2010 Symposium on Engineering and Liberal Education

June 4-5, 2010
Union College

Abstracts of Presentations and Posters

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PRESENTATIONS (click title to view the abstract)

Exploring the Legacy of a Liberal-Professional Vision of Engineering Education
Atsushi Akera, Associate Professor, Director, First Year Studies Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The Power & the Glory: Making effective use of academic apostasy in pursuit of a truly student-centered curriculum
Alypios Chatziioanou, Director, Liberal Arts & Engineering Studies, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering and David Gillette, Director, Liberal Arts & Engineering Studies, Dept. of English, California Polytechnic State University

Engineering Integrated Education: Oh The Places We Can Go!
T. Michael Toole, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Bucknell University

Building Bridges to Engineering
Robbie Berg, Department of Physics, Theodore Ducas, Department of Physics and Franklyn Turbak, Department of Computer Science, Wellesley College; Gill Pratt and Brian Storey, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Engineering Ethics and the Evolutionary Principles of the Universe
George Catalano, Professor of Bioengineering, SUNY Binghamton

Introducing the ‘Missing Basics’: Redefining the concepts of rigor and basics in engineering education
Russell Korte, Assistant Professor, College of Education, iFoundry Fellow, College of Engineering; David E. Goldberg, Professor of Entrepreneurial Engineering and co-Director of iFoundry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Mark Somerville, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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POSTERS: Examples of Integration (click title below to view the abstract)
FOLLOW THIS LINK TO VIEW THE POSTERS

Aerogels: An Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Program
Ann M. Anderson, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Mary K. Carroll, Dept. of Chemistry, Union College

Bringing scanning electron microscopy to undergraduate students through an art-nanoscience collaboration
K. Bubriski, Dept. of Visual Arts; P. Catravas, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering; B. Cohen, Dept. of Biology; M. Hagerman, Dept. of Chemistry; M. Hooker, Bioengineering Program; S. Amanual, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy; R. Cortez, Dept of Mechanical Engineering; S. Maleki, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, Union College

Terrascope Youth Radio: A university-community partnership engaging urban teens and undergraduate engineering students
Ari W. Epstein, Terrascope Program and Department of Civil and EnvironmentalEngineering, MIT; Beverly Mire, Cambridge Youth Programs; Trent Ramsey, Cambridge Youth Programs; Karen Gareis, Goodman Research Group; Emily Davidson, undergraduate, MIT; Elizabeth Jones, undergraduate, MIT; Michelle Slosberg, undergraduate, MIT; and Rafael Bras, Henry Samueli School of Engineering, University of California, Irvine

Adapting Engineering for a Non-Engineering Audience Using Common Liberal Arts Features
Ashraf Ghaly, Professor of Engineering, Union College

The Community Service Miniterm: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Service Learning
Janet Grigsby, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Union College

Frontiers of Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials at Union College
Michael E. Hagerman, Dept. of Chemistry; Brian D. Cohen, Dept. of Biology; Palmyra E. Catravas, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Union College

A Multidisciplinary Course and Student Conference in Infrastructure Resiliency
Steven D. Hart, Ph.D., P.E., Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army Corps of Engineers, United States Military Academy

Signals, Systems and Music: A General Education “Experience”
Linda M. Head, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Thomas Traub and Phillip Mease, Dept. of Music, Rowan University

Integration of Engineering Modules into ENS100: Introduction to Environmental Studies
Thomas K. Jewell, Dept. of Engineering; Jeffrey Corbin and Jennifer Bishop, Dept. of Biology; Jaclyn Cockburn, Dept. of Geology; Richard Wilk, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; Mohammad Mafi, Dept. of Engineering, Union College

How Do We Help the Humanities Appeal to Science and Engineering Majors?
Anastasia Pease, Dept. of English, Union College

Engineering America
Jenn Stroud Rossmann, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Lafayette College

Fostering Intrinsic Motivation through History-Materials Science Integration
Jonathan Stolk and Robert Martello, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Educational Bridge Building 201: Service Learning and Interdisciplinary Initiatives
T. Michael Toole, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Bucknell University

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ABSTRACTS OF PRESENTATIONS

(click title to view slides)

Exploring the Legacy of a Liberal-Professional Vision of Engineering Education   --   (click for transcript)
Atsushi Akera, Associate Professor, Director, First Year Studies Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Our dreams of integrating liberal and engineering education are not exactly new, but are firmly grounded in a long history reaching back to the origins of the modern engineering profession. From the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education's (now ASEE) 1918 Mann Report, to the latest studies by the National Academy of Engineering, finding a way to elevate engineering through the proper integration of humanistic studies has remained an important focal point of engineering education reform initiatives. Beginning with a brief survey of the most substantial national efforts during the first half of the 20th century, this talk will focus on specific efforts undertaken by MIT, the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now CMU), and the Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve) to broaden engineering education. Among the specific topics addressed by this talk will be the unique professional configuration of engineering; efforts to present the integration of liberal and professional content as a superior and more egalitarian model of professional education preferable to those of law and medicine; the tension between a classically liberal versus instrumental view of the humanities; the struggle to resolve the paradox of a ‘technological university'; and the impact of postwar engineering science ideologies. The particular circumstances-most notably the forces of economic globalization- that fuel the renewed interest in integrating liberal and professional content today are different from those that operated in the past. Nevertheless, by focusing on the experience of different private institutions, I hope to provide historical insights that will be beneficial to those assembled for this third Union College symposium on Engineering and Liberal Education.

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The Power & the Glory: Making effective use of academic apostasy in pursuit of a truly student-centered curriculum
Alypios Chatziioanou, Director, Liberal Arts & Engineering Studies, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering; and David Gillette, Director, Liberal Arts & Engineering Studies, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts, California Polytechnic State University

Providing students with choice in shaping their academic life is a noble, oft-promoted goal, but giving true choice and freedom to students who have been systematically trained by restriction and academic confinement often creates confusion and sometimes results in academic paralysis. Universities enjoy discussing their commitment to student-centered learning, but disciplines that are defined and divided by dogmatic claims of legitimacy results in rigid curriculums resistant to change. Control over academic definition often directly equates to power and control over the faculty and resources that give life and meaning to that discipline. Tradition-bound disciplinary dogma is therefore intimately connected to the allocation and use of time, money, space and promotion.

Interdisciplinary, student-based learning often questions the dictates of academic dogma and therefore also comes in conflict with the control of departmental resources. Until the dogma defining academic disciplines is divided from resource control, interdisciplinary work will never gain the academic and institutional acceptance it needs to survive, and academics who labor between disciplinary walls will always be cast out and labeled as apostates.

Our paper examines how small, insurgent interdisciplinary programs can make use of the apostasy of discarding established academic dogma in the quest toward creating meaningful, progressive curriculums. We provide a number of recommendations about how careful advising and mentoring-with a full appreciation for the resistive power and perceived glory of academic division- can help students succeed when control over their educations is placed in their hands, possibly for the very first time in their academic lives.

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Engineering Integrated Education: Oh The Places We Can Go!
T. Michael Toole, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Bucknell University

The design process taught in an introduction to engineering class is applied to solve the problem that Colleges of Engineering and Arts and Sciences are not effectively integrated. For example, EBI and other data indicate that engineering students are not effectively integrating the perspectives from their required humanities and social sciences courses into their engineering designs. Four solutions are proposed:

1. A general engineering degree

2. Participation in the NAE Grand Challenges program

3. Requiring all students to take an integrated perspectives course, perhaps during a summer

4. Service learning projects

Successful interdisciplinary summer courses and domestic and international service learning projects will be used to illustrate the last two proposed solutions.

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Building Bridges to Engineering
Robbie Berg, Department of Physics, Theodore Ducas, Department of Physics and Franklyn Turbak, Department of Computer Science, Wellesley College; Gill Pratt and Brian Storey, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

The National Academy of Engineering has identified a list of "Grand Challenges" that includes problems like providing access to clean water, making solar energy economical, preventing nuclear terror, and restoring and improving urban infrastructure. Such problems are not simply technical, but also involve social, political, economic, and aesthetic dimensions. How can we transform our educational system to better prepare our students to tackle such interdisciplinary challenges?

An important step is to build more bridges between engineering and the liberal arts. Engineering students clearly need to learn about human factors in addition to acquiring technical skills. And all liberally educated students should have some exposure to engineering so that (1) they can have a deeper understanding of proposed solutions to the key problems facing our planet and (2) some will be inspired to follow an educational path that will allow them to contribute to solving these problems. Students equipped with the breadth of a liberal arts education in combination with a strong technical background will be well positioned to make the socially effective technological advances represented by the Grand Challenges.

At Wellesley College, a liberal arts college without an engineering program, we have been exploring ways to introduce students to engineering. One of our goals is to present the "big ideas" of engineering to students majoring in disciplines across the curriculum. Another goal is to awaken the "inner engineer" in some of our students. Wellesley has cross registration arrangements with two nearby engineering institutions (Olin College and MIT) and engineering graduate programs are often willing to consider students who have majored in the sciences and have at least some engineering background. We wanted to create entry points for our students to be able to follow these paths.

In this presentation, we will describe our experiences since 1996 with two introductory courses that serve as bridges to engineering: Robotic Design Studio, a LEGO robotics course culminating in an exhibition that is more inclusive and provides more room for artistic expression than contest-centered formats; and Introduction to Engineering, a course co-developed with Olin College that introduces students to the design and implementation of mechanical systems, feedback and control, modeling, and simulation.

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Engineering Ethics and the Evolutionary Principles of the Universe
George Catalano, Professor of Bioengineering, SUNY Binghamton

The eco-theologian Thomas Berry and physicist Brian Swimme writing in The Universe Story (1994) offered the following three fundamental principles which govern evolution in the Universe: differentiation, subjectivity and communion. The principle of differentiation can be seen in the vast array of celestial bodies from galaxies to stars to planets to moons to comets to the dozens of elements that make up the periodical table, and the proliferation of species in bacterial, fungal, plant and animal world. Subjectivity refers to the latent possibilities that exist within each life form. Communion describes the highly interconnected web of life that characterizes our planet's ecosystems. The present work seeks to develop an engineering ethic that is consistent with these principles. An argument is offered that an engineering decision which diminishes the diversity of life on our planet, one that ignores the interests, hopes and fears of each living being or damages the fabric of the connectedness that exists is judged to be unethical. In contrast, a decision that promotes diversity, recognizes life's potentialities and respects the interconnectedness of life is judged to be ethical. An engineering ethic is offered which is consistent with these three fundamental principles. The new ethic is then applied to various cases of importance in modern engineering including issues of peace and security, development, and health of the environment. 

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Introducing the ‘Missing Basics': Redefining the concepts of rigor and basics in engineering education
Russell Korte, Assistant Professor, College of Education, iFoundry Fellow, College of Engineering; David E. Goldberg, Professor of Entrepreneurial Engineering and co-Director of iFoundry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Mark Somerville, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Goal: The goals of this interactive presentation are to critique the concepts of rigor and basics in engineering education. We introduce a broader view of engineering education by expanding beyond the narrow constraints of math and science. The "missing basics" support an emerging vision of engineering that encourages a wider view of the profession, along with an enhanced social role.

Content: Since the 1950s the basic skills taught in engineering education have focused almost exclusively on math and science. A key notion is that facility in science and math comprise the basis of engineering expertise (Note that we do not discount the importance of these skills; we propose that there are other important skills that are missing in engineering education). This presentation will facilitate audience discussion of the notion of the basics of engineering education as a conceptual issue regarding what is believed to constitute a rigorous education. Based on nearly 20 years of experience with students in a senior design course, we propose a set of "missing basics" derived from observations of what students cannot do when analyzing and resolving "real world" engineering problems. The missing basics fall outside the traditional concept of a rigorous engineering education and thus, educators face conceptual and philosophical obstacles trying to integrate them in engineering curricula. By examining and redefining the concepts of rigor and basics we attempt to help reduce the obstacles to effecting curricula change.

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ABSTRACTS OF POSTERS

(click on title to view poster)

Aerogels: An Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Program
Ann M. Anderson, Department of Mechanical Engineering Mary K. Carroll, Department of Chemistry, Union College

Many interesting research questions occur at the intersections of traditional disciplines; however, most academic research groups are led by one PI, trained in a particular discipline. We began collaborating as the result of a student-initiated project in 2001-02, and have built and sustained a productive interdisciplinary research program. Our group focuses on developing a fundamental understanding of the effect of aerogel precursor chemistry on the properties of aerogel materials prepared via a novel rapid supercritical extraction (RSCE) process we developed and patented at Union College, and demonstrating the utility of these tailored RSCE aerogel materials to specific applications including optical chemical sensing, chemical spill clean-up, the development of low drag hydrophobic surfaces and thermal insulating materials. Our Aerogel Fabrication, Characterization and Applications Laboratory (AFCAL) was established in 2002, through an NSF MRI grant and expanded through a second NSF MRI grant, in 2007. Our research has been funded by an ACS-PRF grant and two NSF RUI grants. To date, more than 50 undergraduate students in chemistry, biochemistry and mechanical engineering and one high-school student have performed aerogel research at Union, using state-of-the-art instrumentation, presenting and, in some cases, publishing their results. Half of the students who have completed their undergraduate studies have gone on to graduate school in STEM fields, several to health professional schools, and about a third directly to industry. We will describe how we have structured our collaboration, and share some of the advantages and the challenges of running an interdisciplinary research program at an undergraduate institution.

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Bringing scanning electron microscopy to undergraduate students through an art-nanoscience collaboration
K. Bubriski, Dept. of Visual Arts; P. Catravas, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering; B. Cohen, Dept. of Biology; M. Hagerman, Dept. of Chemistry; M. Hooker, Bioengineering Program; S. Amanual, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy; R. Cortez, Dept of Mechanical Engineering; S. Maleki, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, Union College

We will describe a novel capstone project bringing together undergraduate students from visual arts and nanotechnology to collaborate on an art-nanoscience show.  Students from the nanotechnology course bring to the collaboration an understanding of scanning electron microscopy imaging technique and sample preparation acquired through weekly hands-on laboratories with the instrument.  Students from the photography course bring experience on image composition and aesthetics to the table, and share these insights with the nano students.  The students work together to image materials both directly related to the nanotechnology course, such as carbon nanotubes, electrospun fibers and clay nanocomposites with embedded quantum dots, as well as samples from everyday life (bees, sandpaper, etc.). This project is currently bringing together thirty-three students from a wide range of majors that span engineering and the liberal arts:  Chemistry, Biology, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Bioengineering, Psychology, Neuroscience, Sociology/Social Sciences, History and Visual Arts.

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Terrascope Youth Radio: A university-community partnership engaging urban teens and undergraduate engineering students
Ari W. Epstein, Terrascope Program and Department of Civil and EnvironmentalEngineering, MIT; Beverly Mire, Cambridge Youth Programs; Trent Ramsey, Cambridge Youth Programs; Karen Gareis, Goodman Research Group; Emily Davidson, undergraduate, MIT; Elizabeth Jones, undergraduate, MIT; Michelle Slosberg, undergraduate, MIT; and Rafael Bras, Henry Samueli School of Engineering, University of California, Irvine

Terrascope Youth Radio is an NSF-funded partnership between MIT and the City of Cambridge Youth Programs, in which undergraduate engineering students mentor local urban teens as the teens produce radio/audio programming on environmental topics. The interaction has been remarkably fruitful, both for the teens and for the undergraduates. The undergraduates play strong roles in shaping the program, developing curriculum, and day-to-day operations, along with their mentoring work. They acquire teaching experience in an intensive but collegial setting, and they have the opportunity to relate their own developing skills and outlook to high-school students who may come from very different backgrounds. The teens relate easily to the MIT students, and through them develop a sense of comfort working regularly in the technically-oriented MIT setting. They also develop strong skills in understanding and reporting scientific/technical stories, and in relating those stories to their own lives.

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Adapting Engineering for a Non-Engineering Audience Using Common Liberal Arts Features
Ashraf Ghaly, Ph.D., P.E., Professor of Engineering, Union College

The integration of engineering and the liberal arts has been a subject of interest for a long time. It might be useful to first appreciate the ways in which engineering and the liberal arts differ to make them an easier target for integration. Engineering differentiates from the liberal arts in some fundamental ways. First and foremost, it is intimately related to the welfare of society and safety of the public, thus it cannot be open for interpretation. Engineered systems are expected to work, work well, and perform the function they are designed for. Second, engineering is a profession that requires certain technical knowledge and a minimum degree of specialization. The contemporary liberal arts comprise the study of literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and science. Some areas of commonality, such as mathematics and science, exist between engineering and the liberal arts, which could be used as grounds for integration for the mutual benefit of both. A course entitled "Construction for Humanity" has been developed in which rich content of "illustrated engineering" was used to help students visualize engineering principles that are otherwise uneasy to comprehend or appreciate. The course was offered in a context of history of construction, a survey of the architectural literature, and a review of engineering milestones throughout history. This course addresses the human need for shelter and the evolution of construction from building simple huts and earth walls to present day sophisticated and highly functional structures. The blend of history and engineering, and the study of the impact of social, cultural, political, economical, environmental, climatic, and religious factors on the shape, type, size, and function of the built structure were a successful recipe that fascinated the students. The assigned readings and the required biweekly papers were another source of excitement for the students in this course. Assigned readings, together with class presentations demonstrated complex principles in an easy to understand fashion with strong visual content. The required biweekly papers left it open to the students to select subjects within predefined themes with no geographic limitation. They were told "the world is your platform" and this made it wide open for exploration of all topics of interest. The seamless merging of engineering and the liberal arts that this course achieved did not only add to students' appreciation of technical principles but also increased their capabilities of rational thinking, which is what they need to be successful citizens in today's highly technological society.

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The Community Service Miniterm: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Service Learning
Janet P. Grigsby, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Union College

The Union College Community Service Miniterm provides students from across disciplines an opportunity to study the 2005/2008 Gulf Coast hurricane disasters. The course embeds a two-week immersion service experience in New Orleans and the Louisiana wetlands within an academic course.

In contrast to most Americans' simplistic views of the ‘Katrina' disaster, this course premises disasters as complex events that need to be understood in an interdisciplinary framework. Extensive pre-trip class work and guest lectures prepare students to embrace this viewpoint. Topics have included: the geology/hydrology of the Mississippi Delta; the history of levee construction; history of the cultural/racial groups in the region; the history/causes of south Louisiana wetlands destruction; the difficult sociopolitical realities at the local, state and national levels; wetland restoration efforts; and, of course, the ongoing recovery efforts in the region.

During the service trip, students volunteer with the usual rebuilding projects, but also volunteer in wetlands restoration activities and have the opportunity to meet with local experts and activists. After the trip, each student prepares and presents a substantial research paper.

Though taught in the sociology department, the course attracts students from across the social sciences, the humanities, and science and engineering. It is argued that these diverse student intellectual perspectives, and the diverse content components of the course, combine with the real-time exposure to worker/activists in the field to dramatically enhance students' understandings of the need for cross‐disciplinary approaches to solving complex social problems.

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Frontiers of Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials at Union College
Michael E. Hagerman, Dept. of Chemistry; Brian D. Cohen, Dept. of Biology; and Palmyra E. Catravas, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Union College

We have developed an undergraduate course cross-listed in chemistry and engineering that has exposed our students to optical, scanning probe and electron microscopy, bottom-up versus top-down approaches to materials fabrication including electrospinning and solution phase self-assembly, and fundamental properties of nanomaterials with key emphases on semiconductor quantum dots, polymers, inorganic-organic nanocomposites, and NEMS. New nanoscience laboratories and innovative course materials will be discussed along with successes with invited speakers and oral and written assignments that have led to three student coauthored publications. This course is integral to our nanotechnology minor and is part of our college-wide, cross disciplinary initiative entitled Converging Technologies. A central success of the course has been the strengthening of partnerships with local industrial and academic institutions in New York's Tech Valley, including IBM, Global Foundries, GE Global Research, Evident Technologies, RPI and Albany NanoTech. The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation.

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A Multidisciplinary Course and Student Conference in Infrastructure Resiliency

Steven D. Hart, Ph.D., P.E., Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army Corps of Engineers, United States Military Academy

The resiliency of our nation’s critical infrastructures is a topic of interest at the local, regional, and nation levels.  In spite of the fact that this field is inherently multi-disciplinary, many academic and professional endeavors remain insular.  The American Society of Civil Engineers recently published Guiding Principles for the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure;  all members of the task committee were civil engineers.  The Homeland Security Affairs Journal recently published “Resilience:  The Grand Strategy” by Philip J. Palin; none of the 36 references were engineering sources.  This presentation explains the outcomes of a multidisciplinary course in Infrastructure Analysis and Protective Design taught at the United States Military Academy in Spring, 2010.  Of the 38 students, 254 were civil and environmental engineers and 13 were liberal arts majors.  Students were encouraged to approach all topics in the course from the perspective of their major while striving to understand new viewpoints.  The principle learning activity was a course project which was presented at the West Point Student Critical Infrastructure Symposium that included 11 students from around the country representing a variety of academic and professional disciplines.  Student perceptions of and contributions to course topics were assessed to determine how different majors approached issues and addressed problems.  Beginning of course and end of course surveys were used to determine if these perceptions, changed during the course.  Finally, student understanding of the importance of disciplinary cooperation in achieving technologically sound, economically viable, and politically feasible solutions was assessed.

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Signals, Systems and Music: A General Education "Experience"
Linda M. Head, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Thomas Traub and Phillip Mease, Dept. of Music, Rowan University

Rowan University's Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Music programs are collaborating on an electronic music composition course titled Signals, Systems and Music. This course is the first step in our efforts to develop a new concept for providing a general-education experience that transcends traditional disciplines. Our concept changes the focus of extradisciplinary courses from "exposure" to novel points of view to "immersion" in interdependent knowledge.

We are gathering music students and first-year engineering students for a novel educational experience: Music composition from an engineering systems point of view, exposing all students to concepts fundamental to both music and engineering, emphasizing the interconnectedness of the disciplines, and (hopefully) awakening the students' creativity. This course is presented as a general education experience that DOES NOT presume any background in music, mathematics or electronics.

We propose a presentation to the Symposium on Engineering and Liberal Education addressing the details of the first offering of this new course. We have developed:

  • Lectures and exercises on music theory
  • Lectures and exercises on principles of signals and systems appropriate to electronic music
  • Laboratory experiences using both hardware and software

The course is co-taught by a professor from Music, a professor from ECE and a musician with experience in electronic music composition. We will present examples of all aspects of this course along with student final compositions. In addition, we will address future projects in our efforts to renew the general education experience at Rowan University.

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Integration of Engineering Modules into ENS100: Introduction to Environmental Studies
Thomas K. Jewell, Dept. of Engineering; Jeffrey Corbin and Jennifer Bishop, Dept. of Biology; Jaclyn Cockburn, Dept. of Geology; Richard Wilk, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; Mohammad Mafi, Dept. of Engineering, Union College

Over the past two years several engineering modules have been introduced into the introductory course for environmental science and policy students, ENS100: Introduction to Environmental Studies at Union College. Other liberal arts and science students also take this course as a science elective. Topics for the modules include environmentally friendly buildings, water and wastewater management, and renewable energy development.

The modules are taught by an engineering professor, and are typically two lectures plus one laboratory/field trip session. An introduction to what engineers do, and the engineering method is included in one of the modules. Field trips include visits to water and wastewater treatment plants, a LEED certified building, and a rooftop solar installation. Students are required to complete an assignment pertaining to the module, and are responsible for the information covered in the module on exams.

The poster will describe the development process for the modules, content of the modules, and feedback from non-engineering professors and students about the impact of the modules on the course, and their understanding of what engineering is all about.

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How Do We Help the Humanities Appeal to Science and Engineering Majors?
Anastasia Pease, Dept. of English, Union College

Many engineering and science majors dread the English general education requirements. Reading and writing about texts and literary theory seem a chore and a waste of time. Some of our own academic efforts are surely to blame for this problem. The extremely narrow specialization required for tenure prevents junior faculty from exploring other subjects. Literary theory in the last 30 years has made Literary Studies marginal to our culture. The field is now perceived by the general public as obtuse, self-important, vacuous, and impractical. How do we as Literature professors convince reluctant students that English classes are interesting and worthwhile?

As enthusiasts of reading and writing, we should use our celebrated communication skills to represent ourselves better. To put it bluntly, the Humanities should not sneer at better PR and better marketing. Humanities academics should never tire of stressing that the communication and analytical skills we teach are indispensible. However, in our technology-dominated world, PR alone won't solve our image problems, if we do not care enough to bridge the gap between ourselves and the sciences. I do not propose a forced, artificial bond between the Sciences and the Humanities. What I propose is an exploration of the areas where these two broad spheres already overlap: professional writing, ethics, science fiction, and the scientific study of literature. This presentation will focus on the ways that the required First-Year Preceptorials, Sophomore Research Seminars, and Literature classes can encompass the latest science, help students develop useful skills, and actually be enjoyable for science and engineering majors.

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Engineering America
Jenn Stroud Rossmann, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Lafayette College

Technological developments helped America become a modern, industrial nation in the 19th and 20th centuries: the history of technology is a history of America. Innovators such as Henry Ford were products of the society and times in which they lived; they created objects and processes in this context; and American artists and writers responded to these technological objects in their own work. These engineered objects changed the way Americans saw their country and themselves. For example, the car made more of the country accessible; and offered new perspectives to Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Kerouac, and Frank. In a course designed for American Studies and other liberal arts students at Lafayette College, this complex narrative is investigated. Students learn about these technological developments, in historical and societal context; study the scientific principles behind their operation and the engineering design process involved in their refinement; perform hands-on experiments to help them understand each innovation in engineering terms; analyze the reflections of these breakthroughs in literature, art, and other societal products; and gain an understanding of the complex interrelationship of science, technology, and society.

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Fostering Intrinsic Motivation through History-Materials Science Integration
Jonathan Stolk and Robert Martello, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Tomorrow's engineering graduates must possess the self-motivation to engage in learning and a commitment to lifelong personal growth if they hope to keep up with the continual changes and growing demands that characterize modern society's relationship with technology. Too often, engineering learning is presented in a manner devoid of meaningful context, or with an emphasis on the purely technical aspects of systems rather than socially beneficial and personally relevant outcomes. This failure to associate engineering with broader human concerns can lead to low levels of student engagement and intrinsic motivation. This poster describes a course that leverages student-centered pedagogical techniques and interdisciplinary thinking to encourage student control and promote intrinsic motivation. In "The ‘Stuff' of History," a team-taught integrated course block, students build connections between materials science and historical analytical techniques as they complete a series of hands-on, self-directed projects. Historical and materials science content is tightly linked throughout the term, and all assignments emphasize connections between technical analyses and contextual factors such as environment, society, culture, economics, and politics. Investigation of student motivation using the Situational Motivation Scale and the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire indicates that the integrated course supports higher overall intrinsic motivation, lower extrinsic motivation, and higher valuing of the learning tasks compared to a non-integrated version of the materials science course. The findings from this investigation offer insights for STEM instructors wishing to design learning experiences that enable students to connect their technical studies with broader contextual considerations.

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Educational Bridge Building 201: Service Learning and Interdisciplinary Initiatives
T. Michael Toole, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Bucknell University

Four principles from bridge design and construction can be applied to increase the depth of student learning and better integrate engineering and liberal arts perspectives. The four principles are:

  1. Design a high bridge (set high expectations within a course)
  2. Make students part of the construction crew (require students to start the learning process before they step into the classroom and create an active classroom)
  3. Use composite materials (bring in perspectives and tools from other disciplines)
  4. Connect important places (solve real world problems)

Successful service learning projects within and outside of the U.S. and a rigorous summer interdisciplinary program called the Institute for Leadership in Technology and Management will be used to illustrate the application of these principles.

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