Arthur Moretta Gift Made to Seaman Mineral Museum

The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum has received a major bequest from the estate of Arthur M. Moretta valued at $250,000, which comprises his private mineral collection and a cash gift of $100,000.

Moretta graduated from Michigan Tech in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in geology, after which he worked in the oil and coal industry before settling in Chicago with Parsons Engineering Science Inc. He spent most of his career there, retiring as its manager of environmental studies and federal projects.

Moretta, whose interest in mineral collecting began at a young age alongside his late father, recognized fine mineral specimens and was able to make a recent, significant addition to his collection on behalf of the museum: the acquisition of a historically important, world-class copper specimen from the Resolute Mine in Keweenaw County.

For many years this specimen was in the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences collection and will now be a permanent part of the Seaman Museum's collection. This specimen was presented to the Academy on Oct. 22, 1867, by the Resolute Mining Company, whose headquarters was in Philadelphia. It is the finest specimen known from this historic copper mine.

Moretta made many visits back to his alma mater over the years and developed a close relationship with the Seaman Museum's faculty and staff.

Eric Halonen, director of major gifts and gift planning, said, "We are thankful not only for Mr. Moretta's generosity but also for his willingness to share the knowledge of his bequest with us five years ago. This allowed us to thank him and convey the importance of his support to the advancement of Michigan Tech's mineral museum."

"We are very grateful to Mr. Moretta for choosing the Seaman Mineral Museum to inherit his mineral collection and generous gift of cash," said Director Ted Bornhorst. "The donation of the Resolute Mine copper is a significant addition to the collection, and along with his bequest, will continue to build the Seaman's reputation as one of North America's great mineral museums."

ME-EM Students Stand Out

submitted by Nancy Barr

At the close of each semester, the mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics department hosts a Senior Recognition/Order of the Engineer banquet. As part of this ceremony, the department selects and honors a few senior students who have made extraordinary contributions to their Enterprise or Senior Design projects. This semester's awardees include:

Enterprise Students

Kyle North
Kyle is the team leader for the spacecraft On-board Data and Command team, which developed satellite control computer system hardware and software. This complicated subsystem is composed of two separate computers, multiple ADCs, two video frame grabbers and a suite of student-written software. The team was a shambles about two years ago before Kyle took over. Through his leadership, it is now one of the best teams. It's hard to convey exactly what he has done without a technical description of the spacecraft, but it has been amazing.

Drew Aiken
Drew has been an integral part of the Formula SAE team. He served as president and, while on a co-op assignment, continued with his capstone team to complete the design of smaller, lighter tire/wheel assemblies for the car that is currently under construction. This semester, Drew has invested countless hours welding, machining and passing on his skills by working with new members.

Senior Design

Evandro Ficanha
Evandro was committed to the success of the Hybrid Vehicle Educational Demo project. For those familiar with late 1980s TV, he had MacGyver-like resourcefulness. In the early stages of the project, he prototyped concepts by cannibalizing parts from things like an ink-jet printer and remote-control cars. Throughout the project, he found creative ways to get things done. He and his teammates worked many hours to learn the software and electronics necessary to create a fun and educational demo that emulates the functioning of a hybrid vehicle.

Steven Slater
Steven has been the leader of an extremely efficient and hardworking multidisciplinary team (4 ME's and 2 EE's). Steve has shown a great deal of maturity in leading this team and has consistently been a driver in moving the project forward. It should also be noted that the team as a whole has done an outstanding job.

Darrin Traczyk
Darrin has been one of the leading members of a very good design team. He has helped a good team become even better. His teamís project was very difficult for a number of reasons, but he has made steady progress towards a finished product that he can take pride in and will provide vital data to the sponsor, American Axle and Manufacturing. Darrin is someone we will be glad to say graduated from Michigan Tech.

Christmas for the Needy

The MBA Student Association is leading the "Adopting a Family" program this holiday season.

Help collect unused clothing, toys and other items for a local family with four boys aged 5, 9, 11 and 12 who love hockey, floor hockey and LEGOs. The boys wear medium T-shirts and sizes 12, 12 slim, 10 husky, and 5T pants.

Place items in the "Adopt a Family" box in the lobby of the AOB. Feel free to wrap your donations, but attach a note telling what's inside.

As well, cash donations will be accepted in the office of the School of Business and Economics and will be used to purchase food and other necessities for the family's holiday celebration.

Donations will be accepted until Wednesday, Dec. 21.

Reminder: Khana Khazana Today

The last Khana Khazana (food treasure) of the year will feature Japanese food. The international lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., today, in the Memorial Union Food Court. A full meal costs $6; individual entrees are available at $2 each. Khana Khazana is a collaboration between international students and Dining Services.

Tae Kwon Do Group Excels

by Britta Anderson, TKD secretary

In November, nine members of Husky Tae Kwon Do participated in a tournament in Garden City that attracted hundreds.

Every Husky participant, some competing for the first time, earned not one, but two medals, for a total of eighteen overall.

John Velat, TTAP manager, a blue belt, upon seeing the amount of people competing, said the experience got him "pumped up for the sport."

Senior Mivil Abraham (EE), a student of the red belt, one step away from a black belt, received two first-place medals for sparring and form.

The youngest Husky at the tournament, Marsha Velat, a seven-year-old white belt with a yellow stripe, surprised everyone during her sparring matches. Not only did she manage to kick her opponents' head numerous times, but she also was able to successfully defeat two opponents who outranked her.

Jonathan Henkel, club master of Husky Tae Kwon Do, said that he was told by various participants and spectators that the members of the Husky's club demonstrated power and were courteous and respectful. Henkel said, "They made me proud."

On the Road

Assistant Professor Edward Cokely (Cognitive and Learning Sciences), students and two colleagues attended the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making in Seattle, Wash., in November.

Graduate student Margo Woller-Carter(CLS), Edward Cokely and two colleagues presented "On cognitive abilities and superior judgment: An eye-tracking study of errors in medical, political, and consumer inferences."

Undergraduate student Samantha Simon (CLS), graduate student Natasha Hagadone (CLS) and Edward Cokely presented "Credit card repayment decisions: Influences of numeracy, memory, and information search."

Edward Cokely and a colleague presented "Effective health messages for promoting condom use in young adults: Simple visual aids can be as effective as extensive training programs."

Edward Cokely and a colleague presented "How effective are visual risk representation formats? The impact of individual differences in graph literacy."

Assistant Professor Louisa Raisbeck (KIP), Edward Cokely and a colleague presented "Costs and benefits of simplifying diet and exercise rule complexity."

Edward Cokely, graduate student Samia Ghazal (CLS), undergraduate student Kaylee Russell (CLS) , undergraduate student Samantha Simon (CLS), graduate student Margo Woller-Carter and a colleague presented "Fluency and efficacy: Biases in estimates of pharmaceutical effectiveness."

Edward Cokely and two colleagues presented "Persistent bias in expert judgments about free will and responsibility."

Graduate student Saima Ghazal (CLS), Edward Cokely and two colleagues presented "Refining the Berlin Advance Numeracy Test for Educated Samples (ANT-E) and Proposing ANT-G for General Populations."

* * * *

Cokely, students and colleagues also attented the 52nd Psychonomic Society Annual Scientific Meeting in Seattle in November.

Graduate student Natasha Hagadone (CLS), undergraduate Dan Green (ME-EM), Associate Professor Michele Miller (CEE), and Edward Cokely presented "Skills of successful engineers in a high-technology economy: An investigation of the relevance of hands-on ability."

New Funding

Associate Professor Greg Odegard (ME-EM/MuSTI) has received $13,269 for the first year of a potential three-year, $50,314 project from the Mayo Clinic for "Microsensor for Intramuscular Pressure Measurement."


Mel Laurila BS '79 and MS '81, author of the newly published "Mine Games," will host a presentation and book signing at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the Calumet Public Library. The book is set in the Copper Country. Laurila received his degrees in metallurgical and materials engineering.

Teaching at Tech: Talent or Effort?

by William Kennedy, director, Center for Teaching, Learning and Faculty Development

Everyday experience teaches us that we learn from our mistakes. In support of that idea, Neils Bohr once observed that an expert is, "A person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." As education writer, Jonah Lehrer, recently concluded in a Wired magazine article, "Education is the wisdom wrung from failure."

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck conducted experiments that distinguished between people who exhibit a series of beliefs associated with what she called a "fixed mind-set" versus those with a "growth mind-set."

Fixed mind-set people tend to believe that intelligence is an attribute that varies between people and that individuals have a
certain amount of it that they can work with. Growth mind-set people tend to believe that learning is less the result of some native ability and more the result of effort and persistence. Interestingly, people with the fixed mind-set tend to see mistakes as evidence of the failure of their intelligence, while growth mind-set people tend to believe that making mistakes is an essential element of learning.

Dweck and colleague Claudia Mueller gave 400 fifth-grade students a relatively easy test consisting of solving a series of nonverbal puzzles. After the kids finished the test, the researchers gave students their scores, along with one of two single lines of praise. Half of the kids were praised for their intelligence ("You must be smart at this"), while the other half were praised for their effort ("You must have worked really hard").

The students were then allowed to choose to take one of two different puzzle tests. The first was described as being a more difficult series of puzzles than the one they had just taken but, they were assured, they would learn a lot by taking it. The other choice was another easy test, almost like the one they'd just been praised for.

Dweck and Mueller expected a mild effect based on the variation in praise that the students received--but the magnitude of the effect that they actually observed was quite shocking. Ninety percent of those kids who had just been praised for their effort chose the harder test, while the majority of those who were praised for their intelligence chose the easier second test. Dweck wondered if the kids whom had just been praised for their intelligence chose the easier test because they wanted to continue to "look smart."

Later, Dweck gave the same group of fifth-grade students an extremely hard puzzle test. She discovered that the kids who had been previously praised for working hard wrestled with the difficult puzzle problems for a sustained period of time, while many more of those who had been previously praised for being smart were much more easily discouraged and tended to quickly give up.

Both groups of students were then given the option of looking either at the tests of students who did better or worse than they did. The students praised for being smart tended to chose to look at tests of students who had scored more poorly than themselves, while kids initially praised for hard work chose to see the tests of students who scored higher.

In a final round of testing, both groups of students were asked to solve puzzles that were about equal in difficulty to the original puzzle challenges they had faced. Remarkably, students who had been praised for their hard work raised their scores by 30 percent over their initial performance, while students who had been arbitrarily praised for being smart saw their scores decline by 20 percent. Dweck suggested that doing so poorly on the hard test they had just taken in round two may have resulted in their diminished performance on the easy test.

Therefore, our consistent message to students should be that you can succeed if you are willing to work hard and take the time to learn from your mistakes. Our reward structures, grades and academic progress policies should be designed to encourage sustained and diligent effort following failure, rather than taking a few fortuitous snapshots that separate the "whiz kids" from the "left-behinds."

My suspicion, based on 40 years of interacting with colleagues in institutions of higher learning, is that too many of us not-so-secretly believe that we got where we are based largely on our mental prowess and intellectual horsepower. That's why we routinely use thinly veiled language like "bright" and "gifted" to praise those students for whom school learning seems to come easy. If Dweck is right, we may be doing both the whiz kids and the left-behinds no favor.