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Fostering Innovation through the Integration of Engineering and Liberal Education

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Making Students Aware of Their World: Five Perspectives

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Page Count

21

Page Numbers

22.725.1 - 22.725.21

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18006

Download Count

62

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Paper Authors

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Cherrice Traver Union College

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Cherrice Traver received her B.S. in Physics from the State University of New York at Albany in 1982 and her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1988. She has been a faculty member at Union College in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department since 1986, and has been the Dean of Engineering since 2005. Recently Dr. Traver has been involved in initiatives at the interface of engineering and the liberal arts. She has led two national symposia on Engineering and Liberal Education at Union College and she was General Chair for the 2008 Frontiers in Education conference. Her teaching interests are in the Computer Engineering area including Digital Design, Embedded Systems, and VLSI. She has co-taught international project
courses in Turkey and in Spain. Her research has been focused on timing issues in digital systems. She has directed local and national outreach programs, including Robot Camp and the P. O. Pistilli Scholarship.

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Douglass Klein Union College

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J. Douglass Klein is Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies and Special Programs and Kenneth B. Sharpe Professor of Economics at Union College. Klein joined the Union faculty in 1979, after earning a B.A. in Mathematics at Grinnell College, and a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has written on the economics of auctions, the measurement of economic efficiency, and the integration of engineering and liberal arts. As Dean, Klein oversees fifteen interdisciplinary programs which draw faculty from across the campus, including programs which integrate engineering and the liberal arts.

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Borjana Mikic Smith College

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Dr. Borjana Mikic is the Rosemary Bradford Hewlett '40 Professor and Director of the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, the nation's only ABET-accredited engineering program at an all women's College, where she teaches courses in Strength of Materials, Skeletal Biomechanics, Failure Analysis, and Introductory Engineering. Her scholarship in the area of Orthoapedic Bioengineering seeks to understand key factors that influence the establishment, maintenance, and restoration of biomechanical function in skeletal tissues such as tendon, ligament, and bone. Dr. Mikic has formerly served as the Director of the Sherrerd Center for Teaching and Learning at Smith College as well as the Chair of the Liberal Education Division of the ASEE.

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Atsushi Akera Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Atsushi Akera is Director of First-Year Studies and Associate Professor of History in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has published Calculating a Natural World: Computers, Scientists and Engineers During the Rise of U.S. Cold War Research with MIT Press (2006), and is currently working on a book on the history of engineering education reform in the United States.

Author’s Address: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180. akeraa@rpi.edu.

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Steven B. Shooter Bucknell University

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Steve Shooter is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Bucknell University where he has taught since 1995. At Bucknell he teaches the capstone senior design course, mechanical design, and mechatronics. His research interests involve information management for design and the design of mechatronic systems and products. Integral to this research is the exploration of approaches for the capture, storage and retrieval of product development information. He also explores techniques for enhancing innovation and leveraging assets in developing new products and systems. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Pennsylvania and has been the PI on numerous projects with industry involving new product development and the design of production infrastructure. He is the co-author of “Foundations for Interoperability in Next-Generation Product Development Systems” that was recognized by ASME as one of the most influential papers in computers and information in engineering from 1980 - 2000. During the summer of 1997 and the year of 1998-99 he was a research faculty fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the Design Engineering Technologies Group. Prior to graduate study he was a Process Engineer for Sony Corporation where he contributed to the start-up of their first compact disc manufacturing plant. He has consulted extensively with the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to assist entrepreneurs with new product development enterprises. He developed and implemented an award-winning product development process adopted by all 17 of the state SBDCs. During the academic year 2002-03 he was a Visiting Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). For 2008-09, he was a Visiting Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. He has also participated in four NASA Bluesky workshops to explore solutions to far-reaching problems at NASA.

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Ari W. Epstein Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Ari Eepstein is a lecturer in the MIT Terrascope program and the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is particularly interested in team-oriented, project-based learning, and in bringing the kind of learning that takes place in "free-choice" or "informal" settings, such as museums, media, and clubs, into more formal academic settings.

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David Gillette California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Dr. David Gillette, Director, Liberal Arts & Engineering Studies, Colleges of Liberal Arts & Engineering. Has 20 years of multi-disciplinary collaborative team development expertise all focused on community development, documentation, educational outreach, and technology prototype development and testing. Past work has included project development for various educational and communications divisions of NASA, Universal Studios, and Disney Imagineering. Has over 16 years experience teaching undergraduate and graduate level students in technical communications, cross-disciplinary technology development and testing, and in media technology design and use for many universities in the USA, Japan and Australia.

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Abstract

Fostering Innovation through the Integration of Engineering and Liberal EducationThere is growing urgency to graduate more innovative engineers. This panel will explore waysto foster the innovative capacity of undergraduate engineering students by challenging them withbig questions, and introducing them to multiple perspectives.Students today are inspired by big questions that matter, like the NAE Grand Challenges.Students are aided in finding innovative solutions to these big, open-ended, questions by havingthem learn to entertain and explore multiple perspectives. While the importance of integrativethinking is recognized in ABET’s EC-2000 (e.g. criteria (c), (h) and (j)), there is still far too littleintegration in the undergraduate engineering curriculum. The panel will discuss specificexamples of how to foster innovative capacity in engineering undergraduate students byharnessing the diverse and creative perspectives common to a liberal education.The session will draw on curricular and extra-curricular examples developed by participants inthe Symposium on Engineering and Liberal Education (E&LE). The Symposium wasinaugurated in 2008 as a forum to explore the rationale and methods of E&LE integration. Forthree years, the Symposium has brought together academic leaders and scholars from bothengineering and the liberal arts to explore models for integrating engineering and the traditionalliberal arts.The panel will include five short presentations dealing with five different aspects ofundergraduate engineering education, addressing different phases of students’ progress,recognizing that fostering innovation must be a continuous process: 1. Projects that focus on first year or introductory material 2. Projects that focus on core engineering courses 3. Projects that focus on capstone and extra-curricular experiences 4. Projects that span the curriculum 5. Faculty professional development to support projectsThe session will also include introductory remarks reviewing research results linking innovativecapacity to the development of integrative (divergent) thinking skills, and will allow ample timefor discussion.

Traver, C., & Klein, D., & Mikic, B., & Akera, A., & Shooter, S. B., & Epstein, A. W., & Gillette, D. (2011, June), Fostering Innovation through the Integration of Engineering and Liberal Education Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18006

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