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A “Bio Basics” Short Course: Bringing Modern Biology To An Engineering Faculty

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Engineering Courses II

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.112.1 - 10.112.4



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Paper Authors

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James Sweeney

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Edward Hall

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Alyssa Panitch

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A “Bio-Basics” Short Course: Bringing Modern Biology to An Engineering Faculty

James D. Sweeney1, Lokesh Joshi1, 3, Alyssa Panitch1, 3, Edward Hall2 Harrington Department of Bioengineering1, and Office of Engineering Research Services2, The I.A. Fulton School of Engineering, and The Biodesign Institute3 Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ


In our post-genomic world, engineers (including engineering faculties!) increasingly need at least a working knowledge of biology and the life sciences. The Arizona State University faculty short course “Bio-Basics” has cycled through two consecutive semester offerings in 2004. This course has provided a structure and forum for interested faculty in ASU’s I.A. Fulton School of Engineering to participate in a series of class meetings focused on a range of topics in modern biology. In each of its first two offerings at ASU, the Bio-Basics short course has capped out its enrollment at its desired maximum of forty participants per semester. This paper describes the objectives, design, implementation, as well as initial and ongoing assessment and evaluation of the Bio-Basics faculty short course.

Short Course Objectives

The Fulton School at ASU has committed its strategic planning to a range of use-inspired research themes (e.g. human health, communication systems, nanotechnology, electronics and biomaterials, human-machine interfaces, remote sensing and autonomous networks, applied mathematics) which span not only the traditional engineering science underpinnings in chemistry and physics but also the life sciences. In order to assist engineering faculty to jump-start their currency of knowledge in biology, a team of Bioengineering faculty has implemented this short course.

This effort is particularly timely at ASU, as at many other universities, as new, large-scale research efforts are emphasized that seek to integrate faculties in engineering, the physical, and the life and medical sciences into effective transdisciplinary teams. The recently created Biodesign Institute1 at ASU, for example, brings together experts in engineering, biotechnology, biomedicine, nanotechnology, information technology and cognitive science to foster fundamental improvements in human health and quality of life. Nationally, the Batelle technology forecast for the year 2020 also clearly indicates that the traditional lines between the physical, life and medical sciences will become increasingly blurred. Predicted strategic

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2005, American Society for Engineering Education

JOSHI, L., & Sweeney, J., & Hall, E., & Panitch, A. (2005, June), A “Bio Basics” Short Course: Bringing Modern Biology To An Engineering Faculty Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14236

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