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Design and Evaluation of a Cross-cultural and Trans-disciplinary Global Innovation Course

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2015 ASEE International Forum


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 14, 2015

Conference Session

Concurrent Paper Tracks - Session II

Tagged Topic

International Forum

Page Count


Page Numbers

19.6.1 - 19.6.19



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Paper Authors


Ang Liu

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Dr. Ang Liu is a visiting assistant professor of the Viterbi School of Engineering at University of Southern California.

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James R. Morrison KAIST, ISysE

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James R. Morrison ( received the B.S. in Mathematics and the B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park, USA. He received the M.S. and Ph.D., both in Electrical and Computer Engineering, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.

From 2000 to 2005, he was with the Fab Operations Engineering Department, IBM Corporation, Burlington, VT, USA. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at KAIST, South Korea. His research interests focus on semiconductor wafer manufacturing, persistent UAV service, education as a service and eco-design. He has published over 75 peer reviewed journal and conference papers in these areas.

He received the KAIST Award for Excellent Teaching and the KAIST Creative Teaching (Grand Prize) Award in 2011 and 2012, respectively. In 2013, he received the KAIST Excellence in International Cooperation Award. His paper was awarded the Grand Prize in the academic thesis category at the Korean DAPA International Military Science and Technology Fair in July 2013. In February 2015, his Ph.D. student received the best dissertation award from the KAIST Industrial and Systems Engineering Department.

He has served as a Guest Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science & Engineering and Computers & Operations Research. He served on the Organizing Committee for the IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), the International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS 2013, 2014, 2015) and the 2014 Conference on Modeling and Analysis of Semiconductor Manufacturing (MASM). Since January 2009, he has been a Co-Chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee on Semiconductor Manufacturing Automation.

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Yun Dai University of California Santa Barbara


Stephen C-Y. Lu University of Southern California

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Stephen Lu is the David Packard Chair in Manufacturing Engineering at University of Southern California. His current professional interests include design thinking, collaborative engineering, technological innovation, and education reform. He has over 330 technical publications in these areas. He directs the Master of Science of Product Development Engineering degree program at USC. He is a senior Fellow of ASME and CIRP, and the founding Director of the iPodia Alliance ( – a global consortium of 11 leading universities that uses his iPodia pedagogy to create the “classrooms-without-borders” paradigm.

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Cross-cultural, Trans-disciplinary, and Global Capstone Design CourseThis paper aims to present our best practices of developing a global capstone design course,which features a unique cross-cultural and trans-disciplinary teaching and learning of the subjectof engineering design. The course was collaboratively developed and jointly offered by fiveleading global universities, which included a top 10 engineering school in the United States, apublic research university in Israel, a private research university in India, a public researchuniversity in China, and a public research university in South Korea. Class participants included32 American, 16 Israelite, 32 Indian, 16 Chinese, and 16 Korean undergraduate students.Videoconferencing technology made possible the synchronized lectures among multiplenetworked classrooms on different campuses and in different countries. The class was equallydivided into 16 project teams, each was composed of 2 American, 1 Israelite, 2 Indian, 1Chinese, and 1 Korean students. A variety of eLearning tools and web conferencing solutionswere provided to facilitate collaborative activities of these 16 globally distributed, multicultural,trans-disciplinary, and virtual teams.The teams were tasked a semester long project to design “a collaborative learning space onuniversity campus”. Since a great majority of class participants were lacking any previousdesign experience, focus of the course was placed on the functional and conceptual design stagesinstead of the embodiment and detail design stages. The specific design methods that were taughtincluded the Kano Customer Satisfaction Model, Quality Function Deployment, InnovativeDesign Thinking approach, and Axiomatic Design Theory. There were four major milestoneswith respect to the team design project. First, all teams were asked to identify, discuss a fewproducts that customers from different cultures would perceive difficulty of telling the design’soriginal purpose. Second, the teams were tasked to carry out the Quality Function Deployment tosystemically build a House of Quality, as a way to transform customer voices into functionalrequirements. Next, the teams were required to follow the Innovative Design Thinking approachto generate multiple logically feasible concepts, and to select the functionally simplest oneaccording to the Independence Axiom of the Axiomatic Design Theory. Finally, a design reviewpresentation session was organized for each team to reflect its complete design process in frontof the whole classAt the conclusion of the course, each class participant finished an anonymous questionnaire withrespect to, for example, their overall satisfaction of the course content and structure, to whatextent participating in the course had improved their interest and understanding of designthinking, the difficulty of reaching each project milestone, etc. Moreover, the set of 16 globallydistributed design teams were compared with another set of 16 locally distributed design teamswith respect to their averaged design performance, particularly in specific to the metrics ofquality and novelty. Last but not least, we discussed some best practices of developing andoperating such a global capstone design course with respect to, for example, lessons learned,challenges encountered, uncertainties occurred, and problem addressed.

Liu, A., & Morrison, J. R., & Dai, Y., & Lu, S. C. (2015, June), Design and Evaluation of a Cross-cultural and Trans-disciplinary Global Innovation Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE International Forum, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--17129

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