Meeting Notice - March 6, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Needham Public Library Community Center

Our next meeting will feature Selectman Dan Matthews. Dan will be addressing our future plans for the Town of Needham Ridge Hill Reservation and Nike Sites.

Notes from Needham Heights Neighborhood Association Meeting 1/23/17

Olin College of Engineering graciously hosted our January Annual Meeting.

The meeting started with the vote to approve the proposed slate of officers. One year terms for the following were proposed: Michael Verdun, President; Jeff Popkin - Vice President; Leigh Doukas - Secretary; Moe Handel - Assistant Treasurer; Michael Greis - Nominating Committee Chair and Cliff Hayden - Webmaster. Proprosed Board of Directors - Mark Borowsky, Jeff Popkin, Gerry Rovner, Mike Verdun, Heather Yountz, Adam Block, Mihael Greis, Moe Handel, Rebecca Hollander, Dan Tavan, Leigh Doukas, Monica Graham, Cliff Hayden, James Krasnow, Matt Talcoff - 1 to 3 year terms.

The slate of Officers and Directors was unanimously approved.

Joe Hunter, Assistant Vice President of Marketing at Olin College then introduced the two speakers:
Professor Allen Downey - Software Engineering and Data Science
Professor Christopher Lee - Structural Dynamics and Aerospace, Mechanical Engineering.

Professor Downey gave a brief history of the college, which had its first graduating class in 2002. The focus of the college is using innovative curriculum to teach the "hard" math/science engineering courses. Olin is receiving a record number of applications. In addition over 750 educators have come to Olin to learn about their innovative teaching methods. Currently there are 340 students enrolled. Each student has a 50% scholarship guarantee. There are no department or tenure. √ Professor Lee spoke about Olin College's focus on changing the teaching of Engineering and how to export this teaching to others, and about redefining engineering to meet human needs. Students also learn about combining these skills with entrepreneurial skills and philanthropy. This learning is a cooperative venture amongst the students and is project based. The students can also cross register at Babson, Wellesley and Brandeis.

The college also reaches out to the Needham Community, as well as with local businesses to find opportunities for the students to learn - as well as become "good neighbors." For example, they have a "Design Nature" program with 4th grade Needham students to design toys inspired by nature. They also have been working with North Hill to bring forth products that will help people as they age - recently they designed a scale that will work for people in wheel chairs. They have a Davinci Workshop with Needham High School. They are currently working on ideas to improve the traffic pattern in Needham center with town officials.

It was a very interesting and informative talk, and we thank Olin College for hosting our meeting. Joe Hunter will be sending NHNA notices on future programs at the school which will be open to the public - which we will send to our membership.