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GRASP Seminar: Chris Rogers, Tufts University, “Nurturing Creativity in the College Classroom using LEGO bricks and LabVIEW”

February 13, 2009 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abstract: For the last 15 years, the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach has been working with schools around the world to bring engineering into the K-16 classroom. As we become a technology-dependent society, the average voter and policy maker must understand fundamental science and engineering concepts to make informed choices. We have teamed with LEGO and National Instruments to develop LEGO Mindstorms, with Princeton, Pixar and Walden Media to develop SAM Animation, and we have teamed with National Instruments to develop outreach programs in schools. In this talk, I will show some of the results of these alliances and how they can be used to affect the college classroom as well. Children are encouraged to come.


Chris Rogers received all three of his degrees at Stanford Univ., where he worked with John Eaton on his thesis looking at particle motion in a boundary layer flow. From Stanford, he went to Tufts as a faculty member, where he has been for the last million years, with a few exceptions. His first sabbatical was spent at Harvard and a local kindergarten looking at methods of teaching engineering. He spent half a year in New Zealand on a Fulbright Scholarship looking at 3D reconstruction of flame fronts to estimate heat fluxes. In 2002-03, he was at Princeton as the Kenan Professor of Distinguished Teaching where he played with underwater robots, wind tunnels, and LEGO bricks. In 2006-07, he spent the year at ETH in Zurich playing with very very small robots and measuring the lift force on a fruit fly. He received the 2003 NSF Director’s Distinguished Teaching Scholar Award for excellence in both teaching and research. Chris is involved in several different research areas: particle-laden flows (a continuation of his thesis), telerobotics and controls, slurry flows in chemical-mechanical planarization, the engineering of musical instruments, measuring flame shapes of couch fires, measuring fruit-fly locomotion, and in elementary school engineering education. His work has been funded by numerous government organizations and corporations, including the NSF, NASA, Intel, Boeing, Cabot, Steinway, Selmer, National Instruments, Raytheon, Fulbright, and the LEGO Corporation. His work in particle-laden flows led to the opportunity to fly aboard the NASA 0g experimental aircraft. He has flown over 700 parabolas without getting sick.


February 13, 2009
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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