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ENE Memo: September 19, 2011

From the Head

One Vision: Three Programs

As we engage in various fall activities, like Family Day and Homecoming, that bring alumni back to Purdue to relive and share memories and to renew connections, it is timely to reflect on the academic threads that form the DNA of our School. This is particularly important so we can host visitors and share the exciting story of ENE in ways that they can easily follow. While we may identify with the School of Engineering Education and have a good sense of our story, ENE can be a confusing concept for people who have not been part of the journey, from Freshman Engineering and Interdisciplinary Engineering to the present time.

It is not surprising that alumni from the Interdisciplinary Engineering (IDE) program going back to the early 1970s often wonder what happened to their program and find it hard to follow that it is still "educating one student at a time" as a vital part of ENE. They can feel like their degree program does not have a home. Yet I believe the pioneering spirit and boundary crossing attitude of IDE students, then and now, is a core attribute of ENE.

All Purdue engineers since 1953 have spent a year in Freshman Engineering, what we would now call the First-Year Engineering program. Naturally their prime allegiance and academic identity at Purdue is to the school from which they graduated - Mechanical, Civil, ECE, etc. That said they are very impressed to see how today’s first-year students are working in teams in the Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Learning Laboratory. The ground breaking idea of a “Freshman Engineering” program to help the transition of students into college life began at Purdue. Such innovative thinking about the way we educate engineers continues in the First-Year Engineering program.

Our most recent program, the PhD in Engineering Education, is also ground breaking. It sometimes takes careful explanation in order help alumni get their heads around what it is precisely. For them it is a very unfamiliar type of program, so having a tight elevator talk helps in getting the message across. 

I have been musing on a straightforward way to talk about each of our unique academic programs and what binds them and us together. A simple way to put it is: One Vision: Three Programs. All three – First-Year Engineering, Interdisciplinary Engineering and the PhD in Engineering Education - are unique and distinct and have a proud reputation, or in the case of the PhD, a growing reputation. All three have a shared vision of a thoughtful, scholarly transformation of engineering education.

As we host alumni and family members of our students over coming weeks as our guests, it is worthwhile to reflect on the following quote from Forni’s book on Choosing Civility about "Care for Your Guests".

... an essential goal of playing host is that of getting to know your guests better and strengthen your mutual bonds. To do that you only need to listen and talk from the heart.

  - David

News and Information

INSPIRE bookletINSPIRE Featured in Purdue Alumnus

The Sept-Oct issue of The Purdue Alumnus contains an article on INSPIRE in its "Breakthroughs" section. To find the story online, go to, select *Content* at the lower left of the screen, and then select the spread (two-page unit) that appears above the numbers 50 and 51.

ENE Research Seminar


Dr. Carla Zoltowski, Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)

Title Human-Centered Design: Research and Practice
Details 3:30-4:20pm, Thursday, Sept. 22,  Forney Hall, Room G124

Women’s Self Defense Course
The Purdue University Police Department is offering a R.A.D, Rape Aggression Defense, women’s self defense course in September.  The 3-day course is being offered at the Shreve Residence Hall (1275 Third Street) from 5:30-9:30 PM on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, September 21
  • Thursday, September 22
  • Friday, September 23

R.A.D. instructors will focus on education and awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and the avoidance of assault and rape.  The R.A.D. system is dedicated to teaching defensive concepts and techniques against various types of assault by utilizing easy, effective, and proven self-defense/martial arts tactics. Attendance at all sessions is required for successful completion of this course. The program is free and available to participants 13 years of age or older.  Athletic-style clothing is recommended; however, shorts are not permitted.  Parking will be available in the Smalley Center parking lot, located just east of Shreve Hall. 

Affiliation with the University is not required to register. Participants will be registered in the order in which the requests are received. To register, please send an email to Officer John Goetz at

Purdue WorkLife Programs
Check out the many programs throughout the year

National or Independence Days around the World

If you know someone with heritage from any of these countries, ask them about the history behind their national day and how they celebrate the day - maybe a special food or drink. 


  • Tuesday, Sept. 20: Purdue Engineer of 2020 Workshop: Designing a Safer Tomorrow
  • Thursday, Sept. 22: ENE seminar: Human-Centered Design: Research and Practice. Dr. Carla Zoltowski. (FRNY G124)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 27: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30 (POTR 234 - Fu Room)
  • Thursday, Sept. 29: ENE seminar: Exploring Cyberlearning Through an NSF Lens. Jeremi London. (FRNY G124)
  • Tuesday,  Oct. 4: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30 (ARMS 1021)
  • Thursday, Oct. 6: ENE seminar: Into the Matrix: Gender, Race and Class in Engineering Education. Lorie Groll. (FRNY G124)
  • Wed/Thurs, Oct. 19-20: Grad Recruitment Open House
  • Thursday, Oct. 20: ENE seminar: Learning From Authentic Mathematical Modeling Experiences for First-Year Engineering Students. Dr. Heidi Diefes-Dux. (FRNY G124)
  • Thursday, Oct. 20: Science on Tap: 50th Anniversary of Spaceflight: Lessons for Tomorrow
  • Saturday, Oct. 22:  Homecoming (booth in ARMS atrium); tours and refreshments in i2i
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30  (POTR 234 - Fu Room)
  • Thursday, Oct. 27: ENE seminar: Blocks and Stickers: Rethinking the where and how of Learning to Program. Dr. Michael Horn. (FRNY G124)
  • Thursday, Nov. 3: ENE seminar: Dr. Robin Adams. (FRNY G124)
  • Thursday, Nov 10: It Takes A Team: Reflections at the 50th Anniversary of Human Spaceflight. 3:30-5:00pm. This event is a prelude to the ENE Industrial Advisory Board meeting.
  • Friday, Nov 11: ENE Industrial Advisory Council Meeting  
  • Thursday, Nov. 17: ENE seminar: Expertise and Adoption: Preliminary Classification of Elementary Teachers' Integration of Engineering. Dr. Johannes Strobel. (FRNY G124)
  • Mon/Tues, Nov. 21-22: Site Visit by External Review Committee
  • Thursday, Dec. 1: ENE seminar:  Dr. Larry Shuman. (FRNY G124)


... to Monica Cardella on receiving a prestigious NSF CAREER grant. The title of her project is “Mathematics as a Gatekeeper to Engineering: The Interplay between Mathematical Thinking and Design Thinking”   The goal is to identify patterns of mathematical thinking and design thinking and relationships between the two as engineering students engage in an engineering design task. The project also advances educational innovations through multiple uses of the video-recordings as tools for helping undergraduate students, instructors, K-12 teachers and others to learn about engineering design and design education. 

... to Senay Purzer on receiving a prestigious NSF CAREER grant. The title of her project is “A Study of How Engineering Students Approach Innovation”. The questions she seeks to answer are; How do engineering students approach innovation? How do gender and cultural differences shape the approaches students use or talk about and the solutions they propose? To what extent do engineering students understand the process of innovation and recognize skills used by innovators? and In what aspects of innovation do senior engineering students who are enrolled in an entrepreneurship and innovation (E&I) certificate program differ from seniors and first-years who are not enrolled in E&I?

 ... to Johannes Strobel on a CPALMS grant from the Florida Department of Education for the Teacher Standards Instructional Tool (TSIT) ,a unique web-based support system for all Florida’s educators to support standards-driven instruction in math, science and reading/language arts. The project will create web and mobile tools for teachers, creating 3,000+ original lesson plans, authoring benchmark progression maps for all  the standards, creating lesson study toolkits, and many more freely available instructional and educational resources to support the implementation of the common core and Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in these subjects.

... to Monica Cardella as Co-PI on a $169,839, GSE-RES grant on "Gender Research on Adult-child Discussion in Informal Engineering eNvironmenTs (GRADIENT)", with Gina Svarovsky (PI) from the Science Museum of Minnesota. This project will explore engineering learning through family interactions in three contexts: 1) 4-5 year-olds playing with engineering related toys with their parents as part of a museum play date program; 2) 4-11 year-olds interacting with parents while engaged in an engineering –related museum exhibit and 3) 7-11 year-olds engaged in engineering activities with their parents as part of a “family engineering night” at their local school.

... to Monica Cardella as Co-PI on an NSF grant for $1,777,614 entitled "Informal Pathways to Engineering" awarded to WGBH Educational Foundation Channel 2. It will study the interests and experiences of 60 middle school children over the course of 30 months to characterize the personal characteristics, behavioral patterns, and environments of children who use informal engineering education resources, in particular, through exposure to the show DESIGN SQUAD. has been a BIG week in the Cardella household!

To suggest content for future issues of ENE Memo, contact David Radcliffe or Lisa Tally by midday Friday for the following week's issue.