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FINDING RESILIENT, CREATIVE AND ADAPTIVE SOLUTIONS CEMS UVM students contribute to sustainability around the globe.


GREETINGS FROM THE DEAN Dear Alumni and Friends of CEMS,

It is with great enthusiasm that I write to you about the many successes of CEMS in 2019! I have been astounded throughout the year at the exciting and impactful work our students, faculty, and staff are doing both inside and outside the classroom. With the support of alumni, faculty, and staff, our students have had the opportunity to attend national meetings like the Grace Hopper Conference in Computer Science (pg 4) and StatFest (pg 9). A senior design team traveled to India to test their ideas for a safer stove used in rural communities (pg 6). Many students participated in on-campus career building opportunities like the Computer Science Fair (pgs 8, 21), Engineering Design Night, and undergraduate research (pgs 8, 9, 12, 17). At the first ever UVM Engineering and Tech Career Fair (pg 14) over 50 companies and 300 students participated, matching students with internships and jobs. Last but not least, check out what the class of ’68 did (pg 28). Our faculty and students have been creating new knowledge in areas ranging from materials for space exploration to materials as lung sealants, data algorithms that help identify mental health challenges in individuals to data algorithms that identify inefficiencies in the stock market, and water research from innovative treatments to impacts of extreme events on Lake Champlain. I hope you enjoy reading about some of our exciting research inside. We began a strategic planning process this year (pg 1) that provided an opportunity for the CEMS community as a whole to contribute ideas that will shape the future of CEMS. We are in the final stages of the plan, and will share it with you in our next Quarterly Email Newsletter (pg 1). The college is taking bold steps forward as we transform undergraduate and graduate education, expand our research impact, embrace our role as part of the public trust, and ensure that our college is welcoming and affirming for all. It is going to be a fun few years!


Let me also take this opportunity to give a shout out to Luis Garcia and the strong foundation he laid for CEMS. His leadership through the transition to Incentive Based Budgeting, the STEM facilities and Votey renovation, and the hiring of over 39 faculty is something for which we are all grateful. Thank you Luis! One key idea that came from the CEMS Board of Advisors is a Center for Biomedical Innovation. We have begun a partnership with the Larner College of Medicine, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the Grossman School of Business to create a space where physicians, faculty, students, and the industrial community can come together to build biomedical devices that improve patient treatment and outcomes. This is in a nascent stage, and we are excited to begin this journey that will not only improve the educational experience of our students, but also build partnerships that extend the impact of our research. Please let us know if you want to be involved. Enjoy this issue of Summit. I look forward to hearing from you about any ideas you have for CEMS or projects you are interested in contributing to. All the best,







SCENARIO PLANNING In order to focus the talent and resources of CEMS, the college embarked on a strategic planning process, called Scenario Planning, in the fall of 2018. The process allowed for input from students, alumni, faculty, and staff. The plan will be published in May, 2019.



Grace Hopper Celebration


Engineering a Safer Chulha


Women in Computing

Students Travel to India to Build Safer Stoves with Helping Hands Hospital

Computer Science Fair

Above Left: Lisa Dion, Yves Dubief, Eric Hernandez Above: Donna Rizzo Left: Nikki Allen ‘19 Below: Melissa Rubinchuk, Greg Warrington, Dia Brown Photos: Sally McCay

8, 21

Undergraduate Research

8, 9, 12, 17



Just Building


Research Awards


Tech Career Fair


Privacy Matters


Student Highlight: Dia Brown

On Social Media Your Privacy Is At Risk— Even If You Don't Have An Account

ED ITO R Jenn Karson A S SISTANT TO THE ED ITO R Mikayla Humiston

Early Detection


Alumni Giving


Groundbreaking Data Science Partnership


PH OTO GR APHY/IMAGE S Jane Adams, Madison Anderson, Joshua E. Brown, Andy Duback, Katie Figura, Natasha Geffen, LeAnn Gove, Brian Jenkins, Jenn Karson, Dmitry Lakoba, Sarah McLaughlin, Katherine Merrill, Sally McCay, Lauren Petrie, Dustin Rand, David Seaver, UVM Department of Computer Science, VT State Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

Internship Opportunities


CO NTRIBUTIN G WRITER S Joshua E. Brown, Kaitlin Shea Catania, Sarah Tuff Dunn, Brian Owens, University Communications, UVM CEMS, UVM Foundation, Basil D.N. Waugh

Victoria Hand Project


Looking Back: Class of 1968


Wearable sensor could detect hidden anxiety, depression in young children Greg Sweeny ’70, Richard ’66 and Elaine Barrett, Anthony F. Voellm ’73 and Beth Zimmerman ’93 $5 million gift establishes MassMutual Center for Complex Systems and Data Science Campus

Building the Hyperbolic Paraboloid Shells

W W W. U V M . E D U / C E M S




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Assistant Professor


Doiron earned her MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and was the T. Chen Fong Postdoctoral Fellow in radiology and chemical engineering at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. She was also the chief scientific officer at NanoPulse Biosciences, a startup company focused on biomedical applications of gold nanoparticles, for four years. Her research focuses on the development of nanoparticles for use in drug delivery and as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging in addition to studying toxicity mechanisms of nanoparticles.

Dasari comes to CEMS from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he is a PhD candidate in Computer Science. He earned a master's degree in computer science in 2013, worked as a research intern at Huawei Media Lab in 2014, and served as a graduate student instructor for three summer semesters, 2016-2018. His areas of expertise include computer vision and image processing, machine learning and multimedia systems. Dasari had three years of work experience in software engineering, prior to his graduate study.



Senior Lecturer

Assistant Professor

Geary received both her BA and her MS in Mathematics from UVM. She began teaching here in the fall of 2018 and is excited to have returned "home" to UVM. "I am passionate about mathematics teaching and learning, and I convey that passion to my students through my teaching," she says.

Near's interests include data privacy, computer security, and programming languages. Near received his BS in computer science from Indiana University, and his MS and PhD in computer science from MIT.






Professor of The Practice



Hathaway grew up in Richmond, Vermont and graduated from Mt. Mansfield High School in 2005. He earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science from RPI and stayed there an extra year to get his master’s in mathematics. He received his PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan in 2015 where his thesis advisor was Andreas Blass. Hathaway spent 3 years as a Visiting Assistant Professor (Postdoc) at the University of Denver before joining UVM in August 2018.

Hibbeler joined UVM as a fulltime faculty member in 2018 after teaching as an adjunct instructor for several years. Prior to 2018, he worked for IBM in the area of VLSi design automation, developing algorithms and software for physical design optimization and routing. At UVM, Hibbeler teaches software engineering, operating systems, and mobile-app development.

Marthaler received her BA in mathematics from the State University of New York College at Geneseo. She completed masters degrees in Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science from The Johns Hopkins University. She has worked as a naval warfare analyst for a government contractor, and as an applied research mathematician for the US Department of Defense. In 2011, Marthaler moved to Vermont and started teaching at the Community College of Vermont, and has been a lecturer at the University of Vermont since fall 2018.

Uriarte completed his pre-doctoral training at the University of Barcelona. During this time, his research activities included the study of mechanical cues derived from the extracellular matrix (ECM) for cell guidance, differentiation and the understanding of cellcell and cell-ECM interactions in organ regeneration. He joined the Department of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering after two years as a postdoctoral associate in the Larner College of Medicine at UVM.

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Faculty Photos: Sally McCay and David Seaver

#UVMCOMPUTES. THE WORLD’S FIRST IN-BROWSER SUPERCOMPUTER Thanks to a generous gift from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Computer Science faculty member Josh Bongard and his research team will build the world’s first in-browser supercomputer, to be known as #UVMComputes.

Most supercomputers are housed on university campuses or in the cloud. #UVMComputes will connect laptops, smart phones, tablets, and any other internet-enabled device whose browser is pointed to the #UVMComputes web address. Once connected, devices will start crunching numbers for faculty and students on campus who need computer horsepower for anything from homework assignments to federally-sponsored research projects. “We’re building #UVMComputes as a new way to connect students, faculty, staff and alumni,” said

Bongard. “Many students are looking for ways to get involved in research on campus, and #UVMComputes will be a new and easy way to do so.” He added that #UVMComputes will enable alumni to give back to their alma mater simply by connecting to #UVMComputes with their devices. The Sloan Foundation is a charitable foundation that invests in projects that enable the public to participate more easily in science and engineering. Funding for the project began in the summer, with #UVMComputes likely to come online in early 2020.

TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH TO PREVENT AND CONTROL GLOBAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES The project, "Network epidemiology and the quantification of behavioral interventions," directed by Dr. Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, focuses on understanding how behavioral factors determine the spread of emerging infectious diseases. Indeed, the dynamics of new outbreaks are

shaped not only by the biology of the virus, but also in large part by societal and behavioral factors. Both factors are highly unpredictable and variable. The network epidemiology project therefore proposes to develop a framework based on network science—which embraces behavioral

heterogeneity—and on qualitative data collected from community engagement efforts. Altogether, the goal is to develop communityspecific probabilistic forecasts available before an outbreak even enters a community.

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STUDENTS TRAVEL TO GRACE HOPPER CELEBRATION Houston, we have a solution: bring 22,000 participants together for the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), the world’s largest gathering of women in computing. That’s just what happened in September, as the 14th annual event drew thousands of female technologists to Houston for three days of keynote talks, awards, expos, poster sessions and more. A contingent of 19 UVM students traveled to Grace Hopper 2018 with Lisa Dion, Lecturer of Computer Science; Samantha Williams, CEMS Graduate Coordinator; and Lauren Petrie, CEMS Career Readiness Coordinator.

is partnered with AnitaB.org, the organization that runs the Grace Hopper Celebration. “Without the funding, we would not have been able to send 19 students and three faculty and staff to attend the conference,” says Dion. “The BRAID initiative also involves surveying students in intro-level computing courses so that research can be done to help get more women in the classroom on Day 1 and to lift the retention rates of women in the discipline.”

“I have made some of my closest friendships with people I met on the trip,” says Maddie Anderson ’19. “This has allowed me to feel more excited and engaged in my classes and contributed to my desire to stay in the major and pursue a career in CS.”

One of Anderson’s most surprising moments was attending a Google event at the Museum of Technical Art. “It was a huge, packed event and we got to talking with this one woman, Amanda Casari, about her experience working at Google until we realized she herself was a UVM alum who had just started working there a week before.”

Founded in 1994 by Anita Borg and Telle Whitney, and named for computer scientist Grace Hopper, the initial event included 500 attendees. In the years since, it’s grown to a massive conference that educates, empowers and connects women. “For students who regularly enroll in computer science classes of 50 to 60 students, experiencing a conference of 22,000 people in tech where the vast majority are women is a supremely valuable experience,” says Dion. “The atmosphere is welcoming, the support among women is heartwarming, and the confidence of the speakers is inspiring. People feel comfortable confiding their experiences of being a woman in tech and are validated when others understand and share their own stories.” By attending Grace Hopper Celebration in past years, LeAnn Gove ’19 acquired an internship that led to a fulltime job offer. “I would recommend the Grace Hopper Celebration to other students,” she says. “It’s an amazing opportunity for their career and their perspective on diversity and tech as a whole!” UVM is one of 15 universities funded by the BRAID initiative to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration. BRAID stands for Building, Recruiting, and Inclusion for Diversity and

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More than 400 companies were represented at the busy career fair at Grace Hopper 2018. “Companies are realizing that this is one of the largest opportunities for them to reach out to women in tech,” says Dion, “so all of the tech giants attend the career fair and throw networking parties and hold interviews with attendees.”


"My favorite class at UVM is CS 167: Cybersecurity Defense. The best part about this class is that I was able to practice what I learned in an online lab environment, which helped to reinforce my learning. I am pursuing a career in cybersecurity and this class helped me to understand the different aspects of cyber defense that will help me to be successful in my line of work."


MRI: ACQUISITION OF A VARIABLE-PRESSURE, FIELD-EMISSION SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE FOR MATERIALS RESEARCH AND EDUCATION Faculty members from four academic departments (Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Geology, and Physics) at UVM have been awarded a Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant from the National Science Foundation for the acquisition of a 30 kV Zeiss Sigma 300 VP Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM). The instrument features both a variable pressure mode and in-column deceleration to provide best-in-class low voltage operation down to 20V and 1.2-nm resolution at 20kV. The instrument includes state-of-the-art electron diffraction detectors and software that enable grain orientation mapping and merging of chemical and crystallographic orientation maps at the microscopic scale. The equipment will enable ongoing, high-impact research in several areas: (i) Chemistry of materials, including studies of nanoporous and nanocrystalline structures for catalysis, (ii) Studies of defectproperty relationships in organic

semiconductor thin films relevant to improved organic electronic and hybrid organic-inorganic photovoltaic devices, and (iii) Studies of ultrahard metallic nanomaterials, including in-situ studies of microstructure evolution under deformation relevant to energy materials. This unit will be the first FE-SEM in the state of Vermont available to academic and general users and will be incorporated into laboratory exercises for new and existing courses. Hands-on demonstrations and science projects will be available to the general public and to high school students in rural Vermont and the Adirondack Region of New York. The instrument features a remote operation capability that will allow live FE-SEM demonstrations in the classroom presentations at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington, VT. This remote access feature will become a core demonstration for outreach efforts at middle and high schools, where highly

Electron backscattered diffraction FE-SEM image revealing both microstructure and grain orientation mapping in ice-templated silver

visual demonstrations of nanoscience can help promote interest in STEM fields. The FE-SEM will also be available to local industrial partners, providing both an imaging service and a focal point for academic industrial collaborations.



Jim Jutras from the Village of Essex Junction and Appala Raju Badireddy from UVM Photo: VT State Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

The project will use proprietary pipe descaling technology (PDT) to effectively remove phosphorus in Vermont-sized wastewater applications. The technology uses an induced electric field of variable amplitude and frequency that can

promote precipitation of crystalline minerals (struvite) without the dangerous and damaging adhesion to pipes, pumps or in-tanks. The PDT coupled with an electric-filtration cell will be employed to enhance phosphorus capture.

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and, ultimately a team journey to India in March. “It was an incredible trip,” says Sydney Whipple ‘19, who led the fundraising and organizing efforts, “and I’m grateful to have had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”


Ovens are amazing objects. For thousands of years, they’ve cooked our food and heated our homes, allowing us to thrive as a species. But in India, traditional clay ovens, called chulhas, have been producing devastating results: life-changing burns and even death when embers and ashes fall on children or women’s long-sleeved saris catch on fire. The chulhas also burn inefficiently, depleting the natural resources of the Himalayas. What if a group of engineering students could design a chulha that would cause less harm to millions of rural Indians, and to the environment? That’s just what happened when CEMS SEED Team 10 developed Safe Stoves 4 India, which involved months of design work / 6


Why chulhas in India? As faculty advisor Dustin Rand explains, Elaine and Richard Barrett ’66, who founded the Barrett Scholarships at UVM, also donated money to the Healing Hands Hospital in Dehradun, India, which provides free plastic surgery to burn victims. “With the passion that Richard and Elaine have for burn victims, we thought we’d look into making the stoves safer,” says Rand. Knowing what your customers want when they are 7,000 miles away and with a time change of more than 11 hours can be a significant challenge, but Team 10 took it on by designing, building and testing a chulha in the fall semester. Since testing involved setting a fire on campus, the students worked with several safety departments. Initially, the team planned to complete the project in the United States, but Whipple’s work, along with donations from the Barrett Foundation, CEMS and others, led to the March trip to India.

Photo Left: Left to right: Dustin Rand, Joseph Doyle, Sydney Whipple, Kaela Malaki. “It was an incredible trip,” says Sydney Whipple ‘19, who led the fundraising and organizing efforts for Safe Stoves 4 India, and I’m grateful to have had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Photos: Dustin Rand

“Going into this trip, I underestimated just how valuable this experience would be for our project,” says Whipple. “I expected us to get consumer feedback and ideas for design improvements, however I did not expect the unique people I’d meet and the conversations I’d have that were so meaningful. Getting real time interactions with the users was priceless.” Working in collaboration with plastic surgeon Dr. Kush Aeron of the Helping Hands Hospital, the team built four stoves in India, learning refinements from each experience. By the fourth iteration, the students had a stove with an adjustable cook surface that could prevent embers falling out and also keep children and long-sleeved saris from the flames.

“I was completely blown away with the amount we learned in the two weeks we spent in India,” says Kaela Malaki ’19. “It was humbling and inspiring.”

Rand says he was impressed by how cooperatively the students worked together. “It’s stressful—they’re building a stove with 10 local villagers watching them,” he says. “That’s a lot of pressure.” The team took its time, he adds, asking questions, helping each other and determining what was important to the villagers. When locals tried to help out in ways that were detrimental to the stove design, the students were good at explaining why a brick needed to be in a certain place. A translator, meanwhile, helped the students understand the cultural requirements of the villagers. Beyond learning about stove design, the SEED Team also gained a new perspective on the world, and on the myriad of possibilities for engineering. “When you travel to a developing country, its an opportunity to see what you might have taken for granted,” says Rand.

“Engineering doesn’t have to be about making money or designing a new widget or cell phone or luxury item—it can make people’s lives better and help people if you use it the right way.” Joe Doyle ’19 said that he was attracted to the Save Stoves 4 India project because it was a chance to help people instead of a company, and that the collaboration was natural. “This was not about us—we were all motivated by the same goal and were able to work together,” he says. “We knew we weren’t the most important people.” The new design consists of clay, brick and a layer of mesh to contain the biomass. The only missing element is a chimney to contain the harmful fumes. “It’s evident, after visiting, that the air is completely filled with smoke,” says Rand. “And you can see the long-term health effects; you can hear people coughing and spitting, especially the women, because they spend so much time in the kitchen.”

The team built stoves not only in Dehradun, but also at a compound where Dr. Kush Aeron’s father, Dr. Yogi Ideally, another team of CEMS students would return to India Aeron, also treats burn victims for free. Trees and plants next year to figure out the chimney. Rand also envisions the reinforce the metal-framed architecture, creating a possibility of an additional project in the biomedical field, natural oasis. “This was one of my favorite experiences perhaps designing a device to help burn victims. because we were able to build our stove design and get to know the burn patients and each of their stories,” says “It was a great trip, and I have to thank the students for Malaki. “The patients made us masala chai and lunch making this happen; they were the impetus for getting using our stove!” They also traveled to the foothills of this going,” says Rand. “Without them leading the way it the Himalayas to visit two villages where Dr. Kush Aeron wouldn’t have happened.” treats more remote villagers. S U M M I T S P R I N G 2019

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COMPUTER SCIENCE FAIR FEATURES INNOVATION AT ITS FINEST From a simulation that predicts the spread and maximizes the containment of forest fires to a searchable web database of Supreme Court cases, more than 100 computer science-based projects offered solutions to problems big and small at this year’s Computer Science Fair. The annual fair, held each fall, allows students to present their web designs, research, programming projects and more for a chance to win up to $300 in cash prizes across a variety of categories. This year, 224 students gathered in the Davis Center to demo their work and discuss their projects with a team of judges and with the University of Vermont community.

The Computer Science Fair, held each fall, showcases student talent in categories ranging from web design to programming.

Marble Mayhem, for example, towered over its booth table as different colored marbles raced down a custom track. Student creators and computer science majors Sarah McLaughlin, Shravya Suddala, Abby Linstone and Clasby Chope constructed the project with PVC pipe, wood, cardboard, sensors and motors that work together with a computer to separate and move marbles through unique routes based on the marble’s color. The team explains the system could be refined with stronger materials and brighter colors and be used as a teaching mechanism for children to learn programming and engineering.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Elise Kerouac, a judge from Vermont Information Processing. “The students get to work on a project all semester or year, and then get to show it to their fellow students and also to prospective employers in the area. It’s a great opportunity.” Kerouac was joined by judges from organizations including IBM, Dealer.com and BAE Systems, Inc.

Smaller in scale, students Andrew Hollar and Ben Crystal invited fairgoers to lean in and record their voices in a microphone that identifies which everyday objects their voices mimic. Their project, What’s That Sound?, compared spectrograms—or visual representations of sound—of fairgoers’ voices to spectrograms of 50 pre-recorded sounds, ranging from church bells to dogs barking.

Open to students of all experience levels—from non-computer science majors to second-year master’s students—this year’s competitors showcased a mix of databases, games, websites and even handbuilt structures.

“If you could sync it up with Google Glasses or a similar technology, it could potentially tell a deaf person that there’s a car sound coming from their right or that there’s a dog barking behind them,” explains Crystal.

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Here, students present Marble Mayhem, a track that separates and routes marbles based on their individual color. Photos: Andy Duback

Other projects included helpful websites and apps to assist Catamounts on campus. Natasha Geffen, a senior psychology major with minors in computer science and applied design, presented Cat Course, a website that shares helpful feedback and information about UVM courses based on Registrar’s Office data and student reviews. Similarly, Ben Sylvester, Christopher Suitor and Nana Nimako created a website that expedites UVM’s roommate or oncampus room switch process through their project The CNB Swapper, which earned the second place People’s Choice Award at this year’s fair. “My favorite thing at the CS Fair is checking out the other projects. When I look around, I think, ‘Wow, I could have made that.’ So I’ll be back next year, even stronger,” says Suitor.

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Grace Brill ‘20, Vanessa Myhaver ’20, Anne Marie Stupinski ’20 and Helene Thomas ’21 are working with François G. Dorais on a project that consists in formally verifying proofs of theorems from the undergraduate curriculum, mostly in linear algebra. The goal is to build a library of verified theorems that can be reused by mathematicians to formally verify theorems that arise in their research.



UVM STUDENTS TRAVEL TO STATFEST 2018 AT AMHERST Something doesn’t add up when historically underrepresented groups miss out on opportunities in statistical sciences. Enter StatFest, an annual conference overseen by the American Statistical Association (ASA) through its Committee on Minorities in Statistics and held this year at Amherst College. “The conference was about encouraging diversity in statistics, and it was really thought-provoking,” says UVM Senior Lecturer Karen Benway who traveled to StatFest 2018 with four students and fellow faculty advisor and Senior Lecturer Katherine Merrill. Some 150 attendees from 90 different institutions gathered for the one-day event on Saturday, September 22, which featured keynote speaker Scarlett Bellamy. When she was growing up, “There were no clear, obvious messages that somebody like me should be doing a STEM degree,” said the director of the graduate program at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health. Bellamy grew up in rural North Carolina and surmounted many challenges to land in her current position. “For better or worse, this kid who grew up on a tobacco farm is now a public health research scientist,” Bellamy said. “It wasn’t always easy.” Her presentation focused on three aspects of finding success in statistics: nudges, grinding and grit. “This event showed me how I could turn my passion into a career,” says Corso Donati ’19. “StatFest was one of the

From left to right: Jenny Eberling, Senior Lecturer Karen Benway, Corso Donati, Eliana Pacheco, Isabel Larsen Photo: Katherine Merrill

most enlightening supplementary activities I have ever attended; I would even say it was vital to my near future career choices.” Networking was a key objective of StatFest 2018, which broke the conference into five breakout sessions around tables and comfortable couches and provided several other opportunities for networking including: a continental breakfast, a morning break, lunch, an afternoon break and a poster session with an ice cream reception. (The poster session allowed attendees to present their research.) Networking tips and best practices provided by the ASA included such advice as “be intentional,” “think long-term” and “listen.” A networking tracker chart allowed students to record their progress. “Make sure people will remember you,” advises Donati to future attendees of StatFest. “Make business cards, come up with some fun facts about yourself to slip into conversation, or start a research project to tell people about. Just be memorable—there are a lot of people who would be very helpful to know in the future.” As a faculty advisor to the trip, Merrill says she appreciated the emphasis on networking, and saw Donati connect with MassMutual. (Other attendees included representatives from Major League Baseball and Bank of America.) “It was very empowering,” says Merrill.

(Left)Helene Thomas ’21 (Right) Grace Brill ‘20 and Vanessa Myhaver ’20 Photos: Dmitry Lakoba

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Dia Brown, an environmental engineering student and founder of the UVM chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. For this sophomore, the traditional work of the engineer can only be judged successful if it deeply considers social justice. “The thing that keeps me up at night now is I see all of these intersections,” she says. “The environment, social justice, and STEM—I think about them together.” Photo: Joshua E. Brown

Dia Brown would like to solve some hard engineering problems. In fact, she’d like to solve some problems that many conventional engineers wouldn’t think of as belonging to their field. “Like how do we make new apartment buildings environmentally sustainable and healthy,” she asks, “while allowing the folks, low-income folks, who live in that neighborhood to stay and thrive?” For her—a sophomore majoring in environmental engineering—the traditional work of the engineer to develop the smartest, most elegant, budget-conscious design can only be judged successful if it deeply considers social justice.

“Whenever I think of engineering, I think of activism,” she says. Which helps explain why—while taking the full load of foundational courses in engineering—she’s founded a UVM chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers; worked as an intern for the climate-change organization 350.org; met with students of color at Winooski High School to encourage them to pursue engineering in college; and put important questions in front of other students and the faculty in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. / 10


Elyon Eyimife, Julia Szymanski, Zach Roussel, Chika Ikpechukwu, and Dia Brown. Photo: Joshua E. Brown

“Who’s invited into the space we call engineering?” she asks. Then she turns this question on its head. “Who doesn’t think about engineering as a pathway? It’s not the people from multigenerational families with engineering backgrounds.”

high school, “I know you want to do ecology, but you should look at environmental engineering,” she recalls. The teacher and that moment were transformational. “Before that, I didn’t even know what engineering was,” Brown says.

At the intersections

“The thing that keeps me up at night now is I see all of these intersections and how everything’s woven together, but we’re told they are separate,” she says. “The environment, social justice, and STEM—I think about them together.”

Brown grew up in an affluent county outside of Washington, D.C., “but there were still people there who were homeless and who had to fear getting shot,” she says. Her grandfather was a farmer, and her father, who largely raised her, is a construction worker. “When I helped my dad at work, I felt sad because I saw all of these really environmentally detrimental products and toxins that go into construction,” she says, “and I think this work could be healthier for the people who do it and also for the people who live in those places that are built.” Brown also grew up near the Chesapeake Bay and fell in love with its beautiful-but-polluted tidal marshes and waterways. At 14, she founded Crochet for the Bay, a volunteer group that crochets and sews clothes and toys to fundraise for conservation work on the Chesapeake. It was Brown’s beloved history teacher who said to her, in her first year of

Everyone’s Welcome On a Friday evening, after class, Dia Brown is leading the weekly meeting of the UVM chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, above. Well, really, tonight, “we’re just chilling,” Brown says, as she and seven or eight fellow members of the group tell jokes and eat sandwiches. Most weeks, “I want to get things done, have an action agenda,” she says, laughing even more, but her comembers reminder her: “how are you expected to be a community if you’re not building a community?” she says. Sandwiches and jokes help. “We want everyone to feel welcome here in NSBE. Everyone,” says Elyon Eyimife, a junior electrical engineering major and the vice-president of the

student club. She pauses to consider her words, turning her henna-red braids in her hand. “And as the UVM community works to increase the diversity on campus, I feel like our club has something to give: a comfortable space. We want to welcome everyone and we want our club members to really be part of this community, to make a good home here.” Towards home Which is what Dia Brown hopes to create as an engineer: good homes. “Right now, my passion is sustainable row housing,” she says, “not just environmentally sustainable, but deeply sustainable for the whole community.” She thinks that environmental engineers are unlikely to succeed by just considering the design of a building, but must confront the arrangement and racial politics of cities. “American cities are still very much designed through redlining districts,” Brown says. “And that’s an unsustainable design because, like, how are you expecting a community to thrive when on one block you have extreme poverty and then a block over you have multimillion-dollar houses?” Dia Brown, it seems, is figuring out how to be an engineer who considers both the buildings and the intersections. S U M M I T S P R I N G 2019

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A bridge in Richmond, Vt. under construction. Photo: Courtesy of VTRANS

University of Vermont, in collaboration with the University of Maine and others, will create a highly competitive University Transportation Center (UTC) called the Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center (TIDC). TIDC aims to help save taxpayer dollars by extending the life of our transportation assets, including bridges, roads and rail. The U.S. Department of Transportation will provide as much as $14.2 million over five years for this University of Maine-led coalition, which includes the University of Vermont, University of Rhode Island, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Western New England University. Mandar Dewoolkar, professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UVM, will be receiving $1.25 million over five years to assist in the development of this regional initiative. UVM professors Ehsan Ghazanfari, Dryver Huston and Ting Tan collaborated on the proposal. Additional partners include representatives from the Vermont Agency of Transportation; Maine Department of Transportation; Massachusetts Department of Transportation; Connecticut Department of Transportation; Rhode Island Department of Transportation; and the American Society of Civil Engineers Transportation and Development Institute. “This is an exciting opportunity for UVM students, research staff and faculty to perform innovative research for improving the durability and extending the life of our transportation infrastructure," said Dewoolkar. "I look forward to this partnership with the University of Maine and others across all New England states, which will strengthen our collaboration in transportation research, education and technology transfer.” / 12


New England’s transportation infrastructure faces unique challenges due to harsh winter weather and short construction seasons. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, nearly 30 percent of New England roads are rated in poor condition which, on average, costs each motorist $584 annually in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs. Nationally, driving on roads in need of repair costs U.S. motorists $120.5 billion. TIDC will harness the experience of 28 faculty researchers and train 280 student researchers from all New England states. It will focus on real infrastructure needs identified by the Department of Transportation partners and will prioritize extending the life of existing transportation assets to ensure cost-effectiveness.


PROMOTING UNDERGRADUATE EXPERTISE IN ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING Plenty of people play in the sand during the summer, but only a few get to play with an augmented reality sandbox, which is how Eliza Jobin-Davis ‘19 focused her Barrett Scholar research. This tool allows engineers to visualize watershed hydrology and surface topography, and she partnered with Dr. Mandar Dewoolkar to share them. “The Sandbox is such an engaging and entertaining device to play with and teach with,” she says, “so having others recognize that was fulfilling.” FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RECENT RICHARD BARRETT SCHOLAR RESEARCH: GO.UVM.EDU/REU18


NEW $5 MILLION PROJECT AIMS TO BUILD AN ORGANIZED, SEARCHABLE FRAMEWORK COMPLETE WITH ANALYTICAL AND PREDICTIVE TOOLS FOR MATERIALS DISCOVERY A nationwide collaboration led by researchers from Duke University and with researchers from Northwestern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Vermont has secured funding to produce an organized, searchable, extensible repository of data on polymer nanocomposites and structural metamaterials complete with a suite of analytical and predictive tools to help spur the discovery of new materials. The project is funded through a fiveyear, $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation program. “We are contributing to the emerging materials genome initiative—building a platform and a culture to enable sharing of data and metadata in a format that is accessible. We are very hopeful that it will lead to deeper and faster discoveries, and the ability to design new materials,” said Linda Schadler, Dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Vermont.

COMPUTATIONAL AND EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF UHTCS FOR THERMAL PROTECTION OF HYPERSONIC VEHICLES Douglas Fletcher Jason Meyers Hypersonic vehicles fly faster than Mach 5 and they must manage the high levels of heat transfer that they experience on their external surfaces. When the very high-speed flow is brought to rest at a vehicle surface, the vehicle’s kinetic energy is converted into thermal and chemical energy at very high temperatures. The strong temperature gradient at the surface then leads to significant heat conduction into the vehicle. A new class of materials, Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics (UHTCs), are being developed to protect hypersonic vehicles from the aero-heating while also maintaining a stable surface geometry that is needed for control and maneuvering. The University of Vermont (UVM) is partnering with the University of Michigan (UM) to develop a reliable numerical model of the interaction of these new materials with the high-temperature plasma conditions expected for hypersonic flight applications. The computational framework and numerical models will be developed at UM, and this effort will be informed and guided by experiments performed by UVM in the 30 kW Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Torch Facility. Different UHTC materials will be subjected to different plasma gases at temperatures approaching 7500 K in the ICP torch facility to elucidate the key reactions that limit material performance. Details of the critical gas-surface reactions will be quantified by laser-spectroscopic measurements of the reactive species and surface reaction products, and these measurements will enable validation of the numerical model. This two-year research effort is funded by the Office of Naval Research. S U M M I T S P R I N G 2019

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LE ARN MORE For more awards visit





Computational and Experimental Study of UHTCs for Thermal Protection of Hypersonic Vehicles



Development of a Polysaccharide-based Patch for Use as a Therapeutic Lung



EAGER Real-Time: Collaborative Research: Hybrid Control Architectures Combining Physical Models and Real-Time Learning



Effective Constructions of Genus 3 CM Curves and Applications to Cryptography

The Face Foundation / T. Jefferson's Fund


EFRI C3 SoRo: Programmable Skins for Moldable and Morphogenetic Soft Robots




Evaluating Effectiveness of Floodplain Reconnection Sites along VAoT / FHWA Dewoolkar the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail: a blueprint for future rail/river projects

Rizzo, Wemple, Bomblies

Helio: Program Synthesis for Efficient, Privacy-Preserving Distributed Computation



Improvement and Operation of the Vermont Travel Model Year 11 (2018-19)



Joint Clean Climate Transport Research Partnership



Morphological Plasticity for the Design, Control, and Deployment of Complex Engineering Systems

Army Research Office


MRI: Acquisition of a Variable-pressure, Field-emission Scanning Electron Microscope for Materials Research and Education.



Network Comparison, a Cornerstone of the Foundations of Network Science



Nonlinear Optics in Parity-time-symmetric and Quasi-parity-time-symmetric System



OAM and Quantum Ground Penetrating Radar

US Army



Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology for Transportation Asset Management




Search for Direct Relation between Elastic and Turbulent Drag Reduction in Polymer Solution Flows

US Israel Binational Science Foundation


Supplement to Combining Complex Systems Tools, Process-based Modelling and Experiments to Bridge Scales in Low Temperature Geochemistry






Supplement to Historic Preservation Field School to Assess and Stabilize the Lost Horse Mill, Joshua Tree N'l Park


Statistical Support for the Vermont Oxford Network - Year 8

Vermont Oxford Network



Training in Complex Systems and Data Science Approaches Applied to the Neurobiology of Drug Use




Translational Research to Prevent and Control Global Infectious Diseases




U.S. DOT New England University Transportation Center



Using Crystallization to Control Filler Dispersion and Vice Versa in Polymer Nanocomposites



Using PDT to Remove Phosphorus in Wastewater

Village of Essex Junction, CCSWD, UVM


#UVMComputes: Developing an In-Browser, Elastic Supercomputer

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation


STUDENTS START CAREER PATHS AT ENGINEERING AND TECH CAREER FAIR Fifty-one employers attended February’s Engineering and Tech Career Fair at the UVM Davis Center. Participating companies, often represented by UVM alumni, were there to recruit undergraduate and graduate students for internships, co-op opportunities, and full-time positions. / 14


Over 300 students, resumes in hand, attended the networking event. Some students had the opportunity to schedule interviews and some interviewed on the spot. “For students in STEM programs it’s extremely valuable to learn about and network with organizations and alumni to gain clarity around their future career paths,” said Lauren Petrie, Coordinator of the Career Readiness Program at the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS).

A new study shows that privacy on social media is like second-hand smoke. It's controlled by the people around you. Photos Joshua E. Brown

PRIVACY MATTERS can accurately profile a person—think political party, favorite products, religious commitments—from their friends, even if they’ve never been on social media or have deleted their account.


Identity and actions can be predicted from friends— undermining idea of “individual choice“ on social media. Individual choice has long been considered a bedrock principle of online privacy. If you don’t want to be on Facebook, you can leave or not sign up in the first place. Then your behavior will be your own private business, right? The new study presents powerful evidence that the answer to that question is no. A team of scientists, from the University of Vermont and the University of Adelaide, gathered more than thirty million public posts on Twitter from 13,905 users. With this data, they showed that information within the Twitter messages from 8 or 9 of a person’s contacts make it possible to predict that person’s later tweets as accurately as if they were looking directly at that person’s own Twitter feed.

The new study also shows that if a person leaves a social media platform— or never joined—the online posts and words of their friends still provide about 95% of the “potential predictive accuracy,“ the scientists write, of a person’s future activities—even without any of that person’s data. Looked at from the other direction, when you sign up for Facebook or another social media platform “you think you’re giving up your information, but you’re giving up your friends’ information too!“ says University of Vermont mathematician James Bagrow who led the new research. The study was published January 21 in the journal Nature Human Behavior. Privacy matters The research raises profound questions about the fundamental nature of privacy—and how, in a highly networked society, a person’s choices and identity are embedded in that network. The new study shows that, at least in theory, a company, government or other actor

“There’s no place to hide in a social network,“ says Lewis Mitchell, a co-author on the new study who was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Vermont and is now senior lecturer in applied mathematics at the University of Adelaide in Australia. How information moves on social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, has become a powerful factor in protest movements, national elections, and the rise and fall of commercial brands. Along the way, people on these platforms reveal massive amounts of information about themselves—and their friends. However, scientists have not known if there is a fundamental limit to how much predictability is contained within this tidal wave of data. In the new study, the scientists used their analysis of Twitter writings to show that there is a mathematical upper limit on how much predictive information a social network can hold—but that it makes little difference if the person being profiled, or whose behavior is being predicted, is on or off that network when their friends are on the network. “You alone don’t control your privacy on social media platforms,“ says UVM professor Jim Bagrow. “Your friends have a say too.“ S U M M I T S P R I N G 2019

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Early detection is important in preventing anxiety disorders, risk of drug abuse, and suicide later in life.

Anxiety and depression are surprisingly common among young children – as many as one in five kids suffer from one of them, starting as early as the preschool years. But it can be hard to detect these conditions, known as “internalizing disorders,” because the symptoms are so inward-facing that parents, teachers and doctors often fail to notice them. The issue isn’t insignificant. If left untreated, children with internalizing disorders are at greater risk of substance abuse and suicide later in life. “Because of the scale of the problem, this begs for a screening technology to identify kids early enough so they can be directed to the care they need,” says Ryan McGinnis, a biomedical engineer at the University of Vermont. So McGinnis teamed up with Ellen McGinnis, a clinical psychologist at the University of Vermont, and colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, Maria Muzik, Katherine Rosenblum and Kate / 16


Ellen McGinnis and Ryan McGinnis of the University of Vermont, lead researchers on a study published in PLOS ONE that showed wearable sensors could detect hidden anxiety and depression in young children. Photo: Joshua E. Borwn

Fitzgerald, to develop a tool that could help screen children for internalizing disorders to catch them early enough to be treated. The work was published on January 16 in the journal PLOS ONE. The team used a “mood induction task,” a common research method designed to elicit specific behaviors and feelings such as anxiety. The researchers tested 63 children, some of whom were known to have internalizing disorders. Children were led into a dimly lit room, while the facilitator gave scripted statements to build anticipation, such as “I have something to show you” and “Let’s be quiet so it doesn’t wake up.” At the back of the room was a covered terrarium, which the facilitator quickly uncovered, then pulled out a fake snake. The children were then reassured by the facilitator and allowed to play with the snake. Normally, trained researchers would watch a video of the task and score the child’s behavior and speech during the task to diagnose internalizing disorders. In this work, the

team used a wearable motion sensor to monitor a child’s movement, and a machine learning algorithm to analyze their movement to distinguish between children with anxiety or depression and those without. After processing the movement data, the algorithm identified differences in the way the two groups moved that could be used to separate them, identifying children with internalizing disorders with 81 percent accuracy—better than the standard parent questionnaire. “The way that kids with internalizing disorders moved was different than those without,” says Ryan McGinnis.

If these conditions are caught early though, there are good treatments available, Muzik said. Early intervention is key because young children’s brains are extremely malleable and respond well to treatment. The next step will be to refine the algorithm and develop additional tests to analyze voice data and other information that will allow the technology to distinguish between anxiety and depression. The ultimate goal is to develop a battery of assessments that could be used in schools or doctors’ offices to screen children as part of their routine developmental assessments.

The algorithm determined that movement during the first phase of the task, before the snake was revealed, was the most indicative of potential psychopathology. Children with internalizing disorders tended to turn away from the potential threat more than the control group. It also picked up on subtle variations in the way the children turned that helped distinguish between the two groups.

Muzik says developments like this are exciting because psychiatry has been lagging behind other fields of medicine in its use of technology to aid diagnosis and treatment. “It’s exciting to move the field along with technology,” she says. “We are on the verge of new developments.”

This lines up well with what was expected from psychological theory, says Ellen McGinnis. Children with internalizing disorders would be expected to show more anticipatory anxiety, and the turning-away behavior is the kind of thing that human observers would code as a negative reaction when scoring the video. The advantage is that the sensors and algorithm work much faster.


“Something that we usually do with weeks of training and months of coding can be done in a few minutes of processing with these instruments,” she says. The algorithm needs just 20 seconds of data from the anticipation phase to make its decision. That opens the door to using technology like this to help screen large numbers of children to identify those that would benefit from further psychological help.

“Children with anxiety disorders need an increased level of psychological care and intervention. Our paper suggests that this instrumented mood induction task can help us identify those kids and get them to the services they need,” says Ellen McGinnis. Failing to catch these conditions early can be a problem for kids as they grow up says Muzik. “If anxiety symptoms do not get detected early in life, they might develop into a full-blown anxiety and mood disorder,” she says, with subsequently increased risk for substance abuse and suicide.

Jordyn Scism ‘19

Working with Ryan McGinnis, Jordyn Scism ’19 analyzed child motion during a mood induction task, as measured by a wearable sensor, using machine learning. She was able to train a statistical classification model that could identify children with anxiety and depression with high accuracy. In this case, the mood induction task required the child to play with bubbles for a few minutes.

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Professor Eric Hernandez Photo: Katie Figura


Eric Hernandez Appointed Inaugural Gregory N. Sweeny Green and Gold Professor of Civil Engineering

Eric Hernandez, a University of Vermont professor and internationally-known scholar whose research is at the forefront of structural engineering, has been invested as the first Gregory N. Sweeny Green and Gold Professor of Civil Engineering. In a formal ceremony on December 17, 2018, University leaders, faculty and staff from the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, and other guests honored Professor Hernandez and celebrated the legacy of the late Greg Sweeny ’70. Greg was a graduate of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, where he was president of the UVM chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The passion for engineering that he displayed at UVM was a hallmark of Greg’s professional life. After graduating in 1970, he joined the Federal Aviation Administration and earned a master’s degree in Air Transportation and Construction Management from the University of California, Berkeley. All told, he spent forty-one years working to strengthen and improve aviation infrastructure in New England and the Midwest, earning numerous professional awards in recognition of his skill and dedication. He died in 2016. A loyal philanthropic supporter of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences for over forty years, Greg understood that an outstanding civil

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(Left to right) Eric Hernandez with graduate students Chandler Smith, Ben Leblanc and Milad Roohi in the Materials & Structures Lab.

engineering program requires exceptional students, equipment, facilities, and faculty. With this in mind, he generously established permanent endowments to provide scholarships to undergraduates and fellowships to graduate students. He also donated funds to enhance the spaces and equipment that students and faculty use in their courses and research. Finally, he endowed the Gregory N. Sweeny Green and Gold Professorship in Civil Engineering to be housed in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The inaugural Sweeny Green and Gold Professor, Eric Hernandez, PhD, is a celebrated educator, university citizen and researcher. His research focuses on developing algorithms and cost-effective technologies to monitor and reliably assess the integrity of complex infrastructure systems and reduce their risk of catastrophic collapse. To do so, he applies a variety of tools and techniques including systems theory, structural and damage mechanics, feedback control, state estimation, and probability theory. His work has been published in over three dozen peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, reports, and conference proceedings. Professor Hernandez’s research has been funded by the Vermont Agency of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, NASA, and the National Science

Foundation. In 2015 he was awarded a prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program Award titled, “Structural Health Monitoring, Diagnosis and Prognosis of Minimally Instrumented Structural Systems.” His project pioneers a novel framework to assess the safety of buildings and bridges, helping specialists predict the remaining life of these structures. “The faculty in our Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, as in all of our departments, emphasize rigorous technical education and social awareness,” noted Linda Schadler, dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. “They strive to prepare students to become engineering leaders and innovators who are prepared to make the world a better place; one structure, road, water system, or airport at a time. Professor Eric Hernandez embodies this quest, and we are so proud to count him among our faculty. He is a quintessential teacher-scholar, whose research and scholarship inform and enrich his teaching and mentoring.” Professor Hernandez and Greg Sweeny’s brother, Bruce Sweeny, were presented with commemorative medallions in front of family, friends, colleagues, and students gathered in the Keller Family Room in Ifshin Hall on the UVM Campus.

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Gift supports PhD partnership with Gund Institute, undergraduate engineers A $720,000 gift from alumnus Richard Barrett ’66 and Elaine Barrett will expand opportunities for University of Vermont students seeking real-world solutions at the intersection of engineering and the environment. The gift creates the new Barrett Doctoral Fellows program, a PhD partnership between UVM’s newly expanded Gund Institute for Environment and the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS). It will also strengthen the existing Barrett Scholarships program for undergraduate CEMS students. “We share with the Gund Institute and UVM the concerns for our environment,” says Richard Barrett ’66. “The example for preservation of Vermont’s natural beauty and resources is appropriately set by its own University.” “We are very grateful for the Barrett family’s continued commitment to creating outstanding opportunities for UVM students,” says Linda Schadler, dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. “I am excited / 20


to see the findings that come from this research, and look forward to following the paths of the students as they build a career based on this unique experience.” The new Barrett Doctoral Fellows program—which began accepting applicants in the Fall of 2019—will enable CEMS PhD students to conduct interdisciplinary research on global environmental issues in collaboration with Gund Institute researchers. These PhD students will also mentor undergraduate Barrett Scholars. “This new partnership provides exciting opportunities for students to tackle urgent global issues facing Vermont, the U.S. and the world,” says Taylor Ricketts, Director of the Gund Institute for Environment, a UVM-wide research accelerator. “This promising new program is an important model for future collaborations across UVM.” The gift also bolsters Barrett Undergraduate Scholarships, which give CEMS students hands-on experience and mentorship in environmental engineering. Supporting 5-7 projects each summer, Barrett Scholars have conducted cutting-edge research on nanowires for solar cells, groundwater phosphorus, biogas particulate, and UVM’s augmented reality sandbox. The Barrett Doctoral Fellows gift contributes to the Gund Family Challenge. The Gunds will make an additional $4M donation if UVM raises $8M for the Gund Institute by 2022.


ANTHONY F. VOELLM ’93 AND BETH ZIMMERMAN ’93 ANNOUNCE NEW GIFT Anthony F. Voellm ’93 and Beth Zimmerman ’93 have announced a generous $50,000 gift to be made over five years to benefit UVM’s Computer Science Department and to provide funding for the CS Fair. Voellm is a software development manager at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft Corporation will match Tony and Beth’s philanthropy resulting in a $100,000 permanent endowment at UVM. While this fund is growing, the couple will contribute $1,500 each year for the next five years to provide current funding to the CS Fair. The total gift will be $107,500. The fund is named the Zimmermann-Voellm Computer Science Fund. “This incredibly generous gift will make a major positive difference for UVM Computer Science in the coming years,” says Christian Skalka, Professor and Chair, Department of Computer Science. “This financial support will help us grow and best serve our students and community in light of constantly increasing interest and enrollments in Computer Science.” What’s the reason for the new fund? “One thing I always loved about Vermont was the entrepreneurial spirit,” says Voellm, who wrote a “Junior Year Abroad” game engine before attending UVM. “I always wished we had the opportunities that are there now.” To fulfill their own entrepreneurial spirit, Voellm and Zimmerman sold futons direct from manufacturers to fellow students in

the early 90s. Now, he points out, the CS Fair connects like-minded students to more ambitious projects such as tech startups. After graduating with a BS in computer science, a BS in physics and a BA in mathematics, Voellm worked at the Naval Research Laboratory and the PacificSierra Research Corporation, among other companies, before joining Microsoft in 2001, and returned to work there again in May 2016 from Google. (Zimmerman is a professional test administrator and proctors standardized tests all over the U.S. When not proctoring tests she substitutes in the Lake Washington school district and occasionally works at the circus.) The CS Fair, says Voellm, “creates more motivation on campus, accelerating learning curves so that more students can follow similar career paths in computer science and software development.” Skalka adds that in particular, the promise of sustained support for CS Fair is extremely important. “The CS Fair brings together UVM students with local and regional businesses, forming a centerpiece of engagement with the broader community and providing numerous professional opportunities for our students, as well as being a lot of fun,” he says. “We are deeply appreciative of the Zimmermann-Voellm Computer Science Fund.” S U M M I T S P R I N G 2019

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A rendering of the MassMutual Center of Excellence for Complex Systems and Data Science, which will be located in Innovation Hall, set to open in 2019, in the University’s new STEM complex. Rendering: Jane Adams

Expanding its relationship with the University of Vermont’s (UVM) Complex Systems Center, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) announced today that it is providing $5 million in funding to further advance study and research in the field of data science and analytics. The funding, to be provided over five years beginning in 2019, will include the establishment of the MassMutual Center of Excellence for Complex Systems and Data Science, which will initiate research projects and programs aimed at better understanding human wellness through data analytics, as well as programming to cultivate a strong pipeline of data science talent. “This new center will provide students with the opportunity to gain deeper insights into data assets, publish their findings, and ultimately identify trends in health and wellness to help people live healthier lives,” said Roger Crandall, MassMutual’s Chairman, President and CEO. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with UVM to foster greater talent in the data science field and working together to find new ways to harness the power of data to make a positive impact on our world.” In addition to the establishment of the center, the expanded partnership between MassMutual and UVM includes the creation of a paid MassMutual fellowship for Ph.D. students, a visualization data artist-in-residence program for early career data scientists, and funding for research and mentorship programs for undergraduate, postgraduate and Ph.D. students. The initial research projects that will be conducted at the MassMutual Center of Excellence include study in the following areas: Longevity and wellness, including the link between physical and financial health and environmental impacts on wellness. Algorithmic fairness, accountability and transparency, which will encompass alternative underwriting data, methods for controlling bias and data ethics. Measurement methodologies for large scale social systems, covering such topics as macroeconomic events, mortality risk and social cohesion, among others. / 2 2


“We are extremely excited to be entering into this next phase of our partnership with the Vermont Complex Systems Center. This is a world class lab at the forefront of improving our understanding of fundamental socioeconomic issues through modern, data-driven research,” said Sears Merritt, MassMutual’s Chief Data Scientist, Head of Data Science and Advanced Analytics. “Our collective efforts here will improve understanding of the physical and financial determinants of wellness in the United States, and create actionable results that advance our industry and society at large. At the same time, we aim to drive talent development through research and publication.” The Vermont Complex Systems Center supports data science and complex systems education through interdisciplinary learning, and the Center’s master’s and doctorate level graduates have gone on to work for leading data science teams in the private sector at major U.S. and international companies. Negotiated with assistance from the UVM Foundation’s Corporate and Foundation Relations office, the data science initiative with MassMutual represents the largest single corporate collaboration with the Center since its inception in 2006. “This significant investment in UVM represents a milestone for us,” said UVM President Tom Sullivan. “Our distinguished faculty and programs are capable of dynamic, large scale partnerships that permit the University to create this

Center of Excellence with MassMutual, a company named one of the top fifty most ethical companies in the world. We couldn't have a better partner to share UVM's passion for wellness in this exciting endeavor." “We are incredibly excited to partner with MassMutual for our new Center of Excellence in Complex Systems and Data Science,” said Peter Dodds, Professor of Mathematics at UVM and director of the University’s Complex Systems Center. “The MassMutual Center will be a wellspring of research into people-centric systems, guided by our core ethos to make the world a better place: healthier, happier, fairer, and more productive and creative. The Center will also boost our established educational programs to help students at all levels become the ethical, powerful data scientists that the world needs.'' This latest initiative with the Vermont Complex Systems Center underscores MassMutual’s ongoing commitment to data science and cyber initiatives. This includes a $2 million, four-year program with Mount Holyoke College and Smith College to provide funding to hire five visiting faculty positions, support the development of a data sciencefocused curriculum and promote greater diversity in the field. MassMutual also opened a state-of-the-art 5,000 square foot data science lab in Amherst, Mass. and the MassMutual Foundation has donated $15 million to UMass Amherst over 10 years to further strengthen the university’s data science and cybersecurity programs in Western Massachusetts.

FIRST TECH ROBOTICS CHALLENGE Students from Vermont and neighboring states compete in robotics challenge On Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT 32 teams from Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and New Jersey participated in the FIRST Tech Challenge: Rover Ruckus. This is the seventh year that local and UVM volunteers have produced the annual competition. "It was a blast! The competition is always high energy and great fun,” said volunteer and CEMS Lab Manager Courtney Giles. "My favorite part is seeing how excited the students get about showcasing their robots. Our 46 volunteers worked like a well-oiled machine to make the event successful and memorable.” First Tech Challenge (FTC) is designed for teams of students in grades 7-12, who compete head to head

Volunteers Joe Chase and Aiyana Fortin

in regional, state-wide, national and international tournaments. The robot kit is reusable from year-toyear and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

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INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND FOR UVM CEMS STUDENTS Colorado. New Mexico. Michigan. Germany. Those are just a few of the places that UVM M.S. Electrical Engineering (MSEE) students spent the summer of 2018. But instead of vacationing, they were working at internships that proved to be both professionally and personally rewarding.


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The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) Career Readiness Program, serves both graduate and undergraduate students, providing career advising and support for internship, co-op, and job placement. Additionally the program hosts events such as the Engineering and Tech Fair where students have the opportunity to engage with local and national companies on the UVM campus. According to Lauren Petrie, Coordinator of the Career Readiness Program, there is “a large demand from employers looking to engage with students directly in the college.�

“It was also my first time visiting a National Lab and I enjoyed it very much. Visiting and living in Colorado was one of the best aspects of my experience.” Now, Nazir is conducting collaborative research with NREL, with the potential to work there in the future.

STUDENT INTERN SHIP S Opposite Page: Joycer Osorio at Ford Above (top to bottom) Narwaf Nazir at NREL Andrew Klem at NREL

Graduate students Nawaf Nazir and Andrew Klem spent their summer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. Nazir, whose research is focused on developing algorithms for online optimization of distribution of energy systems, knew it would be a great opportunity to learn more about renewable energy integration. “I worked with some of the most talented people in my field and experienced topnotch research being conducted in this field,” he says.

Meanwhile, at Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Mollyrose Kelly-Gorham researched the relationships between power network vulnerability and network properties. “One inspiring aspect of working at LANL was the diverse interests of the other interns in my office, who were passionate about everything from astronomy to simulating proteins related to cancer research,” says Kelly-Gorham, who recently submitted a paper from the experience to a power systems conference. “I was excited to be able to use UVM’s complex systems courses to use in the network analysis I was performing and to get the opportunity to work on the high performing computers at the lab.”

“These internships are often discovered through the faculty mentors for the students,” explains Petrie. “The faculty mentors are often working with industry and national lab partners that host student interns during the summer.” With the support of the CEMS Career Readiness Program, CEMS graduate students have landed jobs with companies such as LORD MicroStrain,

GlobalFoundries, Johns Hopkins University, IBM, Intel, UTC Aerospace, NXP Semiconductors, Qualcomm, Galen Healthcare Solutions, Green Mountain Semiconductors, and Packetized Energy. MSEE student Micah Botkin-Levy split his time between Germany and Palo Alto. At the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, he worked on applying an optimization algorithm to the electric vehicle charging coordination problem he’s working on for his thesis. In Palo Alto, Botkin-Levy helped the Electric Power Research Institute overhaul its StorageVet, a publicly available energy storage valuation tool. “The faculty in the college play a significant role in helping students get placed with industry partners,” says Petrie. In part thanks to Assistant Professor Hamid Ossareh’s collaboration with Ford Motor Company, Joycer Osorio found himself in Dearborn, Michigan, working as a control engineer for the Applied Optimal Systems and Control group. Among his tasks were helping system identification based on the nonlinear dynamic equations that describe a turbocharged gasoline engine. “It was very interesting to learn from people who have spent decades doing research for the automotive industry,” says Osorio, who was able to network and get experience and data for his PhD. “Having meetings with these people and being able to have discussions with them was a very fulfilling experience.”

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“The current models they produce are aesthetically Last September, a team of four UVM engineering pleasing, and are able to assist users with a broad range students received a challenge from Nick Dechev, the executive director of the Victoria Hand Project: of tasks,” explains mechanical engineering major Alex Troche. The Victoria devices are also body-powered and build two better hands—one for riding a bike and able to be manufactured for about $80 worth of materials, another for holding cutlery. key advantages in poorer parts of the world.

“We’re almost done,” says mechanical engineering major Katie Stokes. She holds up a red-and-purple plastic device with two finger-like extensions holding a fork firmly in their grip. The Victoria Hand Project works with amputees in seven developing countries, from Haiti to Cambodia, using 3D printers to produce custom-fitted prosthetics—that local people can afford and local medical professionals can manufacture and service.

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“But people have been asking for models that can do a better job of holding silverware and riding and braking on a bike,” says team member Josh Goodrich ‘19. He loosens a large purple plastic screw on one of the team’s prototypes and the fork slides out. “For this one, we went with a simple design. It’s pretty much just a clamp and it works very well.” A few minutes later, Katie Stokes straddles a mountain bike in the new senior design studio in UVM’s Votey Hall. She moves the muscles in her shoulder and back and a

“It’s got a firm grip on the fork,” says UVM engineering student Josh Goodrich (left). He and Katie Stokes demonstrate one of two new prosthetic hands they designed for the Victoria Hand Project, a group that works with amputees in developing nations. Photos: Josh Brown

series of cables connected to a hand-like hook, attached to her arm, pulls on the brake lever. “We’re fine-tuning this biking one,” she explains. “We can get it to stop the bike wheel, but, when we’re actually riding, we’re still figuring out the best way to make it work." The four students have been working on these attachments—“that can be swapped out with the current Victoria Hand base models,” explains Troche—as their SEED project (for Senior Experience in Engineering Design). “It’s our capstone,” he says, “We’ve been working on it for two semesters and it brings together all our training.” Bicycles are a crucial form of transportation in many developing countries. “But it’s pretty difficult to grip the handle bar and use the brake with the current hand,” says Goodrich. If the students succeed, their two new attachments will give the Victoria Hand Project some new options to offer clients. “The current Victoria models enable users to handle large objects like cups,” notes

Troche, “but lack the combined force and dexterity required to handle silverware.” When a person loses their hand or arm—perhaps to disease or warfare—they may face many challenges from writing to opening doors to getting a job. A well-engineered prosthetic can restore important capabilities—but in many developing countries, access to prosthetic care can be hard to find and good prosthetics too expensive. The Victoria Hand Project is working to overcome these challenges—and the UVM team’s academic task is to help out with a well-considered pair of prototypes, ready to present during the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences’ Senior Design Night on April 26. But the students’ most important test will come long after they’ve graduated, when people go to use the prosthetic hands they designed.

“We’re going to help people bike and eat,” says Katie Stokes, “and that feels good.” S U M M I T S P R I N G 2019

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CE students from left to right: Jean Guy Beliveau, Mike Roberts, Dick Trudell, Paul Aldinger, David Cobb, Roger Masson, Eric Hamilton and Dick Powers

Class of 1968 Building the Hyperbolic Paraboloid Shell “Hypar was built at the suggestion of Burdett “Bud“ Stearns Ph.D. early in our study of hyperbolic paraboloid shells during his spring semester CE 176 Advanced Structures Design course. The structure was built in one semester by CE 176 students.“

-James Durochia '68 Hypar seen with Patrick Forebush Gutterson in the background and the Green Mountains beyond.

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CE students from left to right: Top row: Morris Root, Mike Roberts, Bill Arnold (head only and designer), Peter McGarry, Roger Masson, Paul Aldinger. Bottom row: Dick Wardwell, Doug Krebs and Wilson “Skip” Alford.

CE students from left to right: Ralph Clark, unidentified, Jean Guy Beliveau, Peter McGarry, Hugh “Sandy” McLeod, Roger Masson, Morris Root, Brian Dyer (kneeling), Paul Aldinger, Doug Krebs, Bill Arnold, Dick Trudell, Eric Hamilton, Richard “Dillo” Miller, James Fontanello, Dick Wardwell and Mike Roberts

CE students from left to right: Bottom – Richard “Dillo” Miller, Roger Masson, Eric Hamilton & unidentified. Top – Dick Trudell, Ralph Clark and Mike Roberts

S U M M I T S P R I N G 2019

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FRONT COVER Joseph Doyle and Kaela Malaki build a chulha in Dehradun, India Photo: Dustin Rand

Sydney Whipple, Mohan Goswami and Joseph Doyle Photo: Dustin Rand

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