Talk:Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Why have all references to Skull, one of WPI's secret senior societies, been removed?

BECAUSE ITS SUPPOSED TO BE A SECRET!!!! -RJO —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:44, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

They're not that secret, they post their rosters online. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Skull also recently had a break in, however, and some of their information is less-than-secret now. (talk) 21:29, 12 July 2010 (UTC)


I don't think "Sufficiency", "Interdisciplinary Qualifying Project", and "Major Qualifying Project" should have wiki links. These terms are very specific to the WPI curriculum. People should visit the WPI homepage to learn more about these terms.

Does my reasoning mean these terms should be eliminated altogether?

- No. They are important to understanding the WPI academic system. Although they don't have independent existance, they should have proper existance within the context of the WPI page. 15:02, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Please try to keep the Annual Events in some semblance of chronological order. Gaming Weekend is first, as it happens in September. Then Homecoming, Anime Fest, Dragon Night, and Quad Fest. I'm also going to expand the section to include regular student life events, such as Sunday movies and Friday night gaming. Xuanwu 17:54, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I would really love to see Network Operations highlighted on the WIKI entry. These guys are so amazing.

trivia that brings no value[edit]

  • To date, the only Student Senator to also be a government official at the same time was John Lee Baird '04, who served on his hometown's Housing Authority while in the Student Government in 2000 and 2001. Another student to pursue politics outside of school was Yakov Kronrod '02, WPI's second Goldwater Scholar. He ran (unsuccessfully) for City Council in Worcester.

Although Baird and Kronrod may have done these things (and congrats to JLB for serving on his home town's Housing Authority), they have done nothing notable enough to deserve mention. A lot of people have unsuccessfully done several things, this shouldn't be here.

01:13, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Its trivia, in the trivia section. Again, TRIVIA. So why not have it there?
"Pointless trivia" is a redundant phrase. Trivia IS pointless (somewhat). That's why it's called trivia. If it had been under "Notable Alumni," you might have a point. 10/4/05, 10:30 PM EST.
There is no need to point out that Ellsworth Apartments is not named after the Ellsworths. This won't even be an issue next year after their graduation. Meadowbrook
there is as much need to point out that the Ellsworth Apartments are not named after the Ellsworth twins as there is need to include Baird and Kronrod's involvements in local government... any trivia found on these pages should be information that brings value. Meaningless facts about long forgotten people who have graduated from the university is not approperiate. Example: Prof. Labonte of the EE department was the first 'Professor of Practice' at WPI, useful information. WPI's head of web development was once also a student at WPI, although interesting, does not belong. Try to keep a Neutral POV, this is suposed to be a legitimate informative article, not a forum to brag about your friends, save that for your personal webpages. 2005-10-09 16:35 EST
Your interpretation of NPOV is flawed. Bias or "bragging" would be something that said: "so-and-so is the most awesomest friend EVAR!!!11!" NPOV simply means stating facts without opinion. If a student or alumni did something, then stating it sans opinion is in keeping with the NPOV regulations of Wiki. Again, trivia is not required to be meaningful. That's why it's listed under "trivia." If it had meaning, it would be in the main body of the article. If usefulness was the criteria, then the whole trivia section would be deleted (and I hope you're not advocating that!). Xuanwu 13:40, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
However you define trivia, this information is about these two people in particular. If it's so important to be displayed publicly, then it should be included on pages about them, linking back to WPI. This may or may not be consider trivia, but i most certainly would not consider it WPI trivia. -- 18:24, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree that this information should be removed, particularly since there is no proof of this. This is also a violation of Wikipedia's autobiography rules and Vanity Guidelines because the person who keeps putting it up, Xuanwu, is the person the trivia is about. It should also be noted that Xuanwu has other NPOV issues in the trivia as well, as he keeps reverting to his change about the WPIwiki, which is based off of him being banned from it for other NPOV concerns, and instead of listening to the numerous people who have expressed that it was inappropriate for wikipedia he keeps reverting. --Tedivm 19:57, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
From what I can tell it's pretty much agreed that this bit of 'trivia' does not belong in this WPI entry for several reasons, it is autobiographical and vain becuase the Xuanwu is the one inserting this information about himself, this 'accomplishment' is of no significance to the WPI Community and is incredibly arrogant to assume that potential/future/current/past students/faculty would care. All other trivia in this section relates directly to WPI and the WPI Community and not individuals (such as nicknames for rooms, current male:female ratio, The Acronym Dictionary, Marshall Scholar - an actual noteworthy accomplishment, etc...). Please, stop putting it back.

"Several of WPI's fraternities and sororities have developed nicknames over the years, many coming from from those with anti-Greek sentiments. In the late 90's, Sigma Alpha Epsilon earned the nickname "Sig Rape" after several incidents of date rape occurred in its house. Alpha Gamma Delta, one of the two sororities, has the stereotype of having overweight members, so had been referred to by deriders as "Alpha Grabba Donut." Phi Sigma Sigma, the other sorority, has the stereotype of having loose female members, earning it the title "Phi Slut Slut." How true these stereotypes are is highly questionable, but these nicknames were part of the WPI student vocabulary. These nicknames have been faded out of us and most current students are unaware of them. Less inflmmatory nicknames are used by the fraternities themselves, such as "Ox" for Theta Chi and "Crow" for Alpha Chi Rho."

the above excerpt was made by: 04:39, 30 March 2006 (→Trivia), at the same time defamatory 'trivia' was added regarding the WPI Wiki, this is essentially everything Baird was banned from the WPI Wiki for rolled up into one bullet point... anyone else feel this should be removed?
Of course. This junk isn't even close to appropriate in a quality Wikipedia article. Bob schwartz 14:42, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Not only is it inappropriate, but it is currently invalid- I'm a student at WPI, and I have not heard any of these nicknames used, and neither have people I've asked. I also feel that Baird's repeated reverts of edits that remove the inappropriate information should addressed. --Tedivm 03:13, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Before your time, I guess. Those nicknames were used at one point five or six years ago, but that doesn't mean they have to be posted here. I agree with removing that content. -- Osurak 00:01, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
As a current student at WPI, I recognize those nicknames are still in existence. Whether or not they are true or not is another issue. While "Alpha Grabba Donut" is mean, and does not apply to all members of AGD, it is not helped that frequently a large contingent of AGD sisters hang out by dunkin donuts at lunch time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:59, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Clubs and Organizations[edit]

It seems to me that this section is nearly pointless. It is merely an enumeration of external links. No additional information or discourse is provided, nor alluded to as forthcoming.

An immediate improvement would be to replace all these links with one external link to WPI's Campus Activities webpage.

Actually, I must wonder what the worth of noting this in the main body of the article serves. It is not strange or notable that WPI should have a collection of student clubs. My impulse would be to remove this section and add a reference to them from the external link section, if not dropping it completely. 18:37, 19 October 2005 (UTC) Charles Wilcox

Vote to Remove the list of Organizations[edit]

  • I think it should be removed, there is no need to duplicate a list that exsists in at least two [1] [2] places on WPI's own Web site. --Meadowbrook 22:15, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Remove for it adds little content, is an eyesore, and the list exists elsewhere. Besselfunctions 23:26, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Agreed, it doesn't add much to the article. Since no one seems to be arguing to keep it, I've gone ahead and removed the section. Ehheh 23:49, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Vote to Keep the list of Organizations[edit]

Why does the link to the WPIwiki keep getting removed?

  • Strong Keep: the WPIwiki is incredibly informative, it contains all the details on student life and academics that are too specific for the wikipedia. i believe it keeps getting removed becuase one user has a grudge against it for being baned. --Skyleth 12:18, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

NPOV in the WPIwiki trivia section[edit]

I removed the following section from the WPIwiki section-

"It has been critized, however, for suffering from various biases, mainly originating from those who edit it. For example, during the 2005 SGA election, the page for the Justice Party was used by its members to advocate their views - a clear violation of the NPOV guidelines normally present on a Wiki. Also, negative comments about WPI's faults are frquently deleted, giving the Wiki what is considered by some a "rose-tinted glasses" perspective of the school. In one instance, a notable alumnus was banned from the website after posting the student-given nicknames to several of WPI's fraternities and sororities, despite his numerous other contributions such as file photos that were otherwise unavailable. Many hope the quality of the fledgeling Wiki will improve with time despite these perceived administrative mistakes."

My reasonings for this is because the person who wrote this is the "notable alumnus" who was banned from the WPIwiki for calling people sluts and claiming it was a student given nickname- dispite the fact that not a single student at the school had heard the phrase before. (Personal attacks removed.) At the moment, there are many "negative" comments about the school, and this accusation about it being a "rose-tinted perspective of the school" is based on his own bitterness from being removed. --Tedivm 18:50, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Personal attacks are not allowed on Wiki. Please review guidelines. Further violations may result in a ban. Seiya 21:07, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
My apologies on the personal attacks, it will not happen again. I would like to ask Xuanwu, the original poster of this, to stop reverting the changes on the wiki, as its clear that others are also opposed to that blatant NPOV mess. Please do not bring your personal issues into Wikipedia. At first you kept removing the line about the wiki, which was bad enough, but now you are slandering it instead. Expressing your own opinion- and it is your opinion, not fact, and you are the only person to make those accusations- is not what Wikipedia should be about, and logging out of your account and saying someone with an IP address registered to your school does not help either. --Tedivm 02:27, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I would like to point out that, yet again, Xuanwu has placed the NPOV information back up. He also put the summery as "Undoing some poor edits" instead of what he was really doing. --Tedivm 05:29, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

"It has been critized (both in online discussions and an Op Ed in Tech News) for suffering from various biases, mainly originating from those who edit it. For example, during the 2005 SGA election, the page for the Justice Party was used by its members to advocate their views. Also, the Justice Party page had to be protected several times by administrators due to SGA senators who vandalized it. Many hope the quality of the fledgeling Wiki will improve with time."
There was an Op Ed in Tech News criticing WPIWiki (not by me, either). The incident with the Justice Party page is factually correct and verifiable. You can check the page histories yourself to see what I mean. It was Hafner himself who said that the vandals were from the SGA office computer. And a Wiki having biases from those who edit it is hardly a POV, since such a bias has been documented even on main Wiki. Xuanwu 05:53, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
There was never an op-ed about the WPIwiki- there was an article, but it hardly critized the paper, and the only complaints it made about the editors where about one in particular and it actually had nothing to do with the WPIwiki. Get your facts straight. It never claimed anything about "rose tinted glasses", that was YOU. Just because you were kicked off of it for repeatedly calling people sluts and posting your name everywhere claiming to have gotten this record or been the only person to do a particular thing with no real proof of anything doesn't mean you need to make libelous accusations regarding it somewhere else. Now, show me the biases. Tell me pages that have had negative facts removed to paint the school in a positive light. I can show you some seriously negative pages about the school if you'd like, which would completely negate your point. Also, comments like "Many hope the quality . . ." are complete and utter opinion, and unverifiable. Tell me, where did you survey for that? Where did you get that information?
I'm sorry for ranting, but this has reached the state where its become annoying. Please refrain from putting blatant lies and misrepresentations in this article. Try to get that consensus thing that wikipedia always talks about before you place this trivia in- trivia which you are the only one posting, and numerous people have been removing. --Tedivm 07:41, 6 April 2006 (UTC)


I feel that this page needs considerable cleanup to parallel other similar pages (RPI, Georgia Tech, Lehigh, etc.). Being lengthy is okay, but the information should be relevant to all. Currently, I do not think the Student Life Events, Trivia, and WPI Campus Map sections are necessary in full. Other sections like Academics are important but perhaps too detailed. Information like national rankings, history, student project and faculty research impacts, and community contributions, among others, is missing. --Epsteada 22:02, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, I got started on the history section, but dredging through WPI's history can be a bit tiring. I'll keep working on it periodically, and hopefully others will contribute. Also, you're correct about Academics being too detailed. Copying and pasting from the catalog isn't exactly the answer. Particularly with the IQP, a more succinct explanation would be valuable. Edit: I also rewrote the project descriptions and some of the academics section. I tried to be more conversational and interesting for the benefit of readers external to WPI. By the way, I realize that the "Rankings and Reputation" isn't exactly flattering, but I was trying to be honest. Are there any objections to how it's written? Ojnabieoot 19:24, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Also, I'm removing the WPI Campus Map section altogether, and delegating it to external links (with a fairly lengthy explanation). It really doesn't seem to belong on the page. Ojnabieoot 05:17, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

I fixed some formatting issues, got rid of redundant/useless information, added a few tipbits. Did not touch academic section or text to trivia, otherwise did a readover of the material and made minor changes. Just general cleanup. Grandgt 18:27, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I changed some content: The Boynton restaurant underwent renovations in Winter-Spring 2004, and has been transformed from a student friendly bar to aiming for a more upscale clientale. WPI students still go there, but I don't believe it could still be considered a "traditional student hangout." Under "Student Events" I removed part of the description of Anime Fest, because it's unecessarily long. I believe that whoever wrote it originally is a member of the SFS, and wishes to subtly advertise it. Under "Notable Faculty" I removed the entry for George Phillies, because I do not believe that he is notable. His past research alone does not make him notable; if that was sufficient, then Professor David Cyganski from ECE should be listed, as well as the Fire Protection professor who assisted in the investigation after 9/11. I also do not believe that running for the Libertarian presidential nomination is worthy of note. If he becomes the presidential candidate, then it may have enough merit to be listed. Under "Trivia" I removed the line about WPI being male-only and the current gender ratio. It's already mentioned under History. Also, I think "magnetic" best describes the research previously done at Skull Tomb, which is why it was built without any ferrous materials. I removed the entry for Eyrie Productions, as it seems to be nothing more than a plug for that group. I shortened the description of Wedge Rats, because it seemed unnecessarily long. This is my first non-typo edit on Wiki, so hopefully I'm doing this correctly. Conservatif 8 August 2006

Well, I originally threw Phillies on there because he had a Wiki entry (and the list of notable professors looked rather barren), but I think it's fair to say that he's not noteworthy enough. The rest of the edits are constructive as well. One of the big problems with WPI's article is the esoteric, clique-esque nature of some of the content. On a related note, should we try adding notable WPI professors to Wikipedia? I think Jonathan Barnett is a good candidate (beyond the 9/11 report, he also seems to be well known in the academic fire protection community), as is Konstantin Lurie (who is very well known in the mathematical physics community). Both seem to pass the professor test. Ojnabieoot 23:17, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

The problem with the notable professors list is determining or researching who is worth including. I skimmed the professor test, but I certainly don't have the time/interest in compiling a list of WPI professors who are highly regarded by independent sources. If someone else wants to do the legwork, the following professors in my opinion might be worthy of inclusion: in physics, Profs Iannacchione, Aravind, and perhaps Phillies: I don't know how well regarded he is, I just didn't think that running for nomination under a third party is notable enough. In ECE, Profs Cyganski, Emanual, McNeill, and Ludwig. Those are the only departments I know well. Conservatif 06:02, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

More Cleanup[edit]

I removed a couple things from the 'student life' section... I see someone last year removed the Wedgerats and "Eyrie Productions" (whatever TF that is) stuff, but it's apparently been added back since then. I took it back out -- it's irrelevant, unencyclopedic, and frankly makes the page a bit embarrassing. The history of Gompei / the Goat's Head is maybe worthwhile, but didn't seem to fit where it was. There were a couple other problems I think should be addressed... I don't think the list of restaurants on Highland St. is necessary, and I'm unsure about the entire Student Life section. Someone mentioned the Rensselaer_Polytechnic_Institute page at one point... its Student Life section is pretty well done, gives examples of groups and such without making a silly-looking list of events. I may try to work on this later. 22:46, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


Regardless of what Professor Kimball suggested in 1888, the official motto is "Theory and Practice."

Et cetera.

Almeida 01:58, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

The official motto is not "theory and practice." No matter how many people perpetuate the loose, convenient translation, it will not be true. Archives is a good place for you to start your research on "Lehr und Kunst." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rockstar1776 (talkcontribs) 04:21, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

The onus is on you to cite an official source that states "learning and skilled art" is the true motto of the University. Literal translations and references to suggestions from Professor Kimball are not sufficient evidence of an official translation. Until you find an official statement to the contrary, I think it would be prudent to quote the school's Facts and Figures page: "theory and practice."
Almeida (talk) 06:02, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Student life[edit]

This section reads like a promotional brochure and is cluttered with link spam. I think it needs to be either completely re-written or removed. -- Irn (talk) 16:09, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Is there a particular reason why the male:female ratio is not displayed? Wikipedia is for the dissemination of useful information, not for advertising, and potential students would find that useful.


A possibly useful image. Charles Edward (Talk) 15:46, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

thats a great pic looks like im looking out the old KAPs doorstep! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:48, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Notable Faculty[edit]

I'm surprised there's no mention of Jonathan Barnett. He was involved with the WTC collapse reports.

There's a whole section on his reports still on the WPI web site: The whole Fire Protection Engineering department would be a nice thing to mention too. (talk) 18:39, 27 September 2010 (UTC)Chris Smith

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As a competent German native speaker, "Lehr und Kunst" sounds gross to my ears. Did they mean "Lehre und Kunst"? By the way, this does not translate as "Theory and Practice" but rather as "teaching and art". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:58, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

WPI Template[edit]

Is there interest in creating a WPI template? Many schools have one and it might help to organize the main page, while still allowing editors to incldue an array of information on WPI.--armoreno10 16:49, 9 April 2013 (UTC)