Intercom Online......September 7, 2000

National Science Foundation awards funds
to University for course development

The National Science Foundation awarded funding for three new courses proposed by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The revolutionary program focuses on integrated education by implementing computational courses on thermodynamics, kinetics and materials design.

The funding of nearly $370,000 will be used to establish a new computer lab with state-of-the-art software for the courses and to develop new instructional materials. The goal of the program is to inspire students to view the course material as interesting and exciting subjects with great potential for practical applications.

Curriculum designers Zi-Kui Liu, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, Long-Qing Chen, associate professor of materials science and engineering, and Karl Spear, professor of materials science and engineering, will initially teach the courses and later integrate them into the core components of the upper-level undergraduate curriculum.

Elizabeth Kisenwether, instructor in the Department of Engineering Design and Graphics, will help develop the design component of the project. The Schreyer Institute for Innovation in Learning assisted in the design of the assessment plans and will consult on the program evaluation during the implementation. The World Campus will study the feasibility of marketing the newly developed courses to industry and other universities.

This project also will provide one fellowship for the Summer Research Opportunities Program at Penn State.

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