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A major challenge in engineering education is balancing class time spent covering theory with time spent on practical applications. In the controls system course, associate professor of mechanical engineering Greg Mason uses an “inverted” classroom to address this issue. He posts short videos on YouTube covering the theory needed in the course. Students watch the videos and work sample problems before coming to class. During class, students work in small groups on practical problems. The inverted format frees class time to better address questions about theoretical concepts and apply those concepts to real-world designs.
MEGR seniors, Sean Blechschmidt and Marie Grieshaber
The course covers the same material, but students learn to work independently, take responsibility for their own learning, and apply this knowledge to a variety of engineering problems. As a result, students leave the class better prepared to take charge of their learning and, ultimately, their professional lives. Assistant professor of mathematics Allison Henrich is taking a similar approach, except that she is taking advantage of freely available online videos from the Khan Academy. Students taking the introductory calculus course view Khan Academy videos before class. In this way, they come to class better prepared to move quickly through the course material. Students taking algebra watch Khan Academy videos after class to reinforce the material that had been discussed. In both cases, students are tested on material in the video. An unexpected consequence has been that students often not only repeat their assignments, but also watch additional related videos.
The College of Science & Engineering received a grant from the Clare Boothe Luce Scholars Program
in 2012 to provide multi-year undergraduate research awards to six
women chosen from those disciplines that historically have had the
greatest under-representation of women; electrical and computer
engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, or physics. The MEGR department is most proud that two of our female students, Jamie Li and Marie Pahlmeyer, won this prestigious honor. Jamie is working with Dr. Fontana from Physics on
quasi-two-dimension fluid dynamics. Marie is
working with Dr. Woo-Joong Kim, also from Physics, on scanning
capacitance microscopy, a process used to image a surface by moving a
probe over the sample and measuring the resulting changes in
students agree that this program is an excellent opportunity,
especially for students who are interested in attending graduate
"Having lots of independence and freedom to explore the avenues that interest me on this project have allowed me to tailor my learning to what I'm actually interested in and given me a taste of waht graduate school would be like." - Marie Pahlmeyer
"The CBL program is great because they provide support for working
part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer. Plus I
am planning to go to graduate school eventually and this research
experience will help me guide toward what I might want to specialize in
in the future." - Jamie LI
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