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Enhancing Verification and Validation Education Using Active Learning Tools Developed through an Academia-Industry Partnership

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session I

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Sushil Acharya Robert Morris University

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Acharya joined Robert Morris University in Spring 2005 after serving 15 years in the Software Industry. His teaching involvement and research interest are in the area of Software Engineering education, Software Verification & Validation, Data Mining, Neural Networks, and Enterprise Resource Planning. He also has interest in Learning Objectives based Education Material Design and Development. Acharya is a co-author of “Discrete Mathematics Applications for Information Systems Professionals- 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall”. He is a member of Nepal Engineering Association and is also a member of ASEE, and ACM. Acharya was the Principal Investigator of the 2007 HP grant for Higher Education at RMU. In 2013 Acharya received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant for developing course materials through an industry-academia partnership in the area of Software Verification and Validation. Acharya is also the Director of Research and Grants at RMU.

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Priya Manohar Robert Morris University

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Dr. Priyadarshan (Priya) Manohar Dr. Priyadarshan Manohar is an Associate Professor of Engineering and Co-Director Research and Outreach Center (ROC) at Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA. He has a Ph. D. in Materials Engineering (1998) and Graduate Diploma in Computer Science (1999) from University of Wollongong, Australia and holds Bachelor of Engineering (Metallurgical Engineering) degree from Pune University, India (1985). He has worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (2001 – 2003) and BHP Institute for Steel Processing and Products, Australia (1998 – 2001). Dr. Manohar held the position of Chief Materials Scientist at Modern Industries, Pittsburgh (2003 – 2004) and Assistant Manager (Metallurgy Group), Engineering Research Center, Telco, India (1985 – 1993). He has published over 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences including a 2007 Best Paper Award by the Manufacturing Division of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), three review papers and five book chapters. He has participated in numerous national and international conferences. He is a member of ASM International, TMS, ACerS, AIST, ASEE, and a registered Chartered Professional Engineer. Dr. Manohar’s research interests include mathematical and computer modeling of materials behavior, thermo-mechanical processing of steels and other metallic materials, microstructural characterization, and structure – property relationships. He has conducted a number of technical failure investigations, consulted on various materials-related problems, and acted as an expert witness in the Court of Law. Dr. Manohar is the past chair of the Manufacturing Division of ASEE and also of the ASM Pittsburgh Chapter.

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Walter W Schilling Jr. Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Walter Schilling is an Associate Professor in the Software Engineering program at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received his B.S.E.E. from Ohio Northern University and M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Toledo. He worked for Ford Motor Company and Visteon as an Embedded Software Engineer for several years prior to returning for doctoral work. He has spent time at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and consulted for multiple embedded systems companies in the Midwest. In addition to one U.S. patent, Schilling has numerous publications in refereed international conferences and other journals. He received the Ohio Space Grant Consortium Doctoral Fellowship and has received awards from the IEEE Southeastern Michigan and IEEE Toledo Sections. He is a member of IEEE, IEEE Computer Society and ASEE. At MSOE, he coordinates courses in software quality assurance, software verification, software engineering practices, real time systems, and operating systems, as well as teaching embedded systems software.

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Peter Y Wu Robert Morris University

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Peter Y. Wu is professor of Computer and Information Systems at Robert Morris University. He earned Ph.D. in Computer System Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He worked for IBM Research Division, first as a post-doc research fellow and subsequently a technical staff member at the T.J. Watson Research Center. He was the chief software engineer and a founding partner of UJB Solutions, LLC, a consulting company in production planning, for two years. He previously held faculty appointments at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the University of Pittsburgh. His current research interests are in software engineering, and geographic information systems.

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Imparting real world experiences in a software verification and validation (S/W V&V) course is a challenge due to lack of effective active learning tools. This pedagogical requirement is important as graduates are expected to develop software that meets rigorous quality standards in functional and application domains. Realizing the necessity of such teaching tools, the authors designed and developed eighteen (18) delivery hours of case studies, sixteen (16) delivery hours of exercises, and six (6) delivery hours of case study videos for use in courses that impart knowledge on S/W V&V topics viz. requirements engineering, reviews, configuration management, and testing. Four key skill areas sought after by employers, namely communication skills, applied knowledge of methods, applied knowledge of tools, and research exposure are used to drive the development funded by a National Science Foundation grant and perfected through an industry-academia partnership.

In this paper we discuss in detail the four project plans the researchers and their industry counterparts followed in the past two years in the development and eventual dissemination of active learning tools. A course enhancement plan was used to drive activities related to reviewing, enhancing and modularizing modules identified by a gap analysis performed by focus group comprising of industry and academic partners. The course delivery plan was used to drive activities related to developing content delivery strategies. An evaluation and assessment plan was used to drive activities related to periodically evaluating student learning and assessing program. And finally a course dissemination plan was used to drive activities related to disseminating course modules and assessment reports. Through a workshop attended by faculty members form 11 universities the developed active learning is being disseminated.

Acharya, S., & Manohar, P., & Schilling, W. W., & Wu, P. Y. (2016, June), Enhancing Verification and Validation Education Using Active Learning Tools Developed through an Academia-Industry Partnership Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27300

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