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Developing a Culture of Scholarship : Recent Directions in Multi-Disciplinary Education and Research

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Title: Developing a Culture of Scholarship : Recent Directions in Multi-Disciplinary Education and Research


1
Developing a Culture of Scholarship Recent
Directions in Multi-Disciplinary Education and
Research
  • Prof. Tarek Sobh
  • Senior Vice President for Graduate Studies
    Research
  • Dean of the School of Engineering
  • Distinguished Professor of Engineering and
    Computer Science
  • University of Bridgeport, U.S.A.

University of Sharjah May 12th / 13th, 2015
2
Outline
  • Central issues in Education and Research
  • New directions
  • Education/Scholarship Problems and a plan
  • Making the Right Graduate / Professional
  • New disciplines / challenges and our signature
    areas
  • Mechanisms for supporting scholarship
  • Research strategies and techniques
  • Projects

3
Central Issues In Education / Research
Some Thoughts from the Late Eighties
  • Manufacturing and linkages with Design
  • Concurrency and the Product Realization Process
  • Growing Role of the Computer and Software Tools
  • Simulation, Visualization, Design
  • Growing Importance of Information Technologies in
    All Disciplines
  • Incipience of Multidisciplinary Education
  • Comprehensive University / Industry Relations

4
Central Issues in Education / Research
The Twenty-First Century
  • Design in Micro and Nano Scales
  • Growing importance of Biological Sciences
  • Increasing Pressure to Transcend Traditional
    Academic Boundaries Multidisciplinary Education
  • Reduce rigidity of curriculum requirements and
    increase flexibility Programs of study that
    meld previously disparate disciplines
  • Ever Expanding Impact of Information
    Technologies The Internet and Wireless
    Communication Technologies
  • Asynchronous and Synchronous Distance Learning
  • The Virtual University
  • The Virtual Laboratory Experience
  • e-learning Courses

5
Central Issues in Education / Research
The Twenty-First Century (continued)
  • Socialization of Learning
  • Student Centered Learning Activities
  • Relations with Industry An Alternative Model
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • The Research / Business Interface
  • Globalization
  • International Study and Work Experience

6
Some New Directions
  • First-Year Courses on Introduction to Systems
  • Multidisciplinary, Experiential and Contextual
  • Faculty participation from all disciplines
  • Projects involve analysis, design, build and test
    activities that cross disciplinary boundaries and
    involve real applications
  • Interactive and Collaborative
  • Shift from faculty- and lecture-centered
    activities to student-centered activities
  • Numerous team-based activities

7
New Directions (continued)
  • A Prototype Learning Center
  • Computing Clusters / Clouds for Collaborative
    Simulation and Design Activities
  • Prototype Design, Making and Test Equipment
  • Facilities for Conducting Experiments
  • Group Work and Study Spaces
  • Multimedia Presentation and Demonstration Areas

8
New Directions (continued)
Learning Center in New Building
9
The Problem(s) (and a Plan)
  • K-12 Science, Math, Reading and Writing Weakness
  • Curriculum / Research based (partially) on
    constituents feedback, needs, vision,
    aspirations, problems (local, regional, national
    and global)
  • Leading versus following ?
  • Functional body of knowledge for leading edge
    technology development and to produce competent
    and interdisciplinary professionals.
  • New programs (outcome-based) utilizing
    outstanding and unique human and technology
    resources (lets not fall into the .com trap
    again).

10
The Problem(s) and Plan (contd.)
  • Traditional degrees (what does that mean ?)
    versus new interdisciplinary goal-oriented
    programs that cater to new complex real-world
    21st century areas of interest and potential
    dominance.
  • Global competition (in what ?) Should we be
    scared ? 500K jobs to India 2001-2003, is this a
    problem ? How to solve it ? China !
  • New programs and collaborations (degree / within
    degree) driven by our vision of what the future
    should be like, not by what is the current
    state of the art. NO LIMITS (time to completion,
    etc.), example ABET, AACSB and NASAD are making
    it easy at the undergraduate and graduate
    levels.. Really!

11
The Problem and Plan (Contd.)
  • Quasi-Reverse brain drain (politics / Economics)
  • Europe, Asia, Canada, Australia very serious
    competition for brain power.
  • Continuing to attract international talent
    (remember K-12 problem) and need for aggressive
    recruiting at all levels and international
    cooperation / programs.
  • Profession Respectability / licensure, lobbying
    issues.

12
Making the RIGHT Professional
  • Example Future Engineers (Joe Bordogna, COO
    NSF)
  • Holistic designer
  • Astute maker
  • Trusted innovator
  • Harm avoider
  • Change agent
  • Master integrator
  • Enterprise enabler
  • Knowledge handler
  • Technology steward
  • Model for education suitable to the a new world
    in which change and complexity are the rule, a
    globally linked world that needs integration in
    many ways.
  • The Aftermath (Sam Florman, 2001), Prey
    (Crichton, 2002)

13
New? Disciplines / Trends or our signature areas
  • BIO Deliberate strategic response versus a
    natural evolutionary process (no definitive
    mandate ?)
  • Terascale tera operations / compute power,
    terabyte storage, terabyte networking.
    Fascinating (for now) infrastructure.
    Applications Communications, simulations /
    visualizations, real-time capabilities, etc.
  • Nanoscale nano technologies / nano photonics,
    new materials / machines / living cells
    interface, precise control and manipulation at
    that scale femto scale ! Also, MEMS and smart
    dust for agent detection, temperature, motion,
    vision sensing, etc.,

14
New Trends / Challenge Areas
  • Cognition above areas neurosciences,
    perception, sensing, machine vision, agent-based
    systems, linguistics, psychologists, mathematics,
    robotics, automation, and many others interact.
  • Complexity, integration (traffic, weather,
    intelligent infrastructure and control systems,
    aerospace, aviation, large systems).
  • Advanced Materials and Manufacturing.
  • Information, communications and perception
    technologies (not only for defense, but many
    other applications)
  • Renewable energy and power systems.
  • We should not abandon all we know, but rather
    complement what we do with emerging paradigms

15
New Directions (continued)
Example Bioengineering
  • A term with multiple meanings and implications
  • Medical Engineering
  • Prostheses
  • Diagnostic and Surgical Tools
  • Biotechnology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biosensors
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering/Science
  • Remediation of organic wastes
  • Biological destruction of carcinogens and
  • toxic chemicals
  • Required molecular and cellular biology course
    for all engineering students
  • Departmental elective courses

16
New Directions (continued)
Integrated Research/Business Practice Courses
Fundamentals ? The Corporation and it Financial
Processes ? Human Resources and Management
Processes ? Innovation Processes ? Supply Chain
Processes and Quality
Advanced Topics ? e-Business, Globalization,
Outsourcing ? Entrepreneurship,
Logistics ? Business Plans and Business
Simulations
17
Mechanisms for Supporting Scholarship
  • Periodic Programs Review
  • Periodic Research Review
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Identification of Centers of Excellence
  • Potential groups / individuals / student work.
  • Existing opportunities
  • Yearly / Periodic Goals (Change and Maintenance)
  • Faculty Development Funds, Seed grants
  • Making scholarship embedded in the culture
  • Professional review
  • Develop Web, training/workshops, grant
    writ(ers)/(ing)

18
Scholarship Strategies
  • Sponsorship Industry, Federal, Foundations,
    State, Local
  • Multi-Disciplinary
  • Across departments, schools, campuses
  • SWOT again
  • Joint work / proposal writing Partner with
    Industry
  • Centers, Other Universities, School
    Districts, etc.
  • Identification / Listing of resources / agencies
    (projects)
  • Recommendations regarding potential project
    resources

19
Some Techniques
  • IAB role
  • Student Centered Activities
  • Startup co-ops, internships, GAs, low overhead.
  • As a constituent, advise (and be advised) on
    emerging trends.
  • Relations with Industry / University Clients
    Model
  • Complete Involvement
  • Joint Work (research and curricular)
  • Interfacing VCs (connecting), Incubator(s)
  • Overhead back to group / dept. / school.
  • Seed funding / ID of potential, extending
    resources.

20
Interdisciplinary Project Examples
  • Glove (Chiro, Eng and Business (law))
  • Robotic Musicians (AS, Music, Eng)
  • E-Assessment (Education, Eng)
  • ConnCap (Education, Eng)
  • Biometrics / Face ID (Bus, Eng, art (law))
  • Tire changing (Bus, Eng)
  • Reverse Engineering in Dentistry, Film Making
    (Eng, Art, Health sciences)
  • Robotics prototyping based on task specification
    (R.E. of Maths, statics, dynamics, E.E)
  • Traffic Control (vision, GPS, wireless).
  • Across dept., school, campus, joint with Univ.,
    school districts, industry, VCs.
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