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Developing Interdisciplinary Research Partners: The Learning by Innovative Neuro Collaborations Research URE

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Intercollegiate and Cross-disciplinary Collaboration

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.403.1 - 23.403.27



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Paper Authors


Barbara Burks Fasse PhD Georgia Institute of Technology

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Barbara Burks Fasse is the Director of Learning Sciences Innovation and Research in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Georgia Tech. Dr. Fasse studies the efficacy and value of student-centered learning initiatives and reform pedagogy, specifically Problem-Based and Project-Based Learning, in classrooms, instructional labs, capstone design, and undergraduate research experiences. She joined the BME faculty in 2007 following ten years in Georgia Tech's College of Computing where she was a member of the NSF-funded Learning By Design™ Problem-Based Learning curriculum development and research project. She also conducted an NSF-funded ethnographic study of learning in a problem-driven, project-based bio-robotics research lab at Georgia Tech. In addition to her duties in BME, she is an advisor to the interdisciplinaryScience Learning: Integrating Design, Engineering, and Robotics (SLIDER) project.

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James William Schwoebel Georgia Institute of Technology

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Ethan James Craig Georgia Institute of Technology

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Anish Joseph Georgia Institute of Technology

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Ajit Vakharia Georgia Institute of Technology

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Steve M. Potter PhD Georgia Institute of Technology

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Kim Dooley Texas A&M University

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James DUPE Linder Texas A&M University

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Developing Interdisciplinary Research Partners: The Xxxxx by Yyyyyy Neuro Collaboration Research UREThis presentation reports on an undergraduate research experience (URE) designed to bridgeinterdisciplinary neuro-related research between labs. While there are many labs on universitycampuses that are exploring research focused on the nervous system, they tend to work inisolation, unaware of their colleagues across campus who are also engaged with related researchin a variety of different domains—a few examples include the obvious neuroengineering,neuroscience as well as cognition, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction,environmental science & technology, industrial engineering, aerospace, psychology, music, etc.This isolation prevents these labs from leveraging the potential for sharing resources such asknowledge, funding, professional connections, tools and equipment, as well as intellectualengagement with like-minded colleagues. Thus, one of the primary purposes of the Xxxxx byYyyyyy Neuro Collaborations Research summer URE was to develop a connection betweenthese labs and this research through a shared asset: the undergraduate researcher. This is thefirst step toward the ultimate goal of building a broad-based, interdisciplinary neuro-technologycommunity.Established in the Ddddd Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Mmmmm Nnnnn ofOooooo, the Xxxxx by Yxxxxxx Neuro Collaborations Research URE (XYNCR) was modeledafter the Ggggg Hhhhh Rxxxxx Exxxxx (Author, 2011) program which was an ABC-fundedURE designed to test the efficacy of linking the research of global-partners throughundergraduate students assigned to related projects in both labs. Similarly, the goal of XYNCRis to establish a collaborative relationship between labs that do not have a link in physical spaceyet have interests and work that are similar enough in nature to be reason for collaboration—or,certainly, conversation. The benefit to the XYNCR student, beyond participation in researchitself, is the opportunity to experience the two labs and their idiosyncratic ways of working,communicating, using their physical environments and resources while exploring the ways inwhich they are similarly connected through the projects, literature, theory, and practice.The first XYNCR cohort—Summer 2012— enrolled three undergraduate students from twodepartments linking six labs, PIs, and mentors. Each XYNCR student designed a researchproject that would benefit both of the labs that they recruited as partners. We used traditionalqualitative methods to study the outcomes—interviews, surveys, journals, and student-developedartifacts. This presentation will present the lessons we learned that answer our research question:In what ways can an undergraduate researcher as a shared asset foster collaboration betweenindependent labs doing similar work.Authors (2011) Title. In Proceedings of the 2011 American Society for Engineering EducationAnnual Conference and Exposition. American Society for Engineering Education.

Fasse, B. B., & Schwoebel, J. W., & Craig, E. J., & Joseph, A., & Vakharia, A., & Potter, S. M., & Dooley, K., & DUPE Linder, J. (2013, June), Developing Interdisciplinary Research Partners: The Learning by Innovative Neuro Collaborations Research URE Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19417

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