Modular Approaches to Teaching Laboratory Experiments in Materials Science and Engineering
Date: TBD | Tuition: $2,000 (tentative) | Continuing Education Units (CEUs): 2.1 (tentative)
MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) made a wholesale revision of its undergraduate curriculum in 2003. Significantly more laboratory instruction is now integral to our undergraduates' educational experience, and the breadth of laboratory experiments extends far beyond the traditional mix of microscopy, diffraction, and mechanical behavior found in the typical MSE curriculum. Our students now conduct a wide variety of experiments that teach fundamental principles in thermodynamics, kinetics, electronic behavior, chemical structure-property relationships of soft synthetic, and biologically-derived materials. A 2,000 square-foot laboratory space designed specifically for this undergraduate laboratory teaching serves as the physical center where much of the laboratory teaching takes place. Over fifty laboratory modules have been designed and implemented for our curriculum, and the majority use apparatus built in-house and easily duplicated for simultaneous use by different laboratory groups. Many experiments have LabView interfaces that allow computer control of experiments and data acquisition.
This program will meet for four days and give participants a first-hand exposure to our MSE laboratory instruction. Each morning the participants will be instructed in the background and educational objectives of a particular experiment, then conduct the experiment as part of a small group. Part of each afternoon, each group will go through the data analysis and interpretation of the morning’s laboratory, and report on it to all of the program participants. The remainder of each afternoon will provide participants with a thorough “behind-the-scenes” look at how we design and implement new experiments and how we organize ourselves to accommodate scores of students in multiple laboratory classes during a single semester, while keeping the laboratory content in synch with the pace of the students’ lecture subjects.
- Experience hands-on learning from the student’s perspective by conducting MSE laboratory modules.
- Understand the large suite of modern MSE laboratory modules that we have developed and have access to experience that would allow the modules to be adapted at their institutions.
- Learn how we manage to provide high-quality laboratory experience to a large number of students each semester.
- Recognize how to deliver laboratory instruction that is well-synchronized to lecture content over the course of a semester long lecture/laboratory sequence.
Who Should Attend
This class should be of great interest to faculty and teaching staff who are engaged in planning and conducting laboratory teaching, with particular emphasis on materials science and engineering. Participation will benefit those who wish to upgrade their laboratory facilities, modernize the suite of their curriculum’s laboratory experiments, and benefit from our seven years of experience teaching large numbers of students.
About the Lecturers
Linn W. Hobbs
Prof. Hobbs is Professor of Materials and Professor of Nuclear Engineering at MIT. His research activities center on characterization, using electron microscopy and diffraction methods, of atomic and extended defect structures and microstructures of inorganic non-metals introduced by radiation, implantation, or chemically-driven compositional change.
A major program of his addresses the effects of strong radiation fields, such as found in nuclear reactors, radioactive waste storage, or ion implantation, on the microstructural integrity of ceramics and semiconductors. An important emphasis of this effort is on radiation-induced crystal-to-glass transformations and on the description and modelling of glass structure using topological and combinatorial approaches. A second major program focuses on the microstructural evolution of oxide and sulfide scales formed as corrosion products during high-temperature corrosion of metals. Materials studied include high-temperature alloys for jet engines and energy production and lightweight intermetallic compounds for aerospace applications. A third program addresses characterization of the interfaces between orthopedic and prosthodontic implant materials and natural bone tissue.
"The Effects of Various Oxide Dispersions on the Phase Composition and Morphology of Al2O3 Scales Grown on β-NiAl," Oxid. Metals 47: 1-20 (1997) (with others).
"Radiation Effects in Glasses for High-Level Waste and Plutonium Disposition," J. Mater. Res. 12 (8): 1946-75 (1997)(with others).
"Ultrastructure and Architecture of Bone Mineral and Selected Synthetic Bone Substitutes Revealed by Low-Voltage High-Resolution SEM," Trans. Soc. for Biomaterials 20: 140 (1997) (with others).
Professor Beach joined the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering as an Assistant Professor in September 2008. He received his Ph.D. in Physics (2003) from the University of California, San Diego where he conducted research in UCSD’s Center for Magnetic Recording Research to develop novel magnetic thin-film nanocomposites for ultrafast data storage applications. He then went on to the University of Texas at Austin as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Physics and the Texas Materials Institute where he made discoveries in magnetization dynamics and spin-transfer torque in nanoscale magnetic structures. His current research interests focus on spin dynamics and “spin-electronics” in nanoscale magnetic materials and devices. Developing ways to store information more densely and to access it more quickly requires understanding the magnetization configurations in nanoscale structures and how they evolve in time. His work aims in part to understand and control spin excitations in magnetic materials whose dimensions approach fundamental magnetic length scales. One of the most exciting prospects in magnetism today is the possibility of electrical control of the magnetic state of a device, taking advantage of the coupling between spin and charge in a conducting ferromagnetic material. A major thrust of Geoffrey’s research aims to harness the spin of the electron in magnetic materials to realize new approaches to spin-based storage and computation. Studying these processes requires the development of advanced instrumentation capable of probing magnetization dynamics at the shortest timescales and the smallest length scales. His group will work to develop new optical and electrical approaches to push the detection limits in order to enable development of new materials and structures to meet the information storage and processing demands of the future.
Other instructors: Mr. David Bono, Dr. Meri Treska, Dr. Geetha Berera
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The 2010 session of this course has been cancelled. Please check this page in the fall for updates on the next scheduled session.