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Globalizing The Computer Graphics Technology Curriculum

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Innovative Teaching Strategies in Engineering Graphics

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.649.1 - 14.649.9



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Paper Authors


Kellen Maicher Purdue University

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Kellen Maicher is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Graphics Technology at Purdue University specializing in interactive media development and interface design. His research focuses on human factors of interactive computer graphics applications. He is an active member of the Adobe Education Leader program, which brings together educators and practitioners globally. His international venues have included Russia, Poland, Norway, and most recently the Industrial Outreach and Exchange Program to foster collaboration with industries in China.

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Marvin Sarapin Purdue University

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Marvin Sarapin is a professor and the head of the Computer Graphics Technology Department at Purdue University, West Lafayette. His recent activities have centered on implementing the strategic vision in the College of Technology for growing activities in discovery with delivery, launching tomorrow’s leaders, and meeting global challenges.

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James Mohler Purdue University

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James L. Mohler is the Assistant Department Head & A Professor in the Department of Computer Graphics Technology at Purdue University. Dr. Mohler has been the recipient of several teaching awards and authored 21 texts and 52 articles for academic and trade publications related to computer graphics. He is the Education Director for SIGGRAPH 2010 and was the SIGGRAPH 2005 conference chair. James has presented papers and workshops at international conferences in Austria, Brazil, England, Finland, Portugal, and Russia. Most recently his work has focused on China – conducting several invited lecture series at Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) and co-leading a study abroad course that visited several Chinese institutions. Currently he is working with HIT to develop a collaborative graduate course under a grant from HIT and the Chinese government.

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

Globalizing a Computer Graphics Technology Curriculum Abstract

Globalization is becoming a key element within undergraduate curricula at many institutions. Administrators and faculty alike are realizing the importance of exposing students to the similarities and differences between people of various cultures and backgrounds. In the past, efforts to provide a global viewpoint to students was primarily provided via traditional textbooks and teaching approaches or by exposing students to a speaker from another culture. The new approach, however, is about immersion and experience within the culture; the fruits of such experiences go beyond “book knowledge” of similarities and differences to a true practical and experiential knowledge. Within one major Midwestern university globalization has been identified as a signature area. This contribution acknowledges how a computer graphics technology program within a college at this university has made strides to globalize its curriculum through study abroad, faculty exchange, and other international endeavors. This paper will acknowledge the challenges that administrators and faculty have encountered in their efforts to provide international experiences for faculty and students.


Partnerships between academic institutions and industries abroad have historically proven to be highly beneficial and productive relationships. Given the relative youth of the United States as a country and its foundational population of immigrant citizens, there has been a longstanding and natural affinity between U.S. higher education and its ancestral nations overseas. In addition to countless research projects and other cooperative endeavors, many U.S. schools have maintained healthy exchange programs and study-abroad initiatives for the majority of their existence.2

These types of programs enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance following World War II, as the experience of that event brought into light the need for the U.S. and its citizens to adopt a global mindset. As a result, a variety of sponsored educational initiatives were implemented such as the 1946 Fulbright Act, which provided legislation to promote funding for international education and research through the sale of surplus military equipment.1 The Cold War served to promote similar programs in later years such as the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961.3

However, interest in these types of programs faded in the early ’90s with the collapse of the Soviet Union as U.S. domestic problems began to steadily supersede international affairs.5 Although international efforts by no means vanished during this period, an argument could be made that these efforts became increasingly narrow and Eurocentric, ignoring the immediate future and the inevitable rise of developing nations. While this thinking did not eliminate international collaborative programs, it certainly seemed to reduce their effectiveness from a broader perspective.

Maicher, K., & Sarapin, M., & Mohler, J. (2009, June), Globalizing The Computer Graphics Technology Curriculum Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5802

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