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Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset Using the KEEN Framework for a Digital Communication System Course

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


John M. Santiago Jr. Colorado Technical University

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Professor John Santiago has been a technical engineer, manager, and executive with more than 26 years of leadership positions in technical program management, acquisition development and operation research support while in the United States Air Force. He currently has over 16 years of teaching experience at the university level and taught over 40 different graduate and undergraduate courses in electrical engineering, systems engineering, physics and mathematics. He has over 30 published papers and/or technical presentations while spearheading over 40 international scientific and engineering conferences/workshops as a steering committee member while assigned in Europe. Professor Santiago has experience in many engineering disciplines and missions including: control and modeling of large flexible space structures, communications system, electro-optics, high-energy lasers, missile seekers/sensors for precision guided munitions, image processing/recognition, information technologies, space, air and missile warning, missile defense, and homeland defense.

His interests includes: interactive multimedia for e-books, interactive video learning, and 3D/2D animation. Professor Santiago recently published a book entitled, “Circuit Analysis for Dummies” in 2013 after being discovered on YouTube. Professor Santiago received several teaching awards from the United States Air Force Academy and CTU. In 2015, he was awarded CTU’s Faculty of the Year for Teaching Innovations. Professor Santiago has been a 12-time invited speaker in celebration of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month giving multi-media presentations on leadership, diversity and opportunity at various military installations in Colorado and Wyoming.

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Jing Guo Colorado Technical University

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Dr. Jing Guo is a Professor in Engineering Department at Colorado Technical University. She is the course director in circuits and electronics area. She taught variety of underrated and graduate courses including capstone design in Electrical and Computer Engineering area.

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The College of Engineering (CoE) is using the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) model to develop an entrepreneurial mindset while meeting technical objectives in a digital communication course. KEEN encourages the entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students through a collaboration among over 30 colleges and universities across the United States. KEEN offers a number of resources to individual engineering faculty and through the KEEN’s network of institutions, the resources include various grants and conferences and workshops for faculty.

The authors attended one such workshop called the Integrating Curriculum with Entrepreneurial-Mindset (ICE) Workshop, developed by Lawrence Tech and Saint Louis University through support from KEEN. The objective of this workshop is to help engineering faculty understand innovative teaching strategies such as active and collaborative learning (ACL), project/problem based learning (PBL) and entrepreneurially-minded learning (EML). Through the ICE Workshop, cohort groups were formed to help develop EML content for the course to be integrated into an existing engineering course. The paper describes several EML activities developed following the workshop in a digital communication systems course. Technical objectives of the digital communication course remain the same. What change is the addition of EML outcomes and activities using the KEEN framework. One of the deliverables is a research project in which the student originally pick a topic related to the course and makes a class presentation and a written report. Since most students usually do their research in a week before the research project is due, the research project was modified as described below.

Several EML activities are given in preparation of their newly modified research project and report. Students are asked to consume multimedia material of the following discussion topics covered in six of the eleven weeks: Internet of Things, Light Fidelity (LiFi), Deep Learning/Artificial Intelligence, Smart Everything (Smart Cities, Smart/Driverless Cars, etc.), Bitcoin/Block Chain Technology, and 5G and Enabling Technologies. For each week, each student must summarize their findings in a discussion board for the assigned topic and make at least one connection of a concept studied in class or in a previous communication class. Their discussion must also include either a business opportunity/business model, economic/social implication. Each student was asked to develop a discussion question. Each week, one to two students are randomly selected to lead a 10-15 minute discussion for the next lesson.

The research project and presentation involves an angel investor of communication technologies giving the student’s company $500 million to realize 5G and its applications (the six discussion topics plus one additional topic) over the next five years. The student is the lead engineer. The research project must: (1) describe some key limitations and lessons learned of past communication systems, (2) identify the operating frequencies of previous and proposed frequencies for communication systems, (3) identify market interests, customer value, economic value and societal benefits and (4) prioritize and allocate monetary costs for the applications/technologies. If appropriate, assess any policy and regulatory issues. The students’ perception of their EML learning will be captured through student end-of-course feedback.

Santiago, J. M., & Guo, J. (2018, June), Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset Using the KEEN Framework for a Digital Communication System Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30296

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