First, as is customary when May arrives each year, it is time yet again to salute a new cohort of SEAS graduates. They know as well as we the faculty know, that obtaining their degrees in engineering or in computer science is a major achievement, and that they should be proud of themselves. They have navigated their way successfully through a very challenging program. So we applaud them, and we also expect them to put their knowledge and skills to good use and to continue to mature intellectually and personally as they assume more responsibilities in their chosen fields of work.
Of course as they move on, we at SEAS won’t be closing up shop for the summer holidays. In years past, the summer months might have seen a few faculty continuing their personal research projects, usually off-campus, while others might work out of their offices/labs here or teach the occasional summer class. But now the dynamic has radically changed. The laboratories in Weed and Adams Halls will be humming with activity this summer, continuing a trend that has been accelerating for several years now.
A significant number of students have chosen to add a research dimension to their studies. So they will be working with faculty on projects that are either industry-funded or funded through our school’s Summer Research stipends, made possible in part through generous donations by friends of SEAS. The Center for Innovation, supervised by Dr. Kevin Craig, is supporting students working on industry projects. Other students will be working in the Cell and Tissue Engineering lab, the Aerodynamics lab, the Mechatronics lab, and the concrete lab, among others. Likewise, students will be working as paid assistants in a variety of interesting summer engineering camps held in our buildings.
For the first time, we will be conducting a summer training session for high school teachers who will be offering our first year course in computing and problem-solving for college credit beginning in Fall 2016. Several of our full-time faculty will be spearheading that venture, which promises to grow rapidly from summer to summer as more high schools see the advantages of participating in it. Then there are the summer courses we offer, that are especially geared toward ensuring that incoming transfer students are on track to graduate in four years, but also serve to help continuing students fast-track or catch up as the case may be. Finally, I should mention the dedicated work Dr. Mauro Caputi puts in throughout the summer working with the entering first year class.
So the summer of 2016 will be very busy around here, as we also continue planning for the Fall ASEE meeting we will be hosting. If you are a prospective student and you are in the area, drop by sometime this summer and say hello. People are sure to be here, and will be happy to take a little time out of their activities to explain their research, and to let you know why SEAS is a great learning environment for both students and faculty, even in summertime.