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W. Michael McCracken

Director Emeritus of Online Course Development and Innovation

W. Michael McCracken is C21U's Director Emeritus of Online Course Development and Innovation. He is also formerly the Director of Georgia Tech Lorraine (GTL) Programs for the College of Computing, and he led the development of new programs at other European universities. McCracken has also taught and conducted research in computer science and software engineering and is a former member of the Cognitive Science Program faculty.

Georgia Tech Announces Massive Online Master's Degree in Computer Science

The Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing announced today that it will offer the first professional Online Master of Science degree in computer science (OMS CS) that can be earned completely through the “massive online” format. The degree will be provided in collaboration with online education leader Udacity Inc. and AT&T.

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The Forecast of Higher Education’s Finances: Hurricane Season?

“Four-year residential colleges cannot keep on forever raising their fees faster than the public’s capacity to pay them, especially when online degrees are so much cheaper. Universities that fail to prepare for the hurricane ahead are likely to be flattened by it.” This sort of bleak forecast, made by The Economist in response to a recent report prepared by Bain & Company, is becoming commonplace in higher education.

Dumping the Traditional Lecture: Throwing out the Baby with the Bathwater?

“It’s a tradition going back thousands of years,” writes American RadioWorks’ Emily Hanford in “Don’t Lecture Me: Rethinking the Way College Students Are Taught.” That said, “[University of Maryland Professor Joe] Redish is trying to change the way college students are taught.

Disruptive Change in Higher Education

The Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) is Georgia Tech's living laboratory for fundamental change in higher education.

Our mission is to foster and accelerate the innovation, validation, adoption, and deployment of disruptive ideas—particularly those involving technology—in the service of teaching and learning, industry wide.

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Wendy Newstetter

Director of Learning Sciences Research, Wallace H. Coulter Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Newstetter's research focuses on understanding cognition and learning in interdisciplines with an eye towards designing educational environments that support the development of integrative thinking and problem solving. Towards that end, she uses ethnographic methods to study in vivo learning and problem solving in research laboratories---tissue engineering, neuroengineering and biorobotics--- where the nature of the problems demands multidisciplinary teams with complimentary skills and knowledge. She uses this research to then inform the design of problem-based learning (PBL) classrooms designed to support the development of integrative knowledge building and reasoning strategies. Most recently, she has been working to develop PBL models for instructional laboratories where students use techniques learned to tackle student-generated problems on the bench top. She also works with faculty both at Georgia Tech and throughout the nation through Project Kaleidoscope to develop more effective science, math and engineering educational environments informed by learning and cognitive science research.

What is the Role of MOOCs in the Landscape of Higher Education?

“The battle for the future of higher ed has landed—at least for the time being—on a concept few in academe had even heard of a year ago: the Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC.” The statement made by Jeff Selingo in the Chronicle of Higher Education article MOOC’s Aren’t a Panacea, but That Doesn’t Blunt Their Promise reflects the relatively high interest in the future of MOOCs in higher education.

Topraj Gurung

Graduate Research Assistant

Topraj Gurung is a Research Associate for the Center for 21st Century Universities. He is a Doctoral candidate in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, where he also received his Bachelors and Masters degree in Computer Science. His doctoral research focuses on efficient representation of 3 dimensional models. While a doctoral student, he has created, designed and instructed a course in Algorithmic Problem Solving, and has organized algorithmic programming contests to promote education in computing.

Topraj, originally from Nepal, is interested in improving higher education in developing countries. In particular, he is interested in designing and implementing curriculum in universities that enhance students' leadership, critical thinking and problem solving abilities.

Accrediting Agencies Impose Stricter Guidelines on Colleges and Universities

Rising tuition costs and the uncertain job market have left many students worried about the ultimate value of a college degree. Partially in response to the changing environment of higher education, some accrediting agencies are redesigning guidelines for accreditation, which may lead to the accreditation of several institutions being in jeopardy.

Aaron D. Lanterman

Associate Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Lanterman grew up in St. Louis, MO and attended Washington University,where he finished a triple major consisting of a B.A. in music, B.S. in computer science, and a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1993. He stayed on for graduate school, receiving an M.S. (1995) and D.Sc. (1998) in electrical engineering. His graduate work focused on target recognition for infrared imagery as part of the U.S. Army Center for Imaging Science. After graduation, he joined the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he managed a large project on covert radar systems which exploit "illuminators of opportunity" such as commercial television and FM radio signals. He joined the Georgia Tech faculty in the fall of 2001.

He has worn many hats in the music industry, including those of concert promoter, recording engineer, and soundman. While in St. Louis, he worked as a writer, photographer, typesetter, and eventually managing editor for a local music publication. He plays keyboard and guitar.

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