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Impact of Nanotechnology Themed Learning Community (TLC) Program in Freshmen Engineering

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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

FPD 2: Building Community

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.698.1 - 24.698.8



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Paper Authors


Mangilal Agarwal Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

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Mangilal Agarwal received his B.E. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Osmania University (Hyderabad, India) in 1998, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering from Louisiana Tech University (Ruston, LA) in 2002 and 2004, respectively. Upon receiving his Ph.D. degree, he was employed by Louisiana Tech University, as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, followed by appointments as Research Staff and Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Micromanufacturing, the largest campus-wide interdisciplinary research institute. Currently he is the Interim Director of the Integrated Nanosystems Development Institute (INDI), Associate Director for Research Development at Office of Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR), and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) (Indianapolis, IN), and directs the development of interdisciplinary research and education initiatives.

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Maher E. Rizkalla Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Maher Rizkalla received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1985. From January 1985 to September 1986, he was employed as a Research Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, and an Assistant Professor at Purdue University Calumet until September 1986. Then, he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at IUPUI where he is now Professor and Associate Chair of the Department. His research interests include solid State devices, VLSI signal processing, and electromagnetics. He is a senior member of IEEE and a PE registered in the State of Indiana.

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Sudhir Shrestha


Kody Varahramyan IUPUI

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Dr. Kody Varahramyan received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1983. From 1982 to 1992 he was with IBM Microelectronics, conducting research and development in the realization of advanced semiconductor technologies. From 1992 to 2008 he was with Louisiana Tech University, where he was the Entergy/LP&L/NOPSI Professor of Electrical Engineering, in recognition of his teaching and research contributions in the microsystems and nanotechnology areas. From September 2000 to June 2008 he was the Director of the Institute for Micromanufacturing, where, from 1992, he had contributed to the growth and development of the Institute, including through planning and setting up of laboratory resources and facilities, development and implementation of major sponsored research efforts, and realization of academic courses and curricula, on the science and engineering of materials, processes, and devices for the realization of micro/nanoscale systems. Since July of 2008, he has been the Vice Chancellor for Research at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, where he has been responsible for the advancement of research and scholarly activities, including interdisciplinary research programs that address important national and global needs.

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Impact of Nanotechnology Themed Learning Community (TLC) Program in Freshmen EngineeringA new Bachelor of Science track in Nanotechnology (Nanotechnology Track) has beendeveloped at the School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University Purdue UniversityIndianapolis (IUPUI). Within this track, a cohort of 25 freshman engineering students fromElectrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) and Mechanical Engineering (ME) participated in ananotechnology Themed Learning Community (TLC) program. In this program, the studentsenroll and progress simultaneously in a group of three strategically connected freshmenengineering courses with a nanotechnology theme (Introduction to Engineering, Introduction toEngineering Profession, and Fundamentals of Speech Communication). TLC faculty membersclosely worked with each other to coordinate teaching and learning efforts that reflect the goalsof the developed nanotechnology track.This paper presents the components of the developed and implemented TLC program includingdetails of the courses (projects and hands-on experiences) and assessment data, showing theimpact on freshman engineering students in nanotechnology education. Comparative assessmentdata show, 20% higher freshmen retention in the TLC cohort than the traditional group, whichhighlights the impact of the TLC program on freshman engineering students in nanotechnologyeducation. Data also shows that the TLC (three courses) has guided over 75% of the studentstowards interests in nanotechnology tracks and research, and over 90% of the students indicatethat they are enjoying the multidisciplinary activities of the program. This may be attributed tothe “attached learning” when incorporating nanotechnology into real engineering applications,such as renewable energy, medicine, quantum computers, and many others.This project is partially funded by the NSF-Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (NUE)program under award number 1042110.

Agarwal, M., & Rizkalla, M. E., & Shrestha, S., & Varahramyan, K. (2014, June), Impact of Nanotechnology Themed Learning Community (TLC) Program in Freshmen Engineering Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20590

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