2007-2008 Funded Projects

Art Work-Out: Visual Arts in the Gym - $15,000

Professor Wendy Jacob and Ms. Andrea Frank, Architecture

This project will assist in the development and realization of a new Visual Arts Program introductory studio subject to be taught in collaboration with the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (DAPER) in Spring 2008. This course is part of a larger pilot project the Visual Arts Program is developing that uses particular locations, systems, or conditions as its thematic base. The project proposes to use DAPER's sports arenas (gymnasiums, natatoriums, and playing fields) as sites for artistic production and critical analysis. The "site" includes the arenas' architecture, equipment, and activities.


Confronting the New Third World Challenge - $20,000

Dr. Reinhard Goethert, Architecture

In response to the now accepted doubling of the Third World population and the tripling of the urban footprint expected by 2030, Dr. Goethert will re-center the course "The New Practitioner" to identify proactive strategies for approaching these issues. The course is to be re-formatted as a challenge-based, hands-on curriculum, bringing in recognized experts to excite and challenge students through progressive levels of exploration. A culminating 2-week field-based workshop in a Third World country will present students the opportunity to confront and compare the realities on the ground with the experiences of the class.


Imaging of Materials - $20,000

Professor Silvija Gradecak, Materials Science and Engineering

Professor Gradecak will develop a course to cover topics like electron microscopy and scanning probe microscopy, essential tools in materials science and beyond, in a new and exciting fashion. Each lecture will cover a topic that is based on a real-case scenario typically encountered in research, using examples obtained by undergraduate students as part of MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities program (UROP). In this way, undergraduates students will play an active and important role in the education of their peers.


Learning Fundamental Concepts and Skills in the Mechanical Engineering Core - $20,000

Professor Warren Seering, Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Lori Breslow, Teaching and Learning Laboratory

This project builds upon two years of pedagogical innovation and educational research undertaken by several dozen faculty in the department of Mechanical Engineering and led by Professor Seering. That work led to important insights into how students approach learning in MechE, and, correspondingly, to an understanding of the pedagogies that facilitate their learning. Over the next three years this new project will focus specifically on identifying both core concepts (called "enduring understanding" in the literature) and the fundamental skill of "engineering reasoning" and devising strategies to teach them more successfully.


Mapping Controversies - $20,000

Professor Vincent Antonin Lepinay, Program in Science, Technology, and Society

The goal of "Mapping Controversies" is to teach undergraduate students how to account for and to map techno-scientific controversies which are rife with uncertainties and dilemmas; objects of advanced technical expertise; and simultaneously, intensely entangled with legal, moral, economic and social questions. Students will learn how to describe these contentious arenas in the most scientific manner and they will present their findings on web sites available to the general public. The course will develop aptitudes for qualitative investigation that are complementary to the capacities of the formalization, modeling, analysis, and calculation required in other courses at the Institute.


Revising the Introductory Biology Laboratory Curriculum - $20,000

Professors Dennis Kim and Thomas Schwartz, Biology

The methods of modern experimental biology are continuing to evolve rapidly and are driving the explosion of new discoveries, from evolutionary insights at the level of the genomes of organisms to the structural insights from the atomic-level description of proteins and nucleic acids. Professors Kim and Schwartz will modernize course 7.02 (Introduction to Experimental Biology), re-vamping the curriculum, updating the methods of molecular biology and protein purification, and introducing the use of model organism Caenorhabiditis elegans to provide experience in genetic analysis and methods of RNA interference.


Reviving World Literatures: A New Approach to 21L.007 - $12,900

Professors Mary Fuller, Alisa Braithwaite and Sarah Brouillette, Literature

Professors Fuller, Braithwaite and Bouillette will re-imagine the goals for course 21L.007 (World Literatures) helping position MIT as a leader in making the global contexts for cultural production and reception integral to undergraduate experience of literary study. Their plan includes making the course available once per year in multiple sections starting in Fall 2008; co-teaching the course and structuring class time to include both individual-lead seminar discussions and general lectures attended by everyone enrolled in the course; and promoting the class as a way of complicating the divide between Western literary forms and "other" literatures as a means of influencing students' subsequent engagements with literary study. The goals of the project are to enhance literary study for students at MIT by emphasizing cross-cultural understanding and exchange; to develop resources and expertise as instructors whose interests cross borders and encompass Western and non-Western forms; and to make MIT's humanities offerings more reflective of the Institute's vanguard position in global education.


The Fisher Files Pod Cast - $3,200

Professor Peter Fisher, Physics

PodCasts offer a new avenue for education that students can tap into at any time outside of the constraints of scheduled class time. Professor Fisher's project would produce a weekly program devoted to time management, organization, life skills, etc. oriented to those in an academic environment. More broadly, the project would explore ways of connecting one's larger life aims with the two hundred tasks one performs each day. The PodCast of twelve episodes would be aimed at students and scientists early in their careers with the additional goal of reaching those outside of MIT. Professor Fisher will make the equipment, software, and expertise available to anyone wanting to start their own PodCast for the MIT Community.

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2006-2007 Funded Projects

A New Common Core for EECS - $25,000

Professors George Verghese and Tomas Lozano-Perez, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

The EECS department is rethinking its undergraduate curriculum. A key part of the proposed new curriculum involves replacing the existing common core subjects with a pair of new subjects that increase integration across EE and CS, and involve much more hands-on work. The first of these two subjects, which uses mobile robots as the vehicle for its study, is being taught in pilot mode to 25 freshmen during spring 2006. The second subject, which is centered on communication networks, is to be launched in fall 2006. Professors Verghese and Lozano-Perez will use the Alumni Funds award for partial support of the near-term development of these subjects.


Engineering the Medieval Achievement (EMA): A Web-Based Tool for Student Exploration of Medieval Technologies - $10,000

Professor Anne McCants, History
Professor John Ochsendorf, Architecture

Professors McCants and Ochsendorf will work on a collaborative and multi-disciplinary effort to bring the contours of medieval technology to life for undergraduates studying the development of the medieval economy, and the construction of medieval monuments. It is especially designed to supplement the curriculum in subjects centered on the Middle Ages now offered across three departments: History, Economics, and Architecture. It is possible that some components of the EMA would also be of interest in other subjects, for example, as relevant historical components in environmental studies or in structural, mechanical, or ocean engineering.


Interactive Website of Educational e-Modules on National Security and International Relations - $21,124

Professor Nazli Choucri, Political Science

Professor Choucri will work on this project-the development of an interactive website consisting of educational e-modules-to provide students with "hands-on" ways of exploring challenges to security in the context of rapidly changing relations among nations as well as new threats to peace and stability. Three sets of specific e-modules will be developed, and a fourth (already available) will be used as an added resource. Jointly, they will enable students to examine world politics in ways that were not possible earlier.


International Development at New House - $9,100

Professor Bish Sanyal, Urban Studies and Planning
Professor Wesley Harris and Mrs. Sandra Harris, Housemasters, New House
Ms. Sally Susnowitz, Director, Public Service Center

This work will create a residence-based seminar focused on international development issues for the students in New House I, a diverse group of 21 undergraduates. The seminar will address the need for ethical, political and cultural instruction that has been identified in Senior Surveys; engage students in thinking about global integration and diversity; and serve as a model of residence-based classes at MIT that will potentially lead to a residential academic program in international leadership.


Living an Extraordinary Life - $15,000

Professor David Mindell, Science, Technology and Society, and Engineering Systems Division

Professor Mindell will develop a subject "Living an Extraordinary Life" to help students integrate all aspects of their lives and make educational, career, and personal decisions based on passion, integrity, and values. This continues a pilot subject from the spring semester of 2006 developed by Professor Mindell and Lauren Zander of the Handel Group, Inc., which sought to bring techniques proven in the corporate world to MIT, to help MIT students become complete students of their lives, both in and out of the classroom. This work will expand that program, formally assess its impact on MIT students, and integrate it with their educational strategies and choices.


MIT OpenLabWare - $25,000

Mr. George S. Zaidan, Undergraduate, and Professor John M. Essigmann, Biological Engineering Division

Mr. Zaidan and Professor Essigmann will develop OpenLabWare (OLW), an online resource for those wishing to understand the research process and the people who carry it out. OLW will be a web-based project composed of modules; each will have a high impact research paper published by MIT faculty or staff and a collection of supplementary materials. OLW's goals are to teach the spirit and methods of cutting-edge research, to demonstrate the impact it has on everyday life, to personalize or humanize the research process, to promote MIT's labs and staff, and to excite students (both at MIT and elsewhere) about research at MIT.


Principles and Practice of Science Communication - $10,000

Dr. John Durant, Adjunct Professor, Science, Technology and Society, and Director, MIT Museum

Dr. Durant will develop and expand the new undergraduate class, STS.014 by integrating the class with a bold new community initiative - a citywide Cambridge science festival, to be launched in spring 2007. The science festival will provide the environment for student practical projects. The syllabus of STS.014 will be modified, and class enrollment will be increased to 50. The subject will serve the twin goals of improving MIT students' science communication skills and fostering their (and the Institute's) sense of community service.


Solving Real Problems - $24,455

Professor David Wallace, Mechanical Engineering
Professor Dan Frey, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Systems Division

Professors Wallace and Frey will develop an innovative subject that will provide freshman with opportunities to: (1) learn design skills and problem solving in a social context; (2) learn technical communication skills while satisfying a communication requirement; and (3) gain experience with hands-on, problem-solving. The subject will combine a scaleable, central core class that teaches problem solving and design skills with several hands-on, project sections where solutions to real-world, public service-oriented problems are designed and implemented. In addition to hands-on project design, the project sections will include technical communication instruction.


Wheelchair Design in Developing Countries - $23,150

Mr. Amos Winter, Graduate Student, and Dr. Amy Smith, Senior Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering

Mr. Winter and Dr. Smith will create a subject to educate MIT students about engineering and cultures in the developing world through the innovation of appropriate wheelchair technology. The students will interact with MIT faculty and wheelchair experts while developing design solutions to better serve the needs of wheelchair users. In the summer following the class, three students will have the option to implement their project in a wheelchair workshop in a developing country.

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2005-2006 Funded Projects

A Curriculum to Build Living Machines in an Undergraduate Teaching Lab - $18,000

Doctor Natalie Kuldell, Instructor, Biological Engineering Division

For the first time in nearly 30 years, MIT undergraduates will have a new major to consider: Biological Engineering, a biology-based engineering degree.  One component of this degree program is formal training in experimental fundamentals, with BE.109 Laboratory Fundamentals in Biological Engineering currently serving as the introduction to experimental techniques and approaches.  Doctor Kuldell will develop a teaching module for BE.109 in which students will rationally design a simple living machine, assemble its parts, test the behavior of their construction and compare their observations to predicted outcomes.


A Revamping of MIT's Elementary Spanish Courses - $10,509

Jose Ramos and Solivia Marquez, Lecturers, Foreign Languages and Literature

Lecturers Ramos and Marquez propose to change the syllabi for Spanish I and II completely, incorporating new textbooks, revised methodologies, and original video materials.  They will develop a language learning approach that will be unique to the MIT experience, in part by identifying textbooks that best reflect classroom needs based upon the talents and backgrounds of our student population.  In addition, they will film an original set of videos during a trip to Spain with a group of students.  As a result, students will begin their study of Spanish in an environment custom-tailored to MIT.


Creating a Multimedia Archive:  A Web-Based Laboratory for 21H.102 Introduction to American History, 1865 to the Present - $25,000

Professor Meg Jacobs, History

Professor Jacobs will create a state-of-the-art digital repository of primary historical sources for use in 21H.102.  The Multimedia Archive (MMA) will integrate a wide variety of media –- photographs, advertisements, propaganda posters, film and television clips, visual art, radio broadcasts, recorded speeches, music, and more – that reflect the diversity of American experiences from the end of the Civil War to the present.  As a rich, interactive repository, the MMA will function as the student’s laboratory, enabling them to conduct their own research, make their own discoveries, and formulate their own conclusions about the historical past.


Design Education Through Conceptual Models - $17,660

Professor Herbert Einstein, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Conceptual models, as used in the Course 1-C capstone subject, 1.103, expose students to design unusual and/or controversial problems.  The models are built by the students and used to explain the physical solutions, which are also backed up by numbers reflecting the real boundary conditions.  Professor Einstein will improve the present education with conceptual models and do so for the entire Course 1 and other students at MIT.  This involves providing a better laboratory infrastructure and developing a set of four to five new problems for the coming years.


Development of a Radiation Biology Laboratory Unit for 22.09 Principles of Nuclear Radiation Measurement and Protection - $12,000

Professor Jeffrey Coderre, Nuclear Science and Engineering

Professor Coderre will create a set of Radiation Biology experiments, with supporting lecture material, that can be incorporated into the existing laboratory subject 22.09 Principles of Nuclear Radiation Measurement and Protection.  The experiments will involve irradiation of purified samples of DNA with graded doses of X rays or alpha particles followed by separation and quantification of the various fragments.  The very different types of damage caused by X rays versus alpha particles will provide biologically relevant insights into radiation measurement, radiation chemistry, radiation biology, and radiation protection.


"Hands-On" Laboratory and MATLAB Modules for Ocean Science and Engineering - $15,000

Professors Alexandra Techet and Henrik Schmidt, Mechanical Engineering

Professors Techet and Schmidt will develop hands-on laboratory and MATLAB modules for 2.011 Introduction to Ocean Science and Technology.   The objective of this subject is to introduce the fundamental concepts and tools necessary to explore, observe, and utilize the oceans effectively, thus sparking an interest in ocean engineering among first and second year undergraduates.  This project aims to enhance the existing curriculum for 2.011 by fully integrating both laboratory modules and MATLAB tools, to teach fundamental skills for data analysis, modeling and engineering in the ocean.


In-Class Nanotechnology Demonstrations:  A Virtual Fabrication Laboratory - $19,727

Professor Karl Berggren, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

6.781 Submicrometer and Nanometer Technology has no laboratory component, despite its heavy fabrication focus, but instead uses a series of in-class demonstrations to vie students a sense of the experimental component of the work.  The current versions of these demonstrations illustrate only simple techniques.  Professor Berggren will develop a series of enhanced demonstrations for the class that would be seamlessly integrated into the curriculum.   The new demonstrations will show the execution of sophisticated multi-step nanofabrication methods and will thus be a major advance over the existing demonstrations.


Incorporating Quantitative Sustainability Assessment Into Materials Selection and Product Design Education - $15,335

Professor Randolph Kirchain, Materials Science and Engineering and Engineering Systems Division
Doctor Frank Field III, Center for Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development
Doctor Jeremy Gregory, Laboratory for Energy and the Environment

This project is part of an effort to include environmental evaluation methods into engineering design education within both the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Engineering Systems Division.  The project incorporates materials flow analyses (MFA) and life-cycle assessment (LCA) methods into multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate education.  Professor Kirchain and his colleagues will use these funds for software tools for student use and coursework and case study development.


Interdisciplinary Bioethics Course - $7,970

Professors Sally Haslanger and Caspar Hare, Linguistics and Philosophy
Professor David Jones, Science, Technology, and Society

As future leaders, MIT students need to address the ethical assumptions and implications of cutting edge science and engineering. Towards this end, Professors Haslanger, Hare, and Jones are collaborating in launching a new undergraduate subject in Bioethics. Research in biology and biotechnology pushes the boundaries of human life and profoundly affects the quality of life for humans and other living things. Drawing on philosophy, history, and anthropology, this subject will show students how problems in bioethics can be approached from a variety of perspectives, with the aim of understanding how we have gotten where we are, and how we should decide where to go next.


Musical Theater (Technology) Workshop - Transforming 21M.704- $13,400

Professor Thomas DeFrantz, Music and Theater Arts

Professor DeFrantz will create an innovative delivery system for sheet music through the use of tablet PCs, mp3 recordings and scanning technologies to create a PC Tablet database for the subject.  The database will include sheet music, audio recordings, and video clips of sequences studied in class.  The project thus will prototype a “digital textbook” in a performance-oriented subject, as the tablets will contain not only the materials being used by current semester students, but also a database of materials related to musical theater that my be used by future students.


Pilot Project for URIECA: An Experimental Chemistry Curriculum for the 21st Century - $17,000

Professor Keith Nelson, Chemistry

Professor Nelson proposes an entirely new approach to the teaching of undergraduate laboratory practice.  Students will enroll in individual lab modules that are well matched to past and current lecture coursework and individual interests.  Each new lab module will have explicit connection to at least one research group in the Chemistry Department, thereby providing a segue from the learning of lab techniques and underlying theory to the application of related techniques and potential student participation in forefront research.   This pilot project will develop a module focused on practice and understanding of spectroscopy at an introductory level, on the basis of which major outside support will be sought for the remaining modules that will constitute the new curriculum.


The Teaching/Learning Discussion Center - $8,500

Professor Paul Lagace, Aeronautics and Astronautics

Professor Lagace will establish a virtual on-line location for academic teachers from around the world to share their views on teaching and learning.  This center will be tied with the “Tomorrow’s Professor Mailing List”, a twice-per-week email received by over 23,000 subscribers at over 600 academic institutions in 106 countries.  Working with the developer of this initiative, the Center for Teaching and Learning at Stanford University, this project will promote the growth of MIT and other academics in teaching and learning techniques through the sharing of their thoughts, practices, and learnings.


Videocases of Student Funded Companies - $11,000

Professors John Carroll and Thomas Kochan, Sloan School of Management

Professors Carroll and Kochan will create videotaped cases based around the experiences of entrepreneurial companies formed by MIT students as an outcome of the 50K Competition and other similar opportunities on campus. Objectives for these cases include engaging students in thinking about how they will need to develop their own skills to be successful in such start-up environments and other leadership opportunities, sparking the realization that technical excellence must be combined with interpersonal and organizational capabilities, and developing a varied corpus of examples illustrating a wide range of principles of managerial psychology and organizational behavior.

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2004-2005 Funded Projects

An Interactive Website for Supporting Teaching Assistants - $25,000

Doctor Lori Breslow, Teaching and Learning Laboratory
Jane Dunphy, Foreign Languages and Literature

Doctor Breslow and Ms. Dunphy will create an interactive teaching website to strengthen the instructional skills of MIT's teaching assistants. The website will provide TAs with access to a rich database, including video, audio, and text-based resources that will provide best practices in teaching, familiarize users with the new pedagogies and technologies being used in MIT classrooms, and illustrate possible solutions to potential instructional pitfalls. This website should help TAs both to enhance their classroom performance and interact more effectively with their students.


Designing Complex Dome Structures Using Digital Fabrication - $10,200

Professor Lawrence Sass, Architecture

These funds will support a presentation of the design process using digital fabrication (rapid prototyping) devices in the field of architecture. Most people admire architects' creativity and systematic project engineering, but there are few if any presentations of this creative process. Professor Sass will present the design process and new design possibilities resulting from this advanced process in the form of 4 large architectural models designed and built using CAD and rapid prototyping machines. The work will serve as the third part of the undergraduate introduction to computing subject 4.206.


Discussion Forum - A Learning Environment Beyond the Classroom - $3,000

Tong Chen, Lecturer, Foreign Languages and Literature

Mr. Chen will create a natural learning environment beyond the classroom for students who are going to take Chinese 21F.103-106. Discussion fora will be created for MIT students to discuss topics related to each of their lessons with students in China at the Departments of Foreign languages and Literatures at Nankai University and Tianjin Normal University in Tianjin. From the discussions, our students will be able to read authentic Chinese responses to their questions and observe how the views and attitudes of Chinese students differ from their own. This will provide them with a way of expanding their textbook material with short explorations of Chinese culture and society as they prepare to study, work, or live in China or in a Chinese setting.


Enhancing First Year Writing at MIT - $13,700

Professor James Paradis and Doctors Rebecca Faery, Andrea Walsh, and Kimberly De Vries, Writing and Humanistic Studies

This award will fund workshops for teaching staff of first year writing subjects to incorporate recent scholarship in composition studies and to promote coherence among CI-HW subjects, as well as to plan and offer an orientation session "Writing at MIT". In the curricular enhancement process Professor Paradis and his colleagues will address the rich diversity in backgrounds and learning styles of MIT students to help serve the needs of all our students, who will be living and working in the future in an increasingly global environment. The orientation session would help freshmen make important choices about their initial writing subjects and the continuum of writing opportunities and development of writing abilities that is the purpose and trajectory of the Communications Requirement.


Explicit Linking of Mathematics in the Undergraduate Engineering Curriculum - $13,810

Professors Karen Willcox and John Deyst and Doctor Doris Brodeur, Aeronautics and Astronautics
Professors Haynes Miller and David Jerison, Mathematics

Earlier work by Professor Willcox and colleagues, partially funded by the Alumni Funds, identified lack of communication and limited pedagogical linkages between mathematics and engineering departments as major contributing factors to many problems identified in the level of mathematics skills of Course 16sophomores and juniors. Professor Willcox and her colleagues will build on the recommendations of that study, in particular to revise curriculum to establish explicit linking between mathematics and engineering subjects. They will also create explicit links to work of several mathematics faculty who are developing web-based modules for in-lecture demonstrations and on-line reference tools.


Ingenuity Experiments for ME 2.001/2.002- $1,000

Pierce Hayward, Mechanical Engineering

Many of the students in mechanical engineering are without a single vocational subject from their high school curriculum: no mechanical drawing, wood shop, or machine shop. These students generally sense this missing practical knowledge and want the practical experience they have missed. Mr. Pierce Hayward proposes to design experiments in which mechanical engineering students make a series of devices as part of the lab procedures, in order to provide this kind of experience, improve student enjoyment and nurture mechanical ingenuity.


LEGO-Based Educational Modules for 1st and 2nd Year Aero-Astro Engineering Courses - $23,994

Professor Kristina Lundqvist and Colonel Peter Young, Aeronautics and Astronautics

Professor Lundqvist and Colonel Young will use Lego Mindstorms for students to learn the fundamentals of computer programming, the conception and design of autonomous mobile vehicles, the vehicle engineering to create reliable and functional devices, and to be given opportunities to "design by redesign" while working in teams on a collaborative hands-on engineering project. Mindstorms are complex; microprocessor controlled multi-part "kits" which allow students to design and assemble electric-motor powered robots to carry out desired tasks of varying complexities and will be used in 16.00 Introduction to Aerospace Engineering and Design, 16.Unified, and 16.35 Real-Time Systems.


Making Testing and Specifications Come Alive - $23,658

Professor Michael Ernst, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Many students view testing and specifications as two of the dryer and more tedious topics in undergraduate programming subjects, though they are critical to the success of any real software system. Professor Ernst proposes to integrate research tools into 6.170 to make testing and specifying programs easier and thus more pleasant and to make their benefits more apparent to students, thus motivating students to perform these essential tasks. The result should be students who enjoy programming more, understand it better, and write better programs, and the tools should be transferable to other programming subjects at MIT.


Media in Performance - $22,700

Professor Jay Scheib, Music and Theater Arts

Professor Scheib will develop a new subject Media in Performance that will provide an opportunity for MIT students to make use of media technology as a means of expanding their engagement with the performing arts. While our students are well versed in manipulating these technologies, they lack the intellectual and aesthetic means to make them speak eloquently. By examining the historical development of multimedia performance, as well as the techniques, and conceptual tactics deployed in contemporary performances around the world students will develop tactics for using media as a means of expressing the complexities of their lives.


Mobile Fluid Stations for Teaching in Fluid Dynamics of the Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate - $12,310

Professor John Marshall, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

Professor Marshall will develop mobile "fluid stations" for use as a teaching tool in laboratory subjects, designed to illustrate key dynamical principles governing the circulation of the Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate. The development of these mobile fluid stations will enable students to have an intimate hands-on interaction with the fluid experiments by carrying out rotating fluid experiments, viewing and recording those experiments via an overhead rotating camera connected to a wireless transmitter, and taking observations and analyzing them using particle tracking, in-situ temperature sensors, dyes, etc.


Space System Product Development - $5,000

Professor David W. Miller, Aeronautics and Astronautics

The Space Systems Product Development class at MIT (16.83x) is an innovative, three-semester subject that provides undergraduates design-build experience in the lifecycle development of an aerospace product. The current class is developing Self-assembling Wireless Autonomous Reconfigurable Modules (SWARM), an innovative approach to satellite design that attempts to alleviate specific drawbacks that have plagued the industry. Professor Miller will supervise student purchasing of components for the prototype satellite, including computers, thrusters, avionics, communications networks, and micro-controllers.

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2003-2004 Funded Projects

CAD POSTUP@MIT - $17,000

Professor Lawrence Sass, Architecture

This project will prepare and support an undergraduate workshop Professor Sass will teach in the fall focused on creating complex CAD files. These CAD files can be cut or built on a rapid prototyping machine and create building models on laser cutters and three-dimensional printers. A specially constructed website will be built for posting these files, so that MIT and non-MIT students can share and use them. Based on past work, CAD POSTUP@MIT will serve as a guide for MIT and non-MIT students in developing and posting such files.


Cross-Fertilizing Science and Street Smarts - $16,000

Professor Donald Sadoway, Materials Science and Engineering
Professor Rosalind Williams, Science, Technology, and Society

Professors Sadoway and Williams are proposing a new HASS-D CI class, offered as an STS subject, specially designed for first-term freshmen taking 3.091. The new class will be intimately coordinated with the scientific and technical material covered in 3.091. The aim is that the two subjects mutually enhance and cross-fertilize each other, so that the interconnections essential to MIT students' future careers are to be a part of the curriculum from the start of the MIT academic experience. This model of HASS classes linked with science core classes can be replicated for other subjects, opening numerous possibilities for a more exciting, intellectually integrated first-year experience.


Developing 24.900, Introduction to Linguistics - $17,340

Professors Suzanne Flynn and David Pesetsky, Linguistics and Philosophy

At present, 24.900 serves as a general required introduction for Course 9 majors in Cognitive Science, as well as a subject that has been popular with students from a wide range of other majors. Professors Flynn and Pesetsky propose additional curricular developments in keeping with 24.900's recent designation as both a HASS-D and a CI-H subject. In particular, they will continue developing the five basic overlapping modules for the class and put some material into electronic archival form, have the students develop a fieldwork project that will extend over the length of the semester, and modify or develop online capabilities for interactive submission of work and exchanges between instructors and students.


Educational Demonstrations and Displays for 3.A24 and 3.032 - $8,500

Professor Lorna Gibson, Materials Science and Engineering

In this project Professor Gibson will develop hands-on demonstrations, posters, and a web-site on the structure and mechanics of selected plant and animal materials. One set of displays will be produced in her service learning freshman seminar for use by the Boston Nature Center in teaching Boston public school students. A second set of more advanced displays will be produced for use as case students in 3.032 Mechanical Properties of Materials as part of the new DMSE undergraduate curriculum.


MIT Teacher Education Program Teacher Licensure Initiative - $10,000

Professor Eric Klopfer, Urban Studies and Planning & Teacher Education Program

Last year, with the support of the MIT Alumni Sponsored Funds, the Teacher Education Program developed a new subject sequence that offered the full teacher certification program through MIT. Professor Klopfer will expand and support this program through the continued development of new subjects, through supporting of MIT Teacher Fellows who will teach core classes, and through contracting master teachers to supervise student teachers in the field.


Modern Engineering Design and Rapid Prototyping - $17,500

Professor Olivier de Weck, Engineering Systems Division & Aeronautics and Astronautics
Professor David Wallace, Mechanical Engineering
Colonel Peter Young and Dr. Il-Yong Kim, Aeronautics and Astronautics

Professor de Weck and his colleagues will develop an intense 6-unit IAP subject that will take students through the conception, design and implementation of a single structural component. This will provide a satisfactory end-to-end experience, meeting an existing need and resulting in a deeper understanding of the interplay between the creative human mind and modern computer aided design processes. The novelty in this proposal is to combine rapid prototyping with optimization in order to demonstrate the complementary capabilities of humans and computers during the design process.


Molecular Biotechnology Undergraduate Laboratory Initiative - $22,500

Professors Gregory Stephanopoulos, Daniel Wang, and Joanne Kelleher, Chemical Engineering

Recently the Department of Chemical Engineering proposed a new degree on Chemical and Biological Engineering, termed course X-B, a cornerstone of which is a new laboratory course on Biological Engineering, 10.28. Professors Stephanopoulos, Wang, and Kelleher will oversee a summer initiative where advanced undergraduates develop and test potential laboratory modules for this subject. Their goal is to produce a toolbox of vectors containing reporter genes to monitor each stage of production of a recombinant product. These vectors will be the starting points for projects to be developed in 10.28.


Open Crystal Chemistry - $11,000

Professor W. Craig Carter, Materials Science and Engineering

Professor Carter proposes developing an electronic library of three-dimensional, rotatable models to illustrate crystal and molecular structures, which would be accessible to the MIT community and beyond through OpenCourseWare. While some electronic libraries exist, they are typically generated by and for biochemists and are libraries of structures of organic molecules. They will develop a meta-library of crystallographic structures in a format that allows conversion to existing and yet-to-be-developed formats for three-dimensional visualization programs.


The Digital Chemistry Techniques Manual - $11,000

Doctor Sarah Tabacco and Professor Rick Danheiser, Chemistry

The undergraduate chemistry laboratory sequence at ZMIT is an innovative, interdisciplinary program that provides students with a wide breadth of hands-on laboratory experience. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to provide students with the personalized instruction they may need to develop effective technique in the laboratory. Dr. Tabacco and Professor Danheiser propose to create a digital video manual designed to demonstrate and teach laboratory techniques and safety procedures to students in these labs. The Digital Chemistry Techniques Manual will improve the quality of instruction in the laboratory subjects and should serve as a valuable resource for UROP students as well.


The Discovery Concept in Thermal-Fluids Engineering - $23,000

Professor Ernest Cravalho, Mechanical Engineering

"Discovery" is a teaching modality that has recently emerged in the Department of Mechanical Engineering as a way of enhancing the education process in cores subjects. Professor Cravalho proposes to develop this concept further in a manner that is appropriate for subjects 2.005 and 2.006, Thermal-fluids Engineering I and II. The work will involve the design and fabrication of 10 discovery experiments and their deployment to enhance the lectures of these subjects.


Service Learning Initiatives - $20,000

Amy Banzaert, Public Service Center and Edgerton Center
Sally Susnowitz, Public Service Center
Doctor Amy Smith, Edgerton Center

This award brings together to fund 3 separate, but related proposals, for Public Service Design Seminars (PSDS), for Service Learning at MIT, and for Curricular Initiative for Development Design (CIDD). The PSDS provide hands-on engineering design education through projects that benefit the community, locally and internationally. Service Learning at MIT is a teaching philosophy and methodology that provides students with the opportunity to learn and apply their course material by engaging in projects that fill genuine community needs. And CIDD is a 4-part series of classes and field trips focusing on international development and appropriate technology. Given the similar nature of this work and the collegial working relationships of the principal investigators, these funds were awarded to the 3 PIs to determine how best to be used in the context of these proposals.


Visualization of Proteins Using Physical and Electronic Models - $20,000

Professor David Gossard, Mechanical Engineering
Professor Jonathan King, Biology

Proteins, the building blocks and machinery of all living cells, are complex three-dimensional structures that are very difficult for students to visualize. Professors Gossard and King will design and manufacture one ore more physical models of pedagogically important proteins for use in the classroom. Despite the enormous importance of the 3-D structure of proteins, the use of physical models in the classroom is still very limited and should provide an important level of motivation to empower our students' understanding.

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2002-2003 Funded Projects

A Visual Analysis Component to 21A.219: Law and Society - $12,313

Professor Susan S. Silbey, Anthropology

Law and Society is designed to acquaint students with basic legal processes and organization from the point of view of a social scientist, not a lawyer or legal technician. In general, however, it can be a challenge to have undergraduate students see the systemic and structural features of social action. Professor Silbey will use appropriate films, visual analysis assignments, and the incorporation of visual images within written texts in order to engage students more highly developed visual capacities and enable them to become more astute observers of the social world and help them understand and deploy social theory and analytic concepts.


Aeronautics and Astronautics Communications web site - $9,617

Dr. Andrea McKenzie, Aeronautics and Astronautics/Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies

Dr. McKenzie will create a discipline-specific communications web site for Aeronautics/Astronautics educators and students to use in the classroom and as an outside resource. This site will include guidelines for specific genres of communications, writing, presentations, and reviewing techniques, as well as models of excellent written communications and video clips and graphics of excellent oral presentations. The educational goals are to integrate communications into the discipline by providing easily accessible models and guidelines for active in-class use and as a discipline-wide resource.


Building Interaction in Concourse Psychology - $21,450

Professor Jeremy M. Wolfe, Brain and Cognitive Science

Professor Wolfe will enhance the Concourse version of 9.00 Introduction to Psychology by creating a series of interactive computer-based experiences that can be used to supplement the standard classroom environment. These will be highly flexible in a way that will allow students to get a quick illustration of a phenomenon or dig forever into the topic if they are so inclined. The eventual goal of this project will be to create a rich collection of experiences that can be incorporated into and used by mainstream Introductory Psychology subjects and the academic community beyond MIT.


Development and Teaching Japanese Animation - $13,600

Sean Leonard '04, Experimental Study Group

There is increasing interest in Japanese animation (anime) throughout the United States. Sean Leonard proposes to develop and operate a spring 2003 subject on the field, using innovative teaching methods and guest speakers to enhance learning. He also intends to teach an IAP subject on the process of translating, subtitling, and post-producing anime works. Following the successes of these 2 subjects, the final objective is to arrange and package the subject for future teaching.


Exploring Black Holes - $8,000

Professor Edmund Bertschinger, Physics

In the fall term 2001, a new undergraduate class 8.224 Exploring Black Holes was offered, the initial development of which was supported by the MIT Council on Educational Technology. This funding allows Professor Bertschinger to complete the initial educational goals for the class. One part of the work will be to program a relativistic flight simulator, that will enable a user to look in all directions around a black hole while standing still, freely falling, orbiting, or moving under rocket power. This should be a significant contribution to the understanding of general relativity and its consequences for compact objects. A second part of the work will be to record the seminars and provide them in video streaming format to the web site, to foster greater interaction between and among the undergraduates and alumni in the class.


Foundations of Computational and Systems Biology - $26,000

Professors Peter Sorger, Amy Keating, Mike Yaffe, Bruce Tidor, Chris Burge, and Dr. Drew Endy, Biology

The interface between biology, engineering and computation is one of the most active areas of research in the life sciences. Professor Sorger and his colleagues will develop a new subject for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students with backgrounds in either molecular biology or computer science but not necessarily both. The two-semester Foundations series will represent a comprehensive introduction to the new biology and to biology-inspired computation.


Introduction to Optimization (15.053) - $14,000

Professor James B. Orlin, Sloan School of Management

The textbook for 15.053, a core subject of Management Science, is excellent in many respects, but is also out of date in other aspects. In particular, it is very out of date with respect to its use of computer technology and with respect to applications developed over the past 20 years. Professor Orlin's goals for this project are to therefore enhance the textbook along several different dimensions and to facilitate the international creation and collection of materials relating to optimization by an effective use of OpenCourseWare.


Mathematics for Aerospace Engineers: A Framework to Link and Solidify Mathematical Skills - $7,070

Professors Karen Willcox, John Deyst, Steve Hall, Jaime Peraire, Aeronautics and Astronautics
Professor Haynes Miller, Mathematics

To improve the level of mathematics skills of sophomores and juniors in the department, Professor Wilcox and her colleagues will work to help design aspects of the core engineering curriculum so that it reinforces and builds upon concepts taught in math subjects. Specifically, they will develop mathematical modules to link concepts and terminology learned in freshman and sophomore math classes with concepts that are utilized in Course 16 classes and to link the common mathematical foundations between engineering disciplines. Utilizing this work, they hope to unify the way in which mathematics is presented to Course 16 undergraduates throughout their degree.


MIT - Haiti Curricular Initiative for Development Design - $12,350

Amy Smith, Instructor, Edgerton Center

This proposal is for a project that harnesses the energy of students and student groups to provide an exciting educational opportunity to MIT students and technical assistance to communities in developing countries. Amy Smith proposes to create a fall term seminar that provides a cultural, social, political, environmental and economic overview of the country; an IAP field trip to the country to identify technical problems that are faced by local communities; and a spring term design seminar that develops solutions to the problems identified during the IAP field trip.


MIT Teacher Education Program Undergraduate Initiative - $22,000

Professor Eric Klopfer, Urban Studies and Planning

The mission of the MIT Teacher Education Program, started in 1995, is to develop a cadre of MIT undergraduates that will become the science and math teachers of tomorrow. Professor Klopfer intends to provide an opportunity for MIT students to meet the requirements of teacher certification entirely at MIT. This award will allow him to develop new courses, hire an MIT Teacher Fellow, and contract master teachers to work with student teachers to meet this certification goal.


Scientific Visualizations across Disciplines and Cultures - $12,000

Professor Joe Dumit, Science, Technology, and Society

Visualization is a key aspect of the presentation of scientific data in a variety of fields. Professor Dumit will assemble an online archive of teaching modules that will enable students to critically understand and assess scientific visualization across disciplinary lines. A new subject will be developed based on this archive that will expose undergraduates to a variety of visualization techniques, so that they will learn to understand the work involved in producing them and to critically assess the power and limits of each.


String Theory for Undergraduates (8.251) - $8,000

Professor Barton Zwiebach, Physics

All over the world, String Theory is taught as an advanced graduate course requiring the sophisticated tools of quantum field theory and Einstein's general relativity. Professor Zwiebach proposes to develop for the first time string theory at the undergraduate level, using the tools of undergraduate quantum mechanics, special relativity, electromagnetism and statistical mechanics. MIT will thus be recognized as the first institution to create a rigorous undergraduate level subject in string theory.


TeleEngineering Operations Suite - $20,000

Lieutenant Colonel Brian L. Baker, P.E., ROTC

Lt. Colonel Baker intends to use TeleEngineering to provide a linkage between MIT students in the classroom and engineers and subject matter experts in the field. The purchase of communications equipment required to tie into an elaborate network established by the Army Corps of Engineers will leverage that connectivity for enhanced classroom learning opportunities for MIT undergraduate engineers. Students could be linked in real-time to Corps of Engineers laboratories, deployed engineers or disaster responses sites, thus enhancing students' educational experiences.

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2001-2002 Funded Projects

A Concept Question Database For Aerothermal Engineering - $3,800

Professors David Darmofal, Edward Greitzer, Earll Murman and Ian Waitz, Aeronautics and Astronautics

A final phase of implementing active learning and peer instruction within their sophomore core and junior/senior level subjects in Thermodynamics and Aerodynamics is to develop good concept questions. Professor Darmofal and his colleagues will develop a concept question database for undergraduate subjects in thermodynamics and aerodynamics and apply the database for in-class active learning and assessment of conceptual understanding.


Continuing and Improving MIT-Valencia Online Exchange - $14,319

Doctor Douglas Morgenstern, Foreign Languages and Literatures

Originally developed as a prototype in 6.916, Software Engineering of Innovative Web Services, Dr. Morgenstern intends to improve and expand an environment for active learning through an online community of interactions between MIT students and students at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. The primary educational objective of the web site is to provide an environment for active learning. The secondary objective is to provide an environment where elements of distance learning can be employed and tested.


Customized Weather Portal for Teaching in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate - $5,000

Doctor Lodovica Illari, Meteorology
Professor John Marshall, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Dr. Illari and Professor Marshall propose to create software to allow students to access, manipulate and model real-time global meteorological data. Specifically, they intend to customize a weather analysis system for use as a teaching tool in undergraduate and graduate laboratory and IAP subjects, designed to illustrate the main dynamical ideas governing the circulation of the Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate. The analysis system will allow any remote user hands-on study of meteorology and its associated fluid mechanics and thermodynamics.


Economics Research And Communication (14.33) - $20,000

Professor Sara Ellison, Economics

The economics department will design a new subject to become a requirement for their undergraduate majors. Professor Ellison will establish this new subject that will teach students how to perform original empirical analysis of an economic question through the process of forming economic hypotheses, gathering appropriate data, analyzing them, and effectively communicating their results, in both written and oral form. Objectives include providing students with more intensive communications instruction, with hands-on research experience, and with a segue into thesis-writing.


Field Research Experience For Freshmen - $19,790

Professors Harry Hemond, Phil Gschwend, Heidi Nepf, Martin Polz and Sheila Frankel, Civil and Environmental Engineering

An important element of the revised 1-E environmental engineering curriculum is the new emphasis on field and laboratory work. Professor Hemond and his group will develop an off-campus real-world IAP field research project involving testing of the Charles River's environmental quality. This effort will offer a field-oriented freshman seminar that would complement and build on the concepts of the freshman curriculum.


Moon Festival: A Web-Based Multi-Linear Narrative About Cultural Identity and Chinese Culture - $20,000

Professor Shigeru Miyagawa, Foreign Languages and Literatures and Comparative Media Studies

This project is based on the highly successful projects developed in Foreign Languages and Literatures in French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. Modeled on his acclaimed project on cultural identity and Japan, StarFestival , Professor Miyagawa will create an interactive web-based narrative based on a Chinese-American experience for the purpose of teaching issues of diversity and cultural identity - Who am I? Where did I come from? Where do I fit in? It will thus give ethnic Asian students at MIT an opportunity to reflect on their own cultural background and to take pride in their multi-cultural identity.


The Ancient Near East (21H.303) - $15,000

Professor Joshua Sosin, History

Many collections of primary sources and detailed archeological studies are virtually inaccessible to undergraduates. Professor Sosin will assemble a database that will contain English translations of primary sources, images of archaeological sites and artifacts and a bibliography. This database will be used in the classroom and outside, to test and control primary-source readings, to launch classroom discussion, to aid the group in the construction of historical arguments and to develop those arguments into viable research papers.

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2000-2001 Funded Projects

Computer-Based Multimedia Demonstrations In Psychology - $10,900

Professor Steven Pinker, Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Subject 9.00 enrolls three hundred students a term, roughly half of whom are freshmen. This award provides funding to Brain and Cognitive Sciences Professor Steven Pinker to develop computer-generated audio, video, and animated teaching materials. Professor Pinker plans to integrate these resources with lecture materials for use in the classroom and on a web site for students to replay as they review and study.


Environmental Case Study Development - $26,000

Professors Jeffrey Steinfeld, Donald Sadoway and Dr. Matthew Gardner, Center for Environmental Initiatives

Professors Jeffrey Steinfeld, Donald Sadoway, and Matthew Gardner have received resources for the creation of a curriculum using the wide-ranging research programs currently underway within the Center for Environmental Initiatives. The results of this research, incorporated into classroom teaching at MIT in 3.091 and 5.23, will allow students to examine a series of case studies that emphasize the connections between theory and practice, thereby building awareness of industrial impact on the natural environment.


Essentials of Engineering - $15,000

Professors Thomas Eagar and Paul Lagace, Engineering Systems Division

Funding for the proposal by Professors Thomas Eagar and Paul Lagace will help create the first undergraduate subject to be offered by the new Engineering Systems Division. "Essentials of Engineering" will be a second-term freshman elective subject involving case studies of major engineering systems development and designed to permit investigation of several different disciplines. Faculty from a variety of Engineering departments at MIT will be contributing to projects for this class, aimed at developing in students the skills needed for effective engineering communication and leadership.


Faculty Development Workshops To Redesign The First-year Curriculum In Writing - $11,000

Drs. Rebecca Faery and James Paradis, Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies

Funding provided for Dr. Rebecca Faery ­ Director of First Year Writing ­ will be used to support faculty development workshops for first year curriculum teaching staff in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies. Within the workshops, faculty will be given the opportunity to review theory and practice, develop syllabi, and discuss strategy, methods, and the effective use of information technologies.


New Undergraduate Lab Course on Functional Imaging of the Human Brain - $16,000

Professor Nancy Kanwisher, Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Professor Nancy Kanwisher is using her award to design a new 16-unit lab class in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Students in this class will have a chance to design and run their own brain-imaging experiments, and analyze the results of their fMRI and those of others.


Restructuring Organic Chemistry - $8,600

Professor Daniel Kemp and Daniel O'Connell and Eric Chang '01, Chemistry

Under the guidance of Professor Daniel Kemp, two undergraduate students, Eric Chang (Course 7) and Dan O' Connell (Course 5) will develop learning aids ­ including a student workbook, an Internet program, and a TA guidebook for Chemistry 5.12 , a class taken by 350 students a year, and a prerequisite for many classes in a variety of departments.


Use Of The Geotechnical Centrifuge To Integrate Physical Modeling Of Large Scale Engineering Problems - $12,500

Professors Patricia Culligan, John Germaine & Andrew Whittle
Civil and Environmental Engineering

As part of a major redesign of programs in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Professor Patricia Culligan's award will provide funds to use the MIT Balanced Arm Centrifuge to provide hands-on experience and problem-based learning to students in 1.031: Geotechnical Engineering Design. Student teams will build scale models of their geotechnical engineering problems to be tested on the centrifuge, allowing them to see the effect of their engineering design.

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1999-2000 Funded Projects

A Communication Pipeline For elab 7.15J - $15,000

Professor Paul Matsudaira, Bioengineering and Environmental Health

In the new Project Lab for Biology undergraduates and Bioengineering minors (7.15J/BEH350), Professor Paul Matsudaira’s students will examine the complex pattern of yeast cell genes using DNA chips, matrices of probe DNAs that are arrayed on glass slides. Because DNA chips are so new, teaching materials must be compiled from various sources. Professor Matsudaira will use his award to develop a fully integrated electronic support tool for instruction, data collection, and the preparation of reports for the new lab subject. Lectures and all supporting information will be compiled and placed on the course web site. Student reports and papers for the BUG Journal as well as the Project Lab will be administrated via this same system, permitting rapid feedback, improved graphics, better written papers, and publication-ready documents.


Development Of An Interdisciplinary Laboratory Subject For A Modern Environmental Engineering Curriculum - $19,020

Professor Heidi Nepf, Professor Martin Polz
Professor Bettina Voelker, Environmental Engineering

As part of the reform effort in the undergraduate environmental engineering (1E) curriculum, Professors Heidi Nepf, Martin Polz and Bettina Voelker are developing a laboratory subject that strives to engage students in systems-oriented learning that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. The goal of this project is the design of a modern, interdisciplinary laboratory sequence that will give students the tools for innovative analysis of the physical, chemical, and biological processes governing the behavior of environmental systems. For the faculty involved, the increased interaction that is required to create this lab will deepen their understanding across disciplines, and it is believed the collective teaching of the lecture subjects tied to the laboratory will improve as the lab provides the structure and focal points for instruction.


emergentDesign Curriculum Initiative - $8,000

Professor Peter Testa, Architecture

Open-source software tools will be developed by Architecture Professor Peter Testa to introduce computation in the earliest stages of the architectural design process. The emergentDesign curriculum is a significant departure from traditional architectural education and will draw upon techniques and approaches from the disciplines of computer science and artificial intelligence in addition to architecture. A major component of the studio will be a weekly in-class laboratory in programming interactive Java applications to serve as design tools. Through this, it is hoped that a distinction in roles between "architect" and "programmer" will be shown to be less effective than the role of "designer". It is also hoped that viewing design as a process, as opposed to a product, will give the students a chance to engage architecture from a contemporary perspective.


Introduction To Women’s Studies: A Team-Teaching Model For MIT - $3,500

Professor Lora Wildenthal, History
Professor Sally Haslanger, Linguistics and Philosophy

Women’s Studies faculty members, including Professor Lora Wildenthal (History) and Professor Sally Haslanger (Linguistics and Philosophy), have created a new modular approach to teaching SP.401. The class will now draw upon the expertise of all faculty members in Women’s Studies, and make it possible for all faculty to take over teaching this introductory subject on a rotating basis. The class will now be organized so that individuals with a variety of scholarly interests will feel competent and able to contribute seriously to the endeavor. The award will be used this summer to gather and produce materials in preparation for the first iteration of the class in Fall 1999.


Linking Theory To Practice Through Hands-On Activities: Unified Engineering Undergraduate Course Enhancement - $7,700

Professor Daniel Frey, Aeronautics and Astronautics

Professor Daniel Frey is using his award to design additional classroom demonstrations and laboratory exercises for the Unified Engineering course in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. This project seeks to improve student exposure to physical examples of the theoretical constructs taught in Unified through additional hands-on experience. It is hoped that a collection of varied demonstrations and experiments can be created, giving the instructors who teach Unified Engineering additional material to draw upon and incorporate into lectures and problem sets.


Software To Teach Nerve Conduction - $20,000

Professor Thomas Weiss, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Since 1984, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Thomas Weiss has been involved, together with a number of students, in developing software packages to teach cellular biophysics. The alumni funds will support a project to produce a software package to allow students to learn about the conduction of action potentials in both unmyelinated and myelinated nerve fibers by access to simulation software. The software will be used in lecture demonstrations, in special recitations held in electronic classrooms, as homework problems, and as bases for student projects. The software and its manual will be made available over the internet.


Thermal Fluid Machines For 2.005/2.006 Thermal Fluids Engineering - $14,590

Professor Ernest Cravalho, Professor Gareth McKinley
Professor John Brisson, Mechanical Engineering

As part of the major curriculum reform underway in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, subjects 2.005/2.004 is a year-long sequence that replaces 2.20, 2.40 and 2.51. In the new sequence, the principles of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat transfer are being taught as a cohesive, unified whole. With the help of this award, Professors Ernest Cravalho, Gareth McKinley and John Brisson will develop instrumented demonstrations of quantitative and qualitative effects in thermal fluid sciences, including a vapor compression refrigerator, a boiling curve, and an upgrade of their critical point demonstration. This award will enable the recipients to use both undergraduate and graduate students to develop the demonstration hardware.


Web-Based Microelectronic Device Characterization - $19,872

Professor Jesus del Alamo, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Jesus del Alamo will use his award for the support of a permanent set-up of dedicated equipment for web-based microelectronics device characterization. This will continue the field trials that have already occurred in 6.720J/3.43J and 6.012 in the Fall and Spring of 1998-1999. The project allows for a hands-on device characterization experience in classes that have not, for practical reasons, been able to offer such an experience to students before.

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1998-1999 Funded Projects

5.302: Introduction To Experimental Chemistry - $10,000

Dr. Martín Zysmilich & Professor Rick L. Danheiser, Chemistry

Dr. Martín Zysmilich and Professor Rick L. Danheiser are using their award to support an experimental laboratory subject during IAP for freshmen enrolled in 5.11 or 3.091. After the resounding success of last year’s intensive IAP laboratory course for freshmen (5.301), Dr. Zysmilich and Professor Danheiser have designed 5.302 to give more first-year students an opportunity to witness firsthand the products of experimental chemistry, which students are otherwise left to read about in their textbooks. 5.302 will focus on "fun" experiments that will illustrate to students the wide range of phenomena that can result from even simple chemical experimentation.


Comprehensive Integration Of 2.007 With Freshman Physics - $15,000

Professor Alexander Slocum, Mechanical Engineering
Professor Edmund Bertschinger, Professor Alan Guth, and Professor Boleslaw Wyslouch, Physics

Professor Alexander Slocum of Mechanical Engineering will collaborate with Physics Professors Edmund Bertschinger, Alan Guth, and Boleslaw Wyslouch to integrate 2.007 with 8.01 and 8.02. With the goal of inciting passion for learning and motivation for retaining the information taught in freshman-year Physics, Professor Slocum will work with Physics faculty to create an active connection between the 2.007 and the material covered in 8.01 and 8.02. In each of the subjects, syllabi will be cross-referenced, thus explicitly helping undergraduates see the ways that knowledge transcends specific disciplines. Professor Slocum cited the goal of showing students in 8.01 and 8.02 how the material they are studying as freshmen will be applied in their second year, namely by encouraging Physics faculty to illustrate the principles of physics through demonstrations using machines created by 2.007 students. T.A.s will also work across disciplines to help students in freshman-year Physics and 2.007 see the connections between the subjects.


Curtain Going Up! Introductory Multimedia Modules In Theater Arts - $10,000

Professor Thomas DeFrantz and Professor Brenda Cotto-Escalera, Music and Theatre Arts

Professors Thomas DeFrantz and Brenda Cotto-Escalera will use their award to support a project geared toward integrating multimedia technology into Theater Arts at MIT. Acknowledging that undergraduates have limited time to devote to humanities and extra-curricular activities, the project proposed by Professors DeFrantz and Cotto-Escalera will not only enhance undergraduate subjects in Theater Arts but also provide an online resource for students who are involved in co-curricular and extra-curricular performance groups. The project involves the creation of three multimedia modules that will use video, film, slides, and musical excerpts, all of which will be transferred to a digitized slide show format for use online and in the classroom.


Cybertutor: A Reactive Mechanics Tutor For The Internet - $7,000

Professor David Pritchard, Physics

Professor of Physics David Pritchard will use his award to support an effort to shift homework for 8.01 from paper to online assignments. The Cybertutor will be able to hone problem sets to each student’s skill level, both in terms of academic background and success at solving the specific problems at hand. The program will also provide more immediate assistance for students while they are working on their homework by allowing them to seek help on specific aspects of the problems on which they are working, and will provide students with feedback on how they scored in a more timely manner than is possible with paper grading. Lastly, the Physics faculty will be able to evaluate the efficacy of each individual problem by examining patterns where students were consistently successful or consistently struggled on problem sets.


Development Of Internet Hypertexts In The Basic Sciences - $7,200

Professor Vernon Ingram, Biology, Director of the Experimental Study Group

Professor of Biology Vernon Ingram, Director of the Experimental Study Group, is using his award to further efforts in maintaining a Biology Hypertext, which is already available on the Web at http://esg-www.mit.edu:8001/esgbio/. In addition to updating the Hypertext as it now stands, Professor Ingram will work toward creating a Center of Internet Science Teaching. His hope is that the Biology Hypertext project will be a step in the direction of establishing such a center.


Experimental Nonlinear Dynamics: An EAPS-Math Collaboration - $10,000

Professor John Bush, Mathematics
Professor Daniel Rothman, Earth Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

Continuing in the spirit of exhibiting real-world physical phenomena to students who are learning about complex theories in the classroom, Professor John Bush of Mathematics is collaborating with Professor Daniel Rothman of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences to create laboratory demonstrations for 12.006. The goal of the demonstrations will be to illustrate the ways that nonlinear dynamics manifest themselves in a variety of real physical systems. Proposed demonstrations include the creation of a forced pendulum, a Malkus waterwheel, and a Belouzov-Zhabotinsky reaction, among others.


The Development Of A Bilingual Curriculum In Chinese Literature - $6,000

Professor Emma Teng, Foreign Languages & Literatures

Professor Emma Teng is using her award to develop one subject and adapt another subject to include bilingual curricula and texts. Noting a dearth of bilingual materials in field of Chinese literature, Professor Teng hopes to create subjects that will appeal to a wide range of MIT undergraduate and graduate students and that might also be applicable to academics at other colleges and universities.


The Initial Design And Implementation Of An Online Communication Resource Center - $10,000

Professor James Paradis, Dr. Edward Barrett, Dean Leslie Perelman, and Dr. Steven Strang, Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies

As a first step in creating a new Communication Resource Center, which is being developed in response the work of the CUP Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement, Professor James Paradis and Drs. Edward Barrett, Leslie Perelman, and Steven Strang are using their fund gift to design and implement an Online Communications Resource Center (OCRC). This online resource will primarily serve undergraduates, but will offer resources that will be of use to faculty and other members of the community as well. Services of the OCRC will include access to educational materials for students and faculty, an online scheduling mechanism for appointments at the Communications Resource Center, and a secure online referral facility through which faculty will be able to refer students to the Center.


White House Audiotapes As A Resource For Teaching The American Presidency And American Politics - $4,200

Professor Daniel Kryder, Political Science

With the goal of exposing undergraduates to the nuances of research in the social sciences based on primary materials, Political Science Professor Daniel Kryder is redesigning curricula for two subjects that will incorporate audiotapes from the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon presidential administrations. Citing the richness of audiotapes as a source for academic study, Professor Kryder noted that students will learn not only about the subject matter but also about how social scientists report historical events, by comparing prominent secondary sources with their own interpretations of the primary sources.

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1997-1998 Funded Projects

5.30: Chemistry Techniques Laboratory For Freshmen - $10,000

Professor Timothy Swager & Professor Rick Danheiser, Chemistry

Professors Timothy Swager and Rick Danheiser of Chemistry have received funding to support the development of an innovative, techniques-oriented freshman chemistry laboratory subject to be offered during IAP. The aim of this new subject is twofold: to provide undergraduates with an opportunity for hands-on experience in their freshman year; and to facilitate the ability of first-year students to obtain undergraduate research positions in chemistry department laboratories.


A Training Tool For International TA’s - $2,305

Dr. Jane Dunphy, Foreign Languages & Literatures

Dr. Jane Dunphy has received support to create a videotape to serve as a model for an effective interactive classroom, where students are fully engaged in discussion and problem solving. International TA’s will be able to use this videotape as a tool to analyze the different aspects of teaching that contribute to a successful, dynamic class.


Computerized Demonstrations Of Electromagnetic Fields - $9,000

Professor Markus Zahn, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Professor Markus Zahn of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has received support to use Maxwell software to prepare computerized visuals and movies of dynamic electromagnetic phenomena to be used as classroom demonstrations, for homework assignments, and for assigned design problems. The use and experience of this computer software by 6.013 students will teach them to use practical tools and expose them to real-world problems they will see on the job.


History At The Bench: Reading And Writing About Modern Europe - $10,000

Professor Anne McCants & Professor Harriet Ritvo, History

Professors Anne McCants and Harriet Ritvo of History are using their award to design a European history core subject that emphasizes the skills and methods professional historians actually use -- e.g., persuasive writing and oral presentations -- in their research. The subject being developed will introduce undergraduates to the source materials of modern European history in a way which will allow them actually to practice the art of the historian rather than simply to consume the scholarships of historians. In their title "History at the Bench," the instructors deliberately borrowed the metaphor of the engineers in an effort to convey that the emphasis will be on "practice" rather than mastery of a narrative tradition. Writing persuasively will be a critical component of that "practice."


Making Things Move - $8,500

Professor Steven Leeb, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Professor Steven Leeb, from Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will use his award to partially fund the costs of a piece of equipment that will be used in four EECS subjects. Professor Leeb intends to introduce into the EECS curriculum the opportunity for students, freshmen through first year graduate students, to actually touch and work with substantial (greater than one horsepower) rotating electric machines for servomechanisms, drives, and generating systems in the context of modern design problems.


New Teaching Technologies In Introduction To Aerospace Engineering And Design - $12,000

Professor Dava Newman, Aeronautics and Astronautics

Professor Dava Newman of Aeronautics and Astronautics has received an award to support her curriculum developments using new technologies and design in a freshman subject, 16.00 Introduction to Aerospace Engineering and Design. Professor Newman intends to refine the Web-based course materials for 16.00; to assess the "learning value" of using new technologies in education; and to create an interactive electronic text and CD-ROM materials based on this curriculum.


Team Building Skills In Chemical Engineering Projects Lab - $15,000

Professor Clark Colton, Chemical Engineering

Professor Clark Colton of the Chemical Engineering Department has received support to help with his development of a curriculum in team building and team management skills that will be an integral part of Subject 10.26. The content of the curriculum will focus on the characteristics that lead to successful team performance and on tools and techniques that students can use with their own 10.26 lab teams and later in their professional careers.


The MIT Architectonic Research Collaboratory - $6,000

Professor Chris H. Luebkeman, Architecture

Professor Chris H. Luebkeman of the Department of Architecture will use his funding to further his work toward an "ARCSpace" -- the design and development of a virtual environment at MIT that will support undergraduate teaching, learning, and research about the "science of architecture." The ARCSpace is envisioned as the premier virtual collaboratory for architecture students not only at MIT, but from around the world to "meet" and collaborate in both educational and research venues. The initial work on the collaboratory will be in the context of topics relating to load-bearing structure.

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1996-1997 Funded Projects

A Course In Electromagnetism Using Advanced Technologies - $14,000

Professor John Belcher, Physics

Physics 8.02 is the highest enrollment subject taught at MIT, and it is one of the more difficult subjects for students because of the non -intuitive nature of electromagnetism. In order to properly demonstrate the phenomena, Professor Belcher plans to develop a series of short videos with animations and text of selected 8.02 experiments. Professor Belcher emphasizes that "the power of animations in explaining electromagnetic phenomena can only be appreciated by viewing sample animations." Professor Belcher plans on having the initial phase of the 8.02 material developed for Spring 1997.


Computational Experiments For 2.001: Mechanics & Materials I - $7,500

Professor Rohan Abeyaratne, Professor Frank Feng, and Dr. Nishikant Sonwalkar, Mechanical Engineering

A significant number of Mechanical Engineering sophomores enroll in 2.001, the subject in which theoretical concepts are introduced in lecture and related design problems are worked on in recitation. Ideally, this foundation information would be also relayed through "hands-on" experience in the laboratory; however, due to limited resources, the laboratory experience must wait until 2.002. Therefore, Professors Abeyaratne, Feng, and Sonwalkar have sought the help of the Class of ‘51 Fund to support the development of a "virtual laboratory" using hypermedia technology. The visualization experience of abstract concepts will be viewed through solid examples of interactive manipulation of different types of supports, mechanical devices, and stresses and strains as well as video clips of experiments. This project, beginning during the summer of 1996, is anticipated to be completed in September 1997.


Crossroads: The Integration Of The Teaching Of Spanish Language And Culture Through Technology - $10,000

Professor Margery Resnick & Margarita Groeger, Foreign Languages and Literatures

Professor Resnick and Dr. Groeger sought funding from the Class of ‘51 to enhance the teaching of Spanish IV. New curricular modules will allow for the integration of language learning, history, literature, and culture, so that students will have a contextual understanding of events that have shaped the Hispanic world. The modules will be developed through transforming articles, literary texts, interviews, video and audio clips, and speeches into an interactive language-learning environment on the World Wide Web. Additionally, glosses and tools, vocabulary and grammar activities, links to other web sites and an on-line bulletin board will help students learn independently, effectively and efficiently. This curriculum reform should be ready by the end of 1996.


Engineering A Change: Designs For The Developing World - $6,000

Professor Carl Peterson & Amy Smith, G., Mechanical Engineering

While the core subjects taught in the Freshman Year are designed to teach students background principles necessary for the understanding of science and engineering disciplines, the context of problem-solving makes the theory seem more relevant and easier to learn and might better be produced through exposing students to the design process. This freshman seminar will meet once a week for two hours during Spring Term 1997; students will begin to find solutions to technical problems in developing countries. The projects students select for the seminar will focus on diagnosing and treating sexually transmitted diseases. Students will meet informally in groups with a faculty supervisor and a graduate student or upperclass assistant.


Teaching Initiatives For 2.002 Mechanics Of Materials II - $8,500

Professor Mary Boyce, Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Lori Breslow, Sloan School of Management

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is phasing in a new undergraduate curriculum that includes a basic core of eight subjects conveying the fundamental principles of mechanical engineering and the introduction of non-traditional teaching techniques. In 2.002, Professor Boyce and Dr. Breslow will introduce new methods of teaching and learning through the development of a "take-home Shoe Box of Experiments", the introduction of "Facilitated Teamwork" in the laboratory and a "Teaching Practicum." It is hoped that these new initiatives will help the undergraduate students learn subject content more thoroughly and independently, develop confidence as problem solvers, and improve their communication and teamwork skills. Graduate students assisting with this subject will experience in group facilitation and teaching. Through the help of the Class of ‘51 Fund, this model will be in place for Fall 1996; the subject will be taught again in Spring 1997, so experience gained from the fall term subject can be immediately applied. It is anticipated that other subjects in Mechanical Engineering will undergo similar curriculum development.


The Virtual Screening Room: A Multimedia Textbook For Film Analysis - $10,000

Professor Henry Jenkins, Literature Faculty

Because movies move, traditional textbooks containing the static medium of print lose a great deal of the fundamentals of cinema. Professor Jenkins has developed a new type of textbook that enables the dynamic nature of film to remain intact - A "Multimedia Textbook." This more experiential approach to learning about film will allow the student to engage with and manipulate segments from the world of cinema. Professor Jenkins’ project will produce: a compendium text of key terms and concepts; a multiple indexing of authors, genres, national cinemas, and historical periods; sidebars providing advanced discussion of core debates in film history and film theory; multimedia authoring to allow students to make their own juxtapositions, associations and supported arguments; and interactive exercises and experiments to allow students to manipulate images and sequences from films. The Class of ‘51 Fund will enable Professor Jenkins to finish the chapter on editing that will include 120-150 films representing most of the major national cinemas. He plans to include the new editing unit in his Film Analysis freshman seminar during Fall 1996 and in his Film Experience HASS-D subject in Spring 1997.


Interactive Programming: Revolutionizing Introductory Computer Science

Professor Lynn Stein, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

In the Fall of 1996, a new introductory subject will be offered in computer programming. Focusing on computation-as-interaction rather than computation-as-calculation, freshmen will learn the importance of hands-on experience and collaboration as forms of teaching and learning. This style of teaching departs from the traditional methods in Computer Science; the major component of the class will be a three hour in-class laboratory which emphasizes student interaction, student teaching, and facilitation by the subject staff.

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1995-1996 Funded Projects

Case Studies In Environmental Politics - $15,000

Professor Stephen M. Meyer, Political Science

The Class of ‘51 funded Professor Meyer’s proposal to prepare teaching modules on environmental politics and policy. The existing reading material was considered by the students to be inadequate for an otherwise highly regarded subject. After Professor Meyer introduced the new material, the teaching module was considered to be the backbone of the subject. Students rave that the new module is able to blend science and politics in a way that explains how science is used, abused, and ignored in the policy process - necessary information for them as future scientists and engineers. "The Class of 1951 has had a tremendous immediate impact on the environmental politics and policy education for undergraduates at MIT," states Professor Meyer.


Collaborative Interaction For Improved Pedagogy - $10,000

Professor Seth Teller & Professor Julie Dorsey, Lab for Computer Science

Through the development of prototypes, Professors Teller and Dorsey were able to research the pedagogical techniques that not only challenge students’ learning but also create an environment in which the students contribute to the teaching aspect. By specifying algorithms to perform the specific task, a group of students are able to navigate a body of material organized into a "directed graph" of modules in the web. The students were able to navigate the graphs and choose nodes in which other modules were invoked. These nodes enabled the students to move forward in a number of ways a) to see how the algorithm is dynamically manipulated; b) to specify code fragments to perform specific operations, documents, and debug the codes; or c) to leave comments, test cases, etc., behind for other students embarking in the same codes, creating a real-time link to conversations with students and teaching staff. Implementation of this project is currently underway. Future work of this project includes publication of the findings in education and web journals.


Industrial Ecology As A Vehicle For Advancing The Basic Concepts Of Chemistry: A New Approach To Teaching 3.091 (Introduction To Solid State Chemistry) - $10,000

Professor Donald Sadoway, Material Science and Engineering

With the help of the Class of ‘51 Fund, Professor Sadoway was able to undertake a comprehensive revision of 3.091, Introduction to Solid State Chemistry, to teach the fundamentals of chemistry along with the basics of industrial ecology. Through the addition of new lecture topics, enrichment material, new homework exercises and exam questions - and an active web site documenting all the additions - students found this required subject to be enjoyable and informative. The class enjoyed seeing how chemical principles could be applied in contemporary technology. The lecture, teaching staff, and students found the revisions of 3.091 to be both needed and rewarding.


Problems In Electricity And Magnetism - $10,000

Professor Robert Rose, Concourse Program

As a continuation of "From Russia With Love," Professor Rose used the new form of problem solving during the Spring Semester 1996 to help students understand the physical phenomena of Electricity and Magnetism. With the help of funds granted to this project, the new subject, SP344, met one day a week to work through problem sets, thus enriching the second semester experience.


Visual Chemistry - $15,000

Professor Bruce Tidor & Melinda Cerny, Chemistry

With the help of the Class of ‘51, MIT undergraduates were employed to help develop curricular tools for teaching large undergraduate chemistry subjects and to help expand a web site outlining departmental and educational information in the Chemistry department. Through the use of a new software package, teaching modules have been developed to show the various structures adopted by DNA; these tools are being used in 5.07 (Biological Chemistry). In the fall, a new module will be introduced in 5.11 (Principles of General Chemistry), and a new "graphical interface" will be used in conjunction with a number of pre-existing kinetics modules in 5.60 (Thermodynamics and Kinetics). The new department web site provides information on departmental activities, seminars, ongoing research, and class information. (This department’s web site address is http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/www/.)

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1994-1995 Funded Projects

Electronic Multimedia Online Textbook In Engineering - $20,000

Dr. Edward Barrett, Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies

The Class of ‘51 Fund awarded money to support a prototype of an Electronic Multimedia Online Textbook in Engineering (EMOTE). The EMOTE, designed to support hyperlinked databases of text, video and still imagery and viewed on the World Wide Web, assists students with their written and oral technical reports. EMOTE offers self-paced tutorials, sample writings, and basic instructional tools for writing and speaking. Students who have used this prototype found that the program is easily accessible and helps develop their communicative strategies. Future plans include the introduction of the prototype in some freshman seminars in the fall and possible publishing of an expanded version of the prototype in hardcopy and digital form. The web site can be found at: http://web.mit.edu/emote/emote.html


From Russia With Love

Professor Robert Rose, Concourse Program

Problem solving and problem sets - the crucial exercise in the MIT educational experience - create a great deal of stress for students. In an effort to lessen some of that stress, the Concourse Program developed exercises to stimulate group problem-solving sessions. Professor Robert Rose found that the ideal problems must be challenging and "anti-remedial" - similar to those traditionally used in Russian math and science classes. With the assistance of Dr. Yuri Chernyak, "problem sets" were developed by the Freshman Concourse Program for an intensive credit-granting Independent Activities Period (IAP) subject. Professor Rose found students were highly enthusiastic and invigorated by the new problems and by the instructor, and this subject was again offered in the following IAP. As a result of this activity, Professor Rose and Dr. Chernyak have recently published a book, The Chicken From Minsk, containing 100 riddles and problems in logic, mathematics, Newtonian physics, and rudimentary special relativity.


The New 8.01 - $25,000

Professor Wit Busza, Physics

Funds from the Class of ‘51 Fund permitted Professor Busza to develop a comprehensive series of study guide materials to accompany a new version of Physics 8.01. The "New 8.01" - first offered in the Fall of 1994 - is significantly different from the more traditional freshman lecture/recitation subjects, and was introduced with the goal of encouraging students to take charge of their own learning. The study material and the level of faculty-student interaction were changed; most notably, the number of weekly lectures was reduced and the number of small group classes increased. Study guides were developed that include the goals and a summary of each study unit, as well as examples and sample problems. Instead of "problem set" homework assignments, 8.01 progress is monitored by weekly quizzes, longer review quizzes and a final exam. All quizzes and exams are given by the "course examiner," who plays an integral role in the subject but is supplemented by other faculty who teach the small classes. By having one person - the course examiner - in charge of the grading, the individual class professors are regarded as allies and resources.

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