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The Outcomes of an Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Course Involving Engineering, Science, and Arts

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Mechatronics in the Curriculum

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1484.1 - 22.1484.10



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Paper Authors


Yunfeng Wang College of New Jersey

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Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The College of New Jersey

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Christopher Ault College of New Jersey


Teresa Marrin Nakra College of New Jersey

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Teresa Marrin Nakra is Associate Professor of Music at The College of New Jersey, where she teaches courses in Music Technology, Music Theory, and Interactive Multimedia. She runs Immersion Music Inc., a non-profit organization that provides technical solutions for performing arts organizations, museums, and schools. Her interactive conducting experiences have been showcased in public venues across the United States and Europe. Teresa earned her doctorate at the MIT Media Laboratory with Tod Machover and Rosalind Picard. Her doctoral project, the Conductor’s Jacket, was selected by MIT alumni for inclusion in the exhibition celebrating 150 years of the institute's founding.

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Andrea Salgian College of New Jersey

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Meredith K. Stone Independent Evaluator

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The Outcomes of an Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Course Involving Engineering, Science and ArtsAbstractAn interdisciplinary undergraduate course that simultaneously involves the disciplines ofEngineering, Science and Arts has been created and offered every semester since the Fall 2009 atour college. This course, called Conducting Robots, uses a robotic conducting system as avehicle to bring together students majoring in mechanical engineering, computer science,interactive multimedia and music, and encourages them to share their knowledge. It is a project-based course that fosters creative problem-solving approaches, and advances computationalthinking skills through an open-ended project requiring the synthesis of knowledge in robotics,interactive multimedia, computer science, and music. Students work collaboratively to designand develop innovative robotic and graphic conducting systems that can direct an orchestra andreact to the musicians. Topics taught include robotics, visual music, abstract animation, computervision, data processing, conducting theory, and project management.We designed and conducted a series of evaluations on all the offerings to assess this course.They include pre and post tests, several different theme targeted surveys, regular reflectionjournals and interviews. This paper will present all these evaluation and assessment results, ourfindings, and student final deliverables. These analytical results will improve our understandingof effective approaches to teaching interdisciplinary courses that involve engineering and non-engineering disciplines in undergraduate collaborative problem-solving environments.The structure, implementation, and initial results of the first offering of this course werepresented in the 2010 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. The proposed paper focuses onthe outcomes of all the past three offerings including evaluations and assessments, our findings,and student deliverables.

Wang, Y., & Ault, C., & Nakra, T. M., & Salgian, A., & Stone, M. K. (2011, June), The Outcomes of an Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Course Involving Engineering, Science, and Arts Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18861

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