20 Feb 2014 Faculty Meeting Minutes

Excerpts from the 20 Feb  Faculty meeting that are (a) suitable for public disclosure and (b) perhaps of interest to the broad student community follow.
Unlike meeting minutes, which are official and approved by faculty vote, this summary is mine alone and has not been vetted or approved by the faculty.
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Approval of the Minutes
A motion was made by the speaker, Professor J. Burns to approve the minutes of the faculty meeting on
December 19, 2013. The motion was seconded by Professor E.M. Fisher and passed unanimously.
Remarks and Announcements by Director Mark Campbell
The department’s five-year strategic review was discussed, including facilities, hiring, and mentoring.  Two potential searches were discussed.  The faculty were reminded of information they were supposed to send to the director but hadn’t all sent yet.  A Faculty Committee on Program Review is scheduled for Fall 2015.  Joint faculty searches with NYCTech were discussed.  The college and department budget were discussed.
Report from Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, W. Sachse
Mid-Semester Surveys were discussed, as were upcoming prizes and awards nominated or judged by faculty.  A Report on the CCGB meeting was presented.  Final grades are due 27 May 2014.
Announcements from Associate Director of Graduate Studies, Professor B. Kirby
The admit offers went out around Feb 7th, 2014 and the visit weekend is March 7-8, 2014. Professor Kirby announced that soon after the admit weekend, denials will be send out. If Faculty wants to stop Professor Kirby from sending denials to any student, let him know by March 3rd, 2014.

 
Sibley Graduate Research Symposium: The first symposium is scheduled for March 6th/7th. Professor Todd Humphreys is scheduled as the keynote speaker.

 
Student pool: 65 students have been admitted with 50 US Citizens and 15 International students; 6 TAM/12 Aerospace/ 47 MAE students have been admitted. Of the 65 admitted, 42 are committed to the visit weekend and 6 are coming on alternative dates. 4 students have been offered fellowships. Dept fellowship funds are expected to be enough this year to support the expected class size.
Discussion of Upson Renovation, Mark Campbell
Professor Campbell discussed the goal to renovate Upson hall and make it a key engineering building for the next 50 years. He presented designs, approximate budget, and key participants in the design.

 
The speaker, Professor J. Burns, adjourned the meeting at 2:02 pm

19 Dec Faculty Meeting Minutes

Excerpts from the 19 Dec Faculty meeting that are (a) suitable for public disclosure and (b) perhaps of interest to the broad student community follow.
Unlike meeting minutes, which are official and approved by faculty vote, this summary is mine alone and has not been vetted or approved by the faculty.
***

Approval of the Minutes

The minutes of the faculty meeting on November 21st, 2013 were approved as distributed to the faculty.

Report from Associate Director for Undergraduate Affairs, W. Sachse

ABET assessments are due January 14th/15th. The list of seniors expected to graduate in January was read by Professor Sachse. A motion was made by Professor W. Sachse to approve the list of graduating seniors pending satisfactory completion of their current courses. The motion was seconded by Professor M. Psiaki and passed unanimously.

Announcements from Professor B. Kirby, Associate Director for Graduate Affairs

Student recruiting will be nearly identical to the previous year. Information on prospective students from Professor Kirby around January 6th, with group responses due around January 28th. Letters to admitted students sent out in early February; a visit weekend is schedule for March 7th and 8th.
Graduate student conference scheduled to coincide with prospective student visit. A keynote speaker will speak on March 6th, with student presentations March 7th. Qualifying exams in January, to be scheduled over the next week.

Report from school/college.

Professor P. Dawson informed us of the vote on a motion in the Faculty Senate.

Remarks and Announcements From Professor W. Sachse (representing Director M. Campbell)

Updates were given on renovation and hiring and faculty evaluation/SIP process.

A motion was made by Professor A. George to call the meeting and Professor E. Garcia seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The speaker, Professor J. Burns, adjourned the meeting at 1:28 pm.

21 Nov Faculty Meeting Minutes

Excerpts from the 21 Nov Faculty meeting that are (a) suitable for public disclosure and (b) perhaps of interest to the broad student community follow.
Unlike meeting minutes, which are official and approved by faculty vote, this summary is mine alone and has not been vetted or approved by the faculty.
***

Approval of the Minutes

Minues of faculty meeting Oct 17th were approved as distributed to the faculty

Remarks, announcements from Director Campbell

Updates on renovation of Kimball and Upson were provided. A strategic agreement with JPL was signed 8 Nov, leading to new opportunities for collaboration with JPL. The college budget committee is currently addressing issues related to the new budget model.

Report from Wolfgang Sachse, Assoc Director for UG Affairs

Midterm evaluations were discussed. The town hall meeting was summarizes with attention to requests that came from the UG students. The class of 2014 had 152 students; the class of 2015 165, and the class of 2016 is projected as 169. The CCGB meeting was discussed related to physics instruction. Final grades are due Dec 23.

Report from Brian Kirby, Assoc Director for Grad Affairs

SGRS will happen Mar 6/7. Todd Humpreys is keynote. Survey of TAs indicates no clear deviation from grad school policies but some points of concern. Three key areas that correlated with students concerns about excessive time spent include (1) designing problem sets (2) disorganized professors (3) imbalanced efforts for classes with multiple TAs. Admissions and recruiting will be similar in 2014 as in 2013. Kirby will send info to faculty by 7 Jan.

Reports from School/college committees

A report on Skorton’s address to the Faculty Senate was given an discussion ensued regarding a committee informing undergraduate advising.

Motions

A motion to approve changes to the syllabet for MAE2030 was made by J Burns and passed unanimously.

J Burns adjourned the meeting at 2:06pm.

October 17 Faculty Meeting Minutes

Excerpts from the Oct 17 Faculty meeting that are (a) suitable for public disclosure and (b) perhaps of interest to the broad student community follow.
Unlike meeting minutes, which are official and approved by faculty vote, this summary is mine alone and has not been vetted or approved by the faculty.
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A meeting of the Sibley School Faculty was called to order on October 17th, at 1:00pm by Zellman Warhaft, Acting Speaker.

Approval of the Minutes

The minutes of the faculty meeting on September 19, 2013 were approved as distributed to the faculty.

Remarks and Announcements from Director M. Campbell

Update on renovation: The director updated status and timelines for the mezzanine and Kimball Hall.

Faculty: There will be no faculty search this year.

Budget: The university has adopted a new budget model that changes what role the college plays in obtaining income and distributing funds. The role of the department is still being determined.

Report from Associate Director for Undergraduate Affairs, W. Sachse

Mid-semester course surveys were discussed, as was the proposed undergraduate program in biomedical engineering.

Report from Associate Director for Graduate Affairs, B. Kirby

An update on graduate recruiting was presented by Professor B. Kirby, DGS for Mech. Eng.  The graduate student matching process starts on October 18th. Both faculty and students should

provide lists by that date and matching will start immediately, to be completed as soon as possible.  Professor B. Kirby then provided a summary of what the first year Ph.D. students are doing in the  seminar series.

Reports from regular School, College and University committees.

Professor P. Dawson reported on events in the recent faculty senate meeting.

Motion for voting privileges

After discussion, a motion was passed granting department voting privileges to an out-of-department Cornell faculty member.

Other business

Linda Smiley, MAE research administrator, gave a talk on proposals and pre-awards in the department.

 

The acting speaker, Professor Z. Warhaft, adjourned the meeting at 2:15 pm.

 

September 19 Faculty Meeting Minutes

Excerpts from the Sep 19 Faculty meeting that are (a) suitable for public disclosure and (b) perhaps of interest to the broad student community follow.
Unlike meeting minutes, which are official and approved by faculty vote, this summary is mine alone and has not been vetted or approved by the faculty.
***

 

A meeting of the Sibley School Faculty was called to order on September 19th, at 1:05pm by Joseph Burns, Speaker.

 

Approval of the Minutes

The minutes of the faculty meeting on May 24, 2013 were approved as distributed to the faculty.

 

Remarks and Announcements from Director M. Campbell (In Absentia, W. Sachse speaking)

Professor W. Sachse gave a brief update on the Upson Mezzanine and Kimball renovations.

Professor W. Sachse informed us of a new financial model for Cornell that gives departments more control of their finances, starting in January 2015.

Professor W. Sachse discussed the status of faculty searches.

Professor W. Sachse informed us that more information will be coming about the direction of the NYC tech campus’s built environment program.

 

Report from Associate Director of Undergraduate Affairs, W. Sachse

Professor W. Sachse gave an update on the sizes of the 2014 (162 students) and 2015 (163 students) undergraduate class.

Professor W. Sachse informed of us upcoming dates for class surveys (Oct 9-20), a town meeting (Oct 23), brown bag lunch with undergraduates (recurring; Tu 1230-130), grade due dates (Dec. 23), and final exam schedule.

 

The motion to approve the syllabet for MAE 5150 was called by Professor D. Erickson, seconded by Professor W. Sachse, and passed unanimously.

 

Report from Associate Director of Graduate Affairs, B. Kirby

An update on graduate recruiting was presented by Professor B. Kirby, DGS for Mech. Eng. and associate director for graduate affairs.  Professor B. Kirby discussed new strategies for recruiting. Discussion ensued.

Professor B. Kirby mentioned that faculty matching lists for graduate students are expected by Oct 18.

 

Sibley Graduate Research Symposium Summary

Am writing this note to summarize how the SGRS played out this past Thursday and Friday. You probably recall that the SGRS (http://blogs.cornell.edu/sgrs) is a conference that the graduate students organized, funded, and executed; its goal was to catalyze students’ learning about each others’ work, to increase exposure between current students and alumni, to provide professional practice in speaking at conferences, chairing sessions and conferences, fundraising and organizing conferences, et cetera.

 

SGRS vs Admit Weekend

 

SGRS was conceived to overlap temporally with but be largely independent from admit weekend. The SGRS poster session/lunch and the admit weekend poster session were one and the same. SGRS awards were presented at the Saturday happy hour that we have during admit weekend. Otherwise, the two events were independent.

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

 

The conference keynote speaker, Todd Humphreys, a PhD graduate from our School in 2008 or so, gave a presentation Thursday afternoon in Phillips 101 to an audience of about 65 following a day of meetings with a few faculty but mostly students and student groups. His travel, accommodations, and honorarium were funded by the students’ fundraising efforts, which culminated in six sponsors (http://blogs.cornell.edu/sgrs/sponsors/).

 

ORAL PRESENTATIONS

 

A two-track series of student oral presentations were featured in 109 and 111 Upson during Friday afternoon. The audience was primarily Sibley School graduate students, about 20-40 students at any one time. Although the conference was open to faculty and admitted students that weren’t busy with meetings, the organizers assumed that faculty and admitted PhDs would be booked with meetings as part of admit weekend.

 

BROAD INTEREST

 

Both Corporate Relations and the Cornell Chronicle indicated interest in actively advertising/participating in next year’s SGRS.

 

AWARDS

 

Awards were presented at the SiGMA Happy Hour on Saturday.  Top oral presentations were selected from each track and awards (in the form of textbooks from Cambridge University Press and Wiley Press) were presented to six students:

Corning Inc. Best Presentation Award: Zachary Manchester

SJB Industries, LLC Best Presentation Award: Ranjith Thirunagari

Cambridge University Press Best Presentation Award: Timothy Lannin
Wiley Press Best Presentation Award: Rodrigo Zeldon
Robert H. Thurston Memorial Best Presentation Award: Frank Havlak
CAEC Best Presentation Award: Abhishek Srivastava
Three best poster awards were given:
Francis C. Moon Best Poster Award: Naigeng Chen
K.K. Wang Best Poster Award: Huichan Zhao and Sanlin Robinson
Edwin L. Resler, Jr. Best Poster Award: Daniel Asselin

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

The SGRS organizing committee comprised 8 PhD students and one MEng student and is listed below (co-chairs in bold):

Lara Backer

Robert Carson

Stephanie Firehammer

Dan Houck

Bryan Peele

Neola Putnam

Michael Santiago

Meenakshi Sundaram
Bo Yang
Thanks to the committee for all of its efforts, and to Marcia Sawyer and Judy Thoroughman for all of their work to coordinate SGRS *and * the admit weekend.

WANT TO ORGANIZE NEXT YEAR’S CONFERENCE?

Interested in helping to organize SGRS 2015?  I’d start by contacting Eddie Bonnevie, Robert Carson, and Stephanie Firehammer.  They probably know what to do next.