Director of the Engineering Honors Program, Dr. Eric Nauman
My favorite lecture of ENGR 161 is the one where we introduce global perspectives of design, computing, and manufacturing. Students are often surprised at what kinds of challenges, technical and otherwise, arise when engineering practice intersects with different cultures, histories, and language. After leading them through some more technical problems, I like to demonstrate how some of those global perspectives manifest themselves through language. So I start by putting some interesting words or phrases on the white board wall. Words like “Lagniappe" (Cajun-Creole), “Shouganai" (Japanese), “Tartle” (Scottish), and “Eureka” (Greek) that tell you something about the language and the culture. Then we give each of them a marker and let the flood gates open.
In addition to global perspectives, during the first year students will master the mechanics side of physics, the fundamentals of engineering design (including statistics-based decision making), and use programming to put it all together - building their own experiments and working on projects that require them to integrate all the things they have learned. Our goal is to make sure that they can (1) design sensors and take data, (2) integrate that data with physical models to make decisions, and (3) produce a feedback control loop. At that point they will be extremely well prepared for whatever major they choose, any club they want to participate in, or any lab they want to join. We will keep offering them opportunities to push themselves throughout their time at Purdue, but they will also have the skills and knowledge to push themselves and excel in whatever field they set their sights on.
School of Mechanical Engineering
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Department of Basic Medical Sciences
585 Purdue Mall
West Lafayette, IN 47907