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Preparing Undergraduates to Work at the Intersection of Biology and Mathematics
 

Preparing Undergraduates to Work at the Intersection of Biology and Mathematics

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  • Thank the organizers (names)\n\n
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  • END: an intersection of coincidences led a group of mathematical science faculty to reach out to biology faculty as a source of expertise in UR\n\nfeeding that interest: articles in professional society publications, Bio2010, and finally an NSF solicitation\n
  • END: an intersection of coincidences led a group of mathematical science faculty to reach out to biology faculty as a source of expertise in UR\n\nfeeding that interest: articles in professional society publications, Bio2010, and finally an NSF solicitation\n
  • END: an intersection of coincidences led a group of mathematical science faculty to reach out to biology faculty as a source of expertise in UR\n\nfeeding that interest: articles in professional society publications, Bio2010, and finally an NSF solicitation\n
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  • Spring of 2003\n\nI had been working with a colleague in Biology...\nBegan noticing calls going out in the professional societies...\n\nFloated the idea of a mathbio seminar...\n
  • Spring of 2003\n\nI had been working with a colleague in Biology...\nBegan noticing calls going out in the professional societies...\n\nFloated the idea of a mathbio seminar...\n
  • Spring of 2003\n\nI had been working with a colleague in Biology...\nBegan noticing calls going out in the professional societies...\n\nFloated the idea of a mathbio seminar...\n
  • Spring of 2003\n\nI had been working with a colleague in Biology...\nBegan noticing calls going out in the professional societies...\n\nFloated the idea of a mathbio seminar...\n
  • Spring of 2003\n\nI had been working with a colleague in Biology...\nBegan noticing calls going out in the professional societies...\n\nFloated the idea of a mathbio seminar...\n
  • Spring of 2003\n\nI had been working with a colleague in Biology...\nBegan noticing calls going out in the professional societies...\n\nFloated the idea of a mathbio seminar...\n
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  • Goal: to create infrastructure for a self-sustaining, research-based undergrad training program in mathematical biology\n+ elevate faculty scholarship \n
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  • Overlaps of interest and project needs get students working togeth informally and spontenously. coding, phylogenies, statistical tests, LaTeX or some other software environment, Matlab\n\nThe wide variety of faculty and research projects led us to adopt a program management strategy that was hands-off in many ways; we communicated the program goals and expectations repeatedly, to the community and the teams, but beyond that we did little to mandate how faculty managed their teams.\nWe knew that meeting frequently was important. We knew that communication would be challenging, so we encouraged them to maintain line of communication and put more effort into that than they might think nece\n\nstudents identify with the community; get to know many faculty members from both departments\n
  • Overlaps of interest and project needs get students working togeth informally and spontenously. coding, phylogenies, statistical tests, LaTeX or some other software environment, Matlab\n\nThe wide variety of faculty and research projects led us to adopt a program management strategy that was hands-off in many ways; we communicated the program goals and expectations repeatedly, to the community and the teams, but beyond that we did little to mandate how faculty managed their teams.\nWe knew that meeting frequently was important. We knew that communication would be challenging, so we encouraged them to maintain line of communication and put more effort into that than they might think nece\n\nstudents identify with the community; get to know many faculty members from both departments\n
  • Overlaps of interest and project needs get students working togeth informally and spontenously. coding, phylogenies, statistical tests, LaTeX or some other software environment, Matlab\n\nThe wide variety of faculty and research projects led us to adopt a program management strategy that was hands-off in many ways; we communicated the program goals and expectations repeatedly, to the community and the teams, but beyond that we did little to mandate how faculty managed their teams.\nWe knew that meeting frequently was important. We knew that communication would be challenging, so we encouraged them to maintain line of communication and put more effort into that than they might think nece\n\nstudents identify with the community; get to know many faculty members from both departments\n
  • Overlaps of interest and project needs get students working togeth informally and spontenously. coding, phylogenies, statistical tests, LaTeX or some other software environment, Matlab\n\nThe wide variety of faculty and research projects led us to adopt a program management strategy that was hands-off in many ways; we communicated the program goals and expectations repeatedly, to the community and the teams, but beyond that we did little to mandate how faculty managed their teams.\nWe knew that meeting frequently was important. We knew that communication would be challenging, so we encouraged them to maintain line of communication and put more effort into that than they might think nece\n\nstudents identify with the community; get to know many faculty members from both departments\n
  • Overlaps of interest and project needs get students working togeth informally and spontenously. coding, phylogenies, statistical tests, LaTeX or some other software environment, Matlab\n\nThe wide variety of faculty and research projects led us to adopt a program management strategy that was hands-off in many ways; we communicated the program goals and expectations repeatedly, to the community and the teams, but beyond that we did little to mandate how faculty managed their teams.\nWe knew that meeting frequently was important. We knew that communication would be challenging, so we encouraged them to maintain line of communication and put more effort into that than they might think nece\n\nstudents identify with the community; get to know many faculty members from both departments\n
  • Overlaps of interest and project needs get students working togeth informally and spontenously. coding, phylogenies, statistical tests, LaTeX or some other software environment, Matlab\n\nThe wide variety of faculty and research projects led us to adopt a program management strategy that was hands-off in many ways; we communicated the program goals and expectations repeatedly, to the community and the teams, but beyond that we did little to mandate how faculty managed their teams.\nWe knew that meeting frequently was important. We knew that communication would be challenging, so we encouraged them to maintain line of communication and put more effort into that than they might think nece\n\nstudents identify with the community; get to know many faculty members from both departments\n
  • Overlaps of interest and project needs get students working togeth informally and spontenously. coding, phylogenies, statistical tests, LaTeX or some other software environment, Matlab\n\nThe wide variety of faculty and research projects led us to adopt a program management strategy that was hands-off in many ways; we communicated the program goals and expectations repeatedly, to the community and the teams, but beyond that we did little to mandate how faculty managed their teams.\nWe knew that meeting frequently was important. We knew that communication would be challenging, so we encouraged them to maintain line of communication and put more effort into that than they might think nece\n\nstudents identify with the community; get to know many faculty members from both departments\n
  • Overlaps of interest and project needs get students working togeth informally and spontenously. coding, phylogenies, statistical tests, LaTeX or some other software environment, Matlab\n\nThe wide variety of faculty and research projects led us to adopt a program management strategy that was hands-off in many ways; we communicated the program goals and expectations repeatedly, to the community and the teams, but beyond that we did little to mandate how faculty managed their teams.\nWe knew that meeting frequently was important. We knew that communication would be challenging, so we encouraged them to maintain line of communication and put more effort into that than they might think nece\n\nstudents identify with the community; get to know many faculty members from both departments\n
  • Overlaps of interest and project needs get students working togeth informally and spontenously. coding, phylogenies, statistical tests, LaTeX or some other software environment, Matlab\n\nThe wide variety of faculty and research projects led us to adopt a program management strategy that was hands-off in many ways; we communicated the program goals and expectations repeatedly, to the community and the teams, but beyond that we did little to mandate how faculty managed their teams.\nWe knew that meeting frequently was important. We knew that communication would be challenging, so we encouraged them to maintain line of communication and put more effort into that than they might think nece\n\nstudents identify with the community; get to know many faculty members from both departments\n
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  • Through interdisciplinary experiences, bring mathematics majors to the point where they are capable of interacting with (collaborating with) professionals in the life sciences\n\nLikewise for biology majors.\n
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Preparing Undergraduates to Work at the Intersection of Biology and Mathematics Preparing Undergraduates to Work at the Intersection of Biology and Mathematics Presentation Transcript

  • Preparing Undergraduates to Work at the Intersection of Biology and Mathematics Jason Miller, Ph.D. - Department of Mathematics Timothy Walston, Ph.D. - Department of Biology Truman State University Available on http://www.slideshare.net/millerj870/ AAC&U 2012
  • Outline• Institution• Genesis, Program, Outcomes• Minor• Broader Vision• Challenges• Lessons AAC&U 2012
  • The Institution AAC&U 2012
  • TrumanTruman is in rural Kirksville, Missouri AAC&U 2012
  • Truman AAC&U 2012
  • About Truman AAC&U 2012
  • About Truman• Missouri’s only “highly selective” public liberal arts University; pride in high-quality teaching, small class size AAC&U 2012
  • About Truman• Missouri’s only “highly selective” public liberal arts University; pride in high-quality teaching, small class size• ~6000 undergraduates, ~300 faculty, 150 Masters students AAC&U 2012
  • About Truman• Missouri’s only “highly selective” public liberal arts University; pride in high-quality teaching, small class size• ~6000 undergraduates, ~300 faculty, 150 Masters students• Institutional commitment to Undergraduate Research and to Interdisciplinary teaching AAC&U 2012
  • About Truman• Missouri’s only “highly selective” public liberal arts University; pride in high-quality teaching, small class size• ~6000 undergraduates, ~300 faculty, 150 Masters students• Institutional commitment to Undergraduate Research and to Interdisciplinary teaching • EX: all students must take a Junior Interdisciplinary Seminar AAC&U 2012
  • About Truman AAC&U 2012
  • About Truman• about 25 biology faculty, 35 mathematics faculty (math+stats+CS) AAC&U 2012
  • About Truman• about 25 biology faculty, 35 mathematics faculty (math+stats+CS)• biology: research expected of faculty (with students); experienced mentors AAC&U 2012
  • About Truman• about 25 biology faculty, 35 mathematics faculty (math+stats+CS)• biology: research expected of faculty (with students); experienced mentors• mathematics: teaching focus, little or no support for research activity; 10 new faculty between 1998-2000 AAC&U 2012
  • Other Truman Factoids• T&P research expectation varies between departments • Biology: medium • Math & CS: low• No formalized definition for faculty workload beyond ‘credit load’ or ‘contact hours’ AAC&U 2012
  • Photo by w4nd3rl0st (InspiredinDesMoines) - http://flic.kr/p/aPw9Xe AAC&U 2012
  • pre-2003 Biology Math (Silos not to scale) Photo by keeva999 - http://flic.kr/p/bXchED AAC&U 2012
  • • Institution• Genesis, Program, Outcomes• Minor• Broader Vision• Challenges• Lessons AAC&U 2012
  • The Genesis AAC&U 2012
  • Professional Societies AAC&U 2012
  • Professional Societies AAC&U 2012
  • Professional Societies AAC&U 2012
  • Professional Societies AAC&U 2012
  • Professional Societies AAC&U 2012
  • Professional Societies AAC&U 2012
  • Professional Societies AAC&U 2012
  • 2003 AAC&U 2012
  • 2003 AAC&U 2012
  • 2007 AAC&U 2012
  • R E P OR T T O T H E PR E SI DEN TENGAGE TO E XCEL: PRODUCI NG ONE M ILLION A DDI T IONA L COLLEGE GR A DUAT ES W I T H DEGR EES I N SCIENCE , T ECH NOLOGY, ENGI NEER I NG, A N D M AT HEM AT ICS Executive Office of the President President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology F E BRUA RY 2 01 2 AAC&U 2012
  • • Institution• Genesis, Program, Outcomes• Minor• Broader Vision• Challenges• Lessons AAC&U 2012
  • The Program AAC&U 2012
  • Miller, Walston. Interdisciplinary Training in MathematicalBiology Through Team-based Undergraduate Research andCourses. CBE Life Sci Educ. 2010 Fall;9(3):284-9. AAC&U 2012
  • AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Biology Seminar (since 2003) AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Biology Seminar (since 2003)• Program fulcrum AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Biology Seminar (since 2003)• Program fulcrum• Biweekly meeting of faculty and undergraduates AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Biology Seminar (since 2003)• Program fulcrum• Biweekly meeting of faculty and undergraduates• Initially, a “Biology Fashion Show” AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Biology Seminar (since 2003)• Program fulcrum• Biweekly meeting of faculty and undergraduates• Initially, a “Biology Fashion Show”• Engineered several cross-disciplinary, research hook-ups AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Biology Seminar (since 2003)• Program fulcrum• Biweekly meeting of faculty and undergraduates• Initially, a “Biology Fashion Show”• Engineered several cross-disciplinary, research hook-ups• Pairings provided us with a foundation for NSF UBM grant proposals AAC&U 2012
  • AAC&U 2012
  • Life Scientist (faculty) AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Life Scientist Scientist (faculty) (faculty) AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Life Scientist Scientist (faculty) (faculty)Mathematical Life Scientist Scientist (trainee) (trainee) AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Life Scientist Scientist (faculty) (faculty)Mathematical Life Scientist Scientist (trainee) (trainee) AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Life Scientist Scientist (faculty) (faculty)Mathematical Life Scientist Scientist (trainee) (trainee) AAC&U 2012
  • AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Life Scientist Scientist (faculty) (faculty)Mathematical Life Scientist Scientist (trainee) (trainee) AAC&U 2012
  • Mathematical Mathematical Life Scientist Life Scientist Scientist Scientist (faculty) (faculty) (faculty) (faculty)Mathematical Mathematical Life Scientist Life Scientist Scientist Scientist (trainee) (trainee) (trainee) (trainee)Mathematical Mathematical Life Scientist Life Scientist Scientist Scientist (faculty) (faculty) (faculty) (faculty)Mathematical Mathematical Life Scientist Life Scientist Scientist Scientist (trainee) (trainee) (trainee) (trainee) AAC&U 2012
  • AAC&U 2012
  • • selection occurs in the Fall, students start work in January (year-long) AAC&U 2012
  • • selection occurs in the Fall, students start work in January (year-long)• weekly meetings during the academic year AAC&U 2012
  • • selection occurs in the Fall, students start work in January (year-long)• weekly meetings during the academic year• Intense 10-week summer research program AAC&U 2012
  • Summer Community AAC&U 2012
  • Summer Community AAC&U 2012
  • Summer Community AAC&U 2012
  • Summer Community AAC&U 2012
  • Summer Community AAC&U 2012
  • Summer Community AAC&U 2012
  • Summer Community AAC&U 2012
  • Summer AAC&U 2012
  • Summer Residence Hall Meals Small Group Meetings + Mentors Weekly Discussions/Workshops Social Events MathBio Seminar AAC&U 2012
  • Summer Residence Hall Meals Small Group Meetings + Mentors Weekly Discussions/Workshops Social Events MathBio Seminar AAC&U 2012
  • Automatic Annotation of Maize Genome Collaboration between Truman, IA State, Cornell, Cold Spring Harbor. AAC&U 2012
  • Automatic Annotation of Maize Genome Collaboration between Truman, IA State, Cornell, Cold Spring Harbor. AAC&U 2012
  • Geometric Modeling of C.elegan’s 4-cell stage AAC&U 2012
  • Graph Theoretic Modeling of Vascular Networks Collaboration between Truman and AT Still University of Health Sciences. AAC&U 2012
  • Modeling Dispersion of Extinct Saccate Pollen Collaboration between Truman and the College of New Jersey. AAC&U 2012
  • Identifying Volant Bats via Echolocation with Lynn Robbins, MSU Biology AAC&U 2012
  • Habitat Suitability modeling for the Missouri Bladderpod Collaboration between Truman and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. AAC&U 2012
  • Statistical Modeling of Abundance of Beetle Populations AAC&U 2012
  • Models of Tick Respiration and Physiology AAC&U 2012
  • • Institution• Genesis, Program, Outcomes• Minor• Broader Vision• Challenges• Lessons AAC&U 2012
  • The Outcomes AAC&U 2012
  • UBM Accomplishments• about 60 student participants• 20+ faculty participants• 80%+ students to graduate school• 10%+ students to industry• 20 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals• scores of presentations at regional, national, and international meetings AAC&U 2012
  • UBM AccomplishmentsFrom more than one ‘mathphobic’ biologyfaculty member, research mentor: “This program has changed the way I think about doing research.” AAC&U 2012
  • UBM AccomplishmentsFrom more than one ‘mathphobic’ biologyfaculty member, research mentor: “This program has changed the way I think about doing research.”If it’s changing the way they think in the lab,then it’s changing the way they talk withstudents about mathematics AAC&U 2012
  • “We are not trying to turn mathematicsmajors into biology majors, nor are wetrying to turn biology majors intomathematics majors.Rather, we are trying to bring both togetherat the intersection of the life andmathematical sciences to train them to workacross disciplinary boundaries.” AAC&U 2012
  • “We are not trying to turn mathematicsmajors into biology majors, nor are wetrying to turn biology majors intomathematics majors.Rather, we are trying to bring both togetherat the intersection of the life andmathematical sciences to train them to workacross disciplinary boundaries.” We work to bridge an epistemological gap between the mathematical and life sciences. AAC&U 2012
  • AAC&U 2012
  • 2003 AAC&U 2012
  • 2003 2005 AAC&U 2012
  • 2003 2005 2010 AAC&U 2012
  • AAC&U 2012
  • AAC&U 2012
  • UBM Program AAC&U 2012
  • UBM Program• a small group of faculty from math, CS, and biology leveraged Truman strengths and Hopper’s Law of Retroaction: AAC&U 2012
  • UBM Program• a small group of faculty from math, CS, and biology leveraged Truman strengths and Hopper’s Law of Retroaction: “It is easier to seek forgiveness than permission.” AAC&U 2012
  • UBM Program• a small group of faculty from math, CS, and biology leveraged Truman strengths and Hopper’s Law of Retroaction: “It is easier to seek forgiveness than permission.”• NSF UBM grants in 2003, 2004, and 2009 AAC&U 2012
  • UBM Program• a small group of faculty from math, CS, and biology leveraged Truman strengths and Hopper’s Law of Retroaction: “It is easier to seek forgiveness than permission.”• NSF UBM grants in 2003, 2004, and 2009• Established research-focused interdisciplinary training program in mathbio. AAC&U 2012
  • • Institution• Genesis, Program, Outcomes• Minor• Broader Vision• Challenges• Lessons AAC&U 2012
  • The Minor AAC&U 2012
  • We Wanted More...• impact a bigger group of students• institutionalize the changes in culture, activity• courses • Bioinformatics • Introduction to Mathematical Biology • Biostatistics/Biometry • Introduction to Computational Science* • (new, 2012) Calculus & Mathematical Methods for the Life Sciences AAC&U 2012
  • Competency-based Minor AAC&U 2012
  • Competency-based Minor AAC&U 2012
  • Data Competency-based Minor ModelingComputational StatisticsInterdisciplinary Research AAC&U 2012
  • Data Competency-based Minor ModelingComputational • Demonstrate proficiencies in each category (though research, courses) StatisticsInterdisciplinary Research AAC&U 2012
  • Data Competency-based Minor ModelingComputational • Demonstrate proficiencies in each category (though research, courses) Statistics • Earn 15+ credits doing so (must take Intro to MathBio course)Interdisciplinary Research AAC&U 2012
  • Data Competency-based Minor ModelingComputational • Demonstrate proficiencies in each category (though research, courses) Statistics • Earn 15+ credits doing so (must take Intro to MathBio course)Interdisciplinary • Attend MathBio Seminar Research AAC&U 2012
  • Data Competency-based Minor Modeling • competencies straddle disciplinary boundariesComputational • create learning plan • use experiences (incl. courses) to Statistics show competencies • faculty oversight committeeInterdisciplinary approves plan, notifies Registrar Research when completed AAC&U 2012
  • Other Courses• Any that makes a connection between the areas. Some example: • Math Modeling • Developmental • Ecology Biology • ODEs • (Electron) Microscopy • Genetics of • Plant/Animal Animal and Plant Improvement Breeding AAC&U 2012
  • • Institution• Genesis, Program, Outcomes• Minor• Broader Vision• Challenges• Lessons AAC&U 2012
  • The Broader Vision AAC&U 2012
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  • ‘Convergent’ teamwork is going to be a definingcharacteristic of 21st century science andmathematics. AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergent’ teamwork is going to be a definingcharacteristic of 21st century science andmathematics. It can’t be taught through a series of lectures. AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergent’ teamwork is going to be a definingcharacteristic of 21st century science andmathematics. It can’t be taught through a series of lectures. It can’t be taught from a textbook or by reading a journal paper. AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergent’ teamwork is going to be a definingcharacteristic of 21st century science andmathematics. It can’t be taught through a series of lectures. It can’t be taught from a textbook or by reading a journal paper. It can’t be taught in a course for a (single) major. AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergent’ teamwork is going to be a definingcharacteristic of 21st century science andmathematics. It can’t be taught through a series of lectures. It can’t be taught from a textbook or by reading a journal paper. It can’t be taught in a course for a (single) major.The above activities can motivate students andprepare them to learn to be ‘convergent’ AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergence’ can be taught... AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergence’ can be taught... • Our experience provides strong evidence that proper hands-on undergraduate research (or research-like) projects can train undergraduates to be ‘convergent’ AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergence’ can be taught... • Our experience provides strong evidence that proper hands-on undergraduate research (or research-like) projects can train undergraduates to be ‘convergent’ • Essential characteristics: AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergence’ can be taught... • Our experience provides strong evidence that proper hands-on undergraduate research (or research-like) projects can train undergraduates to be ‘convergent’ • Essential characteristics: • it’s a real research project to the mentors AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergence’ can be taught... • Our experience provides strong evidence that proper hands-on undergraduate research (or research-like) projects can train undergraduates to be ‘convergent’ • Essential characteristics: • it’s a real research project to the mentors • mentors from different disciplines AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergence’ can be taught... • Our experience provides strong evidence that proper hands-on undergraduate research (or research-like) projects can train undergraduates to be ‘convergent’ • Essential characteristics: • it’s a real research project to the mentors • mentors from different disciplines • undergraduates from different disciplines AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergence’ can be taught... • Our experience provides strong evidence that proper hands-on undergraduate research (or research-like) projects can train undergraduates to be ‘convergent’ • Essential characteristics: • it’s a real research project to the mentors • mentors from different disciplines • undergraduates from different disciplines • long-term immersion AAC&U 2012
  • ‘Convergence’ can be taught... • Our experience provides strong evidence that proper hands-on undergraduate research (or research-like) projects can train undergraduates to be ‘convergent’ • Essential characteristics: • it’s a real research project to the mentors • mentors from different disciplines • undergraduates from different disciplines • long-term immersion • students have sense of significant ownership AAC&U 2012
  • • Institution• Genesis, Program, Outcomes• Minor• Broader Vision• Challenges• Lessons AAC&U 2012
  • The Challenges AAC&U 2012
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  • Our program is costly• research program: • ≈$40k per team • time and effort to recruit • not easily sustainable• minor: faculty time • oversight • recruiting, mentoring students• courses • departmental zero-sum, silo mentality • team-teaching is seen as frivolous AAC&U 2012
  • Funding Reality1998 2015 From Tuition From State How to sustain a program in this environment? AAC&U 2012
  • Funding Reality• Show program’s cost-benefit leans toward ‘benefit’ (e.g., credit generation, revenue)• Show your program’s outcomes align with University’s strategic plan• Track student successes (e.g., subsequence grades, post-graduation experiences) and share• Cultivate faculty buy-in (individual, group, departmental, and school) AAC&U 2012
  • Program Dashboard• Applications to the summer research program are low• Enrollment in interdisciplinary courses and minor is low-ish• Our Intro to MathBio course was not team- taught last semester AAC&U 2012
  • • Institution• Genesis, Program, Outcomes• Minor• Broader Vision• Challenges• Lessons AAC&U 2012
  • The Lessons AAC&U 2012
  • Lessons Learned• Starting a new interdepartmental program requires guts and a theme that you (or your team) can carry• Sustaining a interdepartmental program requires strong leadership and administrative champion(s)• Grant money opens a door, but membership requires faculty buy-in• This model for bringing disciplines together could work for any pair of disciplines AAC&U 2012
  • Lessons Learned AAC&U 2012
  • Lessons Learned AAC&U 2012
  • Lessons Learned AAC&U 2012
  • • Institution• Genesis, Program, Outcomes• Minor• Broader Vision• Challenges• Lessons AAC&U 2012
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  • millerj@truman.eduThis material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSFUBM #0337769, #0436348, and #0926737. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions orrecommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarilyreflect the views of the National Science Foundation. AAC&U 2012