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Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Nanotechnology Education at Mississippi State University

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There is a regional as well as a national need for more students, scientists and engineers to receive formal training and understand principles and concepts that exist at the nanoscale. Although Mississippi State University (MSU) has top-tier academic and research programs in STEM disciplines, the university lacks an undergraduate nanotechnology education program. To address the need for students educated in nanoscience and nanotechnology, MSU researchers have developed a multidisciplinary undergraduate nanotechnology certificate program. This program is designed to excite and introduce students to nanoscience and technology in their freshman year. Students encounter key concepts throughout their freshman and sophomore years, and then delve more deeply into principles and concepts of science and technology at the nanoscale during the junior and senior years. This building of knowledge is accomplished through a freshman seminar course, the inclusion of nanotechnology modules in existing courses ranging from microbiology to mechanical engineering, junior and senior level discipline specific nanotechnology courses, and an interdisciplinary nanotechnology design experience. This project began in January 2011 with an NSF Nanoscience Undergraduate Education (NSF NUE 1042114) awarded to a diverse faculty team from biological sciences, and chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineering. The overall certificate program approach is presented and includes brief descriptions of new nanotechnology courses and course modules, and a preliminary assessment of the introductory seminar course.
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Keywords: CURRICULUM; MULTIDISCIPLINARY; NANOMATERIALS; NANOSTRUCTURES; UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-12-01

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  • The Journal of Nano Education (JNE) is a peer-reviewed international journal that aims to provide the most complete and reliable source of information on current developments in nanoscale science, technology, engineering, and medical education.
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