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Campus News in Brief

Pausch Bridge light shows designed by students, dean

The Randy Pausch Memorial Bridge showcased student-developed lighting designs, as well as a light show by School of Computer Science Dean Randal E. Bryant, last Thursday as part of Cèilidh Weekend.

The four student teams’ light shows will continue to be exhibited on the bridge for many months.

Each student designed their shows with a different theme: “Fusion,” “A Day in the Life,” “Twitterbridge,” and “Time in Motion.”

The shows were created for a class on interactive expression and programming that was taught for the first time this semester by Cindy Limauro, a professor of lighting design in the School of Drama; Christopher Werner, an adjunct instructor of lighting design; and Eric Paulos, an associate professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

“The student shows embody the spirit of Randy Pausch in exploring unknown territory, taking risks, and creating a dynamic experience for the campus community,” Limauro said in a university press release.

In addition to the four student-designed Bridge lights, Bryant designed a show called “One Sort or Another,” a visual exploration of sorting algorithms.

He used rectangles of different colors to represent items of different value, and his light show displays the effect of rearranging the items to put them in order. Bryant designed his show to use various sorting methods and different ways of partitioning the bridge lights into rectangles to generate thousands of sequences.

Washburn to participate in engineering symposium

Newell R. Washburn has been invited to attend the Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium hosted by the National Academy of Engineering.

Washburn is a Carnegie Mellon assistant professor in the departments of chemistry, materials science and engineering, and biomedical engineering.

The symposium will take place in Irvine, Calif., Nov. 13–16, and over 60 engineering researchers and educators plan to attend. According to a Carnegie Mellon press release, the program will focus on “teaching, project-based learning, active and self-directed learning, assessment of student learning, and innovation in education.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity and a great way to network with some of my research colleagues nationwide,” Washburn said in the press release. Washburn also hopes that engineering and science students will become interested in applying what they are learning in the classroom to the real world.

Edward F. Crawley, the chair of the symposium’s planning committee, stressed the importance of today’s engineers addressing the lack of leaders in their field.

The conference comes at a time when the United States is producing many fewer engineers than before. According to the National Academy of Engineering, fewer than 5 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the United States are in an engineering field, compared to 44 percent in China.