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Exploring the Future of Engineering Education: Perspectives from a Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and the Future of STEM and Societies

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Computers in Education Division Technical Session 1: Topics Related to Engineering - Part 2

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Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Conrad Tucker Carnegie Mellon University

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Conrad Tucker is a professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He focuses on the design and optimization of systems through the acquisition, integration, and mining of large scale, disparate data.

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Kathy Schmidt Jackson Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Kathy Jackson is a Adjunct Associate Teaching Professor in the School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs at Penn State University. Particular current areas of collaboration include STEM teacher development, immersive technologies, engineering education and evaluation. In addition, Dr. Jackson teaches a course in Penn State’s Higher Education Department.

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John Jongho Park Penn State University

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Dr. Park is an assistant research professor in the Engineering Leadership Program at Penn State University. There is four interrelated areas of inquiry characterize Dr. Park’s scholarship: psychological attributes, professional identity development, group processes, and engineering leadership development. Particularly, he examines how possible future-self influences engineering students’ learning, academic motivation, and career trajectory. The major population he primarily focuses on is STEM undergraduate and graduate students. He has received extensive qualitative and quantitative methodological training in the area of educational psychology. He acquired a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Resources Management and a Masters of Educational Technology from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master’s of Program Evaluation and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the Penn State University, he worked as a research fellow and program evaluator at University of Michigan. Also he taught an “individual learning skills” as an assistant instructor in the University of Texas at Austin for five years.

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The objective of this NSF funded workshop was to explore ways that artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the jobs landscape and in turn, the knowledge portfolio and skills that educators should be imparting on their students prior to graduation. To best address these issues, engineering researchers, policy advocates, and industry leaders were convened to discuss the future of STEM and societies in the age of AI. From an engineering education domain, workshop participants were made aware of fundamental breakthroughs in AI that have resulted in their wide-scale adoption in society, and how these breakthroughs may impact the types of jobs that engineers of the future will do. Pre- and post-survey data were acquired from the participants in order to quantify the differences, if any, in terminology such as AI, and STEM. Beyond semantic differences in terminology, data pertaining to the solutions proposed by different groups was also collected. I.e., from an academic point of view, what changes are needed in industry and government, in order to facilitate the changing nature of education? From a government perspective, what should be the national funding priorities in order to ensure that the U.S. remains highly competitive on the global landscape and leverages the power of AI to innovate and retrain its workforce? From an industry perspective, how should degree programs evolve to meet the needs of the “real world”? Findings from this workshop can serve as a guide to researchers and decision makers in academia, government and industry on how AI will transform both STEM education and the workforce.

Tucker, C., & Jackson, K. S., & Park, J. J. (2020, June), Exploring the Future of Engineering Education: Perspectives from a Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and the Future of STEM and Societies Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34648

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