Hrabowski Innovation Fund Grant Recipients

Interim and Final Reporting Requirements

Hrabowski Innovation Fund award recipients are required to submit interim (first year) and final reports of project outcomes, products, participants and impacts. Please consult the Expectations of HIF Awardees page for the content and formatting of your report.

Spring 2021 Awardees

  • The Educational Journey of Immigrant Children: An Interdisciplinary Course using Gamification and Role-play (Implementation and Research Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Kerri Evans (Social Work) will create, implement, and evaluate an interdisciplinary classroom activity (board game), which will be used in a new course (using gamification and role-play) that will help advanced level UMBC students to prepare for their careers in educational settings after graduation. The content of the game and course focuses on the immigrant experience in the US from pre-Kindergarten to college, and ways that UMBC students who will become service providers across multiple disciplines can advocate for inclusion, and welcome and dismantle racism in our schools. The team aims to actively engage UMBC students in the game development process, beta testing, and in the course itself. They will evaluate the project using pre-post tests and focus groups.
  • Preventing Gender-Based Harm at UMBC: Designing and Teaching a Multidisciplinary Course (Implementation and Research Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Jodi Kelber-Kaye (Honors College) will create a 3-credit first-year seminar (FYS) course centered on educating undergraduate students about gender-based harm at all levels of society, and empowering them to create change. In addition to traditional academic content consisting of lessons rooted in contemporary scholarship on gender-based harm and its impact, students will learn healthy relationship practices and skills through evidence-based prevention models and will exercise the knowledge they glean over the course of the semester through hands-on projects encouraging civic engagement and community activism. Evaluation of this project will entail short- and long-term studies on the impact of this course on campus sexual misconduct outcomes as well as a comparative study on the retention and well-being of students throughout their college career. This project will create a context for further research on classroom-based prevention strategies, allowing UMBC to expand the field of gender-based harm prevention in higher education settings through evaluation and dissemination of this novel educational intervention model.
  • Retrieving Energy: UMBC Green Labs Collaboration (Seed Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Ryan Kmetz (Facilities Management Sustainability Office) will establish a collaboration between the Sustainability Office and the Mechanical Engineering Senior Capstone (ENME 444) course to design, prototype, and deploy motion height sensing sash alarms. Laboratories are the most energy-intensive space on a campus, and laboratory fume hoods are often the predominant contributors to laboratory energy use. A single fume hood typically consumes about the same amount of energy as four US households – and UMBC has over 300 fume hoods! Reducing energy consumption of UMBC’s laboratories is an important milestone towards reaching our carbon neutrality goals. Shutting the sash of fume hoods reduces the volume of exhausted conditioned air; thus, reducing energy. However, it is easy to forget to shut the sash, and research has shown that sensors with auditory reminders to shut the sash can reduce energy use of a fume hood significantly. This project-based learning experience will immerse students in the complex world of sustainability challenges and expose them to real-world applications for sustainable solutions. Efficacy will be determined by the energy reduction and the overall applicability and scalability of the project.
  • Assessing and Reversing Students’ Unpreparedness in Upper Level Biology Courses (Seed Grant) — Michelle Starz-Gaiano and Fernando Vonhoff (Biological Sciences) will collect data about why students do not prepare thoroughly before coming to class. The team will collect data to confirm their hypothesis that students do not have effective strategies for reading primary literature papers and thus find the content overwhelming, which decreases their motivation to carefully read the assigned learning materials. If this hypothesis proves to be correct, they will help students develop efficient strategies to bridge the gap between learning from textbooks and learning from primary, data-based literature by testing the method of annotating papers following strategies described by the AAAS Science In The Classroom website. By presenting the scientific content in a more digestible manner, the team will help students develop efficient strategies to read and understand scientific papers over time. The team will collect preliminary data on the efficacy of this method from the student’s perspective, from analysis on student performance using historical data from 2018-2020, and between course modules with and without annotated papers. The team will also collect preliminary data examining whether the application of this method can be used to stimulate students to be engaged in more complex assignments, which may lead to a deeper understanding of the class material and prepare them for future advanced challenges.

Fall 2020 Awardees

  • Identifying an Interdisciplinary Path to Social Responsibility Education across the COEIT Curriculum (Implementation and Research Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Helena Mentis (Engineering and Information Technology) will gather insights to develop a more comprehensive framework for incorporating Socially Responsible Thinking (SRT) throughout the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) curriculum. Universities are being called upon to incorporate greater attention to social responsibility, specifically for students expected to participate in technology development and innovation. At UMBC, several recent initiatives have aimed to incorporate Socially Responsible Thinking (SRT) into engineering and computing education, yet they have been fairly disconnected from each other and from the social sciences. The team will collect and analyze surveys and interviews from students, faculty, and employers and ultimately form a Faculty Learning Community, host a campus-wide speakers event, and produce a final report for stakeholders. Multiple metrics will be used to assess the project’s impact vis-a-vis two main aims: to identify pathways to integrate SRT concepts into the engineering/computing curriculum, and to increase cross-college collaboration around SRT. Results from the project will speak to opportunities to improve academic persistence, engagement, and workforce participation for COEIT students, and greater interfacing across COEIT and the social sciences/CAHSS.
  • Digitizing the Funny Papers: A Student-Led Digital Humanities Collaboration with UMBC Special Collections (Adaptation Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Lindsay DiCuirci, Beth Saunders, and Susan Graham (English and Special Collections Library) will collaborate on an advanced undergraduate English seminar focused on digitizing UMBC’s Merkle Collection of English Graphic Satire and creating a public digital exhibition. In this semester-long, project-based course, students will learn theories and methods in the digital preservation of rare books and manuscripts; metadata creation and bibliographic description; exhibition writing and design; principles of curation; public outreach and promotion; and historical research and cultural critique. Students will not only build the exhibition, but will also develop pedagogical tools, guides, and best practices for digital exhibition building and will document their process through reflective writing and self-assessments. This course will serve as an innovative model for future student-led digital humanities initiatives that make use of the unique but largely undigitized materials held in Special Collections at UMBC.
  • Access to Online and In-Person Interventions: Comparing the Impact on Student Success of Providing SI PASS in all MATH 151 Lectures (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Delana Gregg (Academic Success Center) will extend supplemental instruction (SI PASS) support for MATH 151, while collecting and analyzing data on its effects on student success during online and in-person learning. SI PASS (peer-led study sessions), a nationally recognized and widely-researched student success intervention, targets historically difficult courses with high D/F/W rates. UMBC regularly offers SI PASS support for a number of such courses, typically in STEM. UMBC-based assessment and national research indicate that participation in SI PASS correlates with many positive student outcomes, including higher grades, higher retention, and student-reported gains in course learning and study skills. MATH 151 is a key gateway course for many majors and has high DFW rates (>25%). There are multiple large lecture sections for this course every semester, but only two SI PASS leaders. The team will extend the program so that there is one SI PASS leader for each lecture section, allowing for research on the effectiveness of this learning intervention. The team will also analyze the effects on SI PASS participation and student success of offering online course instruction and online SI PASS compared to in-person instruction and in-person SI PASS and continuing to offer online SI PASS after UMBC returns to in-person instruction compared to in-person SI PASS.
  • Keys to Inclusion: an initiative to imagine a more inclusive piano canon (Seed Grant) — Daniel Pesca (Music) will co-lead a multi-institutional effort to bring music departments and piano studios from five institutions around the country together to research, perform, record, and teach the piano music of Black American composers. The program includes a range of online activities, including lectures by eminent scholars of the repertoire, a series of masterclass exchanges between institutions, and a final recording project. The lectures address many aspects of music-making, from considerations of social context to pedagogy, from historical inquiry to the creation of brand new work. Students will be empowered to grow as musicians as they enjoy the benefits of working with professionals from across the country, learning the process of making a high-level recording, and discovering unfamiliar repertoire. The fruits of this year-long effort will be shared via an online database. After the pilot year, the team intends to expand their reach by encouraging other institutions to join the initiative as a small but vital part of a larger conversation in classical music institutions of all sorts about inequities in representation.

Spring 2020 Awardees

  • Enhancing Student Engagement in Internationalization at Home: Towards Inclusiveness and Intercultural Dialogue (Implementation and Research Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Irina Golubeva (Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication) will develop the intercultural communication skills of undergraduate and graduate students in order to foster intercultural dialogues on campus and to enhance their preparedness for working in a culturally diverse world. The team will conduct a campus-wide needs analysis survey with a focus on campus climate; design and develop innovative online intercultural training curriculum; pilot the training; and measure the results with the Intercultural Development Inventory assessment tool. This initiative will support UMBC’s institutional strategic plan of internationalization, with a special focus on internationalization at home. This project will offer an intercultural learning opportunity to all students regardless of whether they set foot outside of the United States, and is designed to specifically address the intercultural communication needs of our diverse campus community in alignment with other existing initiatives that celebrate cultural diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.
  • Synchronous IRL/DL Technologies for Innovative Teaching (Adaptation Grant) — A team led by Diane Alonso, Eileen O’Brien, and Anne Brodsky (Psychology) will investigate innovative options to reach all students by connecting campuses via technology to create a dynamic hands-on experience at both campuses. The Psychology department has limited resources, two campuses, and multiple external settings (e.g. Kennedy Krieger Institute) to cover, and a large number of students required to take their courses. The team planned to offer PSYC 335 in Summer 2020 as a cross-campus, two section course at Shady Grove and Main campus with WebEx providing the technological link for this class taught by a faculty member and a TA using active learning. They aim to create a remote shared classroom and meeting room for use in providing better access and technological support than the traditional lecture classrooms that could also be used for remote meetings, interviews, community collaboration, and to help better incorporate Shady Grove and Kennedy Krieger faculty.
  • The Accelerated Math 106 Program (Adaptation Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by William LaCourse and Beatrice Lauman (College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences) will provide supplemental support for Math 106 Algebra and Elementary Functions students through intensive instruction and practice in key algebra concepts and topics. The Accelerated Math 106 Program (AMP) will provide students in Math 106 who score below a 40% on a pre-assessment with an additional research-based opportunity to learn the content of Math 106 through a six-week supplemental session. The supplemental session will utilize undergraduate learning assistants to support problem solving activities and group work and to provide peer mentoring. AMP will be based on the hypotheses that effectively learning algebra involves identifying misconceptions, learning the correct conceptual underpinnings, and doing extensive problem solving followed by reflection. The effects of the program will be assessed by comparing participants’ and non-participants’ content knowledge and attitudes toward mathematics learning. Participants’ beliefs about the impact of the LA’s will be examined as well.
  • Metacognitive Media Literacy: Modules Supporting Self-Regulated Learners in MCS 101 (Adaptation Grant) — A team led by Donald Snyder (Media and Communication Studies) will create a series of modules for the introductory MCS 101: Media Literacy course modeled after those created in Jean A. Cardinale and Bethany C. Johnson’s “Metacognition Modules: A Scaffolded Series of Online Assignments Designed to Improve Students’ Study Skills.” The team will create content and assignments for the modules focused on providing students with resources to increase their ability to self-regulate and develop metacognitive skills. They anticipate that this intervention will produce a measurable impact on students’ ability to work independently, to critically reflect on their own learning processes, and to articulate these gains in written and oral form.
  • Evaluation and Enhancement of a Learning Unit on Quantum Algorithms (Seed Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Alan Sherman (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) will assess and enhance materials for a two-week learning unit for quantum algorithms created by Sherman which is being field tested in CMSC 641 algorithms. This unit introduces the new transformative paradigm of quantum algorithms, which offers tremendous potential for solving important complex problems. This project will make this learning unit including its six videos and other materials freely available after they are revised and enhanced based on reviews by three experts.

Fall 2019 Awardees

  • Learning Teaching as an Interpretive Process in Urban Schools (Implementation and Research Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Kindel Nash (Education) will conduct a qualitative investigation of the Learning Teaching as an Interpretive Process (LTIP) framework’s impact on the learning outcomes of teacher candidates who are Sherman Program scholars. This framework is designed to prepare teachers to adequately support the learning of students from culturally and linguistically diverse groups who often attend urban schools. The proposed project will impact Sherman Program scholars’ abilities to navigate the complexities of teaching during their education programs and as they enter the teaching profession.
  • Climate Change and Society: Global Change in the Context of Maryland (Seed Grant) — A team led by Dawn Biehler and Maggie Holland (Geography and Environmental Systems) will institute a course, Climate Change and Society, accessible to all UMBC students which will develop students’ knowledge of the causes, effects, inequities, and responses of climate change, and heighten their confidence in communicating with others about it. The team will begin by teaching an incubator course focused on climate change issues in Maryland which will cover content, feature expert guest speakers, and consist of team research to produce components of a Maryland Atlas of Climate Change. The team will analyze the results of the assessment, update course materials, and modify and develop new course modules for a larger class at a lower level for a future semester.

Spring 2019 Awardees

  • Ethical considerations in data science curricula (Implementation and Research Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Vandana Janeja (Information Systems) will develop a pedagogical module to infuse ethics into data science and related curricula. The team will work with faculty partners across campus to design lectures (in person and online) to discuss ethical considerations in data science, particularly focused on decision making throughout the data life cycle. The modules will be evaluated by pre- and post-surveys, including scenarios of decision making during the development of a data science project. Colleagues from other academic units involved in ethical reasoning and data science education will be invited to participate throughout the round-tables and utilize the module for their own classes. This project will provide leadership opportunities to engage with partners across the country in future opportunities.
  • Understanding, Assessing and Improving Student Teamwork (Implementation and Research Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Simon Stacey (Honors College) aims to understand, assess and improve student teamwork skills and behaviors. The team will focus primarily on the textual interactions of students collaborating through online platforms and will also transcribe a limited set of face-to-face interactions in the later stages of the project. The interactions will be analyzed by 1) generating statistical data focusing on the form of the interactions and 2) exploring the content of the interactions by identifying the characteristics and behaviors of successful interactions using qualitative content analysis and machine learning techniques. The ultimate goal will be to use the qualitatively coded interactions to train a neural network to perform qualitative coding. The team will provide information to instructors, teams, and team members in real time to allow for changes in behavior, adaptations, support and interventions.
  • Text + Code = Better Machine Learning Education (Seed Grant) — Tim Oates (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) will write the first several chapters of a Machine Learning textbook in a format that allows free intermingling of code, data, interactive visualizations, and professional quality typesetting. The tools used to write and represent the book are based on the default technology stack for modern machine learning, which enables active experimentation with live examples. Students can read about a concept or algorithm and then text their understanding interactively inside the textbook. Tim will use surveys to evaluate the utility of the proposed format by measuring differences in engagement and understanding between the proposed format and a standard print textbook.
  • The Influence of the “Seeing White” Podcast Course on Racial Knowledge, Attitudes, and Skills among Undergraduate Students (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant) — A team led by M. Nicole Belfiore (Social Work) will evaluate the effect of a semester long course based on the “Seeing White” podcast on undergraduate students’ racial attitudes, knowledge, and skills. The course requires listening to podcast episodes, attending integrative seminars, reflective journaling, and completing a self-evaluation analysis paper. The team is interested in the innovative use of a podcast for content delivery, as well as the effect on student growth and commitment to social justice around race issues. The team ultimately hopes to develop coursework on race, discrimination, and oppression issues for undergraduate students guided by this study for integration into the curriculum.
  • Effectiveness of Disciplinary-Decoupled Mathematical Reasoning (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant) — A team led by Kathleen Hoffman (Mathematics and Statistics) will decouple the foundational proof-writing skills from the disciplinary course of real analysis, Math 301, and develop a new course in Mathematical Reasoning that will focus on  fundamental skill development in the area of proofs in order to increase success in Math 301 and upper level mathematics courses. Much of the material taught in the lower level mathematics courses is “calculational” in nature and does not prepare students for the theorem-proof based classes at the upper level. As a result, in the “bridge” class to the upper level courses, Math 301, students are required to learn the foundational skills of proof writing at the same time they master the disciplinary topic of real analysis. The team will collaborate with an active researcher in mathematics education to study course effectiveness with an approach that includes active learning and contemporary pedagogical techniques.

Fall 2018 Awardees

  • Development and evaluation of a supplemental hands-on social statistics training materials using the open source application – R Commander (Implementation and Research Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Takashi Yamashita (Sociology, Anthropology, and Health Administration and Policy) will develop ready-to-use supplemental social statistics training materials with the open source statistics application, R Commander. Students’ lack of statistical analytical/reasoning skills, often referred to as the “quantitative gap,” has been a serious concern in social science programs. This project combines two known strategies for improving learning outcomes as well as students’ attitudes toward statistics: development of teaching materials focusing on concepts rather than the mathematics and increasing opportunities for students to practice statistical analysis.
  • Competitive active learning games for inclusive computer science classrooms (Seed Grant) — Benjamin Johnson (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) will create competitive active learning exercises as hands-on games to allow students to practice abstract skills. While many of the abstract concepts covered in high level computer science classes are easy to grasp from an explanation, they require a great deal of practice before they can be intuitively understood by students. The variety of games will be designed with consideration of scoring methods that evaluate whether the students benefit from the exercise, accessibility, inclusivity, and generalizability of the creation in other fields of study.

Spring 2018 Awardees

  • Math, Fiction and Video: A STEAM Project (Implementation and Research Grant) — A multidisciplinary team led by Manil Suri (Mathematics and Statistics) explored the use of fiction and video in mathematics instruction, in the context of a redesign of Math 120, restructured around the Pl’s math novel, The Godfather of Numbers. This novel weaves in some of the present topics along with new ones, and can be expected to evoke a much stronger “interest experience” response in students. The team developed a detailed website that includes mathematical exercises derived from the novel’s plotline, several short narrative videos to promote the understanding of key concepts, and a series of essays for publication in national media outlets.
  • “These Aren’t the Kids I signed up for”: General Education Teacher Candidates in Special Education Settings (Adaptation Grant) — Michele Stites (Education) will provide an opportunity for two groups of UMBC teacher candidates in early childhood, elementary, and secondary programs to complete an early field experience working in an inclusive setting. The teacher candidates will be placed in one of UMBC’s professional development schools where they will be mentored by an in-service special educator, spend three hours a week observing and assisting in-service special educators, and teach lessons in these classrooms under the guidance of their special education mentor teachers and a UMBC designated supervisor. This will allow UMBC’s teacher candidates to obtain authentic experience working with students of diverse abilities, a unique project in a field in which extensive review has indicated that general education teacher preparation programs do not include targeted field work in special education settings.

Fall 2017 Awardee

  • Reimagining the Beginning Conducting Curriculum (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant) — A team led by Brian Kaufman (Music) completed a study that evaluated student reflections in a beginning conducting course in order to understand how the structure of the course and the process-focused assignments impacted student learning. These reflections are written in UMBC’s project-based conducting class with the goal of helping students identify and develop successful practice strategies as well as experience and create their own process for approaching a conducting score. This study helped address the research showing that many standard beginning conducting class books focus primarily on the development of generic conducting gestures and lack comprehensive skill building in musical score study.

Spring 2017 Awardees

  • Broadening Student Engagement with Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies (Implementation and Research Grant) — A multi-disciplinary team led by Anita Komlodi (Information Systems) has designed curricula to introduce Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) technologies to UMBC students across disciplines. The team has developed and offered one introductory VR/AR course for students in non-technical majors. They have also developed educational modules for several Human-Centered Computing graduate courses, which can later be adapted to other technical courses.
  • Integrated Team-based Active-Learning Redesign of Introductory Microeconomics: Building a Supportive and Exciting Climate in the Classroom (Adaptation Grant) — A team led by Bing Ma (Economics) has redesigned the introductory microeconomics course using team-based learning (TBL) in order to address certain challenges of effectively teaching large classes. The course redesign involved developing online modules for students to complete prior to class, as well as a unified sequence of in-class activities that students complete in small groups. The team has also developed training for undergraduate peer tutors who will facilitate in-class TBL activities and staff an out-of-class learning lab.
  • How does student mindset affect learning of non-STEM majors in STEM classes? (Seed Grant) — Suzanne Braunschweig (Geography and Environmental Science and Interdisciplinary Science) led a multi-disciplinary team that created and implemented an instrument to study the mindset and motivation of non-STEM students taking STEM classes. Based on the results of this survey, the team has developed and implemented classroom interventions for moving students toward a growth mindset, which led to better student learning outcomes and deeper appreciation among these students for science and mathematics.

Fall 2016 Awardees

  • lntercultural Tales: Learning With Baltimore’s Immigrant Communities (Adaptation Grant) — A team led by Tania Lizarazo (Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication and Global Studies, joint appointment) has launched a project that brings UMBC students studying Spanish or Global Studies into collaboration with Latinx immigrants in the local community to co-produce digital stories of the immigrants’ experiences. The project aimed to enhance students’ language abilities and cultural competence while raising immigrants’ visibility in the local community and disrupting negative stereotypes about them.
  • From Service to Study: Creating a Better Environment for UMBC’s Student Veterans (Seed Grant) — A multi-disciplinary team led by Meredith Oyen (History), has addressed issues in student veterans’ transition from military service to university studies at UMBC through two efforts: 1) collecting the student veterans’ oral histories and sharing them with the rest of the campus community, and 2) implementing “Green Zone Training” to create a visible network of faculty and staff on campus who are conversant in veterans’ issues and willing and able to offer assistance to student veterans who need it.

Spring 2016 Awardees

  • The Baltimore Metropolitan Area Study on Race, Inequality and the City: A Graduate Student Survey Research and Training Program (Implementation and Research Grant) — A team led by Cedric Herring (Language, Literacy, and Culture) built a multi-disciplinary Graduate Student Survey Research and Training Program at UMBC. This program emphasizes questions surrounding race and inequality in the multi-ethnic context of Baltimore, yet is designed with flexibility in mind: Specific research questions have developed over time, and the design of the studies have been responsive to emerging issues. The emphasis was be on gathering data (on a bi-annual basis) that can span the interests of academic researchers with basic research questions as well as applied research of particular relevance to public policy.
  • Incorporating CNC Machining in a Machine Design Course (Implementation and Research Grant) — Neil Rothman (Mechanical Engineering) led a project that integrates low cost computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine tools into ENME 304–Machine Design, a junior level design course required of all ME students. Since this course focuses on the design of machine elements and includes a project where students must design, build, and test a “machine” to meet specific project requirements, it provides a fertile context for training students in conventional fabrication process and assisting them in acquiring skills and knowledge crucial for the workforce.
  • Student-Led Survey Projects to Enhance Analytical Skills in the Social Sciences (Seed Grant) — Ian Anson (Political Science) implemented a collaborative, student-directed approach to political science research that entails the writing, implementation, and analysis of a national online survey in POLI 330, a junior-level course on public opinion. Students collectively proposed research hypotheses, created survey questions, engaged in pre-tests of the survey instrument in a laboratory-style, self-directed format, and launched the survey online. Students then analyzed their chosen hypothesis and interpreted the results of the survey. The principal investigator used a mixed-methods approach to measure learning outcomes, student engagement, and student satisfaction.
  • Improving Student Support to Reduce Academic Integrity Violations for Computer Science I and II (Seed Grant) — Katherine Gibson and Jeremy Dixon (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) collaborated to improve teaching around academic integrity issues by developing audio-visual case studies for improving student comprehension of the academic integrity policy. They developed guided problem sets and offered tutoring sessions to improve students’ understanding of the course material. They evaluated the effectiveness of these improved methods by studying the occurrence of academic integrity violations before and after their implementation.

Fall 2015 Awardees

  • Virtual Reality Design for Science: Integrating Research, Communication, and Learning for Interdisciplinary Training (Implementation and Research Grant) — A team led by Jian Chen (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) has harnessed the growing interest and popularity of virtual reality through the creation of a new course designed to challenge graduate and senior undergraduate students to collaboratively write, review, and critique research proposals. The project-oriented class introduces students to the use of hybrid reality displays, 3D modeling, visualization, and fabrication to conduct and analyze scientific research. The new course embraces the university’s goal of advancing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research activity.
  • Designing and Developing Effective Mobile Applications (Implementation and Research Grant) — A team led by Viviana Cordova (Visual Arts) and Nilanjan Banerjee (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) have created an interdisciplinary project that teaches both designers and developers the life cycle and project management of mobile application development. Working with professional clients, visual arts and computer science students used teamwork to tackle real-world projects with deadlines, milestones, and budget constraints. Throughout the semester, students from the Advanced Interface Design and Mobile Programming classes collaborated to apply their design and programming experience to develop smartphone applications for clients.

Spring 2015 Awardees

  • Learning and Innovation at the Interface of Mathematics and Medicine: A NEW Approach (Implementation and Research Grant) — A team led by Bradford Peercy (Mathematics and Statistics) has proposed the Neuromathematical Experience Workgroup (NEW), a new approach to training students on the interface of mathematics and neurosciences that focuses on interdisciplinary, team-based experiences. A fundamental change in the nature of biological research toward quantitative sciences has created a need for interdisciplinary collaboration in biology and mathematics and statistics. Through the NEW project graduate and advanced undergraduate students developed core skills and tools required in mathematics and neuroscience to form a common foundation that has prepared them for future careers in neuroscience and as research and teaching faculty.
  • NEXT at UMBC: Researching Connections Between Applied Learning, Affective Learning, and Student Success (Implementation and Research Grant) — A team led by Hannah Schmitz (Shriver Center) trained an interdisciplinary team of graduate students to investigate the interconnection between applied learning and student affective development. This analysis has set them on a path to generating metrics to help assess the contribution of applied learning experiences, such as internships, research, study abroad, and service-learning to our students’ academic, social, professional, and civic development.
  • Explore Baltimore Heritage: A Partnership Between Baltimore Heritage and UMBC (Adaptation Grant) — A team led by Denise Meringolo (History) expanded UMBC’s partnership with Baltimore Heritage through supporting the organization’s goals of developing educational material, while also deepening UMBC students’ learning experience and professional development. Specifically, this collaboration granted students in the History program the opportunity to build meaningful historical content for Explore Baltimore Heritage, a mobile app that lets people build self-guided tours of the many unique historic places of Baltimore and its neighborhoods.
  • Connections: A Transfer Student Experience Course (Seed Grant) —Diane Alonso (Shady Grove) created a transfer student experience course that uses the principles of Interprofessional Education (IPE) to bring students from different disciplines together in a technology-rich active learning environment and challenge them to think beyond their physical and mental boundaries. This innovative course is based on our First Year Experience program and has be integral in helping transfer students to UMBC at Shady Grove learn and grow as students and professionals.

Fall 2014 Awardees

  • Pilot Study of an Integrated, Active, Team-Based Learning Redesign of MATH 155, Applied Calculus (Adaptation Grant) — Matthias Gobbert (Mathematics and Statistics) led a team of faculty to redesign MATH 155, Applied Calculus to incorporate active and team-based learning, change the meeting pattern, and integrate the course with other departmental initiatives, including QuizZero and the Math Gym. Delivery of content in the redesigned course shifted to online lectures with in-class active application of techniques, including problem-solving in teams, supported by a TA and undergraduate assistants.
  • Baltimore Stories: Emerging Media Across the Curriculum (Adaptation Grant) — Nicole King (American Studies) led a collaborative teaching innovation that brings together courses in American Studies, Media and Communication Studies, and Visual Arts to work with the Center for Emerging Media, a Baltimore non-profit, to produce audio oral histories focused on Baltimore residents and neighborhoods. The oral histories have been edited and produced for broadcast on WEAA during the Marc Steiner Show.

Spring 2014 Awardees

  • Replaying the Past: Building a Digital Game for the History Classroom (Implementation and Research Grant) — Anne Sarah Rubin (History) led a team that was awarded funding to bring together History and Game Development students to create a new tool for history education. Students from both disciplines collaborated to build an educational game that immerses players in Civil War Baltimore, allowing them to work with original documents and experience the limitations faced by real-time historical actors.
  • The Future of Feedback: An Audio-Only Response to Student Writing (Seed Grant) — Sally Shivnan (English), assuming the role of former English PI from Holly Sneeringer, led a team that explored the use of audio comments–recorded using iAnnotate for iPads–as a way to produce effective, timely comments on drafts of students papers.

Fall 2013 Awardees

  • Exploring Opportunities and Challenges for Wearable Computing in Classroom Settings (Implementation and Research Grant) — Shaun Kane (Information Systems) explored the potential of wearable computing technology, such as Google Glass, for augmenting the classroom environment, especially for increasing the instructor’s awareness of student progress. The project became inactive because the lead investigator left UMBC to take a position at another institution.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Measurement & Skills Lab (Implementation and Research Grant) — William LaCourse (Chemistry and Biochemistry and Natural and Mathematical Sciences) led a team to develop a foundational skills laboratory course for STEM majors focused on quantitative reasoning using measurement.
  • Financial Self-Efficacy of School of Social Work Students (Implementation and Research Grant) — Carolyn Tice (Social Work) led a team to investigate social work students’ perceptions and financial knowledge and increase their financial self-efficacy through creation of a series of workshops and seminars on such topics as debt literacy, financial capability, and application to vulnerable populations.
  • Leveraging Technology to Improve Small Group Advising in COEIT (Seed Grant) — A team led by Emily Abrams-Stephens (College of Engineering and Information Technology) developed a small-group advising system for students in the college.
  • Individualized Degree Design Lab (IDDL) (Seed Grant) — Steven McAlpine (Interdisciplinary Studies) led a team that created a lab where undergraduate interdisciplinary studies students are guided to integrate and articulate their career aspirations, research interests, and learning objectives into a cohesive plan.

Spring 2013 Awardees

  • Using SimLabs (Implementation and Research Grant) — Mauricio Bustos (Biology) led a team that developed computer simulations of lab experiments based on mathematical models within our biology lab curriculum (SimLabs) to provide a structured environment to allow students to focus on the critical biology concepts rather than on rote lab procedures.
  • Hands-On Problem Solving in Chemical Engineering (Implementation and Research Grant) — A team led by Joshua Enszer (Chemical, Biochemical & Environmental Engineering) created a structured sequence of hands-on activities that cross-cut a five-semester sequence of required courses in chemical engineering. The project involved construction of a customizable, multi-function laboratory apparatus, including pumps and piping systems, a heat exchanger, and process control hardware and software to be used directly in the required chemical engineering laboratory courses, plus as a new component to traditionally lecture-only courses in the sophomore and junior sequences.
  • Metacognitive Activity Promotions (MAPs) in Chemical Engineering Thinking (Seed Grant) — A team led by Mariajosé Castellanos (Chemical, Biochemical & Environmental Engineering) employed two student assistants to support an analysis of students’ understanding of chemical engineering concepts, as reflected in samples of their reflective writing in two junior-level courses in the discipline.

Fall 2012 Awardees

  • The Math Gym (Implementation and Research Grant) — A team led by Nagaraj Neerchal (Mathematics and Statistics) developed The Math Gym, featuring “conditioning coaches” and “personal trainers” who help students keep their foundational math skills in good working order. Moreover, the gym promotes healthy math habits among all our students, drawing a clear analogy between the regular work outs and conditioning needed to maintain both athletic and mathematical skill.
  • Active Computing Teaching and InnoVation Environment (Implementation and Research Grant) — A team led by Marie desJardins (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) created ACTIVE, a dynamic “laptop laboratory.” The lab supports innovation in computing courses – with a particular focus on improving the retention and success of women, underrepresented minorities and transfer students. The laboratory extends active-learning environments, such as CASTLE and the new English writing labs, to a new area of the university.
  • The Wisdom Institute (Seed Grant) — A team led by Craig Saper (Language, Literacy, and Culture) created an institute to expand the role for emeritus professors at UMBC.
  • Putting Students’ Language Skills to Work (Seed Grant) — A team led by Susanne Sutton (Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication) developed experiential and service-learning course requirements for undergraduates studying German, with a particular focus on connecting students to Baltimore’s German community.
  • Service-Learning in Statics (Seed Grant) — A team led by Anne Spence (Mechanical Engineering) developed new service-learning requirements for undergraduates studying mechanical engineering, with a particular focus on identifying components that increase retention and student success.
  • EHS (Seed Grant) — Bruce Walz (Emergency Health Services) led a project to integrate individual cameras into EHS exercises, so that students receive more personalized and immediate feedback on their performance.

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