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Robotics Research + Education: Resources & Practices That Maximize Both

A Robotics Education Workshop

at ICRA 2015 on Saturday May 30, 2015 (8:30-4:30 pm) in WSCC 603
Brought to you by S. Singh, P. Corke, Z. Dodds, W. Smart and Y. Zhang


In robotics, research and education are mutual opportunities, not opposites. This workshop will convene researchers, educators, and students to investigate specific toolsets and broader mindsets that mutually maximize the research and educational opportunities in robotics.

As modern robotics expands, mature toolsets become more crucial for building a foundation from which students pursue open-ended investigations. This workshop will highlight successes of MATLAB/Simulink, V­REP, CHARM, and the NSF's REU program. All these resources can - and do - simultaneously support education and research.

The workshop also provides a forum to network and discuss robotics education at all scales, from workshop to MOOC. We will provide software tools to get up and running in ten minutes. Participants and speakers will tackle today's challenges: how to structure robotics education to make research easier – and vice-versa? How does the datacentric nature of modern robotics change our teaching? How do we efficiently and effectively juggle high­-fidelity simulated environments, rapid prototyping tools, instructional strategies, and assessment tools?

The workshop is for everyone – teachers, students, and industry roboticists – anyone who embraces education's fundamental role in robotics. Join us for a vibrant discussion amid big-picture presentations, hands-on software demonstrations, example curricula, classroom experience reports, and more.

Schedule at a Glance:

Time Duration Presentation
1 8:30 8:45 15 Introduction & Welcome!
2 8:45 9:15 30 Robotics Education & Learning: Tools to Make It Easy (Part I: Platypus)
3 9:15 10:30 75 MATLAB/Simulink for Robotics Education and Research
10:30 10:45 15 Coffee Break
4 10:45 12:00 75 MATLAB/Simulink for Robotics Education and Research (Part II)
12:00 13:30 90 Lunch
5 13:30 13:45 15 NSF Research for Undergraduates presentation
6 13:45 14:00 15 Robotics Education & Learning: Tools to Make It Easy (Part II: CHARM)
7 14:00 15:15 75 Undergraduate+Robotics+Research: The Student Perspective
8 15:15 16:00 45 Coffee Break + Break-out sessions
9 16:00 16:30 30 Q & A and Overall Discussion

Presentations & More:

Introducing Platypus (8:45-9:15 am)
This session will present a new question-based, peer-review problem set system and discuss some thoughts on how a computerized homework system change the way we do problem sets and grading based on the data that has been collected so far. (PDFWWWSurya Singh)

MATLAB/Simulink for Robotics Education and Research (9:15-12:00 noon)

NSF Research for Undergraduates (1:30-1:45 pm)
This talk will feature some highlights from the CRA-E Engaging Undergraduates in Research Workshop/Lunch.
(Ran Libeskind-Hadas & Surya Singh)

The Challenge of Designing Mezzanine-level Teaching & Research (1:45-2:00 pm)
This session will present an algorithmic approach to undergraduate robotics education and research design and provide some examples – notably CHARM: Coin Handling Arm for Robotics Mastery. (PDFSurya Singh)

Incorporating robotics throughout the undergraduate experience (2:00-3:00 pm)
This session will present two distinct approaches to building curricular and programmatic bridges from CS1 to robotics research. Curricular structure, robot platforms and pedagogy, and support from the NSF's Research Experience for Undergraduates will be the highlight of these case-studies, featuring both Oregon State University, a large research-focused institution, and Harvey Mudd College, a small liberal-arts college. (Zach Dodds & Bill Smart)

Lookahead Lightning Talks (3:00-3:15 pm)
Workshop participants, certainly faculty and graduate students but especially undergraduates, will have short 1-minute, two-slide (all timed) opportunities to present the robotics research they plan to undertake in the upcoming summer.

Coffee Break + Break-out sessions: undergraduate advising (3:15-4:00 pm)
The workshop as a whole will breakout into 5-8 (informally organized) small groups, each with one or two of the “lookahead lightning talk” presenters. The goals for each group are to (1) get a deeper sense of the lightning-talk students' summer goals and (2) create a set of recommendations, directions, and advice for maximizing the research potential of the summer for those students. These insights will be gathered together for polishing and dissemination to the entire workshop cohort. If there are a few minutes at the very end, there will be a chance for each group to voice some of the insights they developed.

Organizers: (alphabetical)

Active Learning -- Don't Just Come - Participate!

The workshop will feature:

  • Lookahead Lightning Talks
  • Show & Tell
    • The art of making a robot work are the “magic sources” of “little parts,” “handy libraries,” and “efficient batteries” so that things work together and in a manner that does not require access to dedicated engineer. There are few forums for discussing and exchanging this tacit knowledge. The goal is to foster and reward this discussion.
    • The CRA Education Committee is hosting a lunch on working with undergraduates in research. It will cover the benefits of and best practices for undergraduate research. We encourage participation in this lunch as a means to facilitate mingling and more!

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icra_robotics_research_education.txt · Last modified: 2015/05/31 00:08 by spns