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2006 Annual Banquet

University of Massachusetts - Lowell Chapter of Sigma Xi Local Events

UMass Lowell Chapter
2006 Annual Banquet, Wednesday, 3 May, 2006


Officers of the Local Chapter


Officers of the UMass Lowell chapter of the Society of Sigma Xi with Banquet speaker, Dr. Alan Lightman. Seated, from the left: Dr. Sandy McDonald, At-Large (Sciences); Dr. Mary Elizabeth Hooker, At-Large (Health and Environment); Ms Elizabeth Fortin, Chapter Administrative Assistant. Standing, from the left: Dr. Art Mittler, Treasurer; Dr. Aram Karakashian, Awards Officer; Dr. Lightman; Dr. Bob Gamache, Vice President; Dr. Jim Whitten, Secretary; and Dr. Bob Tamarin, President of the UMass Lowell Chapter. Missing is Dr. Gil Brown, At-Large (Engineering) who had another commitment.

2006 C. Daniel Cole Undergraduate Research Awardees

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Students competing for the C. Daniel Cole Undergraduate Research prizes must participate in the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at UMass Lowell and then make a special presentation to the Cole Committee, composed this year of the officers of the local chapter of Sigma Xi. The three winners were also inducted into Sigma Xi as Associate Mmembers. From the left: Dr. Jim Whitten, Secretary of the local chapter, Joshua Ariemma (Physics, 2nd Prize), Paul Alcorn (Physics, 3rd Prize), and Scott Jobling (Electrical and Computer Engineering, 1st Prize).

Prof. Charlie Steele Memorial Scholarship Winners


Ursula Steele (center), widow of Professor Charlie Steele, presents the Professor Charlie Steele Memorial Scholarship to (left to right): Lawrence Poitier (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Kassiani Kotsidou (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Steele, Ning Zhong (Computer Science), and Chapter President, Bob Tamarin. The awardees are international graduate students, chosen by faculty members from Computer Science, Mathematics, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prof. Steele was the founding member of the Computer Science Department.

LaTorre Family Scholarship Winners


The LaTorre Family Scholarships are funded generously by L. Donald LaTorre, a 1960 UMass Lowell graduate in Textile Chemistry. Don is currently the Chairman of the Sciences Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences, an alumni group that helps the Dean of Sciences develop resources for the Sciences. (Don was unable to make the Banquet this year because of travel obligations.) From the left in the photo above: Dr. Bob Gamache, Vice President of the local chapter, Florian Limondin (Computer Science), Ryan Hill (Mathematics), and local chapter President Bob Tamarin. There were two other winners who could not attend the Banquet, Pulkit Chaudhury (Biology) and Jessica Garue (Chemistry).

Kennedy Family Scholarship

This was the inaugural year for the Kennedy Family Scholarship, supported from a generous endowment donation by John F. Kennedy, a 1970 Mathematics graduate of UMass Lowell (known then as Lowell Tech). John is also a recent addition to the Sciences Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences. Shown above with John is the inaugural award winner, Athina Mantzouranis, a junior Biology major.

High School Teacher of the Year


The UMass Lowell chapter initiated the High School Teacher of the Year Award in 2004 to honor an outstanding high school science or math teacher, one responsible for instilling in students an excitement about the sciences and technology. Shown above (middle) is Dennis Gleason, a math teacher at Malden Catholic High School (Malden, MA), our 2006 winner. Presenting the award is Art Mittler, chapter Treasurer. Dennis is accompanied by, from the left: Richard Hickey, Malden Catholic HIgh School Mathematics Department Chair (and UMass Lowell Physic Alum), Trish Gleason, Dennis's wife, Gleason, Mittler, and Brother Thomas Puccio, Principal of Malden Catholic High School. Our awardee has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Notre Dame University and before becoming a high school teacher was President of Beverly Microwave Division of Communications and Power Industries in Beverly, MA. At Malden Catholic High School, Dennis has developed the four-year Honors Program, has infused modern technology into his teaching, and mentors the Math Team. Most recently, he inaugurated the Robotics Club. Those who supported his nomination spoke glowingly of Dennis as a masterful and inspirational teacher and role model.

Induction of New Full Members

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New full members of Sigma Xi are shown above. From the left: Mr. Amol Chandekar (graduate student, Chemistry), Ms Chantana Saelim (graduate student, Chemistry), Dr. Jim Whitten, Secretary of the UMass Lowell chapter, Dr. Marina Ruths (Chemistry), Dr. Young-kyun Kwon (Physics), and Dr. Daniel Schmidt (Plastics Engineering).

Guest Lecture

Our Banquet Speaker this year was Dr. Alan Lightman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (above right shown talking with guests Susan and Lloyd Kannenberg after his speech). Novelist, essayist, physicist, and educator, Dr. Lightman is perhaps best known for his book, "Einstein's Dreams." He fascinated an audience of about 80 people with a talk in which he contrasted the worldviews of physicists and novelists. His talk was entitled:

"The Physicist as Novelist:
The similarities and differences in the way scientists and artists view the world"

Special thanks to our Secretary, Elizabeth Fortin, for making all the arrangements for our Banquet.

Check back in the fall for information about the 2006-2007 awards competition and the 2007 Banquet.

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