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Impact of Integrating Computation into Undergraduate Curriculum: New Modules and Long-term Trends

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Materials Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Materials

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34754

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34754

Download Count

107

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Paper Authors

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Grace M. Lu University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Grace Lu is a Ph.D. student and the computational teaching assistant in the Materials Science and Engineering department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She obtained her B.A. in Physics and Math from Northwestern University. Her research in the Trinkle Group uses machine learning and a variational principle to calculate mass transport in alloys.

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Dallas R. Trinkle University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Dallas R. Trinkle is a professor and associate head in Materials Science and Engineering at Univ. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Ohio State University in 2003. Following his time as a National Research Council postdoctoral researcher at the Air Force Research Laboratory, he joined the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Univ. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2006. He was a TMS Young Leader International Scholar in 2008, received the NSF/CAREER award in 2009, the Xerox Award for Faculty Research at Illinois in 2011, the AIME Robert Lansing Hardy Award in 2014, co-chaired the 2011 Physical Metallurgy Gordon Research conference, and became a Willett Faculty Scholar at Illinois in 2015. His research focuses on defects in materials using density-functional theory, and novel techniques to understand problems in mechanical behavior and transport.

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Andre Schleife University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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André Schleife is a Blue Waters Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He obtained his Diploma and Ph.D. at Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany for his theoretical work on transparent conducting oxides. Before he started at UIUC he worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on a project that aimed at a description of non-adiabatic electron ion dynamics. His research revolves around excited electronic states and their dynamics in various materials using accurate computational methods and making use of modern super computers in order to understand, for instance, how light is absorbed in photo-voltaic materials.

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Cecilia Leal University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Cecília Leal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering with affiliations at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the Materials Research Laboratory, and the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She graduated in Industrial Chemistry from Coimbra University in Portugal and received her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Lund University, supervised by Prof. Wennerström. After working for a year in the Norwegian Radium Hospital, she joined Prof. Safinya’s Lab at the University of California in Santa Barbara as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research interests focus on the characterization and functionalization of lipid materials for cellular delivery. She is the recipient of a number of distinctions including the National Science Foundation CAREER award and the NIH New innovator award.

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Jessica Krogstad University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Jessica A. Krogstad is an assistant professor in the Department of Material Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received her PhD in Materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012. Between 2012 and 2014, she held a postdoctoral appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Her current research explores the interplay between phase or morphological evolution and material functionality in structural materials under extreme conditions. She also maintains interest in engineering education, specifically in outreach and design thinking.

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Robert Maass University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Robert Maass received a triple diploma in Materials Science and Engineering from the Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine (INPL-EEIGM, France), Luleå Technical University (Sweden) and Saarland University (Germany) in 2005. In 2009, he obtained his PhD from the Materials Science Department at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. During his doctoral work, Robert designed and built an in-situ micro-compression set-up that he used to study small-scale plasticity with time-resolved Laue diffraction at the Swiss Light Source. From 2009-2011 he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) on plasticity of metallic glasses. Subsequently, he joined the California Institute of Technology as an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral scholar to continue his research on plasticity of metals. After working as a specialist management consultant for metals at McKinsey & Co., he transferred to the University of Göttingen as a junior research group leader. He joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in 2015.

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Pascal Bellon University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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After earning a PhD in Materials Science from University of Paris 6, France, Pascal Bellon worked during 7 years at CEA-Saclay, France, before joining the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in 1996, where he was promoted to the ranks of Associate Professor in 2002 and Full Professor in 2009. He received an NSF career award in 1998 and awards from the Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education from the University of Illinois in 1998, 1999 and 2000. He received the Don Burnett teaching award in 2000, the Accenture Engineering council award for Excellence in Advising in 2007 and the Stanley Pierce award in 2009. In 2012 Pascal Bellon was named a Racheff faculty scholar, and in 2016 he was inducted as the Donald W. Hamer Professor in Materials Science and Engineering.

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Pinshane Y. Huang University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Pinshane Y. Huang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She holds a Ph.D. in Applied and Engineering Physics from Cornell University, as well as a B.A. in Physics from Carleton College.

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Nicola H. Perry University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Matthew West University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Matthew West is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining Illinois he was on the faculties of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University and the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, Davis. Prof. West holds a Ph.D. in Control and Dynamical Systems from the California Institute of Technology and a B.Sc. in Pure and Applied Mathematics from the University of Western Australia. His research is in the field of scientific computing and numerical analysis, where he works on computational algorithms for simulating complex stochastic systems such as atmospheric aerosols and feedback control. Prof. West is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award and is a University of Illinois Distinguished Teacher-Scholar and College of Engineering Education Innovation Fellow.

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Timothy Bretl University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Timothy Bretl is an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his B.S. in Engineering and B.A. in Mathematics from Swarthmore College in 1999, and his M.S. in 2000 and Ph.D. in 2005 both in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. Subsequently, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Computer Science, also at Stanford University. He has been with the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Illinois since 2006, where he now serves as Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs. He holds an affiliate appointment in the Coordinated Science Laboratory, where he leads a research group that works on a diverse set of projects (http://bretl.csl.illinois.edu/). Dr. Bretl received the National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award in 2010. He has also received numerous awards for undergraduate teaching in the area of dynamics and control, including all three teaching awards given by the College of Engineering at Illinois (the Rose Award for Teaching Excellence, the Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, and the Collins Award for Innovative Teaching).

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Geoffrey L. Herman University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-9501-2295

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Dr. Geoffrey L. Herman is a teaching associate professor with the Deprartment of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also has a courtesy appointment as a research assistant professor with the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a Mavis Future Faculty Fellow and conducted postdoctoral research with Ruth Streveler in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. His research interests include creating systems for sustainable improvement in engineering education, conceptual change and development in engineering students, and change in faculty beliefs about teaching and learning.

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Abstract

Computational methods have become increasingly used in both academia and industry. At the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), as part of a university-funded educational innovation program, has integrated computation throughout its undergraduate courses since 2014. Within this curriculum, students are asked to solve practical problems related to their coursework using computational tools in all required courses and some electives. Partly in response to feedback from students, we have expanded our current curriculum to include more computational modules. A computational module was added to the freshman Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering class; thus, students will be expected to use computational tools from their first year onwards. In this paper, we survey students who are currently taking courses with integrated computation to explore the effects of gradually introducing students to programming as well as both macro- and micro-scale simulations over multiple years. We investigate the improving confidence level of students, their attitude towards computational tools, and their satisfaction with our curriculum reform. We also updated our survey to be more detailed and consistent between classes to aid in further improvements of our MSE curriculum.

Lu, G. M., & Trinkle , D. R., & Schleife, A., & Leal, C., & Krogstad, J., & Maass, R., & Bellon, P., & Huang, P. Y., & Perry, N. H., & West, M., & Bretl, T., & Herman, G. L. (2020, June), Impact of Integrating Computation into Undergraduate Curriculum: New Modules and Long-term Trends Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34754

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