ASEE PRISM - September 2000
Season Opener

Frank L. HubandWelcome to a new year of ASEE Prism.

This issue inaugurates a column by Henry Petroski, noted engineer and author from Duke University. Petroski has written on a wide range of topics, from pencils to bookshelves, and his column, on page 19, looks to be just as eclectic. This column will appear several times in Prism each year and promises to be not only entertaining but thought-provoking.

A new undergraduate institution of engineering, the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, based in Boston, is preparing to open. The school is a radical departure from traditional university-based engineering education. It will have no academic departments, and will incorporate entrepreneurship into the curriculum. An academic trailblazer, Olin College probably will not offer tenure to its professors but will provide more opportunities for hands-on research. For its students, Olin will offer free tuition and housing. "Creating a Masterpiece," which begins on page 20, is the first of three articles we'll be publishing on the creation of this new school.

The recently appointed president of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, George Campbell Jr. took the reins in July. Cooper Union's first African-American president, Campbell hopes to increase the number of minority students at the institution, which was founded with the purpose of prohibiting racial discrimination in enrollment. "Man on a Mission" begins on page 28.

Along with a new year of Prism comes a redesigned ASEE Web site ( with new members-only features and a fresh look. Another Web address you may want to check out is ASEE's continuing education site at It lists thousands of courses of interest to engineers in an easy-to-search database format.

We look forward to offering you another exciting year of ASEE Prism and, as always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.


Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher