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Dirk Schaefer

Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering

Prior to joining Georgia Tech in Fall 2006, Dr. Schaefer was a Lecturer in the School of Engineering at Durham University, UK, and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He also held part-time positions as an Assistant Professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Aalen and as a Lecturer at two private IT Academies in Esslingen and Dresden. In addition, he was the Managing Director of an IT consulting firm which he founded in 1999. Dr. Schaefer started his career as an apprentice toolmaker with one of Germany's leading metal forming companies, where he specialized in CNC machining and the manufacture of compound tool sets for knuckle joint presses. Prior to working in academia, Dr. Schaefer gained experience as a software engineer in the area of CAD system development. Dr. Schaefer has experience in research and development on the boundaries between engineering and information technology principles. Longstanding work has addressed product modeling, variant design technology, product life-cycle management, interdisciplinary ECAD-to-MCAD integration, design-with-manufacture integration, standardized product data exchange, and knowledge management. His current research focus is on The Scholarship of Integration and The Scholarship of Education. His contributions to the Scholarship of Integration are related to Computer-Aided Engineering and Design and concern the highly topical area of Designing Mechatronic Systems: "Mechatronic systems are a synergistic integration of mechanical, electrical, electronics and software technologies into electromechanical systems. Mechatronic systems are excellent candidates for design process optimization due to the high complexity of mechatronic design, the high degree of integration of electrical, mechanical and information-processing components, the overlapping design disciplines and system behaviours, and the critical nature of optimizing the overall system." In his research, Dr. Schaefer addresses the following related challenging questions:

   - Mechanical, electrical, and software product development have traditionally evolved as separate silos of expertise and technology. How can these different areas be brought together earlier in the development lifecycle, i.e., how can these different design domains be integrated into one overarching design domain?
   - Mechanical, electrical, and software data are often handled in separate Product Data Management systems (PDMs) with no automated sharing of data between the systems or links between data. How can such domain-specific PDM systems be integrated and what are the standards needed for this?
   - There is no commercial mechatronic system design environment currently available. How can domain-specific CAD systems be integrated into a new type of mechatronic CAD/CAE system?
   - Due to the growing number of product variants and increasingly short lifecycles, costs for developing physical prototypes have become increasingly prohibitive. How can mechatronic systems and system families be designed and re-used more efficiently? Dr. Schaefer’s contributions to the Scholarship of Education address one of the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering as stated by the National Academy of Engineering: Advance personalized learning. There are three related research themes of key interest: (1) Why is personalized learning useful? (2) What personalized learning systems are available? (3) What can engineering do to improve learning? In his research, Dr. Schaefer addresses these themes by focusing on the following research questions:
   - How can the paradigms of mass customization, personalization and collaborative learning be introduced into the engineering curriculum through problem-based activities that foster deep learning?
   - How can distance learning students be provided a learning experience equivalent those of in-class students, specifically in the area of physical laboratory exercises?
   - How can engineering education be designed to educate a new type of engineer that is better prepared to succeed in the ‘flat’ world of globalization?
   - What are the opportunities and challenges in introducing a professional faculty development program for engineering educators in the United States and what are the requirements to be met by such programs?

David Frost

Professor, Civil Engineering

Dr. J. David Frost is a Professor of Civil Engineering. He received B.A.I and B.A. degrees in Civil Engineering and Mathematics, respectively, from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland in 1980 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering in 1986 and 1989 from Purdue University. Prior to serving as a member of the faculty at Purdue University and Georgia Tech, he worked in industry in Ireland and Canada on a range of natural resource related projects ranging from tailings impoundments to artificial sand islands in the Arctic for oil exploration. At Georgia Tech, where he has been for almost 20 years, he has served as Head of the Geosystems Engineering Group and as Founding Director of the Georgia Tech Regional Engineering Program and subsequently the Georgia Tech Savannah campus. A core focus throughout Frost’s career has been the study and analysis of natural and man-made disasters. His research is centered on the development and implementation of digital data collection systems for studying subsurface problems related to earthquakes and other disasters at multiple scales and he has received two U.S. patents for multi-sensor subsurface data collection systems. For more than twenty years, he has served on or led NSF supported post-disaster study teams following earthquakes in US, Turkey, India, China and Chile as well as at the World Trade Center complex following the 9/11 attacks and he served as a member of the external review board for the NIST report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. He is a founding member and co-chair of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association, an NSF sponsored organization that responds to natural and man-made geotechnical disasters worldwide. He has organized numerous workshops and conferences on the applications of spatial analysis tools to study both regional effects and damage patterns from earthquakes and well as the micro-scale response of liquefiable soils under various loading conditions. He is regularly invited to participate in conferences and workshops on disaster prediction, assessment and response. Most recently, he has been exploring how to bring experiences in disaster impacted areas into the classroom and has given presentations at TEDx Creative Coast and other meetings on “Ideas Stimulated by Extreme Events”. Dr. Frost has been recognized for his teaching and research, including being a recipient of the ASCE Technical Council on Forensic Engineering Outstanding Paper Award, an NSF National Young Investigator Award, the ASCE Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, the ASTM International Hogentogler Award and the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers Engineer of the Year in Education Award. He has also been recognized for his volunteer efforts in economic development including the Coastal Business & Education Technology Alliance Leadership Innovation Award, the Savannah Science Seminar Science Leadership Award and the Savannah Technical College Community Star Award. Dr. Frost serves on a number of national and regional committees and boards. He is an active member of a number of professional organizations including ASCE, ASTM, EERI, CUREE and GEER. He serves as Chair of the Board of the Savannah Area Geographic Information System (SAGIS) and as a member of the Board of the Creative Coast Alliance. He is a member of the ASCE Geo-Institute Geo-Legislative Committee as well as the ASCE Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee and participates in annual legislative fly-ins to Washington, D.C. He is a registered professional engineer in the US and Canada and a Fellow of ASCE. IN addition to his work at Georgia Tech, Frost is co-founder/owner of a software company that develops digital data collection software and systems with an emphasis on subsurface information. This company has provided data collection and management software systems for more than 350 clients worldwide.

William Singhose

Associate Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering

William grew up mostly in Oregon and Washington. He went to the University of Oregon for two years before transferring to the Mechanical Engineering department at MIT. He then went to Stanford to get his masters in Mechanical Engineering in 1992. Later, William worked at Convolve, Inc. for 2 1/2 years before returning to MIT to work on a Ph.D. He finished his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in June of 1997. The title of his thesis was, Command Generation for Flexible Systems. Bill started as an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at Georgia Tech in the Fall of 1998. He works on the dynamics and control of flexible structures. Most of his work focuses on feedforward techniques that generate special command profiles. The command profiles move a flexible system from one place to another without residual vibration. This allows machines to move faster, more accurately, and, in general, make a lot more stuff.

William Rouse

Professor and Executive Director, Tennenbaum Institute

Dr. William B. Rouse is the Executive Director of the Tennenbaum Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also a professor in the College of Computing and School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. His research focuses on understanding and managing complex public-private systems such as healthcare and defense, with emphasis on mathematical and computational modeling of these systems for the purpose of policy design and analysis. Rouse has written hundreds of articles and book chapters, and has authored many books, including most recently People and Organizations: Explorations of Human-Centered Design (Wiley, 2007), Essential Challenges of Strategic Management (Wiley, 2001) and the award-winning Don't Jump to Solutions (Jossey-Bass, 1998). He is editor of Enterprise Transformation: Understanding and Enabling Fundamental Change (Wiley, 2006), co-editor of Organizational Simulation: From Modeling & Simulation to Games & Entertainment (Wiley, 2005), co-editor of the best-selling Handbook of Systems Engineering and Management (Wiley, 1999, 2009), and editor of the eight-volume series Human/Technology Interaction in Complex Systems (Elsevier). Among many advisory roles, he has served as Chair of the Committee on Human Factors of the National Research Council, a member of the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, and a member of the DoD Senior Advisory Group on Modeling and Simulation. Rouse is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, as well as a fellow of four professional societies -- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS), and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES).

Beth Mynatt

Executive Director, Institute for People and Technology (IPaT)

Beth Mynatt is the Executive Director of the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), a College of Computing Professor, and the Director of the Everyday Computing Lab. Themes in her research include supporting informal collaboration and awareness in office environments, enabling creative work and visual communication, and augmenting social processes for managing personal information. She is also one of the principal researchers in the Aware Home Research Initiative; investigating the design of future home technologies, especially those that enable older adults to continue living independently as opposed to moving to an institutional care setting. Mynatt is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of ubiquitous computing and assistive technologies. Her research contributes to ongoing work in personal health informatics, computer-supported collaborative work and human-computer interface design. Mynatt is a member of the SIGCHI Academy, a Sloan and Kavli research fellow, and serves on Microsoft Research's Technical Advisory Board. Mynatt is also a member of the Computing Community Consortium, an NSF-sponsored effort to engage the computing research community in envisioning more audacious research challenges. She has published more than 100 scientific papers and chaired the CHI 2010 conference, the premier international conference in human-computer interaction. Prior to joining the Georgia Tech faculty in 1998, she was a member of the research staff at Xerox PARC, working with the founder of ubiquitous computing, Mark Weiser. Her research is supported by multiple grants from NSF including a five-year NSF CAREER award. Other honorary awards include being named the Top Woman Innovator in Technology by Atlanta Woman magazine in 2005 and the 2003 College of Computing’s Dean’s Award. Mynatt earned her Bachelor of Science summa cum laude in computer science from North Carolina State University and her Master of Science and Ph.D. in computer science from Georgia Tech.

Benn Konsynski

Professor, Goizueta Business School, Emory University

Benn R. Konsynski currently teaches at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. He is the George S. Craft Distinguished University Professor of Information Systems & Operations Management. Previously, he spent six years on the faculty at the Harvard Business School where he taught in the MBA program and several executive programs. He also has served as professor at the University of Arizona, where he was a co-founder of the university's multi-million dollar group decision support laboratory. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue University. He has published in such diverse journals as Communications of the ACM, Harvard Business Review, IEEE Transactions on Communications, MIS Quarterly, Journal of MIS, Data Communications, Decision Sciences, Decision Support Systems, Information Systems Research, and IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. He has a strong following among his MBA students, who refer to themselves as S.O.B.'s (Students of Benn).

Ashwin Ram

Associate Professor, Interactive and Intelligent Computing, College of Computing

Dr. Ashwin Ram is an Associate Professor in the Interactive and Intelligent Computing division of the College of Computing of the Georgia Institute of Technology, an Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Psychology. He is the Director of Georgia Tech's Cognitive Computing Lab and founder of Enkia Corporation, a Georgia Tech spinoff that specializes in commercial artificial intelligence software. Dr. Ram received his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, in 1982, and his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1984. He received his Ph.D. degree from Yale University for his dissertation on "Question-Driven Understanding: An Integrated Theory of Story Understanding, Memory, and Learning" in 1989. Dr. Ram's research interests lie in the areas of artificial intelligence and cognitive science, specifically machine learning, natural language processing, case-based reasoning, educational technology, and artificial intelligence applications. He has more than 90 research publications in these areas. He is a co-editor of a book on Goal-Driven Learning and a book on Understanding Language Understanding: Computational Models of Reading, both published by MIT Press. Dr. Ram is a member of the Intelligent Systems and Artificial Intelligence groups, the Graphics, Visualization, and Usability Center, the Interactive Artificial Intelligence Lab, and the Mobile Robot Lab. Dr. Ram's research is/has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA), the Air Force Office of Sponsored Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Lab (ARL), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the EduTech Institute, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), and Yamaha Motor Corporation.

Amy Pritchett

Associate Professor, School of Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Pritchett is the director of the Cognitive Engineering Center, which seeks to expand research and education in cognitive engineering within the College of Engineering. This discipline focuses on the design and operation of interactive technology to support human cognitive performance. Dr. Pritchetts research has developed intelligent flightdeck systems, new methods of modeling air traffic operations, AV ground control stations, and decision aids for mission planners and airline operators. She has also applied these design methods to educational technology. Dr. Pritchett has served on the Georgia Tech faculty since January 1997, where she is the David S. Lewis Associate Professor of Cognitive Engineering in the School of Aerospace Engineering, with a joint appointment with the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. In 2002, she was also a Senior Technical Fellow of Technische Universiteit Delft in The Netherlands. She received the S.B., and S.M. and Sc.D. degrees from MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1992, 1994 and 1997 respectively. Dr. Pritchett is on the editorial board of the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making; is an associate editor of Simulation: Transactions of the Society International for Computer Simulation; and is an associate editor of the AIAA Journal of Aerospace Computing, Information and Communication. She has served as conference chair of the International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in Aerospace, and as technical program chair or program committee member for the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference, the FAA/Eurocontrol Air Traffic Management Seminar, the European Annual Conference on Decision Making and Control, and the IFAC/IFIP/IFORS/IEA Symposium on Analysis, Design, and Evaluation of Human-Machine Systems. She is a member of the National Research Council's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board.

C21U Innovator Spotlight: Udacity

One of the key thematic questions the Center for 21st Century Universities has been exploring is, "Can an elite curriculum be open, and accessible and still maintain quality and rigor?" If Sebastian Thrun’s Udacity initiative is indicative, it would seem that this is indeed possible.

Insights from the TechBurst Educational Video Competition

We first blogged several months ago about our C21U TechBurst competition noting several interesting actors providing online video content. Since that time, a number of major players have entered or expanded their involvement in the higher education video market. YouTube and TED have expanded their online offerings to further catalyze change in education, creating venues that allow others to teach their own lessons.


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