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Common Ground Across Disciplines: What do mathematics and engineering educators have in common? A lot, it turns out, as was discovered in January when a group of ASEE members attended the joint meeting of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.

The Exxon Education Foundation sponsored the educators' trip to the San Antonio, Texas, meeting in an effort to build bridges between the disciplines, according to Robert Witte, senior program officer. "A lot of the work going on in mathematics is directly applicable to engineering," Witte explained, so the disciplines should find ways to work together.

Shirley Pomerantz, chair of ASEE Mathematics Division, says the disciplines have a vested interest in each other's welfare. "Mathematics departments depend on engineering departments to provide them with students, and engineering departments depend on mathematics departments to prepare their engineering students," Pomerantz explains.

Mathematics and engineering programs often recruit from the same student pool, and, in fact, the educators often cross disciplines themselves. Mathematics is the foundation of engineering, and many of the ASEE participants recalled how their love of math led them to engineering. Also, several of the mathematics educators said that at one time or another in their education or careers they had considered pursuing engineering instead of mathematics.

With the common ground established, the educators set about finding ways to work together for their mutual benefit. The purpose was not to adopt any policy or agenda, but to raise awareness of the issues and to encourage cross-disciplinary communication. All of the participants agreed to go back to their campuses and do just that.

In at least one instance, however, a participant didn't even have to wait to get back to campus. Anton Pintar, an associate professor at Michigan Technological University, explains that he saw a familiar face at the conference-the chair of his college's mathematics division-and the two ended up discussing their respective disciplines and their common challenges and goals.

Pomerantz says she'd like to see a continuation of that type of dialogue at ASEE division meetings and annual conferences, perhaps through more joint sessions on mathematics and engineering topics. She says she will also propose a formal liaison between ASEE and the Mathematical Association of America.

Calls for Papers

  • ASEE PRISM seeks opinion pieces on topics related to engineering or engineering technology for its Last Word column. Please send your submissions to: ASEE PRISM, 1818 N St., NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036; e-mail: prism@asee.org .
     
  • Authors are invited to submit papers for review for the Journal of Engineering Technology. Refer to the latest issue for complete manuscript requirements, a style guide for authors, and a list of topics of interest. Submit 11 copies of the printed manuscript with abstract and disk to: Timothy Zeigler, Southern Polytechnic State University, 100 S. Marietta Pkwy., Marietta, GA 30060; (770) 528-5495; fax (770) 528-5455; e-mail: tzeigler@spsu.edu ; or see www.asee.org/publications.
     
  • The Journal of Engineering Education accepts unsolicited manuscripts based upon their contribution to engineering and technology education, development of new ideas, and appeal to a broad readership of engineering educators and others. For review, send six copies to: John Prados, Chemical Engineering Dept., 419 Dougherty Engineering Bldg., University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996; (615) 974-2421; fax (615) 974-7076; e-mail: jprados@utk.edu .
     
  • The Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) is looking for engineering problems to use in its Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS), an academic competition for high school students. TEAMS problems reflect the level of rigor found in first semester engineering courses. See www.jets.org/teams  for the required problem format and examples. For more information, contact Joe Essman, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Ohio University, 334 Stocker Center, Athens, OH 45701; (614) 593-1574; fax (614) 593-0007; e-mail: essman@bobcat.ent.ohiou.edu ; or see www.jets.org
     
  • ASEE divisions, sections, and publications are welcome to publish calls for academic papers in ASEE PRISM. Please submit your calls at least 12 weeks prior to desired publication and try to keep them under 200 words. All calls will also be published on ASEE's home page. Send submissions to: Andrea Gabrick, fax (202) 265-8504; e-mail: prism@asee.org .

The following call for papers is for the 2000 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, to be conducted June 18-21 in St. Louis, Missouri. This information is updated regularly at www.asee.org/conferences .

  • The Architectural Engineering Division seek papers of interest to engineering, architecture, construction, building, and technology professionals. Topics may include: cooperative efforts between education and industry; research in undergraduate education; innovative teaching methods and curriculum; cooperative programs between universities; international education and teaching experiences; integrating design into the curriculum; using new technology in the classroom; education co-ops and internships; student projects; case studies; and professional and technical issues. Additional topics will be considered.
    Submit a 200 to 300-word abstract and a brief biographical sketch by October 15 to: Lisa Wipplinger, Architectural Engineering and Construction Science, 240 Seaton Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506; e-mail:
    lisawip@arecns.ksu.edu ; (785) 532-5964; fax (785) 532-6944.
     
  • The Civil Engineering Division seeks papers on topics that enhance teaching and learning in civil engineering and that fall within the purview of one or more of the division's standing committees: Educational Policy, Professional Practice, Teaching Methodology, and Computer Applications. Submit 300-word abstracts along with a one-paragraph biographical sketch (e-mail preferred) by October 15 to: Samuel P. Clemence, College of Engineering & Computer Science, Syracuse University, 220 Hinds Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244-1190; (315) 443-2554; fax (315) 443-1243, e-mail: spclemen@syr.edu .
     
  • The Design in Engineering Education Division (DEED) invites papers on any topic related to the role of design in engineering education, including (but not limited to): Relationship between design, assessment, and ABET EC 2000; design for product life cycle; capstone design projects; interdisciplinary and industrial design projects; design/build/test projects; innovative or unusual techniques used in teaching design; applying technology in design education; and design for manufacture, design for assembly.
    An abstract of 250 words is due by September 15; full papers are due December 1. Authors will be notified by January 14. Volunteers are also sought to review the papers and moderate sessions. Contact Steve Klegka, Program Chair, DEED, 2000 ASEE Conference, Civil and Mechanical Engineering Dept., U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996; (914) 938- 2665; fax (914) 938-5522;
    e-mail:
    ij6336@trotter.usma.edu .
     
  • The Energy Conversion and Conservation (ECC) Division seeks abstracts on all division-related subjects. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: ECC curricula, courses, and student projects, and the impact of changing technology on ECC education. Interested authors should send a 300 to 500-word abstract by September 18 to: Sheila C. Palmer, Mechanical Engineering Dept., U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, 21402-5042; (410) 293-6511; fax (410) 293-2591; e-mail: spalmer@nadn.navy.mil .
    Indicate if the paper should be peer-reviewed for publication in the Conference Proceedings. Authors will be notified of acceptance of the paper for presentation and/or peer review by mid-October. Full-length papers for peer review are due December 1.
  • The Liberal Education Division (LED) seeks proposals for complete sessions (usually three presentations) as well as individual papers. LED provides a forum for considering the ways in which the humanities and social sciences can contribute to engineering education, and encourages all scholars interested in the interaction of science, technology, and society to explore the ways that the major insights of their fields can be used to shape the education of engineers.
    The division has an ongoing concern with the implementation of ABET's EC 2000 and encourages papers that explore the intellectual and practical dimensions of bringing liberal education into full membership in the community of engineering educators. All topics pertinent to liberal education for engineering students will be considered.
    Submit 250 to 500-word abstracts (e-mail preferred) by August 15 to: Joseph Herkert, Division of Multidisciplinary Studies, North Carolina State University, Box 7107, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7107; (919) 515-7997; e-mail:
    herkert@social.chass.ncsu.edu . Please include the paper title(s), institutional affiliation, mailing and e-mail addresses, and fax and phone numbers.
     
  • The Manufacturing Division seeks papers on a variety of topics, including: benchmarking manufacturing programs; models for curricula and courses; innovations in teaching manufacturing developing; enhancing laboratories for manufacturing; using computers and the Internet in manufacturing education; design in the manufacturing curriculum; effective models for research; trends in manufacturing education and research; manufacturing education and research coalitions; competencies and assessment in the manufacturing curriculum; and technological innovations in industry and curriculum. Send abstracts (e-mail preferred) by September 10 to: Eric Tisdale, Ball State University, Industry & Technology Dept., AT 207 A, Muncie, IN 47306; (765) 285-5656; fax (765) 285-2162; e-mail: etisdale@bsu.edu.
     
  • The Mechanics Division seeks abstracts on all division-related subjects. Suggested topics include basic mechanics in the integrated curriculum; answering ABET; How do you know your course does what it's supposed to?; design projects and laboratory developments for engineering mechanics courses; and innovative teaching methods in mechanics including software development and multimedia tools. Submit a one-page abstract by September 30 to: Robert L. Hastie, Jr., HQ DTRA/SWP, 6801 Telegraph Rd., Alexandria, VA 22310; (703) 325-1273; fax (703) 325-2961; e-mail: robert.hastie@dtra.mil .Full-length papers are due December 15.

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