Summer 2013


Creativity Space
Mentors: John Ochs (MEM), Lisa Getzler-Lynn (Baker Institute)

Technology Entrepreneurship students undertook development of a modular creativity space to support their own graduate program and others. As one of their mentors noted, this was the only team working on the space rather than in the space. The team was asked to develop an innovator's workstation in support of 50 IPD teams of 6 undergraduates in each team and 90 Technical Entrepreneurship students, each using the cell as their primary workspace. In addition, the team was asked to propose renovation to the space to accommodate these cells in innovative configurations, and to consider how the space might be configured to support the academic requirements of both the IPD and TE programs.

The First Four: A Documentary Film
Mentors: Michael Kramp (English), Julia Maserjian (LTS)

The First Four is an interdisciplinary documentary film project that investigates the first four female faculty members hired in the English Department at Lehigh University: Elizabeth Fifer, Barbara Traister, Rosemary Mudhenk, and Rosemarie Arbur. Students worked over a six-week period to produce an initial draft of a documentary film.

The film project combined intense archival research, primary interviews with living subjects, and creative design elements with the planning, making, and editing of the film. All three of these elements were essential to both the completion of the film project as well as the experimentation of the pilot program. The archival research forced the students to work individually as curious thinkers; the primary interviews allowed the students to interact with living subjects, develop interpersonal relationships, and practice their ethical skills of responsible research; and the design of the film provided the students with the opportunity to collaborate.

The film won Best Short at the Lehigh Valley Filmmaker Festival in November, 2013.

Mitigating Tuberculosis: Social Services and Biotechnology
Mentors: Vassie Ware (Biol Sci) and Kelly Austin (Sociology & Anthropology)

This project brought Science Education Alliance (SEA) students together with Global Citizenship students for collaborative work on strategies to mitigate the global impact of tuberculosis. Biological Sciences students isolated and characterized viruses that attack bacteria that are readily found in soil, as part of a large national effort to identify those that can be active against TB, while Global Studies students engaged in study of provision of health services in communities in less-developed regions. Together, the student groups engaged in interactive workshops to discuss their research, participated in seminars presented by experts in the field, participated in forums under the auspices of Lehigh's HHMI-sponsored Biosystems Dynamics Summer Institute, and connected with industry leaders in the global health division at Becton Dickinson. The combined project enabled Global Studies students to "get their gloves wet," Biological Science students to better appreciate the challenges that remain even when having a therapy in hand, and both groups of students to see the value of being conversant in each others' areas of expertise.

Smart Spaces
Mentors: Dan Lopresti (CSE) and Brian Davison (CSE)

This project involved hands-on exploration of physical spaces that respond to the presence or behaviors of people within them. Individuals and groups developed projects involving aspects of providing engineered systems with sophisticated sensory or presentation capabilities. One student worked to develop software for the difficult problem of identifying speech topics in noisy, multi-speaker environments. Another student worked on a system to classify streams of Twitter messages as a prelude to a system that would filter and display messages based on characteristics such as the moods or attitudes they communicate. Another built a system to detect the proper tempo of a piece of music from a person's hand movements, as musicians would do in following a conductor. And a group of students worked on enabling "quad-copter" aircraft to navigate a space using only a video image as guidance.

Technology for Developing Communities
Mentors: Rick Weisman (CEE), Mark Orrs(Sustainable Development Program/Political Science)

This project involved creation of technologies for housing and other fundamental needs for communities in the developing world. In designing for these environments, physical and human resources and supporting infrastructure are typically very different from what can be assumed in developed countries, and the stakes for users in adoption of new technologies can be particularly high.  Understanding the user, important to any successful design, becomes a particularly rich learning experience in and of itself. Students pursued three projects: One studying use of soil-filled rice bags in construction of durable housing for refugees, one involving development of a curriculum for use of 3D printers by students in developing countries, and a third involving design of an integrated system for crop production and water filtration.

Garage Project: Xiphias
Students: Wallace Scott, James Suh, Miguel Roman
Mentors: Pat Farrell (Provost/MEM), Wes Heis (AAD), Van Dobson (Facilities & Campus Planning)

The Xiphias concept vehicle is an independent student effort to predict the evolution of technical and creative performance automobiles. The goal is to develop various automotive engineering projects and integrate them into a professional-grade design package. Through these projects, which include research in aerodynamics, support structures, and powertrain systems, the group set out to create a product that is both beautiful and relevant to the future of cars. During the summer, the group worked on CAD design and production of scaled 3D printed models.

Garage Project: Responsive Textiles
Student: Dominique Brown
Mentor: Lucy Gans (AAD)

Ms. Brown's long-term goals involve design of garments that are responsive to the wearer and to the environment. She devoted her summer work to experimentation with materials that respond to heat (thermochromatic) and light (photochromatic) as well as miniature computing and control components for incorporation into garments.