March 11, 2017
Dean of Engineering's Lunch with Students Robert Lyman Distribution Editor On Thursday, February 9, a group of students and faculty gathered in AB 1817 for a free lunch and a discussion on the future of the College of Engineering, hosted by Dean Craig Hoff. He began by telling the story of how the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) came to Michigan from Texas before mentioning some important things he’s learned during his career. These lessons ranged from ostensibly obvious things like “engineers can improve the world” to seemingly nonsensical ones like “engineering is engineering” – that is, the same principles of engineering can be used in various applications. For example, induction pulses are used in both SAE and biomedical applications. The next topic was the future of the field of engi-
Flint Art Exhibit
Interview with Dr. Sullivan Rebecca Roughton Layout Editor A year ago, The Technician featured an interview with Dr. Laura Sullivan, a Mechanical Engineering professor who has been incredibly active within Flint in making changes to help the community through the Flint Water Crisis and many of the issues associated with it. I was given the opportunity again to meet with Dr. Sullivan to discuss what’s changed within the last year, where things are at today, what other issues still need to be tackled, and any other information that residents and non-residents need to hear. Things started on an upbeat, with Dr. Sullivan sharing her appreciation of the current status of the treatment of lead in the water: “We’ve gotten to feel very confident that treating water with the filters gets rid of all lead,” she stated, “so even if one of the residents has exceptionally high levels of lead, these filters work incredibly well.” In addition to keeping lead from reaching the citizens, Dr. Sullivan added that “the levels of lead in the system, on average, are dropping.” Despite this good news, there are still some hurdles on the path. “There are some areas where, for reasons we don’t quite understand, it still can be high from time to time. The theory there is that flakes or pieces of the protective coating that contains lead broke off while we were putting corrosive chemicals through, and [may still] linger.” These lingering pieces could likely be coming from certain areas in the piping, like behind a joint: “Even just one little piece of that has huge amounts of lead in it, Continued on Page 2
Nintendo Switch Review
Distinguished Faculty Speaker: Dr. Young Adam Lecznar Editor-In-Chief The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) hosted a speaking luncheon for Kettering Professor Justin Young on Thursday, February 23, 2017. Professor Young, an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at Kettering University, with focus in Ergonomics and Biomechanics, gave an overview of one of his research projects with his presentation “Touchless Interfaces: Challenges for the Future of HumanMachine Interaction,” which was held in room 1-819 of Kettering’s Academic Building. The presentation opened with a short introduction of Professor Young, who earned undergraduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan, followed by a Harvard Degree. Professor Young then dove right into the topic of discussion, which focused on emerging technologies and how people interact with them.
Service Saturday Jacob Hankerd Online Editor and Public Relations March 4th was the date of this month’s Service Saturday, which as most Kettering Students know happens once per month. This March the featured event was the continued Kettering assistance of The Maker’s Space and their new workplace: Factory Two. This event included twelve volunteers who were all associated to Beta Theta Pi. The task of this specific group was to reassemble the many shelving units that had previously been torn down for transportation. This coll a b o r a ti o n was made possible due to the efforts of a connection at Un i ver s i t y Avenue Corridor Coalition. The purpose of the UACC is to work to improve the area between Kettering and UM-Flint , Hurley Hospital and the Flint River. This “maker space” can be described as the big brother of Kettering’s own T-Space, a facility
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Photo courtesy of Cliff Hughes
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Dr. Sullivan Interview Continued from Front Page and if it is sitting in water that isn’t moving, it could give off huge amount of ions.” Thankfully, if people are using the filter, they “don’t need to worry.” Statistically, though, Flint has been passing in not having too much lead in the city’s water: “By law, from the Clean Drinking Water Act, it’s necessary for the state and the city to demonstrate that over two consecutive six-month periods of time, the 90th percentile of lead level doesn’t exceed 16 parts per billion.” For the most recent period, it was below 16 parts per billion, meaning that if Flint passes again for the current 6-month period, the city will be in compliance with the act. However, even given the overall good bill of health, Dr. Sullivan is not so hasty as to begin declaring the issue over. “One of my concerns is that it might not be wise to say ‘victory’ with the expectation that in the next six months, it’s going to be good,” she stated. “Of course,” she continued, “I’m hoping it will be good, but there are a number of reasons why it might not be.” “One reason is that the amount of lead that comes off of the pipes increases with temperature, so it’s likely--it’s possible that it could rise.” This feature is actually one of the reasons why high levels in some of Flint’s water was noticed during the summer of 2015. “The other--maybe unique--reason is that in order to improve the water quality, one thing that the city
had to do was open fire hydrants and flush out the water.” She continued on to explain that the step is necessary because “there are parts of the system where the water is quite old, and for water in a water distribution, ‘quite old’ is maybe one week. So there are parts of Flint where the water was well over one week, so to prevent this, they opened the lines.” It is important to get the old water moving to minimize the risk of old water collecting undesirable substances and not letting them be “washed away.” Recently, the weather has been too cold to allow this because of the risk of ice being sent through the system, so results have been relying on previous data taken months ago. While it isn’t expected to get worse, Dr. Sullivan believes that it is too soon to make a firm statement on the status of Flint’s safe water the way the government has. “When the state made the announcement…I was disappointed,” Dr. Sullivan shared. “There is such little trust amongst residents.” Her largest concern would be that in the future, it could be found that the city of Flint will not be below the necessary parts per billion and will fail. This will then require another years-worth of waiting before being declared as safe, since the six-month periods must be consecutive. In this case, residents face having to handle being told, once again, that the water was fine when it wasn’t. This not only puts people at risk, but may also severely damage the already rocky relationship between the government and the citizens, even if the call was not malicious, but premature. Dr. Sullivan went on to explain that even if the system is “fine,” in the sense that flushing the pipes and using filters work, “it is not a wise or sustainable process” and that “it’s not a way to claim victory…
March 11, 2017
The city is paying for water that has been treated and is just flushing it out.” However, the struggles do not end there, according to Dr. Sullivan, who explained that “from the state’s perspective…the problem is that corrosion of the pipes resulted high in lead in the water. The other sort of issues that are a result of the corrosion of the pipes is more bacteria.” These bacteria are a threat that could potentially face various areas of Flint. She explained that part of “the process of treating water is adding chlorine, because chlorine is a disinfectant.” This is a normal procedure that balances the amount of time it takes for chlorine to get to a citizen’s house with the amount of chlorine that should reach the home--too high and it can irritate the skin or cause other symptoms, too low and it won’t properly clean the water. While this isn’t a problem if there aren’t bacteria present, Dr. Sullivan is still cautious. “Nobody is really sure how to address it,” she shared. “The rate at which people are using water and the number of people using water is lower.” Because of this, it allows for more stagnant water, which is more susceptible to being infected. A little-known fact about the Flint Water Crisis is that the high lead levels were originally discovered during the same time that the city was looking into the large number of Legionnaires’ disease cases that residents of Flint were coming down with. While with Legionella, the bacteria responsible are bacteria that are commonly present, certain strains that can be found in the water can make people very ill. “In 2014 and 2015, there were outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease,” Dr. Sullivan said. Despite these timetables matching closely with when lead in the water was being investigated, these issues were being discussed and observed within different entities. While the health and human services and hospitals covered the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, the Michigan Department of Environmental Equality oversaw the lead in the water. These two issues started to overlap “when citizens were banding together to do [the] Citizens’ Science Lead Testing.” There were also nurses who came to test for Legionella
Technician Adam Lecznar
Rebecca Roughton L ayout Editor
Staff writers Jordan Mayer Khalid Foflonker Megan Cox Nathan Schleh
Faculty Advisor Christine Levecq Special Thanks To Betsy Homsher & Debbie Stewart
Photo courtesy of Michigan Radio and Steve Carmody
The Technician encourages any interested students to attend staff meetings. Meetings for Winter 2017 will be each Tuesday and Thursday over the lunch hour in The Technician office, located on the 3rd floor of the Campus Center above the Sunrise Café. Student submissions are encouraged and will be published if their material is in the public interest. Submissions or letters to the editor from faculty and administrative entities will be published if space is available. The Technician reserves the right to edit any and all submissions for brevity and clarity. Anonymous submissions are rarely published and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Individuals wishing to publish anonymously should consult the Editor-in-chief. The deadline for the upcoming issue of The Technician is 9th Tuesday at 6pm. Expected distribution is 10th Monday. Send submissions to email@example.com.
March 11, 2017
Dr. Sullivan Interview Continued from Page 2
due to knowing about the disease outbreaks. “Corrosion wouldn’t cause the Legionnaires’ disease, but the corrosion of the iron in the pipes…is a nutrient for the bacteria…[and] the iron binds to chlorine, so it removed chlorine and fed bacteria.” “It may have provided an entry point.” “The question is, are the Legionella bacteria that cause illness present [in Flint’s water]. If they are, is the chlorine sufficient to kill them, and is there any evidence that the bacteria that have caused people to be sick in Flint over the last few years related to the Legionella in the water?” “We have found Legionella in showerheads in Flint…It looks like it could be [the same genetically as the kind causing illness], but in order to be certain, you have to have a number of samples and control.” Dr. Sullivan stressed that “if we have adequate chlorine, it isn’t a concern.” Outside of potential bacteria that aren’t uncommon to water, she explained that “there is a possibility of bacteria that shouldn’t be in the water and that in normal situations wouldn’t be in the water.” These bacteria cause stomach and digestion issues, and are usually found in fecal matter. “There was an outbreak of illness caused by bacteria found in feces this last summer,” the professor explained. “We don’t know if it was from the water or somewhere else. We do know that there are breaks in the line in places in the city.” Citizens with galvanized steel pipes face a greater risk of this, due to them corroding at a faster rate. As long as there is pressure on the water, though, the most likely risk is a leak in the pipe that flows outward rather than inward. However, if there is something that happens to drop the pressure, such as a break, and the pressure goes down, it is possible that substances could leak into the water leading to a resident’s home. “In places where there is enough chlorine, the filters are enough,” Dr. Sullivan reaffirmed. However, she expressed that in areas without enough chlorine, there could be some very dangerous consequences. Moving on from discussing the current state of things, Dr. Sullivan shared insight into how these changes were accomplished over the last year. To her, the most important factors have been the people fighting together to make change happen. “The EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency) has been key in studying how the water moves in the pipes…and what happens when the pipes corrode and what happens when you try to put that protective layer back on the inside,” Dr. Sullivan said. “They have been doing the research that we have not been capable of.” Beyond agencies, though, Dr. Sulli-
van gave her appreciation to the people of the town, saying “the city has had to fight a lot….How we’ve gotten this goes on the shoulders of the people of Flint who have had to sometimes yell for the whole year without stopping.” “I think the universities have helped in a couple of different ways,” Dr. Sullivan began, noting the work that various universities, local and not, contributed. A point that stood out to her about the universities was the ability to specialize in areas that made each one useful. She expressed that sometimes the work wasn’t entirely what one may expect, including “helping the mayor staff, helping the residents, making sure there are nutrition programs, and studying the effect of this whole crisis on young people and their anxiety [in response to the crisis].” She followed this by expressing her displeasure with the lack of matching enthusiasm from the state, saying “I can’t say that I feel like the representatives of the states have done more than anything they were forced to do, even now.” To her and likely many others in Flint, she expressed that “their trust has been blown.” “Much of what we need to do costs money. Some of that money comes from the federal government, and in many cases the state holds that federal money,” she explained, saying that often times groups need to complete numerous tasks before being allotted funds. “The funding that we have gotten has helped us get to where we are, but we can’t keep going if the state keeps playing this game.” While banding together to fix a problem may seem straightforward, per Dr. Sullivan, there was quite a bit of strife at times. “At first it was a bunch of different groups and agencies clambering and saying ‘how can we help’… and stepping on one other and sometimes competing.” In addition to the chaos of trying to manage many different forces that all wanted to work towards the same goal, early on, Dr. Sullivan notes, “there were some people that would say in the media ‘don’t send anymore water we have way too much water.’ That was a mistake.” Due to this fault, she expressed that then people worries about running out
Photos courtesy of Huffington Post and Sarah Raymond Cunningham
of water. The issues with those wishing to help continue with some people who are unaware of the issues at hand. Dr. Sullivan recounts her experience, sharing that “every time some new investigative journalist or filmmaker or potential volunteer, they come in with this sense ‘where is the lake crisis? How do I help with the lake crisis?’ And many times they see it’s also this, and also this and also this’ and they [say] ‘oh this is too big.’” Because of this, she expressed that “it’s hard to maintain the energy of people who are coming to help when they see how complicated and huge the problem is.” Sometimes, though, misinformation is not just born from miscommunication, but complete refusal to believe in the facts presented. “A year ago…there were still lots of people who didn’t believe there was a problem. I don’t think that is really the case [now], but there are still people who think it was a sham.” Luckily, the number has gone down, she shared. Dr. Sullivan continued to explain the disbelief, saying that “in some cases, its people in extreme poverty who don’t have access to information, but in other cases its wealthy people who think its used as a political move to ‘get this person in office or get one person out of office.” The professor was particularly at odds with this, simply responding that she “couldn’t imagine—I couldn’t dream up doing something like this as a political move.” Moving on from the discussion of the factors that have brought the Flint Water Crisis to where it was today, Dr. Sullivan shared some common misconceptions people have regarding the issue. She first began by sharing one issue that featured a misunderstanding between the lead issue and the potential bacteria issue. Early on during the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, “patients were told not to shower at the hospital…because ‘of the Flint water.’ So some people in Flint think that the lead makes it not safe to shower.” However, this reasoning does not match up with known side effects of lead poisoning. “What may be causing some rashes and difficulty in shower is that the people live way too close to the treatment plant are are getting too much
Dr. Sullivan Interview Continued from Page 3 chlorine. It could [also] be that there’s some kind of a fungus or skin bacteria that’s not being disinfected because there’s not enough chlorine, but it’s very unlikely that it’s because ‘there’s lead in the water.’” This is because “lead has a very metabolic effect and a neurotoxin effect,” not a dermal effect. In another case, Dr. Sullivan discussed a misconception that’s plagued the issue since its formation. “The big misconception that’s propagated by… anyone trying to ‘solve’ the problem, is that it is all the same water, the ‘Flint Water.’…as if the problem is the same everywhere. In fact,” she continued, “there are parts that have never really had problems with lead or bacteria. There are places that have had huge lead problems, yet no bacteria. More than anywhere, it is very different at different parts of the city,” primarily because of location and corrosion levels. Beyond misconceptions, Dr. Sullivan also acknowledged that the differences in treatment of different areas of the town may indicate something more. “for some things it can appear [like a racial issue]. Some of the poorest neighborhoods have the worst problems.” In areas of Flint, people were advised to aquire healthy foods to help the body protect itself against some of the poor health effects due to the water. However, Dr. Sullivan noted, there are some parts of Flint that “just don’t have grocery stores.” Because of this, she questioned if “it might be a racial issue not because they were poisoned more, but because services weren’t available.” This brought the conversation on to environmental justice. Whereas its more familiar cousin, social justice, has to do with issues such as housing, needs for children, and that things are fair for charges of crimes, etc, environmental justice deals with “based on your race or income or something that sets you apart, are you at a disadvantage based on where you work or live…Is there an environmental hazard that signals out or is signaled out for one race or another.” Dr. Sullivan expressed that while she didn’t think that anybody sat around and said ‘I want to poison that water,’ she did caution that it could be possible that people that were careless due to greed or any other negative motivator could have unknowingly singled out these groups, potentially due to their lack of resources to defend themselves. “Very very few people feel like they can trust to use the water again, so many people aren’t using as much of it.” This can cause a dangerous snowball effect, where because people aren’t using as much water, it isn’t moving as much, which is an essential part of keeping water clean and not stagnant or “old.” “It is absolutely necessary at some point and time to figure out what it would take to get for people to trust the water or to trust somebody when they say that the water is okay, because right now there isn’t a person like that.” Dr. Sullivan then explained the idea of “Truth and Reconciliation” groups working to help build trust between groups that have been at odds with one another. She admitted that while historically, such as in apartheid, these efforts have not worked very well. However, she noted that in the
situations that this has worked well, it was because the council was created full of people that were well trusted in the community, “not because they worked someplace or they had a certain degree, or are of a certain religion, but just because of their role.” She noted that often, in certain groups of native Americans, they chose grandmothers. “One of the things I’ve been trying to work on is what would be called an establishment of grandmothers.” Anyone who had a grandchild in Flint would be able to join, and would be given tools to help them form a council to hold conversations to help repair trust. These conversations would focus on what went wrong and how to move forward. This idea came to Dr. Sullivan during the most recent summer where she herself came down with a disease caused by bacteria from the water. Due to the severity of the illness, she spent a great deal of time bedridden and in the hospital. This had other nasty effects, going to such extremes as to making her unable to walk across the house, which required physical therapy, and severally limiting her ability to eat. After gaining this insight into the life Dr. Sullivan, the conversation took a more personal tone in getting an understanding in how this sort of task affects a person, in particular, this person. “I miss, in some respects, just being a simple professor,” she shared. Before the interview, Dr. Sullivan had just gotten out of another meeting, which she said were not uncommon to have stacked up day to day on top of being a professor. In addition to laborious schedule, she detailed some of the difficulties in trying to get to work with other people. “I’m not going to keep a secret…and I am going to ask questions,” she shared, noting that this would not always put her in favor with certain people. However, to her, she was more focused on doing what she strives to do correctly. This prompted the question of ‘what keeps you going?’ To this, Dr. Sullivan responded that “somedays there’s very little.” She made note of small outings with friends that would help ease the stress of managing various projects at once. “It reminds me that the world isn’t just meetings of people who are trying to get help and people who are withholding help.” That the world is full of people “who realize that really, the reason that we’re all here is to take care of each other.” Finally, I asked if there was anything that Dr. Sullivan would like Kettering University students to know. Instead of sharing facts regarding clean water in Flint, or organizations that may be applicable to us, she shared a message that, while it can be applied All Photos Courtesy of Pardeep Toor
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to the water issues facing Flint, go beyond that. “The idea of the truth has been incredibly ruined. Alternate reality, alternate truth, ‘well, he said,’ ‘well, she said,’ the prevalence of cover-ups and the need of whistleblowers…my generation and the one before me created this. Dishonesty was almost assumed, so you needed a whistleblower because we knew there was going to be a liar…I know that there’s going to be huge pressure to lie, to cover-up, to look the other way for the bottom-line, or because the only job that’s the most important job is to make your boss look good. “But the thing that I am starting to believe about this generation is that… I think that this generation has witnessed so much corruption and lying, and in the midst, little bits of nobility and integrity and truth that you seek those things out, right? That the goodness that’s inside of you—that something inside of you that says ‘I want to be honest, I want to take care of my fellow man, I want to make a positive contribution in the world,’ has an antenna that says ‘oh, I can tell that person’s honest,’ whereas my generation growing up assumed everyone was. I couldn’t figure it out, the honest person, as well
as you guys can. I just hope that—I don’t know if perfect is the right word—but that really beautiful thing about you that hasn’t been corrupted yet-that really beautiful thing that already knows what’s important, what’s true--that you do a better job of preserving that than we did. And it surely won’t be easy because the role models that you’ve had is from people who’ve said that the number one goal is to make a lot of money, have a lot of things. We’ve witnessed those people who said that the number one goal ‘I’ll be happy if I have more, I’ll be happy if I have more, I’ll be happy if I have more, I’ll be happy if I have MORE.” You’ve started to witness that they didn’t get happier when they had more. That somehow, things were different, but you know people you witness people that didn’t have much at all and still found happiness—that that will be the fuel that that good, beautiful thing about you to continue, and that the force or the wind that blows that suggests that corruption’s okay as long as you get wealth will not have an effect on you.”
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Dean's Lunch Continued from Front Page neering as a whole. Intelligent mechanical systems are taking over the worldwide mechanical engineering frontier, meaning that there are very few purely mechanical applications left; rather, the vast majority of new things will be electromechanical. In the same way that computers allowed engineers to complete more challenging projects and make more accurate models, they will make the things we build more robust. Intelligent mechanics will reduce long-term errors and stressors, such as smart brake pads that send you a text when they need replacing. (Dean Hoff commented on that, saying “I thought that brake pads would be the last stand for mechanical systems, but nope, there goes that, too.”) Because we’re in Michigan, it’s obvious that the most prevalent projects in the field of mechanical engineering are related to the auto industry, and auto engineers are worried about where they’re going to find the next generation of engineers to fill in the talent gap created by the older generation, who are retiring at an increasing rate as they find that their knowledge and experience is incompatible with the direction the industry is moving (i.e., toward digitalized systems and interlinking). Dean Hoff described the changes that the industry is currently undergoing in the same way as the Karnatakan daily English e-newspaper Deccan Herald does: as a series of digital waves. First, computers make engineers intelligent. “I have to clarify here,” said Dean Hoff with a chuckle, “engineers were already intelligent. Computers just made us more intelligent, because now we could model and solve more problems and talk to each other.” Next, the creation of mechatronics made machines more intelligent – the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), for example. The third “wave” was system integration, which made cars intelligent. Things like an auto-brake system, lane drift alerts, and even simple things like tire pressure sensors that alert the driver to low pressure fall into this category. Soon, as companies like Uber and Ola are showing us with increasing speed, the next digital “wave” will hit with the advent of intelligent mobility, such as autonomous vehicles. This final wave is still a few decades off, but it will be up to our generation to pave the way for its arrival. According to Dean Hoff, in order to do this, we need to change the way engineering works at a fundamental level. We need to update existing controls and expand current technologies to accommodate what’s coming; train engineers to work in multidisciplinary teams and, more importantly, collaborate with non-engineers (such as Computer
News Science majors); and to ensure engineers have an innovative mindset so they can keep up with the rapidly changing pace. Hoff ’s suggestions for doing this would be to add a software engineering (which is a misleading term, as one of his colleagues pointed out) program and possibly a system controls minor to help Kettering students prepare for the modernization of engineering. In preparation for the increased importance that will need to be placed on these aspects of engineering, GM and SAE have teamed up to host the AutoDrive challenge, where engineering students will attempt to construct “a full autonomous driving passenger vehicle” that meets the SAE J3016 standard (in other words, a Level Four autonomous vehicle) in three years’ time. The ten teams from select universities chosen to participate in the contest will be announced this April, and Kettering may be among them. Even if Kettering is not selected to be a part of the competition, we have a strong automotive powertrain knowledge base among faculty and graduate students, a fully functional crash safety/sled test lab, a soon-to-be-completed proving ground, and a materials science program. We certainly have the capability to fill the “talent pipeline” in the industry. According to Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) data, job postings for engineers are skyrocketing, with an uptake in engineering positions by 10-15% in the next ten years in Southeast Michigan alone. With an increase in relevant programs, Kettering could provide a strong percentage of the engineers needed to fill those positions in just a few years’ time. With autonomous vehicles just over the horizon and an increased importance being placed on the study of alternative fuels and new control designs, our ability to train engineers for the future of engineering will become Kettering’s main selling point to prospective students.
Service Saturday Continued from Front Page where members of the community can access tools, equipment, and training that are not always available elsewhere. This maker space will be opening in late April assuming all goes to plan, and potential users can expect to pay $30 per month if they are a student or $50 per month otherwise. The maker space had been operating in a different location for the past two years, but this move to Factory Two, located at 129 N. Grand Traverse St. in Flint, offers a lot in terms of an expansion of space, equipment capabilities, and programming. Some notable gear on site includes 3D Printers, a laser cutter, vinyl cutter, CNC Router, silk screen press, wood and metal shops, bike repair, and more. The factory will be run by Jon Hardman, who provides a diverse background including various tech and computer jobs, as well as experience running a bike co-op in East Lansing. The programming opportunities previously discussed have not all been finalized; there are some regularly occurring activities. There will be “Open Shop” one night a week, where people can use the factory without having a membership. There will also be Wednesday night game nights, Game Space, where people present can enjoy board games. There will also be routine workshops that cover how different equipment can be used, introduction to bike repairs, and support for entrepreneurs and start-ups companies. For more information about Factory Two visit https://www.facebook.com/FactoryTwo/, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. As part of a 501c3 nonprofit they are able to sign off on community service hours as well. To learn more about the University Avenue Corridor Coalition visit https://www.facebook.com/uacflint/.
Photos Courtesy of Kettering University and Cliff Hughes
News Dr. Young Talk Continued from Front Page
Dr. Young began with the emergence of new types of control systems that have developed, including touchscreens and voice recognition software. “I think the topic has a very broad application across engineering and technology,” said Young, who recalled phones ten years ago featuring physical keypads rather than touchscreens and Siri. “I’m not sure there’s a difference between Human-Machine Interfaces and Human-Computer Interfaces anymore.” This transitioned into the topic of where such technologies would go in the future. Dr. Young provided examples of concept designs Head-UpDisplays (HUD) in driverless cars. These featured designs for touchscreens throughout the car interior and the capability to project information onto the windows. The primary concern for Dr. Young, though, is how much is too much. “Where is the p r a c t i c a l i t y,” questioned Dr. Young, in a similar style to his class lectures, where he often poses questions that he or others would ask when performing research. He specifically referred to the location of some touchscreens on the interiors of doors, which would put them near the side of a person’s hip. The next type of technology highlighted was Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, which is now affordable. Again, however, these technologies and their application are not without drawbacks. People become zoned off in the virtual environment, sometimes at risk of falling or impacting objects. Others become nauseous from its use. Still, the technology has incredible potential in manufacturing and the consumer market. “Now we’re laying virtual on physical. We have a whole new layer of information to analyze and interact with. It makes a lot of sense. It’s exciting,” explained Dr. Young, who then began branching into the implications of his research with his next question. “How will people interact with these new technologies? Possibly how we interact with them now.” Dr. Young cited examples of current input devices used to interact with com-
puters and other devices. These included the traditional computer mouse and keyboard, as well as joystick and new interfaces like touchscreens. However, Dr. Young’s research intended to find new ways of interacting using human motion. “Some [input devices] are more cumbersome than others,” Dr. Young commented, citing the use of a mouse in 3D CAD software, which requires intensive camera manipulation in multiple angles. “This input should be natural and intuitive. Changing and learning is bad.” Therein lied main problem Dr. Young’s research aimed to solve. The goal was to create ways to put natural gestures into technology interfaces without causing every movement to mean something to the computer or machine, also known as clutch. This research assumed that the future would yield improved tracking technology which would make it possible to constantly track each movement and distinguish between different parts of the body. Dr. Young’s research team, which consisted of students and faculty, then created specific apparatuses for tracking the hand and digit movements, and performed specific tests that normally use a computer mouse. Instead, specific gestures were used to allow the hand to replace a mouse. These tests showed the effectiveness of the gesture tracking. In addition to this research, Dr. Young and his team tested the ergonomic implications of such new input systems and how they could impact people in the future. “Technology has a way of changing us as human beings and our lives,” stated Dr. Young, who cited previous research he had performed while in school
Photos courtesy of Cartelligent.com and Pardeep Toor
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related to the difference between computer use and tablet use and its impact on posture, arm fatigue, and wrist fatigue. “[Specifically,] the arm is heavy.” Dr. Young considered with his research how people using the tracking system would use their arms and hands, and how this could impact shoulder fatigue. He found that users often kept their arms held out in front of their bodies, which could cause should fatigue if held for long periods. Thus an armrest with greater range of motion was developed for the tests. The issue of intuitiveness also emerged in Dr. Young’s studies. He found that people using a computer mouse find it natural to correlate forward and backward motion with vertical motion of the mouse clicker on the computer screen. But when given freedom of motion in three dimensions, people naturally wanted their motions in 3D space to correlate exactly with the 2D motion of the mouse clicker in the vertical plane of a monitor. In other words, moving the hand up should correlate to the mouse clicker moving up on the screen. Dr. Young therefore also studied how humans move their limbs in three dimensions. He tested people on their ability to move their hands in only one direction. He found that it was very difficult for people to minimize the motion in any two dimensions while moving in the third dimension. This was important to his research for the purpose of gain, or the speed with which the clicker moved to a location based on the tracked hand’s velocity. Dr. Young’s research is still ongoing, but he closed his presentation with a brief description of future issues with the technology. These include things like motion sickness, haptic feedback, user distractions, and questions of who is in control of the technology and its use. “Everything is going to be merged together,” advised Dr. Young. “It’s a fertile field of research. It’s going to happen.”
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Time to Make the Switch? Nathan Schleh Staff Writer The day of the Nintendo Switch release is finally here. It’s a day that many of us have been waiting for ever since we realized that our Wii Us have been sitting in a corner unused due to a lack of motivation to play them—or is that just me? Five months ago, Nintendo showed us their take on the future of gaming, with a handheld-console hybrid called the Nintendo Switch, and now, as I hold the future of Nintendo gaming in my hands, I have to ask the question: was it worth it? With the limited lineup of launch games, the rumored hardware issues, and the stability of the console itself, many have been around the internet spreading seeds of doubt about the new console, and just how it stands up in the modern era of gaming. But hopefully here today we can finally answer the question: is it time to make the switch? The unboxing and startup of the console itself was very fast and smooth, and within ten minutes I was able to start playing my games. But before I get to that, let’s talk about the console itself. One of the prevalent questions people had about it was its size: is it too big to fit in your pocket? Are the Joy-Cons too small? Do they feel awkward trying to play on them sideways, or in the grip? Starting off, the console was smaller than I originally expected, with the size of the screen itself being about an inch larger than my phone both on width and length (using a Samsung Galaxy S7 for scale). However, that really didn’t seem that uncomfortable after holding it for the first time, as the console itself fit in my hands almost ideally, and the JoyCons filling my grip. Speaking of the Joy-Cons, they are particularly comfortable no matter how I am using them, whether that be in handheld mode, in the grip, or separate from the console and each other. Even my biggest concern, holding it sideways, really felt like it fit into my hands well when playing with either Joy-Con. That was useful too; being able to split them apart and hand one to a friend to play coop or battle in any game was very convenient when anyone would come up and ask: “can I play?” The D-pad buttons too didn’t even feel that disjointed, despite my expectations from many other reviews. Instead, playing a side scroller like Shovel Knight (one of the three games I got for the console) with
News the D-pad felt just as natural as playing it with a normal D-pad, though many people still prefer to use a pro controller. Finally, when snapped into place, the Joy-Cons feel very secure to the console, and it would take quite a bit of force to rip them from the base. Overall, it really seems like Nintendo really values the quality of this console more than anything else, and it really feels like something that will last me quite a long time. On the game side of things, I started off my experience with getting three games: Shovel Knight, a retro side-scroller akin to Mega Man; Snipperclips, an innovative co-op puzzle game that has players cut you and your paper friend into different shapes in order to solve various orders; and, of course, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. So far, all three games have been able to entertain me in between studying and classes, with, of course, Zelda being my prime choice. But let’s save that anticipation and talk about the other two first. By no means is Shovel Knight a new game, having been released in summer 2014. However, with much content being added for the Switch version, it truly starts to feel like a new game again. This version allows you to play as one of the antagonists, Specter Knight, who plays very differently from our shoveling hero and is given many different parts of
game to play, from new levels, to new boss fights, to even a new level selection method, this prequel to the original really stand out as something new and refreshing for this series. Snipperclips, on the other hand, offered a break from the core gaming style that I had been getting used to as of late, allowing a friend and me to relax and solve puzzles at our leisure—at least until we were at each other’s throats. Such is the life of co-op puzzle games. But it is really the last game where the Switch really shines. Breath of the Wild has been a highly anticipated game on every gamer’s list since it was first shown back in E3 of 2014, and so far it’s kept all its promises. This isn’t your grandfather’s Zelda; this entry really brings new life to the series with its previously unexplored style of gameplay. Gone are many of the staples from the old Zelda games, like linear progression, static combat, and even items. This Zelda allows you access to an open world where you can do whatever you want and any given point in time. Want to skip the game and fight the final boss? You can go do that right from the start. Want to avoid Screenshot taken by Nathan Schleh, Breath of the Wild by Nintendo
the story and go explore the world before making any real progress? The world is without bound in that aspect, allowing you to explore every little corner before even visiting the first village. Speaking of which, the story itself sees a new style like never before, with quest-based gameplay and even voice acting being added to truly show off the narrative. Even with all of that, though, the game never stops feeling like a Zelda game, with many of the familiar territory of the series appearing while still giving it the modern style it deserves. That’s not to say the experience has been completely flawless, though, with frame drops happening at high-action times, usually in battles with large amounts of enemies typically in fields or forests, but even these are few and far-between. Through all of this, this may finally be the greatest Zelda game we’ve had since Ocarina of Time. This isn’t to say that this console’s launch has been perfect, however, as many problems and issues have still arisen since then. Many people online have been talking about the “Joy-Con de-sync issue”, where people have reported that their left Joy-con specifically has been disconnecting during gameplay, leaving the game stuck on the last input given. I’m happy to say that I have not encountered this issue as of yet, however I must also add that I have not played the game in TV mode yet, and most times that I have used the Joy-Cons separately has been only a few feet from the console itself. There’s also the issue to be said about the game lineup; with the largest first-party title to be released on the system being Breath of the Wild, which was also released on the Wii U, it means that the closest exclusive must-have title won’t be coming to the system until holiday 2017. This leaves a lot of fans questioning whether to get it for Zelda now, or wait until later and just play Zelda on their Wii U. Because of this, for people with a Wii U, it might not be as easy to recommend getting the Switch this early, but if you have no other outlet, just getting it for Zelda is totally worth the buy. Though there are many issues that other reviewers brought up, I really haven’t experienced many of those myself. One thing that I do have to say though that many reviewers get wrong is that they feel like the stand feels flimsy and will eventually break off. What many of them don’t know is that is intentional; the stand is designed to snap off, and then easily snap back on again, preventing accidental breakage. There are still a few annoyances, though. For one the console package doesn’t come with a Joy-Con charging grip, instead forcing you to use the console itself to charge the controllers. However, with the 20 hour battery life, it doesn't seem like running out of battery will be much of an issue unless you’re really marathoning a game. In addition, the Switch’s charging port is on the bottom of the console, making it unable to be
through the camera lens
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Top: Students utilize the new D.Space's whiteboardwall as Provost James Zhang looks on. Bottom: Robert Kaplan, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of Region 5, presents Dr. Robert K. McMahan with a plaque award for Kettering University's support provided to the EPA for the Flint Water Crisis.
Photos courtesy of Kettering University
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Top: As a part of a Physics Club activity, students partnered with GEO at Kettering University to create solar-powered phone chargers. Bottom: On February 27th, students in Mech 350 Introduction to Bioengineering performed their first mock orthopedic surgery .
Photos courtesy of Kettering University
News Switch Review Continued from Front Page 7
charged as well as propped up on a surface, unless, of course, you’re using the TV dock. On the positive side, the console charges with USB-C cables now, making the pain of having a proprietary nintendo chargers a thing of the past, allowing you to use most phone chargers as well as macbook pro chargers. The one issue that I had that no one else seemed to have, however, was the fact that the Switch wouldn’t pick up on either my home wifi nor my apartment wifi, forcing me to have to use my phone hotspot or the Kettering internet in order to connect. It appears that the wifi needs to have a specific connection type that can easily be changed in the router settings, but unfortunately my landlady won't give me the admin password, so I’m kinda stuck there. Even with the Switch’s relatively mundane release schedule and reportedly buggy hardware, it still stands on its own as a monument to just how far technology and gaming has come. The console itself is slick and clean, with a feeling about it that just beckons to be played. Though the release schedule is small at about 9 games so far, with over a hundred games on the radar from favored indie titles like Towerfall and Stardew Valley to hard-hitters like Super Mario Odyssey, it shows that the system has more planned for it than just a short burst. And with many of the reported issues seeming to be being fixed over time by software updates and technology advancement, it appears that numerous technological issues are quickly being fixed as fast as they’re found. The question still remains though—is it time to make the Switch? Perhaps not, if you still have a Wii U running. However, for those that are listening in who may have skipped the Wii U, or perhaps have never even touched a Nintendo console before, it is definitely worth taking a look at.
Brain Candy Robert Lyman Distribution Editor In case you haven’t heard, VSauce’s Michael Stevens and Mythbusters’ Adam Savage have teamed up to do a touring show about the wonders of science. On Sunday, March 5, they were at the Fox Theater in downtown Detroit in front of a packed house of more than 2,500 people. The show opened at precisely the moment I sat down, with Savage coming out from backstage to thank us all for coming out to see the show. He described the event as “a way for us to present to you a different way to look at things: for example, you may say this box is empty. I submit to you that is full. Full of air, full of atoms, full of Michael Stevens!” The box in question had been closed, allowing Stevens to exit a smaller box hidden inside it. Savage went on to explain that the night’s show would be all about air and the interesting things you could do with it. Stevens then explained the show’s title: “That buzz you get in your head when you learn something new? That’s Brain Candy.” Savage then demonstrated the lighting system, which he used to segway into a new segment on different kinds of smoke machines. They don’t use actual smoke, since it comes from fire, after all, and these machines use--well, sort of the opposite of fire. Stevens made a bad joke about how the reverse process of combustion (fuel + oxygen = carbon dioxide + light) being photosynthesis (carbon dioxide + light = oxygen + food), and posited that the opposite of fire was in fact a plant. “Wow, it’s actually really cool to hear two thousand people groan at the same time,” said Savage in response, which turned out to be another well-planned transition into sound waves, which are pressure waves. Demonstrations in front of a live audience are what the two were there for, so Stevens challenged Savage to knock a plastic bottle off a podium from ten feet away using nothing but air. After flailing his arms comically for a few seconds, Savage reached into a box and pulled out a tennis ball slingshot, which he referred to as an air cannon. Using the cannon, he was easily able to knock over the bottle. Stevens then explained that this was Photos Courtesy of Nintendo and Brain Candy
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because of the focus of the pressure wave created by the air cannon, which was actually a donut-shaped pulse that we call a toroid. To demonstrate what he meant, Savage brought out a makeshift garbage can air cannon, filled it with smoke, and fired it across the stage. That, however, was not good enough, so he brought in a speciallymade air cannon that measured five feet in diameter filled with smoke and fired it into the audience; the toroid produced by this cannon made it all the way to the back of the balcony. Soon it was time for another demonstration, this one being of the power of air as a force of thrust. Savage called a little girl of about 6 years up to the stage and had her place ten hair driers in a ring around a circle of plywood with a chair in the middle. Once she sat down, he turned them all on at once to create a hovercraft that floated about an inch of the ground. Giving her a push, he sent her on a ride across the stage. Stevens pushed back, and they be-
gan a game of Pong with the hovercraft as the ball. After sending her back to her seat and demonstrating pressure differentials by making a cloud appear in a two-liter bottle of air, Savage brought out something that Mythbusters fans recognized: a vacuum cleaner ping-pong ball cannon. Taking careful aim, he demonstrated this machine by accelerating a ping-pong ball so that it tore a hole straight through a ping-pong paddle. Savage lamented that they couldn’t bring the full-sized cannon seen on Mythbusters in, but since the device in question accelerated a ping-pong ball to lethal speeds, he remarked that it was probably for the best as the show went to intermission. After the break, Stevens and Savage answered some questions that audience members had tweeted to them throughout the show. Savage was asked how he got into doing science and what his favorite myth to test had been. He said that he actually got into the science almost by accident and that he didn’t seriously consider himself to be a scientist until he realized that he was experimenting with sciencerelated things during his career. His favorite myth
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Brain Candy Continued from Front Page 10
turned out to be something that didn’t even make the show: “Ever been to the store and you ask your parents for that marshmallow cereal you love, only for your mom to say the cardboard is more nutritious than the cereal? Well, we figured that’s a testable claim, so we got a bunch of mice...” In the end, one of the three mice that had been fed cardboard ate his two companions, got nicknamed Killer, and ended up being fed to Jamie’s snake. Stevens was asked what the sum of all positive numbers was, and he started by opening up a calculator and typing in 1+2+3+4+5+6+7 before saying “well, it’s bigger than 28.” He then went on to mention the solution given by the folks over at Numberphile by means of a Ramanujan Summation, which yields the number -1/12. Yes, you read that correctly: the Ramanujan Sum of all positive integers is -1/12. This fact simultaneously confounds the average Joe while making the average theoretical physicist very happy, as it just so happens to help the math behind String Theory play nicely with quantum mechanics. With the Q&A over, Stevens and Savage returned to the subject of air with an exploration of the Bernoulli Principle, starting with the classic “blow across the top of a sheet of paper and it rises” trick. The catch this time, as Stevens pointed out, is that that demonstration isn’t the Bernoulli Principle at all, as it involves more than one stream of airflow. It’s actually an example of the Coandă Effect. An example of Bernoulli’s Principle in action would be suspending a beach ball in midair with a leafblower, and Savage did just that, demonstrating not only that you can suspend a beach ball in midair, but that you can do so at an angle of at least 45 degrees. Continuing with the theme of using leafblowers, Savage presented his leafblower ping-pong ball machine gun, taking aim directly at Stevens, who produced a Captain America shield to deflect the rapidfired shots into the audience for souvenirs. Wanting to go out with a bang, they produced a large hopper full of ping-pong balls and a two-liter bottle full of air. By overpressurizing the bottle until it burst, they created a pressure wave that blasted the ping-pong balls into the air and thus the audience. After joking that the insurance company had almost shut down this particular demonstration due to safety concerns from an exploding pop bottle, Savage loaded another two-liter, and they fired it off again, sending another few hundred souvenirs into the crowd before taking a bow and thanking us all for coming to see the show. Brain Candy Live! will continue to tour for another month or so in locations such as Orlando, New Orleans, Dallas, and Reno, after which Savage and Stevens will take a break to see about writing another show with a different theme. For more information, you can log onto the show’s website at braincandylive.com.
News Opinon: Executives and Founders A comparison between Kettering University and University of Waterloo Eddie Schodowski Guest Writer Kettering and Waterloo are both undervalued universities that produce strong technical graduates because of their focus on experiential education. Most people in the US don’t know about Waterloo; this is probably because Canadian universities don’t show up on US News and World Report. There are a few differences between the two universities, however. I’d like to delve into what might cause Kettering to produce more Executives and Waterloo to produce more Founders . 1. Co-op (Experts vs. Generalists) 2. Valued Skills (Automotive Complexity vs. Tech Scalability) 3. Academic Approach to Entrepreneurship (Management vs. Product) Co-op Experts vs. Generalists Kettering strongly encourages students to stay with their co-op throughout the entire program. Not everyone does, but the ones that do are typically able to take on greater responsibilities later on and are the most likely to get full-time job offers. This is the most important measurement for Kettering -- prospective students would probably be less inclined to go to college in Flint if there weren’t such a strong employment rate after graduation. What’s measured gets managed, so the program is designed to maximize that metric and creates corporate experts as a result. Couple this with being a feeder into Harvard Business School , and you typically get a lot of Executives relative to Founders. Waterloo’s students don’t have such a requirement, and it would probably be hard to enforce if they did.
Their university has a population of 35,900 students compared to Kettering’s 1,732 students. While not everyone participates in co-op at Waterloo, the majority of students that do like the idea of trying out different jobs, companies, company sizes, roles, and industries to see what they like.  While a wider variety of co-op jobs per student does lower Waterloo’s employment rate after graduation — along with offering majors outside of STEM — relative to Kettering’s 98%, it is still relatively much higher than most colleges in Canada and doesn’t detract from prospective student interest. Waterloo’s top metric is that it’s Canada’s Most Innovative University, and it manages this by supporting student interest with the Velocity Fund & Incubator, Enterprise Co-op, and a strong entrepreneurial culture instilled by the university’s founders. The by-product of these diverse industry experiences makes their students generalists and able to better understand execution across multiple operating sizes, especially if students have done co-ops at different sized companies. Waterloo hasn’t produced the CEO of General Motors like Kettering has, but GM has definitely seen Waterloo’s technical value. In the next section, I will explain the differences between the types of skills engineers coming out of the two schools are learning based on the values of their industry and how this affects their roles later on. Valued Skills: Automotive Complexity vs. Tech Scaleability The skills implicitly valued in the automotive industry and tech industry give engineers momentum for future responsibilities in different ways. By understanding what these skills are, we can better understand the role they play in the general predisposition of graduates from Kettering and Waterloo to become either Executives or Founders. Valued skills in automotive companies are typically very industry-specific. Consider the vehicle network, CAN. You can’t build a vehicle today without using it, but many other industries will never need CAN or even know what it is. Becoming stronger
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Executives and Founders Continued from Page 11
in the automotive industry’s valued skills gives you a strong foundation to manage greater complexity in its intricate and interdisciplinary process. The opportunity cost to ascending the automotive corporate ladder is that these valued skills may not be as specifically applicable to other markets. This could be why Kettering tends to produce a lot of executives in the automotive industry; students are at a significant advantage by learning all of the industry’s intricacies early on, and that knowledge compounds
in a dramatic way over the course of their career. Valued skills in the tech industry are typically very relevant to entrepreneurs because software dramatically helps companies scale after they’ve found product-market fit . The opportunity cost to this is a bit harder to see. While software is everywhere, learning Ruby on Rails alone won’t necessarily make you a domain expert in a particular industry. Lack of domain expertise wouldn’t mesh well with running an automotive company, but markets that don’t exist yet can’t be analyzed straightforwardly. It’s difficult to be an expert in an industry that is completely new . The best way to summarize this section is through the following:
ing. “That’s what I’d advise college students to do, rather than trying to learn about ‘entrepreneurship.’ ‘Entrepreneurship’ is something you learn best by doing. The examples of the most successful founders make that clear. What you should be spending your time on in college is ratcheting yourself into the future. College is an incomparable opportunity to do that. What a waste to sacrifice an opportunity to solve the hard part of starting a startup — becoming the sort of person who can have organic startup ideas — by spending time learning about the easy part. Especially since you won’t even really learn about it, any more than you’d learn about sex in a class. All you’ll learn is the words for things. “The clash of domains is a particularly fruitful source of ideas. If you know a lot about programming and you start learning about some other field, you’ll probably see problems that software could solve. In fact, you’re doubly likely to find good problems in another domain: (a) the inhabitants of that domain are not as likely as software people to have already solved their problems with software, and (b) since you come into the new domain totally ignorant, you don’t even know what the status quo is to take it for granted. “So if you’re a CS major and you want to start a startup, instead of taking a class on entrepreneurship you’re better off taking a class on, say, genetics. Or better still, go work for a biotech company. CS majors normally get summer jobs at computer hardware or software companies. But if you want to find startup ideas, you might do better to get a summer job in some unrelated field.
“Beware of research. If an undergrad writes something all his friends start using, it’s quite likely to represent a good startup idea. Whereas a PhD dissertation is extremely unlikely to. For some reason, the more a project has to count as research, the less likely it is to be something that could be turned into a startup. I think the reason is that the subset of ideas that count as research is so narrow that it’s unlikely that a project that satisfied that constraint would also satisfy the orthogonal constraint of solving users’ problems. Whereas when students (or professors) build something as a side-project, they automatically gravitate toward solving users’ problems — perhaps even with an additional energy that comes from being freed from the constraints of research.”
“Or don’t take any extra classes, and just build things. It’s no coincidence that Microsoft and Facebook both got started in January. At Harvard that is (or was) Reading Period, when students have no classes to attend because they’re supposed to be studying for finals. But don’t feel like you have to build things that will become startups. That’s premature optimization. Just build things. Preferably with other students. It’s not just the classes that make a university such a good place to crank oneself into the future. You’re also surrounded by other people trying to do the same thing. If you work together with them on projects, you’ll end up producing not just organic ideas, but organic ideas with organic founding teams — and that, empirically, is the best combination.
disagree with me. When you’re starting a company, what matters is developing a product people love. Management doesn’t become a problem until you’ve succeeded at that first part. Peter Thiel has some interesting thoughts regarding this:
Recommendations Three things Kettering can do to produce more Founders (should it want to): 1. Student-organized career fairs leading to a broadening of co-op industries. 2. Lynda.com access to all current students. Most importantly, recently accepted students to learn basic technical skills quickly before their first job fair. [Currently in the process of being implemented] 3. Begin offering interdisciplinary product design classes for grade levels between IME 100 and Senior Design. Notes  A great way to see this phenomenon first hand is to use LinkedIn’s Universities pages to see accounts of alumni who attended the school and what they’ve done. Most people don’t know that Kettering has produced the CEO of Gibson Guitar.  I think it’s important to note that MBAs and the case method may not always be useful when it comes to entrepreneurship, although some may
“Big companies are good at extracting the value from existing products, but bad at creating new ones.” — Paul Graham Academic Approach to Entrepreneurship Management vs. Product Kettering and Waterloo’s approach to entrepreneurship is best described by a focus on management versus a focus on product. If you’re in Waterloo’s Systems Design Engineering (SYDE) program, you are required to take a design course — much like the one senior design course everyone takes at Kettering — every single semester from freshman year to senior year. As Waterloo’s Christopher Best, CTO of Kik, told me, “You’ll learn the most building real things outside of class. SYDE design projects are a great excuse to go ham on something.” Kettering’s approach to entrepreneurship is much more focused on management, and this is heavily aligned with what their graduates do later on in their careers. I’ll wrap this section up with another Paul Graham quote: “Live in the future and build what seems interest-
“Teaching vertical progress or innovation is almost a contradiction in terms. Education is fundamentally about going from 1 to n. We observe, imitate, and repeat. Infants do not invent new languages; they learn existing ones. From early on, we learn by copying what has worked before. “That is insufficient for startups. Crossing T’s and dotting I’s will get you maybe 30% of the way there. (It’s certainly necessary to get incorporation right, for instance. And one can learn how to pitch
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VCs.) But at some point you have to go from 0 to 1 — you have to do something important and do it right — and that can’t be taught. Channeling Tolstoy’s intro to Anna Karenina, all successful companies are different; they figured out the 0 to 1 problem in different ways. But all failed companies are the same; they botched the 0 to 1 problem. “So case studies about successful businesses are of limited utility. PayPal and Facebook worked. But it’s hard to know what was necessarily path-dependent. The next great company may not be an e-payments or social network company. We mustn’t make too much of any single narrative. Thus the business school case method is more mythical than helpful.”  While there is some of this at Kettering, it’s hard to deny that many students are self-proclaimed car enthusiasts and also proclaim that they already know what they want to do. After all, the university started out as The General Motors Institute of Technology.  Even though this isn’t how it works in the beginning, you have to be able to eventually develop products. Take a look at Do Things that Don’t Scale by Paul Graham.  Many consulting firms would disagree with me.
News Sno*Drift Rally Race Alex Garrow Submission Writer America tends to ignore the most popular sport in the world: soccer. Much like soccer, rally racing is largely unknown in the United States despite being one of the most popular types of racing worldwide. Sno*Drift is a yearly rally race that takes place in Atlanta, Michigan, and is a shining beacon that beckons rally fans from far and wide in the United States. This year, it took place over the 27th and 28th of January. Rally is one of the more exciting racing events, not just because of the terrain it is driven in, but because it is also very accessible. The average American would be able to own and race their very own prepared car if they had the inclination and money to do so. This trait of rally proves it to be the racing event for the common man. Being north of the 45th parallel, Atlanta tends to get lots of snow in January. This combined with a bounty of gravel roads makes it the perfect location
March Madness Jacob Hankard Online Distributor and Public Relations It is once again March, and for most sports fans that means only one thing: March Madness. Even if you are not a sports fan, you probably know about March Madness, and may even find yourself invested. Many people follow the tournament as a result in competing in some of the many bracket competitions that are held throughout the season. Whether it is for fun or for money and prizes, it is a common way for everyday people to get involved with the sport of basketball. This year you can expect to see many of the same teams in the running, with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University being big names from Michigan. Other teams to look out for include last year’s winners Villanova and the runner ups North Carolina. Some are hoping to see another low seeded team like last year’s Syracuse rise all the way to the Final Four. As always teams like this ruin brackets continually which can be infuriating when you know what’s on the line. If you don’t know, every year Warren Buffet puts up a fortune that can be won by anyone who is able to simply fill out a perfect bracket. Sounds easy, right? To put it into perspective, a person has a higher chance of guessing the phone number of a completely random stranger than to create a perfect bracket and win the prize he offers. This year Buffet has made a new deal, deciding that he will give one million dollars to any employee of the company Berkshire Hathaway that can get a bracket perfect until the Sweet 16. Regardless of what you’re watching for, make sure to enjoy the month and the games.
for the event. Although this year’s warmer conditions caused the snow to melt initially, the temperatures dropped below freezing and snow fell again in time for the event. However, this caused the roads to be covered in ice, causing unpredictably slippery conditions that slowed the drivers down considerably over the weekend and contributed to several accidents. The most memorable was on the super special stage at Lewiston Sand and Gravel, which is essentially a large gravel pit, where a Mk2 VW Golf managed to spin out on a long straight away. This caused him to be stuck up on a large snow mound facing backwards to oncoming racers. The danger of a live track did not deter several spectators (who were likely inebriated) from running down a hill
to the car to attempt to push it back on the track. Thankfully for the Golf and its drivers, there were no collisions with other cars and the sweeper truck was able to pull them out so they could finish the stage. Two Kettering students, Shanti Witt and Bailey Miller, competed in the event with their 1991 E30 BMW with a M50 engine swap. Being a rear wheel drive car, the E30 is hard-pressed to compete with the AWD cars ubiquitous in rallies such as Subarus and Audis. Despite this fact, the Kettering duo managed to pass several of their AWD competitors to place 22 out of 39 overall and 5 out of 11 in class, which is quite impressive for their first time competing in a rally. They were assisted by a crew comprised of other Kettering students and alumni that were crucial in making it possible to keep the car running for the whole weekend. Their success proves that if some college kids can compete in the competition, then anyone can. My highest point of the rally was not seeing some good friends compete, however; it was seeing one of my all-time favorite cars. That car was Mazda’s rally homologation of the late eighties, the 323 GTX. For a car to be allowed to compete in WRC (World Rally Cross), it has to have a certain number of units sold to the public. A homologation is the term used to refer to a car that a company makes a limited number of in order to use it to compete. There were only 5000 GTXs made per year world-wide, and only 1200 managed to make their way to the United States in 1989. All this combined makes these cars quite rare, and being able to see one in person doing what it does best was an amazing experience for me that by itself made the whole trip worth it. Rally racing is an incredibly fun sport to watch, with all the excitement of track racing combined with the added thrill and danger of being on gravel roads. It is also incredibly cheap, with the only expenses other than travel and food being a five-dollar parking fee to one of the stages (that could have been avoided had by parking farther away from the stage on the street). Rally is a true American sport with the ability to be accessible to everyone in every facet of the sport, whether racing, spectating, volunteering, or crewing. Rally has been garnering a bigger fan base in America due to the popularity of drivers such as Ken Block. Hopefully it will continue to grow in popularity, causing more and more events to start up around the country. Until then, fans of the sport in Michigan will just have to mark their calendars and count the days until next year.
Photos Courtesy of PrimeSport.com and Sno-Drift.com
Art and music reviews
Art of Jade Exhibit Ziniu Jin Submission Writer Throughout history, jade has had many cultural implications in many regions all over the world. Especially in China and Mesoamerica, jade has been highly developed and commonly used in daily life. Jewelry functioned as a symbol of social status in ancient Mesoamerica , and jade has often been used to make jewelry for the noble class. In the east, Chinese people think gold valuable, but jade invaluable. The upper class likes jade and uses many tools made of jade, like belt buckles, decorative figurines, and snuff bottles. In China, jade is a symbol of social standing, wealth, and power. “Art of Jade,” currently showing at the Flint Institute of Arts, explores this cultural and social significance of jade. The term jade refers to two type of stones: nephrite and jadeite. Most Chinese jade is nephrite. China produces nephrite, which is a type of white jade, in Xinjiang province. Jadeite has been imported from Burma to China since the eighteenth century, and it is a vivid green. Since jadeite was imported, the royal family generated a strong favor for this green jade. Carving jade is a hard thing due to the hardness of the rock. It requires skilled, patient artists to do this job. The artists usually design their compositions based on the material. For example, a jade material which has multiple colors like green and white might be carved as a Chinese cabbage. Chinese artists like to make an object with a single piece of jade -- they do not like to combine multiple pieces of jade to make a certain object. Jade pieces are classified for different use. The small jade pieces can be used to make rings, earrings, and snuff bottles. The large pieces can be used to make cups, plates, and vases. Even a large jade vase is made of one piece of jade. It
takes skilled artists days to carve jade materials. Just polishing would take a skilled artist hours to do. In the twentieth century, the Chinese even increased the level of jade arts after modern tools such as electronic drills were introduced in jade carving. Chinese artists were able to make more complex forms of jade arts. As you can see in figure 2, the chain is also made of jade. Instead of making the rings individually and connecting them together, they were carved out from one piece. Chinese jade artists also like to use different creatures as the topic of the jade arts. The words “frog” and “baby” have a similar pronunciation in Chinese, so frogs are often used as the symbols for the hope of new birth. The lotus has religious meanings and often shows up with the Buddhas pieces, where the Buddhas' seats are made of lotus. There's also a tale about how lotus grew on the footprints of the Buddha, so lotus usually symbolizes Buddhism and purity. Cranes are symbols of immortality because of their long life. Plum, bamboo, and pine trees are symbols of power—plum blossom always flowers first in winter, and bamboo and pine trees both stay green in winter, so the Chinese think that those plants are tough and powerful. They make artwork featuring those plants to wish that people had the characteristics of them. The “Art of Jade” exhibition will be showcased until May 7th. If you are interested in seeing the wonderful arts of jade and, more broadly, eastern culture, you should check it out.
Lynda.com Khalid Foflonker Staff Writer Lynda.com access is coming to Kettering University. A special thanks to Dawn Winans, Eddie Schodowski, and Muhammad Ghais for making it possible. From the creators of LinkedIn, Lynda.com is one of the premier web-based interactive learning platforms that allows users to obtain business, software, technology, and creative professional skills. The online learning platform utilizes thousands of wellmade video lessons taught by leading industry professionals. Lynda.com allows users to learn at their own pace and track their progress along the way. The service also offers certification tests. These tests, upon completion, will allow users to apply course completion and competency certifications to LinkedIn profiles and resumes. Lynda.com, a well-recognized premium service, is not free. A personal account will cost an individual on a monthly basis. It operates a similar business model to that of Netflix. Now, however, any Kettering university student will be able to utilize the plethora of information the service offers. Sometime mid-March, the university will send out
March 11, 2017
an email giving all students information on how to access the service. Eddie Schodowski and Muhammad Ghais gave a short presentation regarding their experiences using Lynda.com March 1st at the AB 2-225 and why access for all Kettering University students is crucial. From their own experience, Schodowski and Ghais have completed object-oriented programming courses, excel courses, and design courses. They were able to take and complete these courses during downtimes at their co-op. As many younger students may have noticed, a new co-op may not have all that much work to be completed, and they may find themselves with quite a bit of downtime. As opposed to wasting this time, students may now use Lynda.com to strengthen and obtain practical skills that are applicable in the workplace. These skills have the potential to be exorbitantly helpful whilst working, whether it be mastering Microsoft Excel or creating in-depth web applications. They will come in handy somewhere along the way.
I Decided Review Vittorio Cracchiolo Submission Writer Every generation’s population of youth possesses qualities and cultural traits that can be seen as controversial, ultimately being condemned by the adult community. In earlier decades, Rock and Roll culture was seen as encouraging delinquency by expressing themes regarding sex, drugs, and rebellion. In the late 1980s, activists against tendencies of the rebellious youth began to target a new style of music and culture that enveloped the nation's youth like wildfire. Hip Hop culture allowed the voices and opinions of lower-class American cities to be heard. Just as Rock and Roll was targeted for offensive themes, Hip Hop artists and their followers have been ridiculed for accentuating gang violence, severe drug use, and highly explicit language. Despite the controversy surrounding the culture, Hip Hop has retained its relevance in modern society as the most common music in the United States’ youth population. While this music is controversial, the underlying themes of the coarse language encourage positive moral values such as courage, perseverance, and strength. The stories told through the music can also provide inspiration to the youth that can relate to the artists’ lives. Recently, an album released in February of 2017 entitled I Decided by a prominent Detroit-based rapper who goes by the stage name Big Sean has been targeted with hate by a women's rights groups as well as political groups for encouraging “normalized violence against women” as well as speaking slander regarding the recent presidential elect Donald Trump. Hip Hop culture certainly feeds off of sparking controversy in society with questionable themes. The lyrics that this album is composed of by Big Sean and featuring artists can depict terrible events and actions; yet, the underlying arguments project positive themes to America's youth. In the opinion of a fan of Hip Hop music, I Decided is an exceptional musical album that has spoken to me positively in several ways.
March 11, 2017
art and music reviews
I Decided Review Continued from Front Page 14
Big Sean describes his album as “basically like having that wisdom of an old man while you’re young and going through life & figuring it out.” This is accomplished by creating two perspectives throughout the album: a young man looking forward, as well as an older self looking back on life. The names of the tracks on I Decided speak for themselves when the idea of theme is considered. Two of the songs that appear on this album will be examined in two different ways. Each song will be analyzed, shedding light on controversial lyrics and themes but also seeking positive ones. The two songs selected are as follows: “No Favors” featuring Eminem, and “Inspire Me.” Firstly, the track “No Favors” depicts both positive and negative themes through its lyrics. Within the guest verse by popular rapper Eminem, several analogies are made through comments disrespecting the newly elected President Trump. “I'm anti, can't no government handle a commando Your man don't want it, Trump's a b**** I'll make his whole brand go under.” Through this comment it is clear that the artists appearing on this album are against the new president elect. While there is no clear explanation of reasoning behind this comment, it can be deducted by analyzing the main idea of the song. Donald Trump’s success has been characterized as being guided and fabricated by his father's wealth. A common piece of knowledge consists of his receiving “a small loan of a million dollars.” This song encourages grasping success with no favors from anyone else, getting to your goal on your own. This clearly opposes the method President Trump has used to become successful: “Look, I am the anomaly, never needed favors or apologies / That's my new lifetime policy.” Big Sean also goes on to contrast his success with President Trump’s: “I'm African-American in America; I ain't inherit s*** But a millionaire under 30, so He must be hearin' s***.” While the message in this song may be expressed through controversial methods and explicit language, the relevance of the topic is not tarnished. The intention is to show this nation's youth that handouts do not exist in real life. In order to achieve real success in life, one must be willing to work hard on their own with no favors from anyone else. Secondly, the track titled “Inspire Me” yet again depicts a positive lesson through the explicit art form of Hip Hop. This song’s lyrics shed light on the inspiration and heartbreak one can endure through relationships with their parents. This is a topic that an increasing amount of America’s youth can relate to.
Throughout this song the artist speaks towards his mother, thanking her for the inspiration she has provided him, along with describing the anger he has towards his father: “My mama's the man of the house Mama you too good for them men Even dad, you too good for him Mama you know you inspire me.” This track can speak to disobedient children who listen to Hip Hop and help them realize that they must be close with their parents and feed off them for inspiration and success. This album and many others in the Hip Hop genre have been characterized as negative, lewd, and bad for society. Through closer inspection we find that the themes and ideas expressed by these artists are in fact positive. I have explained two songs of an album that I view as exceptional. I now challenge you to explore this genre and continue to look past the misconceptions of this music and find the hidden morality within Hip-Hop.
Migos Takeover of Hip-Hop Culture AakashPatel Submission Writer Since Drake remixed their single “Versace” three years ago, the Migos got recognition and began rising to the top of the rap game. The hip-hop artist group comprised of Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff released their sophomore album on January 27th of this year titled “Culture”, and it featured mainstream artists such as DJ Khaled, 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, Lil Uzi Vert, and Travis Scott. The album was a huge hit, reaching the top of the Billboard 200 charts with an estimated 100,000 to 120,000 units sold only in its first week. “Culture” is the Migos album that proclaims they are the new culture of hip-hop and the fan agree. The album features thirteen tracks all unique from one another, with “Bad and Boujee” topping the tracks with just over 190,000,000 streams on Spotify alone as of March 5, 2017. During an interview with The Fader, Quavo described their music as grimy but hype and called it a new type of music called “Trap funk”. “I feel our music is like, dark. Dark grime but more hype and energetic. Photos courtesy of HipHopDx.com and Pitchfork.com
It brings happiness along with attitude. I wouldn't consider it as punk. We gotta call it something else. Trap funk,” he said. This type of music makes their sound incredibly unique, which helped their album gain attention from the hip-hop community. I listen to a lot of rap and hip-hop and this album to me is incredible. Not only does each track seem unique from each other, the different flows each member possesses really switches up the songs. A lot of credit goes to the producers as well for making the distinct instrumentals that separate these tracks from other rap songs. The beat combined with the flow of the Migos has made the songs on this album unique and extremely catchy, making them top my playlists. Many music reviewers praise this album with great reviews as well, and with the numbers it achieved compared to the Migos’ last album, the group could really be defining the new hip-hop culture. The group has a strong belief that they are the new culture of rap and hip-hop. They want to integrate the Migos’ flow into the industry and prove that the younger generation can make it. In the same interview, Quavo said, “We’re trying to show people that the young generation can do it. We can set trends and come in with our own lane, and then join in with the OGs to get that respect. We got some type of pride situation. Like, these older guys been out already, so we gotta prove something to them.” They want to make a statement that the younger generation has a chance in the music industry as much as the older, more experienced artists. They want to prove that the rap culture is about hard work and determination that the young generation possesses. The Migos were brought up by the people through the internet. Their verses and dances being used for viral trends got their work a lot of recognition and helped many new fans find their work and stick with it. They were raised by the internet and not the people in the industry, proving that the Migos have a great impact in the music culture. In recent years, most artists have been brought up by the fans on the internet, showing that they are the true creators of the genre, unlike the artists that are forced into the medium through the industry in the past. Migos being one of the artists that was brought up through the fans has proven, through their work, why they deserve to be a part of the music. They were able to put themselves in the position they are today and to give back, and they want to transform the industry into something the younger generation be a part of through hard work and determination. These internet artists are changing the industry, praising unique style and new personalities, and in the future, artists like the Migos will define the culture and be at the top of the genre.
February 18, 2017
Entertainment Horoscopes Aries- It is time for a refresher. Be it a review of your school work, or a fresh reminder of what is actually important to you, Aries, this is the time to review your priorities to find the path that is best for you. What is truly best may not be what you originally thought. Taurus- Staying on top of your work has never been more important. You’ve been letting certain aspects of your life, be it a relationship or just school work, fall to the wayside. It is time to step forward and get these problems settled, lest they slip away from you. Gemini- Get all of those doubts out of your head. What you are working towards right now is destined to be successful. Gemini, you must strike up your confidence. Be fierce. Be determined! Be Forward!! Do this, and you will find the success you dream of. Cancer- Let’s be real—all of these jokes about you are starting to get really old. It’s about time you step forward and make everyone know that you won’t stand for it anymore. This month you should work to make it know that you, Cancer, won’t be pushed around anymore by anyone. Leo- Once you set your mind to do something,
nothing is going to stop you. So why don’t you set your mind to relaxing for once? You’ve stressed over so much lately, and now you should get that rest you deserve. Virgo- Whether you know it or not, a tough decision lies ahead for you Virgo. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Follow your heart, and the path will open up that will leads you to the greatest reward. Libra- It’s obvious that you feel as if you have been wronged as of late, and perhaps you have. But take a moment to consider the other side's perspective. Perhaps you can come to a consensus and find a middle ground that will work for both parties and everyone will come out on top. Scorpio- When you only look forward Scorpio, you can only see one road that lies left ahead for you, and you feel as if it is the only one you can follow. If you look back however you will see all of the other routes that are actually available to you. Consider taking this step backwards, and perhaps a more favorable option will present itself you you. Sagittarius- Remember that being overly anxious will vastly decrease your efficiency, in both your work life and your personal life. Working towards
perfection is a good quality, but now is the time to go with the flow and not worry about perfection. Relax, and pursue your goals at a leisurely pace. Capricorn- You’ve been settled down for long enough. It is time to pick up the pace and chase those lofty dreams of yours. No more following in the footsteps of others. You must blaze your own trail, or remain in the rut you’ve been in for so long. Seize the day, Capricorn; it is your time to shine. Aquarius- Being overly optimistic this month, Aquarius, could lead you astray. You may want to take the time and actually study for that test, instead of just hoping it all works out. Faith will not reward you this month, only hard work and determination will get you through these trying times. Pisces- Sometimes you get the feeling that you care too much in your relationships. This may not be the case, however, with the ones that are most important. Is there someone you’ve been ignoring lately? Is the person that you’re pursuing not worth your affection? There may be someone else out there vying for your attention that you’ve been ignoring. Look around, seek them out, and you may find what you’ve been looking for all along.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Jordan Mayer Staff Writer On March 2nd, Kettering held a movie night featuring Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which premiered in mid-November of last year. This movie follows Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander and his journey to New York City in the 1920s. Though Newt Scamander is from the Harry Potter series, if you were expecting this movie to build off of the series, you’d be sorely mistaken. However, this movie does sort of involve the groundwork for the Harry Potter universe, as Gellert Grindlewald, a well-known dark wizard, makes his debut in this movie. The book this is based off of is about all of the magical beasts in the wizarding world and is more or less just a compilation of pictures and explanations about each beast. The movie enhances this idea, so if you were looking for a direct bookto-screen production, you’d also be out of luck. Nonetheless, the concept that they went with is arguably more interesting than that would have been anyway. For starters, this movie is based in America, differing from the Harry Potter series which was set in England. Along with Newt, you discover what magical America is like, experiencing the announcement of the American wizarding school Ilvermorny. (This may or may not have excited your inner child if growing up in the United States you fantasized about being a witch or wizard.) It’s also important to note that this movie is set in the 1920s-30s era, while the Harry Potter series was set in the late 80s and the mid-90s, meaning this timeline occurred before the birth of any of the characters most people are familiar with. In this
timeline, witches and wizards were forced to hide themselves more so than in the other series because there was still much prejudice against them. Newt Scamander is the wizarding equivalent of a zoologist, with a magical Mary Poppins-esque bag that houses each of the magical beasts he’s encountered. These creatures get released into New York City after a mishap during which his bag is switched with a non-magical person’s, Jacob Kowalski. Newt is taken into custody by Tina Goldstein, an auror, which is a wizarding law enforcement agent working for the Magical Congress of the United States (MACUSA). With the help of Tina, Jacob, and Tina’s sister, Queenie, Newt and Jacob set out tracking down the animals that have been released. This is to prevent the non-magic people or “no-maj’s” from finding out about them and consequently finding out about the wizarding community. While all of this is taking place, there’s a second plotline going on: there’s an evil force wreaking havoc on the city. A supposed invisible dark force is destroying things it comes into contact with. As a result of this, there are many protests against magical people taking place, led by Mary Lou Barebone. She runs a semi-orphanage for children that are used to spread the anti-wizarding sentiment. This aforementioned dark force becomes the focus of the movie once the man that’s running for mayor is killed and the magical community falls between the crosshairs. One of the magical creatures Newt had caught was an obscurial, a dark, billowy, shapeless being. An obscurial results from a person attempting to bottle up their magical abilities instead of trying to hone them, and eventually festers into an unstoppable force. This force ends up destroying
the child it inhabits. It is later discovered that what is destroying the city is an obscurial that resides in Mary Lou’s eldest “son” Credence. His obscurial was a result of her abuse to him and trying to hide his magic from her. As his obscurial destroys him, it is revealed that one of the aurors of MACUSA is actually Johnny Depp as Grindlewald in disguise, leaving the movie a cliffhanger. Considering what they had to work with coming from the book, this movie is pretty interesting, though at times it seemed like parts were drawn out a bit too long. It received a 73% approval rating from critics and an 81% approval rating from the public, according to Rotten Tomatoes. This movie did fairly well in the box office, gathering 74 million dollars opening weekend, and with 233.6 million dollars of gross income as of March 3rd. Fantastic Beasts is meant to be the start of a new storyline in J.K. Rowling’s magical universe, not an addition to the Harry Potter universe. Though it very easily could have been a part of that universe, this seems to be where a lot of people have issue. This movie is attempting to set up its own storyline and lead up to four sequels. Like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, this film was tasked with setting up the entire groundwork of a world that already exists in other films. Conceivably, this will include what seems like a lot of information being thrown at you in order to keep the timeline straight. If you take this movie for what it is, it’s a great beginning to a new series. It will be interesting to see what storyline they create for the next four movies. It will also be interesting to see which of these new characters will be introduced again, as many of the actors and actresses cast were not well known.
Published on Mar 16, 2017
The 3rd edition of The Technician is now on stands and online! This edition includes articles on Service Saturday, the Dean's Luncheon, and...