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Nepal Calls

Meghan Jimenez ’14 answers | 30








Life Lessons Why do we age? Even though essentially every organism ages, we don't know why or what causes it. Working with transgenic flies, Assistant Professor of Biology Jae Hur and student researchers are attempting to shed light on aging and expand our knowledge about the biology of life in general. Hur, Nga Nguyen ’17, Muhammad Jalal POM ’16 and Aaron Friend ’17 insert into flies genes that do not naturally exist in the genome, seeking to better understand the molecular building blocks that might provide the key to longer, healthier lives. “Although it is a long way off, our work might be the basis for medications or therapies that may result in increased longevity,” says Nguyen. “Age is a tremendous risk factor for so many diseases. By learning more about the aging process, we may be able to help diseases associated with aging, like Alzheimer's or cancer.” Nguyen appreciates Hur’s patience with students. “I can ask him a million questions, and he won’t get irritated. Working with Professor Hur has allowed me to learn tons—about flies, research and even life lessons. He's a great teacher, and I’m lucky to work with him.”



A Real Adventure WHEN JOSEPH PLATT RECEIVED A REQUEST to interview for the presidency

of a new college, he wrote that his reaction was, “Why not? A new college would be a real adventure.”* Sixty years later, I believe that all of Harvey Mudd College’s presidents, including myself, would confirm that it has been! Founded on Dec. 14, 1955, the College opened in 1957 with just seven faculty members and 48 students and has since grown into a leader in preparing thoughtful scientists, engineers and mathematicians who understand the impact of their work on society. Harvey Mudd endures and thrives today because our founders instilled in this College a clear set of core values—critical components that, even after 60 years, continue to resonate with members of our community and guide our work. Central to those core values is our mission. Our students and alumni continue to take the knowledge and skills they’ve gained and apply their expertise in extraordinary ways. Meghan Jimenez ’14 is just one example. While in Nepal recently, she shared this message with the Harvey Mudd community: “The mission statement is a central part of the Mudd experience, and I came to HMC not just to become a well-trained and educated engineer, but also so that I could be an engineer who understands the impact of [her] work on society. I think that it was partly this mindset that helped me make the decision to come to Nepal during a time of great need.” I think you’ll find her story about working with others to be inspiring. Collaboration is in the DNA of Harvey Mudd College. It is manifested in nearly everything we do, as you’ll see in the stories we’ve highlighted: student research, Clinic, career services, community engagement and entrepreneurship. Among the individuals who embody this collaborative spirit is John Molinder, who retired from the Department of Engineering at the end of last academic year and whom we celebrate on page 12. We wish John all the best on his retirement from Harvey Mudd, and we thank him for many years of outstanding service to the College. The newest group of teacher-scholars to receive promotion and tenure (page 13) are continuing this tradition of excellence. The adventure that is Harvey Mudd is one that continues to be thrilling, and I believe that cooperative relationships have driven our success. The late President Hank Riggs, whom we celebrate on page 7, once said, “As with any and every organization, the most important ingredient is the people. The passionate attachment that faculty, staff, students, alumni and volunteers (including trustees) have to this college is extraordinary.” As we welcome the Class of 2019, the most diverse in the College’s history (page 4), we look forward to navigating the next adventures—together.


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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 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.

Editor’s note: The Communications staff was pleased to receive this note from former Harvey Mudd President Hank Riggs and was saddened to learn of his death. More on page 7.

* Harvey Mudd College: The First Twenty Years, by Joseph B. Platt

Maria Klawe President, Harvey Mudd College

I want to thank you for the spring magazine. Usually I glance thru, skim a few articles and toss the magazine. This month, I not only read it cover to cover, but would like to share Francis Su’s wonderful article on grace with others. I eagerly await the electronic version of the magazine. In fact, I wish it was available at the same time the print version was. Glenn Fisher ’69 (chemistry) Editor’s note: It is! See


SUMMER 2015 VOLUME 13, NO. 3

Shifting Priorities

After the earthquakes struck Nepal, Meghan Jimenez ’14 decided to forgo vacation to see what she could do to help. Cover image: Jimenez helps unload first aid supplies, toys, solar chargers and other items after landing in Pepsicola, Kathmandu.

The Harvey Mudd College Magazine is produced three times per year by the Office of Communications and Marketing. Director of Communications, Senior Editor Stephanie L. Graham Art Director Janice Gilson Graphic Designer Robert Vidaure Contributing Writers Amy DerBedrosian, Eric Feezell, Ashley Festa, Lia King, Allison Marin, Mara Watkins

The Science Behind Stress Eating

Yvonne Ulrich-Lai ’94 studies the neural factors that fuel the obesity epidemic.

Proofreaders Eric Feezell, Kelly Lauer Contributing Photographers Charles Barry, Heidi Bird, Rob Chron, Rossa Cole, Dan Davenport, Keenan Gilson, Jeanine Hill, Denis Lemeshchenko, Cheryl Ogden, Devi Pride, Deborah Tracey Vice President for Advancement Dan Macaluso

Hot off the Press

3-D printing captures the public imagination and a growing market.

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

Professor Su’s article about grace is my favorite piece in HMC Magazine. It is uplifting, humble, and feels so divinely aligned with the good, the true, and the beautiful. I remember failing Big E&M during my 1999 senior year at HMC … Today I am strangely grateful in a roundabout way that I struggled for five years and even failed that class. It was necessary for my growth after coming out of high school so tightly bound to an identity as a person who has value because he gets good grades. But around 1999 and 2000, it was very hard for me to see this on my own. It was very hard to see this without the benefit of the grace you give to your students. I like to think that for students who struggle now like I did then, you make their paths to the same place of inner peace easier than mine was. You remind your students of the innate reasons for them to love themselves during the times when they forget those reasons … I greatly admire you for bringing this holiness to the material plane.

I enjoyed reading the article on page 20 “The Muddraker Marches On.” But the article made no mention of the founder of The Muddraker, Ian McCutcheon ’83! Ian was the original editor-in-chief of The Muddraker in 1980 and without his incredible dedication, the newspaper would not exist. His name is not mentioned in the text of the article, nor is it listed in the box titled “Member of the Original Staff of The Muddraker.” Fred Streitz ’83 was also missing from the listing of original staff members. Sincerely, Rex McCarthy ’83. (engineering) Editor’s note: Thanks for helping us set the record straight, Rex. We apologize for the omission.

Postmaster: Send address changes to Harvey Mudd College, Advancement Services, 301 Platt Boulevard, Claremont, CA 91711. Copyright © 2015—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 Join the online conversation. harveymuddcollege harveymudd

John Fuhrman ’00 (physics)



Entering Class Milestone Diversity efforts driven by teamwork


faculty and student gender diversity, Harvey Mudd College has achieved a new milestone with the Class of 2019. In addition to being remarkably talented—92.5 percent of those who were ranked were in the top 10 percent of their high school class—Harvey Mudd’s first years are more racially diverse than any incoming class in the College’s history. Driven by the belief that excellence and diversity go hand in hand, the College community is seeing its efforts to become a more inclusive place—consistent with its mission and honor code, and as outlined in its strategic plan—come to fruition. “The incoming demographics are related to multiple years of efforts by faculty, staff and current students to increase the visibility of Harvey Mudd in multiple communities, to build access pathways to our institution and to create a campus culture of inclusion and success for all students,” says President Maria Klawe. Of the 215 entering students, 20.5 percent are Latino/Latina (an increase from 11.2 percent in 2014), and 6.5 percent are African or African American (up from 3.6 percent in 2014). Students who identify as multiracial make up 12.1 percent of the class (9.7 percent in 2014). Women make up about 45 percent of the class, continuing the gender breakthroughs seen at Harvey Mudd during the last few years. The College is also welcoming a growing number of first-generation students (12.6 percent compared with 11.7 percent in 2014). International students hail from 23 countries, up from 16 in 2014. “Our increase in underrepresented students is following the same path that our increase in women followed,” says Thyra Briggs, vice president of admission and financial aid. “It’s also part of the College’s strategic vision: excellence and diversity at all levels. These two things very much go hand in hand. It’s not excellence or diversity. It’s excellence and diversity.” From its earliest days, Harvey Mudd has attracted students of extraordinary ability. In addition to their academic talent, students are selected based both on the contributions they can make to the Harvey Mudd community and their fit with the College.



“ T he incoming demographics are related to

multiple years of efforts by faculty, staff and current students ... to create a campus culture of inclusion and success for all students. – PRESIDENT MARIA KLAWE

To Know Mudd is to Love Mudd “As the reputation of the College grows, we’re simply getting more applications, and there are more students who are a good fit for us both academically and socially,” Briggs says. Prospective students who visit campus for events like the Future Achievers in Science and Technology (FAST) program find a welcoming community. FAST offers high school students from populations that are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) an opportunity to experience Harvey Mudd. The highly selective, College-sponsored program brings about 70 underrepresented students to campus and has been instrumental in helping to attract them. It’s made a huge impact, says Briggs. “Those who spend time, connect with the community, get a sense of what it would be like to be a Mudder—all those things I think have made, by far, the biggest difference,” says Briggs. “Visiting students are beginning to see more students on campus who look like them; I don’t think we can overstate how important that is. The fact that people know who you are, that you’re not going to disappear as a number, that you won’t be considered secondary to graduate students, all are important deciding factors.” Over many years, various groups on campus have been working to improve the College’s demographics. Faculty members have taken a personal approach to encourage underrepresented students to select Harvey Mudd. Computer science Professor Colleen Lewis organized faculty during 2012 to call admitted students who identified as Black/African American or Hispanic. Such efforts have continued,

and now participating faculty also contact admitted first-generation students, as research suggests that personal interaction is very important for recruiting this cohort, says Lewis. Harvey Mudd student organizations also enthusiastically encourage prospects and those who are admitted. Student clubs host visitors and support programs in which they participate, including FAST, robotics competitions and the President’s Scholars Program, a four-year, full-tuition scholarship for outstanding men and women who have the potential to be future leaders in STEM fields. In 2014, three new student organizations were formed to support students of color: EPAIC (Exploring Pan-Asian Identity and Culture), SPLS (Society of Professional Latinos in STEM) and BLAM (Black Lives and Allies at Mudd). In addition, existing student organizations, such as APISPAM (the Asian Pacific Islander Sponsor Program at Mudd) and PRISM (People Respecting Individuals’ Sexualities and Genders at Mudd), will continue to mentor incoming students and meet the intersectional needs of all Mudders.

Welcoming Campus Climate Once they are on campus, the Class of 2019 will find support both academically and socially. Sumun Pendakur, associate dean for institutional diversity, says her office will continue to educate the campus population with the “awareness, allyship and action” model of diversity and social justice education. She and Darryl Yong ’96, associate dean for diversity, will continue to work with academic departments to encourage inclusive pedagogies and curriculum. “Mudd has one of the most rigorous curricula

in the nation,” says Pendakur. “To that end, we will launch the second year of the PALs (Peer Academic Liaisons) program. PALs live in all of the dorms and receive training from academic affairs and student affairs in order to best support the academic needs of our students and help all students develop increased help-seeking skills.” As another level of support for first-generation and international students, the College will offer a targeted session during Orientation for their

parents and family members. “The event will help families better understand the college experience and how they can navigate the environment with their student,” says Pendakur. Harvey Mudd’s diversity efforts mirror those of the National Science Foundation, which launched an initiative in 2011 to broaden participation with the goal of eventually having the participation of NSF-supported scientists and engineers in STEM fields mirror the U.S. population, with particular

focus on those who are Alaska Natives, Native Americans, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, and Persons with Disabilities. “Harvey Mudd continues to demonstrate leadership in ensuring that pipelines into STEM fields truly represent the breadth and depth of the population,” says Pendakur.





Keep Calm and Stay Shiny

57th Annual Commencement COMMENCEMENT DAY WAS A TIME TO RELAX, rejoice

and celebrate. But graduation speaker Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, told graduates and their families that the reprieve is necessarily a short one. “You’ve worked hard to get here today, and you deserve to get a little bit of a break and kick back,” said Nichols, who oversees the implementation of California’s landmark greenhouse gas emissions legislation as well as other initiatives to improve air quality and fight climate change. “But not for too long, because I’m here to tell you that there’s a lot more to be done, and we need you to help do it. We need to immediately and significantly change the way we generate and use energy and the ways we manage or build our natural environments.” In comments to her Class of 2015 classmates, engineering major Cindy Angpraseuth spoke about the inevitable transition. “As we all go on to the next chapter of our lives we’re going to be freshmen again. We’ll be doing something new, starting with a clean slate. This is the commencement of the rest of our lives. Remember those new shiny feelings when they happen. It’ll be easy to go forward and get jaded again in a few years, but what kind of life is that? When things look dark, just remember, keep calm and stay shiny.”

Mudd Prize Calm prevailed despite the surprise announcement of the Henry T. Mudd Prize, an annual event at commencement. Recipient Ran Libeskind-Hadas, R. Michael Shanahan Professor of Computer Science and department chair, graciously accepted the $4,000 prize, awarded each year to a member of the Harvey Mudd community whose service to the College and its mission is exemplary. Libeskind-Hadas joined the faculty in 1993 and, in 1996, was awarded the Iris and Howard Critchell Assistant Professorship, which honors a junior professor who has exhibited an unusual talent for mentoring and counseling students. In 2005, he was the first to be named to the Joseph B. Platt Endowed Chair for Effective Teaching. He received the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Educator Award from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



Computer science graduates outnumbered engineering graduates for the first time.

for his outstanding contributions to computer science education and for his work motivating computer science students. Libeskind-Hadas supervises undergraduate research, senior theses and Clinic projects and advises the Harvey Mudd student chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery. His recent writing projects include the book Computing for Biologists: Python Programming and Principles, which he co-authored with Eliot Bush, associate professor of biology. He served multiple three-year terms on the Computing Research Association/National Science Foundation’s Computing Community Consortium Council, a national committee tasked with helping shape computer science research. As chair since July 2011, Libeskind-Hadas has helped to grow the Computer Science Department to nine tenure-track faculty members and three staff members and was instrumental in helping implement innovative practices to attract women to the discipline. Harvey Mudd has more than tripled its percentage of women CS majors, resulting in a gender ratio that is also triple the national average. This year, for the first time, there were more graduating CS majors than engineering majors.

President Maria Klawe with Mudd Prize winner Ran Libeskind-Hadas

A Final Bow for Former President Hank Riggs



his home in Palo Alto on June 10 after a brief illness. He and his wife, Gayle, enriched the Harvey Mudd community through a very personal care and commitment to each constituency, strengthening the bonds of the College community. Each received the Harvey Mudd Alumni Association’s Honorary Alumni Award in 1997, and Riggs received an honorary doctorate from the College in 2006. Here we celebrate Hank’s legacy and give a nod to the couple’s arrival on campus (8/8/88) by sharing eight major accomplishments that took place during Hank’s nine-year tenure at Harvey Mudd.

Trustee appointments effective July 1 New to the board

1. The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College exceeds $70 million goal ($75.5 million in 1994), even during California’s economic downturn 2. Campus construction: F.W. Olin Science Center completed with support from the F.W. Olin Foundation; Beckman Hall—classrooms, labs, computer facilities and 75-seat auditorium—completed in 1993 with funds from Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation; Ronald and Maxine Linde Residence Hall built in 1993 with funds from then Trustee Ronald Linde and his wife, Maxine; Parsons Wing added to Parsons Engineering Building, 1991 3. Biology major is official, 1989 4. Establishment of new major in computer science, 1993 5. Enrollment increases from 550 to 640 students 6. Gift received for Ronald and Maxine Linde Activities Center (completed in 1998) 7. U.S. News and World Report names Harvey Mudd No. 1 “engineering specialty school,” 1988 8. B  ridge Program (now Summer Institute) created in 1990 to ease transition from high school to college for selected students

Students pose with Hank and Gayle Riggs in this 1997 photo. A memorial website for Hank Riggs is available at


Residence Hall Named for Drinkward In recognition of his extraordinary leadership of the board and of The Campaign for Harvey Mudd College, the Executive Committee of the board of trustees announced the College’s newest residence hall will be named in honor of Wayne Drinkward ’73, board chair, alumnus and donor. The dormitory is now called the Wayne and Julie Drinkward Residence Hall. Wayne and his wife, Julie, have been stalwart supporters of the College and its mission. In addition to providing the lead gift for the new dorm, the couple previously provided significant support toward the construction of the R. Michael Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning. “It was a dream of mine to return as a professional to work on a project at my alma mater, and it was a pleasure for Julie and me to personally invest in this beautiful facility,” says Drinkward of the Shanahan Center. Naming opportunities for the new dorm are still available. See

Elaine Hart ’06 (young alumni trustee), senior consultant for Energy and Environmental Economics Inc.

Returning members

Bruce DePriester ’74, retired CEO, Capital Group Companies

John Vickery ’90/91, independent consultant and entrepreneur

Advisory trustees (appointments extended) Dale Harvey Ray Grainger ’88

Emeritus trustees David Baylor Walt Foley ’69, P99





Citadel Summer Scholar Erin Paeng ’17 programmed an NAO robot to do a variety of tasks, such as playing tic-tac-toe and recognizing emotions and facial expressions.


Collaboration Fortifies Summer Research NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO WORK on the leading edge

of finance and technology have been unleashed thanks to a partnership between Citadel and the College. The Citadel Summer Scholars collaboration directly benefits undergraduate research, a program that is central to the College’s mission and is a high priority for funding within its current comprehensive $150 million campaign. “We are excited about Citadel’s support of both faculty and students as they pursue research in data science,” says Andrew Bernoff, Diana and Kenneth Jonsson Professor of Mathematics, who worked with Citadel to develop the program. “The Citadel Summer Scholars is a novel mechanism for a private



corporation to strengthen its ties to the College and to promote research with broad applications in fields such as finance, social media and genomics.” Citadel Scholar Erin Paeng ’17 worked alongside College faculty researchers and engaged with Citadel staff for 10 weeks on research in statistical analysis, performance software, Big Data, machine learning, parallel computing and data analytics. At the conclusion of 10 weeks, Paeng presented results to Citadel teams in Chicago. Through Citadel Summer Scholars, Harvey Mudd computer science faculty members Jim Boerkoel (artificial intelligence), Julie Medero (natural language processing and machine learning)

and Beth Trushkowsky (scalable databases, crowdsourcing and data management) will collaborate with students on active and ongoing projects. Citadel, a leading global financial institution that manages more than $26 billion in assets through its hedge fund platform, has been actively involved with Harvey Mudd for many years, sponsoring projects in the Clinic Program, serving as a career services corporate partner and employing Harvey Mudd alumni, including Russ Osborn ’06 and Kyle Kelley ’05. “This is a tremendous opportunity for students” says Osborn. “It’s a win-win for Harvey Mudd and the Citadel team.”

DOS Suite Dedicated to Hotchkiss The Harvey Mudd College community honored its first and only dean of the College and its first full-time dean of students, Eugene Hotchkiss III (known as “Dean Gene”), during Alumni Weekend in May. As a result of a generous gift from Patrick J. Barrett ’66 and Penny J. Barrett ’67, the dean of students office suite within the Joseph B. Platt Campus Center was renamed in honor of Eugene and his late wife, Suzanne T. Hotchkiss, in recognition of their dedication to Harvey Mudd

College and their service to students. In addition to the Barretts, several members of the Hotchkiss family were in attendance, including Gene’s brother Frank and daughter Ellen, as well as several of Gene’s former Harvey Mudd colleagues and Harvey Mudd alumni. Hotchkiss joined the College in February 1960 as dean of students before being appointed dean of the College in 1962, a position he held until 1968.

Staff Member Kudos Binder Prize Seen as “the heart and cornerstone of the Department of Chemistry,” Kim Young, administrative assistant, was selected to receive the 2015 Mary G. Binder Prize. Young began working at Harvey Mudd in February 1989 in the Office of College Advancement and transferred to the chemistry department in 1999. The Mary G. Binder Prize honors a member of HMC’s support staff “who combines a record of exceptional service with a truly helpful and friendly attitude toward students, faculty and fellow staff members all across the College.” The prize was established in 1996 by engineering Professor Emeritus Sam Tanenbaum and his wife, Carol, in honor of Carol’s mother.

Outstanding Staff Member Dorothy Harris-McCullough, former Harvey Mudd assistant to the vice president for development, Eugene Hotchkiss and Hilda Larson, his former assistant. Ellen Hotchkiss Rainey with her father.

Bravo Brand The Communications and Marketing team at Harvey Mudd College earned two CASE Awards of Excellence (District VII) this past spring. The College Viewbook received the Gold Award for its clever content, which includes a 3-D model of the Shanahan Center that prospective students can build, photograph and share on social media, as well as a video tour of the building. The College’s website, launched in January 2014, received the Silver Award. Both projects show off the College’s new branding.

As the senior director of facilities for the Office of Facilities and Maintenance, Troy Hansgen has expanded his role well beyond leading efforts to maintain the College’s buildings, equipment and grounds. He’s been integral in helping environmental club ESW/MOSS (Engineers for a Sustainable World/ Mudders Organizing for Sustainability Solutions) promote sustainability initiatives on campus, including a two-year effort to launch a boardapproved “Green Fund” for sustainable campus improvements. “Troy has been instrumental in getting results,” wrote his nominator, Priya Donti ’15. “For the students who have worked hard on some of these projects, this serves as an inspiration for us to continue making sustainable and social change for the rest of our lives.” Hansgen was recognized at the College’s third annual Leadership Awards Ceremony in April.

Award-winning admission viewbook





Copper and Mudd CYPRUS HAS A MOST UNUSUAL GEOLOGY in that the

island was originally formed at the bottom of the sea and, over hundreds of millennia, was literally uplifted from the seabed. In the course of cooling, Cyprus produced remarkably rich copper deposits known as ophiolite deposits. Almost all of this copper can be found in the Upper Pillow Lavas of the Troodos Mountains. Unlike the rest of the island, the Troodos have always been blessed with abundant rainfall. This rainfall is the key to the success of the copper smelting industry of Cyprus. Based upon the huge slag heaps that still cover the island, it has been estimated that over the 3,500 years of its history, the copper industry of Cyprus used 60 million tons of charcoal derived from 1 billion, 200 million cubic meters of pine forest in order to produce 200,000 tons of metallic copper. These figures give you some idea of the extent of the copper industry and why the island has always been regarded as one of the most important sources of copper in the world. The Bronze Age use of copper was centered around the production and trade of one particular object, the copper oxhide ingot. We now know that these peculiar-shaped objects represented the form in which copper was shipped all over the ancient world, especially during the Late Bronze Age, from ancient Babylon in the East to southern France in the West, from Germany in the North to Egypt in the South. The Uluburun shipwreck is a great tribute to the industrial scale of this trade in copper ingots. (The ship was carrying a cargo that included over 10 tons of copper, much of it in the form of some 350 copper oxhide ingots, as well as one ton of tin ingots, many in the same oxhide shape.) Almost all of these ingots were produced on the island of Cyprus and were made of Cypriot copper that had been mined and smelted in the great mining district of Skouriotissa, the same mines later acquired by the Cyprus Mines Corporation. Harvey Seeley Mudd came into the possession of one of these ingots, purchased on the antiquities market around 1930, and donated it to Harvey Mudd College. (More on this later.) These ingots have been known since the middle of the 19th century AD. They were first discovered on Sardinia, in the 1850s, and then found on Crete and on Cyprus. Figures from Pharaonic wall paintings, especially from the tomb of the vizier Rekhmire, ca. 1450 BCE, show figures dressed as Keftiu, an Egyptian name for the



island of Crete, carrying such ingots and, since the early Italian excavations at the Minoan site of Ayia Triada had produced a hoard of 19 such ingots, they became known as “Cretan ingots” (German Keftiubarren). That designation seemed very unlikely, however, as Crete has no copper deposits. The modern association of these ingots with Cyprus has come about only through recent archaeological and scientific research. Detailed study of the four stable isotopes of lead, a trace element impurity present in all copper ores, has made it possible to identify the source of the copper used in making these ingots. This research has established that almost all of these ingots, including the one here at the College, were made of Cypriot copper that had been mined in the Skouriotissa area, especially during the years ca. 1400–1200 BCE. Pliny the Elder in his great Natural History, written in the mid first century AD, was not too far wrong when he claimed that Cyprus was the place “where copper was first discovered” (ubi prima aeris inventio). For the next 2,000 years, following Pliny, we know very little about Cypriot copper. This all changed when, on March 10, 1916, Colonel Seeley Mudd (1861–1926), the father of Harvey, along with his financial backers in America, formally created the Cyprus Mines Corporation (CMC) and authorized the sale of 300,000 shares of stock. The purchase price of the land, containing the copper mines around Skouriotissa, was put at $7 million. If you consider the purchase price of the dollar in 1916 you realize that this was an enormous sum of money. Right from the start the CMC demonstrated a serious commitment to Cyprus and to the copper resources of the island. How did all this come about?

The first thing to realize is that the entire Mudd family had a serious commitment to mining, not just in copper and not just in Cyprus. Under Colonel Mudd, the family was involved in mining all over the world, operating mines in California, Colorado, Arizona, Mexico and Peru in copper as well as silver, gold and lead. This was the basis of the family fortune but, for personal reasons, Colonel Mudd always had a special interest in copper mining and in the possibility of re-opening some of the fabled mines of antiquity, especially those on Cyprus because, according to ancient Greek and Latin literary sources, Cyprus had been the great source

Harvey Seeley Mudd acquired this copper oxhide ingot on the antiquities market around 1930 and donated it to Harvey Mudd College, where it is housed in Sprague Center.

of copper from the Greco-Roman world. The second thing one has to understand is that the Mudds were not really miners. They had no interest in mineral prospection or in the mining and smelting of the ores dug out of the ground. They were entrepreneurs, interested in owning mines and financing mining activities. This brings us to the career of Charles Godfrey Gunther (1880–1929), a little-known figure, but one who played a critical role involving the Mudd family in Cyprus. Gunther was a prospector and mineral geologist who had spent his early years in unsuccessful prospecting for mines in the New World. At the same time the Mudd family had experienced a number of failed exploration efforts in New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico. In frustration Gunther went back to the Brooklyn of his birth. There, from a lifetime of extensive reading, he came across a book by an American missionary, Horatius Bonar: The Desert of Sinai: Notes of a Spring-Journey from Cairo to Beersheba, published in 1857. Here Gunther came upon very convincing descriptions of ancient

Egyptian copper mining in the Sinai. Gunther concluded, based upon additional reading regarding Turkey and Cyprus, that he had been working in the wrong part of the world. Forget the New World; the Old World held what he was looking for. Gunther was very persuasive; he managed to persuade Colonel Mudd and his financial backers to finance his prospective travels in the Sinai, the Levant and in Cyprus. On Sept. 12, 1912, they gave Gunther a $5,000 letter of credit (as things were financed before credit cards and international Internet transfers), and off he went to Cairo. Explorations in the Sinai and the Levant were not successful and, on Dec. 26, 1912, Gunther set sail from Port Said, Egypt, to Famagusta in Cyprus. Here Gunther found exactly what he had been looking for and his report on work in Cyprus, especially in the mining complexes at Skouriotissa in the Troodos mountains, convinced his backers to establish the CMC in 1916. [I believe that] if Gunther had not read the book by Bonar in the Brooklyn public library, the CMC would never have come into existence and [Harvey Mudd College] would not be here today. One factor of ancient mining needs to be explained. To dig deep underground is to go below the existing water table. The mineshaft fills with water, and only by getting rid of that water could mining activity continue. At Skouriotissa, Gunther discovered outside the openings of two ancient mines, known as skopes or audits, huge heaps of broken pottery. The dump covered an acre of ground and was nearly 20 feet deep. Gunther knew right away that these were the broken fragments of the jars that had been used to carry water out of the ancient mine. He reasoned: With such primitive technology, the ancient miners could not have gone very deep underground. Therefore much has to remain to be exploited by modern technology. On the basis of such reasoning Colonel Mudd and his investors were willing to invest $7 million. They had approached J. Pierpont Morgan for financial help, on what they admitted was a gamble. His terse reply was: “I never gamble.” In 1916, with the establishment of the CMC, Harvey Seeley Mudd, eldest son of Colonel Seeley Mudd, decided it was time for him to take an active interest in Cyprus and the CMC. His concerns, up to this point, had been with the family’s mining interests in the New World. Now Harvey Mudd realized that he needed to take active control of what was being run by Gunther. This was a very difficult period for everyone. The first World War had reached truly savage conditions and, with the collapsing Ottoman Empire now fighting on the

“ T he Mudds were not really miners … They were entrepreneurs, interested in owning mines and financing mining activities.

Axis side, it had engulfed the entire world, all the way to Australia and New Zealand. Cyprus had become part of the British Mandate in 1878 but, on Oct. 21, 1915, Lloyd George, the British PM, had offered Cyprus to Greece if the Greeks agreed to join the Allied powers in the Great War. Greece refused the offer, but this was just one of many reasons why Harvey Mudd realized that Cyprus now demanded his serious attention. On June 27, 1919, Harvey Mudd arrived in Cyprus on his first visit to the island. He was met in Nicosia by Gunther, and the two of them went off to Skouriotissa.

We now have to face a remarkable situation. What was actually being mined in 20th-century Cyprus was not copper ore but iron pyrites. The main ore deposits of Cyprus had always been iron and sulphur, with small amounts of copper. The copper, it turned out, had all been mined away by the ancient miners. What was left was iron and sulphur. The iron was of little use because it contained too much sulphur to be turned into usable iron. The sulphur itself, however, was extremely valuable. It was used in insecticides, fertilizers and in many sulphide medications. More important was its use in making sulphuric acid that, in the early 20th century, was used in the production of paper, textiles, beer, film, plastics, munitions, rubber and even matches. Cyprus became one of the major suppliers of sulphur-rich pyrites to the western world, along with Rio Tinto in Spain (in which the Mudd family also had interests). Harvey Mudd was probably the most progressive employer in America in the first half of the 20th century. In the years from 1930 on, life in Cyprus greatly improved, thanks to Harvey Mudd. The CMC built a hospital [and] a golf course and ran summer camps for children. The CMC tackled the great plague of malaria, a major health problem in Cyprus for thousands of years. They drained the marshes and planted large numbers of eucalyptus trees to soak up the water. In the years after World War II, the CMC became a major force for social and health care services in Cyprus. By 1948–1949, when the Cyprus government finally decided to do something about malaria, the health authorities immediately turned to the CMC. By this time the company had

renovated its hospital, making it the most modern facility in the Near East, and they were operating seven medical clinics on the island. The CMC established a pension plan for its own workers and offered its employees medical insurance. Harvey Seeley Mudd was truly a most remarkable man. He said that when the mines were finally exhausted, and mining operations came to an end, he felt a moral obligation to leave Cyprus a better place than it had been when everything started back in 1916. Harvey Mudd had long been interested in education in the Claremont area and served as a trustee on the board of The Claremont Colleges. He also had a passion for classical music and was instrumental in the establishment of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In the early 1950s, Harvey Mudd became convinced that what the Claremont area needed was a small technical college of science and engineering. There was general agreement that this new college would best serve society by staying small and insisting on high standards rather than by straining its resources in reaching for quantity. The feeling was that “the graduates it produced should not be just good scientists and engineers but men capable of assuming the increasing social, civic and business responsibilities imposed on management by modern technology” (D. Lavender, p. 314). On Monday, April 11, 1955, Harvey Mudd met with the board of The Claremont Colleges to discuss plans for this new college. The next day he died of a heart attack. On Nov. 12, 1955, the Claremont College Board of Fellows unanimously recommended the establishment of a College of science and engineering to be named Harvey Mudd College, in memory of Harvey Seeley Mudd. Formal action on this recommendation was taken on Dec. 14, 1955, and on April 10, 1957, they laid the cornerstone of the first building, a residence hall. This article was excerpted from the June 18 lecture “Cyprus Mines Corporation and the Career of Harvey Seeley Mudd (1888–1955),” delivered by James D. Muhly, a distinguished historian, archaeologist and metallurgist. His career includes an emeritus professorship at the University of Pennsylvania and a term as director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Read the full transcript on the Harvey Mudd College Magazine website (, along with bonus content about Professor of Engineering Emeritus Mack Gilkeson’s 1973 visit to the Cyprus Mines.





“ T hey let me

Broad Strokes

Versatile scholar finds inspiration in reinventing himself

teach things [at Harvey Mudd] that I would never have been allowed to teach elsewhere.

Written by Eric Feezell


John Molinder knows this well. In 45 years at the College, he’s taught courses in the engineering systems sequence, communication and information theory, electronics, microprocessors, and calculus, to name a few. “One of the things I liked about Harvey Mudd is that they let me teach things that I would never have been allowed to teach elsewhere,” says the recently retired James Howard Kindelberger Professor of Engineering. “We’re a small place with a non-specialized engineering program. Unless the faculty are willing to move out of their specialized areas of expertise, you can’t maintain it.” “Problems don’t come neatly packaged in disciplines,” says Molinder, who earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering. “I went through a much more specialized program. When I finished, I had to broaden out.” Molinder believes that by focusing on fundamental principles, the College’s non-specialized engineering major allows students to see applications to a wide variety of disciplines rather than only a narrow specialty. He also credits the College’s commitment to the humanities, social sciences and the arts as integral to producing well-rounded, socially responsible engineers, scientists and mathematicians. “It helps you see the big picture,” he says. “Even though you’re majoring in STEMs, you are part of the social fabric.” Molinder didn’t apply for the job at Mudd. It found him. “It actually came about because of an encounter between [Professor of Engineering Emeritus] Harry Williams and [late Caltech engineering Professor] Hardy Martel, who knew of my interest in teaching,” says Molinder, who in 1970 was working full-time at JPL and teaching a night class in the electrical engineering department at California State University, Los Angeles, after earning his PhD from Caltech. The encounter resulted in an interview at Mudd, and a two-year temporary appointment in 1970 led




Four decades of Mudders have benefited from the broad-based knowledge of engineering professor John Molinder, named an Honorary Alumnus by the Harvey Mudd Alumni Association.

to a tenured professorship by 1976. “Apparently it turned into a regular position somewhere along the line,” he says, jokingly.

The best of both worlds In addition to teaching at Harvey Mudd and spending a year as a visiting professor at Caltech, Molinder also worked professionally. For over 20 years he held a part-time position at JPL, including a year at NASA Headquarters as a detailee from JPL. He also spent a year as a principal engineer at Qualcomm and another year as a contractor at

Boeing Satellite Systems. “This enabled me to keep current with engineering practice and bring relevant tools and techniques into the classroom,” he says. Now that he’s retired, Molinder is keeping his options open. “Right now my wife and I are enjoying the transition,” he says. “We’ll see what comes next.”

Van Hecke Endowment

Approved for Tenure Darryl Yong ’96 was promoted to professor with continuous tenure. He joined the Department of Mathematics as a visiting professor in 2000 before being hired full time in 2003. Yong’s main research is in mathematics education, specifically in the recruitment, training and professional development of teachers through the Math for America Los Angeles program. His other research interests include asymptotic analysis, numerical analysis and applied mathematics. He also serves as associate dean for diversity.


alumni, members of the Alumni Association Board of Governors and friends came together this spring to establish the Gerald R. Van Hecke ’61 Endowment for the Advancement of Chemistry, in honor of Van Hecke’s 45-year legacy of teaching, research, mentorship, administration and service to the College. Fellow Founding Class member Don Gross ’61 proposed the endowment, and the response was strong, with contributions exceeding $160,000—well over the $100,000 goal. Funds from the endowment will be used at the discretion of the chemistry department chair for summer research, lab equipment, attendance at scientific meetings or general departmental support. An overflow crowd of friends and colleagues surprised Van Hecke with an award ceremony during Alumni Weekend 2015. Van Hecke expressed gratitude for the honor. “If I’ve touched your life in some way, that’s great,” he said. “Go forward. Keep doing it.”

Reappointments A donor plaque honors Jerry Van Hecke ’61 “for his 45-year legacy of teaching, research, mentorship, administration and service to the College.”

Eight Left Feet? With students from Harvey Mudd and Pitzer Colleges and Professor of Biology Stephen Adolph, Associate Professor of Biology Anna Ahn conducted a study on how temperature affects movement in Texas brown tarantulas. Ahn and her team hypothesized that the Texas brown tarantula would either decrease coordination under colder conditions and/or decrease coordination under warmer ones. Spiders inflate their joints with hemolymph—a fluid analogous to blood in vertebrates—in order to facilitate joint movement, in the same way hydraulic

fluid serves to propel robotic limbs by shooting in and out. As temperatures drop, fluid viscosity increases, explaining why spiders run slower in colder conditions and faster in hot ones. However, the team also discovered that when the spider ran more rapidly at higher temperatures, it did so more unsteadily, suggesting the coordination of multiple, in-series hydraulically actuated joints may limit running speed. “The hydraulic mechanism may hinder joint extension at very high stride frequencies, suggesting an upper limit to how fast they can extend their legs using hydraulics and perform essential cyclic activities like running or prey capture,” says Ahn. In addition to spider ecology, the design of multi-legged walking machines has incorporated biologically inspired hydraulically extended joints. The advantages of minimizing space and lowering leg mass of hydraulically extended joints in a leg system may be offset by the potential disadvantage of reduced control at faster stride frequencies.

James Boerkoel, who directs the newly formed Human Experience and Agent Teamwork Lab, receives his first reappointment as assistant professor of computer science. The mission of the HEATlab is to create new techniques for human-robot teaming—the flexible navigation and coordination of complex, inter-related activities in shared spaces. Prior to joining Harvey Mudd in 2013, he worked as a postdoctoral associate with the Interactive Robotics Group at MIT. Vivien Hamilton receives her second reappointment as assistant professor of history of science. Hired in 2011, Hamilton teaches a range of courses in the history of science, technology and medicine. She explores how individuals from different disciplinary cultures have collaborated on scientific and technical problems, with a focus on the collaboration of physicists and doctors in the first decades following the discovery of X-rays in 1895. Benjamin Wiedermann receives his second reappointment as assistant professor of computer science. Hired in 2012 after a yearlong visiting professorship, Wiedermann’s research focuses on new ways to help more people write programs.





Faculty Appointed to Professorships TWO FACULTY MEMBERS were named

to endowed faculty chairs, among the highest recognition accorded to a faculty member. Mathemagician Art Benjamin is the inaugural holder of the Smallwood Family Chair, an endowed professorship established to recognize and support the work of an outstanding faculty member in engineering, mathematics or computer science. An important addition to the $150 million Campaign for Harvey Mudd College, the Smallwood Family Chair was established by Scott R. and Carol Ann Smallwood P17. Their gift recognizes and supports the work of an outstanding Harvey Mudd faculty member, distinguished in his/her field and in his/her service to the College through teaching, research and service to the broader community.

Even Better Undergrad Research “Many institutions aspire to emulate Harvey Mudd’s long tradition of high-quality, collaborative student–faculty research, a tradition of which we are immensely proud,” says Kerry Karukstis, co-author of a helpful new journal edition on effective practices for undergraduate



Benjamin, an expert in algorithms, combinatorics, game theory and operations research, is recognized nationally for his ability to perform rapid mental calculations. He has lectured and performed for audiences around the world and has published several books on how to make math both fun and easy, including Proofs That Really Count. In recognition of her outstanding leadership and engineering expertise, Elizabeth Orwin ’95 has been named James Howard Kindelberger Professor of Engineering at Harvey Mudd College. Orwin chairs the Department of Engineering and also directs the Engman Fellowship Program in Bioengineering, which trains students in biomedical engineering research and device design. She specializes in biomedical engi-

research and increased STEM student academic and career success. “Enhancing and Expanding Undergraduate Research: A Systems Approach” documents selected educational institutions’ pathways to accomplishing growth in undergraduate research. The journal is based on findings from a study of national initiatives of the Council on Undergraduate Research and appears in the spring 2015 issue of New Directions for Higher Education. In addition to sharing Harvey Mudd’s model of success, Karukstis also disseminates strategies learned from other schools and consortia. “There are always ways for us to enhance student learning and faculty professional development through undergraduate research experiences,” she says.

neering and has worked in industry on the research and development of a novel protein matrix for woundhealing applications. Orwin teaches Introduction to Engineering Design (E4) and Introduction to Engineering Systems (E59), as well as several tech electives, and has developed courses and programming in biomedical engineering. The Kindelberger endowment is devoted in perpetuity to the support of top-ranking engineering faculty to ensure that Harvey Mudd students are educated and prepared for future technological leadership. The first holder of this professorship was Emeritus Professor Jack L. Alford, one of the originators of Harvey Mudd’s Clinic Program.

NCWIT Awards Assistant Professor of Computer Science Colleen Lewis received the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) 2015 Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award for a junior faculty member. The annual award recognizes outstanding mentorship, high-quality research opportunities, recruitment of women and minority students and efforts to encourage and advance undergraduates in computing-related fields. Lewis undertook her first mentorship experience as a graduate student, hiring and working side by side with undergraduate researchers on a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Now in her third year as assistant professor at Harvey Mudd, she has mentored about

50 undergraduates, most of them women. Nineteen of her research students have co-authored published papers with her. An additional 10 have presented conference posters. Several faculty members received the 2015 NCWIT Engagement Excellence Award, sponsored by Google. Current CS professors Zachary Dodds, Geoff Kuenning and Ran Libeskind-Hadas earned the award for materials developed for the Introduction to Computer Science course. They were lauded for curricular materials that not only demonstrate excellence in computer science content and pedagogy but also utilize research-based engagement practices to make computer science relevant and meaningful for students.

Digital Design with Muscle

High-Flying Honors


With several Harvey Mudd Bates Aeronautics Program alumni in attendance, Instructor of Aeronautics Emerita Iris Cummings Critchell joined a former president of Hughes Aircraft, a glider pioneer and the “Father of LAX” in the California Aviation Hall of Fame. Walt Foley ’69, P99 Bates Program alumnus and professional pilot, says, “I was fortunate to experience the ‘privilege of flight,’ a vision that Iris and her husband, Critch, nurtured over multiple decades. They challenged our young, impressionable, technical minds to assume command in balancing the demands airframe, avionics, weather, air traffic control, schedule, passenger experience and cost in safely executing a flight.”

former Harvey Mudd engineering Professor Sarah Harris have co-authored Digital Design and Computer Architecture: Arm Edition which takes a hands-on approach to digital design that is geared specifically toward processors developed by British software design company Advanced RISC Machines (ARM). Based on the reduced instruction set computer (RISC) architecture, ARM processors are a family of central processing units that require fewer transistors than conventional processors, reducing cost, heat and power usage—desirable traits for today’s battery-powered smartphones, laptops and tablets. The textbook will serve as the main text for the engineering courses Digital Design and Computer Architecture (E85) and Microprocessor Design (E155). “Three quarters of the world’s population own products that utilize these microprocessors,” says Harris, Harvey S. Mudd Professor of Engineering

Design and director of the Engineering Clinic Program. “ARM processor design is a great way to teach the fundamentals of computer architecture in a timely and modern context.” Harris is the author of three other textbooks on chip design. He holds a dozen patents, has written numerous papers and has designed chips at Sun Microsystems, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Evans & Sutherland.


Earthquake! With movies like San Andreas portending doomsday scenarios that are light on science and heavy on CGI effects, we decided to consult a seismic science expert. Professor of Physics Gregory Lyzenga ’75 offers some useful—and factual— information about earthquakes.

Early Warning Earthquake forecasting—estimating regional probabilities over time—is undergoing continuous refinement, but predicting their precise timing, location and size will probably never be possible, he says. Development is underway of a warning system that can alert population centers of a large earthquake seconds to minutes before the seismic waves will reach the region.

Shake, Rattle or Roll

While Driving

How we experience quakes is a question of proximity and observers’ conditions, rather than intrinsic scientific properties, says Lyzenga. Often the same earthquake is reported by nearby observers as a sharp jolt and by distant ones as rolling—a natural consequence of the way that seismic waves disperse and attenuate with distance.

If an earthquake is strong enough for you to feel in a car, it may be intense enough to damage infrastructure, bridges or roadways. Act according to conditions and stop driving if it appears dangerous to continue.

What About That Tsunami? “We do not have subduction faults in Southern California that are capable of producing magnitude 9 events,” he says, and so do not have the potential for an earthquake/tsunami scenario, as we saw in Japan in 2011. Secondary faults offshore, like those in mountain and desert regions, are potential contributors to the “overall seismic hazard,” however.

Be Calm, Be Aware Whether in or outdoors, the most probable cause of injury during an earthquake is falling objects or debris, says Lyzenga. Stay put and find cover under sturdy furniture. After a quake, look out for fallen power lines, busted gas lines, fire hazards and broken glass. “Most of it is common sense. Irrational fear during an earthquake is not helpful, and modern structures are very unlikely to collapse, so running outside is also probably not a good idea,” he says.




Above and Beyond

Expanding students’ post-college readiness is a team effort. Photos by Heidi Bird


but the addition of bubbles to the all-campus presentation of extracurricular and student-support organizations gave the festivities that extra pop. As did the bubble gum. The clever enticements presented by Office of Career Services (OCS) staff during fall 2014 were designed to draw attention to a new program devised to prepare students for life after they leave the Harvey Mudd College campus, sometimes considered a protective “bubble.” The staff decided to call the program “Beyond the Bubble: Life After HMC” and offer students the opportunity to hear presentations from a diverse group of speakers— employers, alumni and Claremont community members—eager to share their expertise and contribute to students’ professional development. The program includes five series that coincide with the Beyond the Bubble theme: “Bubbling Over (Landing Your Dream Internship or Job)”; “Thought Bubbles (Test Your Career IQ)”; “Bubble Up (Personal Bootstrapping)”; “Bursting the Bubble (Real Advice for the Mudd-to-World Transition)”; and “Economic Bubble (Adventures in Finance).” During fall and spring, up to four seminars were offered in each series during the lunch or dinner hours. Google and Deloitte Consulting got the series off to a strong start with seminars on interviewing. Scott Ellsworth ’89 and Daniel Fielder ’11 from Google talked about mastering a technical interview while Ilona Phipps-Morgan ’13 and fellow consultants from Deloitte discussed bubbling to the top—or standing out—in a case interview. Computer science major Bruce Yan ’15 attended the popular session. “During the Deloitte case interview seminar, it was most students’ first time solving a consulting case,” he says. “They quickly formed groups to tackle the case exercise and realized that even with little to no business background, they could solve it with teamwork and logical problem solving skills. The BTB seminars really help Mudders see life beyond HMC.” Campus offices and student groups collaborated with OCS on several seminars. One featured a



Students were eager to hear Karl Haushalter’s talk about summer research.

panel with staff from the Harvey Mudd Office of Institutional Diversity (OID), the Claremont University Consortium’s Queer Resource Center and Harvey Mudd’s LGBTQ student organization PRISM. Another student club, Entrepremudders, worked with OCS to present an investor who discussed fundraising. The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations collaborated with OCS to offer a graduate school panel, featuring Nick Evans ’07 (UCLA Anderson School of Management/business administration), Claire O’Hanlon ’09 (Pardee RAND Graduate School/policy analysis), Kenny Buyco ’13 (Caltech/civil engineering) and J. Chance Crompton ’13 (Caltech/chemistry). Wendy Menefee-Libey, director of the Writing Center, conducted a seminar on writing effective personal statements. Health and wellness staff Qutayba Abdullatif and Evelyn Cho as well as Cynthia Beckwith, assistant vice president for human resources, also offered

seminars. Karl Haushalter, associate dean for research and experiential learning, held two sessions about summer research that drew over 200 first- and second-year students. Two employers that actively recruit on campus returned to hold Beyond the Bubble seminars. REAL Software’s CEO Kent Sahin shared how to land one’s ideal position, and Laserfiche’s university recruiter Laura Victoria talked about finding the right fit. Later, during spring, Victoria received the first Dean of Students Leadership Award for Outstanding Contribution to Harvey Mudd College, which recognizes an employer’s contribution to the College’s mission to develop students as leaders in their chosen fields. As the series grew in popularity, the OCS staff lined up more seminars. “It was fairly easy to engage employers and to get alumni to participate, and students were very responsive,” says Judy

Craig Byrnes ’88 discusses contract negotiation.

“ T he Beyond the Bubble seminars really help Mudders see life beyond HMC. ” – BRUCE YAN ’15

Fisher, director of OCS. The staff’s goal of offering a different approach to delivering career education resonated with students. Computer science major Marcelanne Gaebler ’17 found the sessions helpful. “They provide practical advice about things that we don’t usually have to engage in every day, so they’re good for preparing us for those areas where we have less experience,” she says. Robert Linden ’18 was pleased with the insight and perspective he gained from the talks: “It’s good to get started early thinking about these things.” During spring, participants benefited from presentations by more student clubs, including environmental group ESW/MOSS, which co-sponsored presentations by Arne Ballantine ’90 of Bloom Energy and David Gross ’08 of eSolar. OCS and OID worked together on OID’s new program “Are You World-Ready?,” and Victoria (Laserfiche) returned to conduct a seminar with Donald Delgado of CUC’s International Place to offer career fair advice to international students. Students heard from seniors Bruce Yan, Michael Baeder, Victor Bhattacharyya and Kristina Ming about their job-search experiences and learned practical cooking tips from dining hall Chef Mike Telleria and Nancy Culbertson, assistant manager.

Through its own connections and with the help of the alumni and parent relations office, the OCS was able to find many alumni eager to present seminars: Benson Tsai ’06, co-founder of Motiv Power Systems; Ben Ver Steeg ’98, co-founder/ VP of TruTouch Technologies; and Jonathan Schwartz ’13 of Body Labs. Crompton returned to join career counselor Jonie Tsuji in a discussion about preparing grad school applications. Alumna Emily Roberts ’07 flew in from the East Coast (Duke University) to offer a seminar on how to finance graduate school. Lindsay Wray ’08 and Loren Perelman ’02 attended the career fair to represent their company Bolt Threads and, while on campus, they conducted a seminar about careers in science. As the result of a LinkedIn alumni group post calling for Mudder attorneys, the OCS heard from Craig Byrnes ’88, employment litigator and former engineer for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His seminar on employment contracts, non-competition agreements “and other legal stuff” was a huge hit, and the OCS is working on a return engagement. Several other alumni returned to campus due to their company’s participation: Amanda Rainer ’06 and Marc Davidson ’10 were on the Apple panel; Jimmy Retzlaff ’91 and Jessica Stringham ’13

joined their Yelp colleagues to give tips about being successful at career fairs. To encourage students to continue taking advantage of the strong Mudd network, alumni and parent relations staff conducted the popular seminar “Muddworking: Connecting With Alumni Throughout Your Mudd Experience.” Fisher is planning 2015–2016 seminars, seeking volunteers—high on her list is someone to discuss financial planning—and working to build upon the initial success of the program. “We’re pleased that Beyond the Bubble has provided valuable insights and knowledge for the next generation of leaders as they embark on their life journey,” says Fisher.

Want to volunteer for a session to help equip future leaders? Visit the OCS website, scroll down to “Call for Presenters” and review the suggested seminars or suggest your own.




The Value of Hands-on Learning RESEARCH





An ultrasonic device, traps, coyote urine, plastic and aluminum mesh coverings—none of it worked. Why not try a BB gun? a friend suggested. All of these methods—save the BB gun—did nothing to dissuade hungry squirrels from the figs, loquats, peaches, apricots and lemons in the Pasadena, California, yard of Okitsugu Furuya, professor of engineering. Could there really be no effective and economical device to deter determined squirrels, he asked? Frustrated, Furuya enlisted students in the Introduction to Engineering Design and Manufacturing (E4) class to create a non-lethal, non-harmful device to prevent squirrels from eating the fruit from his trees. Three teams of up to four first-years devised clever methods to physically protect the ripe fruits from squirrels. They sought to create contraptions that were aesthetically pleasing, low-maintenance, non-lethal and inexpensive. Students tested scents and flashing lights and considered shiny items (mirrors, CDs) and buzzers. After hearing all the presentations, Furuya decided to employ a method proposed by all teams: a scent deterrent. He’s installed lunch bags filled with Irish Spring soap to his fig tree and is monitoring it closely in the hopes that he’ll be able to enjoy more of his fruit this season.





Clockwise: Michaela Yaman ’18 and Kristin Lie ’18 install and test sheet metal on a tree trunk as a squirrel deterrent. Professor Furuya tried one of the suggested squirrel deterrents—Irish Spring soap—on his fig trees and was able to harvest a bountiful crop. “The students’ brilliant idea worked,” he says. The diagram shows one team’s wiffle ball/soap solution.


A Model Performance

Eun Bin Go ’15


Novel Compounds A chemistry and biology joint major, Eun Bin Go ’15 knew nothing about tetracyclic scaffolds when she joined chemistry Professor David Vosburg’s lab in her sophomore year. But by her senior year, she was an award-winning researcher. Not only was she recognized by the Department of Chemistry with numerous awards and by the National Science Foundation with a Graduate Research Fellowship honorable mention, she received The Claremont Colleges Library Undergraduate Research Award (senior award in the sciences) for establishing “a remarkably direct and flexible approach to a whole class of beautiful and medicinally relevant compounds.” Her research on “Synthesis of the Tetracyclic Scaffolds of the Endiandric Acids Through Iterative Cross-Coupling” should provide access to antimalarial, antibacterial, antitubercular and anti-inflammatory natural products found in plants, says Vosburg. “Eun Bin designed and executed a remarkably creative and successful senior thesis project, making two complex, medicinally interesting molecules,” he says. “Neither of these compounds had ever been made before. Facing challenges that my research group has struggled with for nearly 10 years, she generated independent strategies to approach her targets and took complete intellectual ownership of the project. Some of the major chemical methods she employed have appeared in Nature Chemistry

in 2014 and most recently in the cover story for Science (March 13, 2015). The goal of this approach is to make building complex molecules as easy as assembling LEGO blocks. Using the general methods developed by Marty Burke’s group at the University of Illinois, Eun Bin successfully applied them to an even more challenging case.” Of her initial inexperience, Go says, “I slowly learned as I spent time in lab and saw the work that was being done by more experienced students. One thing I appreciate about Harvey Mudd is its support for undergraduate research experience, and it is not difficult for students to develop a strong understanding of their research topics, which they may not initially know much about.” She pursued research during several academic years and a summer at Harvey Mudd and during a summer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, learning different approaches to making molecules. Go returns to New York City for the Tri-Institutional PhD program in Chemical Biology, a graduate program offered jointly by Weill Cornell Medical College, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University that focuses on research at the interface of chemistry and biology. “There, I hope to apply small organic molecules in studying important biological problems, like mechanisms of pathogenesis/tumorigenesis and drug resistance,” says Go.

Several Mudd teams competed in the 2015 Mathematical and Interdisciplinary Contests in Modeling (MCM/ICM) and to great success. Teammates Matthew Dannenberg ’16, Justin Lee ’16 and Micah Pedrick ’17 earned a rare Finalist designation in the ICM—the second-highest scoring percentile. After crunching 30 equations with 2,500 variables, producing 1,382 lines of MATLAB code and a 20-page technical report, and downing two gallons of Goldfish crackers and eight Twinkies, they created a model to monitor organizational turnover with the intent of aiding managers in employee recruitment. Their findings included: It’s better to fire incompetent employees and search for a new hire than to keep an underperformer; and, it’s better to promote current employees to management positions than to hire an external individual to the position. “It was a fantastically fun experience, and it was really awesome to program some stuff into the model, run those equations and see other behavior that we had never even thought of,” says Pedrick. The trio toiled with six other Harvey Mudd teams over 96 consecutive hours. Each team wrote a formal paper on one of the contest problems, which included eradicating Ebola, searching for a lost plane and sustainable engineering. Findings were judged on scientific and mathematical accuracy, clarity of exposition, insight and creativity. “What I loved about this year’s contests is that the problems really focused on issues that are currently receiving global attention,” says Susan Martonosi, MCM/ICM coordinator and associate professor of mathematics. In the MCM, one Harvey Mudd team earned Meritorious honors and the other Honorable Mention (top 42 percent). In the ICM, two teams received Meritorious honors (top 17 percent).

Micah Pedrick ’17, Matthew Dannenberg ’16 and Justin Lee ’16





Building A Hybrid If you’d wandered onto the property east of The Claremont Colleges on a bright fall morning in 2014, you might have gotten something of a wake-up call: the ear-deafening, 200-Newton thrust of a hybrid rocket motor being tested by Harvey Mudd students. The Experimental Hybrid Propulsion System is a continuing Shanahan Student-Directed Project that aims to design, build and test a throttleable hybrid rocket motor. Under the advisement of Professor of Physics Gregory Lyzenga ’75, a student research team sought to improve upon the design of the motor’s oxidizer plumbing system, consulting with several well-known rocket manufac-

turers in the process. Contributors were Benjamin Chasnov ’16, Jessica Chen ’15, Andrew Donelick ’15, Christopher Hirlinger ’15, Yeahmoon Hong ’16 and Jonpaul Littleton ’15. A hybrid rocket motor is a rocket propulsion system that burns a solid fuel and a liquid oxidizer to achieve thrust. The goal is to control the thrust of the motor at any point in time, so that it can be programmed to follow variable thrust curves. Team members continued progress from the previous year, upgrading various motor components, evaluating performance through static tests, analyzing different fuel grains’ effect on thrust and implementing a throttling control system.


Gamer’s Delight Think you know the Libra Complex well enough to navigate past flying robots and find your E4 hammer parts? Sound like a game? It is! Matterport Clinic liaison Mike Beebe ’01 tasked one Harvey Mudd team with demonstrating applications that showcase the company’s unique ability to create models of interior spaces using its high-end 3-D cameras. The team liked the idea of an application that transports gamers to fun, familiar settings—for example, an immersive video game set on campus. Segment by segment, the team 3-D photographed the labyrinthine complex. The results were then uploaded to Matterport’s servers for the creation of a 3-D model. Working in that model, seniors Kevin Choi, Sisi Cheng, Emma Davis, Noelle Fa-Kaji (SCR) and Alden Weaver (SCR) each created a “mini game” to master individual



mechanics—projectile throwing, item pickup, inverted navigation—which they then combined to produce a final game based on the most exciting, most workable components. The result is Disorientation, an iOS game set in the Libra Complex, where the player, an incoming first year at Orientation, is guided by email to complete a series of interwoven, HMC-specific tasks. Players gather gems to buy lab goggles, defeat escaped LAIR robots (“bad programming”) and assemble raw hammer parts. Designed for iPad, Disorientation requires users to stand to navigate, making them more actively involved in gameplay. It also features a good dose of HMC humor, including colorful parody emails from the engineering department and infamous email odor notifications.

Matterport Clinic team


Chute for the Stars Blue Origin LLC, a private space flight company that is developing technologies to enable human access to space, approached one Harvey Mudd Clinic team with a high-flying challenge: investigate alternatives to the explosive charges typically used to deploy drogue parachutes from spacecraft, and do so at lower cost and weight. Drogue parachutes are one of two sets of parachutes designed to ensure a rocket’s crew capsule returns safely to Earth after launch. Drogue chutes deploy first, initially slowing and stabilizing the craft and acting as the mechanism for pulling out the larger main parachutes. “As the vehicle approaches maximum height, or apogee, the crew capsule separates from the propulsion module,” explains Peter Orme ’15. “It continues on its own apogee above that of the propulsion module, eventually descending back to Earth with these two parachute deployments.” Orme—along with Spenser Anderson ’16, Sam DeRose ’16, Matt Espy ’15, Sherman Lam ’16, Bryan Mehall ’16 and Ryland Miller ’15—developed and validated a numerical model to help determine a prototype that would satisfy weight and cost objectives without violating safety constraints. The result of their research is a prototype that employs the rapid release of a compressed fluid to deploy the parachute. Using pressurized gaseous nitrogen, a fast-acting, high-


Who Dunnit? One of MITRE Corporation’s focuses is biometrics, the study of human identification, which includes fingerprint matching. MITRE asked seniors Martin Loncaric, Sarah Scheffler, Jordan Varney and Christopher Eriksen to create a mathematical model for testing fingerprint quality with regard to automated fingerprint iden-

flow-rate solenoid valve opens and instantaneously triggers deployment from a mortar tube containing the parachute. “Tests of the system show that we successfully hit our target exit velocities underneath our constrained reaction loads with every expected pressure,” says

Espy. “This system is much cheaper than the current design for a comparable weight, and Blue Origin has indicated to us they would like to perform further research on this design and, if that is positive, possibly integrate it into a future space capsule.”

Blue Origin Clinic team

tification system (AFIS) matching and assess the performance of various quality features. “You see in the movies they put the fingerprint into the software and then, 30 seconds later, they know who the culprit is,” says Varney. “That is not how it works at all!” It’s a time-consuming process. An AFIS sorts through millions of unusable prints to hone in on potential matches. The team needed to build a model that could quantify the quality of “latent” fingerprints and eliminate unusable ones from consideration, thereby increasing search efficiency. Unlike exemplar prints, which are complete (taken at DMV, for example) and get stored in a database for identification purposes, latents are usually left by accident (at a crime scene, for example) and are often too smudged or incomplete for reliable identification. After a latent is lifted from a crime scene, an AFIS compares it to millions of stored exemplars to find a match. Using fingerprint ridge bifurcation—generally called “minutiae”—to compare each print, it returns

closely matching exemplars on a ranked list. The closest are then given to experts for examination with a human eye. “As you can see, this could take a lot of time,” says Varney. Eliminating more latents not suitable for AFIS identification would streamline the process. Using image processing and statistical techniques, the team analyzed five components of latent minutiae quality and input these data into a mathematical model, which then crunched the independent scores into one final score for quality assessment. The powerful model rejected nearly 40 percent of unusable prints (99 percent confidence), creating substantial time savings. “We’ve created a model that effectively incorporates multiple features,” says Loncaric. “It doesn’t just rely on one feature and come up with a heuristic score. It crunches that information down into a human-interpretable statistic: the chance that a latent will give us a meaningful result running it on AFIS.”




Devon Stork ’15 chemistry and biology


being a place where collaboration—rather than competition—thrives, where relationships matter? Well, it’s not just talk. Here to demonstrate just how important relationships are to a Harvey Mudd education are two of the many outstanding seniors from the Class of 2015. In order to excel academically and participate in community service and extracurricular activities, they relied on a broad network of scholars, mentors, friends and family who, they say, are key to their achievements as undergraduates.

Activities: Science Bus; interned at Rice University-Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering; supported by the Shanahan Project fund to build a turbidostat with Andrew Gibiansky ’15 Awards: Brandenburger Prize (biology), Dotty and Art Campbell Prize(chemistry), Phi Lambda Upsilon, department honors in biology and chemistry Next: Attending the Harvard PhD program “Molecules, Cells and Organisms,” where he looks forward to working in some of the university’s prestigious synthetic biology labs, including David Liu’s.

Priya Donti ’15 computer science and mathematics

Activities: Homework Hotline, Writing Center, Science Bus, ESW/MOSS, Mudders Making a Difference, DUCK! Improv Awards: Jean and Joseph Platt Freshman Prize, Udall Foundation Honorable Mention, Computing Research Association Undergraduate Research Award, National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, Thomas J. Watson Fellowship (studying smart grid technology), department honors and awards Next: Traveling to four countries (Germany, India, South Korea and Chile) to study smart grid technology and policy as part of the Watson Fellowship, then on to Carnegie Mellon University on an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue multidisciplinary work using artificial intelligence.



My family—my parents in particular—supported me unfailingly through the ups and downs at Mudd. No matter how often I called or visited home (or didn’t do those things), I knew my family was always there for me.

Professor Karl Haushalter (chemistry and biology), an amazing academic and research advisor, provided me with great laboratory experiences and put me in contact with very important people so I could continue work outside of Mudd. He was my go-to contact for things like internship applications and graduate school interviews.

Professor Jae Hur (biology) was a great mentor, and he taught me what it means to be part of the academic community. He invited me to co-write a paper, which was published last summer, and I had my first intensive seminar with him.

Professor Aaron Leconte (Keck Science Department/ chemistry) helped me develop my specific interest in synthetic biology. I took his class on directed evolution and talked to him a lot outside of class about various cool science topics. He’s the one who first told me about the lab of Harvard scientist David Liu, for whom I’d like to work.

Troy Hansgen (facilities and maintenance) as well as professors Richard Haskell, Sam Tanenbaum, Paul Steinberg and all other faculty and staff who worked closely with ESW/MOSS. Troy and professors Haskell, Tanenbaum and Steinberg went out of their way to help me and the other ESW/MOSS students grow as environmentalists and leaders.

My fellow ESW/MOSS members were a huge part of my life at HMC. I met fellow Mudders who were passionate about the environment and had the pleasure of working with them to make the community more sustainable. Dustin Zubke ’13 in particular was a huge inspiration. He led the movement for a 5-C water reclamation system and proved to me that student activities could have a lasting impact at the colleges. He also mentored me during the Watson Fellowship application process.

Andrew Gibiansky ’15 (mathematics) has been a close friend of mine since first year, and we were roommates as juniors. He’s been a great sounding board for me to develop some interesting ideas, and I’ve at least nodded at the right times when he’s talking to me. He provided the necessary computer and engineering experience for my Shanahan Project, a small-scale bioreactor that keeps cells at a constant density. 

Outside of academics, a bunch of friends have entertained and de-stressed me, keeping me sane and relatively balanced. These include the greater East Dorm community and all the people with whom I’ve discussed fiction and played Dungeons & Dragons and board and video games.

Christian Stevens ’14 (chemistry and biology) was a great role model during the three years we overlapped in the Haushalter Lab. He gave me lots of great laboratory advice.

I’ve taken several formative classes with Professor Daniel Stoebel (biology), including intro biology lab, molecular genetics and biochemistry seminar. I also graded a few of his classes and worked with him throughout my Shanahan Project.

The dining services staff and dorm attendants. Not only do they care for (and deal with) us students, but they do it with a smile!

The CS department, especially professors Jim Boerkoel, Ran Libeskind-Hadas and Elizabeth “Z” Sweedyk. I came to Mudd with barely any background in computer science, but thanks to the CS department am leaving as a confident computer scientist.

Wendy Menefee-Libey and the Writing Centaurs. The Writing Center was like a family, including Wendy, who always had the students’ best interests in mind.

Many friends, including Lucy Lu ’15, my roommate and suitemate all four years. Mudd is a roller coaster, and my friends were there with me through all of it.

The many personalities in Midnight Echo. When Mudd got stressful, I knew I could always fall back upon music and my quirky a cappella group to get me through.












Sights and Sounds

Wayne ’73 and Julie Drinkward Recital Hall With acoustics that rival some of the best concert venues, the Wayne ’73 and Julie Drinkward Recital Hall provides an intimate, stylish home to concert series, recitals and other artistic performances, all free to students and the surrounding Claremont community. The hall was named in recognition of Wayne A. Drinkward ’73, chair of the board of trustees, and his wife, Julie, who donated $2 million in support of the R. Michael Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning. Shanahan Center designers Boora Architects and acoustical engineer Jaffe Holden created a sustainable, featurefilled space that elicits rave reviews from performers and audiences alike.





Ceiling Reflectors

The ceiling is covered by 21 wooden ceiling reflectors in four different sizes and shapes. The reflectors above the performers are the largest and most closely spaced, designed to reflect sound out into the audience. Reflectors gradually become smaller and more widely spaced toward the back of the room, where sound reflection is no longer required. Each panel is angled slightly to bounce sound from the stage to the audience.



The recital hall hosted more than 30 performances during the 2014–2015 academic year, including one by the Claremont Chamber Choir, a select, 20-voice group led by Charles Kamm, associate professor of music, that focuses on an a cappella repertoire.


Faceted Walls

Each sidewall of the recital hall is composed of 10 separate segments in a “folded” pattern, carefully positioned to the acoustical engineer’s criteria to enhance the natural acoustics of the room and to diffuse sound energy evenly throughout the space.


Wall Slats

Surrounding the room are 3,605 linear feet of horizontal wood slats. The density and spacing of the slats vary, with the densest slats at the base of the room and the least dense closest to the ceiling. This arrangement diffuses and scatters sound energy in the lower portion of the room, while widely spaced slats at the top of the room expose more of the acoustical drapery that sits behind the open grille.


Volume Chambers and Acoustical Drapes

At the upper portion of the room, the reflective wood panels behind the slats stop, and the Hall is open to “volume chambers” behind the grille. A line of acoustical drapes can be drawn to change the volume of the room, thereby altering the acoustical performance of the space. The size of the volume chambers was carefully calculated by the acoustical engineer to allow the room to adapt its reverberation time and acoustical character to accommodate a wide range of events, including choral, string quartet and amplified electronic music performances as well as film screenings and lectures. The larger room volume, with the acoustical draperies retracted and the volume chambers open, provides the additional reverberation required for a choral or music performance. Deploying the drapes and reducing reverberation enhances voice intelligibility for spoken word or lecture uses.


No Chalk Allowed

Carefully concealed in the gaps between the ceiling reflectors are a large central projection screen and an angled secondary screen that drop to enable use of the space as a 100-seat classroom. Every seat has a tablet arm, and two oversized sliding panels in the stage wall can be drawn open to reveal a large whiteboard for instructor use (a chalkboard is not allowed in this room as the chalk dust could interfere with musical instruments and equipment).


Green Room A set of double doors leads to a Green Room, which doubles as a seminar classroom to support performers and guest speakers. The double doors were carefully sized to allow passage for the 7-foot grand piano.  


Acoustically Critical Construction

To ensure the Recital Hall’s success as a high-caliber performance space, minimizing background noise is crucial. “Double layer” walls, composed of 8” solid concrete wall plus an interior stud wall with three layers of drywall, enclose the room and ensure that noise from adjacent spaces will not intrude. The ceiling is suspended from the concrete structure above with spring isolators to absorb any vibrations or sound energy before they can enter the room.


Mechanical System

Keeping 100 audience members comfortable is critical but tricky, since air moving in mechanical ductwork creates noise that can be especially noticeable when a room is acoustically isolated from adjacent spaces. The hall is cooled by air supplied at very low velocity to a plenum under the tiered floor, and openings in the risers allow cool air to spill out and cool occupants, while the air in the upper portion of the room—above people’s heads—remains warmer. This strategy uses less energy (since it only cools the air that people actually inhabit) and is extremely quiet, which is especially important for a performance space.





Making Lemonade

Community partners of all ages work with Mudders to transform complex challenges into tantalizing solutions Written by Lia King Photo by Keenan Gilson


summer teaching math to the kids of some of her high school teachers. When one of the parents wrote a blog post about the success of these sessions, Sinclair got a call from a woman in San Diego, wondering if she’d stage a science- and maththemed birthday party for her 6-year-old son. By then, Sinclair was a first year at Harvey Mudd. She enlisted her friend, Lisa Yin ’17, to go to San Diego with her, and together they put on a birthday party complete with baking soda and vinegar volcanoes and the makings of invisible ink. It was a lot of fun, she says, and the duo was determined to teach together again. “At the end of my freshman year, I went to [mathematics] Professor Michael Orrison to ask about teaching opportunities, and he suggested teaching math to elementary school kids,” Sinclair says. Sinclair again turned to Yin, and they embarked upon an independent study with Orrison, reading papers by mathematicians about best and worst strategies for teaching math and developing a curriculum for the lessons they were going to teach to Jean Merrill’s third graders at Chaparral Elementary School in Claremont. “Professor Orrison helped us come up with broad goals for what we hoped students would take away, based on what had worked with two Mudd students [Elly Schofield ’13 and Nate Pinsky ’13] who’d taught in Jean’s classroom before. We used those goals generally, but we definitely brainstormed new, specific lessons of our own,” Yin says. Sinclair and Yin based their lesson plans around the concept of ratios. “You learn how much skill it takes to be a good third grade teacher,” Sinclair says. “Jean had to translate for us. For instance, the students didn’t know what a ratio was, but they did know about fractions. They were really excited to answer questions. Hands shot up in the air.” Merrill seconds that observation. “Third grade—8- and 9-year-olds—is a wonderful age.



Dina Sinclair ’17 and Lisa Yin ’17 brought ideas from their science- and math-themed birthday party business to the third-grade class of Jean Merrill at Chaparral Elementary School in Claremont.

Every new concept is exciting to them. I told Dina and Lisa, ‘I bet you’ve learned just as much as the kids in the class have.’ It was a big step back in time for these women. They are incredible students themselves, but they had to get used to bringing it back to a level that’s understandable for third grade. For instance, the kids didn’t know where a decimal point was on a calculator.” Everything that Sinclair and Yin did in the classroom had a hands-on component to it. They brought in multi-media presentations, visual aids, information sheets and data sheets. Their lessons focused on ratios in different ways: planetary distance in space, probability with rolling dice, octaves in music and taking a recipe for lemonade and increasing it. “They’ve been great. Realistically, when you do this fulltime, you just don’t have the time to do these amazing lessons,” says Merrill. “Dina and Lisa have put such time and energy into their lesson plans.” Yin remembers the lemonade lesson fondly. “Some kids were surprised by how much sugar we

were putting in,” she says. “And one kid said it was better than his mom’s lemonade!” “They showed so much enthusiasm for things we take for granted,” Sinclair says. “There was a moment in our first lesson when we were talking about scaling factors and trying to scale the planetary system down to the size of the classroom—in other words, convert from millions of kilometers. So we had them take out their calculators and divide 8 meters (the length of the classroom) by 4,500 million kilometers, and they got 0.00178. They’d never seen such a small number on a calculator before!” Gabriela Gamiz of Harvey Mudd’s Office of Community Engagement says what excites her is seeing the Mudd students’ independent study with Professor Orrison bring math and education to a crossroads. “When I see a student take the initiative for an independent study class that comes from their mind and their heart, it means a lot. To design a class that taps into that passion, to generate something from scratch, is just amazing.”

Feedback: Essential to the Mix Using the passion they have for technology, students are creating viable solutions for community partners in Jim Boerkoel’s computer science class, User Interface Design. Boerkoel, an assistant professor of computer science, places particular emphasis in his course on accessibility, global awareness, cultural sensitivity and interface design as a tool for challenging stereotypes of marginalized social groups. He received funding to create the class from the Holen Community Engagement Fund, which supports Harvey Mudd faculty in the development of courses related to community engagement. “The first semester (fall 2014) we ran it as a website development class, basically,” says Boerkoel. “Gabriela Gamiz connected us to three local organizations: Claremont Homeless Advocacy Program, Real Connections and Project Caring and Sharing. We realized the students’ projects provided some real value to our community partners—two of which have launched their new websites—but I think our students were antsy to have more application development experience. So, during spring 2015, we re-ran the same class but instead focused on developing mobile applications. Students chose whether to develop a mobile iOS or Android application.” Vanessa Ronan ’15, a computer science major, worked with the organization Bike San Gabriel Valley to develop an app that kids can use to invite one another to go on bike rides. “Jonathan Rodriguez from Bike SGV thought it would be cool if the app could be used in the classroom, too, so teachers could track the kids’ progress and give them rewards in class if they biked a lot that week—make it kind of a competition. He’s talked with some middle schools in El Monte about it already,” Ronan says. She notes that there were many more female than male students in the class, a confirmation of Boerkoel’s hunch that the class would be popular among typically underrepresented computer science majors and off-campus majors. “It was more of a creative class,” Ronan says. Ronan, who graduated in May and is launching an interior design startup called Decorater, a platform to crowd-source interior design, noted that for her the most challenging—and ultimately rewarding—part of Boerkoel’s class was user testing. “Our very first assignment was to go out and interview people,” she says. “I tend to be shy and

 hen I see a student take the initiative for an “W

independent study class that comes from their mind and their heart, it means a lot. To design a class that taps into that passion, to generate something from scratch, is just amazing.


thought I would hate it, but it was very helpful.” Her design team asked kids in the Claremont Village to use the app to do three tasks. The team then noted the results and steered their design away from what the kids found difficult. “The point is to try to make the app intuitive. One button of our design had an icon on it that the kids couldn’t identify (a list of bike logs that looked like a book), so we turned it into the words ‘Bike Log,’ which is a place for the user to list all the bike rides they’ve taken. “So now when I’m designing the app and the website for my company, instead of just assuming the design is good, I’m definitely going to do some user testing,” she adds. She did so during a summer meeting of Harvey Mudd’s Entrepreneurial Network (HMCEN), a gathering of mostly alumni who share startup stories. Mackenzie Leake SCR ’15, worked with Community Senior Services, an organization that maintains a database of services for area seniors. She also saw the value in user testing for her project. “The focus was on designing the app and making it really accessible to our potential users,” she says.

“They had a strong vision of what they wanted. We would send design ideas to our contact, Abby Castillo, and she gave us feedback. We also did user testing with three seniors at Community Senior Services, who let us know their number one frustration was with small text size, and number two was with small button size. They also pointed out concerns they had, like making sure that it’s easy to navigate back. We learned, when in doubt, make the buttons bigger!” Leake was drawn to working on a project for Community Senior Services because it’s a cause she believes in. She thinks it’s important to step away from coding and think more about the people that one’s product will serve. “I’d like students to produce something that’s motivating and useful,” says Boerkoel. “Students are used to projects with clean, well-defined goals that get graded against a ‘right answer.’ With community service, there’s a natural frustration with not having well-defined goals or a right answer—and an opportunity there. I think that’s powerful.”





Watson Winner to Study Poverty FASCINATED BY WHAT CAUSES POVERTY, engineering

graduate Sophia Williams ’15 has been given a tremendous opportunity to seek solutions to this daunting global issue. During her Thomas J. Watson Fellowship year, she will visit communities in Jordan, India, Kenya, Greece and Chile to talk with people in order to learn whether various forms of aid have actually helped to improve quality of life. Williams intends to focus on microloans, small businesses, direct grants and their efficacy. “By working with NGOs and aid organizations, I will be able to directly access people who’ve received these forms of aid,” she says. Williams has been intrigued by poverty since high school, when she spent eight weeks in Paraguay with Amigos de las Americas

teaching health and environmental education courses to children. Williams says she witnessed a substantial disconnect between what nonprofits and governments think that people in poverty need and what they actually do need. A Harvey Mudd President’s Scholar, Williams served as a campus leader in several organizations, including Summer Institute and Future Achievers in Science and Technology, and was a mentor for Atwood Dorm and a Dos Muchacho. Priya Donti ’15 (joint computer science/mathematics) also received a Watson Fellowship and plans to study the cultural and social ramifications of renewable energy policy. For more about Donti, see page 22. Sophia Williams ’15

Next-Gen Professors Two Harvey Mudd College students are benefiting from an initiative of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that aims to increase faculty diversity at The Claremont Colleges by supporting underrepresented students to pursue careers as professors. Cesar Orellana ’17 and Willie Zuniga ’17 were among 10 inaugural winners of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program based on demonstrated academic ability and stated aspiration to pursue a doctoral degree in their respective fields. The MMUF Program provides academic and co-curricular support through events, faculty mentors, stipends for research and repayment of undergraduate loans. Orellana, who is majoring in mathematics with an emphasis on operations research and systems engineering, is interested in graduate-level mathematics that marries math and engineering. This summer, he worked in the Engman Fellowship lab with engineering Professor Liz Orwin ’95 on a corneal transplant project involving electro-spinning—a process that generates aligned collagen fiber matrices that simulate the environment in which corneal cells live in the body. Zuniga, a physics major, intends to pursue a PhD in physics and then become a professor of physics. He worked on two summer research projects with Liang Yang, assistant professor of physics at the



Gold Standard University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On campus, Zuniga will pursue research with Associate Professor of Physics Ann Esin to investigate the time evolution of strong magnetic fields in brown dwarf stars.

Cesar Orellana ’17

Timothy Middlemas ’17 received a 2015 Goldwater Scholarship, the most prestigious national award for undergraduate STEM researchers. A physics major, he performed cross-disciplinary research with Professor of Chemistry Robert Cave, investigating multi-state effects in chemical reactions. “Tim’s model, though simple, offers the possibility of a rigorous test of approximate methods for the calculation of the electronic coupling because exact wavefunctions can be obtained and their nuclear derivatives calculated (numerically),” says Cave. “That Tim made this kind of progress in one summer and has obtained a working code that will answer important questions in electron transfer is singular in my experience.” Middlemas plans to pursue a PhD in chemical physics and hopes to conduct research in theoretical and computational chemistry and teach at the university level. Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mentions were awarded to Spenser Anderson ’16 (engineering), Shannon Wetzler ’16 (joint major in biology and chemistry) and Madeleine Weinstein ’16 (mathematics).

Leadership Recognition COMMUNITY MEMBERS HONORED students,

faculty and staff for their academic talents, job proficiency, engagement and contributions to Harvey Mudd at the College’s third annual Leadership Awards Ceremony. Outstanding Emerging Leader Award Lisa Goeller ’17 (engineering), recognized for her efforts to raise awareness on campus about sexual consent. She worked this summer at Feeding Forward in Silicon Valley; CMS soccer player Kelly McConnell ’17 (engineering) for serving as a Linde Dorm mentor, for being an advocate for work/life balance and for serving as an ambassador for student athletes. New Millennium Experiential Learning Fund Award (Established by Aaron Archer ’98 and Gregory Rae ’00 to support nonprofit organization service activities) Anya Kwan ’17 (chemistry), Drexel Food Lab in Pennsylvania Ben Huppe ’14 Memorial Internship for a Sustainable World (For work in renewable energy, green technologies and environmental sustainability, or for work with underserved populations) Natasha Allen ’16 (physics), We Care Solar in Berkeley; Jose Orozco ’17 (engineering), Asociación Mensajeros de La Paz in Argentina Nathaniel Davis Prize for Public Policy and International Relations (Established by Howard C. Deshong III ’89 and Jeannette Deshong in honor of the late Harvey Mudd Professor Emeritus of Political Science, for pursuit of public policy and/or international relations studies through a summer experiential learning experience) Manu Kondapi ’18, Hindu American Association in Washington, D.C. See to read about all award recipients.

Engineers Steal the Show Engineering students Aarthi Sridhar ’15 and Cody Crosby ’15 earned Best of Show honors for their poster, “Microstructure, Phase Evolution and Properties of High Entropy Brasses and Bronzes,” at the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2015 Annual Meeting & Exhibition. In addition to a $500 award for the best undergraduate poster in the Structural Materials Division, the Harvey Mudd team received the $500 Best of Show award, given to the top undergraduate poster among all five technical divisions.

Nuclear Family For demonstrating exceptional promise in the study of nuclear forensics, Marie Kirkegaard ’15 received the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellowship. She is the only undergraduate in the country this year to receive the fellowship, which includes up to five years of support (tuition, fees and monthly stipend) and two 10-week practicums at a national lab, federal agency or other institution. The award supports her PhD work in nuclear science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a program associated with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Under the advisement of chemistry Professor Bob Cave, Kirkegaard completed an individual program of studies in chemistry and physics that she

designed because of her interest in and passion for nuclear chemistry and physics. She conducted her senior research thesis at the Nuclear Reactor Facility at the University of California, Irvine, with chemistry Professor (and Harvey Mudd alumnus) A.J. Shaka ’80. Together, they worked on design and testing of a delayed neutron detector as an alternative to current Helium 3 detectors. Kirkegaard was one of only 12 students nationally chosen to attend the American Chemical Society-sponsored Nuclear Chemistry Summer School in San Jose during summer 2013 and subsequently received the Outstanding Student Award for her participation. She further pursued her interest in nuclear science during summer 2014 by conducting research at the Institute of Nuclear Theory at the University of Washington with physics Professor Aurel Bulgac.

Top Athlete Tasman “Zorg” Loustalet ’17, a member of the men’s cross country and track teams, was named Harvey Mudd’s Alumni Association Outstanding Athlete of the Year. He was selected as Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Runner of the Year for cross country in 2014. He finished first for CMS in every race during 2014 and placed 15th overall at the NCAA Division III Championships. The first-ever CMS male to earn two All-American awards in cross country, he ran the second-fastest time ever for a CMS cross country runner for an 8K. Also, he has been chosen for three straight first-team All-SCIAC selections and first-team All-West Region selections. In addition to being a runner, Loustalet is a consultant in the Harvey Mudd Writing Center and is a joint computer science and mathematics major, with a concentration in French. Tasman Loustalet ’17







N THE EIGHTH DAY of her visit to Nepal,

ING ORITIES After the earthquakes struck Nepal, Meghan Jimenez ’14 decided to forgo vacation to see what she could do to help. WRITTEN BY ASHLEY FESTA | PHOTOS BY DENIS LEMESHCHENKO

Jimenez views demolished homes outside the main square in Bhaktapur after the first earthquake.

Meghan Jimenez ’14 climbed aboard a United Nations Humanitarian Air Service helicopter to bring provisions to villagers who had nothing but rubble left of their homes. She arrived just two weeks after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the South Asian country in April leaving more than 8,000 people dead. After hearing about the disaster, Jimenez, an engineering graduate, and her boyfriend, Denis Lemeshchenko, felt compelled to do something. So they left their vacation travel plans in Asia to team up with the Hand & Hands Volunteer Society (HHVS), a non-governmental organization that desperately needed help serving Nepalese people trapped in the mountains. To prepare for the trip, the two immediately started gathering supplies to be self-sufficient while in Nepal—they refused to be a burden on an already hurting nation. “We wanted to make sure our positive impact was much, much greater than our negative impact,” Jimenez says. “We wanted to help and not just wander around.”

On the ground in Kathmandu Both young volunteers would have been in Nepal when the first earthquake shook the country, except that a friend enticed Jimenez to Vietnam and a business trip sent Lemeshchenko to Thailand. When he heard the news, Lemeshchenko felt he “owed life something” and decided to go do whatever he could to help. He pitched the idea to Jimenez to see whether she would join him. “It took her less than a minute to say, ‘Yes, let’s go,’” Lemeshchenko says. “I don’t think there’s any challenge too big for her.” Neither was sure what they’d be getting into while they were there, so they prepared themselves for everything, including the hands-on labor of shoveling rubble. But because they weren’t experienced aid workers, they had a difficult time finding an organization that could use their help. Lemeshchenko had contacts with doctors at the University of California, Davis, who connected them with HHVS. The doctors were coming to provide medical care to thousands of villagers trapped in the mountains, and they asked HHVS to assess the people’s most critical needs. The HHVS organizer asked Jimenez and Lemeshchenko to take on the responsibility of talking with locals and making a report for the relief effort. When a villager arrived in Kathmandu on a motorbike to describe the situation, the volunteers learned firsthand the hardships these people faced.



Village residents greet those arriving by helicopter. “These people thought we were there to save them

Jimenez and a young boy befriend a cow.

and we had brought so little,” says Jimenez. “It was a very difficult and powerful moment.”

“They didn’t have much to begin with, even before the earthquake,” says Jimenez, who volunteered with HHVS from May 9 to 17. “Everything was in tatters. Eighty percent of the houses fell down in the first earthquake, and lots of people died under the brick-and-mortar buildings.” Despite the brokenness of its cities, Nepal’s people remained strong. Jimenez was amazed to see the way communities reacted to the disaster— coming together to share food and supplies, caring for one another like family, making the best use of their limited resources. Even more amazing, she says, was the way they protected her in the wake of the second earthquake on May 12. They made sure she and Lemeshchenko were standing safely in an open area. “I tried to run to Denis, but I couldn’t because the road was rolling, and my balance was off,” Jimenez says, recalling her terror in the 7.3 magnitude aftershock. “The ground wasn’t where it should be—it was tilting and twisting.”



Into the mountains The second quake wrecked the volunteers’ plans to deliver provisions to the nine villages outside Kathmandu. They had planned to load up buses and jeeps to make the seven-hour trek through the mountains, but the roads were impassable. While they waited for clearance, Jimenez and Lemeshchenko bought more tarps and other supplies. But time was running out, and the two wanted to visit the villagers personally. In an act of desperation, Lemeshchenko requested official United Nations helicopter transport through the UN Logistics Cluster, which offers operational services for humanitarian emergency response. Less than two hours later, he received tickets for a ride into the villages of Bhotang VDC. The next morning, provisions in tow, Jimenez and Lemeshchenko, along with the HHVS leader, loaded into the helicopter for the 20-minute flight. “Flying in on a helicopter, you look like a savior, but we could bring so little,” Jimenez says, remembering how the entire village came out to meet them as they arrived. The group had only one

hour on the ground, so Lemeshchenko, an amateur photographer, reached for his camera while Jimenez distributed supplies and connected with the community. “The destruction was like nothing I’d ever seen before,” Jimenez says. “I was talking with one of the two people who spoke English, and I asked how many houses were still safe. There had been 170, and the man literally looked around and pointed, counting each of five homes left standing.” Even those five weren’t safe. The slightest tremor could cause them to come crashing down. Despite the danger, villagers ventured back into the rubble to find whatever they could use to make rudimentary, leaky shelters. It was a huge risk, but the other option was exposure to the elements. Jimenez also assessed the people’s health care needs. She educated the women on how to use the sanitary napkins they brought among the supplies. For the report, Jimenez noted the people had no place to relieve themselves, so their water became contaminated, and everyone was sick with diarrhea. People from some of the other villages didn’t have water at all, so they walked—because there was no


“Children are often forgotten in a disaster,” Jimenez says. “The world is crashing down, but for kids, it’s important to have things as normal as possible.” Jimenez paid special attention to the children because of her vested interest in their well being around the world. That passion recently led her to accept a teaching fellowship in Massachusetts, where she will earn her master’s degree in education. At the same time, she will teach high school classes on robotics and computer science using her engineering degree from Harvey Mudd. Her first job after graduation was a research position in Singapore working on advanced wireless prosthetics. She was hired as an electrical engineer, but the company soon discovered she was skilled in design work as well, so she created models for testing and worked on several projects that had fallen by the wayside. Jimenez says her broad background at HMC allowed her to “jump in anywhere.” Though she enjoyed the job, she knew it could be years before the prosthetics had life-changing results for those who needed them. So she opted to return to the U.S. to teach, where she could make an

immediate difference in students’ lives. Looking back on her trip to Nepal, she realizes she’s able to use her degree anywhere, in any situation. “With a general engineering education, Harvey Mudd taught me how to learn, think, solve any problem,” she says. “When I’m thrown into a situation where I don’t speak the language and don’t know anything about anything, I think about what’s the best way I can contribute, and then I make it happen. “In Kathmandu, I knew shelters had to be waterproof and light, so if it falls down, it won’t kill anyone. That’s concrete engineering design,” she says. “But I also wrote a technical report and outlined what we saw and what the people might need. I had to ask the right questions to find out what they needed, much like I would ask a [Clinic] liaison what they want in a product. Harvey Mudd’s mission statement is about going and using these skills in a way that has a positive impact. You understand what you’re doing, and you know it’s a good thing.”

other transportation—to the central village to share what was there. When the one-hour time limit came to an end, Jimenez had plenty of information to give a report to the incoming UC Davis doctors, who would arrive when the roads cleared. The group climbed back into the helicopter and turned back toward Kathmandu, observing—and truly comprehending—the destruction from the sky.

Everything sinks in Before arriving in the decimated country, Jimenez vowed to give what she could, but realized it wasn’t much. She wondered what impact she could truly have as just one person. But she adopted a mindset to do whatever she could to help as many people as possible. Jimenez believed if she could help even one person, the effort would be worthwhile. While in Nepal, she and Lemeshchenko started a fundraiser, asking family and friends to donate to their cause. They raised $3,000, which they used to purchase six tons of rice, two solar chargers, a first-aid kit for each village, sleeping pads, tarps, sanitary napkins and enough purification tablets to filter about 6,000 liters of water. They also bought 30 kilograms of chili powder and other spices, which villagers requested because it kept them warm on cold nights in the mountains. And for the children, they brought soccer balls and other toys they could share.

A village resident who speaks English discusses sanitation, health and the pressing needs of residents with Jimenez.



THE SCIENCE BEHIND STRESS EATING Yvonne Ulrich-Lai ’94 studies the neural factors that fuel the obesity epidemic Written by Allison Marin | Photo by Dan Davenport | Illustration by Geoff Gouveia



More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Journal of American Medicine, Feb. 26, 2014


situation at home or work, many of us head straight for high-calorie junk food. These so-called comfort foods not only taste good, they actually make us feel less stressed, both mentally and physically, says University of Cincinnati neuroscientist Yvonne Ulrich-Lai ’94. However, people who identify as eating junk food for comfort tend to weigh more, she explains. In an effort to understand the mechanisms in the brain that contribute to obesity and to eventually develop better ways to treat and prevent it, Ulrich-Lai studies how diet can influence the response to stress. After Harvey Mudd, the biology alumna started dental school at the University of Minnesota. By the end of the first year, Ulrich-Lai realized she preferred to spend her time in a research lab, so she instead enrolled in the university’s neuroscience graduate program. After completing her PhD studying how the adrenal gland regulates stress, Ulrich-Lai came to the University of Cincinnati for a postdoctoral fellowship and then joined the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience in 2007. Unlike studies in humans, experiments in rodents afford researchers like Ulrich-Lai complete control over their subjects’ diets and other lifestyle factors, as well as the ability to study the underlying brain mechanisms in great detail. In her laboratory, Ulrich-Lai models a stressful life experience in rats by confining them to a clear but well-ventilated plastic tube for 20 minutes. It’s kind of like being

in a crawl space, she explains. “The rats can wiggle around, but they can’t walk around freely.” Much like humans exposed to a stressful situation, rats enclosed in the plastic tube have elevated heart rates and higher levels of the stress hormone corticosterone (the rat equivalent to the human stress hormone cortisol). They also spend less time exploring a new environment, indicating higher levels of anxiety, than unstressed rats. To model stress eating, Ulrich-Lai gave rats a small amount of sugary drink twice a day for two weeks prior to the stressful experience. The sweetened beverage, given in addition to the rats’ regular food and water, made up about 10 percent of their total caloric intake—the equivalent of about two 100-calorie snacks in humans. She found that the drink improved the animals’ ability to cope with the confinement. Compared to rats that received twice daily water, those that received the sugar drink showed smaller increases in heart rate and corticosterone levels, as well as reduced anxiety, following the stressful experience. “It seems like the sweetened drink ‘takes the edge off’ the stress response,” explains Ulrich-Lai. The rats still show some reaction, which is important since these stress responses are key to survival in a life-or-death situation. “Our thinking is that this is one of the reasons some individuals might choose to eat these foods,” Ulrich-Lai says. “Comfort foods not only make them feel better emotionally, but reduce their physiological response to stress in a way the person may not even be aware.”

When Ulrich-Lai gave the rats a drink made with artificial sweetener rather than sugar, she found similar stress-dampening results. However, when she administered the sugar solution directly into the rats’ stomachs, which allowed them to get the physiological effects of the sugar without tasting it, there was no effect on stress levels. “This suggested to us that there is something about the fact that the sugar tastes good and is very rewarding that is responsible for its effects on stress,” she says. Ulrich-Lai then hypothesized that other naturally rewarding experiences not involving food could have a similar effect. Indeed, similar stress relief was achieved when the rats were allowed to engage in sexual activity for 30 minutes every day for two weeks. “We think this is telling us that when individuals engage in these naturally pleasurable behaviors, it does confer stress protection,” she explains. Some people might choose to use food. Others might choose to go running. “Whatever people naturally enjoy could provide stress relief,” she adds. In order to better understand and treat obesity, Ulrich-Lai is focused on understanding the brain pathways involved in the stress reduction, zeroing in on the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a brain area that is involved in reward. When she inactivated the rats’ BLA using a toxin, sugar consumption no longer dampened the behavioral and physiological stress response. Ulrich-Lai’s lab is currently examining the molecular changes in BLA neurons that occur following sugar consumption. This new research suggests that pleasurable behaviors engage a stress reduction pathway that is already present in the brain. Improving our understanding of this neural pathway could provide insight on how better to cope with stress, while also offering new strategies that could help combat the country’s obesity epidemic.





HEN 3-D PRINTING APPEARS IN NOT ONE BUT TWO GREY’S ANATOMY STORYLINES, THE TECHNOLOGY HAS CLEARLY ENTERED THE MAINSTREAM. BUT INTEREST IN 3-D PRINTERS AND THEIR USE HAS SPIKED ONLY RECENTLY. THE EARLIEST MACHINES OF THE 1980S WERE EXPENSIVE AND DIFFICULT TO OPERATE, LIMITING THEIR AVAILABILITY AND APPEAL. EVEN BY THE TIME BEN FRANTZDALE ’03 BECAME A GRADUATE STUDENT IN 2005, THAT HADN’T CHANGED. “My department had 3-D printers, but you had to wait in line to use them. Now I have one on my desktop. This changes how you think about using them,” says FrantzDale, who’s currently a print process lead at the desktop 3-D-printer manufacturer Formlabs in Somerville, Massachusetts. Today, 3-D printing is a fast-growing, multi-billiondollar business with products accessible to engineers and hobbyists alike. Although the consumer market for the technology has emerged more slowly than expected, 3-D printing applications continue to expand. Prototyping is the most common use of the additive manufacturing process that builds layers to create a solid object from a digital file, but Mudd alumni note many applications: prosthetic limbs, engine parts, shoes, sales promotional items as well as edible wedding cake toppers in couples’ likenesses. “The big thing was desktop 3-D printing. That was the spark—the hobbyist revolution driving 3-D printing. At the same time, on the high end, a lot of applications have come to fruition,” says Max Friefeld ’13, cofounder of two 3-D printing companies with fellow Mudders Jonathan Schwartz ’13 and Oliver Ortlieb ’12. They launched their first venture, Layer By Layer, as students. Friefeld says, “Our goal was to make 3-D printing easier for the average person by developing software and working with designers to make products that printed with the click of a button. The first things we made were iPhone cases. We created unique designs and also offered customization. We sold them for $10 to students at The Claremont Colleges.” They wrote a business plan for Layer By Layer, getting help from Professor of Economics and Harvey Mudd College Entrepreneurial Network founder Gary Evans. A listing among 50 innovative companies founded by undergraduates, Y Combinator seed funding

and a patent for their web-based method of delivering a physical object through 3-D printing soon followed. Friefeld, Schwartz and Ortlieb have since sold Layer By Layer to the desktop 3-D printer manufacturer MakerBot but still work together. Now in New York, they recently founded Voodoo Manufacturing, a MakerBot spinoff using low-end 3-D printers to provide printing services to the professional market. Friefeld and Ortlieb are there full-time while Schwartz splits time between Voodoo and his role as director of products for Body Labs, whose technology creates digital models of the human body using 3-D scans. “We saw a gap in the market,” Schwartz says of Voodoo’s place between companies offering more expensive commercial 3-D printing services and those simply providing access to a 3-D printer network. “We have a factory, so we can do high volume. We can work with individuals who want faster service or large companies needing either high-volume or quick, cheap prototypes.” FrantzDale also works with a fellow Mudder at Formlabs, although they hadn’t met previously. Matt Keeter ’11 joined the company first, starting in software development and shifting to electrical engineering. FrantzDale arrived in late 2013 and says, “I had been working with startups in the area and saw they all had Form 1s on their desktops. I wanted to make the tools everyone was using.” Keeter understands the appeal. He says, “To me, Formlabs is a place where the hype about 3-D printing lives up to the reality. The products are real prototypes people can work with and use to iterate.” Engineers, for instance, may find creative uses for Formlabs’ latest product, Tough Resin, a sturdy, ABS-like material that withstands high stress or strain, ideal for snap-fit joints and other sturdy prototypes.



Ben FrantzDale ’03, Formlabs

Jaclyn Olmos-Silverman ’13, General Electric Commercial Leadership Program



Both see room for 3-D printing technology to continue improving—for it to become cheaper, faster and more versatile—but they’re skeptical of the stream of market entrants. FrantzDale says, “Every day, you can find a new 3-D printer on Kickstarter, tiny startups without new technology.” Keeter adds, “I can make a printer in my garage, but there’s a lot more to 3-D printing. Software design, materials and customer support are all important to a good user experience.” Jay Wright ’06 adds to customer capabilities as a senior manufacturing engineer for Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, a division of the global 3-D-printer maker Stratasys. Wright works primarily with medical companies. “They have to innovate over and over again,” he says. “It’s fun and exciting to talk about expanding technical capabilities. We own the equipment customers need, and we apply these tools to their ideas and requirements.” One customer makes carts used to disinfect rooms to prevent the spread of disease. Another is developing better ways to perform root canals. Yet another produces equipment that helps hospitals and police departments maintain the integrity of stored biological samples. “I want to work on things that help people solve

Dan Shapiro ’97, Glowforge

problems and have an impact on their lives, and 3-D printing is a tool that people can use to improve the lives of others,” says Wright, who has worked in 3-D printing since he was recruited at a campus career fair. Dan Shapiro ’97, co-founder and CEO of Glowforge in Seattle, is also looking to make an impact. He sees it in the product he calls a 3-D laser printer. But unlike other 3-D printers, the product Glowforge will release later this year uses subtractive technology—shaping, sculpting, slicing, cutting, engraving and etching a variety of materials—rather than adding layers to form an object. Shapiro views Glowforge as part of a 3-D fabrication industry, filling a need unmet by traditional 3-D printers and laser cutters. Glowforge grew out of Shapiro’s frustration with 3-D printers. He explains, “They’re great for designing and prototyping, but it’s a painstakingly slow process. You have to iterate, spending a lot of time and materials. Plus there’s nothing missing from my life that’s made out of lumpy 3-D plastic.” The serial entrepreneur who’s sold a company to Google and written a book for startup CEOs had what he considers a better idea: lower-cost desktop 3-D fabrication technology that lets consumers

Jonathan Schwartz ’13, Max Friefeld ’13 and Oliver Ortlieb ’12, Voodoo Manufacturing

and small businesses easily and quickly create finished products in materials such as leather, wood and fabric. “These are beautiful materials you actually want in your life,” Shapiro says. “I think of us not so much as having an impact on 3-D printing, but on people who make things. The notion of giving our customers superpowers is core to what we’re doing. We give them skills they never had before and the ability to work in a medium they never could before.” The possibilities of 3-D technology have also captured the interest of Jaclyn Olmos-Silverman ’13. From her vantage point as a participant in General Electric’s Commercial Leadership Program, she’s seen the impact of 3-D printing in heavy industry—and it is big. “GE’s work in additive manufacturing is amazing. They’re researching every kind of material—especially metals and ceramics—and thinking through a variety of applications for energy, jet engines and health care,”

Olmos-Silverman says. “It’s about brilliant design and factories, staying lean, making better products faster.” Olmos-Silverman believes the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of GE’s jet engine sensor housing—a first—exemplifies the new developments. She says, “I learned about 3-D printing in my advanced manufacturing class senior year, but I didn’t fully appreciate it until I got to GE.” What’s the next big thing in 3-D printing? The Mudders point to mass customization—individualized designs affordably produced—and the use of more materials, including biological matter. Schwartz says, “People have already started to 3-D print houses. Food 3-D printing is going to be big. But people need to change how they think about 3-D printing. It’s not just about making the same things using 3-D printing, but inventing products that were never possible before. People talk about printing organs—that will be huge.”

A 3-D printed T-Rex shower head by Voodoo Manufacturing




And the Awards Go To … NOMINATED BY PEERS and selected by the Alumni

Association Board of Governors (AABOG) Selections Committee, several individuals were recognized for their significant contributions to science, society and Harvey Mudd College. Among this year’s awardees are Honorary Alumnus John Molinder (see page 12) and Founding Class member and Donald A. Strauss Professor of Chemistry Jerry Van Hecke ’61. Van Hecke received the inaugural Van Hecke Prize, reserved for alumni who are “synonymous with an extraordinary level of support and commitment to Harvey Mudd College, its students, its alumni and its mission.” The prize is considered the highest honor given by the Harvey Mudd Alumni Association. He also was honored with the Gerald R. Van Hecke ’61 Endowment for the Advancement of Chemistry for his 45-year legacy of teaching, research, mentorship, administration and service to the College (see page 13).

AABOG emeritus member Bill Hartman ’62 presents Jerry Van Hecke ’61 with the inaugural Van Hecke Prize.

Lifetime Recognition Award The AABOG also presented three Lifetime Recognition Awards honoring outstanding dedication to Harvey Mudd College. Adelaide Hixon

Adelaide Hixon and the Hixon family have been generous, longtime donors to the College, showing a particular commitment to the humanities, social sciences



and the arts. The Hixons made possible the campus’ scenic Hixon Court, supported the Dotty and Art Campbell Prize for outstanding chemistry students and funded an endowed scholarship, a recurring humanities forum and two professorships. To broaden the College’s humanities curriculum, Hixon established the Hixon-Riggs Visiting Professorship. Recently, Hixon and her grandson, Dylan Hixon, a Harvey Mudd trustee, worked with the College to establish the endowed Hixon Professorship of Sustainable Environmental Design in memory of her late husband, former trustee, Alexander Hixon. Violet “Vi” Jabara Jacobs

Violet Jacobs was recognized for her dedication and the support that she—in partnership with her late husband, Joe—provided to the College over many years. Violet passed away Jan. 12, 2015, at age 99, shortly after learning that she was to receive the award. Vi began her association with Harvey Mudd in 1973 when her husband, Joseph J. Jacobs, the founder of Jacobs Engineering, was appointed to the College’s board. Vi and Joe generously supported Harvey Mudd for four decades, and their most visible legacy is the Jacobs Science Center, renamed for the couple during the 1970s after extensive renovations. Their gifts provided students and faculty with better laboratories and offices and supported the endowment, student scholarships and matching funds. Joe Jacobs founded Jacobs Engineering in 1947, and Vi was active in building the business from a startup to what is now one of the largest engineering companies in the world.

Eileen, Laspa established the Jude and Eileen Laspa Endowed Professorship in Engineering, held by Ziyad Durón ’81. The Laspas were also lead funders on the Iris and Howard Critchell Assistant Professorship and the Ron and Lee Vaughn Endowed Scholarship. In 2004, Laspa was a featured speaker at the Bruce J. Nelson ’74 Distinguished Speaker Series. Jude and Eileen Laspa have also provided significant ongoing financial support to the College’s engineering program annually since 2010, making an enormous impact on the department’s ability to expand and innovate. These funds have supported expanding project-based learning experiences, enabling the development of new curriculum across the program and increasing student exposure to professional engineering practice. Their support has enabled two new fellowship programs in applied mechanics and systems engineering, which expose students to cutting-edge research in these fields. These gifts keep Harvey Mudd at the forefront of undergraduate engineering by attracting highly qualified new faculty and strengthening the infrastructure required to support hands-on experiences for students, including the Clinic Program. Laspa held many positions—including executive vice president, deputy chief operating officer and director—over his 43-year career at Bechtel, a leading global engineering-construction organization. He also has served on the boards of several nonprofit and for-profit companies.

Jude P. Laspa ’65

Jude P. Laspa ’65, trustee emeritus, has been a longtime friend and counselor to the College. He served as a trustee of the College for over two decades, including as vice chair from 2004 until 2010. A valuable resource and sounding board for the administration, Laspa served on numerous standing committees of the board and chaired the Board Affairs and Educational Planning committees. In 2000, along with his wife,

Valerie Jacobs (accepting the award for her mother, Lifetime Recognition Award winner Vi Jacobs); John Molinder, Honorary Alumnus; and Outstanding Alumni Greg Rae ’00 and Andrew Lees ’75. Not shown, Jim Erickson ’75, Outstanding Alumnus.

Alumni Weekend 2015 Alumni Weekend images:

Alumni Weekend video: The 5-Class Competition during Alumni Weekend is always a hit.

Parents and Families

AABOG Election Results

Family Weekend, Feb. 19–20, 2016

THREE ALUMNI HAVE BEEN ELECTED to the Alumni Association Board of Governors

and will serve three-year terms. AABOG members are leadership representatives of the alumni body who partner with staff, faculty and students to strengthen ties and increase alumni support of the College.

Kacyn Fujii ’13

Loren Perelman ’02

Avani Gadani ’03

(engineering), technologist,

(chemistry), principal

(CS and math), assistant

Toyota Information

scientist, Bolt Threads

professor of computer science/

Technology Center

math, Emory University

Parents, start planning now to join us on campus Feb. 19–20, 2016, for Family Weekend. Participants can meet faculty and administrators, learn about new developments at Harvey Mudd and, most importantly, re-connect with their students.

2015 Dr. Bruce J. Nelson ’74 Distinguished Speaker Series

Those re-elected to three-year board terms are Robert De Pietro ’69, Jonathan Mersel ’75, Rick Simon ’76 and Jerry Van Hecke ’61. For all 2015–2016 members and officers, visit

Seeking Nominations The Selections Committee requests nominations for the 2016 Alumni Association awards. Contact Outstanding Alumni Award For significant contributions to humanity or society. Order of the Wart For alumni and friends who have made important contributions to the Harvey Mudd community.

 ifetime Recognition Award For L alumni and friends who have provided outstanding dedication to the College.

The 2015 Nelson Series explores all things water, from the basic science of this fascinating substance to perspectives on how to manage California’s dwindling resources; from the impact of sea level rise on America’s beaches to the challenges of water contamination in developing nations. Speakers at the forefront of water science, policy and technology will share their insights and potential solutions.





Pariday is a Mom’s “Breast” Friend By Mara Watkins | Photo by Charles Barry

WOMEN BE WARNED: There are “parts of moth-

erhood no one tells you about.” This is the mantra of Pariday LLC, the company started in 2011 by Jackie Lai ’99 and two other moms who wanted to take some of the mystery and misery out of mothering. The idea to help nursing moms first came up over coffee with her friend Erin Vitus when Lai was on maternity leave from the product design firm D2M. The two women soon began commiserating about the difficulties and pain they experienced breastfeeding their newborns. Lai says she experienced many issues with breastfeeding, ranging from pain to embarrassing leaks. They knew that breastfeeding pain was the number one reason women stopped breastfeeding prematurely and wanted to provide new moms with a “Swiss Army Knife” product that could help them get over the initial hump of breastfeeding. They also shared their frustrations about the inadequate and antiquated “solutions” for sore breasts, including cabbage leaves and icepacks made from frozen peas. Commercial products were expensive, lasted only a couple of days and left a sticky residue that needed to be washed off before it was safe to nurse again. The conversation could have ended there, but both women realized that between them—Lai, an engineering major, earned a master’s degree in structural engineering from Stanford in 2002, and Vitus has a master’s in mechanical engineering— they had the perfect combination of design and manufacturing experience to develop a better product and bring it to market. Strategy in place, Lai left D2M and at a meeting to launch Pariday, she and Vitus laid out their plans for the company, including a commitment to put family first. The two began prototyping gel packs in their kitchens. They also brought in Mara Lowry, who has an MBA and marketing background. Lai credits Lowry’s environmental consciousness for their eventual development of a vegetarian, compostable gel that is used for the company’s



Jackie Lai ’99 wants moms to turn to Pariday products to ease their discomfort.

TendHer Pillows and Perineal Packs. Lai says, “We wanted to use something that would not harm mom or baby if it leaked. It might be gross, but it won’t hurt you.” Lai says the three partners have different parenting styles and personalities but work well together and complement each other. They do most of their work independently, from their homes, trusting each other to get tasks done when they are not tending to the needs of their young children. (Lai’s son, Ettan, is now 5 and her daughter, Avani, is 3.) The plan is working: They have gone from selling their very first gel pad in April 2012 to developing a nationwide network of retailers for Pariday’s TendHer product line. The gel-filled, long-lasting pillows soothe on contact, fit discreetly in a bra and can be warmed or cooled and worn with a reusable fabric sleeve to help ease breastfeeding discomfort and absorb leaks. Customer reviews on Amazon rate the pillows 4.5 out of 5 stars. In 2014, they tripled their 2013 revenues, and this year they are on track to triple last year’s sales. The company recently introduced the TendHer Perineal Packs because, according to Pariday marketing materials, “No matter your birth story, labor and delivery leave you a little sore in places you’d rather not talk about.” The Pariday trio gathers monthly for “builds” in Lai’s Sunnyvale, California, garage. Their capacity has increased from fewer than 100 pillows in a day

to about 1,000. After spending almost a decade of her career engineering cars (Lai worked for both GM and Volkswagen), Lai loves using her skills in another way. “I literally touch every single thing that goes out. That gives me the direct satisfaction of knowing that I am helping somebody out there,” she says. Lai also teaches a weekly therapeutic prenatal yoga class for the same reason: The reward of making a difference in other people’s lives. When Lai left her home in Singapore to attend Harvey Mudd she never envisioned becoming an entrepreneur. She says she never thought of herself as “grad school material” and is thankful she was encouraged to apply to Stanford by engineering Professor Ziyad Durón ’81. After grad school in 2002, she and Rohit Mishra ’00, a casual acquaintance at the time, became part of a new electronics research lab at Volkswagen. The two were married in 2007, and Mishra’s support has been vital to the success of the new venture, says Lai. Lai’s next goal for Pariday is for more people to know what it is. “Pariday is dedicated to creating elegant solutions to some of life’s least elegant moments. We want Pariday to be the go-to, must-have products for new moms and to be in everybody’s baby shower package within the next few years,” she says. “The thing about baby showers is that the baby gets everything and the mom gets nothing. We want to be there for the mom.”


1976 | Reunion Year

Kim Vandiver (engineering) was featured in the

Eric Olsen (mathematics) is a software development article (May 22, 2015) “Defusing bombs by color.” The article features Kim, mechanical engineering professor and director of the MIT Edgerton Center, and his wife, Kathy Vandiver, community outreach education and engagement director at the Center for Environmental Health Sciences, and their work using 3-D models to improve the training of people who work with unexploded landmines and other remnants of conflict in Cambodia and around the world. Read more at

professional. He says, “I saw the Harvey Mudd MOOC for Python on edX and decided to sign up. Our company is just getting into Python.”

1972 John Sawka (mathematics) writes, “After 36 years

of teaching mathematics, I am retiring at the end of June 2015. I hope to be doing some traveling around the country and visiting old friends.”

1973 Fred Brander (chemistry) was featured in the

May 28, 2015, article “Toasting 40 Years of Brander Vineyard” in the Santa Barbara Independent. He discussed his family’s winemaking history and Brander Vineyard, where about 40 acres are planted two-thirds in sauvignon blanc and one-third in cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. His wines are featured each year during Alumni Weekend. After Harvey Mudd, Fred earned a master’s degree in food science with an enology emphasis from UC Davis. He said, “My vision is to make more than good wine. … You have to go to the next level and try to separate from the pack by creating the experience. You have to give the consumer an experience that they can remember.” Read more at branderHMC.

1974 Beverly Orth writes: “After 30 years of retirement

plan consulting with Mercer, I retired on Oct. 1, 2014. It’s difficult to summarize the multitude of feelings that I have over ending a long-term relationship of this magnitude. Cleaning out my office makes me realize that I won’t have a home away from home any longer. I have spent more of my waking hours in my Mercer office than anywhere else! I will be continuing my education at Portland State University, where I have been taking evening classes since 2012 in literature and writing. I will also have more time for quilting.”

1977 Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun appointed James Bean (mathematics) as the university provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. James, a Harvey Mudd trustee and chair of the Budget Committee, comes to Northeastern from the University of Oregon, where he served five years as provost guiding the university through the Great Recession and significantly improving the quality of students and faculty while also modernizing the university’s budgeting system. James also served for four years as dean of the University of Oregon’s business school—the Lundquist College of Business—and as the Harry B. Miller Professor of Business. Prior to his time at Oregon, he held key leadership roles at the University of Michigan, including as associate dean for graduate education and international programs in the College of Engineering and as associate dean for academic affairs. As an engineering faculty member at Michigan, he co-​​directed a unique manufacturing partnership—the Tauber Institute for Global Operations—between the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering and many industry partners. The award-​​winning institute facilitates cross-​​disciplinary education in global operations management. James has also held an advisory faculty position at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai and a visiting position at Laboratoire d’Automatique et d’Analyse des Systems du CNRS in Toulouse, France. He is a widely published scholar who has received grants from both federal institutions and industry.

1978 Michael Hayashi (engineering), former Time Warner

Cable executive vice president, architecture, development and engineering, has been appointed to its board of directors. Honored with the Vanguard Award for Science & Technology in 2001, Michael led technology and development at Time Warner Cable (TWC) for over 20 years. His contributions include pioneering innovations in digital set-tops

and client software, VOD, HD and DVRs. Prior to his retirement from TWC in March 2015, Michael oversaw all engineering development activities, including high-speed Internet, digital phone, digital video and web development within TWC. Most recently, he was instrumental in the formation of the RDK initiative, a joint venture of Comcast, TWC and Liberty Global. Prior to joining TWC, Michael was vice president of subscriber video products at Scientific-Atlanta (now Cisco), where he launched the earliest digital set-tops, on-screen program guides and digital music services. He started his career at Pioneer Communications, playing a key role in Warner Cable’s Qube project.

1979 Keri (Ostrofsky) Pearlson (mathematics) lives in

Austin, Texas, and works for the International Institute of Analytics as the director of the Analytics Leadership Consortium, a think-tank-like community of Fortune 100-sized companies that are very experienced with analytics and want to move the state of the art even further. After leaving HMC, she obtained a master’s in engineering from Stanford and a doctorate in business from Harvard. She’s married to Dr. Yale Pearlson, and their daughter, Hana, just finished her freshman year at Tulane University in New Orleans. Following in her mom’s footsteps, she’s a techie too, studying computer science and finance.

1981 | Reunion Year Jennifer Holmgren (chemistry),

chief executive officer of the innovative carbon recycling company LanzaTech, was selected by a committee of her peers to be the recipient of the 2015 BIO Rosalind Franklin Award, established by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) to honor an outstanding woman in the industrial biotechnology field. “Much like Rosalind Franklin, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren has always been motivated by achieving things that others said could not be done. Her drive knows no barriers,” says Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. Jennifer is lauded for her commitment to the advancement of the field of industrial biotechnology. Under her guidance, LanzaTech is developing the world’s first alternative jet fuel from




industrial waste gases using intermediates derived through industrial biotechnology. Jennifer’s team has defined the genetic blueprint of gas fermenting organisms and demonstrated in the laboratory that they can be engineered to produce a range of novel, commercially valuable molecules. LanzaTech’s work is a cornerstone for the development of an entire industry that uses gas fermentation to convert a variety of wastes or low-value resources into a diverse spectrum of low-carbon fuels and chemicals. Jennifer is the author or co-author of 50 U.S. patents and 20 scientific publications and was named one of the top 10 most influential leaders in the Biofuels Industry by Biofuels Digest for 2013–2014.

vative technology solutions for Laserfiche and its customers. With Laserfiche since 1989, he has served as CTO since 2005 and president since 2014 and is involved in the new product development cycle—from analyzing business needs to programming to marketing. An expert in aligning technology with business goals, Karl was instrumental in creating Laserfiche for Windows in 1994, Laserfiche Workflow in 1997 and Laserfiche Forms in 2011. More recently, he drove the development of both Laserfiche Connector—an easy-to-use tool that enables organizations to integrate Laserfiche with other software applications without programming—and Laserfiche Cloud. Thomas Phelps IV, CIO and chief corporate strategist at Laserfiche, says, “[Karl] has been key in shaping a culture in which creativity is encouraged, teams are empowered to take risks in problem-solving and innovation is rewarded.”

Nicholas Steinhoff (mathematics) writes: “In the fall/


winter issue of the magazine, there is a photo on page 1 of Professor Busenberg—my advisor—‘with a student,’ as noted in the caption. That student appears to be Tim Brengle ’79.”

1986 | Reunion Year Shelly Miller (mathematics)

worked as an engineer before choosing a career in academia. She was the second person and second female to be hired (in 1998) in air quality and mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she is associate professor of mechanical engineering and a faculty member of the interdisciplinary Environmental Engineering Program. She chaired the July 2015 Healthy Buildings America Conference in Boulder, Colorado. Shelly is married to a consulting engineer, with a son, 11, and a daughter, 6. “It’s important to me to be a symbol for young women in this field, to inspire them to continue in science and engineering,” she says. “You can have a family and do the work you love. You don’t have to choose one or the other.” Go to for CU-Boulder’s story and video about Shelly.


Mark Huber (mathematics) received a three-year

grant from the National Science Foundation to improve Monte Carlo methods that employ randomness to estimate high-dimensional integrals. The goal of the project is to develop better strategies for dealing with what are called “heavy-tailed distributions,” where the samples needed for the Central Limit Theorem to kick in are currently too large for practical purposes.

Alyssa Caridis (engineering), Maggie Bulk (first-year

Class of ’00), Erika Strandberg (mathematical biology), Jackie Ahmad (first-year Class of ’01) and Lisa Jacobs (engineering) postponed their annual Vegas reunion to represent the NORF Dorm Alumni Association in the Los Angeles Tough Mudder on March 28.

2006 | Reunion Year

1998 Investopedia listed DreamHost as one of the “formidable competitors that pose a threat to [GoDaddy’s] continued market dominance.” Based in Los Angeles, DreamHost is a domain registrar and web hosting company founded in 1996 by Josh Jones (computer science and math), Michael Rodriguez (computer science), Sage Weil ’00 (computer science) and Dallas Kashuba ’97 (computer science). The company offers affordable, shared virtual private server and dedicated hosting packages as well as cloud storage and computing services for businesses and developers. Read more about the company and its founders at



The Los Angeles Business Journal recognized Karl Chan (engineering), president and CTO of Laserfiche, with its highest honor: a Lifetime Achievement Award. Karl received this distinction for his leadership and vision in creating inno-

John Fuhrman (physics) graduated from Jagiel-



lonian University Medical College on May 16 and began work as a resident physician at Altru Family Medicine in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in June.

Marguerite Leeds (mathematical biology) serves

with the Peace Corps in the Kyrgyz Republic as a volunteer health educator. She writes, “I have just moved sites, to the south of the country, where I have two more months of training before I begin working at a clinic as a health educator. My new village is called Jon and is very near the city of Jalalabad.” Marguerite is shown with grade schoolers in Kengesh, Kyrgyz Republic. Nick Rauh (mathematics) is chief of mathematics at

the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in New York City. He completed a PhD in analytic number theory at the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 and taught for a time at Texas State University.

2007 Maureen Saint Georges Chaumet (computer science

and mathematics) finished her intern year in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She says, “I have two years left of training here at CHLA, after which point—seeing as all Mudders are suckers for punishment—I will be applying for another three years of training in a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship.” James Moore (mathematical biology) finished his

PhD at the University of Utah in the summer of 2014. He is working on a postdoc at Georgia Tech on modeling responses to the yellow fever vaccine and on understanding chronic infections/T-cell exhaustion.

2008 Jason Fennell (computer science and math) and Lilly

Enthusiasts of the Harvey Mudd College Entrepreneurial Network (HMCEN) enjoyed presentations by Graham Orr (engineering), founder of Xplicit Computing, which offers system-level design and simulation software, and by Vanessa Ronan ’15 (computer science), founder of Decorater, a platform to crowdsource interior design. The two answered questions about their companies and received advice from fellow alumni. Ben Preskill (mathematics) received a PhD in

mathematics from UC Berkeley, having written a dissertation on a new method to numerically solve PDEs in the presence of certain kinds of discontinuities. Married in 2013, Ben and Autumn Petros-Good (engineering) moved across the country to NYC where Ben started a job at PDT Partners, a quantitative finance firm specializing in statistical and computational methods.


Creighton are living in San Francisco, where Jason is the director of engineering at Yelp.

Parousia Rockstroh (mathematics) is in his final year

of a PhD in PDE theory at Cambridge. This summer, he did a graduate summer internship at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. He’s working on a project with the Air Force studying transportation efficiency subject to terrorist constraints.

2009 Natalie Durgin (mathematics) defended her thesis,

“The Geometric Invariant Theory Quotient of the Hilbert Scheme of Six Points on the Projective Plane,” in May and now lives in Austin, Texas. She works as an analytics software developer at SpiceWorks, “a really fun company in a really fun city.” In her free time, she enjoys ballet and climbing. Edwin Lei (mathematics) finished his PhD in

statistics at the University of Toronto and now works as a research scientist doing experimental design and A/B testing at Amazon in Seattle.

Olivia Beckwith ’13 (math) Algebra, Number Theory and Combinatorics Emory University William Chen ’12 (mathematical biology) Ecology University of Washington Martha Cuenca ’13 (engineering) Civil Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Robert Kealhofer ’13 (physics) Condensed Matter Physics UC Berkeley Anastasia Patterson ’14 (chemistry) Chemistry of Materials UC Santa Barbara

David Gross (mathematics)

and Aurora Pribram-Jones ’09 (chemistry) welcomed a girl, Avra, to the family on June 1. David writes, “She arrived in all of her 8-pound, 12-ounce and 21-inch glory.”

Alumni who received 2015 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Bo Lee (mathematics and computational biology)

just finished his first year as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso teaching sixth and seventh grade math. He says, “It was a little crazy teaching 95 students in French. I feel like I spent most of the year trying to make sense of how to teach in a foreign culture, but I think I have a better grasp of things now and am pretty excited to start up again in the fall.”

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

Honorable mentions: Thomas Carey ’13 (biology) Biomedical Engineering Massachusetts General Hospital Millie Fung ’11 (chemistry & biology) Chemical Measurement and Imaging UC Irvine Carola Purser ’13 (physics) Condensed Matter Physics Ohio State University Paul Riggins ’12 (physics) Theoretical Physics UC Berkeley Alexandra Schofield ’13 (CS & math) Natural Language Processing Cornell University

Please submit updates online at



Class Reunions Alumni Weekend 2015

1965 | 50th Reunion Back Row: Ken Lorell, John Petterson, Tom Moran, Arunas Rudvalis, Charles Lemme, Scott Owen, Richard Sears, J. Thomas Allen, Jim Katra P92, Ralph Van Middlesworth, Robert Luke, Gerald Fields Jr., Lawrence DeHeer. Front Row: Jack Pickett, Jim Enstrom, Charles Peck, Thomas Shapard P99, Jay Powers, Jim Edmonds P93, Eric Thorsos, Don Ward, Jack Breslow, Pete Gebauer, Dee West P92.



Jon Johnson, Wendell Goring, Fred Kleinschmidt,

Back Row: Richard Lee, Chris Hamaker, Hugh McLaughlin ’76, P18,

Don Coleman, Gordon Overbye, Ed Fey, Steven

Gregory Nelson, Douglas Hudson, Kitty Ressler.

Itelson, Steven Bellenot.

Second Row: Mike Anderson, Craig Hillemann, Reg Jue, Ben Hancock, Fred Seitel, Gregory Lyzenga, Andrew Lees. First Row: Jonathan Mersel, Mark Chang, Clare Livak, Barbara Filkins, Corinne Morse, Bradley Bobbs P03.





Back Row: Ron Lloyd, Leonard Daly, Jim Wall, Alec Kercheval, Cynthia Robertson P16,

Back Row: David Brock, David Weingartner, John

Athan Shaka, Doug Hathaway, Robert Coffman, Phil Novak, Jeffrey Cade.

MacDonald, Karl Ruiter, Albert Kuo.

Second Row: Bob Kossler, James Seastrom, Rob Russell, Earl Shults, Lisa Hebert, David

Second Row: Laveille Voss, James McBride, Greg

Sonner P18, Bryan Rowe, Julie Muszynski, Skip Mansur, Darren Chinn.

Felton P16, Mark Farris, Mark Eliot, Christine Chee-Ruiter.

First Row: Hyman Crippen, Mike Lopez, Frances Ferris, Jay Himmelman, Bruce Arnheim,

First Row: Neil Myers, Carolyn Chin, Helen Kim, Claeton

Craig White, Bob McBride, Elizabeth Basler, Dan Strich, Polly Heninger, Mark Anderson.

Giordano, Todd Honda, Lyndon Oku.



Back Row: Bryan Marten, John Norin, Torsten Kimura, Dan

Back Row: Reiner Fink, Jason Regier, Stephan Zuercher, Matt Meyers, Tim Preusch, John Bell,

Borton, John Brimble.

Jacob Sullivan ’96, Gary Okerson, Josh Berman, Samuel Sun, Tom Heaps-Nelson, Kathleen

Second Row: Andrew Lange, Brian Evans, Daniel Burnett,

Bliss, Craig Bauer, Roy Roberts.

David Morrone, James Seidman, Lisa Tamura.

Second Row: Leo Dirac, Olivier Chaine, Paul Orwin, Dan Meacham, Petra Erlandson, Karen

First Row: Jennifer Ellsworth, Ashley Stroupe, Joelle Key,

Martien, James Gibson, Kimberly Anakata, Rebecca DeLozier, Gregg Snodgrass, Rachel Konda-

Denise Ko, Susan Locke, Eric Zager.

Sundheim, Andrew Oliver, Ocie Mitchell, Jon Sorenson. First Row: Rachel Sours-Page, Erika Kirchberger, Elise Brown, Joanna Dixon, Dave Alles, Daniel Dulay, Susannah Bloch, Karen Walker, Elizabeth Orwin, Orna Amir, Robin Rosenfeld-Gunn, Spontaneous Russell, Jodi Oliver, Jennie Hango, Phil Lockwood.





Back Row: James Tuck-Lee, Elisha Peterson,

Back Row: Seneca Harberger, Chad Foerster, John Silny, Chris Weisiger, Bradley Greer, Erika

James Benham, Gregory Rae, Walter Nissen.

Strandberg, Carl Yerger, Joseph Wellhouse, Kamil Wnuk, Ryan Larsen, Jacob Pinheiro, Jason Murcko.

Front Row: Megan Hall, Carolyn Dharm, Belinda

Third Row: Eric Flynn, John Hicks, Eric Hall, Mjumbe Poe, Kristina Arney, Don Lee, Whitney Duim,

Shreckengost, Jenni Peterson.

Alice Wiedeman, Shelley McCormack, Alexander Utter, Aaron Homer, Matt Beaumont-Gay. Second Row: Tim Carnes, Jeffrey Hellrung, Joshua Petrie, Edward Kim, Ruben Arenas, Eric Malm, Ryan Yamada, Min Shim, Theresa MacVicar, Jonathan Leong, Tera Austrum, Selene Tan ’06. First Row: Margot Molander, Lorraine Thomas, Gwen Spencer, Tommy Leung, Zajj Daugherty, Sarah Bundick, Julianna Erickson, Hanhan Li, Mele Sato, Madineh Sarvestani, Emily Ross.

2010 Back Row: Chris Sauro, Matthew Wodrich, Ian Bullock, Clark Zhang, Nathan Jones, Christopher Strieter, Maxwell Willis, Alex Grammar. Fourth Row: Harry Dudley, Brett Cooper, Alex Steinkamp, Jonathan Hubbard, Brian Bosak, Richard Bowen, Alex Young, Jaakko Karras, Jason Wyman, Daniel Bujalski, Kevin King, Dorian Scrima, Jonny Simkin, Masato Kocberber, David Miller, Dmitriy Yakovlev, Joshua Ray, Denis Lantsman, Benjamin Goldenberg, Bryce Lampe. Third Row: Ben Margolis, Will Scott, Marc Badger, Taiki Sakai, Martijn van Schaardenburg, Thomas Oh, James Brown, Angus Ho, Shawn Duenas, Joshua Swanson, Alyssa Dray-Sayavedra, Kaylin Spitz, Ariana Davidson (PZ), Marc Davidson, Samuel Just, Kwang Ketcham, Greg Bickerman, Donald Bolton-Haughton, Chris Koo, Andrew Chung. Second Row: Julian Freed-Brown, Arthur Eigenbrot, Mary Moore-Simmons, Chelsea Drenick, Caitlin Olmsted, Andrew Armas, Daniel Taller, David Melchior, Jacob Feldman, Jackie Lam, Michael Ho, Louis Zellinger, Florian Scheulen, Jessica Witt, Bryan Teague, Alyssa Pierson, Daniel Garcia, Aaron Guillen ’11, Bob Chen. First Row: Betsy Ellis, Alex Randall, Tara Frankel, Chen Lim, Steven Berler, Moby Khan, Hufsa Ahmad, Jessica Wen, Michelle Fong, Claire Walker, Maureen Ruiz-Sundstrom, Katie Near, Benyue Liu, Rachel ArceJaeger, Megan Pham, Sarah Nitzan, Corinne Cho, Carolina de Freitas.



Excellence in the Balance “Work hard, play hard” has been Martin Caniff’s motto since his days at Harvey Mudd when he studied theoretical physics (individual program of studies) and plotted to steal the Caltech cannon (he organized two failed attempts to steal the cannon in 1974 and was happy to see success finally achieved in 1986). So incorporating this methodology into his company seemed natural. After working in engineering design for many years, Caniff ’74 founded Solekai Systems Corporation in 2002, a software engineering services company specializing in the design and development of anything related to digital video (e.g., set-top boxes, video streaming services). Solekai is known for its broad technical experience and project management, together with a customer-focused approach. Caniff says he’s enjoyed creating a fun environment, “a place where I’d want to work.” There are foosball tables and a kitchen filled with sodas and snacks. “It’s a very fulfilling thing walking into a building with the company name on it, and you know you invented that.” Caniff also gets satisfaction from being a part of Harvey Mudd’s vision to admit more women and students of color as well as more underrepresented students. One of the College’s strategies to accomplish this is the President’s Scholars Program (PSP), which identifies and encourages outstanding young men and women who have the potential to be future leaders in the fields of engineering, science, mathematics and technology. Each incoming first-year President’s Scholar receives a full-tuition scholarship renewable for four years. Around 50 applicants are selected each year to be PSP finalists, and approximately 10 new President’s Scholars join each entering first-year class (there are 13 this year). The PSP is sponsored by Harvey Mudd in conjunction with industry-leading corporations, private foundations, friends and alumni. After hearing about the PSP during a visit in 2008 with President Maria Klawe, Caniff and his wife, Charisse, joined the effort. The couple has supported the PSP at a leadership level since then. Their annual support of the program has a

Charisse and Martin Caniff ’74, President’s Scholars Program donors.

direct impact on the education of Harvey Mudd’s best and brightest. “It made sense to us,” says Caniff. “Its great to be supporting students who are making things happen.” The couple meet many of the scholars during annual PSP events, and they are always amazed by their poise, presence and ability to communicate, attributes Caniff says he did not possess at their age. “I think this is part of what Harvey Mudd is helping them to become. I’m so impressed with students we’ve interacted with, we’ve continued to give.” In addition to being talented academically, President’s Scholars are often excellent athletes, on-campus leaders and community service partners, and they are frequently among the winners of national, local and campus prizes, including National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, RIF Scholarships (for Putnam Competition excellence) and Thomas J. Watson Fellowships. Caniff says it’s clear that the scholars are motivated. “An award is one thing, but it also means they’re ready to accomplish bigger things in life. I’m excited for them and can’t wait to hear about the next chapter,” he says.

In addition to the close friendships he maintains with his former classmates, Caniff says the PSP has been another great way for him to stay close to the College. “It’s clear that these students would not be at Harvey Mudd without the President’s Scholars Program, so we’re proud to be a part of it.”

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The world needs Harvey Mudd. And Harvey Mudd needs you.

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Math is Fun Connor Gale and Martina DeNigris, students in Jean Merrill's third-grade class at Chaparral Elementary School in Claremont, were treated to hands-on lessons about ratios, taught by Harvey Mudd students. More on page 26.

Harvey Mudd College Magazine, summer 2015  

An alumna talks about her trip to Nepal after the earthquake; entrepreneurs describe their 3-D printing ventures; a biology alumna studies b...

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