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Matthew Kovach (MS '12, PhD '15)

News Release: Matthew Kovach is named assistant professor in Department of Economics

January 29, 2018 -- Matthew Kovach has been named as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science.

His research focuses on economic theory and behavioral economics, developing psychologically realistic models of human decision-making. Recent projects include studies that show how financial incentives influence beliefs about future events, how consumers allocate their attention, and how the existence of a reference point determines which alternatives a consumer considers.

Kovach earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2010, and master’s and doctoral degrees from California Institute of Technology, both in economics in, respectively, 2012 and 2015. Prior to arriving at Virginia Tech, Kovach was a visiting assistant professor at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México.

Kovach is one of 22 tenured and tenure-track faculty members to join the College of Science and the Virginia Tech School of Neuroscience this year. 

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Marty Zimmerman (BS '87)

In 2017, Marty was promoted to the title of Engineering Fellow at Commscope, one of only 10 people in this 25,000 employee organization to hold that title. Marty has been with Commscope (originally Andrew) for 18 years. During that time he has held various roles including running the R&D department for the Base Station Antennas group, as its revenue has increased by a factor of 30 during his time with the organization. He currently leads the Antenna Solutions team. He has 28 US and numerous foreign patents.

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Deborah Chung (BS '73, MS '73)

In spite of its explosive market growth, 3D metal printing is challenged by the thermal stress resulting from the high printing temperatures and the layer-by-layer nature of the printing. The stress commonly results in warpage and inadequate bonding between the layers. Therefore, real- time monitoring of the printing is greatly needed to provide better control and a record of the printing. Cameras commonly used for the monitoring is inadequate for looking at the interface between the layers.  A new invention by Professor Deborah D.L. Chung of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, is about to transform the monitoring technology. This invention unprecedentedly provides monitoring without using any sensor, as the printed layers sense themselves.

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Ari Kaplan (BS '92)

After creating and leading the Chicago Cubs analytics department, they finally won the World Series and it was great to be part of the journey along the way. I moved over to the Baltimore Orioles to rejoin my first boss I had after graduating Caltech (Dan Duquette), and have had the best record in the AL working with a smaller budget than the big markets. Aside from that I enjoy all things data science, and spending time with my family (kids are now 13, 12, 11 yrs).

Eli Botkin (MS '51)

Eli Botkin, MS in Physics, has published a chapter titled “Still Finding Pleasure After 90” in a new book on aging, Aging Wisely . . . Wisdom of Our Elders, by Irving I. Silverman and Ellen Beth Siegel. The book is a compendium of essays by an extraordinary group of 75 seniors and the professionals who care for them, on a wide range of topics about how we age and how we can do so better.

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Thomas Santoro (MS '69, PhD '77)

Retired for over six years, but still maintain the swimming and diving skills I learned back in the CIT scuba program in Pasadena. Now I just free-dive off the light house at my local beach in Watch Hill, Rhode Island as in the photo. Not as interesting as those great dives off Catalina, but I still love it.

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Lisa D. Zhang (BS '10)

I am an Intellectual Property Litigation Associate Attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.  It's been great - we represent technology companies in enforcing their intellectual property rights or defending against the claims of others.  My cases have touched upon pharmaceutical drugs, genetic testing kits and methods, commercial UAVs, network routing and security, caching, LEDs, and image sensors, to name just a few areas.  In fact, one of our clients is Caltech!

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Donald Remer (MS '66)

Donald S. Remer (MS '66, PhD '70) has retired after 42 years of teaching, research, and consulting as the Oliver C. Field Professor of Engineering at Harvey Mudd College. He is continuing as the President of the Claremont Consulting Group, which he cofounded in 1979, that presents short courses in Project Cost Estimating, Business Case Analysis, and Project Management. He and his wife have traveled to about 50 countries. They enjoy traveling and spending time with family.

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Leslie Rusch (BS '80)

After 10 years in government (project management engineer), I returned to graduate studies at Princeton in 1990. With my newly minted PhD, I took a position as a professor at Univ. Laval (UL) in Quebec City. I perfected (well, not really that perfect) my French for teaching at this francophone institution. I work in optical communications with a very active research program. I spent two years (2000-2002) at Intel in Silicon Valley, but ultimately returned to academic life. My husband is also an EE prof at UL and we have two daughters. Our daughters are both studying engineering at McGill (computer and software) - proving the apple does not fall far from the tree. My connection to Caltech has waned over the years - but at least I still watch Big Bang Theory and key my ear for the nerdy jokes.

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Martin Pall (BS '68)

I have published 6 papers on how microwave/lower frequency EMFs impact the cells of our bodies.  They activate voltage-gated calcium channels via a mechanism involving both physics and biology.  This leads, in turn, to a wide variety of impacts on the brain, the heart, the reproductive and endocrine systems; it also leads to oxidative stress and cellular DNA damage. There are also therapeutic effect.  EMFs act in plant cells via very similar mechanisms to the action in animal cells.  Since my first such paper in 2013, I have given 38 invited professional talks on this topic in 10 countries.  This is a stunning falsification of the industry propaganda which claims these EMFs only produce thermal effects.

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Pierre Jungels (PhD '73)

After Caltech, I worked more than 40 years in the international Oil and gas business mostly in Exploration and production of which more than 25 years at main Board of Directors level.
I was a Director of Baker Hughes Inc. until July this year where BHI merged with GE Oil and Gas.
I am Chairman of Velocys Plc. a technology business merging the micro channels reactor technology of Battle with hyper active catalysts from Oxford University.
This allows small scale GTL ( Fischer Tropch ) to be economical and allows small scale renewable production of Jet Fuels and Diesel from non recyclable waste or woody by products.

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Richard "Dick" Burgess (BS '64)

Richard "Dick" Burgess (Class of 1964, Page House)
I have spent my entire professional career in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at UW-Madison.  I founded and directed the UW Biotechnology Center 1984-96.  I still work 10% even though I semi-retired in 2009.  I keep busy by serving as Vice-President for Science of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters and as Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Protein Expression and Purification.  I keep engaged by trying to write a scientific memoir about the discovery of the first transcription factor, sigma70 while a PhD student at Harvard 1964-69 and my life as a protein biochemist.  I also give public lectures on biotechnology and its growth in Wisconsin, on creativity at the interface of science and the arts, on the importance of basic biomedical research on drug discovery and tomorrow's therapeutics, on entrepreneurism, and on amateur archaeology.  My wife Ann and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in June, are healthy, and spend lots of time traveling to the coasts to play with our four grandchildren.  I played basketball until I was 71, but broke my leg on the court 4 years ago and have reluctantly hung up my jockstrap. []

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Richard Smyth (BS '51)

It is a good idea to try to collect information about our classmates.  My wife is the Alumni Notes editor for her class (1952) at Occidental.  She has found the long-time graduates don't respond well to internet notices.  They often do not have access to email and/or forget to look at their email.  They move to retirement homes and forget to re-establish their email address.
I am living in Lompoc, CA, which has the best climate of anywhere in the world.    My wife is here with me.  We have 5 grown children.  They have 12 children (grand children).  They have 6 children (great-grand children) with another one due this week.

Thomas Blaschko (BS '71)

Tom Blaschko's latest book, "We All Have Souls and I Think We Can Prove It," was released June 21, 2017. The book looks at evidence for souls from many sources and proposes a model that is compatible with Western Science. Well, almost compatible. We can keep all the science we have now and only need to add a new force that Tom calls life force. (It has other names in other cultures, such as Ki in karate.) Then we also need to consider the part of ourselves that interacts with the life force. That part has a lot of names, too, but Tom prefers a simple one: soul. The result is a system that respects some well-done science in soul reality and also offers an underlying model that makes sense of the millions of reports of ghosts, angels, precognition, and other phenomena that have been dismissed as impossible using the current Western science model. More information is available on the website.