Richard F. Vaz received the PhD in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), specializing in signal analysis and machine vision. He held systems and design engineering positions with the Raytheon Company, GenRad Inc., and the MITRE Corporation before joining the WPI Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty in 1987. Rick is currently Dean of Interdisciplinary and Global Studies at WPI, with oversight of WPI’s Global Perspective Program, a worldwide network of 35 Project Centers to which more than 700 students and faculty per year travel to address problems for local agencies and organizations. Rick also oversees an academic unit focused on local and regional sustainability in support of WPI’s interdisciplinary degree requirement, the Interactive Qualifying Project.
Rick’s interests include experiential learning, engineering design and appropriate technology, and internationalizing engineering education. He has developed and supervised hundreds of student research projects in the Americas, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe. Rick has published over 55 peer-reviewed or invited papers and is the recipient of numerous teaching and advising awards including the WPI Trustees’ Awards for Outstanding Teaching and for Outstanding Advising. From 2004 to 2010 he served as a Senior Science Fellow of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Paula Quinn is an independent evaluation consultant with Quinn Evaluation Consulting. She specializes in the field of education and has worked on projects funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, state departments of education, and private colleges and universities. She holds an M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Clark University and a B.A. in Psychology from Case Western Reserve University.
Arthur Heinricher is Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Heinricher joined the faculty of WPI in 1992, with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon.
His primary responsibility as Dean of Undergraduate Studies is to assess and ensure the quality of undergraduate programs at WPI. He helped guide the development of WPI’s Great Problems Seminars engaging first year students with interdisciplinary projects tied to problems of current, global importance. He served as Director of the Center for Industrial Mathematics and Statistics at WPI and worked with more than 100 students on more than 30 different mathematics projects with business and industry. He was also principal investigator on WPI’s Research Experience for Undergraduates in Industrial Mathematics and Statistics and was co-organizer of the Mathematics in Industry Institutes for High School Teachers at WPI.
Associate Professor, Social Science and Policy Studies
Associate Dean, Interdisciplinary and Global Studies