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STRA TEGIC VISION


Milestones 2006–2011


2007 continued from page 21


Strategic Vision Diversity Committee assesses campus climate for diversity and identifies strategies for improvement; Multicultural Forum held


Walter and Leonore Annenberg Fund for Leadership Development inaugurated with first speakers


To reach a more diverse population, HMC begins accepting ACT test scores. Record numbers of applications received, 18% higher than previous year


Mae Jemison is first woman and 11th recipient of HMC honorary doctorate of engineering degree. She addresses 161 graduates.


Global Clinic expands to Singapore


East Dorm renovation project includes new native plant garden and drip irrigation


Student teams test their robots.


HMC noted as a Top Engineering College, U.S. News and World Report


$579,600 National Science Foundation S-STEM grant for scholarships received


Platt Campus Center up graded: Additions include meeting space, music rooms, gamelan room, study areas


42.3% of Class of 2011 is female; 63% from outside Calif.


HMC named one of 25 cutting-edge schools, Kaplan Publishing


HMC named one of 25 New Ivies, Kaplan/Newsweek


Strategic Vision Curriculum Committee studies Core and curriculum


Focus on experiential and interdisciplinary learning


learning BY SPOOFING (AND OTHER TACTICS)


Experience is said to be the best teacher. So how better to introduce first-year students to the engineering and computer science fields than to give them a taste of what en- gineers and computer scientists actually do? Enter E11, a first-year engineering elec-


tive where students design, build and pro- gram an autonomous robotic vehicle. The interdisciplinary course delivers a hands-on introduction to mechanical, chemical, elec- trical and computer engineering, computer science, design, controls and energy. Piloted in fall 2010, E11 guided 39 stu-


dents through a series of lectures and six labs in which they drew and 3-D-printed a robot chassis, soldered a circuit board, assembled a gear box, built sensor circuits, built and tested fuel cells, programmed in C, and gen-


erated and detected binary sequences, called Gold codes, for use in navigation. They also resolved problems along the way, using the knowledge and skills ac-


quired in their lecture and lab sessions. “A great majority of students learn best by doing,” says engineering Professor David Money Harris, who co-created the E11 course with colleague Nancy Lape, associate professor of engineering. “When you run up against a problem and you must work to solve it, that makes the knowledge more memorable.” The course gave Matthew Keeter ’11 and Madeleine Ong ’11 a chance to teach


their peers. The two spent last spring and summer working on the course, developing the circuit boards, the chassis and the final competition game, and creating the labs. They also served as section instructors and, in the lab sections, were each responsible for a group of 10 first-year students. Once their robots were built and tested, students paired up to optimize them for


a Capture-the-Flag-style contest. Robots were placed on a 4-foot by 8-foot playing field surrounded by eight beacons that broadcast one of two Gold codes by flashing an LED on and off at 4KHz. Whichever team claimed the most beacons within two minutes was declared the winner. The teams employed innovative tactics, such as us- ing spoofing beacons so their opponent’s robot would be drawn to their robot instead of the actual beacons. “The freshmen came in with very little knowledge about autonomous vehicles, yet


they were so eager to learn and showed so much growth by the end of the semester,” Harris says. “We certainly reached our goals, and the student survey results show the students


really got an idea of what engineers and computer scientists do,” says Lape. “It also helped them build confidence in their skills and decide on a major.” Of the 39 students who took the pilot course, 17 said they expected to major in engineering and 12 were considering computer science. E11 will be offered again in fall 2011 to 50 first-year students, and students from the pilot class will serve as lab assistants.


–Koren Wetmore 22 Har vey Mudd College SUMMER 2011


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