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Enhancing Interdisciplinary Interactions In The College Of Engineering And Natural Sciences: Year I

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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

Integrating Mathematics and Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.571.1 - 10.571.10



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Paper Authors

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Jerome McCoy

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Leslie Keiser

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William Potter

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Peter LoPresti

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Donna Farrior

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Shirley Pomeranz

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

Enhancing Interdisciplinary Interactions in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences: Year I

Shirley Pomeranz, Peter LoPresti, Michael Kessler, William Potter, Jerry McCoy, Leslie Keiser, Donna Farrior The University of Tulsa

Introduction A team of faculty members in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences at The University of Tulsa (TU) has begun work on a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) Project (Proposal # 0410653). This project uses Interdisciplinary Lively Application Projects (ILAPs)1 as a vehicle for strengthening connections among the science, engineering, and mathematics departments2 . The concept of ILAPs was born from a consortium of 12 schools led by the United States Military Academy (USMA) through an NSF funded project entitled Project INTERMATH3. ILAPs are interdisciplinary group problem-solving projects designed for undergraduates, co-written by mathematics faculty and science/technology/engineering faculty. These small group projects are designed to foster student interest by being lively. ILAPs motivate students to understand the connections between mathematical tools, concepts, and applications within the broader science and engineering fields. With these projects, STEM students see real-world applications of mathematics in science and engineering.

One of the main thrusts of the project is to produce assessment data on the effectiveness of ILAPs in learning. There is much anecdotal evidence to support claims that students benefit in many ways from ILAPs. For example, ILAPs demonstrate how mathematics is used in partner disciplines, give students experience in working and communicating as part of an interdisciplinary team, provide practical experience in the use of technology, etc. However, formal assessments on the pedagogical effectiveness of ILAPs have not yet been done, and we hope to make an initial contribution to such analysis.

Another focus of the project is the enhancement of interaction between the mathematics faculty and those of the engineering disciplines in order to provide a more cohesive instructional environment. Although mathematical concepts and principles remain the same, terminology and notation differ among the disciplines. In order for faculty to be able to inform students of these connections, faculty must be aware of terminology and notation beyond their own disciplines. A strong cooperative environment allows faculty to share ideas and concerns regarding instruction, and identify needs for improving student preparation. Therefore, strengthening the connections among faculty can be beneficial to both students and faculty.

Project Design The project is designed to introduce ILAPs throughout the mathematics curriculum by phasing in their implementation over several semesters. In the first academic year (first two semesters), ILAPs from each of the engineering disciplines are introduced into the foundational calculus

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

McCoy, J., & Keiser, L., & Kessler, M., & Potter, W., & LoPresti, P., & Farrior, D., & Pomeranz, S. (2005, June), Enhancing Interdisciplinary Interactions In The College Of Engineering And Natural Sciences: Year I Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15414

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