April 12th, 2019
Faculty in the Purdue School of Engineering Education, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies, and the Purdue Department of English engaged 53 engineering students in the Engineering in the World of Data Learning Community in compelling outside-of-the-classroom activities to enhance student learning.
University Residences at Purdue University recently recognized outstanding faculty, staff, and resident assistants involved in learning communities for their exceptional work during the 2018-19 school year.
Faculty and staff who led the Engineering in the World of Data Learning Community were honored with the Academic Connection Award, which recognizes the learning community that best connects courses to learning experiences outside of the classroom.
Instructors from the Purdue School of Engineering Education, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies, and the Purdue Department of English organized a variety of active learning activities with the 53 engineering students in the learning community, including:
Faculty on the instruction team for the learning community include:
Learn more about the Engineering in the World of Data Learning Community at www.purdue.edu/learningcommunities/profiles/engineering/engineering_data.html, and more about learning communities at Purdue at www.purdue.edu/learningcommunities/.
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December 13th, 2018
We’ve all been there—in that situation where a last-minute change to a project or a plan can evoke panic-inducing visions of the entire thing going up in flames. For college students, end-of-semester papers and projects can be rife with this kind of hiccup, and many times, at such a critical juncture, the support and resources provided by faculty and staff can make or break such an assignment.
Recently, when Gabriel Ng (Overland Park, KS), a senior biomedical engineering major, and his fellow group-project members in Purdue’s Mechanical Engineering (ME) 444, “Toy Design,” course had a last-minute change to a toy product prototype, he and his team received such support from staff in Purdue Libraries—support that was critical for the project’s success. With the help of Library Assistant Robin Meher and her fellow employees in the Data Visualization Experience Lab of Purdue (D-VELoP) located in the Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC), the students were able to get the project—the “Fidget Cube”—completed and turned in on time.
“We had been working on a large semester project in ME 444, and I came into the WALC just before Thanksgiving break because our team had a last-minute change that forced us to send a significant amount of our nearly 50 parts to the 3D printers in D-VELoP for printing,” Ng explained. “Robin was the one in the room at the time and was incredibly helpful in answering my questions, detailing the quotas and constraints of your system, and helping me organize the prints so we could get everything printed on time to complete the project.”
According to Joseph “Joey” Baietto (Crystal Lake, IL), a senior mechanical engineering major, for their project, the team wanted to design a challenging, complex, and creative toy that would celebrate Purdue’s 150-year anniversary. Other team members include Delaney Sunbury (Seymour, IN), a senior mechanical engineering major, and Rohit Srivastava (St. Louis, MO), a senior biomedical engineering major.
“Our preliminary designs for a toy each focused on one aspect of Purdue and Purdue’s icons,” Baietto explained. “However, with the Fidget Cube, we could incorporate most of the Purdue icons into a single toy! As a result, we chose this concept as our toy. The resulting toy was an astounding success. We were able to incorporate Purdue’s Sesquicentennial, the Purdue XTRA Special, Purdue Pete (twice), and an ‘IU SUCKS’ banner all into the toy. The team incorporated many concepts we learned in class into the design, as well. Because there are six sides to the cube and all are unique and independent, all of us had the opportunity to design our own sides on the toy. As a result, each person was invested equally in the project,” he added.
Earlier this week, Ng sent Meher an email, thanking the staff in D-VELoP for their help with the team’s toy product prototype, and he included a photo of the prototype.
“Right now, the size of the prototype is rather large, but in the future, the size of the product will be reduced greatly,” Ng added. “The Fidget Cube has four sides: a fully functional fidget spinner; a 150-years push button (users can push the 1 and 0 back and forth); a maze feature that, when you complete the maze successfully, the LED array around the maze lights up; and a train side that, when a user spins the wheels, a Purdue Pete pops up and down, which is based on a scotch yoke mechanism in the inside of the face. There is also a drivetrain on the bottom to drive the cube around.”
The course, ME 444, teaches students about computer aided design and rapid prototyping and uses toy design projects for student learning. Such courses at Purdue often require students to create product prototypes. Many times, Purdue students use the 3D printing and data visualization resources provided through D-VELoP (part of the Library of Engineering and Science in the WALC) for their assignments.
“The creativity and ingenuity of Purdue students never fails to amaze us in the print lab,” Meher noted. “We have printed architectural designs, tools for shaping clay, parts for robot cars, and so much more. Printing prototypes like the Fidget Cube is especially enjoyable, as we can imagine the day when the items come to market. For a lot of prints, especially parts, we don’t know what the final product will be–so seeing the finished cube is very cool. Props to Gabriel, Joseph, Rohit, and Delaney for their vision and design! It was a pleasure working with them.”
To learn more about the resources provided at D-VELoP, see www.lib.purdue.edu/d-velop. Information about and instructions for 3D printing through the Library of Engineering and Science is available at https://guides.lib.purdue.edu/3dprinting/Home.
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November 30th, 2018
You know it’s going to be a good week when your university’s head basketball coach crashes your Monday morning class as a guest lecturer. That’s what happened recently to students Alex Ishac (Chandler, AZ) and Rebecca Hanna (Chicago, IL), who are two of the 53 individuals enrolled in the “Engineering in the World of Data” Learning Community at Purdue University.
Purdue Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matt Painter crashed a class of the first-year engineering course, ENGR 103, which was held in Mackey Arena to demonstrate the application of data science in sports. The course, “Developing Your Data Mind,” was designed by Libraries faculty Michael Witt and Nastasha Johnson as a part of the learning community, in collaboration with colleagues from the Purdue College of Engineering, Department of English, and University Residences.
Painter spoke to the class about how data drives the decisions he makes as a coach—everything from recruiting to scouting opponents to shot selection and how individual players position their bodies on the court. Andrew McClatchey, statistical analyst for the men’s basketball team, also talked to students about the state-of-the-art technology and techniques in sports data collection and analysis and his experience in pursuing a career in data science.
In the course, students were learning how to make effective decisions using data. The night before the lecture, they joined the faculty of the learning community for popcorn and to watch the movie “Moneyball,” which is about the 2002 season of the Oakland Athletics baseball team that set a record for winning 20 games in a row by employing data analytics.
“The learning community brings together a cohort of first-year engineering students who have a shared interest in data science,” said Witt. “It gives us the opportunity to incorporate experiences outside of the classroom to bring the material to life.”
In addition to ENGR 103, students in the learning community take special, data-themed versions of required first-year engineering courses, including ENGR 131 and 132, “Transforming Ideas to Innovation I & II”; the English course ENGL 106, “Academic Research and Writing”; and ENGR 195, “Computational Methods of Data Science for Engineers,” which is a specialty course just for the learning community.
“Being in the community means that you take these classes together with the same group of students, resulting in opportunities to form close relationships with each other,” Ishac noted. “We’re learning while forming these friendships, and then we have activities like going to Mackey Arena and getting to talk to Purdue’s men’s head basketball coach and the team’s data analyst. I think the idea—to make these types of connections to interesting people who we can learn from—is really impactful,” he said.
“Our focus was to provide students with an early exposure to data science ideas and applications with an emphasis on how engineers use data to make evidence-based decisions,” said Engineering Education Professor Tamara Moore, who leads the learning community with Witt. “The instructors worked together to align the curriculum so that students would learn many facets of engineering in the world of data from the appropriate experts, integrated across these five courses.”
Another example of a learning community activity was the students’ recent participation in Purdue’s annual Dawn or Doom conference. Students attended presentations and ate lunch with one of the conference speakers, as well as discussed whether they were optimistic or pessimistic about advances in technology and its impact on their lives.
“I really enjoyed the ‘Presenting Data Effectively’ talk at Dawn or Doom,” Hanna said. “All the events that the learning community hosts are fun, and I learn something new. Although the learning community requires some extra work, I think it is definitely worth it,” she added.
Ishac concurs there is significant return on his investment in the “Engineering of the World of Data” learning community.
“The chance to be part of the ‘Engineering in the World of Data’ learning community the past several weeks has made my Purdue experience so far incredible for me,” he added.
Upcoming activities for the learning community include a field trip to the Cummins Technical Center to learn about product testing and simulation data, as well as “Learn Python with a Python” programming boot camp, in which students will be introduced to the Python scripting language by working with animal-management data and visit with an actual python from Columbian Park Zoo.
The “Engineering in the World of Data Learning Community” will begin accepting applications for the 2019-20 school year in January. It is open to incoming students admitted to the First-Year Engineering Program or to Pre-ABE in the College of Agriculture. For more information, visit www.purdue.edu/learningcommunities/profiles/engineering/engineering_data.html.Filed under: faculty_staff, general, Uncategorized if(!is_single()) echo "|"; ?>
August 2nd, 2017
Purdue University’s newest building, the Thomas S. and Harvey D. Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC) will open to the public Monday, August 7.
Over the summer, Purdue Libraries faculty and staff consolidated the Chemistry; Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS); Engineering; Life Sciences; Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Sciences; and Physics libraries to form the Library of Engineering and Science in one location at the heart of campus.
The WALC houses 27 collaborative active-learning classrooms and will be a daily academic destination for approximately 5,000 Purdue students and faculty. (Read more about the background of the facility at www.lib.purdue.edu/walc/.)
The WALC exemplifies Purdue University’s commitment to undergraduate education. The 1924 Heat and Power Plant (HPN), with its iconic smoke stack, stood for nearly 90 years on the site of the WALC. HPN not only provided power and heat to the dynamic university community, but it also served as a laboratory for engineering students. Today, we would refer to that learning experience as “active learning.”
Below are some FAQs about the new facility.
.Q. What does the Library of Engineering and Science offer?
A. The Library of Engineering and Science (LOES) in the WALC holds approximately 30,000 print volumes, emphasizes the focus on provision of digital resources, and consolidates the holdings and services of six formerly separate libraries into one easily accessible location.
The materials selected for the physical collection of the Library of Engineering and Science have been evaluated by Libraries faculty with input from departmental faculty. The books, reference collection, and standards have been identified as high-use, high-demand materials that best support the teaching and learning goals of the curricula within the schools and departments.
LOES also houses Libraries faculty and staff members, who specialize in access to information resources in engineering and science, as well as in instructing students on how to identify, locate, critique, and retrieve scholarly information. In collaboration with their faculty colleagues in the colleges and schools, the Libraries faculty teach specialized courses and/or participate as team faculty members.
Although the focus of LOES is to provide access to information in engineering and science, the use of resources and space is open to all Purdue students and faculty.
Q. How are the active-learning classrooms different from what many would consider a “traditional” classroom, with student seating and a lectern for the instructor?
WALC’s design reflects the most contemporary methods for teaching and learning. The 27 active-learning classrooms are designed with flexible, collaborative seating options that offer a range of team-based learning experiences. Library spaces are adjacent to classrooms throughout the WALC.
At the close of regular instructional hours, the entire WALC, including the classrooms, becomes a library, with all spaces providing opportunities for individual and collaborative study. The WALC is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week nearly the entire year, with a few exceptions.*
Q. What else does the Wilmeth Active Learning Center offer for Purdue students and faculty?
Reading Room: Since their inception, a traditional element of libraries has been the large reading room. Here, students and faculty can consult materials held by the library, as well as work in a space designed to be conducive to thinking, reflection, and writing. The Reading Room in the WALC serves as a link between the historic role of libraries and the dynamics of an active-learning environment. The view of the iconic Clock Tower, with its bells denoting each hour and at the beginning and end of a class session, serves as a unique reminder that one is truly at Purdue University.
Data Visualization Experience Lab of Purdue (D-VELoP): D-VELoP provides a space where students, staff and faculty can explore different visualization tools designed to turn their data into knowledge. D-VELoP includes a staffed, open-use 16-seat teaching computer lab. The computers are loaded with visualization programs, and each set up includes large and/or multiple monitors enabling the viewing of data at different scales. A 3×3 tile wall of 4k monitors can be used for presentations, class discussions, or exhibits of data visualizations. Technological tools, such as micro-controller kits and GoPro cameras, allow students to experiment without having to purchase their own. Additionally, four Lulzbot TAZ6 3d printers allow students to visualize their data and designs in a tactile, manipulatable format.
Robust workshops and training programs, in coordination with other maker-related units on campus, help students and faculty to become familiar with technologies they can employ in order to carry out their class projects, pursue personal interests, or advance their research programs.
Hiler Theater: Designed to accommodate an audience of 308 people, the Hiler Theater can serve as a venue for such active-learning instructional activities as drama, film, and lectures during the day, as well as special evening programs for the campus and community. The seats are equipped with tablet arms to accommodate note-taking during presentations and lectures.
Artifacts and Audio Tour: The walls of the WALC are rich with reproductions of historic photographs of the Purdue University campus from the Purdue University Libraries’ Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center. Artifacts and photographs from the working 1924 Power and Heating Plant can be found throughout the building. These items memorialize the rich legacy of this central site on the Purdue campus.
A smartphone tour enhances the exhibits in the WALC by providing information and interactive activities designed to make a visitor’s experience an extension of the WALC active-learning philosophy.
An Au Bon Pain Café is located on the main level of the WALC. It is known for serving fresh baked goods, as well as other morning and lunchtime sandwiches.
Additionally, the 164,000-square-foot facility offers 100 ITaP computers, both open and enclosed group study spaces, large monitors/screens and whiteboards for group collaboration, poster printing and other printing resources, and much more!
Q. With the consolidation of libraries, how many libraries are open on the West Lafayette Campus?
A. Below is a list of the libraries on Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus before and after the WALC:
|The Purdue Libraries on West Lafayette campus before WALC
||The list of Purdue Libraries as of August 2017 (opening of WALC)|
|Archives and Special Collections||Archives and Special Collections|
|Aviation Technology||Aviation Technology|
|Black Cultural Center||Black Cultural Center|
|Chemistry*||Engineering and Science**|
|Earth, Atmospheric, Planetary Sciences (EAPS)*||Hicks Undergraduate|
|Engineering*||Humanities, Social Science, and Education (HSSE)|
|Hicks Undergraduate||Mathematical Sciences|
|Humanities, Social Science, and Education (HSSE)||Parrish Management and Economics|
|Life Sciences*||Veterinary Medical|
|Parrish Management and Economics|
|Pharmacy, Nursing, Health*|
* These libraries were combined in the new Library of Engineering and Science** in the Wilmeth Active Learning Center.
Q. What are the libraries’ hours?
A. The hours of each of Purdue University Libraries are listed at www.lib.purdue.edu/hoursList.
*After the Fall 2017 semester begins, the WALC will remain open 24 hours per day (with PUID card swipe), and, as of Sunday, Aug. 20, the Hicks Undergraduate Library will no longer be open 24 hours per day.