Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Team via Independent Study Courses

Abstract

Undergraduate students from Engineering, Physics, Geology & Chemistry come together to form multidisciplinary teams as part of an undergraduate research opportunity through a sequence of independent study classes within the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. The undergraduate research groups typically contain students from freshman to senior years, totaling approximately three to eight students per academic year per group. One of the primary objectives is to provide a high-level research experience for undergraduates in a nurturing environment within the academic year. Peer-mentoring is integral piece to the team dynamics. The course sequence that facilitates the research opportunity is constructed in order for students to produce research that can be applied to obtaining a minor in Materials Science. Methodologies employed in the course range from problem-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and collaborative efforts with outside entities. The course objectives are geared towards developing critical & creative thinking, technical writing and oral communication skills through the development of planned action & experiments with data analysis as well as submitting findings to be presented at regional and national conferences.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. 1.

    C. Madan & B. Teitge, “The Benefits of Undergraduate Research: The Student’s Perspective,” The Mentor: An Academic Advising Journal. May 1, 2013. Retrieved 12-15-14 http://dus.psu.edu/mentor/2013/05/undergraduate-research-students-perspective/

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    R. Reis, Tomorrow’s Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., (1997).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    D. Peroune, Journal of European Industrial Training, 31, 244 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    N. Cotugna & C. Vickery, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 98, 10, 1166, (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    J. McCormack, Career World, 38, 5, 15–17, (2010).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    C. Ostroff & S. Kozlowski, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 42, 170–183, (1993).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Ma, H.; Jen, A. K. -.; Dalton, L. R. Adv Mater 2002, 14, 1339–1365.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Zubia, J.; Arrue, J. Optical Fiber Technology: Materials, Devices and Systems 2001, 7, 101–40.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Slooff, L. H.; van Blaaderen, A.; Polman, A.; Hebbink, G. A.; Klink, S. I.; VanVeggel, F. C. J. M.; Reinhoudt, D. N.; Hofstraat, J. W. J. Appl. Phys. 2002, 91, 3955–3980.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Resch-Genger, U.; Grabolle, M.; Cavaliere-Jaricot, S.; Nitschke, R.; Nann, T. Nat Meth 2008, 5, 763–775.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Wang, J.; Bo, S.; Song, L.; Hu, J.; Liu, X.; Zhen, Z. Nanotechnology 2007, 18, 465606 (6 pp.).

  12. 12.

    Kong, D. Y.; Wang, Z. L.; Lin, C. K.; Quan, Z. W.; Li, Y. Y.; Li, C. X.; Lin, J. Nanotechnology 2007, 18, 7.

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Daniel, M.; Astruc, D. Chem. Rev. 2004, 104, 293–346.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Flipsen, T. A. C.; Steendam, R.; Pennings, A. J.; Hadziioannou, G. Adv Mater 1996, 8, 45–8.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Stouwdam, J. W.; Van Veggel, Frank C. J. M. Langmuir 2004, 20, 11763–11771.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Wang, Z.; Li, M.; Wang, C.; Chang, J.; Shi, H.; Lin, J. Journal of Rare Earths 2009, 27, 33–37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Van Veggel, F. C. J. M.; Stouwdam, J. W.; Hebbink, G. A.; Huskens, J. In In Lanthanide(III)- doped nanoparticles that emit in the near infrared; Nanomaterials and Their Optical Applications, August 5, 2003 - August 7; SPIE: San Diego, CA, United states, 2003; Vol. 5224, pp 164–175.

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Stouwdam, J. W.; van Veggel, F. C. J. M. Nano Letters 2002, 2, 733–7.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Glazer, E.; Magde, D.; Tor, Y. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 8544–8551.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Meng, J.; Zhang, M.; Liu, Y.; Man, S. Spectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 2007, 66, 81–85.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Yanes, A. C.; Del-Castillo, J.; Mendez-Ramos, J.; Rodriguez, V. D.; Torres, M. E.; Arbiol, J. Optical Materials 2007, 29, 999–1003.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The creation and development of the Madison Engineering program has been a collective and collaborative effort and the author would like to acknowledge the faculty, staff, and administration of the Madison Engineering Department, CISE and James Madison University. The dedication of these individuals has facilitated a culture and environment, which has allowed the faculty to create courses like the Project courses. The author also would like to acknowledge the continued support of the Center for Materials Science as well as the following individuals that have had a profound impact on the development of the Project courses:

Dr. Brycelyn Boardman, Department of Chemistry, James Madison University — LEPN research group

Dr. Joy Ferenbaugh, Department of Integrated Science and Technology, James Madison University — LEPN research group

Dr. Robert Prins, Department of Engineering, James Madison University — ME research group

Dr. Yonathan Admassu, Department of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University — PACH research group

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gipson, K.G. Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Team via Independent Study Courses. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1762, 83–92 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2015.444

Download citation