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Journal Papers

The following is a list of all publications generated by the Foundation Coalition, listed by author. These documents require the use of the Adobe Acrobat software in order to view their contents.

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  • Winkel, B., Froyd, J.E., 1988, “A New Integrated First-Year Core Curriculum in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science: A Proposal,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.


  • Winkel, B., Froyd, J.E., 1989, “An Integrated First-Year Engineering Curriculum,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.


  • Erdman, C.A., Glover, C.J., Willson, V.L., 1992, “Curriculum Change: Acceptance and Dissemination,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.


  • Froyd, J.E., Rogers, G., Winkel, B., 1993, “An Integrated, First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics: Innovative Research in the Classroom,” Proceedings of the National Heat Transfer Conference.


  • Barrow, D., Bassichis, W., DeBlassie, D., Everett, L.J., Imbrie, P.K., Whiteacre, M.M., 1995, “An Integrated Freshman Engineering Curriculum, Why You Need It and How To Design It,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The Foundation Coalition (FC) is a seven school coalition working to define the undergraduate engineering curriculum for the next century. One goal of the project is to produce a technology rich, active learning environment for undergraduate engineers. There are three facets to the FC curriculum development philosophy at A&M:

    1) Curriculum Integration,

    2) Technology Utilization,

    3) Active/Cooperative Learning and Teaming.

    This paper discusses these facets and highlights the Texas A&MFreshman Curriculum Integration Team's (TAFCIT) achievements over the last year.

    Curriculum integration means typical first year courses (Engineering Problem Solving, Calculus, Graphics, Physics and English) are tightly coordinated to form a mutually supportive environment. Although students receive individual credit in each course, the courses are truly co-requisite. Each course strives to bring relevance to the others, often presenting different aspects of a common problem. Material presentation timing provides students with a ``need to know before knowledge'' sequence. Information and skills introduced in one course are promptly and regularly espoused in at least one other.

    This paper will discuss the philosophy and motivation behind an integrated curriculum and the process used in its development. The paper will continue with a discussion on classroom implementation including how to develop lesson plans, schedule classes, gather and use student feedback. Although the first year is not yet complete, we will give some preliminary results, and discuss our plans and concerns.

  • Willson, V.L., Monogue, T., Malave, C.O., 1995, “First Year Comparative Evaluation of the Texas A&M Freshman Integrated Engineering Program,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The paper documents the first year process and product evaluation of the NSF-sponsored Foundation Coalition (FC) project at Texas A&MUniversity designed to integrate five courses taken by most freshman engineering students: physics, engineering design, calculus, English, and chemistry. In addition to the curriculum integration, the project emphasized cooperative learning, teaming, technology applied to learning, and active learning.

    One hundred students of the entering freshman engineering students who were calculus-ready were invited on a first-come, first-served basis to participate; all qualified women and minorities who applied were accepted, and others were accepted on a waiting list in order of application. Entry characteristics indicated that the students did not differ from the freshman class.

    FC student achievement in physics and calculus and attitudes toward Coalition engineering goals were assessed both fall and spring. Separate comparison groups were selected fall and spring.

    Results indicated that the FC group scored almost identically to the comparison group on the initial testing. For the spring testing the FC group outscored the comparison group statistically on the physics and calculus tests, and all scales of the California Critical Thinking Test except Analysis (no difference). Student attitudes improved for the value of homework, lifelong learning, and decreased in their overall evaluation of engineering. On science, technology, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving there were no significant changes in attitude.

    The process evaluation focused on the difficulties and successes in integrating five different subjects and seven faculty members with different curriculum demands, along with changing pedagogy based on cooperative learning, teaming, active (non-lecture oriented) teaching, and technology infusion. Technology infusion was difficult for some faculty to implement due to the demands of both teaching and project development. Changing over from lecture also proved difficult for most faculty, while the integration of content proved feasible, albeit with much work.

  • Watson, K.L., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., 1995, “Interfaces Between the Foundation Coalition Integrated Curriculum and Programs for Honors, Minority, Women, and Transfer Students,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The Foundation Coalition includes seven institutions: Arizona State University, Maricopa Community College District, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Texas Woman's University, and the University of Alabama. All of these institutions are in the process of developing an engineering curriculum that incorporates the integration of courses, the utilization of active and cooperative learning in the classroom, and the use of technology in the classroom to enhance the level and sophistication of content and problems approached. During the 1994-1995 academic year all of these institutions piloted a freshman curriculum that involved various levels of integration of the courses that students take. Typically, this involved the integration of Physics, Calculus, English, Engineering Design Graphics, Chemistry, and Engineering Problem Solving over both semesters of the freshman year. In addition the students took Humanities or Social Science electives. One of the goals of this Coalition is to increase the enrollment and support of women and underrepresented minorities.this paper describes several conflicts which the integrated approach created for students in special programs in the College of Engineering, such as those for Honors, Minority, Women, and Transfer students. Most of these programs have existed for many years in the College, and have activities with proven records for enhancing the educational experience and retention in Engineering. These conflicts are described and some of the initial strategies for resolving the conflicts are presented, as well as plans for assuring that these programs work together effectively as the integrated program expands and becomes institutionalized. Resolving these conflicts is a challenge the integrated curriculum must meet in order to be effective for a large number of students at a public institution.

  • Watson, K.L., 1995, “Utilization of Active and Cooperative Learning in EE Courses: Three Classes and the Results,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.


  • Doak, B., McCarter, J., Green, M., Duerden, S., Evans, D.L., Roedel, R.J., Williams, P., 1996, “Animated Spreadsheets as a Teaching Resourse on the Freshman Level,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Computer animation can serve as a powerful teaching tool. Too often, however, interactive computer animation degenerates into a video game, with students blithely entering data and enjoying "gee-whiz" graphics while managing to ignore completely the underlying physics and math - the understanding of which is the actual intent of the animation! Such unfocused trialand- error engagement can be largely avoided if the animation is introduced as a tool rather than as a "black box." Spreadsheets lend themselves very well to this. One simple, easily-understood macro to "step" time is all that is required. Graphs based on formulas referencing this time immediately become animated. If the student has entered and understood the spreadsheet formulas in the first place, the animation is a completely natural extension of a familiar tool. The visual impact is just as great as with more sophisticated animation but is a natural outgrowth of the underlying physics and math rather than being simply the output of a "black box."

  • Anderson, C., Bryan, K., Froyd, J.E., Hatten, D., Kiaer, L., Moore, N., Mueller, M., Mottel, E., Wagner, J., 1996, “Competency Matrix Assessment in an Integrated, First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The Integrated, First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (IFYCSEM) at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology integrates topics in calculus, mechanics, statics, electricity and magnetism, computer science, general chemistry, engineering design, and engineering graphics into a three course, twelve-credit-per-quarter sequence. In 1995-96, faculty teaching IFYCSEM unanimously agreed to move toward a competency matrix assessment approach advocated by Lynn Bellamy at Arizona State University. Using a competency matrix, faculty establish a two-dimensional grid. Along the vertical dimension of the grid, faculty list the topics and techniques with which they believe students should become facile. Along the horizontal dimension are the levels of learning according to Bloom's taxonomy: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation. For each topic in the vertical dimension faculty establish the desired level of learning associated with a grade: A, B, or C. For each quarter in 1995-96, the resulting matrix contained about 500-600 elements or blocks. When a student has demonstrated a level of learning for a particular topic, the student marks the block as earned and enters in the competency matrix a reference to his/her portfolio showing where the supporting document may be found. Students maintain their own portfolios and competency matrices and at the end of each quarter students submit their competency matrix along with a portfolio as documentation. Faculty assign a grade based on the competency matrix.

    We present detailed descriptions of the rationale and process. Next, we discuss advantages and disadvantages, including feedback from both faculty and students. Finally, we discuss possible improvements for future implementation.

  • Malave, C.O., Watson, K.L., 1996, “Cultural Change at Texas A&M: From the Engineering Science Core to the Foundation Coalition,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: This paper describes a curriculum innovation process at Texas A&M - College Station (TAMU) with emphasis on the Foundation Coalition project. Lessons learned from the Engineering Science Core project - a predecessor to the Foundation Coalition (FC) at Texas A&M funded under the NSF Undergraduate Curriculum Program - will be presented. The paper looks at faculty, administrator and student “buy-in” to the program and at curriculum development strategies that have been implemented on the TAMU campus. The processes developed for successful institutionalization of the Foundation Coalition programs will be presented.

  • Evans, D.L., Doak, B., Duerden, S., Green, M., McCarter, J., Roedel, R.J., Williams, P., 1996, “Team-Based Projects for Assessment in First Year Physics Courses Supporting Engineering,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Two team-oriented, project-based exercises developed and used for student assessment in an integrated freshman program are described. These projects allow assessment of student progress toward meeting desirable student outcomes such as ability to work in teams, ability to communicate, and able to apply science and engineering to the solution of problems. One project involves measurement of the velocity of a projectile; the other one involves the measurement of the ambient magnetic field strength. Lists of parts supplied to each student team are include as are photos and sketches of the more complex pieces of equipment. Student comments and faculty roles are also discussed.

  • Adams, S., Watson, K.L., Malave, C.O., 1996, “The Foundation Coalition at Texas A&M University: Utilizing TQM and OD to Manage Curricula Change,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The Foundation Coalition is developing and implementing significant changes in how first and second year college engineering, mathematics, science and English courses are taught. These efforts incorporate strategies which have been explored at many institutions, such as: integrating content across course boundaries, delivering instruction in active and cooperative environments, and utilizing technology more effectively as a teaching tool.

    In the early 1980’s U.S. Industrial Forces realized that in order to maintain, and in some cases regain, a competitive edge in the marketplace, changes would have to be made in the way business was conducted. A number of companies introduced these changes through the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM).

    TQM is an approach to improve broad-based quality processes in an organization by total customer focus and continuous process improvement. Some would argue that while TQM has been beneficial in improving quality and increasing productivity, it has not been as effective in facilitating changes in individual philosophies or major corporate philosophies. Therefore, many academic institutions have developed a level of frustration in attempting to depend on TQM as the sole tool for driving broad changes.

    Organizational Development (OD) is another strategy used by industries in transition. It is focused on changing the climate and culture of an organization. OD places strong emphasis on team development through collaborative problem solving, openness in expressing emotional as well as task oriented needs, developing a tolerance for conflict, and asks that individuals conduct periodic self-assessment.

    This paper examines the fundamentals of TQM and OD and compare similarities and differences of each principle. TQM principles are particularly useful in assessing the effectiveness of curriculum innovation at a research university. OD principles are important in facilitating paradigm shifts in the attitudes of faculty, staff and students from a traditional curriculum to an innovative integrated curriculum.

  • Frair, K., Froyd, J.E., Rogers, G., Watson, K.L., 1996, “The Foundation Coalition: Past, Present, and Future,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The Foundation Coalition (FC) was funded in 1993 as the fifth coalition in the National Science Foundation's Engineering Education Coalitions Program. The FC has as its vision a new culture of engineering education: students and faculty working in partnership to create an enduring foundation for student development and life-long learning. The member institutions - Arizona State University (ASU), Maricopa Community College District (MCCD), Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT), Texas A&M University (TAMU), Texas A&M University - Kingsville (TAMUK), Texas Woman's University (TWU), and the University of Alabama (UA) - are developing improved curricula and learning environment models that are based on four primary thrusts: integration of subject matter within the curriculum, improvement of the human interfaces that affect educational environments, technology-enabled learning, and continuous improvement through assessment and evaluation. The Foundation Coalition partners draw on their diverse strengths and mutual support to construct improved curricula and learning environments; to attract and retain a more demographically diverse student body; and to graduate a new generation of engineers who can more effectively solve the increasingly complex, rapidly changing societal problems that demand

    1) Increased appreciation and motivation for lifelong learning

    2) Increased ability to participate in effective teams

    3) Effective oral, written, graphical, and visual communication skills;

    4) Improved ability to appropriately apply the fundamentals of mathematics and the sciences

    5) Increased capability to integrate knowledge from different disciplines to define problems, develop and evaluate alternative solutions, and specify appropriate solutions

    6) Increased flexibility and competence in using modern technology effectively for analysis, design, and communication

    As part of the FC strategic planning process, seven measurable objectives have been established to guide our activities over the remaining years of the grant period (1993-1998). Our objectives, and therefore activities, have not been of equal priority every year, and priorities are established each year as part of the budget allocation process. Three objectives that we have focused on a great deal thus far and that will be dealt with here are: Lower-Division Curricula, Assessment/Evaluation, and Institutionalization.

  • Roedel, R.J., Evans, D.L., Doak, B., Kawski, M., Green, M., Duerden, S., McCarter, J., Williams, P., Burrows, V., 1996, “Use of the Internet to Support an Integrated Introductory Course in Engineering, Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, and English,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Arizona State University has been offering an introductory course that integrates engineering design and modeling, calculus, physics, chemistry, and English through the Foundation Coalition, an Engineering Education Coalition sponsored by the National Science Foundation. One of the critical components of courseware developed through the Foundation Coalition is the infusion of technology enhanced education. This paper will describe the use of the Internet, through the World Wide Web and through videoconferencing, to support this introductory course. It is interesting to note that the success of Internet usage is directly tied to the performance of the net. That is, when Internet traffic or bandwidth problems arise, both the students and the faculty become less enthusiastic about using the technology.


  • Imbrie, P.K., Malave, C.O., Watson, K.L., 1997, “From Pedagogy to Reality: The Experience of Texas A&M University with the Foundation Coalition Curricula,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.
  • Ackerman, C.M., Willson, V.L., 1997, “Learning Styles and Student Achievement in the Texas A&M Freshman Foundation Coalition Program,” Southwest Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Austin, TX.
  • Imbrie, P.K., Malave, C.O., Watson, K.L., 1997, “Pedagogy versus Reality: How Past Experiences Can Be an Effective Modeling Tool to Successfully Deploy Curricula Changes,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The National Science Foundation has sponsored a number of Engineering Education Coalitions to help develop innovative and progressive methods for delivering the undergraduate engineering curricula of the 21st century. However, if past performance is any indication of future success, adoption of this common courseware by noncoalition institutions will be met with limited success primarily because implementation issues are not thoughtfully considered. This paper details the various "stages" that most, if not all, academic institutions that wish to implement large-scale changes in their current curricula must successfully navigate. The implementation stages to be presented include: 1) historical innovation review; 2) course development and deployment in pilot form; 3) obtaining faculty buy-in; 4) considering the administrative details; and 5) managing the transition. The experiences and processes developed herein are based upon work that has been done at Texas A&M University which is a large public “top tier” research institution and a member of the “Foundation Coalition.” The paper also describes how Quality Functional Deployment methods can be used to identify and circumvent potential problem areas in the institutionalization process.

  • Duerden, S., Graham, J.M., Garland, J., Doak, B., McCarter, J., Roedel, R.J., Evans, D.L., Williams, P., 1997, “Scaling Up Arizona State University's First-Year Integrated Program in Engineering: Problems and Solutions,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: This paper discusses how scale-up from a pilot of 32 students to 80 students affected the integrated delivery of material in English composition, physics, and engineering to a cohort of freshman engineering students. It also discusses how collaborative learning and projects were structured to fit 80 students, the effects of class size on student-to-student interaction and student-to-faculty interactions in and out of the classroom, and what modifications were made to the classroom facilities to accommodate these projects. Although there were some detrimental effects accruing to the scale-up, for the most part, student performance was unaffected or slightly improved.

  • Frair, K., Watson, K.L., 1997, “The NSF Foundation Coalition: Curriculum Change and Underrepresented Groups,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: The Foundation Coalition was funded in 1993 as the fifth coalition in the National Science Foundation's Engineering Education Coalitions Program. The member institutions are developing improved curricula and learning environment models that are based on four primary thrusts: integration of subject matter within the curriculum, cooperative and active learning, technologyenabled learning, and continuous improvement through assessment and evaluation. The Foundation Coalition partners draw on their diverse strengths and mutual support to construct improved curricula and learning environments; to attract and retain a more demographically diverse student body; and to graduate a new generation of engineers who can more effectively solve increasingly complex, rapidly changing societal problems. The improvement of recruitment and graduation of traditionally underrepresented groups is an integral part of the Foundation Coalition strategic plan. This paper discusses Coalition projects to date and other efforts focused on increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in engineering education.

  • Duerden, S., Green, M., Garland, J., Doak, B., McCarter, J., Roedel, R.J., Evans, D.L., Williams, P., 1997, “Trendy Technology or a Learning Tool? Using Electronic Journaling on Webnotes for Curriculum Integration in the Freshman Program in Engineering at ASU,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Lately, technology has transformed our world, with millions of users negotiating everything from purchasing goods to accessing research. The pressure to embrace this technology has grown to the point that even in the composition classroom, instructors are exploring ways to most profitably use it. Given the growth and commercialism of the World Wide Web (WWW), it is not always easy to distinguish the hype from the useful. However, one worthwhile application is WebNotes¥,[1] a commercial, WWW-based electronic forum software product that has become a powerful journaling tool for fostering connections, delivering information, and creating an online community in and out of the classroom. In our first two iterations of the NSF Foundation Coalition integrated program for first-year students at Arizona State University, we used journaling to encourage students to connect their classes by explaining math, physics, or engineering concepts to the non-specialist (English teachers), discussing teaming and teaming issues, and providing feedback. Before the use of WebNotes¥, the English teachers collected the journals and passed them on to the other faculty members, usually in the space of one week, causing many logistical problems. With Webnotes, students now write entries in a word processing program, which encourages them to check spelling and grammar, and then they paste them into a WebNotes¥ forum. The faculty can then read the entries at their convenience and respond to each student via e-mail. These entries can be kept hidden from other students until or unless the moderators (faculty) choose to release them. Assessment of student responses to this form of journaling, in the form of anecdotes and a survey, has been very positive. Students like the individual and immediate responses they receive via e-mail -- always a popular form of communication with students. Moreover, they appreciate the fact that multiple faculty may read a single entry. As a learning tool, an integration tool, and a feedback tool, this technology has proved that technology is not simply “trendy.” Sometimes it really can enhance learning and communication.


  • Whiteacre, M.M., Malave, C.O., 1998, “An Integrated Freshman Engineering Curriculum for Pre-calculus Students,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: For the last five years, Texas A&M has been a member of the National Science Foundation's Foundation Coalition whose goal is to improve engineering education by stressing the connections among engineering, the sciences, and the arts. This was accomplished by integrating the concepts from calculus, physics, chemistry, English, and engineering beginning at the freshman level. One of the major impediments to expanding the program to all engineering students was how to handle non-standard students (i.e. those who had credit is some of their courses, or those who were not ready to take certain classes). At Texas A&M, these “non-standard” students comprise about 40% of the incoming freshman class, with the majority to these being deficient in mathematics, thus not being ready to enroll in college calculus.

    To address these students, in the spring of 1996, Texas A&M began to develop a modified curriculum whose goals were still the integration of material across the freshman classes. This program was implemented in the fall of 1996, refined during that year and is currently being used for some of the freshman who enrolled in the College of Engineering this year and who were deficient in calculus. Beginning in the fall of 1998, all incoming freshmen engineering students who are not ready to enroll in calculus will be enrolled in this program. This paper will address the design and implementation of the “pre-calculus” track program at Texas A&M.

  • Schexnayder, C., Wiezel, A., 1998, “Construction Education Using the World Wide Web,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: Lecturing is not the purpose of teaching. The purpose is transferring knowledge. The World Wide Web (WWW) helps in distributing information, but can it improve the quality and effectiveness of transferring knowledge? An Arizona State University undergraduate estimating course employs the WWW to support instructional delivery of technical materials. Cooperative learning, multi-media tools, and other electronic resources enhanced the WWW structured course. This course delivery system, using the latest developments in information technology, enables students and instructor to work closely and cohesively in many new ways. Requiring students to use WWW technology and cooperative learning concepts supports knowledge transfer and enables the instructor to effectively reach individual students. The delivery system builds student interest, supports the development of “people” skills, and enhances student teacher communication. Student surveys show that the system does improve the quality and effectiveness of transferring knowledge.

  • Daniels, P., Kerns, S., Watson, K.L., 1998, “Evaluating Engineering Programs Under ABET EC2000 Criteria: A Perspective from ABET Program Visitors,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The authors served as the three electrical engineering program evaluators for ABET pilot visits during 1997, using the new EC2000 criteria for accrediting engineering programs. Under these new accreditation criteria, the changes in the program visitors' role are significant. In particular, the visitors must explore the processes institutions use for developing objectives and outcomes, and the evidence they offer as indicators of the success of their programs in achieving their objectives. The evaluator must consider whether the indicators chosen actually reflect the program status. Processes must be in place for setting objectives and outcomes, developing curricula from these objectives and outcomes, evaluating the results, and utilizing the information gained from the evaluation for appropriate refinement of the program. In each step the institution should show that they involved the significant constituents of the program.

    The evaluator's task is to consider if the educational objectives of the program are well articulated and accessible to constituents, and then determine if the program has provided evidence that it is achieving its objectives. The institution must provide evidence that the program's and ABET's student outcomes are also being achieved. The professional development criterion does not require that a program present materials on all courses. Instead, the program must show that it has sufficient indicators of the outcomes that exist and that it is effectively monitoring these indicators. Faculty must be sufficient in size, skills, and morale to support the other criterion of the program. Similarly, institutions must demonstrate administration, financial resources, program facilities support the objectives, outcomes, and development goals for the program's student body.

  • Al-Holou, N., Bilgutay, N.M., Corleto, C.R., Demel, J.T., Felder, R., Frair, K., Froyd, J.E., Hoit, M., Morgan, J.R., Wells, D.L., 1998, “First-Year Integrated Curricula Across Engineering Education Coalitions,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The National Science Foundation has supported creation of eight engineering education coalitions: Ecsel, Synthesis, Gateway, SUCCEED, Foundation, Greenfield, Academy, and Scceme. One common area of work among these coalitions has been restructuring first-year engineering curricula. Within some of the Coalitions, schools have designed and implemented integrated first-year curricula. The purpose of this paper is to survey the different pilots that have been developed, abstract some design alternatives which can be explored by schools interested in developing an integrated first-year curriculum, indicated some logistical challenges, and present brief descriptions of various curricula along with highlights of the assessment results which have been obtained.

  • Watson, K.L., Daniels, P., Kerns, S., 1998, “Preparing Engineering Programs Under ABET EC2000 Criteria: Recommendations for Institutions,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The authors served as the three electrical engineering program evaluators for ABET pilot visits during 1997, using the new EC2000 criteria for accrediting engineering programs. The programs visited varied greatly in size, institutional setting, student profile, and mission. In preparing for and making these visits, the authors gained insight into the processes and products programs must develop or refine for successful accreditation under EC2000 criteria. Specific ideas for implementation of EC2000 processes and effective methods for presentation of the assessments and evaluations for each criterion are presented. These ideas focus on affecting and realizing changes guided by the new accreditation standards. Particular emphasis is placed on the process of defining and disseminating educational objectives for programs through involving the program's constituents and maintaining coherence with the institutional mission.

    It is important for institutions to show evidence that program objectives are published and accessible to their constituent bodies, and that the process for developing and refining these objectives is documented. The program must also demonstrate that the student outcomes identified for the program are clearly linked to both program educational objectives and ABET's EC2000 Criterion 3. Programs may not simply provide data gathered about outcomes to an evaluator. Rather, programs must demonstrate, based on these data: a) evaluation of outcomes within an inclusive perspective reflecting the breadth of the particular program; b) documentation that the desired outcomes are present and significantly relevant to the program's objectives; and, c) effective utilization of assessment results appropriately to modify and improve the program.

    A program must present its evaluator with the processes, indicators, and evidence that indicate their graduates are gaining sufficient professional development in the program, and with evidence that appropriate student advising and monitoring exists and is effective. The program must also demonstrate that its faculty has sufficient population, skills, and development activities to provide appropriate support for achieving its educational objectives, outcomes, and professional components; faculty adequacy is demonstrated through its service to the student body of the program. Facilities, institutional support, and financial resources must also be documented in a manner which demonstrates their sufficiency for meeting program objectives.

  • White, M.A., Blaisdell, S., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., 1998, “Recruiting Women into Engineering Graduate Programs,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Since women are seriously underrepresented in engineering graduate programs, programs are needed to bridge existing retention programs for undergraduate women with retention programs for graduate women in engineering. These efforts are likely to strengthen the pipeline of women entering academia.

    The National Science Foundation-funded Women in Engineering Scholars program is designed to encourage more women to pursue graduate school in engineering. The Scholars Program is administered through the Women in Applied Science and Engineering (WISE) Program at Arizona State University and it includes strong industry participation.

    The Scholars Program is based on a theory of selfefficacy or one's belief about how well she or he can perform a given task or behavior: this includes providing the students with opportunities to experience performance accomplishments, encouragement, and support. The first programmatic component is mentoring for the participants by women earning, or who have earned, graduate degrees in engineering. This aspect also provides for formal and informal networking opportunities to create a supportive community for the participants. This segment concludes with an industry-sponsored banquet for the Scholars, their mentors, and other supporters.

    The second component includes a series of workshops and seminars on what to expect from, and how to apply to, graduate school. The highlight of this segment is an 8-week summer research experience with an Engineering faculty member. This experience concludes with research symposia at which Scholars present their projects and accomplishments.

    A description of the program will be presented including budget and funding, participant recruiting, preliminary results, and lessons learned.

  • Adams, S., Watson, K.L., 1998, “Teamwork: Implications for New Faculty,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: In recent years, organizations in the United States have searched for ways to improve their overall effectiveness. No topic has garnered more discussion as an option than that of teams. There are many types of teams being utilized in organizations. However, in the last decade work teams have become one of the most popular types of teams. Work teams have been credited with increasing productivity, reducing costs, boosting moral, improving organizational flexibility and a flattening of the organizational structure.

    The cornerstones, research and teaching, of the faculty culture are dominated by individuals, not teams. The nature of higher education is to place emphasis on the accomplishments of the isolated individual rather than on team efforts. The emergence of teams in the academy will cause an increase in the administrative responsibility of faculty, a redistribution in the power and authority of faculty members and a reprioritization of work load and philosophy about teams.

    Engineering faculty members are often uncomfortable with the collaborative nature of teamwork. Indeed, the personality traits that characterize some engineering faculty interferes with their ability to be effective contributors in team ventures.

    This article will chronicle the evolution of teams, the emergence of teams in higher education and the expectations for engineering faculty members with regards to teamwork. This information will be beneficial for new engineering faculty as they embark on a new career where the infrastructure is changing.

  • Villareal, S., Wynn, C., Eastwood, D., Zoghi, B., 1998, “The Design, Development, and Evolution of Web-Based Materials Featuring Computer-Animated Simulations,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The need for more efficient and more effective teaching techniques led us to begin developing Computer Aided Instruction (CAI) modules featuring Computer Animated Simulations (CAS) in 1993. In this paper, we review the design, development and evaluation of our initial desktop CAI/CAS modules in two stages before presenting our most recent experience in developing and evaluating these materials in a web-based format. In the initial stage of desktop CAI development, we obtained valuable insight into ways to improve the animated simulations through informal student feedback and ongoing formative evaluation. A summative evaluation of this first stage consists of an analysis of actual test scores. This study shows that semesters using the desktop CAI are not statistically different from semesters not using these materials. However, we note that presentation time in both lecture and lab are significantly reduced by applying these modules.

    The second stage of desktop CAI evaluation began after most of the suggestions from the initial stage had been incorporated. The evaluation of the desktop CAI in the second stage consists of a more direct measurement comparing pre-test and post-test scores for students conducting lab exercises in either the traditional hands-on assignment or in the CAI/CAS format. This study also shows no statistical difference between the two groups of students. However, this review demonstrates the importance of student feedback in both formative and summative evaluations and several key benefits of the CAI/CAS format.

    Lastly, this paper presents our most recent development strategy for enhancing these materials and for converting them into a web-based format. Due to our disappointing experience with commercial web-authoring software, our strategy changed to a “from scratch” approach using inexpensive and easy to use web-based development tools. Cost for these tools, development time estimates and results of an informal evaluation of our first two web-based modules are also reported. A more rigorous evaluation of these web-based materials is planned with findings similar to those for the desktop CAI/CAS modules anticipated.

  • White, M.A., Blaisdell, S., Anderson-Rowland, M.R., 1998, “Women in Engineering Scholars Program,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: Women continue to be seriously underrepresented in engineering graduate programs. In Fall, 1996, women accounted for only 19.2% of the masters students and 16.2% of the doctoral students enrolled in engineering programs (Engineering Workforce Commission, 1997). A recent survey found that only 44% of students majoring in engineering their freshman year were still in engineering their senior year. Women and minority students were more likely to switch out of engineering than men and majority students (Astin, 1996). Additionally, the transition from undergraduate to graduate programs is one of three critical points in a woman’s engineering education (Betz, 1994).

    While many programs seek to facilitate women’s entry into engineering there are few programs which encourage women to pursue graduate degrees in engineering. Programs are needed to bridge existing retention programs for undergraduate women with retention programs for graduate women in engineering. These efforts are likely to strengthen the pipeline of women entering academia.

    By increasing the number of women obtaining graduate degrees in engineering, the number of available role models for women considering engineering will increase. Also, given that engineers with graduate degrees tend to exert more power and influence in industry, increasing the number of women with such degrees will help to create a more gender-inclusive environment. Finally, because some individuals earning graduate degrees in engineering remain in academia, increasing the number of women earning such degrees with help to create a more gender-inclusive environment in engineering, especially in graduate programs.


  • Everett, L.J., Alexander, R.M., Wienen, M., 1999, “A Grading Method That Promotes Competency and Values Broadly Talented Students,” Journal of Engineering Education, 88:4, 477-483.

    Abstract: This paper reports the results of a recent experiment in student performance evaluation. A criterion-referenced, rather than the typical norm-referenced scheme, was supplemented with a reward system designed to value students with a diverse set of academic talents. For example, the ability to solve "traditional looking" engineering analysis problems and the ability to thoroughly explain how phenomena occur (independent of the ability to work to a final "answer") were equally valued. Value was measured by the course grade. The goals of the experiment were: (1) to ensure that all students who succeeded in the class possessed a baseline competence in the subject matter; (2) to value (in the form of high grades) a diverse set of talents; and (3) to encourage students to develop good learning habits. The experiment was implemented by teaching a sophomore core engineering course with a team of two faculty members and two graduate teaching assistants handling 187 students. One faculty member was responsible for the classroom teaching activities while the other focused exclusively on developing and implementing the evaluation instruments. The instruments consisted of four types of examinations, each designed for a specific purpose and administered at distinct times during the semester. Quantitative results, including associated statistical analyses, are given. We conclude that it is possible to establish criterion-referenced schemes that value student skill diversity while encouraging good study and learning habits. The assessment instruments, however, are psychologically stressful to many students who are unaccustomed to them.


  • Willson, V.L., Ackerman, C.M., Malave, C.O., 2000, “Cross-Time Attitudes, Concept Formation, and Achievement in College Freshman Physics,” Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37:10, 1112-1120.

    Abstract: The relationships among science and engineering attitude, physics conceptual understanding, and physics achievement were explored for a population of college freshman engineering students over two semesters. Gender and SAT-Quantitative measures were included as exogenous variables in a longitudinal path analysis. Attitude was theorized to predict achievement contemporaneously and at the next time point, while conceptual understanding was theorized to predict physics achievement contemporaneously and at the next time point. Each at one time was theorized to predict scores at the next time. A sample of 200 freshman engineering students participating in an integrated curriculum were assessed in September, December, and April (with a loss of 64 students) with the Force Concepts Inventory (FCI), Mechanics Baseline Test (MBT), and a locally developed attitude measure. The observed model indicated that the FCI predicted attitude at time 1 with no other paths between them, that FCI at time 1 predicted MBT at time 1 and time 2, FCI at time 2 predicted MBT at time 3, and MBT at time 1 predicted FCI at time 2. Gender and SAT-Quantitative scores were predictive only of FCI and MBT at time 1. Results supported an interactive model of conceptual understanding and achievement, with attitude largely irrelevant to the process for this population.

  • Froyd, J.E., Penberthy, D., Watson, K.L., 2000, “Good Educational Experiments are not Necessarily Good Change Processes,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Design, problem solving, and scientific discovery are examples of important processes for which engineers and scientists have developed exemplary process models, i.e., a set of widely accepted procedures by which these functions may best be accomplished. However, undergraduate curriculum transformation in engineering, that is, systemic change in pedagogy, content, and/or course structure, lacks a widely recognized process model. In other words, engineering faculty members do not widely and explicitly agree upon a set of assumptions and flow diagrams for initiating, sustaining and integrating curriculum improvement. The two-loop model that is described in conjunction with the EC2000 criterion ( provides a flow diagram that integrates assessment, evaluation and feedback processes. However, the two-loop model does not provide a set of assumptions and flow diagrams for quantum actual change or improvement. To initiate discussion of models for the curriculum change process, hereafter referred to as change models, this paper examines three change models and advocates the organizational change model.

  • Fournier-Bonilla, S.D., Watson, K.L., Malave, C.O., 2000, “Quality Planning in Engineering Education: Analysis of Alternative Implementations of New First-year Curriculum at Texas A&M University,” Journal of Engineering Education, 89:3, 315-322.

    Abstract: In general terms, traditional strategic planning may be described as a mechanism for generating a set of targets and approaches for achieving the established purpose of an organization. For it to be effective, a strategic plan must serve as the basis for creating a set of well-defined operations that align with the organizational goals and strategies. Because the task of generating an effective plan requires knowledge, time, patience, and persistence, not all organizations are prepared to devote the time and energy that is required to produce a meaningful plan. It is the intent of this paper to describe an approach to quality planning which was used to make major curricular changes in the first-year engineering education program at Texas A&M University. The planners' intention in this instance was to apply quality function deployment matrices, systems engineering concepts, quality management principles, and multi-attribute utility analysis to the evaluation of curriculum alternatives in an effort to make the planning process less complex and more systematic.

  • Froyd, J.E., Watson, K.L., 2000, “Systemic Improvement in Engineering Education,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: The paper describes a strategic objective of the Foundation Coalition: systemic improvement. First, a definition for systemic improvement is proposed. Second, a brief overview of change is described to promote the idea that curriculum change is a very complex process. Third, a list of tasks that can lead to systemic improvement is offered.


  • Weckman, G.R., MacLauchlan, R.A., Crosby, J., 2001, “An Assessment and Evaluation of an Integrated Engineering Curriculum,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to report a comparative analysis of student performance in a Traditional Engineering environment with Foundation Coalition (FC) students over a six year period of time at Texas A&M University–Kingsville (TAMUK). The FC is an engineering coalition funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The purpose of this program is to provide a means of improving current engineering programs in order to produce quality students that can meet the changing and demanding needs of their future employers. This analysis makes use of data provided by the Assessment and Evaluation (A/E) team at TAMUK. A commitment was made by TAMUK, along with six other FC partner institutions, to thoroughly assess and evaluate the work of students to provide a foundation that would ensure student development and life-long learning in engineering education.

  • Wage, K.E., Buck, J.R., 2001, “Development of the Signals and Systems Concept Inventory (SSCI) Assessment Instrument,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Linear systems theory is a core component of the undergraduate curriculum in electrical and computer engineering. This work-in-progress describes the Signals and Systems Concept Inventory (SSCI), an assessment tool designed to measure students' understanding of fundamental concepts in linear systems. The objective of this research is to develop a means of evaluating pedagogical techniques and curricular reform. The SSCI is patterned after the Force Concept Inventory, which is used to assess students' conceptual understanding of Newtonian physics. This paper discusses the development of the SSCI and its initial testing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD) and George Mason University (GMU).

  • Fournier-Bonilla, S.D., Watson, K.L., Malave, C.O., Froyd, J.E., 2001, “Managing Curricula Change in Engineering at Texas A&M University,” International Journal of Engineering Education, 17:3, 222-235.


  • Ledlow, S., White-Taylor, J., Evans, D.L., 2002, “Active/Cooperative Learning: A Discipline-Specific Resource for Engineering Education,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: While general information on the use of active/cooperative learning (A/CL) in higher education is increasing, discipline-specific resources, especially materials for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, are still relatively rare. A frequent comment from engineering faculty who don’t use active/cooperative learning is that they don’t understand how this form of pedagogy and classroom management strategies can apply to their subject or to their classroom. Too often these strategies are brushed off with comments about them only applying to the “softer” subjects taught on the “other side of campus” – but certainly not to the rigorous and complex technical subjects of engineering.

    Reported in this paper is information on Active/Cooperative Learning: Best Practices in Engineering Education, an online repository of engineering-specific ideas, testimonials, and teaching strategies to stimulate and aid faculty in trying and adopting a different look, feel and performance for the classroom. While the project does contain some general information on A/CL, the bulk of the content is specific to engineering education, and was derived from interviews with engineering faculty on multiple campuses. Materials are organized so that they will serve as a useful guide to faculty who have never used cooperative learning, but will also provide sufficient depth that more experienced faculty and faculty developers may benefit from them as well. The CD contains essentially the same content as the website, but will be provided to those whose Internet connections will not easily access large video or audio files.

  • Dantzler, J., Richardson, J., Whitaker, K., 2002, “Carry-Over Effects of a Freshman Engineering Program as Indentified by Faculty Ratings,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: For seven years, The University of Alabama’s College of Engineering has presented incoming freshmen with the opportunity to participate in a non-traditional first year program called TIDE (Teaming, Integration, and Design in Engineering). Components of TIDE that differ from the traditional first year program are cohort grouping, cooperative learning, team design projects, and an emphasis on written and oral communication. Student record data indicates that the program has improved retention in the engineering program but has had minimal effect on achievement. Anecdotal evidence from follow-on teachers, however, suggests that the TIDE program may have soft skill carry-over effects. Upper-class engineering students who participated in the TIDE program may exhibit more confidence, better communication skills and greater team skills than their traditional program counterparts.

    To test this hypothesis, engineering faculty who teach downstream design courses that rely heavily on student soft skills were asked to rate past students on a variety of dimensions. Each rater was presented with a list of their past students matched on high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores. These students were not identified to the raters as either TIDE or traditional students. Ratings for each skill were completed on a rubric-style scale designed to ensure consistency of rating meaning across raters. All data was collected during the 2000-01 academic year. A discussion of the analysis and implications will be presented.

  • Wheeler, E., Grigg, C., Chambers, Z., Layton, R.A., 2002, “Effective Practices in the Electrical Systems Service Course,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: There is a national need to improve the electrical systems service courses taken by mechanical engineering (ME) students. The systems that engineers work with are becoming increasingly multidisciplinary. Engineers, particularly team leaders and engineering managers, are finding it increasingly important to acquire some technical competence outside their core disciplines. Product design and development is coming to be viewed not as an assortment of problems in mechanics, electronics, hydraulics, and so forth, but as a systems problem, requiring a systems perspective. The automobile industry is only one example of an industry where this trend can be readily identified. Thus, knowledge of electrical systems is an integral part of every mechanical engineer's background, and it follows that electrical systems service courses are an integral part of mechanical engineering curricula.

    Those who teach these courses know that the problems are not primarily ones regarding content but rather of delivery. The very real problems that can appear in these service courses are often due to a lack of motivation or interest on the part of students, a classroom/laboratory design that does not meet the discipline-specific needs of the students, and a learning environment lacking tools that encourage students to come to class prepared and that permit them to study effectively outside of class. We focus on the role that the course plays in the ME curriculum and the benefits it offers in the ME students' education.

    Motivating students and engaging their interest is vital to the success of any course. These courses, however, often fail to interest or motivate students and many times do not meet their primary objective of enabling students to use the principles of electrical systems in their chosen discipline. This is partly because material is offered to the mechanical engineering student from the perspective of an electrical engineer. From the students' viewpoint, these service courses become a collection of unrelated topics with little relevance to their interests. Mechanical engineering departments must work with electrical and computer engineering (ECE) departments to improve these courses and to help ensure that the needs of ME students are met. ME departments can take steps to ensure that students come to these classes motivated and engaged. They can help faculty from ECE choose relevant topics that interest ME students.

    In this paper, we describe steps being taken at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to address these issues. This is an ongoing project and course design will likely undergo significant modifications over the next 2-4 years. We report here the steps taken to date and our present plans. We begin with some background information, follow with course and curriculum design considerations, and conclude with our plans for assessment.

  • , ., Wiest, J.M., Arnold, D., 2002, “Teaching Modules for the Technical Skills Component of ABET 2000,” Proceedings of the ASEE Southeastern Section Conference, Gainesville, FL, April 2002.

    Abstract: This paper describes part of an effort by Engineering faculty at the University of Alabama to develop three hour instructional modules to teach some of the skills addressed in the ABET EC 2000 Criterion 3 (a)-(k). The goal was to produce modules that could be incorporated into existing classes with minimal preparation time by the instructor. In this paper we describe four modules developed to address the technical skills components: Computational Skills, Design Skills, Modeling Skills, and Problem Solving Skills. Individual faculty members, who worked in teams of three to provide critical review and suggestions, developed the modules during the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 academic years. During the summer of 2001 these modules were classroom tested on classes of approximately 12 engineering students, representing a diversity of race, gender, major and year at the university. Pre and post module questionnaires were used to assess the effectiveness of the modules, and obtain student feedback, as well as pre and post tests for some modules. Each module includes learning objectives, justification, instructor’s manual, homework assignments, and PowerPoint slides for the classes.

  • Wage, K.E., Buck, J.R., Welch, T.B., Wright, C., 2002, “The Continuous-time Signals and Systems Concept Inventory,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, Orlando, FL, May 2002.

    Abstract: This paper describes the development of a continuous-time signals and systems concept inventory (CT SSCI) exam. The CT SSCI exam has twenty-five multiple choice questions and is designed to assess students’ understanding of core concepts in undergraduate signals and systems. The questions require little or no computation, and contain distractors, or incorrect answers, that capture common student misconceptions. This paper discusses the list of concepts covered by the exam, reviews test results for the first version of the CT SSCI, and describes the question design strategy. A study to evaluate version 2.0 of the exam is underway at four campuses, and this paper reports preliminary results from that study.

  • Wage, K.E., Buck, J.R., Welch, T.B., Wright, C., 2002, “The Signals and Systems Concept Inventory,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: This paper describes the development of continuous-time and discrete-time signals and systems concept inventory exams for undergraduate electrical engineering curricula. Both exams have twenty-five multiple choice questions to assess students’ understanding of core concepts in these courses. The questions require little or no computation, and contain incorrect answers that capture common student misconceptions. The design of both exams is discussed, as are ongoing studies evaluating the exams at four campuses. Preliminary results from administering the continuous-time exam as a pre-test and post-test indicate a normalized gain of 0.24 ± 0.08 for traditional lecture courses, consistent with reported results for the Force Concept Inventory exam in lecture courses for freshman physics.


  • Weinstein, J., Griffin, R.B., 2003, “A Novel Approach to Integrating Design into Manufacturing and Materials Education through the Fabrication of a Scale Model Cannon,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Prior to 2001 the materials and manufacturing laboratories were independent initiatives. Recently, these courses have been combined into one entity. It was proposed that if these two courses integrated fully under one project, that the students would better understand the place of materials and manufacturing in design. The proposed project was a 1/8th-scale replica of a 12-lb. Civil War Napoleon in a field mount. Existing labs were modified so that each topic contributed to the production of the cannon. Assessment of the lab was performed using three student surveys and two open-ended qualitative essays graded using analytic rubrics. Survey results indicate that the students are highly enthused by the new class and feel they have improved in the required subjects. Analysis of the essays shows that the students in cannon class have a better understanding of the role and application of materials selection and manufacturing in design.

  • Dantzler, J., Richardson, J., Whitaker, K., 2003, “Development of a Diversity Comfort Inventory for Engineering Students,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: One of the goals of a new freshman engineering program at the University of Alabama was to increase the value of diversity among students. The Team Identification Comfort Level Inventory (TICLE) was developed to assess an engineering student’s comfort with serving on diverse engineering related teams in contrast with the student’s comfort level with serving on teams of mostly white, males. The TICLE was given to 399 engineering students for validation. The TICLE displayed a high level of reliability with a Cronbach alpha reliability coefficient of .89, and strong evidence of validity through factor analysis. Results indicated that while there was no statistical difference between gender-based matched pair teams; there were differences in comfort level ratings on race-based teams. White males and white females showed a significant preference for non-diverse teams, while non-white males and females showed a significant preference for diverse teams. Based on the psychometric analyses and initial analyses of group differences, the TICLE shows promise as a diversity diagnostic tool for engineering educators.

  • Wheeler, E., Grigg, C., 2003, “Improving the Effectiveness of the Electrical Engineering Service Course,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference.

    Abstract: The objective in this project is to improve learning outcomes from electrical systems courses often included in undergraduate mechanical engineering (ME) curricula.

    Our methods involve three primary elements: (1)integration of the course into the mechanical engineering curriculum, (2) development of course material that maximizes the relevance of the course to mechanical engineering students, and (3)development of tools for effective delivery of this material.

  • Evans, D.L., Gray, G.L.., Krause, S.J., Martin, J.K.., Midkiff, C., Notaros, B.M., Pavelich, M., Rancour, D., Reed-Rhoads, T., Steif, P., Streveler, R., Wage, K.E., 2003, “Progress on Concept Inventory Assessment Tools,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The Foundation Coalition and others have been working on the development of Concept Inventory (CI) assessment instruments patterned after the well-known Force Concept Inventory (FCI) instrument of Halloun and Hestenes. Such assessment inventories can play an important part in relating teaching techniques to student learning. Work first got started two years ago on CIs for the subjects of thermodynamics, solid mechanics, signals and processing, and electromagnetics. Last year work got under way on CIs for circuits, fluid mechanics, engineering materials, transport processes, and statistics. This year work began on chemistry, computer egineering, dynamics, electronics, and heat transfer. This panel session will discuss the progress on these concept inventories. More importantly, the panelists will discuss the early student data that are emerging from the process of continuous improvement of the instruments. Results will be compared to the data collected by Hake that are segregated by how the content was managed and delivered (e.g., "traditional" lecture mode compared to the "interactive engagement" mode, as defined by Hake). Discussions of effective practices for use in the development of CIs will also be discussed.


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