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IDEA-Pen: Interactive Design and Analysis through a Pen-based Interface

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.683.1 - 24.683.15



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Paper Authors


Anirudh Roshan Sriram Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Anirudh Sriram is currently a Masters' student at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Mr. Sriram received his Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from VIT University, India in 2013. His research interests include product design and design optimization.

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Monica E. Cardella Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Monica E. Cardella is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education and an Affiliate of the Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University. She is the Director of the MEDLEE (Mathematics and Engineering Design Learning Environments and Experiences) Research Group. She has a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Puget Sound and an MS and PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington. Her research focuses on: engineering design education; mathematical thinking in engineering; parents' roles in engineering education; and engineering learning in informal environments.

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Karthik Ramani Purdue University

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Karthik Ramani is a Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. He earned his B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, in 1985, an MS from Ohio State University, in 1987, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1991, all in Mechanical Engineering. Among his many awards he received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Initiation Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the Ralph Teetor Educational Award from the SAE, and the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from SME. In 2006 he won the innovation of the year award from the State of Indiana. He serves in the editorial board of Elsevier Journal of Computer-Aided Design and ASME Journal of Mechanical Design. In 2008 he was a visiting Professor at Stanford University (computer sciences) as well as a research fellow at PARC (formerly Xerox PARC). He also serves on the Engineering Advisory sub-committee for the NSF IIP (Industrial Innovation and Partnerships). In 2006 and 2007, he won the Most Cited Journal Paper award from Computer-Aided Design and the Research Excellence award in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. In 2009, he won the Outstanding Commercialization award from Purdue University and the ASME Best Paper Award from technical committees twice at the IDETC. In 2012 his labs paper won the all conference best paper award from ASME-CIE for “Handy Potter”.

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IDEA-Pen: Interactive Design and Analysis through a Pen-based InterfaceIt is important to teach students how to support their design decisions with analysis and toexplore several alternative ideas. Current computational tools have a steep learning curveresulting in a significant investment of time and also in increased cognitive load which leads tothem being used as tools to validate a design rather than in them being used for exploratorydesign iterations. The IDEA-Pen project aims to provide students with a more coherent andconnected experience with learning engineering design and analysis by facilitating the learningof both design and analysis through a natural, intuitive, and portable pen-and-tablet-based systemcalled ‘IDEA-Pen’. This tool can be used to provide immediate answers to questions like ‘what-if’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ through new modes of multi-user and computing interaction, increasingunderstanding of concepts and student satisfaction, both inside and outside the classroom. Wewill explore if the nature and quality of discussions improves as a result of introducing this toolto support classroom and laboratory discussions and instruction in a course. IDEA-Pen bridges acritical gap between engineering design and design engineering by enabling users to study theirdesign behavior and to explore different design options at an early stage even before the detaileddesigns are made. The tool will impact the conversations in the classroom of today, stimulating amore dynamic environment by increasing active student participation and teacher-studentinteractions, and quality and new types of in-class demonstrations. This can potentially changesome of the pedagogical principles followed in the classroom today and also enable the transitionfrom a teacher-centered to a student-centered model of education.

Sriram, A. R., & Cardella, M. E., & Ramani, K. (2014, June), IDEA-Pen: Interactive Design and Analysis through a Pen-based Interface Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20575

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