Rapid Ride

Special Sessions: Tuesday, May 26

20:00 (8:00 PM) in the Amphitheater ‚Äčat the Cornelia Diamond

Two Special Evening Sessions are being planned
for ICOPS 2015:

Engineering Education — How Much Curriculum Content?

Gregory Heileiman, Associate Provost for Curriculum
University of New Mexico

Institutions of higher education are under mounting pressure to improve their retention and graduation rates. This is driven by numerous factors, including the desire to improve institutional characteristics for rating purposes, the increasing trend of states tying institutional funding to student outcomes, as well as the fact that a bachelors degree has become an increasingly necessary prerequisite for success in the work place - creating a moral imperative for colleges and universities to graduate the students they admit.

Given these pressures, universities are collecting unprecedented amounts of information related to student performance and progress, and applying ever more sophisticated analytical techniques in efforts to determine the most important factors that contribute to attrition and persistence. In this talk we consider how engineering curricula may be “streamlined” in order to address a measure we refer to as curricular efficiency. We then demonstrate how curricular efficiency correlates to student academic success - in particular, the effect it has on improved graduation rates, and the number of credit hours accumulated while pursing a degree. Finally, we consider the effect that a streamlined curriculum may have on student outcomes, and the more important question of: how much curriculum content is enough?

Gregory L. Heileman (heileman@unm.edu) serves as the Associate Provost for Curriculum at the University of New Mexico (UNM), a position he has held since 2011.  He received the BA degree from Wake Forest University in 1982, the MS degree in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1986, and the Ph.D. degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 1989.  In 1990 he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at UNM, where he is currently a Professor. From 2005-2011 he served as ECE associate chair (director of undergraduate programs), and led the department through two ABET accreditation visits. In 2011 he became an ABET program evaluator. During 1998 he held a research fellowship at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and in 2005 he held a similar position at the Universidad Politénica de Madrid.  His research interests are in the areas of information security, the theory of computing and information, machine learning, data structures and algorithmic analysis.  He is the author of the text Data Structures, Algorithms and Object-Oriented Programming, published by McGraw-Hill in 1996.

Experiential Learning and Entrepreneurship

Dr. Ramiro Jordan, Scientist, Innovator, Educator and Entrepreneur Faculty, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
University of New Mexico

The goal of this workshop is to share experiences on hands-on teaching and learning in Engineering. Also, to share efforts on how to encourage students and faculty to think outside the box and be creative.   Lastly, we want projects with innovative ideas to be advised to enter Business Plan competitions.

Example: ECE-UNM Innovation-Plaza Initiative
The Innovation Plaza is a new initiative spearheaded by the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of New Mexico (UNM).  Students at UNM and around the USA clamor for more opportunities to see the topics presented in their engineering courses reinforced by physical demonstrations in the laboratory.  Often these students are left to wonder about the “real world” applications of their studies and are sometimes left wanting for connections to other disciplines.  The Innovation Plaza project was founded to address these concerns and to grow the educational capabilities of UNM ECE. The Innovation-Plaza is designed to help bridge the gap connecting Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Engineering at a very early stage by linking theory to real world experience. Minimizing this gap early facilitates the learning process of engineering and increases the creativity and innovation of students. Getting undergraduate students involved at an early stage in real-world projects and research excites them and gives them a sense of ownership, increasing retention.
The idea is to create a program that integrates enhanced curricula and educational outreach with an open, globally connected, interdisciplinary lab for hands-on experiential learning and interdisciplinary collaboration – an Innovation-Plaza. Through the Innovation-Plaza, students from high school and university undergraduate and graduate programs have the opportunity to actively interact and collaborate with industry and research institutions, and ultimately produce world-class, functioning projects as part their Senior Design course. The Innovation-Plaza trains students to become proficient using the tools currently employed in industry and research, and facilitates long-distance and off-site local and global collaboration with connected satellite laboratories. The Innovation-Plaza, encourages students to think outside of the box and be creative. Students with innovative ideas are advised to enter the UNM Business Plan competition.

Because of this initiative, Quanser, National Instruments and other companies fund senior design projects. In particular, Quanser has launched two commercial products developed by UNM ECE seniors (Helicopter, Real-Time Mechatronic Choreography).

Example: UNM Business Plan Competitions
In partnership with the Anderson School of Management (ASM) we are encouraging undergraduate and graduate engineering students to participate in the UNM Business Plan competitions. In the past three years (2011-2014), we had four groups of undergraduate students (junior and senior) win second and third places. Coaching is also being provided by the ASM to engineering students on how to write business plans, how to present, marketing, and accounting.

Dr. Ramiro Jordan is a scientist, innovator, educator and entrepreneur. He is a faculty member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of New Mexico, USA. His research activities include sustainability, Smart Grid, cognitive radio, multidimensional signal processing, and software development. He is a dedicated educator, actively creating educational infrastructure in academic institutions worldwide with emphasis on the “culture of quality” in educational programs for accreditation and certification. Dr. Jordan is driving innovative curricula development programs such as Peace Engineering, is establishing International Graduate Double Degree programs and is creating opportunities for student engagement and leadership development. He is actively involved with the University Faculty Senate and served on the Operational Committee that, with the Faculty President, ensures shared governance of the University. Dr. Jordan holds a faculty position at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, and has served as visiting and resident professor at universities in Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Spain, and Venezuela, among others.

Dr. Jordan is Executive Vice President of the Ibero-American Science and Technology Education Consortium (ISTEC), a successful non-profit organization that he founded in 1990 with the mission to accelerate STEM education, R&D and entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. ISTEC is comprised of over 100 educational, research, industrial, and multilateral organizations throughout the Americas and Iberia, and is now reaching into the global arena. Dr. Jordan is a recognized leader in his field and serves on the Board of Directors of several industrial and professional organizations. He is the current Vice President for the Americas Region in the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies, and is on the Board of the Engineering for the Americas Initiative, an initiative hosted by the Organization of American States. He is an advisor to the International Conference in Engineering Education (ICEE) and advisor to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Latin America Region.

He serves as a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Bolivia, as a special consultant to the Latin American ambassadors to the United Nations in the area of Science and Technology, and is an advisor to several governments and multilateral organizations (OAS, IIDB). He has been involved in the creation and enhancement of over 12 international Technology Parks and has fostered entrepreneurial activities worldwide. He is Executive Vice-president and Chief Development Officer for Gridline Communications Holdings, Inc. An active member of scientific and professional societies including ASEE and IEEE, Dr. Jordan has published extensively in books, journals, magazines and on the Web. He serves on the editorial board of Computers and Software Engineering, is editor of Journal of Computer Science and Technology, and is editor and advisor to The Ibero American Journal on Technology in Education and Education in Technology. In addition to conference presentations, he has given over 80 invited Keynote presentations.

He has received many national and international Honors and Awards including two Silver Quilt Awards, Motorola; International Excellence Award, University of New Mexico; Growing with Technology Award, Cisco Systems; Professional Progress Award, Kansas State University; Award for Contributions in Higher Education and Science and Technology, Organization of American States; Achievement Award for Innovations and Accomplishments in Multilingual IT Infrastructure in Engineering Education, iNEER-ICEE; and Award for Meritorious Work in Engineering and Computer Education, International Conference on Engineering and Computer Education. He is bestowed with the Order of Rio Branco, in the rank of Officer, by the Brazilian Government.

Dr. Jordan obtained his MS and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Kansas State University in 1984 and 1987 respectively, and the degree of Telecommunications Engineer at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in 1981. He received an Honorary PhD from Universidad de Aquino, Bolivia in 2002.