A Clarkson Mosaic - page 530

the snail clock could lead to a better understanding of the human brain. His study included
analysis of the chemical compounds that control the cycle's rhythm. He used enzymes to break
down the eyes into individual chemicals, as he sought for proteins that may make the system
Sunrayce '95.
Clarkson's proposal to enter Sunrayce '95 was selected as the top proposal over
those of more than 65 other schools. A team of Clarkson students, aided by members from the
University of Ottawa and Algonquin College in Canada, this team competed for the third time
in the Sunrayce series. (See 1993)
This 1995 entry had a flat top, three custom-made wheels and what resembled a bullet
in front, a design evolved from wind tunnel tests. Before the 1,100-mile race from Indianapolis
to Colorado Springs, the team won a second place for overall design. The budget was $225,000
in 1995, compared to $175,000 in 1993.
The 1993 entry averaged only 11 mph, and finished 28th. The 1995 entry finished 18th.
Virtual Reality.
Stephen Palm '96 believes that the applications are simply incredible. He
referred to virtual reality, an electronic technique and device used, among others, by the
automobile industry to work out flaws in prototype cars before they are put into production. He
was a member of the first virtual reality undergraduate class in the country. This course began
in discussions at the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery in 1993, and
led to a petition to the University administration to purchase a computer necessary to run the
virtual reality programs, and the creation of a three-credit virtual reality class. Taught by Janice
Searleman, a computer science professor, this course required the students to spend the
semester programming their own virtual world. To do so, they had to write more than 35,000
lines of code in the computer language C++, the language used to program many computer
Using comparable programs downloaded from other schools, Clarkson students can
benefit in many courses. One program, for example, contained a model of the solar system and
allowed the students to travel through it using an electronic glove as a kind of steering wheel.
The glove "talks" to the computer through electronic impulses that change as the glove changes
Paper Sludge.
To change the ways paper companies dispose of their waste, Amy Zander, civil
engineering professor, worked to develop a machine which would pelletize this waste sludge by
compacting and drying it. Similar to machines which turn sawdust and wood chips into pellets,
this machine would create a cheap source of fuel for stoves and commercial use, and at the
same time prevent the sludge from being sent to landfills. These pellets would burn more
efficiently than wood pellets, providing about 6,000 British thermal units (Btu) of heat,
compared to the 5,000 Btu of heat given off by wood.
The problem: paper sludge has ink which contains heavy metals that make it hazardous
to burn. Zander believes that these metals would end up in the ash from the combustion, and not
in air pollution, and that ash would be only about 17% of the original paper sludge volume. Her
process was tested by the Clarkson boiler on the downtown campus.
Hamster Wheel.
Motorists coming into town along Pierrepont Avenue were startled to see
Clarkson students plodding patiently inside a huge hamster wheel on the lawn in front of Snell
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