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Taking an Engineering Spatial Visualization Course to Pre-dental Students

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Visualization Within Engineering Design Graphics Education Session 1

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1457.1 - 26.1457.9



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Paper Authors


Olga Maria Stavridis Ohio State University

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Olga Stavridis is a Senior Lecturer for the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. She has been teaching Fundamentals for Engineering I and II for the Freshmen Engineering Scholars Program; Engineering Graphics and Spatial Visualization Courses for the last five years. She was previously the Director of the Engineering Co-op and Internship Program at Ohio State. Olga received her Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Ohio State and Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Arizona State University. She has twelve years of industry experience in areas of Automotive and Systems Engineering.

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Lisa Abrams Ohio State University

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Dr. Lisa Abrams is currently the Associate Director for the Engineering Education Innovation Center at The Ohio State University (OSU). She received her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and PhD degree in Industrial Engineering from Ohio State. She has seven years of industry experience in the areas of Design and Consulting. Her research focuses on the recruitment, retention, and success of undergraduate students, especially those populations who are under-represented in engineering. She has developed and taught a wide variety of engineering courses in First Year Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Ohio State. She has received four teaching awards in the last three years at both the College and the Departmental level at OSU.

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Sheryl A. Sorby Ohio State University

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Dr. Sheryl Sorby is currently a Professor of STEM Education at The Ohio State University and was recently a Fulbright Scholar at the Dublin Institute of Technology in Dublin, Ireland. She is a professor emerita of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University and the PI or coPI on more than $9M in grant funding, most for educational projects. She is the former Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Engineering at Michigan Tech and she served at the National Science Foundataion as a Program Director in the Division of Undrgraduate Education from January 2007 through August 2009. Prior to her appointment as Associate Dean, Dr. Sorby served as chair of the Engineering Fundamentals Department at Michigan Tech. In this capacity, she was responsible for the development and delivery of the newly adopted First Year Engineering Program at Michigan Tech. She received a BS in Civil Engineering, an MS in Engineering Mechanics, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, all from Michigan Tech. Dr. Sorby has a well-established research program in spatial visualization and is actively involved in the development of various educational programs.

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Darryl T Hamamoto The Ohio State University College of Dentistry

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Dr. Hamamoto earned a D.D.S. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He completed advanced education programs in General Practice Dentistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Oral Medicine at the University of Washington, and TMD/Orofacial Pain at the University of Minnesota. He also earned a Ph.D. in Oral Biology with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Hamamoto has authored/co-authored publications in the areas of the acid-evoked pain, cancer-evoked pain, antihyperalgesic effects of cannabinoids, and glycemic control in diabetic dental patients. He has mentored minority high school, undergraduate, graduate and dental students and dental specialty residents in both basic science and clinical research. Dr. Hamamoto has been awarded UMN Graduate School grants, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant, and is or has been Co-investigator on five other NIH grants. Dr. Hamamoto serves as an ad hoc reviewer for national and international basic science and dental journals, including the Journal of Dental Education.

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Ken Sigler The Ohio State University College of Dentistry

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Ken Sigler is the Director of DentPath and Associate Director of Admissions in the College of Dentistry at The Ohio State University. He is responsible for the recruitment of underrepresented minorities as well as pipeline programs serving middle and high school students in underserved areas. He has over fifteen years of experience in higher education administration spanning from student affairs to enrollment management. Prior to his current role in the College of Dentistry, he served as the Director for Undergraduate Admissions at Ohio State Mansfield. He was also Director of Admissions at Brevard College in Brevard, North Carolina. Ken earned his Bachelor's degree in Communication at Muskingum University and his Master's in Higher Education Administration at Kent State University. He completed his Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA.

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Taking an Engineering Spatial Visualization Course to Pre-Dental StudentsThis paper describes an active research study examining the effectiveness of a spatialvisualization course offered by the College of Engineering at X University for students whodesire to enroll in dental school. Students who enroll in this course are either first yearengineering students, undergraduate students who are majoring in a pre-dental curriculumanticipating taking the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), or students who are in a postbaccalaureate program (PostBac) that conditionally accepts them into dental school. The DATincludes a “Perceptual Abilities” section that relies on strong 3D spatial visualization skills.The impact of this course on first year engineering students will not be analyzed as this has beendone at other institutions.Instructors of this course at X University present at pre-dental club meetings and encourageundergraduate students majoring in a pre-dental curriculum to enroll in this spatial visualizationcourse. Approximately six students each year have taken advantage of this course for the pasttwo years. A small sample size prevents us from providing any significant empirical data, butwe will provide anecdotal information.The PostBac program is a one year post-baccalaureate program, designed to enable students tobecome more competitive and successful in the dental school environment. The mission of theprogram is to increase the number of graduates from dental school at X University who are fromgroups who are underrepresented in dentistry and/or from economically or educationallydisadvantaged backgrounds. Students who are in the PostBac program are required to take the10 week spatial visualization course in their first semester of the program. The spatialvisualization course, which was developed by Sheryl Sorby and used at various institutions, testsstudents with the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test (PSVT) - rotations at the start of the courseand at the end of the course. This paper will evaluate the impact of the course on the PSVT-rotations and the performance on the future dental school key courses that heavily rely on strongperceptual abilities.

Stavridis, O. M., & Abrams, L., & Sorby, S. A., & Hamamoto, D. T., & Sigler, K. (2015, June), Taking an Engineering Spatial Visualization Course to Pre-dental Students Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24794

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