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Intensive Mentoring and Micro-Electronics Research for Students in Engineering (IMMERSE)

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Postcard Session: Experiential Learning as a High-Impact Student Experience

Tagged Division

Cooperative and Experiential Education

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Paper Authors


Stephen Schultz Brigham Young University

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Stephen M. Schultz has received B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, in 1992 and 1994, respectively. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, in 1999. He worked at Raytheon Missile Systems from 1999-2001. He has taught at Brigham Young University since 2002 and is currently a Full Professor. He has authored or coauthored over 100 publications and holds 10 patents. His research interests are in the area of optical fiber devices with an emphasis on optical fiber based sensors.

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Aaron R. Hawkins Brigham Young University

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Aaron R. Hawkins received the B.S. degree in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology, CA, USA, in 1994, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA, in 1996 and 1998 respectively. He was a Co-Founder of Terabit Technology and was later at CIENA and Intel. He is currently a Professor with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA. He has authored or coauthored over 300 technical publications. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the OSA and currently the Vice President for Publications for the IEEE Photonics Society.

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This evidence-based paper describes an undergraduate research program that has been implemented in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. This program is called Intensive Mentoring and Micro-Electronics Research for Students in Engineering (IMMERSE). The IMMERSE program has approximately 50 students per year and involves 7 faculty members. The objectives of the IMMERSE program are to prepare student to continue on to graduate school and to allow students to conduct and publish significant research.

There are several requirement to enable undergraduate student to conduct and publish significant research. First of the all, the students need to have significant mentoring. Each student is assigned to a research project under a faculty member. In addition, the undergraduate student is assigned a more senior student mentor that works closely with the new undergraduate research student. In addition to the mentoring, the undergraduate students need to be trained. The IMMERSE program starts in the summer where the students can dedicate a significant amount of time to training and understanding the research project that they are assigned to.

The students participating in the IMMERSE program are also prepared for graduate school. Each week during the summer the students attend a weekly meeting with only the undergraduate students and faculty members. This weekly meeting consists of a half an hour discussion given by a faculty member and a technical presentation given by an IMMERSE student. The faculty discussions include topic like literature searches, writing a technical paper, advantages, graduate school, differences between undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. degrees, applying to graduate school, prestigious fellowships, etc. Each IMMERSE participant is required to prepare and give a technical presentation. At the conclusion of the presentation the other student participant provide suggestions on improving the presentation.

In addition to the research activities conducted by the IMMERSE students they are also assigned to a broader impact project. These broader impact projects include developing online resources, developing demonstrations that can be used to help interest people in engineering, and activities for CHIP Camp. CHIP camp is a summer camp for students entering 7th or 8th grade. The activities for CHIP camp are developed by the IMMERSE students and the camp is run by the students participating in the IMMERSE program.

There are two main purposes of the broader impacts projects. First of all, the broader impact projects tend to be easier for the IMMERSE students to understand. Spending some time working on these easier projects help the students build confidence. It also helps motive them to see the importance of engineering, which in turn helps encourage them to struggle through the difficult engineering classes.

Schultz, S., & Hawkins, A. R. (2018, June), Intensive Mentoring and Micro-Electronics Research for Students in Engineering (IMMERSE) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30697

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