Professional Seminar Assignments for Spring 2014

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All course materials distributed in class are available for viewing or printing here, most recent first. Please scroll down to see earlier weeks. Seminar students are responsible for information provided on this "Assignments" page.

Supplemental Seminars may be completed beginning Week 7. Points gained by completing supplemental seminars or lost by missing classes are posted on Blackboard Learn, usually by Tuesday of the following week. No attendance postings--no points lost!  Please email within one week of that posting if there are questions or corrections regarding attendance records.

Supplemental Seminars replace points lost due to a missed regular seminar--they are not "bonus" points. Note that 12 regular Thursday seminars must be completed to earn credit this semester in ME 290, so a maximum of 3 supplemental seminars may be used to complete a total of 15 seminars for the semester, valued at 3 points. each.

Further note that "professional decorum" is needed for attendance credit; that is, students are expected to interact with speakers, attend to presentations, and refrain from absenting themselves via earphones, other homework, or casual conversations.

Updates for attendance and for earned points will be made once per week.

The following table of all assignments is from the hand-out (Week 1) “Course Policies and Organization.”

Table 1.

ME 290 Global Engineering Professional Seminar Assignments


Text: Zakaria’s Post-American World 2.0, Quiz 1 (Chap 1, 2, 3)


10 points



Text: Zakaria’s Post-American World 2.0, Quiz 2  (Chap 4, 5)


10 points




Text: Zakaria’s Post-American World 2.0, Quiz 3  (Chap 6, 7)


10 points



Cultural Center Visit*


5 points




Professional Picture*


5 points



Global Professional Profile with Resume (about 1000 words)


15 points

    Professional Credentials and Experience (5)    
    Professional Ethics Analysis (5)    
    Global Professional Resume and Resume Review  (5)    


Seminar Attendance and Participation (3 pts, each week)


45 points



Minimum of 12 regular Thursday seminars completed


 required for course credit1



Sum of all Assignments


100 points2



1A "Writing Sample" completed on site is also required for course credit. The sample is not graded but is used for program review purposes as well as for student support. The sample is kept on file in the School until the student graduates from the program.

2Note: Replacement points are available to replace those lost by a missed class (up to three classes).  Three points are earned for each Supplemental Seminar completed from the list linked on the MECOM home page, provided that a brief summary (100 words) with the name of the event, the date, and the main points is emailed to the same day as the event. Please include the summary in the message body and not as an attachment. The supplemental seminar option is available from Week 7 through Week 14, that is, until April 24, 2014.


*For pictures and for Cultural Center Visits, appointments are needed; please use the following ME Scheduler to acquire times that work for your class schedule. Please email Dianne Atkinson,, if other arrangements are needed.




Global Opportunities student participant contact emails:

Kat Frangos, China ETA (class-size): <>

Andrew Savage, Turkey: <>

Ashley March, Australia: <>

Rachel Lindsey: <>

Graham Barnet <>



For Spring 2015: Consider the one-and-only "class size" ETA for Purdue ME's--in Shanghai, China!



Complete your application this semester and be guaranteed space! Open to all ME's in good standing ready for Semester 6 coursework in Spring 2015!

$500 deposit due April 30, 2014. The program is cost neutral--no extra costs compared to West Lafayette semester, airfare included!

Courses count toward Purdue BSME; no delay to degree completion.

1.Global perspectives—even if your career is in the U.S.!
2.Global experience—talk about it in senior year job interviews!
3.“Big Delta” credentials—seeing Asia is seeing big change and amazing East/West differences!
4. Go with 40 other ME's and gain a class size group of close friends--for a lifetime!

Application for Spring 2015 program--due December 6, 2013 for ME 290 Fall 2013 students.




Week 15:   April 17, 2014`   


Week 14:   April 17, 2014`   


Listserve Email this week:

Wednesday, April 23

Mr. Cliff Owens, Medtronic (ret) will be our industry guest speaker this week. This is our last outside speaker for the semester, so we hope for great questions and interactions toward the end of the hour.

As part of the close of the semester, on-line course and instructor evaluation is now available to you! Please complete! Suggested improvements for the Seminar are the most important part. Please invest some time in forwarding your suggestions about this course for the benefit of those enrolled in future semesters. Thank you for taking time to do so.

Next week is our last week of class, so please take care to note the following due dates:

                    1. GlobalHUB posting of Global Profiles (resumes are optional): due by end-of-the day this Friday, Week 14, that is, April 25.

                    2. Cultural center visits are complete (last week) for the Black Cultural Center. Please do not use the BCC for an "alternate" form of the assignment. Points for the BCC are credited based on card swipe and/or signatures provided at those sessions. No additional report is needed for the BCC.

                    3. "Alternate" cultural center visits (NOT to the BCC) will be extended through next week to Friday, May 2 (Week 15).

                    To be credited for an "alternate" cultural center visit, please  email a 250 word summary of your experience including place, date, and the name of your guide to Please use the email subject line: cultural center visit report for YOUR NAME.

                    Please do not use an attachment but simply key in the summary (date, place, guide and main points) as an email message.

                    A "list serve" email from spring--2014--me290 will announce when cultural center posting has been completed so final totals for ME 290 can be confirmed on Blackboard. Profile print-outs with points will be returned in class on May 1, Week 15.

                    See you tomorrow!

          Monday, April 21: Dr. Renee Thomas has set aside 25 comp tickets for ME 290 students wishing to attend the Jahari Dance performance on Saturday, April 26th, 7 p.m. in Loeb Theater.

To claim a ticket, just stop by the front desk of the BCC this week and identify yourself as an ME 290 student this semester.

Additionally, we will also count this event as a "supplemental seminar" if you need to make up a missed ME 290 class (+3 points)--just email the same day as the event.  Provide a summary and email to on Saturday to receive points. Note that these are not "bonus points" but points that replace points lost because of a missed Seminar.

Please let me know any questions?


Dianne Atkinson

Week 13:   April 17, 2014`   


Prof. Kirkwood from Krannert joins the Seminar today.


There is a "no appointment needed" picture make-up today at 3:30 p.m. in ME 2042, "Tech Services" in main building, past freight elevator.

            Last BCC session at 3:30 p.m. after class (session is now full).

    For profile point credit, please post profiles on GlobalHUB -- due end of this week, Friday, April 18th, end of Week 13.

    For non-BCC Cultural Center Visits (individually arranged), please email (same day as visit) the report by end of Week 13.

    For supplemental seminar points (+3 per make-up), please complete by Friday, April 25, end of Week 14.

Week 12:   April 10, 2014


Last two assignments--for class this week:

1.  Instructions for posting profiles on GlobalHUB:

        Video demo for registering on GlobalHUB!

    For profile point credit, please post profiles on GlobalHUB

    Link for the National Science Foundation (Purdue software) GlobalHUB website:

2. How to complete 5 points for a  Cultural Center Visit

  ME Scheduler link:


Listserv email for this week:

Our last quiz will be this Thursday--and review questions will go up on the website Wednesday afternoon!

This quiz covers "American Power" and "American Purpose"--really looking ahead. With these last two chapters we will have finished our text and just have a couple of additional items to conclude all the Seminar assignments:

1. Posting Profiles on GlobalHUB--instructions distributed this week.
2. Completing a Cultural Center visit--assignment also distributed this week.

All that remains after the above is attending class through Week 15, that is, May 1. That way, time and energy can be devoted to other classes as the semester draws to a close.

Study Questions--Chapters 6 & 7

1. What is the overall technique that the author uses to suggest where the U.S. may be headed in this present century?

2. Zakaria focuses on global "superpowers" and the options open to these entities. What are some characteristics of "superpowers."?

3. As the industrial revolution developed, what countries were major players?

4. Describe the participation of the U.S. in the industrial revolution and how has the global participation in manufacturing changed in this century?

5. What strengths does Zakaria identify for the U.S. currently?

6. Is "globalization" a good thing or not? In the author's view, who benefits? Who does not?

7. Zakaria has some concerns about the political role the U.S. currently plays in global politics. What advice would he have for the U.S. as the current century goes forward?

8. Zakaria also has some concerns about domestic politics in the U.S. What advice do you think he would offer to the American voter?


Week 11:   April 3, 2014

Agenda--Jerry Matthews, Susan Bush, CCO

Listserve email for this week:

Hello Everyone!

Please bring profiles with an attached (and reviewed) resume to class tomorrow!Those packets will be collected in the "attendance roster" brown folders at the start of class.

Note that the profile packets should have four pages:
1. Cover sheet--detach from assignment packet, complete, and add your signature
2. Global Profile--two pages
3. Resume--one page, ask a friend to review--no need to include review page

Here are some tips:

Professional ethics are important--be sure to include an example of ethical reasoning where you needed to make a judgement--not simply between "right" and "wrong," but between competing values where both or all options represented important values or "rights." On the cover sheet, indicate the conflicting values you used in your own example (Prof. Meckle's hand-out provides several.)

Format is important--use the same format as used in the assignment packet. This is a usual single-spaced format for "formal reports." Note that headings and subheadings make the document easier to read and provide important "high level" information. These elements are more useful if made specific to your document. Provide at least three major divisions to introduce yourself, present credentials, and share a vision for the future.

Resumes should be distinctive--observe the general form of the sample provided but avoid "cookie cutter" similarity. Choose your own hierarchy of headings and create informative phrasing--not necessarily the same as those used in sample/s.

Specifications count--observe the "opportunity space" provided by the two-page specification for the profile and the one-page limit for the resume. Providing either too much or too little weakens the over-all message of formality and professionalism.

Friends can help--in the workplace, important documents are passed around. Doing the same for the profile and resume assignment is a good idea.

Practical issue--please staple so that pages do not become lost or separated.

NEXT WEEK: Our last quiz will be next week over the last two chapters of the Zakaria text. At that point, the only remaining assignments consist of posting the profile on GlobalHUB (instructions will be provided) and completing a cultural center visit (April 15, 16, or 17 for the Black Cultural Center, other centers also available).

BLACKBOARD: Blackboard has just been updated--two bonus points have been awarded for good work on Quiz 2!

SEMINAR THIS WEEK: Due to health issues, our schedule for this week has been updated. Susan Bush from the Center for Career Opportunities will provide an overview of important services offered by the CCO and Jerry Matthew, Director of the ME Office for Industrial Experience, will provide her introduction.

Unexpectedly, I will be away until Friday but welcome your email and will respond to your questions as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Hello Everyone!

The picture appointments begin today in Room ME 2042 ("Tech Services"). The details, including March 31 as the last sign-up day, are contained in the hand-out distributed in class the week prior to Spring Break--also attached to this email and available for printing from our "Assignments" link on MECOM--scroll down to "Week 9."

We will also provide a "grace period" today for picture sign-ups! If you do not yet have a picture appointment, please go right away to the "ME Scheduler" link and get one TODAY!

Here is the link:


Week 10:   March 27, 2014


Quiz 2 this week--Chapters 4 and 5, China and India

Here are study questions! Early profiles earn +1 for submission in class this week! Profiles DUE next week, April 3

Remember to secure a picture appointment by next Monday, March 31--pictures begin next day, April 1.

Review questions for Q2:

1. What changed in China to make global manufacturing a major source of wealth?

2. Describe the distribution of political power in China today.

3. What expectations does Zakaria have about the future distribution of politcal power in China?

ve with countries in Africa?

5. What does Zakaria expect regarding future military expenditures in China?

6. Economic development in India is distinctly different from that of China--how does it differ?

7. Contrast the historical role of colonial powers in China and in India.

8. How do China and India differ in their relationships to the U.S.?

Listserve email this week:

Please remember to finish reading Chapters 4 and 5 in our Zakaria text--about 100 pages in total, covering India and China. Quiz 2, ten questions over those two chapters, will be our first event in class this week.

Study questions over Chapters 4 and 5 will be posted Wednesday evening on our MECOM "Assignments" page for your review.

Also, this week is the +1 bonus opportunity for early profiles and revised resumes! Note that resumes always are improved by second-party reviewers! Invite your friends! We will hear more about resumes in class this week.

The profile packet distributed Week 8 and posted on our "Assignments" page is also attached to this email. The regular due date for all profiles and resumes is next week, Week 11, April 3. Please remember to fill out a COVER SHEET to submit your packet (profile plus resume) and staple all pages together.  The cover sheet is included in the assignment.

Finally, remember to make a picture appointment by next Monday, March 31. Here is the link:


Week 9:   March 13, 2014


Global Opportunities student participant contact emails:

Kat Frangos, China ETA (class-size): <>

Andrew Savage, Turkey: <>

Ashley March, Australia: <>

Rachel Lindsey: <>

Graham Barnet <>


Letter to families from ME Head Prof. Bajaj regarding ETA's for 2015




Hand-out: Picture Assignment


Listserve email this week:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

            Week 9: International Opportunities

This week we will hear about opportunities to make global experiences part of your Purdue BSME!

Looking ahead, here are some dates to keep in mind:

Quiz II alert: On text Chapters 4 (China) & 5 (India)--our next quiz is scheduled for the week after Spring Break, March 27.

Picture alert: Picture appointments begin Tuesday, April 1--be sure you have your place reserved by Monday, March 31. The link follows:

Profile alert: Profiles with a revised resume attached are due in class on April 3, Week 11.

Please let me know your questions?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

            Pictures! Also, getting started on Profiles!

Please use the above link to make your professional picture appointment if you have not already done so!

Also, ME 290 on Blackboard
has been updated with Quiz 1 and also a Quiz 1 Bonus of +2. Good work!

Remember the profile is due on April 3, two weeks after Spring Break.

You might begin with the last profile segment by considering your own VISION for your career as a global mechanical engineer. The National Academy of Engineering website offers inspiring discussions of "Grand Challenges" for this century:

This source can support your thinking in several ways:

1. "Grand Challenges" are identified--these have been carefully developed by a diverse task force so you have the option of "thinking big impact."  Tour around and make some choices--your Purdue BSME positions you to be ambitious and to make a difference.

2.  Specific and even technical vocabulary are used in discussing these challenges. Acquiring professional terminology is a critical component of becoming credible in writing and speaking about your engineering interests. Use professional terminology in your Global Profile for impact!

3.  By identifying areas of interest, you can indicate how your previous accomplishments and your future investments are building your credentials for what you want to do. Your selections of technical electives can help build presentation--also work experience, hobbies, and awards.

The Global Profile has three parts--an introduction, a section on experience and credentials, and finally, a "vision" segment about your future as a global mechanical engineer.

The class hand-out (also posted on our
course page, Week 8) provides a writing guide in the form of questions to answer for each of these three parts.

The National Academy of Engineers' list of "
Grand Challenges" is a great place to start planning that last segment of the profile.

To recap: The Global Profile is a two-page statement about "who you are," what you have to offer, and where you want to go! Total words should be about 1000; the final product should occupy all available space on two pages (single-spaced). A current resume will also be attached.

Please let me know questions and we'll start an "FAQ" on our course webpage for this semester,

            Week 9: International Opportunities

This week we will hear about opportunities to make global experiences part of your Purdue BSME!

Looking ahead, here are some dates to keep in mind:

Quiz II alert: On text Chapters 4 (China) & 5 (India)--our next quiz is scheduled for the week after Spring Break, March 27.

Picture alert: Picture appointments begin Tuesday, April 1--be sure you have your place reserved by Monday, March 31. The link follows:

Profile alert: Profiles with a revised resume attached are due in class on April 3, Week 11.

Please let me know your questions?


Week 8:   March 6, 2014


Link for professional picture appointments--please use before April 1:

Profile Assignment (class hand-out, can be printed here)

Resume Assignment (class hand-out, can be printed here)

Quiz I this week--10 multiple-choice questions over Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of Zakaria's The Post-American World

Complete the assigned reading and review "study questions" here--see below.

Quiz 1 is this week--10 multiple choice questions!

Here are some study questions to consider as review:

1. What does the author mean by "the rise of the rest"?

2. The author described three main power shifts in the last 500 years. What are they?

3. What does this last shift mean for the U.S.?

4. Multiple disasters unfolded in the first decade of this century. What happened to the growth of the global economy?

 5. Zakaria argues that some of our most important problems are the result of successes, rather than failures. What would be some examples of these kinds of problems?

6. In recent years, attitudes toward free trade, open markets, and democracy have been changing--including here in the U.S. How is the change in U.S. opinion similar or different from opinion change elsewhere?

7. Zakaria discusses the world before 1500 and the world after 1500. In comparing East and West, what changed? What is Zakaria's hypothesis about why the change occurred? If the explanation is not "culture," what is it?

8. As trade and political interactions have increased along with globalization, what has happened to the structure of governments around the world?

9. Zakaria observes that McDonalds and Starbucks are "everywhere" now. What is happening to "local" identities as reflected in movies, news sources, and architecture as globalization continues to develop?


Listserve email this week:

Hello Everyone!

The schedule for professional pictures has just been set. To make an appointment, please use
the above link for the "ME Scheduler" to sign in and to select a time in one of four sessions: April 1, April 3, April 8, or April 10.

To make this system work efficiently, please be mindful of the following:

1. Appointments can be changed if the change is completed before 5 p.m. on the prior day.
The reason is that  "same day" changes often mean that the slot remains empty and potentially creates a shortage of time slots.

We need to ensure that everyone finds an appointment ahead of time to avoid pressure on times toward the end of the assignment window.

Thanks for working with this system that means no one has to wait in line!

Questions? Please email

Suggestions for attire and directions to the photo site will be provided as a class hand-out next week, March 13.

Also next week, Prof. Krousgrill will join the Seminar to talk about international opportunities for MEs.

Today in class we will complete the following:

1. Quiz 1, 10 multiple choice questions over Chapters 1, 2, 3; review questions on on our
course page, ME 290 "Assignments"
2. Profile/Resume assignments distributed--due April 3, Week 11.
3. Writing Sample (10 minutes).

See you soon!

Dianne Atkinson
-- Dianne Atkinson, Ph.D.
Director, Global Studies and International Experiences
Office: ME 3003B  10:00 to 11:30 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
Voice: 765.494.1363


Week 7:   February 27, 2014

Faculty Guest Speaker Prof. David Cappelleri


Listserve email this week:

Hello Everyone!

Blackboard for ME 290 is now available:

So far the only entries on Blackboard are those for a missed seminar (-3).
If you wish to make up  those points,  a completed "Supplemental Seminar" will earn +3 points.
A list of available seminars and instructions are available with the link  under "ME 290" on our course page,   

Suggestions are welcome for additional "professional" listings.

When viewing Blackboard entries, note that, in the interest of efficiency, only "misses" are logged:
no entries =  perfect attendance.

This week, Thursday, February 27,  our guest speaker will be Prof. Cappelleri who will talk about the current "Robotics Wave," including micro and nano robots as well as micro-bio robots.

See you tomorrow!

Dianne Atkinson

P.S. For a professional climate, please give our speakers your full attention. This means that open laptops, keyboarding on portable devices, and other distracting activities (abacus practice?) are not welcome. Thanks for working together on this.

Dianne Atkinson, Ph.D.
Director, Global Studies and International Experiences
Office: ME 3003B
Voice: 765.494.1363


Week 6:   February 20, 2014

Guest Speaker and Distinguished Engineering Alum (DEA): Jill Hruby, VP Sandia National Labs


Listserve email this week:

Hello Everyone!

I look forward to working with you in ME 290 as we move into the global engineering assignments.

A course page for the ME 290 Seminar is now available. Assignments, hand-outs, and announcements made in class will be available on this page as we go forward. Beginning next week, supplemental seminars listed on the course page will be available to replace points if you must miss one of the regularly scheduled seminars. Also beginning next week, attendance records will be available on Blackboard for ME 290.

Note that Quiz 1 scheduled for Week 8 (March 6) will cover the first three chapters of our text
, about 100 pages of The Post-American World, Release 2.0. The quiz will consist of 10 multiple-choice questions and review questions will be posted the day before the quiz on the ME 290  "Assignments" link. This text is a "read on your own" assignment.

To navigate to the course page, go to the ME Home Page and select "ME Communications" from the pull-down menu for "Academics." Note the "ME 290" options on the left-side menu.

The direct link for the ME 290 course page is

Please let me know if you have questions?

Thank you,

Dianne Atkinson

Dianne Atkinson, Ph.D.
Director, Global Studies and International Experiences
Office: ME 3003B
Voice: 765.494.1363