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Students from Mason and Korea’s POSTECH Work Together on Problem-solving Monday, February 16,2015

Students from Mason and Korea’s POSTECH Work Together on Problem-solving

The students learned hands-on design methods that look at problems from multiple angles to design the most effective product. The Mason students are from such varied majors as math, design, biology, bioengineering and computer engineering. 

By collaborating with people outside of her math major in the College of Science, Chelsea Mohindroo says she gained new insight into how to look for answers. “The program exposed me to design thinking that I wouldn’t have learned in class,” says Mohindroo, who grew up in Springfield, Va.

In an approach called “SCAMPER” students take an idea, such as how to help older people with disabilities, and come up with a product. The acronym stands for Substitute something, Combine it with something else, Adapt something about it, Modify or Magnify it, Put it to some other use, Eliminate something, and Reverse or Rearrange it.

For example, a walking cane could have a foldout chair inside of it. But they didn’t stop there. They added a flashlight and other helpful additions. In another approach, the students imagined themselves as different members of a community and how they would see the product.

These approaches made for an effective combination that engineering major Sarah Choi says she plans to apply in her future classes at Mason. This was the first visit to Korea for Choi, a Korean-American. Next year, Korean students will travel to Mason. “The cross-cultural experience meant a lot to me,” says Choi, who grew up in Sterling, Va. “It was nice to go back to my cultural roots.”

Continue reading this article on Mason News webpage.


New Graduate Professional Assistantship position now open at the Office of Institutional Assessment Tuesday, February 10,2015

New Graduate Professional Assistantship position now open at the Office of Institutional Assessment

GPA will assist with a variety of assessment efforts, including surveys, data management, statistical analysis, literature reviews, and report writing and editing. Should have interest in and familiarity with any of the following areas of scholarship: learning outcomes assessment, program evaluation, undergraduate research, and/or inquiry-based teaching and learning. Please be proficient with MS Office products, and have experience using SPSS. GPA will work 20 hours per week, and must be able to work on the Fairfax campus during business hours (8 am-5 pm).
 
For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number GPA481 at http://jobs.gmu.edu/; complete and submit the online application; and upload a CV/ résumé, list of three professional references with contact information, and a cover letter.
 
Position will remain open until filled.
 
For questions, contact Dr. Stephanie Hazel (shazel@gmu.edu). 

Students Win Silver Medal in 2014 University Physics Competition Monday, February 2,2015

Students Win Silver Medal in 2014 University Physics Competition

The competition, held online between Nov. 14 and 16, 2014, received entries from undergraduates at 131 universities across the globe. Each team selected one problem to solve and submit in a final paper. Bradley, Pfeifle and Toler chose to answer: Where could a planet have a stable orbit in a system with two stars?

While their prior course work helped create a foundation for possible solutions, the students were pushed out of their comfort zones in their race against the clock. “We blocked off time for different stages of the writing and research,” says Bradley. “We even made sure we marked a time to eat so we didn’t forget.”

After many hours of work, the team submitted its paper and awaited the decisions. The students’ diligence and hard work paid off on Jan. 14, when the University Competition Committee announced the results. George Mason University was among 23 teams to receive the silver medal. “The key point for the team [was] to recognize that, as in any research project, the problem is open-ended.” says George Mason physics professor Paul So, who served as the faculty sponsor and coach for the team.

Continue reading on Mason News here.

 

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