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Mini Term Abroad Programs In Brasil And Scotland For Engineering, Science, And Liberal Arts Majors

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Educational Opportunities in Engr. Abroad

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.864.1 - 7.864.7



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Paper Authors

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Philip Snow

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George Williams

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Karen Williams

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Session 1165

Mini-Term Abroad Programs in Brasil and Scotland for Engineering, Science, and Liberal Arts Majors

Karen Williams, Associate Research Professor of Biological Sciences, George Williams, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Phillip Snow, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering

Union College, 807 Union Ave., Schenectady, NY 12308

ABSTRACT: Both the General Education Program and the new Engineering curriculum for undergraduates at Union College require of students either three courses in a foreign culture or an international experience. To provide this experience, we initiated a mini- terms abroad program. This paper describes two mini-term courses which are compatible with existing engineering course schedules and emphasize a theme that is part of the new engineering curriculum at Union – multi-disciplinary solutions to complex problems.

The first Union mini-term abroad to be established was a three-week visit to Sao Paulo, Brasil, to study the effects of water resources and water pollution on a large urban city. The Brasilian program, which has been offered during the last five years starting in the winter term break of 1997, is coordinated by two Union faculty members - a civil engineer and a sociologist. It was developed especially for engineers with an emphasis on hydroelectric power, water and wastewater treatment, river and reservoir watersheds along with social, political, and economic interactions. Based on this offering, another mini-term in urban Scotland has been developed and was offered for the first time in the summer of 2001. Based in Glasgow, it is coordinated by two Union faculty members – a computer scientist and a biologist. Presentation topics in Scotland include bioinformatics, novel pharmaceutical delivery systems, public health data analysis, proteomics, and cloning.

The mini-term format achieves several objectives: it is a course that is scheduled over two terms and the intervening break so that it can be taken in parallel with regular co urse schedules; it uses multi-disciplinary student teams to study how technology can improve quality of life; and it encourages information gathering by critical listening, first -hand observation, and directed library research culminating in both oral and written presentations.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã2002, American Society for Engineering Education.

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Snow, P., & Williams, G., & Williams, K. (2002, June), Mini Term Abroad Programs In Brasil And Scotland For Engineering, Science, And Liberal Arts Majors Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10154

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