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Siqueira Team Chalks up Third Place

A team of chalk artists led by Paul Siqueira of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department nabbed a third place in the Northampton Chalk Art competition on September 10, after completing a 5'X5' cement "canvas" based on Marc Chagall's "The Fiddler," adapted to incorporate the surrounding Northampton architecture. "Hence, we were very topical," said Dr. Siqueira. The members of his team were three of his students: Razi Ahmed, Tony Swochak, and Benjamin St. Peter.

Siqueira's team created the sophisticated chalk art at the corner of Main and Center in Northampton. The completed drawings of Siqueira and five other chalk artists, working in different locations, were viewed by hundreds of onlookers. Dr. Siqueira has been participating in chalk festivals since 1998.

Dr. Siqueira first became involved in rendering works of art in chalk while working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and has been invited to join a number of festivals in Southern California. He produces works that are related to impressionist and post-impressionist styles.

Following a juried selection process, the six artists had been invited to render their work in chalk on 5’x5’ cement canvases located throughout downtown Northampton. Cash prizes of $250, $150, and $100 were awarded by a panel of judges for the top three creations. The public was encouraged to watch the chalk art pieces in progress.

Dr. Siqueira’s research interests include microwave sensor development and implementation, numerical modeling of electromagnetic fields within natural media, and signal and image processing applied to environmental remote sensing. He is a member of the Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory.

One of his many research projects was requested by NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office, which asked him to lead a team building a satellite-borne interferometric receiver that will allow scientists to forecast weather and climate changes with unprecedented accuracy. The interferometric receiver will measure the “topography” and temperatures of the earth’s waters and give us unparalleled insights into the dynamics of our global climate. (September 2010)