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Services for Faculty

Nakisa Alborz

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Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Interdisciplinary Engineering

Book Selection

Personal Statement

The rise and fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty had a profound effect on the lives of many Persians pre and post 1979. As a Persian directly impacted by the Pahlavi Dynasty, I was deeply touched by Her Majesty Empress Farah Pahlavi’s story. Her strength and convictions in the areas of STEAM, women’s rights, education, and freedom were aspirational and motivational. In the years post the Islamic revolution my family was forced out of Iran due to persecution and in exploring my identity and sense of belonging, her story gave me the strength to persevere and build resiliency to push forward and advance.  I have been fortunate to connect with Her Majesty Empress Farah Pahlavi and share with her my journey in which she has played a key role.  

Aaron Carpenter

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Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Book Selection

Personal Statement

As an engineer and a new parent, when I saw a children’s book with “engineer” on the cover with a paper background of engineering/graph paper, I was excited.  I love tinkering, exploring new areas, and often thinking of wild, silly things that could be invented.  This book shows just that.  Admittedly, I still think I like this book more than my child does.  To me, engineering has always been about curiosity and tenacity, just what this book demonstrates.  This series of books (“The Questioneers”) encourages kids of all backgrounds to explore their own passion and, in the face of obstacles, find their own way.  In “Rosie Revere,” this includes her learning from failure and growing past criticism . As the book says, “Life might have its failures, but this was not it. The only true failure can come if you quit.”

Abigail Charest

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Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering

Book Selection

Personal Statement

The book Where the Water Goes represents some of the reasons why I became an environmental engineer.  I wanted to select a book that inspired the work that I have done over the years.  The topics that made me most passionate over the years are those surrounding access to water.  This book delves into the intricate layers associated with access to water from the Colorado River.  The book reveals the complicated nature of engineering marvels and their impacts to nature.  This juxtaposition of engineering and the environment is fascinating and moves me to continually learn and strive for improvements to water resources.   

John Haga

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Associate Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics

Book Selection

Personal Statement

It is often difficult to offer concise and compelling reasons for how or why mathematicians perceive beauty in their own discipline.  The rich and intricate structures can only be seen by those who have taken the time to consider deeply the unimpeachable consequences that emerge from the process of mathematical analysis.  Fomenko's work offers an evocative glimpse into facets of our universe visible only to the attuned mind's eye.

Ali Kiapour

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Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Book Selection

Personal Statement

“Is economic inequality the price we pay for innovation?” This is great book which argues that equality of opportunity is both a admirable goal and a necessary prerequisite for an innovative society. The book is written by Jopshua Gans, a professor of Strategic Management at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and Andrew Leigh a politician and former professor of Economics at Australian National University.

Allison Lange

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Associate Professor, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences

Book Selection

Personal Statement

Throughout my time at Wentworth, I have worked on researching, writing, and editing this book. I have designed classes related to the topic, and working with my students has influenced the course of the project. Additionally, I have led programs on campus related to its themes. I am selecting this book because my time at Wentworth has significantly shaped this work, and I am thankful that it has.

Rachel Maitra

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Associate Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics

Book Selection

Personal Statement

This book was my entryway into my field of research, quantized gauge theories and gravity, when I was a beginning graduate student.  It is accessible enough for a motivated undergraduate to understand, and yet is so well presented that even today I revisit its expositions and examples, which without exception are illuminating.  A few years ago some of our WIT undergraduates along with mathematics and physics faculty formed a reading group to discuss this book, leading to fruitful discussions which supported undergraduate research projects on a model for quantum gravity.  I would encourage any student interested in the mathematics behind our modern understanding of physics to pick up this book and be amazed and delighted, as I was and still am, at what elegant and intriguingly similar mathematics can be used to describe all the fundamental interactions of nature. 

Joseph Martel-Foley

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Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Book Selection

Personal Statement

A major component of my first five years at Wentworth has been a focus on incorporating inclusive excellence in the classroom. A foundational concept in most of the classroom activities I created is the concept of unconscious bias, a result of the nature of the human brain to make common tasks easier to process by creating shortcuts in thinking. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman details a two system explanation of human thinking, its basis in psychology and how it relates to economics. This system explanation helped me understand that unconscious bias is not a personal fault but a part of normal brain development and can be combatted using awareness and critical thinking. 

Youssef Qranfal

 

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Associate Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics

Book Selection

Personal Statement

Oftentimes, someone might feel that their days look alike or that their work has no meaning. When it is so, it is because they are not living their Personal Legend. This is according to “The Alchemist” novel by Paulo Coelho. This novel could help the reader make their life meaningful and, at the same time, help them dream of what they ought to make out of their life in the future. This is especially true for our students thinking of their passage at Wentworth a firm step ahead towards their bright future.

When not doing mathematics, I like, among other things, reading books. As I devoured this novel, I was taken away by how a layman, entangled in his daily routine, could rise and reach heights he would not dream of before. He does so because he believes that since he desires something great, the entire universe will help him achieve his goal. He is always on the move towards his goal just as a ship in high seas which, aiming for its destination, stops in a port only to take off later.

Even though it is fiction, the message it conveys is still empowering. If someone dares reach out to their full strength and is not fearful of success, they will find out that they have almost unlimited and untamed potential for growth and greatness.

You might end up with different insights when you read this novel, in one go without putting it down, as I did, and will do again. However, this short novel will leave you hopeful that the best is still to come … if you choose to.

Frederick Trilling

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Professor, Department of Business Management

Book Selection

Personal Statement

Picking a favorite book is as easy as picking a favorite movie; which is to say, not easy at all. There are books that I’ve read a hundred times until they quite literally fell apart, only to be duct-taped back together to read some more. There are books that moved me, shaped me, inspired me to socio-political action and how to interact with others. So what do I end up picking now, to tell you who I am? The first title that came to my mind, that even surprised me in a “nah, not that one” kind of way; but selected for, I now realize, valid reasons. 

I was 12 years old when “Up the Organization” was first published, written by somebody who nobody outside of the business community had heard of. The car rental industry was then dominated by Hertz and nobody else was even a close second. Robert Townsend was the person who took Avis from nowhere to a feisty, fighting, famous #2 spot with their “We Try Harder” advertising slogan, which also permeated how the company treated its customers and its employees. I read about it in my father’s Business Week magazines (please don’t judge a 12 year old boy’s choice of 1970 magazines, especially when far worse was available).  I’m sure that the book’s constant use of humor kept me interested; its lessons about business have stayed with me for 50 years. My original copy, destroyed by flood-related mold and carefully Xeroxed as a non-infectious version, was a continued reference for me and my students. Others in the business world feel the same way, so it was reprinted about a decade ago.  This is the book that got me thinking about 1) business, 2) explaining things to others in a way that is easy to understand, and 3) writing.  OK, maybe I should’ve picked Lord of the Rings or something else with similar deep meaning so you’d think better of me.  But this is about my promotion as a teacher of business management, so this is the honest choice.  I hope that you enjoy and/or benefit from it as much as I have. 

John Voccio

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Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Book Selection

Personal Statement

I chose this book as Ben Franklin was the quintessential life-long learner. He was very organized and diligent and also wise and funny. He was an author, avid reader, and scientist. While he was skeptical, he did not let his skepticism stop him from learning new things, including spiritual matters as he grew older.