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Fostering Entrepreneurship Through Targeted Adversity: A Senior Design Case Study

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Proceedings of the 2020 ASEE PSW Section Conference, canceled


Davis, California

Publication Date

April 30, 2020

Start Date

April 30, 2020

End Date

October 10, 2020

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Nicholas Hosein UC Davis

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Nicholas is a PhD candidate at the University of California Davis with a background in computer architecture, algorithms and machine learning. His current focus is advancing the electrical engineering curriculum at UC Davis to be more industry relevant in terms of skill sets taught.

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Lee Michael Martin University of California, Davis Orcid 16x16

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Lee Martin studies people’s efforts to enhance their own learning environments, with a particular focus on mathematical, engineering, and design thinking. In everyday settings, he looks at the varied ways in which people assemble social, material, and intellectual resources for problem solving and learning. In school settings, he looks to find ways in which schools might better prepare students to be more resourceful and flexible in fostering their own learning.

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Andre Knoesen

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Andre Knoesen received his Ph.D. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, in 1987. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, University
of California, Davis. He performs research in sensors and nonlinear optical devices and their applications. Dr. Knoesen is a fellow of the Optical Society of America.

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Engineering education has the potential for significant social and economic impacts through entrepreneurship. In this regard, most engineering curriculum falls short in three critical areas, thereby limiting its effectiveness. Firstly, students are often indoctrinated into the "specific approach to solve a problem" mindset when in fact real world technical problems are dynamic, nuanced and most importantly, can be solved many ways depending on the resources and expertise at hand. Secondly, aversion of risk is a side effect of the university grading system as thinking outside the textbook, trying new things and failing are typically not rewarded. These limitations exist in large part due to the difficulty of grading or ranking intellectual work outside of established boundaries. Finally, and most importantly, social intelligence is taught less, both implicitly and explicitly, than technical knowledge, especially in STEM fields. The ability to communicate, arbitrate and resolve tense social situation with empathy is as or more important than book knowledge when it comes to success in entrepreneurship and industry in general. In this paper we outline methodology for entrepreneurial focused courses in electrical engineering resulting from 7 years of curriculum development. A case study of a senior design course is used to demonstrate findings.

Hosein, N., & Martin, L. M., & Knoesen, A. (2020, April), Fostering Entrepreneurship Through Targeted Adversity: A Senior Design Case Study Paper presented at Proceedings of the 2020 ASEE PSW Section Conference, canceled, Davis, California. 10.18260/1-2--35719

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