Dr. Lacks participated in the Freedman Fellows Program with the following two projects in mind:
(A) Development of interactive web¿based modules for teaching thermodynamics. These modules will be used in the graduate course I teach, ECHE 460: “Thermodynamics of Chemical Systems”, which is a required course for all graduate students in my department (and is also taken by students from other departments). I plan to develop the module in collaboration with the Etomica project at the University of Buffalo,6 which is funded by the National Science Foundation. The Etomica group administers a suite of interactive web¿based modules that use molecular simulations to aid in teaching topics in thermodynamics. The Etomica project is run such that outside contributors develop the ideas and teaching materials for the module, and the Etomica group at Buffalo creates the simulation that implements these ideas.
(B) Teaching the use of multimedia presentations for chemical engineering undergraduates I teach the undergraduate course ECHE 365: “Measurements Laboratory”. This junior¿level laboratory course is required for all chemical engineering undergraduates, and a major focus of the course is technical communication (both written and oral). In previous years, the oral presentation has been a standard Powerpoint¿based presentation. However, it would be useful for students to learn how to incorporate multimedia into their presentations – e.g., video clips of aspects of the experiments, and animated schematics demonstrating how the experiment works or the physical basis of the underlying phenomena.