From the Dean: May 2018

Dear Purdue Engineering Community,

First of all, a big “thank you” for your contribution to the 2018 Purdue Day of Giving last month. With your support we set many new records, including the highest level of participation ever. Your pride and passion for Purdue Engineering drive this institution forward — on any day of the year and across many places in the world — as I have experienced first-hand through alumni gatherings in 12 cities since last August.

This weekend, we celebrate our newest graduates with family and friends at Spring Commencement, where 1395 undergraduates will receive their bachelor’s degree, 43 with Highest Distinction and 85 with Distinction. Our graduates include164 first-generation students, 339 female students, and 107 under-represented minority students. Among them are 38 from Honors College, 107 who have had Co-Op experience, and 28 who have earned the Global Engineering Minor. These students come from many states in the U.S. and 31 other countries. We also expect around 350 students to receive their master’s degree, around 100 to receive Ph.D., and another 50 to earn an online master’s degree. Behind all the numbers are years of hard work in and outside of the classroom, and a ongoing process of discovery about the world and about oneself.

In years to come, we will also celebrate those who complete “online badges" offered by Purdue Engineering. Complementary to Purdue Global’s degree programs (which currently do not have engineering programs), the College of Engineering will develop and offer both master’s degrees and badges (representing smaller units of knowledge) online. These will be based on courses taught by Purdue West Lafayette faculty, and they will substantially expand the synchronous, distance-learning master’s degree program that has been offered for decades and highly ranked in the country. These new online badges will be innovative in both “what we teach” and “how we teach.” Their content will be co-developed with industry partners, like the Intel-Purdue badge in Design for Security recently announced. Their delivery will be interactive and enhanced with artificial intelligence methods and virtual labs. A variety of styles of teaching and learning online will be supported, and so will hybrids of on-campus/online.

In coming years, Engineering students in West Lafayette will also benefit from a much higher availability of courses that they can take online while spending time in Co-Op or global engineering programs. These new opportunities will be announced as they are rolled out.

As a large college in a land-grant university that continually innovates teaching, we are developing a purposeful plan to expand the frontier of learning engineering online, with a focus on efficacy and scalable impact on many people in the world.


Mung Chiang
John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering
Purdue University


Mung Chiang is the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering and the Roscoe H. George Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. Previously he was the Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University, where he also served as Director of Keller Center for Innovations in Engineering Education and the inaugural Chairman of Princeton Entrepreneurship Council. His research on networking received the 2013 Alan T. Waterman Award, the highest honor to US young scientists and engineers. His textbook “Networked Life,” popular science book “The Power of Networks,” and online courses reached over 250,000 students since 2012. He founded the Princeton EDGE Lab in 2009, which bridges the theory-practice gap in edge networking research by spanning from proofs to prototypes. He also co-founded a few startup companies in mobile data, IoT and AI, and co-founded the global nonprofit Open Fog Consortium.

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