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Work in Progress: NSF IRES – Interdisciplinary Research in Korea on Applied Smart Systems (IRiKA) for Undergraduate Students

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

International Research Experiences Intl Div Tech Session 8

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Gloria J. Kim University of Florida

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Gloria Kim is the Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Engineering Education at the University of Florida. She is also affiliated with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Her technical expertise is in biomaterials, molecular imaging and drug delivery. She has taught and developed courses in circuits, biomechanics, biomaterials, bioinstrumentation, and nanotechnology. She is interested in educational environments and student learning; and social and ethical issues in STEM research and teaching. Her work includes creating opportunities for students to globalize their engineering degrees and mentoring students in teaching. In addition, Dr. Kim has mentored numerous student entrepreneurial teams to success. For more information, visit her website at:

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Yong Kyu Yoon University of Florida

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Yong Kyu Yoon is a professor in the Deoartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Florida. He has research interests in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), micro sensors and actuators, nanofabrication, and radio frequency and microwave engineering.

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Jin-woo Choi Louisiana State University Orcid 16x16

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Interdisciplinary Research in Korea on Applied smart systems (IRiKA) for Undergraduate Students is an NSF International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program that will provide a cohort of five US undergraduate students per year with the opportunity to conduct research for eight (8) weeks at Seoul National University, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology or Ewha Womans University in Korea. The purpose of this program is to engage undergraduate students in interdisciplinary research, help them develop a global perspective on collaboration, and motivate them to pursue a career in STEM research. Over the lifetime of this 3-year project (2019-2021), the participating institutions will have a cohort of 5 students every year for a total of 15. Specific plans are in place to recruit from underrepresented groups.

The unifying research theme of IRiKA is smart systems with the subtopics of sensors, emerging electronics, and materials & process development. The theme leverages previous, ongoing, and new collaborations between the three US-based lead investigators and the Korean partner institutions. In addition to lab work and weekly cohort meetings to discuss progress, IRiKA students will have the opportunity to visit Korea's government research institutions and global leaders in the tech industry such as Samsung, LG, and Hyundai and engage in cultural experiences. IRiKA will contribute to the professional development of both US participants and Korean partners by providing training on research mentorship and communication.

In this Work-in-Progress paper, we report the results and reflect on the first year of the IRiKA program, which ran from June 2019 to August 2019. The first co-hort of five students were selected in January 2019. Three among the five participants were underrepresented minority students. To evaluate the program, we used formative and summative assessments. Entrance surveys, exit surveys, and program evaluations were used to collect qualitative data. The qualitative method involved interviews with students, analysis of students’ weekly blog posts, and conversations with the Korean mentors. The results of the analysis were and will be used to reflect on the curriculum and form a basis for possible future revisions.

Kim, G. J., & Yoon, Y. K., & Choi, J. (2020, June), Work in Progress: NSF IRES – Interdisciplinary Research in Korea on Applied Smart Systems (IRiKA) for Undergraduate Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35673

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