Project EPIC, Evidence-Informed Promotion of Inclusive Climate, is pleased to announce our 2020 Department Enhancement Grant (DEG) awardees. These grants provide an opportunity for small department teams to create evidence-informed projects tailored to each department's needs regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. The following five departments are the 2020 DEG Recipients. Congratulations!
We also successfully held our Mentoring-for-Leadership luncheon featuring Dr. Virginia Valian, distinguished professor of psychology and co-author of An Inclusive Academy, on October 26, 2020. Deans who meet monthly as part of the Chancellor’s Council of Deans read Dr. Valian's and Dr. Abigail Stewart's book and engage in monthly discussions facilitated by Vice Chancellor Karen Dace and Associate Vice Chancellor Gina Gibau. We would encourage faculty to also read this book.
Snehasis Mukhopadhyay, PhD
Dr. Mukhopadhyay has several projects underway concerning his work with Artificial Intelligence. An article was published by a reputed newspaper in India (called Times of India), based on an interview with him, for an e-book on "Study Abroad" that has recently been published by Amazon India.
Dr. Mukhopadhyay is also a featured plenary speaker this spring at a conference in India. The link below provides more information under the keynote speakers tab.
Pratibha Varma-Nelson, PhD
The January luncheon speaker for Project EPIC mentoring series will be Dr. Pratibha Varma-Nelson, professor of chemistry and founding executive director of the STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute at IUPUI. For more information about this event, January 29th, 2021, please email email@example.com.
Upcoming Spring Physics Colloquium
March 4th Physics Colloquium - virtual
Steve Pollock, from the PER group at U. Colo, Boulder, will be giving the (virtual) physics colloquium on March 4. It may be of interest to people interested in reform pedagogy in upper level courses from other STEM disciplines as well.
Title: A research validated approach to transforming upper-division Physics courses.
Abstract: At most universities, including the University of Colorado, upper-division physics courses are taught using a traditional lecture approach that does not make use of many of the instructional techniques that have been found to improve student learning at the introductory level. We are transforming upper-division courses (E&M, quantum, and Classical Mechanics) using principles of active engagement and learning theory, guided by the results of observations, interviews, and analysis of student work at CU and elsewhere. I will outline these reforms including consensus learning goals, clicker questions, tutorials, modified homeworks, and more, as an example of what a transformed upper-division course can look like, and as a tool to offer insights into student difficulties in advanced undergraduate topics. We have examined the effectiveness of these reforms relative to traditional courses, based on grades, interviews, and attitudinal and conceptual surveys. Our results suggest that it is valuable to further investigate how physics is taught at the upper-division, and how education research may be applied in this context.
A link for the seminar will be provided early next semester. People can contact Kathie Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month we are recommending a book on artificial intelligence, as well as a video on the effect of social media on human beings. We hope you find time to look at both.
The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values Kindle Edition by Brian Christian (Author)
"The Alignment Problem offers an unflinching reckoning with humanity's biases and blind spots, our own unstated assumptions and often contradictory goals. A dazzlingly interdisciplinary work, it takes a hard look not only at our technology but at our culture—and finds a story by turns harrowing and hopeful."
The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values Kindle Edition
"Social Dilemma", documentary by Tristan Harris "You won't find a more controversial film in Silicon Valley than The Social Dilemma. The film, now available on Netflix, features confessions from early consumer internet employees who rue the destruction their inventions have wrought.
The film's portrayal of social media causing conflict, isolation, nationalism, and disaster has resonated with a broad audience. But tech insiders say it's guilty of many of the practices it decries, stoking fear and outrage in exchange for mass appeal."
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