can be.” Modeled after the College’s renowned domestic Clinic Program, Global Clinic provides long-term, sponsored engineering and science projects in which teams of Harvey Mudd students have worked with student teams from partnering schools in Singapore, India, Israel, Japan and Iceland, with plans to expand into other countries. Company sponsors and a $1 million endowment from the Robert and Joan Vickery family support the program. Intel and NUS have been key partners in the Harvey Mudd Global Clinic program, which launched in 2005. The National University of Singapore has served as an academic partner since 2007. Intel has sponsored 10 projects (eight Clinics and two Global Clinics) since 2011, including a Global Clinic project in Israel.

Global Clinic team members Nhu Dinh Tuan (NUS), Nguyen Hien Linh (NUS), Nguyen Truong Duy (NUS), Jeb Brooks ’14, Professor Ooi Wei Tsang (NUS), Jasper Duan ’14, Tiffany Lim ’14, Professor Whee-Keng Leow (NUS) and Professor Bob Keller. Below: A work session in Singapore.




The Match That Ignited a Dream By Amy DerBedrosian

A TRANSFER STUDENT, Alberto Ruiz ’14 is a rarity at Harvey Mudd College. At most, the campus welcomes only a handful each year. Yet the native of Venezuela, who earned an associate’s degree in physics at Miami-Dade College, was optimistic about his chances from the start. “I think I was admitted because I was a good match for the mission: a scientist concerned with the impact of his work on society,” Ruiz says. “My parents weren’t happy about my choosing a school so far

developed an interest in scientific equipment design. He’s also taken advantage of opportunities to pursue research with faculty. As a member of the Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics (LAIR) research team last summer, Ruiz analyzed fluorescence data from lava tubes in the Mojave Desert. Through that experience, Ruiz says, “I learned the value of teamwork and interdisciplinary projects. It also developed my interest in spectroscopy and inspired my

senior thesis project, designing and constructing a Raman spectrometer.” After graduation, Ruiz would like to work for another startup or a scientific equipment company. But his ultimate goal is to earn a Ph.D. in applied physics and become a professor. “Education is a tool that allows you to achieve your own dreams while helping others achieve theirs.”

The open-mindedness of the Harvey Mudd community allowed me to feel comfortable and overcome the culture shock. –ALBERTO RUIZ ’14

away, but they supported my decision when I told them it was the school of my dreams.” Though distance from the Florida home where he’d lived since age 10 hadn’t worried him, Ruiz did experience some culture shock when he first came to California. He explains, “I had always lived in a predominantly Latino community. But, I’m outgoing, so I met people quickly. The open-mindedness of the Harvey Mudd community allowed me to feel comfortable and overcome the culture shock.” Since then, Ruiz has served as a dorm proctor, physics facilitator in the Academic Excellence program and leader in the campus group Society of Professional Latinos in STEMS (SPLS). He says, “SPLS has been a great way to give back to the community while meeting other Latinos on campus. Inspiring younger students to become interested in STEM education is important to me. I think I serve as an example of how being culturally Latino and a scientist are not mutually exclusive.” Two summers ago, Ruiz worked with Robb Walters ’01 at the San Francisco startup Integrated Plasmonics, where Ruiz

As a member of the Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics research team, Ruiz, second from left, field tested robots that searched for living organisms in the rocks of the Mojave Desert.




STUDENT NEWS The Harvey Mudd team demonstrate their design at Hacktech.

36 Hours to Fly Harvey Mudd First Years Rise to the Challenge Written by Mara Watkins

A FACEBOOK POST from first-year Evan Kahn prompted four Harvey Mudd students to come together and spend a weekend at the beach. Instead of sunscreen and surfboards, they gathered up an odd assortment of supplies that included: an Xbox Kinect, PVC pipe, magnets, foot pedals, a toy helicopter and laptops. Kahn, along with classmates Dylan Baker ’17, Men Cheol (Kevin) Jeong ’17 and Adam Dunlap ’17, headed to Santa Monica on Friday, Jan. 24. They joined more than 1,000 students representing approximately 50 different academic institutions to compete in “Hacktech,” said to be the largest hackathon ever staged on the West Coast. The rules of Hacktech are deceptively simple: “You can build whatever you want: websites, apps or hardware (no soldering allowed). All code must be written during the hackathon. Feel free to use open-source libraries and APIs. Hacks are judged on creativity, technical difficulty, usefulness and overall awesomeness.” The Harvey Mudd first years started hacking at 11 p.m. Friday night, and, 36 hours later, they turned in their completed hack, “coptr: tools for things that fly.” Fueled by caffeine and inspired by each other’s energy, persistence and intelligence, the team placed an impressive third overall out of 184 teams. The students also won Pebble’s “Best Hardware Hack” award and received a new Parrot quadcopter from DigitalOcean to support the further development of their project. Baker describes their hack as “a set of add-ons for remote-controlled helicopters. It features an interface where your real-life copter can act as a sprite in a projected game, interacting with the game in real time as you fly around the screen.” Another add-on, an idea Kahn came up with, features pedals that control the up-and-down motion of the helicopter to provide “fun and responsive flight control.” The team also designed the game interface, “which consists of a copter that travels through a cavern facing obstacles and violent enemies,” says Jeong. The teammates built everything on site,



even forming a projector out of PVC pipe and composing the background music for the game. They tackled the complex project in the short time span by assigning each other jobs before arrival, “but everybody worked on everything,” says Dunlap, who notably appears in the group’s YouTube video wearing Cookie Monster pajama pants. Comfortable clothing was definitely a necessity, as the group did not get much sleep over the weekend; Baker estimates they may have had a combined total of four hours of nap time during the 36-hour hackathon. (The event website’s what-to-bring list suggests the following: “You, an idea, photo ID, your hacking setup, clothes, toiletries and a sleeping bag—for the weak.”) The students spent most of their time furiously working on code, but there were some rewards beyond their successful finish. Participants were amply supplied with free meals, snacks and lots of caffeinated beverages. The Santa Monica location also drew a host of corporate sponsors and some celebrities, including a visit from Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino (rapper, comedian, actor on the TV show Community and 30 Rock writer). Meeting Glover was a highlight of the hackathon for Baker, who admitted to being obsessed with his work.

“Hacktech selected six projects for Donald to see, and ours was chosen. It was pretty insane to get to meet him in person,” says Baker. All four students expect to participate in future hackathons, and they eagerly anticipate tinkering with the new quadcopter they won. Dunlap says, “We’ll probably play around with it a lot and modify our pedals to control it so we can get the full game we wanted since so many people were interested in it.”

Men Cheol (Kevin) Jeong ’17, Evan Kahn ’17, Adam Dunlap ’17 and Dylan Baker ’17

EXTRA: See the students’ video at

Best at BAT “Why not give it a try,” thought Jirí Hladiš ’15 when he learned of the Bloomberg Aptitude Test (BAT) through the Office of Career Services. His casual decision and some expert test taking resulted in a top-five finish (99th percentile) among BAT North American test takers for December 2013. Organized by Bloomberg Institute, the educational division of Bloomberg LP, the BAT is a global, standardized exam covering a range of performance areas, including analytical reasoning, global markets, math, economics and news analysis. The test is designed to assess aptitude for business and finance, and the results are anonymously entered into a talent search database where more than 20,000 employers can access the results and offer internship or full-time positions to test takers, who hail from 60 different countries and represent more than 50 majors. Hladiš, an engineering major who speaks four languages (English, German, Czech and French), says, “I’m not particularly intent on pursuing a career in finance, but I did take Financial Economics with Prof. Gary Evans last semester and found it pretty interesting, so who knows? One of the things that Harvey Mudd’s broad, hands-on curriculum and research opportunities have taught me is not being afraid of trying out new things.”

Perspective on the Honor Code Written by Tamara Savage ’15

“WHAT WOULD WE LOSE without an honor

code?” asked The Honor Code Working Group, a team consisting of members of ASHMC and the Faculty Executive Committee. The group was tasked this academic year with evaluating the state of the Honor Code and encouraging discussion about it on campus— hence the thought-provoking question. I attended one of the group’s dinners where students and faculty members shared their perspectives. Created and upheld by students, the Honor Code emphasizes integrity in all academic and non-academic endeavors; each person is responsible for upholding the Honor Code and for holding fellow students accountable. It’s one of the reasons students decide to come to Mudd. The Honor Code is taken seriously, as evidenced each year during Orientation when first years sign the Harvey Mudd College roster and officially become part of the student body. The Honor Code creates both a lot of freedom and a lot of responsibility for students. It is the reason professors trust their students with takehome exams—sometimes closed-note, timed exams. In turn, the students must not abuse this trust.

Both students and faculty believe the Honor Code is respected by most students. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t violations. Because the Honor Code was violated by quite a few students recently, the Department of Mathematics revoked the take-home exam privilege, with only a few exceptions. During our dinner discussion, it was noted that professors generally do not create unreasonably difficult exams so as to prevent students from feeling that the only way they might do well is by cheating. We all agreed that the collaborative culture of Mudd, fostered by the Honor Code, generally minimizes this pressure. When rules are broken, the severity of the consequences is evaluated on an individual basis, considering the action taken as well as the display of remorse by a student. Often a student admits to a mistake, accepts the consequences and grows from the experience. I think that’s what these discussions are about: learning from past experiences and growing so that our Honor Code remains a strong part of the College’s tradition.

Jessica Szejer ’16 signs the Harvey Mudd College roster.





Youth and Wisdom Unite

The Napier Initiative brings together youthful enthusiasm and the wisdom of elders Written by Elaine Regus


students from Pilgrim Place retirees but the Napier Initiative unites them in their quest to make the world a better place. The four-year-old initiative pairs graduating seniors nominated from each of the five undergraduate Claremont colleges with Pilgrim Place mentors, many of whom have spent their lives advocating for social change. “The colleges recognize athletes, musicians and Phi Beta Kappa. We thought it was important that students who had a passion for social justice should also be recognized,” says Jane Douglass, past chair of the Napier Selection Committee and resident of Pilgrim Place, a senior community for residents who have served as leaders of religious or charitable nonprofit organizations. Two Harvey Mudd students were named 2014 Napier Fellows this year. Christian Stevens ’14 proposed spending nine months in Malawi, a poor African nation with a high rate of HIV/AIDS, to study problems that prevent patients from fully accessing available medical treatment. Stevens, a joint biology and chemistry major, intends to spend time with physicians and other health care professionals—as well as their patients and other members of the community— in order to gain a better understanding of the factors that affect medication adherence. He will then help to create an organization that includes both citizens and health care professionals that will focus on improving health care outcomes for patients by improving medication adherence. Stevens’ mentor is Steve Smith, a retired professor of philosophy from ClaremontMcKenna. Stevens is the third student Smith has mentored and the second one from Harvey Mudd. The first one was Kimberly Chung ’12, who proposed a yearlong project studying indigenous medicines in her native Taiwan. Margaret Thompson ’14 is studying long-



distance relationships between immigrants in the United States and their romantic partners living in another country. An engineering major, she believes that where immigrants make up a large percentage of a community, that community has a responsibility to care about how community structures—such as immigration laws—are affecting the lives of its people. Thompson began her project as independent study with Harvey Mudd psychology Professor Debra Mashek and a research team who studied transnational relationships from a relationship psychology perspective. “Professor Mashek and I were interested in how some individuals who migrate to the United States from Latin America maintain their long-distance relationships with individuals in their sending country under sometimes incredible circumstances—many are separated

Christian Stevens ’14

The colleges recognize athletes, musicians and Phi Beta Kappa. We thought it was important that students who had a passion for social justice should also be recognized. –JANE DOUGLASS, NAPIER SELECTION COMMITTEE MEMBER

for years on end and face barriers for a variety of reasons,” Thompson says. Thompson proposed spending a semester in Guadalajara, Mexico, interviewing people whose partners had immigrated to the United States. Barbara Troxell, Thompson’s mentor, is a retired United Methodist clergywoman. She was involved in the first Napier Initiative planning group, having been a campus minister at Stanford University when B. Davie Napier was dean of chapel there. The Initiative was named for Napier and his wife, Joy, former educators and Pilgrim Place residents. Thompson’s project coincides with Troxell’s work with immigration reform through the local United Methodist Church. “I have been very impressed with this bright young woman who has some great opportunities ahead of her. The future is in good hands,” Troxell says.

Margaret Thompson ’14

A Lego League First Harvey Mudd student organization FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) hosted the Nov. 23 Lego League Challenge, marking the first time the regional qualifying competition has been held on a college campus. More than 230 elementary and middle-school students from throughout Southern California participated in the event, which challenged student teams to build and program robots to tackle a variety of missions. “The tasks represented actions related to disasters. For example, you would try to group families together, give people water and remove precariously perched branches from above power lines,” says Sean Messenger ’15, who served as the site host and coordinator for the event. He’s pictured in the referee shirt with Kaitlyn Dwelle ’15, left, and Erika Dyson, Iris and Howard Critchell Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. “The kids came up with so many unique and innovative ideas,” says Messenger.

Research Kudos

Awards recognize undergraduate research THE ABILITY TO PURSUE RESEARCH with faculty members or participate in a Clinic—is a hallmark of a Harvey Mudd education. These collaborative efforts reap rewards well beyond the classroom and laboratory, as evidenced by the national recognition received by Harvey Mudd students.

Goldwater Honors A trio of Harvey Mudd students received honorable mentions for the 2014 Goldwater Scholarship, the most prestigious national award for undergraduate researchers (sophomores and juniors) in science, mathematics and engineering. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Kaitlyn Dwelle ’15 is a chemistry

major who developed new polymer membranes for gas separation. She conducted theoretical and computational work in the molecular diffusion laboratory under the supervision of Nancy Lape, associate professor of engineering, performing molecular dynamics simulations to model the diffusion of gas through different types of membranes. “I’m constantly amazed at the amount of support Harvey Mudd gives its students for undergraduate research,” says Dwelle. “I’m happy to see my own work, as well as that of my peers, recognized on a national level.”

Shannon Wetzler ’16 is a joint major

in biology and chemistry. She’s captain of the DUCK! Improv Team, a singer in the McAlister Church Choir and a mentor tutor for Homework Hotline, a free over-the-phone tutoring service. Wetzler worked with David Vosburg, associate professor of chemistry, using biomimicry to optimize a 20-step synthesis of an antifungal agent, ultimately simplifying the process down to a fourstep green synthesis. “The research experience was amazing,” says Wetzler. “I really enjoyed the opportunity to think outside of the box and try to solve problems while researching.” Wetzler hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in biophysics or biochemistry, specifically working on making more accurate biosensors. Fellow sophomore Rowan Zellers is a joint major in computer science and mathematics with an interest in machine learning—the study of how computers digest the patterns that underlie massive data sets. Zellers applied machine learning to a computational biology problem in order to see how transcription factors bind to DNA in fruit flies (Drosophila), with the hopes of better understanding embryonic cell development in Drosophila and, eventually, humans. Zellers is currently studying abroad in Budapest, Hungary, with the Aquincum Institute of Technology program, organized by professors Ran Libeskind-Hadas, R. Michael Shanahan Professor of Computer Science, and Michael Orrison, Avery Professor of Mathematics. “This allows me to take

courses that relate to machine learning, as well as some other fun ones,” says Zellers, adding that studying abroad also provides a unique opportunity to explore another culture and language.

Awards for Computing Research For their exemplary work and exceptional potential in computer science, three seniors received honorable mentions in the Computing Research Association’s Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Awards 2013 competition. Jane Hoffswell ’14 helped to create a web-based visualizer that graphically displays the structure of a software program's execution. Miranda Parker ’14 investigated how college students learn and understand big-O analysis, a theoretical tool computer scientists use to estimate how fast code will run. John Sarracino ’14 was recognized

for his work on two projects involving static analysis of computer programs. The first explores whether a technique called “type refinement” could improve the precision of static analyses for JavaScript without impacting performance. For the second project, Sarracino developed syntax, semantics and an interpreter for a new computer language that performs static analysis on digital circuits.




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Engineering Stock Room Parsons Building, B174 A well-managed academic stock room is crucial to scientific research, especially in the highly technical realm of engineering. Established in 1972 in the Parsons Building basement, the engineering stock room contains a full inventory of top-quality instruments, tools and fasteners, much of it available 24/7 to students. Instructional support coordinator since 1998, Husameldin (Sam) Abdelmuati manages this arsenal of awesome and knows the location and function of every item in stock, from oscilloscopes to digital multimeters. The stock room must meet the unique materials demands of various classes and programs—including Clinic—that require current and specialized equipment. For those who don’t know their way around a cheese head screw or a banana plug, the engineering stock room is worth a visit.


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Fabiha Hannan ’16: “My favorite part of the engineering stock room is Sam Abdelmuati. He is always willing to help you find what you need, even giving students, like myself, encouraging words when they need it. It’s extremely helpful to have access to all the tools, supplies and general resources that the stock room provides.”


A gate separates the consumable materials from specialized items that require signing out, like potentiostats and logic analyzers.


“The stock room is a true reflection of the unique character of the Harvey Mudd engineering program,” says Abdelmuati, who ensures variety, accuracy and efficient inventory flow, in addition to overseeing shipping and receiving for the engineering department. Here, he advises Sachit Sood ’15.


Cody Crosby ’15, who recently presented research on high-entropy alloys at the Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research, says, “Every engineering major has 24/7 access to mechanical and electrical components, some of which are quite expensive. While reinforcing the Honor Code’s inherent trust in the students, it’s extraordinarily convenient as well.”

Josh Sanz ’15: “Not only can you find all the supplies you could ever need for class projects (including several $100 photodiodes), it also has a lot of parts that are available and useful for personal projects.”

A handy conversion chart includes metric-toU.S.- standard measurement to quickly determine which socket, screw or drill bit is needed.

Back here you’ll find tachometers, strain gauges, balances, DMMs—a veritable cornucopia of measurement gadgets. Adjacent is a special section devoted solely to laser equipment, and an entire wall dedicated to plugs, cables and cords.

In this section, you’ll find everything from oscilloscopes—a popular item that measures frequency and other electronic component behavior—to data acquisition systems and Proto Boards, which are used for designing circuits.



Colorful drawers at the stock room’s entrance house all manner of useful items, from integrated circuitry to drills and bolts. Engineering Professor Emeritus Joe King acquired the storage unit from a local hardware store’s going-out-of-business sale.



WATCH OUT WORLD Armed with strong technical experience and training, supportive mentors, passion and determination, three Mudders make a difference.




he world’s challenges daunt us: war, famine, disease, financial instability, environmental degradation and more. Where to begin? That’s it. Simply begin. Start with what you know, learn from others, collaborate. Together, take hold of one of those global challenges and, with that well-honed technical expertise, wrestle it into submission or, better yet, drive it toward extinction. These Harvey Mudd alumni did not start out trying to save the world, but that’s what they’re doing in ways both large and small.



Many Hands Make Light Work Written by Amy DerBedrosian Photo by Webb Chappell

THE CULPRIT IS BILIRUBIN. When there’s too much of this yellow pigment for a newborn’s liver to break down and pass from the body, trouble— in the form of jaundice—is what results. This common condition is curable yet often fatal for babies born in developing countries, where 5 to 10 percent of their deaths are attributed to the condition. The solution is simple: Just shine a blue light onto the infant’s skin, as has been the



practice in the United States and Europe for decades. Elsewhere, however, this is easier said than done—at least until director of product development Elizabeth Johansen ’01 and her colleagues at the nonprofit startup company Design that Matters (DtM) found a solution. “We addressed jaundice through product design,” Johansen says. ���We looked for a technology with a history of impact and redesigned it for use in developing countries. Blue LED technology has been around for a long time, but no one had designed a product that could deliver blue light to newborns in a way that is hard to use incorrectly.” The Firefly Newborn Phototherapy device they designed overcame barriers to saving newborn

lives. Inexpensive to buy and maintain, Firefly is unlikely to join unused medical products in the “equipment junkyards” Johansen regularly sees outside hospitals in developing countries. Its easy operation requires little training. The design features one setting and a bed fitting a single infant centered under a fixed light that ensures each newborn gets the correct dosage. “We believe a product should be hard to use in the wrong way,” says Johansen, whose DtM team collaborates with doctors, university engineering and design students, international foundations and manufacturers to meet the needs of developing countries. While designing Firefly, they also visited Southeast and South Asia, talking to hospital staff and bringing iterative prototypes. Johansen traces her ability to tackle challenges—and her interest in product design— to her first year at Harvey Mudd. She says, “In the E4 engineering design class, I had an opportunity to design a giant calculator for Professor Art Benjamin, who does math magic shows. I discovered the joy of applying engineering skills to human needs.” Other experiences as a Harvey Mudd engineering student also shaped Johansen’s career. An independent study reinforced her desire to continue in product design. Study abroad at a French university took her outside the United States for the first time, sparking her interest in other cultures. After graduation, Johansen spent eight years as a designer and project leader for the global design firm IDEO. She says, “At IDEO, I discovered a whole world of engineering applied to everyday uses and began working on medical products. IDEO’s user-centric design approach taught me a lot about understanding and empathizing with other people that I use now as I work across cultures, professions and environments.” During that time, Johansen became a DtM volunteer and involved nearly 100 IDEO coworkers in its projects before joining DtM full time in 2010. Today, as DtM expands Firefly’s reach and explores other ways to assist developing countries through design, Johansen continues to look for new collaborators. “As we build capacity, we’re working with more teams and more universities,” she says. “I would love to involve Harvey Mudd students in a project. With a great technical education, there’s a huge opportunity to make an impact on international development.” Through Firefly, Johansen has been realizing that impact. As of February, 58 devices were in use in Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia,

providing treatment for nearly 30,000 newborns. The first Firefly units in Africa were en route to Ghana. A hundred more were in production, helping to bring DtM and its partners closer to the goal of distributing at least 1,000 Firefly devices and treating more than 500,000 infants. Johansen has seen firsthand how babies and families benefit. She describes meeting the parents of a newborn treated with Firefly phototherapy at St. Paul Hospital in Hanoi. Ten years earlier, their older daughter had been born with severe jaundice. That infant underwent an exchange blood transfusion, a dangerous

procedure that requires removing and replacing all of a baby’s blood. Johansen says, “They didn’t have another child for 10 years because of this. With Firefly, their newborn was treated safely in three days. The parents were so thankful that they invited us to their house. They were excited to put jaundice in their past. Thinking about how many newborns Firefly affects motivates me.” The Firefly Newborn Phototherapy device has overcome barriers to saving newborn lives.

A Vision for Africa Written by Chris Quirk Photo by Margarita Corporan

YOU COULD BE FORGIVEN for wondering if Mahesh Kotecha ’70 harbored ambivalent feelings toward the country where he was born and raised. “Uganda was a great place to grow up. We lived in Jinja, on the banks of Lake Victoria, at the source of the White Nile,” Kotecha recalls. He came to the United States in 1966 to study engineering and physics at Harvey Mudd as one of the first international students at the College. “Harvey Mudd was really wonderful. It was small, dynamic and allowed me to investigate a broad range of subjects. We had fascinating conversations.” Not long after Kotecha graduated in 1970 as a double major in physics and engineering, his life was thrown into turmoil. Idi Amin seized power in Uganda in a coup, and Kotecha’s parents were forced out of the country—part of a systematic expulsion of Asians in 1972. His parents emigrated to England; still in the United States, Kotecha tried to renew his Ugandan passport. Uganda denied his application, leaving him a man without a country at the age of 24, compelled to seek political asylum in the United States. “I struggled with this question only a little,” explains Kotecha. “It wasn’t the people that kicked my family out, it was one madman. What was important was that Africa needed help, and I understood Africa.” A cordial man who speaks in a matter-of-fact tone occasionally broken by an engaging laugh, Kotecha is the founder and president of Structured Credit International Corporation. He has

also served on the advisory panel of the East Africa Development Bank for more than 30 years. In that capacity and in his professional career, he has discovered innovative ways to secure needed development capital for African nations, resulting in concrete improvements in the everyday lives of many Africans.

“Young Africans, like myself, had been sent to the U.S. to learn what we could and come back to help build our countries. That was our charge,” Kotecha says. It was a charge he honored, but from abroad. He obtained U.S. permanent residence in 1975 and citizenship in 1982, and in another major life change, made the switch from



the sciences to finance. “When I traveled back to Uganda as a junior, I realized there weren’t many good physics or engineering jobs to work on. Arnold Ruskin, my advisor at Harvey Mudd, who had a great influence on me, convinced me that I could have a bigger impact in business.” After earning a master’s from the Sloan School of Management at MIT, he worked at the U.N. Fund for Population Activities before heading to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and in 1979 joined the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s. He had a crucial insight that would help funnel needed investments to his home continent. “The ratings agencies are the gatekeepers for capital. For investment to come in, we had to get African nations and other borrowers rated.” The ratings would provide potential investors with an objective benchmark that was lacking, one they could use to assess and compare risks rationally. It was a novel notion. Most countries were not rated at that time, and no African nations were. He faced some resistance from within S&P, and despite the promise of the idea, Kotecha needed

The Magic Link Written by Shari Roan Photo by Julie Woodward

IF ANDREW LEES ’75 COULD WAVE a magic wand and prevent the millions of vaccinepreventable deaths that occur each year, he would. Instead, he’s using his expertise in chemistry and his innovative company to conjure up a remedy that is effectively reducing this statistic. Helping emerging-market companies manufacture affordable childhood vaccines has become Lees’ passion. He helps create sophisticated “conjugate vaccines” and has worked with companies and institutes internationally to instruct others on how to produce these lifesaving medicines. These vaccines are typically used to immunize babies and children against bacterial infections, such as meningococcal diseases and streptococcal pneumoniae. It takes complex chemistry—something Lees excels at—to make conjugate vaccines, which require the chemical linking of a protein and a sugar polymer (polysaccharides) in order to be effective. The polysaccharides are derived from the long chains of sugars that coat certain bacterial pathogens. Antibodies to these polysaccharides provide protection against the pathogen, but the



some wiles to convince many of the African and other governments he was trying to assist. “All these countries wanted AAA ratings. That wasn’t going to happen, so we used a subterfuge.” Instead of formal ratings, Kotecha and his associates issued what they dubbed “assessments” of countries. Over time, the countries realized the potential benefits and bought into the plan, and slowly the funding for needed projects began to arrive. Jannik Lindbaek, former head of the Nordic Investment Bank and the IFC (World Bank Group’s private sector arm) and a colleague on the advisory panel of the East African Development Bank, knows Kotecha’s work well. “He is a very respected specialist in the field. He’s an excellent advisor, especially for the African sector.” Despite increasing capital flows, Africa faces an annual funding gap of nearly $40 billion per year for infrastructure alone, and perceptions can still be an obstacle. “You have to break the risk down into perceived and real. Some people think Africa is all bad—corruption and coups—some of

which are there, and are not going away,” Kotecha concedes. “But that’s not the whole story. Africans have done an incredible amount of hard work to make things better, and there are a lot of positive signs. There is growth momentum.” In March, one of Kotecha’s clients, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), received an investment grade rating of A3 by Moody’s Investors Service, a major international rating agency, making AFC the second-highest-rated financial institution in Africa and the third-highest-rated entity on the continent (behind African Development Bank and Botswana). The AFC expects to channel more than $1 billion dollars annually into African projects over the next decade. While the switchback course of Kotecha’s career could not have been predicted, it has been remarkably focused from within. “Little things fell together in my life,” he reflects. “But that doesn’t happen unless you have a vision of where you are going.”

immune systems of young children don’t respond to the sugar polymer alone. Chemically linking a protein to the polysaccharide allows young children to make protective antibodies against the bacteria. Lees’ genius was in devising a new and easier method to make conjugate vaccines. “I love what I do,” says Lees, the founder of Fina BioSolutions, a vaccine development company based in in Rockville, Md., where he and his team of eight employees, mostly scientists, work. Lees didn’t set out to improve global health when he graduated with a degree in chemistry from Harvey Mudd College. He pursued a Ph.D. in biophysics at Johns Hopkins University. After graduate school, he worked for two years as a professional magician (a childhood hobby) and found himself featured on the cover of Baltimore Magazine as one of its “People to Watch.” He then took a job in an immunology lab at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. In the university library one night, he hit upon a novel idea for linking proteins and polysaccharides. This resulted in a better method for synthesizing conjugate vaccines, some of the most complex and expensive to manufacture but known for producing stronger and longer-lasting results than vaccines consisting of polysaccharides alone. “It was a Eureka moment,” he says. “A lot of dumb luck came together.” The university licensed Lees’ discovery to the pharmaceutical company SmithKline (the company later became GlaxoSmithKline). “That changed my life,” he says. “It was very satisfying to see my work move from the lab to vaccine products that save lives.” Lees’ chemistry is used in several GlaxoSmithKline conjugate vaccines, including MenHibrix—a combination vaccine against Haemophilus influenza-type b and several strains of meningococcal disease—and Synflorix, a vaccine that protects against Streptococcus pneumoniae and is sold in more than 100 countries. So that he could put all of his energy into developing conjugate vaccines, Lees started his own company, Fina BioSolutions, in 2006. With more than 20 patents on conjugate vaccine development to his name, Lees partners with several international organizations, including the Serum Institute of India, one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world. The Serum Institute works to produce affordable vaccines to underserved populations. This philosophy appeals to Lees. “Because I don’t have investors and don’t need to make a lot of money, I’m able to run a cooper-

ative company,” he says. And one with a sense of humor: The company is named after the family cat, and its mission statement is “Doing good while having fun and trying not to go bankrupt.” Lees also partners with the Chengdu Institute of Biological Products in China to advance global vaccine development. The Chengdu Institute joined with a U.S.-based nonprofit global health organization known as PATH and the Gates Foundation to develop an affordable pneumococcal vaccine for China. Pneumonia remains the leading killer of children under 5 years of age worldwide. While a single dose of the pneumoniae conjugate vaccine can cost $100 in the United States, a dose may cost as little as $5 in the emerging-market countries Lees works to serve. “These products are among the most expensive and complicated of the pediatric vaccines,” he says. “To work with companies that are trying to make affordable vaccines is very gratifying.” Lees also works with colleagues at the Center

for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, where he is an associate professor of medicine. The group focuses on diarrheal diseases in children, which are, globally, the second-leading cause of death for those age 5 and under. A major objective of that research is to develop a salmonella conjugate vaccine, now nearing a phase-one clinical trial. Lees credits his success to the support he received while at Harvey Mudd, namely from his mentors, Robert Borrelli and Stavros Busenberg, who took him under their wing and helped a rather eccentric student—“I wore tortoise-shell glasses, dressed poorly, had crappy social skills and studied all the time”—develop into a focused, responsible adult. “People believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and that really helped,” says Lees.

“This is the chemistry that made my career.” –Andrew Lees ’75



ENGINEERING artist at heart, Erika ART An Adams designs for the mind and soul.

Written by Koren Wetmore Photos by Anil Kapahi and the Hands On Children’s Museum


BEEHIVE, A STREAM SLIDE and a full-size eagle’s aerie woven by hand from freshly harvested saplings comprised several of the elements to be supported by seven 26-foot Douglas fir poles. Now, how to fit those poles through the museum’s doors… Erika (Kirchberger) Adams ’95 says that some clever engineering was necessary in order to install the towers and legs of this impressive exhibit—the Tides to Trees Climber—into the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia, Wash. “We had to use lifts to erect it inside the building. It was like a ship in a bottle—lift, lift, lift until you could get the legs in the right place and lock them down,” says Adams, designer and project manager for Turner Exhibits in Seattle. “You can do a design on your desktop, figure out how you’re going to build things in the shop, but if you don’t think ahead to its installation in the field, you create more problems to solve.” We had



a lot of learning opportunities on that project.” An educational exhibit about the Puget Sound watershed, the three-story, multi-level Tides to Trees Climber takes children on a journey from the forest to the sea while exploring the flora and fauna of the local environment. Composed of two towers with multiple, attached pods, it features a rope bridge and a boat in addition to the nest, beehive and stream slide. The project became Adams’ first assignment when hired by Turner Exhibits in 2010 as an assistant designer. A collaboration between Turner Exhibits and museum staff, the Tides to Trees Climber involved lots of “sketches, whiteboards and conversations.” “It was a very complicated project, and Erika did a remarkable job,” says Kathryn Irwin, the museum’s director of exhibits and facilities. “Our goal was to create an experience where kids of different ages could take safe risks and, as they grew and became more confident, could choose to climb

higher or crawl over the nets. I see kids in it all the time—they really love it.” For her second project, Adams served as project manager for the Wizard’s Tree, a central hub of the Seattle-based EMP Museum’s fantasy exhibit. The 21-by 15-foot tree includes multiple intersecting plywood parts covered in metal mesh and topped with more than 48,000 zinc tiles. The work reunited Adams with Addy Froehlich, the museum’s manager of exhibit services, who had been her mentor during a 2009 internship at the museum. “The tree was a huge, complicated piece and it was nice to work with Erika again,” says Froehlich. “She can picture what she’s trying to create and translate that into a design while understanding the practicalities of fabrication. Yet she never loses sight of what’s beautiful.” Last year, Adams worked with sound sculptor Trimpin on a sculpture for a law school in Monterrey, Mexico. Consisting of 77 spheres ranging in

size from a foot to 60 inches in diameter—each equipped with a speaker that broadcasts a unique sound—the sculpture produces a three-dimensional composition. Trimpin designed the piece, and Adams’ team fabricated the spheres’ interiors. The project with Trimpin constituted a highlight in what Adams describes as a career that melds engineering and art. Her path toward industrial design began after earning her bachelor’s in engineering from Harvey Mudd and a master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington. While at the university, she caught her first glimpse of industrial design, but post-baccalaureate students were not allowed into the program. So, Adams completed her mechanical engineering degree, joined the Industrial Design Society of America—to “devour all the information” she could about the field—and became a technology consultant for Accenture in Seattle.

After leaving Accenture, she accepted a position in 2000 with Microsoft in Redmond, Wash. She spent eight years at Microsoft before enrolling in the Art Institute of Seattle, where she earned an associate of applied arts in industrial design. Adams gained hands-on experience as a volunteer at a local children’s museum and through the EMP Museum internship. After graduating from the Art Institute, she accepted the position with Turner Exhibits. “It was a zigzaggy path, but I’m really glad for the steps I took to get here,” she says. “I’ve always been an artist, and I’ve always been interested in the interaction between humans and objects, so this discipline is perfect for me.” Children play on the eagle’s nest and rope bridge at the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia, Wash.




MUDD on the Road to the Future THIS WINTER, Harvey Mudd students toured

several noted Silicon Valley businesses through MUDD on the Road (MOTR), a program of the Office of Career Services. The trip takes students where the action is, offering a first-hand account of how and where young tech workers—frequently Mudd alumni—are making their mark on business and society. The MOTR program seeks to connect students to the kinds of companies they may one day work for, letting them see the realworld impact of studies in the STEM disciplines. Sixteen students visited seven Northern California companies: Bloomenergy, Facebook, Quantcast, Yelp, Space Systems/Loral, VMWare and Tesla. They were treated to informal discussions at Facebook and Tesla, took part in intimate networking sessions with alumni at Quantcast

and Yelp, toured a cleanroom at Space Systems/ Loral and heard presentations at Bloomenergy and VMWare. Participating alumni were Jeffrey Hemphill ’13 (Facebook); Laurel Fullerton ’07 (Tesla); Esteban Molina-Estolano ’06, Jordan Ezzell ’13, Durban Frazer ’05, Zack Purdy ’13, Ben Jones ’12, Jackson Newhouse ’12, Kwang Ketcham ’10, Wayne Yang ’99, Wynn Vonnegut ’11, Anatole “Toli” Paine ’11, and Dietrich Langenbach ’13 (Quantcast); Ben Goldenberg ’10, Bryce Lampe ’10, Jessica Stringham ’13, Marty Field ’09, Jason Fennell ’08 and Xanda Schofield ’13 (Yelp). By going on location, Mudders are rewarded with a telling and inspirational glimpse into their potential futures. It’s the kind of intimate industry access rarely afforded to students at other

Harvey Mudd makes its mark at Facebook.

institutions, but at Harvey Mudd it’s one of many innovative approaches employed to nurture and develop our students.

Parent Profile

Harvey Mudd families are on a mission IN A CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT Maria Klawe during Family Weekend, a panel of parents and their students shared their hopes and dreams for Harvey Mudd College, including their thoughts about the campaign. Excerpts from their discussion follow. Maria Klawe: What do you want to see come from

The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College? Tayloe Stansbury P16 and Harvey Mudd Board of Trustees member:

One of the things that I’m really hoping for out of the campaign is the addition of faculty to address new areas where there’s a lot of student interest. With people flocking here to take our computer science classes, I would love to see more endowed chairs in computer science to address that need and more money to address future endowed chairs and other disciplines as they crop up and as interests shift…Another dorm would be very helpful.



Emily Stansbury ’16 (computer science): I would like

there to be more CS faculty, which we are working on, because that would make my life easier in various ways. I’m really looking forward to all of the buildings looking more like this one [Shanahan] because this is a really wonderful environment to learn in. David Sonner ’80, P17 and Alumni Association Board of Governors member: There are a lot of Mudd

alumni, parents, people in the community who don’t fully understand that the Mudd endowment combined with the student revenues doesn’t pay for everything. I hope that we’ll be able to better educate and better connect the community to Mudd so that we can raise enough funds to pay for infrastructure improvements, improve our endowment and fund other ambitions that we have.

Anne Sonner P17: I look forward to

Harvey Mudd becoming more well known for how great it is at science and technology.

Emma Bodell ’14 (engineering): I’m

looking forward to Harvey Mudd becoming more well known…I think Mudd is unique and special…Our experience should be shared.

Colin Bodell P14 and Computer Science Department Advisory Committee member: A diverse com-

munity leads to better ideas, leads to better community. It’s a much more fun and interesting place in which to learn, in which to work. And, additional funding allows Mudd to attract very talented, passionate students, irrespective of needs. And that’s a good thing.

Family Weekend Can’t Be Beat Parents and family members returned to campus Feb. 7–8 to visit their students and enjoy informative and fun activities, including an egg drop contest. Find more images online at

Upcoming Events MAY


Commencement Weekend


179th Meeting, Alumni Association Board of Governors Portland, Ore.


Summer send-offs in multiple cities for incoming students and their parents. Hosting opportunities available. Contact


Save the Date: Family Weekend 2015

Parents, start planning now to join us on campus Friday, Feb. 6 – Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, for Family Weekend. Speak with faculty and administrators, learn about new developments at Harvey Mudd and, most important, have fun with your students. Watch for more information online at




The Magnificent Seven

Changing the world for the better, Harvey Mudd alumni help solve today’s greatest challenges. Selected by the Alumni Association Board of Governors, these seven alumni—the most acknowledged in one year—were recognized for their significant contributions to science and society.

Henry E. Brady ’69

Esteemed political scientist Brady (mathematics) is well known for his award-winning work in political methodology, political behavior and public policy, topics of several of his books, including Rethinking Social Inquiry (2004), which won the Sartori Award for best book on qualitative methods. His most recent book is The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy (2012). He is the dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy as well as the Class of 1941 Monroe Deutsch Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at UC Berkeley. He received the Career Achievement Award of the Political Methodology Society in 2012.

Joseph B. Costello ’74 Technology entrepreneur

Costello (mathematics and physics) founded Electronic Speech Systems and then joined Solomon Design Automation, eventually becoming president and growing the company and its subsidiaries from $10 million to more than $1 billion. He became the CEO of think3, a product lifecycle management software and consulting company, and moved on to become CEO of Orb Networks. He served as a Harvey Mudd trustee from 2003 to 2005 and was the College’s 2001 commencement speaker.

Jonathan L. Gay ’89 Flash inventor

Gay (engineering) has a long history of contributing to the computer science and information technology fields. In high school, he designed the game Airborne and then developed Dark Castle and Beyond Dark Castle during college. After graduating from Harvey Mudd, he went on to found FutureWave Software, paving the way to eventually create the original Adobe Flash program. He is cofounder of Greenbox Technology, a clean tech startup. Gay’s technical contributions have resulted in a range of patents that today enable sharing across networks and computer platforms.



Kenneth J. Livak ’74 Disease fighter

Livak (chemistry) was a key contributor to the first commercial system to perform real-time polymerase chain reaction and was among the first to publish the complete nucleotide sequence of the AIDS virus, HTLV-111. Livak’s research has played a critical role in fighting and treating diseases. He is a senior scientific fellow at Fluidigm Corporation, where he pioneered novel assays on microfluidic platforms, and he is alliance manager at the Broad Institute, where he researches single-cell genomics. Livak holds 27 U.S. patents and has served on the Harvey Mudd Clinic Advisory Committee and the Corporate Advisory Council of the Keck Graduate Institute.

Tyrel M. McQueen ’04 Materials chemist

McQueen (chemistry) is an assistant professor in chemistry and physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University and is the recipient of two prestigious fellowships recognizing young faculty members in science and engineering. At Johns Hopkins, McQueen’s laboratory is focused on the design, discovery and synthesis of materials with exotic electronic states that have applications ranging from energy to fundamental science. Particular emphasis is placed on experimentally determining how simple, local interactions give rise to a plethora of emergent phenomena.

Russell L. Merris ’64 Award-winning teacher

Merris (engineering) promotes the beauty of mathematics and its many relationships to other disciplines. An emeritus professor at California State University, East Bay, he instituted The Challenge—a key test to assess 11th graders’ math readiness—which is used throughout the CSU system. He has written or cowritten more than 110 research papers and four textbooks and has received numerous accolades, including the CSU system’s outstanding professor award.

George B. Zimmerman ’69 Technology pioneer

Zimmerman (physics) worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he developed methods to analyze and model high-energy processes and atomic particle interactions. His research led to the development of the LASNEX inertial confinement fusion computer program, used to design laser fusion targets and analyze experiments. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and is a recipient of many awards, including the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for contributions to national security and the Defense Programs Award.





Know When Sleeping Dogs Lie Written by Doug McInnis Photo by Seth Affoumado

IS YOUR DOG A COUCH POTATO? You probably don’t have a clue. After all, who has time to monitor their dog’s exercise regimen around the clock? Whistle Labs Inc., a two-year-old startup based in San Francisco, has produced a device that will track your pooch’s every paw print. The company’s first product, a collar-mounted device called Whistle Activity Monitor, tracks whether your dog is stationary, running or walking. Whistle also tracks total daily exertion and enables dog owners to compare their pet’s performance with other dogs of the same breed. “No one else has a product like this for dogs,” says Kevin Lloyd ’06, the company’s cofounder and head of technology. The idea for Whistle came from the company’s three pet-loving cofounders, two of them dog owners, and Lloyd, who has two cats, WALL-E and Eva. “My cofounders wanted to know how much exercise their dogs got. The number one contributor to good pet health is exercise.” The device consists of off-the-shelf integrated circuits and circuit boards—an in-house creation. Lloyd’s classmate, Nathanael Yoder ’06, who signed on as Whistle’s data scientist, devised the proprietary algorithms. A small, thin disc attaches unobtrusively to the outside of the collar and produces



immense amounts of raw data, measuring movement 50 times a second through an accelerometer. Yoder’s algorithms interpret that data and turn it into a readout pet owners can understand. Whistle answers a series of critical questions. “We can tell whether your dog is trending up or down over time in terms of exertion,” says Lloyd. For example, the device generates a list of events, such as how long the dog has run and how long it has walked. Whistle can also tell owners if a dog stops exercising. That can be an indication that something is wrong, Lloyd says. For instance, the pet might be sick, injured or simply have something stuck in its paw that makes it painful to move about. Owners don’t even have to be home to keep track of their dog’s activity. If the pet is near a Wi-Fi router, it’s possible to retrieve exercise data remotely through a smartphone with either the iOS or Android operating system. The owner can also tell remotely who walks or plays with his or her dog as long as the dog walker’s cell phone has been paired. Over time, the company wants to add functions, including tracking to help find lost dogs. At slightly more than $100, Whistle can be purchased online and at PetSmart. The company

has attracted the eye of angel and venture capital investors who have provided $6 million. Harvey Mudd provided the training. “The engineering curriculum at Harvey Mudd really prepares you for a startup environment,” Lloyd says. “There was so much exposure to different facets of engineering. And they trained you to figure out things you don’t know. So when problems came up, I was easily able to tackle them.” In addition to the new features for Whistle, the company would like to create additional products geared to dogs and other pet species. Ideas come from in-house brainstorming and from customer feedback. In particular, customers want to see Whistle adapted for species other than dogs. “We’ve had people ask about putting it on their sheep, their horses or their kids,” says Lloyd. Sorry, parents, devices for Homo sapiens won’t be part of Whistle Labs’ product line. “The entire premise of Whistle is focused around products for pets. The Whistle Activity Monitor is just our first.”

1964 | 50th Reunion Class


Dick Munro identified the class members in this 1964 yearbook photo. According to Dick, they are Jeff Kelly, Bob Alexander, Russ Merris and Gary Welch.

Erik Ring was promoted in March to principal of LPA Inc., one of the largest integrated design firms in California. The firm’s first engineer, Erik is design director for mechanical, electrical and plumbling engineering and is a nationally recognized expert in green buildings. He ensures that all LPA projects exceed California’s Title 24 requirements by at least 15 percent. A LEED Fellow and LEED Faculty member for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), he has consulted for and designed more than 50 LEED-certified projects.


1999 | Reunion Year

Feb. 1. The event was a reunion of former players and the current roster.

JavaScript toolkit and support team that integrates custom, mission-critical dashboards for organizations.


Christian Jones tweeted his class note: Surgeon

Larry Mallach, Chuck Iverson and Andy Van Horn ’67 attended the CMS Alumni Baseball Game

Scott Pace testified March 5 during the hearing

of the Senate Committee on Defense Appropriations. Scott, director of the Space Policy Institute, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, discussed the importance topic of national security space launch programs, and in particular, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program, which is central to maintaining assured access to space for the Department of Defense. Read testimony transcript:

Alex Johnson is CTO of Plotly, an advanced

now. New baby. Sometimes miss West.

Serial entrepreneur Nicholas Seet received funding for a new venture,, that provides gamified e-learning for aspiring entrepreneurs. SIVI Corporation, where Nik and Ashok Kamal are CTO and CEO, respectively, recently graduated from VentureSpur’s accelerator program and closed an investment round in excess of $340,000 from Oklahoma investors. Nik and Ashok have moved their company from New York City to Oklahoma City and will continue development and promotion of the LaunchLeader entrepre1983 Amanda Simpson is executive director of the U.S. neurship education platform. LaunchLeader seeks Army Energy Initiatives Task Force. “It is an honor “to become the global standard for qualifying entrepreneurs.” Read more: to lead an organization helping to secure clean, reliable and affordable energy at Army installations throughout the country,” says Amanda. 2001 Tom Preston-Werner is cofounder and president of GitHub Inc., a business that enables individuals 1988 and teams to write better code, faster. In January, Michael White, product marketing director for he announced that longtime friend and GitHub Mentor Graphics’ Calibre Physical Verification cofounder, Chris Wanstrath, would become CEO. products, shared his vision for the integrated Tom now leads R&D and new growth opportunicircuit industry in the Dec. 9, 2013, article ties within the company. “16- And 14-nm Designs Await On 2014’s Horizon” in Electronic Design. Prior to Mentor GraphOn April 6, 2013, Paul SanGiorgio and Jennifer ics, Michael held various product marketing, strategic marketing and program management Boynton PZ ’03 were married at the Brazilian roles for Applied Materials, Etec Systems and the Room in Tilden Park, Berkeley, Calif.  In attenLockheed Skunk Works. He received an M.S. in dance were Neville Khambatta, Andrew Schile, engineering management from the University of Joshua Switkes and Nicholas Breznay ’02. Paul Southern California after earning his engineering and Jen honeymooned in the Galapagos (“Best degree from Harvey Mudd. Read the article: idea ever,” says Paul) and now live in beautiful Oakland, Calif., with their cat, Madeline, and fish, Boris.

It's known as the largest mathematics meeting in the world, and Harvey Mudd was again well represented. At the Joint Mathematics Meetings this winter in Baltimore, Md., students, alumni and faculty attended a Claremont Colleges Reception and a Mudd-sponsored dinner. Those in attendance included “Maddie” Weinstein ’16, Andy Niedermaier ’04, Allison Arnold-Roksandich ’14, Chandler May ’11, Tum Chaturapruek ’14, Yaxi Gao ’16, Kevin O'Neill ’13, Sam Gutekunst '14 and Matthew McDermott '14.

Share Your News Class Notes originate from alumni, usually as email updates. They are also compiled from a variety of public sources: Harvey Mudd campus event notices, newspaper and magazine articles, press releases and Google alerts. Please send news about career, hobbies, family or other proud moments via email to or by email to




Alumni Fondly Remembered

The Harvey Mudd community mourns the loss of several alumni

Lori Ives ’61 Lori Ives (née Grace Pfanstiehl), one of the first women to attend the College, died Jan. 1. She was 85. A mathematics transfer student in 1958, Lori held the distinction of being the only woman in the College’s first four-year graduating class. A full decade older than her classmates, Ives struck an easy friendship with Harvey Mudd mathematics Professor Robert “Robin” Ives, who would later become her husband. The two enjoyed backpacking and other mountaineering activities together. Wed two days after Lori’s graduation, the couple went on to serve in leadership positions with the Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter. In addition to publishing a monthly newsletter for the Conservation Committee, Lori worked alongside her husband to organize and lead the chapter’s basic mountaineering training course, to establish protection for California’s coast and to participate in campaigns that led to the passage of the California Wilderness Bill and the California Desert Protection Act. She also served as communications coordinator, registrar, editor and publisher for Sierra Club California. Lori received the club’s Phil Bernays Award for Service (1987), and she and her husband were jointly honored with its Weldon Health Conservation Award (1968) and Susan E. Miller Award (2000). A gifted violist and avid chamber musician, Lori served as principal viola in several musical groups, including the Redlands Bowl Orchestra and the Claremont Symphony Orchestra. She also served as a section violist with the Rio Hondo and Redlands symphonies. In 1970, she founded the Ives Community Office, a nonprofit that provided desktop publishing services to support other nonprofits and community organizations. Lori is survived by Emeritus Professor Robin Ives, her husband of 52 years.



James L. Barden ’61* Founding Class member Jim Barden, a retired mechanical engineer, died Jan. 5. He was 72. An engineering major, Jim served as chair of the Associated Students of Harvey Mudd College’s Publicity Committee (1959–1960) and as chair of ASHMC’s Social Committee (1960–1961). Jim was known for his impressive array of muscle cars, including a 1958 Chevy Impala and 1960 Corvette. Classmates recall memorable times at the Barden home at the Guasti Villa near Ontario, Calif. For many years, Jim’s parents operated Garrett & Co., makers of Virginia Dare wine and flavoring extracts. After graduation, Jim worked for General Electric at the Atomic Power Equipment Department as a design engineer, then for Xerox as a manufacturing engineer focused on design for manufacturability. He retired from Xerox after more than 30 years in management. He remained supportive of Harvey Mudd throughout his career, serving as vice president of the Alumni Association Board of Governors (1975–1976), as an AABoG board member (1992–1998), as a member of the Clinics Advisory Committee and as a generous donor to endowed scholarships, the Ronald and Maxine Linde Activities Center construction and, most recently, the Founding Class Room in Shanahan

Center. He also was an avid sailor and woodworker who enjoyed creating furniture, toys and cabinetry for family and friends. He retired in 1998 and moved to his family’s homestead located off Keuka Lake in New York state’s Finger Lakes region. Jim’s retirement years were spent traveling with friends—to China, Russia, Croatia, Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Amsterdam, England, Scotland, Wales, Chile and Antarctica—and serving in local government. He served on the Jerusalem, N.Y., town board and on the town’s Zoning Appeals Board. He helped develop the town’s Comprehensive Plan and also served on a committee that developed and enacted a uniform dock and mooring regulation for Keuka Lake. Jim is survived by his wife of 52 years, Patricia (Kingsley) Barden SCR ’61, daughter Charissa Roberts, sons Paul Barden and John Barden, sister Anne Waasdorp and six grandchildren. *While Jim entered with the Founding Class, he graduated with the Class of 1962, and celebrated ties with both classes.

Paul Tulane Layman Jr. ’68 Paul Layman died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack on Jan. 16. He was 67. Born in Knoxville, Tenn., Paul moved to Santa Maria, Calif., in 1959. After graduating from Harvey Mudd with a degree in mathematics, he attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he received a master’s in mathematics. Paul’s career in information technology spanned 40 years in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. He was instrumental in creating many new and complex data processing systems during his

work with San Luis Obispo County and helped design the county’s financial management system, which remained in use for 25 years. He was also a software business owner. Paul is survived by children Eric and Stephanie Fair-Layman and grandchildren Miles and Matira. The Santa Maria Times obituary states, “The one word that fully describes Paul is generous.”

Trellis Fellas Keith Chugg, chief scientist and cofounder of TrellisWare Technologies in San Diego, shares this photo of Harvey Mudd alumni, who make up a good portion of his employees. “Despite Mudd's small size, it may very well be the most represented college among our engineering staff; we are just under 100 total employees,” says Chugg. “I’d say the biggest reason Mudd has developed a great reputation at TW is that they combine analytical training, common-sense design thinking and communication skills. This allows them to hit the ground running and to continually step up to challenges that are outside of their comfort zone.” Shown are Brett Burley ’13, Tyler Smelt ’13, Gautam Thatte ’03, Keith Chugg ’89, Ryan McCourt ’98, James Speros ’01, Steven Gordon ’11 and Parker Martin ’13.


Kurt Dresner, a software engineer at Google,

was featured in the Dec. 27 NPR segment “To Make Intersections Smarter, We Need Cars To Be Smarter, Too.” In the interview, Kurt describes his thesis research on autonomous intersection management. “I can’t count the number of times I’m driving around and I think to myself, this would be so much better if there were a computer driving these cars around me because the people around me are not driving very well.” Hear the interview at Jennifer Lindsay, lyric soprano and concert

master of the Bellflower Symphony Orchestra,

performed Feb. 1 at the Bellflower Symphony Orchestra’s Night at the Opera event. She sang Fiordiligi’s aria “Come scoglio” from Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte. and “Ah, je veux vivre” from Romeo & Juliet. 


Andy Heald and Ben Jencks ’09 welcomed their first child, Nathaniel Jencks, to the world on Dec. 19.


Entrepreneur and professional gamer Sean “Day[9]” Plott was named in January to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for those in the games indus-

try. The magazine describes Sean as “one of the biggest names in the world of e-sports.” Sean is broadcaster and co-founder (with Eric Burkhart ’08) of Jink.TV, a popular venue for watching StarCraft matches and for understanding the underlying strategy of competitive StarCraft play. Sean is a veteran and top player of StarCraft, who has been rated A+/A on ICCUP/ PGT on multiple accounts over multiple seasons. He has qualified for the World Cyber Games USA finals seven times and the World Cyber Games Grand Finals three times, and he won the Pan American Championship in 2007. He plays random in StarCraft 2 as a top-rated master player.

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Helping Dreams Take Flight William R. Hartman ’62 has been involved with flight for most of his adult life. A former Navy pilot, airborne data transmission innovator and Lockheed satellite specialist, Hartman still flies his own plane—often with his wife of more than 50 years, Sandra Jean—from their home base in Carson City, Nev. Longtime supporters of Harvey Mudd College, Bill and Sandie Hartman chose to extend their support and leave a soaring legacy that will enable the dreams of our students to take flight through the couple’s planned gift of two charitable remainder unitrusts. “I really value the experience I had at Harvey Mudd,” says Hartman, an emeritus member of the Alumni Association Board of Governors, whose recent involvement has included arranging an alumni trip to Australia and an upcoming one to Antarctica. He is a 2012 recipient of the alumni association’s Lifetime Recognition Award. “By being involved, we hope to continue to make this remarkable education available for others.” The Hartmans view their planned gift as a timely, tax-wise opportunity to extend their commitment to the school they love, while continuing to receive income from their donated investments. It’s just one of many ways to give wings to the hopes and aspirations of tomorrow’s potentially world-changing Harvey Mudd graduates. To find out more about the uplifting rewards and practical benefits of making a planned gift to Harvey Mudd, please call 909.607.0902 or visit Bill ’62 and Sandie Hartman

Harvey Mudd Planned Giving



We’re educating the next generation of passionate problem solvers.

Christian Stevens ’14 is on a mission to discover the next cure.

Sophia Williams ’15 is on a mission

Tum Chaturapruek ’14 is on a mission to make STEM opportunities limitless.

to mentor and inspire future leaders.

Demetri Monovoukas ’15 is on a mission to engineer new patient care solutions.

Priya Donti ’15 is on a mission to engage the community by giving back.

Read their stories at

is on a mission

Julie Chang ’16 is on a mission to blend art and science.


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Whistle While You Woof An active life is a happy life. Just ask Duke, who stays fit and frolicsome with the help of his Whistle Activity Monitor, the clever creation of Mudders Kevin Lloyd ’06 and Nathanael Yoder ’06. Read the full story on Page 32.

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Harvey Mudd College Magazine spring 2014