Chemical Sciences at the Interface of Education|University of Michigan
Preparing the next generation of chemistry faculty

Long in the forefront of delivering innovative and quality instruction in Chemistry, the UM Chemistry Department pairs CSIE-UM participants (postdoctoral associates, graduate and undergraduate students) with faculty members working on revamping the curriculum, reworking laboratory instruction, exploring new approaches and technologies in pedagogy, and more.

History & Development of CSIE|UM Change 2016 (Mar/Apr) 48:2 pp. 34-43.

2010: pre-CSIE|UM work featured in a review article by Ann Austin (pp 119-120)
January 2015: CSIE|UM article in the W15 Chemistry Newsletter
July 2015: 2015 LSA Outstanding Contribution to Undergraduate Education
October 2015: CSIE|UM shortlisted for 2015 “Reimagine Education” award.
April 2016: 2106 Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize
June 2016: Letter to the Editor (Chemical & Engineering News)

CSIE|UM Logo for your use: lo-res logo and hi-res logo
For your use: video release form

Summer 2015 CSIE|UM Newsletter

FALL 2016 • Program Schedule
WINTER 2017 • Program Schedule

Graduate Student Summer Internship at PUI

There is an opportunity for a graduate student to spend 8-10 weeks over the summer as a visiting graduate student in Prof. Carolyn Anderson’s group at Calvin College. This would be of interest to a student who is interested in learning what it is like to be a PI at a PUI, to spend time both conducting research and supervising undergraduates in a PUI environment.

This program will provide funding for the student’s stipend for 8-10 weeks along with housing at Calvin. Because the student will be here in Ann Arbor for roughly 1/2 of the Spring/Summer terms, they will need to be covered as a 25% GSRA by their UM advisor. As part of the application, the student will need to obtain a letter of recommendation from their faculty advisor that also affirm’s the advisor is OK with the graduate student spending 8-10 weeks at Calvin. The length and dates are negotiable (although their academic year does not end until May 20th, so the 8-10 week period of time will most likely need to fall in the late-May to late-August time window. Prof. Anderson is an organic chemist, and her research is centered on the synthesis of heterocycles (mainly N-alkyl pyridones), so this may be primarily of interest to students working in areas of synthetic chemistry. Here is a link to her faculty webpage.

A short flyer with a little additional information can be found here.





2016-17 ARCHIVE


Academic Laboratory Management

CSIE|UM invited six UM Chemistry professors (2 from each level of professorship) to provide perspective and share their own philosophies and practices on managing their labs in a pair of town-hall style discussions.

Friday, March 24, 2017: Panel on Academic Laboratory Management (Part 1)

Prof. Charles McCrory, Prof. Anna Mapp, and Prof. Pavel Nagorny

This panel focused on topics including: designing an educative environment, writing of reference letters, and recruiting, retaining, and graduating lab members.

Friday, March 31, 2017: Panel on Academic Laboratory Management (Part 2)

Prof. Vincent Pecoraro, Prof. Nathaniel Szymczak, and Prof. Alison Narayan

This panel focused on topics including:: motivation, conflict resolution, effective communication strategies, and research collaborations.

See the full report here.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017: Hands-On Museum Showcase

The Ann Arbor Hands on Museum, a local interactive children museum, hosted a group of University of Michigan Chemistry Department PhD students and postdoctoral associates to showcase recently developed activities and demos.  The activities and demos were developed as a collaboration between CSIE|UM and the Hands on Museum to feature research being conducted in the UM Chemistry Department.  This event was the last event in a four part series called ‘Science for the Public’ promoting understanding of science research to the general public.

See the full report here.

Link a report from the Ruotolo lab.

Link to a report from the Pratt lab.


Friday, February 24, 2017: Session on Translating Research

The second part of the “translating research” series was held on Friday, February 24, 2017. Nicole Wright from the Hands-on Museum lead a workshop on how to think about and prepare an activity for the public. Part of this workshop was devoted to brainstorming activity ideas in groups.

These events focus on translating your lab’s research into an outreach activity. The activities will be designed in groups with guidance from the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum. The final event of this series is to perform your activity on the floor of the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum!

See report, here.


Friday, February 17, 2017: Panel on International Issues in Academic Employment

Prof. Karin Chumbimuni-Torres (University of Central Florida)
Prof. Daniele Fabris (State University of New York at Albany)
Prof. Simon Duttwyler (Zhejiang University)

Originally from Peru in South America, Karin is appointed as an assistant professor in the department of chemistry in University of Central Florida. Dan Fabris ventured into the academics career in the United States coming from Italy. He is currently a professor of chemistry and biological sciences at the State University of New York in Albany. Our last panelist, Simon Duttwyler, joined us via Skype from Switzerland, which is his hometown. He is currently a professor of chemistry at Zhejiang University in China.

See the full report here.

Friday, February 10, 2017: “Is This What I Think It Is? Identifying Microaggressions in the Classroom and Beyond” 

Microagressions are everyday verbal or nonverbal environmental slights, snubs and insults that, more often than not, are subconsciously committed by individuals with a privileged, and/or dominant culture background. Elizabeth Rohr, Program Coordinator with the University’s Barger Leadership Institute facilitated a group discussion, as well as small group activities, that focused on identifying and addressing the role and impact that microaggressions have in and on our daily lives and beyond.

See the full report here.

Friday, Jan 27, 2017: Chemistry Education in Africa


A seminar and discussion on”Chemistry Education in Africa” was given by Samuel Mawolo Johnson.  Samuel is a visiting scholar of the U-M African Presidential Scholars (UMAPS) program in collaboration with Prof. Brian Coppola, Prof. Bart Bartlett, Dr. Alex Poniatowski, and Samuel Earey on developing chemistry laboratory experiments to take back to his home university at the University of Liberia, which has been gutted and left in poor conditions after the recent civil war.

See the full report here.


Saturday, Jan 24, 2017: Science for the Public


On Saturday, January 21st, a group of 12 University of Michigan chemistry graduate students from 11 different research groups participated in an afternoon event at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum. This is the first of 3-4 sessions where students will transform their research ideas and results into a form that is accessible for the general public, and particularly for children.

See the full report here.

Friday, Jan 6, 2017: Collaborations with K-12 Teachers

Dr. Mary Starr, the executive director of the Michigan Math and Science Centers, led a discussion about the deep needs for engagement with K-5 teachers, the general outline of the Next Generation Standards and how they are represented in Michigan. After a hands-on activity with pendular motion, Dr. Starr outlined the standard, multi-session program in which students and teachers could interact, which can also be hosted at U-M.

The full report is here.


Monday, Dec 5, 2016: Careers in Publishing

Dr. Vjekoslav Dekaris, a scientific editor for Cell Chemistry, outlined the background for his career including his motivations; he cited what he felt was a lack of reward for hard work in graduate school combined with limited desire to continue lab work as his primary motivations for transitioning into a non-laboratory based career path.

The report for this event is here.


Friday, Nov 4, 2016: Panel on Early Career Experiences
The panel on Early Career experiences featured three faculty members from a range of institutions who were in similar positions in their tenure track. Our guests were Prof. Charles McCrory from the University of Michigan (2nd year), Prof. Oleksandr Kokhan from James Madison University (3rd year), and Prof. Cory Emal from Eastern Michigan University (6th year). Approximately 40 University of Michigan graduate students and post-docs were in attendance.

Prof. Oleksandr Kokhan also gave a seminar:
Molecular Mechanisms of Short-Range Electron Transfer in Metalloproteins

See the full report, here.




2015-16 ARCHIVE

CSIE|UM 2016 Symposium •  Program
June 17, 2016 • Directions & Location

 CSIE|UM 2016 Symposium
Friday, June 17, 2016
University of Michigan • Chemistry Building
Welcome, Report, & Keynote in Room 1640 CHEM

Detailed Report from the 2016 Symposium is located here.

09:00 AM – registration
09:30 AM – welcome
09:45 AM  – break-out discussions
11:00 AM – report (plenary)
12:00 PM – lunch
01:00 PM – poster session over dessert
02:00 PM – concurrent hands-on workshops
04:00 PM – keynote address by Professor Marcy Towns, Purdue University

MarcyTownsFaculty & Student Goals for Undergraduate Laboratories
Professor Marcy Towns • Purdue University
The faculty perspective on the laboratory has been investigated via a mixed methods study to articulate the goals, strategies, and assessments used in undergraduate teaching laboratories. Additionally, we have investigated the student perspective of laboratory with the goal of comparing it to the faculty perspective and improving instruction. Results of our research about the goals of majors and non-majors will be discussed as well as initial forays into improving laboratory instruction.

Sign-Up Details (PRE-REGISTER by midnight, Friday, June 10, 2016)
ACTIVE LINK: http://goo.gl/forms/InXaekBOsQ

There is no cost to attend the Symposium, and lunch is provided. However, to gauge the food and space needs, we do require pre-registration. You can:

  • Register to attend the symposium activities, including the lunch
  • Register to present a poster
  • Register to participate in a hands-on workshop.

If you are registering to present a poster over the dessert hour, please be prepared to submit a poster title and list of author names when you register.

Poster boards (4×4 feet) and easels will be available for displaying your work.


09:45-10:45 AM          Break-out Discussions

In six concurrent break-out sessions, participants will discuss topics related to the themes of the day. Each discussion will be in a different room and will have a local host and notetaker. The notes will be the basis for sharing the discussion during the plenary reporting out.

Topics for Discussion

  1. Can you innovate (in undergraduate labs) without it taking over your life? (CHEM 1624)
  2. Can an innovation outlast the innovator? (CHEM 1632)
  3. Should lab and lecture always be integrated? (CHEM 1628)
  4. As chemistry is increasingly interdisciplinary, what is the role and purpose of the traditional chemistry curriculum? (CHEM 1636)
  5. Why do labs exist? What value do they bring? Are there core skills and practices we expect students to learn in undergraduate labs? If so, what? (CHEM 1300)
  6. Can meaningful writing be incorporated into the undergraduate chemistry curriculum? (CHEM 1400)

11:00 AM-12:00          Report (Plenary) – RECONVENE IN 1640 CHEM

The break-out groups will reconvene and report back to all in attendance about their discussion: key ideas, emergent questions, potential solutions, good models, etc.

02:00-03:45 PM          Workshops

If you are registering to participate in one of the afternoon hand-on workshops, you will be asked to choose one of the following:

A. Student Collaboration in Experimental Setup and Data Analysis in the Laboratory (CHEM A736 LAB)
Team: *Prof. Anne McNeil, *Michele Nelson, & *Sameer Phadke
Traditional introductory organic chemistry laboratory courses involve students following a ‘recipe’ to synthesize a particular product. While such a format may introduce the student to basic laboratory skills, it does not encourage developing a scientific approach to solving a particular problem. To address this pitfall, we have developed a curriculum based on three 3-week long modules with an emphasis on guided inquiry-based learning. This workshop will encompass portions of one 3-week module. 

B. Instructor Guided Research Projects in an Organic Laboratory Course (CHEM 1650)
Team: *Casey Dougherty & *Prof. John Wolfe
An open discussion about incorporating scientific literature and student’s original synthetic design into an introductory laboratory course. The discussion will have a focus on challenges undergraduates students have had in the past, potential ideas for the future, and the ability to expand the idea to other lab courses. PLEASE BRING A LAPTOP. 

C. Constructing and Using Open-source Data Acquisition Devices (CHEM 2550 LAB)
Team: *James P. Grinias, *Daniel Steyer, Jason T. Whitfield, & Prof. Robert Kennedy
Many research and teaching labs rely on USB data acquisition devices to collect voltage signals from instrumentation, but such devices can sometimes be cost-prohibitive in large quantities. In this session, you will learn how to build your own device from a few commercial electronic parts including an Arduino Uno. Open-source software has been developed to control the device and participants will have an opportunity to use it with the constructed devices to collect a generated voltage signal.

D. Compute-to-Learn: Designing Interactive, Computer-Based Demonstrations (SCIENCE LEARNING CENTER LAB)
Team: *Alicia Welden,*Blair Winograd & Prof. Eitan Geva
An interactive session to learn the basic Mathematica syntax needed to design a dynamic Mathematica Demo, as seen at Demonstrations.Wolfram.com.  In this session, you will work to develop a basic Mathematica Demo.  Once completed, you will work to add elements of your own to the demonstration.  The tutorial that you will be completing is a shortened version of the tutorial actually offered in the Chem260H studio course.  To see some examples of Demonstrations developed by the students involved in this project, go to: http://umich.edu/~pchem/compute-to-learn.html. This session is meant to help you develop the tools needed to begin coding in Mathematica, so no previous coding experience is required!

FALL 2015 • Program Schedule
WINTER 2016 • Program Schedule

May 6, 2016 seminar: Career Perspectives from a PUI


Professor Carolyn Anderson from Calvin College gave a seminar for CSEI|UM where she addressed the intricacies of education at PUIs. See the full report here.

March 25, 2016 panel: Project work with the SLC and the SWC
Representatives from the LSA Science Learning Center and the Sweetland Writing Center described their respective units and offered up options for how graduate students might engage with the SLC and the SWC on FFGSI projects.

See the full report here.

February 19, 2016 panel: Working with Post-Docs

PDPANELGuest Professor Tim Clark (University of San Diego, center) was joined by U-M Professors Brent Martin (l) and Nate Szymczak (r). The goal of the panel was to provide advice for hiring post-docs in various settings. Picture this: you’ve landed your dream job at a large research university, and need a post-doc to jump start your research. How do you attract post docs to your lab when you are a new name? Or you’re at a primarily undergraduate institution and you’d like to have a post-doc in your lab to help mentor students and advance the science. How does a post-doc position at a PUI work and how do you get candidates interested? See the full report here.

December 11, 2015 Seminar: Studying Flipped Classrooms

flipped1On Friday, December 11th, CSIE|UM welcomed Professor Joanne Smieja from Gonzaga University for a discussion on the effects of “flipped” instruction vs. traditional “unflipped” instruction on students’ performance in the first semester General Chemistry course. Professor Smieja created two general chemistry sections in the Fall of 2014, one taught using the traditional lecture instruction and one taught using a “flipped” style instruction. During the semester Professor Smieja collected data to determine if the class structure affected her students performance in the class. Her talk, entitled “Traditional versus inverted delivery of general chemistry content: Does it make a difference?” discussed her results from this study. See the full report and video here.

December 4, 2015 panel: Reports from the FFGSIs

On Friday, December 4, 2015 we heard from some of our future faculty graduate student instructors (FFGSIs). These individuals took advantage of the opportunity to use half of their teaching appointment to work on an education-related project with a faculty advisor.

FFGSIgroup(left to right):
Jieming Li presented her work with the Single-Molecular Analysis Research Laboratory (SMART) to develop a research program for undergraduate students.
Alicia Welden and Kyle Williams presented their Compute-to-Learn project from the CHEM 260 Honors Studio.
Jacob Lutter presented the work he did with Ginger Shultz to investigate the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of our organic chemistry lab GSIs.
Nate May presented his work in the general chemistry lab sections doing authentic research with snow chemistry.
Jessica Rabuck-Gibbons presented her work developing special labs for the biomedical analytical chemistry lab course.

A more detailed report, and a video, can be found here.

November 20, 2015 Seminar: The University of the Future

Kaul1Professor Gautam Kaul is part of the U-M leadership team for the DEI (Digital Education & Innovation). In his lively and candid seminar, he emphasized that universities are stressed to provide education to students while they are losing their governmental support. Because of this, universities have had to increase tuition, which ultimately threatens students access to higher education. While the US universities are losing funding, global universities are emerging and do not require or have an investment in physical space similar to the US universities.  Dr. Kaul outlined the real challenge: universities have to work hard to provide the high quality of their education at lower costs than what is being provided now.

A more detailed report, and a video, can be found here.

Nov 13, 2015 Seminar: Undergraduate Research in a PUI SettingSunghee1Professor Sunghee Lee (Iona College) gave an outstanding talk on mentoring undergraduate research at a PUI. Dr. Lee has built an extensive undergraduate research program, and her group is currently composed of 13 undergraduate members who range from freshman to seniors. She has won numerous awards and grants for her research and her mentoring and teaching. Her talk, entitled “Project Symphony: Bringing Undergraduate Research to a Crescendo”, discussed important themes in running a successful undergraduate research lab. A detailed report, and the video, can be found here.

October 23, 2015 Pedagogical Demo: Teaching with Technology





This Fall CSIE|UM introduced the Pedagogical Demonstration, where education experts are invited to showcase exciting and innovative teaching methods for the classroom. The theme for this Falls Demo was on applied technology in the classroom, and CSIE|UM had the pleasure of hosting two experts in this area: Professor Resa Kelly, from San Jose State University, on the use of animations and other visualizations in the classroom, and Professor Barry Fishman from the University of Michigan, who has developed “gradecraft,” a gaming-based platform for managing a multi-item contract grading format in large classroom settings.

A detailed report, and the video, can be found here.


2014-15 ARCHIVE

CSIE|UM 2015 Symposium • Program Schedule
June 19, 2015 • Directions & Location

panel2The inaugural CSIE|UM Symposium was held on Friday, June 19, 2015. This event, as are the rest of our activities, was designed, organized, and carried out by the CSIE|UM organizing committee.

The theme for the day revolved around the challenges for teaching undergraduate laboratory courses. A detailed report about the day’s events can be found under the News entry for June 19, 2015.

Chemical Sciences at the Interface of Education
University of Michigan
CSIE|UM 2015 Symposium

 CSIE|UM is a program in the University of Michigan’s department of chemistry in which chemistry students who are interested in academic careers, undergraduate through post-doctoral associates, can work on projects involving instructional development, implementation, and/or assessment. These projects are led by the faculty and imbedded in the instructional program in the department, which creates a mechanism and a culture for sustained and iterative improvement within the teaching program.

The CSIE|UM Symposium is an annual opportunity to present and engage chemistry education projects.

The goals for this symposium are two-fold, (1) exposure of ongoing chemistry education projects, both locally and regionally, and (2) to provide a feedback loop between project designers and the broader community.

For our inaugural symposium we have chosen to highlight the recent revisions on our undergraduate laboratory courses for break-out sessions in the afternoon.

 CSIE|UM 2015 Symposium
Friday, June 19, 2015
University of Michigan • Chemistry Building
All session in the Lower Atrium
Keynote in Room 1640 CHEM

10:00 AM – registration and snacks
10:20 AM – welcome
10:30 AM – panel discussion on laboratory design challenges
12:00 PM – poster session and lunch
01:30 PM – hands-on lab sessions
03:00 PM – keynote address by Elizabeth Vogel Taylor, MIT

TaylorResearch-Inspired Biochemistry in the MIT Undergraduate Laboratories
The academic, biotech and pharmaceutical research in and around the MIT campus provides a natural opportunity to
connect the skills and concepts from the chemistry curriculum to cutting-edge applications. As part of the Howard
Hughes Professorship Program, we have developed resources that integrate current research into both lecture and
laboratory courses.

Registration Details (REGISTER by midnight, Friday, June 12, 2015)

There is no cost to attend the Symposium, and lunch is provided. However, to gauge the food and space needs, we do require pre-registration. You can:

  • Register to attend the symposium activities, including the lunch
  • Register to present a poster
  • Register to participate in a hands-on laboratory experience.

If you are registering to present a poster over the lunch hour, please be prepared to submit a poster title and list of author names when you register.

Poster boards (4×4 feet) and easels will be available for displaying your work.

If you are registering to participate in one of the afternoon hand-on laboratory experiences, you will be asked to choose one of the following:

  • Tailoring “upstairs” research for “downstairs” learning in general chemistry laboratory
  • Introducing group meeting style discussion to organic chemistry I laboratory
  • Planning an optimization experiment in organic chemistry II laboratory
  • Design and analysis of a microfluidics system using Agar in chemical analysis laboratory

Video from the poster session:

FALL 2014 • Program Schedule
WINTER 2015 • Program Schedule

April 17, 2015 Panel: What is Honors?

HonorsAProfessor Brian Coppola, Dr. Heidi Henrickson, Dr. Ginger Shultz, and Dr. Amy Gottfried served as the panelists.

Panelists agreed that the purpose of Honors was to broaden and deepen the students’ undergraduate experience in the discipline, in whatever way that made sense for the course, the instructor, and the department.

Different models for earning Honors credit exist, including supplemental instruction, specially designated course sections, and “Honors” conversions for individual students. For more information about this session, please see the News entry for April 17, 2015.

April 16, 2015 Visit from Professor Teaster Baird (SFSU)

bairdProfessor Teaster Baird from San Francisco State University (SFSU) for a series of discussions on inclusive teaching and a seminar of his current work. To start the day, Professor Baird met with several CSIE|UM graduate students and post-doctoral fellows for an informal breakfast to get to know the students and answer any questions they had. 

Over lunch, Professor Baird held an open discussion with graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty members on inclusive teaching.

Professor Baird finished off his day at Michigan with a seminar titled, “Proteases & Pedagogy: Intentionally Blurring the Lines of Teaching and Research.” A common theme throughout his talk… and throughout the day… was the blurring of teaching and research and working to strengthen students’ scientific identities.

For more information, please see the News entry for April 16, 2015.

April 3, 2015 Three Sessions on Academic Interviews

April3Session1APART ONE: “Getting on the short list” Professor Alan Kiste (Cal Poly-SLO), Professor Stacey Bucannan (Henry Ford Community College), and Professor Neil Marsh (U-M) led a panel on strategies for making your application package stand out.

PART TWO: “Preparing for the interview” Professor Stacey Bucannan (Henry Ford Community College), Professor Alan Kiste (Cal Poly-SLO), and Professor Mark Banaszak-Holl (U-M) led a panel on how to prepare for the interview process itself.

PART THREE: “Speed Interviews” Professor Stacey Bucannan (Henry Ford Community College), Professor Alan Kiste (Cal Poly-SLO), and Professor Bart Bartlett (U-M) led a novel interactive session for senior graduate students and postdocs interested in interviewing for academic positions.

More details and discussion about these sessions can be found here, in the News from April 3, 2015.

April 1, 2015 Seminar: Studio Chemistry at Cal Poly – SLO
Professor Alan Kiste (Cal Poly-SLO) provided a Wednesday afternoon seminar on his assessment work with the integrated lab/lecture/discussion (“studio” format) for general chemistry at his institution. Caly Poly has been a national pioneer in this instructional strategy.

April 1, 2015 Discussion: Academic Interviews & Identity
Professor Alan Kiste (Cal Poly – SLO) led an important discussion for graduate students and postdocs thinking about the academic interview process.  The process can be difficult to navigate, even more so if there are other personal concerns such as finding affordable housing in expensive markets or finding job opportunities for a significant other. LGBT job candidates may have additional concerns about sexual orientation and gender identity issues and the role they play during the interview process. The focus of this discussion centered around how to address the “Illegal” interview questions that you may be personally invested in, such as considerations for a trailing spouse or assessing the climate of a department toward the LGBT community.

More details and discussion about these sessions can be found here, in the News from April 1, 2015.

March 13, 2015 Panel: Careers in Chemistry & Chemistry Education
Professor Samuel Pazicni (University of New Hampshire), Professor Joanne Stewart (Hope College), and Professor Anne McNeil (University of Michigan) lead a discussion surrounding the balance of maintaining research projects in both Chemistry and Chemistry Education. Throughout the discussion, one persistent thread was the difficulty and importance of maintaining a supportive community. Research, regardless of discipline, is not done in isolation. When confronted with challenges in research or at the institution, each panelist described the importance of personal relationships that served as a safe place to seek help and support. See News from March 13, 2015 for more information.

Panel Chem Ed and Chem Res(l-to-r: Sam Pazicni, Joanne Stewart, Anne McNeil)

February 13, 2015: Discussion with FFGSIs
Five of the Fall 2014 Future Faculty GSIs presented on their education work to a standing-room only crowd. See: News from February 13 for more information.
Danielle Zurcher talked about her work developing an online resource for CHEM 215 (orgo II) students using student-generated instructional material.
Luke Peterson shared about his research design to capture GSIs’ experiences of and preparation to teach in our undergraduate courses.
Casey Dougherty shared about her work incorporating biomedical and biological applications in CHEM 125/6 (general chemistry laboratory).
Matt Beyersdorf talked about his work with the team redesigning CHEM 211 (orgo I lab) into a modular, hypothesis-driven labs.
Kevin Ileka shared his work in incorporating microfluidics into CHEM 242 (analytical lab).

FFGSIgroup(l-to-r: Kevin Ileka, Casey Dougherty, Matt Beyersdorf, Danielle Zurcher, Luke Peterson)

January 30, 2015: Panel on working with At-Risk Students
Panel moderator Cassie Joiner welcomed (l to r) Professor Tim McKay (U-M Physics), Jill Halpern (U-M Mathematics, Comprehensive Studies Program), and Professor William Gehring (U-M Psychology), to lead a discussion about the institutional challenges related to working with underprepared or “at-risk” students. See: NEWS for January 30 for more information and a short video from the session.



FALL 2014 Program Summaries

November 21, 2014: Seminar on Balancing Faculty Obligations
Dr. Andrew Feig (Wayne State University) shared his experiences in managing a portfolio of teaching, research, and service in faculty positions.  Through several vignettes, Prof. Feig used the seminar to highlight his entire portfolio and made the argument that more seminars ought to include and represent a broader array of faculty work than “merely” one’s laboratory research activity. See: NEWS for November 21 for more information.


November 21, 2014: Panel on Starting a Research Group
Prof. Andrew Feig (Wayne State University), Prof. Evan Trivedi (Oakland University), and Prof. Dominika Zgid (University of Michigan) to lead a panel discussion on their experiences starting a research group. Transitions from a post-doctoral appointment to a faculty appointment and the institutional contexts which they entered shaped their experiences in significant ways.  See: NEWS for November 21 for more information.


November 7, 2014: General Chemistry Laboratory Instruction
Dr. Alex Poniatowski (U-M) led a discussion on the philosophical and practical thought processes going into redesigning the general chemistry laboratory CHEM 125/126 at U-M. The course, which has a high enrollment of first-year students, is potentially the only laboratory course students take with the department. Alex thinks about these 4 principles: everyone is a teacher and students are encouraged to be collaborative, the course should help people improve themselves, the experiments should be grounded in the scientific method, and the fine details of the course are negotiable. See: NEWS for November 7 for more information.


October 24, 2014: Research in Undergraduate Laboratory
Three presenters (Heidi Philips, Andrew Molina, and Dr. M Taylor Haynes) discussed three literature papers on the topic of carrying out real research in undergraduate laboratory classes. Two of the papers discussed gave examples of doing collaborative research in upper level undergraduate laboratories. The third paper analyzed the impact that doing real research had on students 2-3 years after they had taken the course. See: NEWS for October 24 for more information.