MDP Research Projects

Participants | Research Projects

The MDP is committed to offering students novel and creative design opportunities exploring the diverse, multidisciplinary fields of energy, environment, healthcare, and culture. Student design teams will be fully immersed in the research laboratory, collaborating with their faculty co-mentors, and using state-of-the-art equipment. These projects will fully engage the students and provide them the opportunity to see how multidisciplinary collaboration can lead to innovative results.

The following faculty-mentored design projects are available during the 2015-2016 MDP. Select a link for an overview of the project, associated faculty co-mentors, project prerequisites, and related publications.

MDP Design Projects

    1) A Novel Quantitative EEG Approach for Continuous Monitoring and Tracking of Coma Recovery 

    2) Design of a Fully Implantable Brain-Computer Interface System 

    3) Design of a Water Distribution System and Educational Plan for Improving the Health of the Malagasy Living in Maventibao, Madagascar 

    4) Incorporation of Nanopatterns onto Curved Artificial Cornea Devices and Testing of Durability 

    5) Integration of Biofeedback into a Video Game to Improve Emotion Self-Regulation Skills in Children with Autism 

    6) Making Plastic Printing Sustainable 

    7) MediCom: Comprehensive, Intuitive and Interactive View of Health Aspects to Improve Medication Compliance 

    8) Microfluidic Platform for Processing and Recovering Regenerative Cells from Fat 

    9) Modeling of the Vestibular System 

    10) Nurse and Parent Training in Postoperative Stress (NP-TIPS) 

    11) Orthogonal—Experimental Ocean Going Sailcraft Based on Micronesian Designs (Design and Build) 

    12) Physiological and Behavioral Regulation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Context of the Strange Situation: An Innovative Dynamic Systems Approach 

    13) Playful Fabrication: Envisioning the Future of 3D Printing 

    14) Virtual Language Immersion in Foreign Language Courses through Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming Communities 

 Project #1:  A Novel Quantitative EEG Approach for Continuous Monitoring and Tracking of Coma Recovery
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Yama AkbariNeurology

Professor Beth A. LopourBiomedical Engineering

Description:  Student Mentors:
Danny Siu, Biology/Information and Computer Sciences
Dishant Donga, Biomedical Engineering
Lauren Lee, Biomedical Engineering: Premedical
Sofia Kenny, Biomedical Engineering

Project Description:
Coma is a common neurological state encountered in humans suffering brain injury and critically ill, characterized by a loss of consciousness. The most common causes of coma in humans include cardiac arrest (leading to massive ischemic brain injury), traumatic brain injury, and drug overdose. Current methods to measure and track coma recovery are limited to hourly neurological exams by nurses and physicians. This sporadic method of monitoring lacks sensitivity and leaves the patient unmonitored 95%+ of the time. The development of a continuous, quantitative method to measure coma would enable physicians to modify treatments on a second-by-second or minute-by-minute basis for prolonged periods of time and has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of comatose patients.

In this multidisciplinary project, students will develop essential electroencephalogram (EEG) algorithms that will quantitatively and continuously monitor brain activity during coma recovery in rodents. If successful, the algorithms will be subsequently tested on human EEG. There is a steep level of neurological recovery that occurs in the first hours and days following hypoxic-ischemic events such as cardiac arrests. These first few hours and days are critical moments in which monitoring the brain’s dynamic activity may enable modification of ongoing treatments to optimize neurological outcome. EEG measures the electrical activity in different areas of the brain and is one of the most common methods to measure human and animal brain activity. Various signals are produced by specific regions of the brain during different situations. For example, it is expected for a visual stimulus to activate the visual cortices of the brain. Typically, over the past few decades, EEGs are read by neurologists trained to interpret EEG waves (i.e. “raw EEG”). Over the past decade, however, quantitative EEG analysis has become extremely common, allowing rapid interpretation of volumes of EEG data in real-time while being objective, highly sensitive, and more versatile in a wide variety of clinical settings.

Here, we propose a qEEG algorithm that is based on “communication through coherence”, the theory that when two brain regions are coupled by their EEG phase, they can communicate with each other. In recent years, EEG phase coherence has shown promise in characterizing brain activity in awake humans and rodents undergoing a variety of cognitive tests. We have preliminary evidence that phase coherence in rodents recovering from post-cardiac arrest coma can track the rodents’ neurological recovery with high sensitivity and accuracy. Creating an algorithm that will quantify EEG phase coherence in real-time can potentially assist in assessing the extent of brain injury and recovery, enabling treatments to be carried out immediately rather than waiting until the data is analyzed later. The immediate goal of this project is to create and validate a reliable, dynamic system to guide the recovery of rodents from hypoxic cardiac arrest using continuous monitoring. After establishing the algorithm in a controlled rodent model of coma, we plan to ultimately apply the findings of this project to assess the depth of coma in patients suffering from extended periods of comatose states.

The innovative aspect of this project lies in the novel technique to quantify coma recovery. Coma recovery has always been a popular topic, however measuring brain activity has been difficult to quantify due to the large variation among subjects. We hope to first perform more thorough within-subject analyses by creating a continuous, real-time method to monitor EEG following cardiac arrest. Intersite phase clustering (ISPC), a measure of phase coherence, will be used to quantify EEG and measure the rate of coma recovery.

The objective of the project is to first compare the new real-time ISPC algorithm with an already existing and validated post-processed ISPC algorithm in a rodent model of coma in our laboratory. Our preliminary evidence supports the application of post-processed ISPC in our rodent model. Developing a robust real-time ISPC algorithm in rodents can have significant clinical implications since clinicians can react immediately to a patient that has a steep change in ISPC. For example, a sudden change in the level of consciousness due to cerebral ischemia (e.g. cardiac arrest or stroke), seizures, or drug overdose can be noticed immediately by an automated system tied to thresholds set on the ISPC algorithm. Upon developing, testing, and validating a real-time ISPC algorithm in a rodent model, the algorithm will be applied to human EEGs. The ultimate goal is to have ISPC as a standard measure in a medical setting alongside EEG, EKG, heart rate, and other diagnostic variables to equip clinicians with diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic tools in the treatment of comatose patients.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
Students will learn, develop, and apply signal processing techniques to retrieve meaningful information out of EEG signals. As this project is a multidisciplinary effort in biomedical engineering and neurology, students with experience in computational neuroscience are encouraged to apply as well as students with a prior experience in MATLAB as it is the principal data processing software. Students must be willing to proactively learn standard techniques in EEG signal processing, as well as conduct independent literature searches to stay updated with recent developments in neurology and computational neuroscience.

Prerequisites: 1) Students who are interested in one or more following topics: neural signal processing, quantitative electroencephalography (EEG), cardiac arrest and coma recovery.
2) Students who are experienced in MATLAB, LabVIEW, and SPSS softwares.
3) Students with hardware experience like microcontrollers/data acquisition equipment.
4) Students who are self-motivated, responsible team players.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Kurtz P, Hanafy KA, Claassen J. Continuous EEG monitoring: is it ready for prime time? Curr Opin Crit Care. (2009) Apr;15(2):99-109. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0b013e3283294947.:
   Hofmeijer, J. et al. 'Early EEG Contributes To Multimodal Outcome Prediction Of Postanoxic Coma'. Neurology 85.2 (2015): 137-143.:
   Xiaofeng Jia,Matthew A. Koenig,Hyun-Chool Shin,Gehua Zhen,Soichiro Yamashita, Nitish V. Thakor,Romergryko G. Geocadin. Quantitative EEG and neurological recovery with therapeutic hypothermia after asphyxial cardiac arrest in rats. 2006. Elsevier Science.:
   Cohen, Mike X. Analyzing Neural Time Series Data: Theory and Practice. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, (2014).:
   Li, Duan et al. 'Asphyxia-Activated Corticocardiac Signaling Accelerates Onset Of Cardiac Arrest'. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112.16 (2015): E2073-E2082.:
   Borjigin, J. et al. 'Surge Of Neurophysiological Coherence And Connectivity In The Dying Brain'. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110.35 (2013): 14432-14437.:
   Salisbury, Dean F., and Grantley Taylor. 'Semantic Priming Increases Left Hemisphere Theta Power And Intertrial Phase Synchrony'. Psychophysiol 49.3 (2011): 305-311.:
   Trimper, John B., Roxana A. Stefanescu, and Joseph R. Manns. 'Recognition Memory And Theta-Gamma Interactions In The Hippocampus'. Hippocampus 24.3 (2013): 341-353. :

 Project #2:  Design of a Fully Implantable Brain-Computer Interface System
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Payam HeydariElectrical Engineering & Computer Science

Professor Zoran NenadicBiomedical Engineering

Professor An DoNeurology

Mr. Colin McCrimmonBiomedical Engineering

Description:  Student Mentors:
Colin McCrimmon, Biomedical Engineering

Project Description:
Central nervous system injuries such as spinal cord injury (SCI) or stroke can leave the affected individuals with significant impairment or complete loss of motor function. There are no satisfactory biomedical solutions that can restore motor function after SCI or stroke. One potential approach to restoring motor function after SCI or stroke is through the use of brain-computer interface (BCI) controlled prostheses. BCI technology can enable direct brain control of external devices without the need for generating any motor output. Current BCI hardware has limitations that are not conducive to permanently implanted BCI systems. The current technology [1, 2] utilizes electrode arrays implanted in the brain, while leaving bulky, external components protruding from the skull. The final goals of (BCI) project are to provide a fully implantable and low power on-chip system for receiving, amplifying, multiplexing and processing brain signals. This system is ultimately intended to have a safe implantation technique, and have long-term safety (e.g. no thermal injury, bleeding, severe bio-incompatibility reaction, seizures, etc.). The current proposal seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of this system in silico. Success of the in silico product will justify future research for further miniaturization, optimization, and implantation with animal testing, and then human testing.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
1. Student activities:
- Design and simulation of custom integrated circuits for an ultra low-power amplifier/multiplexer, an adaptive analog-to-digital-converter, and a super regenerative transceiver
- Fabrication and testing of above components to determine that can faithfully acquire invasively recorded brain signals, namely electrocorticogram
- Development of a custom low power, compact digital signal processor board
- Development of efficient algorithms for processing brain signals to achieve a low-power processing program
- Design of custom, titanium based enclosure for electronics, and performing heat, hermiticity, and sterility tests

2. Expected Outcomes:
- The ultra low-power system can faithfully acquire invasively-recorded brain signals
- Efficient algorithms for processing brain signals with a minimum power consumption
- Program and test a low-power digital signal processor that can handle complex BCI algorithms
- Finding a proper method for packaging of the system in order to be biocompatible

3. Specific skills that the student will develop:
- Distributed circuit and Integrated Circuit design
- Working with distributed circuit and Integrated Circuit design programs such as Altium Designer, Cadence, etc.
- Low-power design of implantable devices
- Digital signal processing, particularly of efficient, low-power algorithms
- Design and testing of biocompatible electronics packaging and enclosures
- Recording and analyzing neurophysiological signals
- Protocols for human subjects research

Prerequisites: This is a multi-disciplinary project. Eligibility means satisfying at least one of these requirements:
- Background, major, prior coursework, or research experience in electrical engineering, particularly in designing low-power integrated circuits
- Background, prior coursework, or research experience in neurophysiological signals and signal processing
- Background, major, prior coursework, or research experience in computer science
- Background, major, prior coursework, or research experience in mechanical engineering, thermodynamics, finite element modeling, and advanced machining

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Hochberg LR, Bacher D, Jarosiewicz B, Masse NY, Simeral JD, Vogel J, et al. Reach and grasp by people with tetraplegia using a neurally controlled robotic arm. Nature. 2012;485(7398):372–375.:
   Collinger JL, Wodlinger B, Downey JE, Wang W, Tyler-Kabara EC, Weber DJ, et al. High-performance neuroprosthetic control by an individual with tetraplegia. The Lancet. 2012:
   Do AH, Wang PT, King CE, Chun SN, Nenadic Z. Brain-computer interface controlled robotic gait orthosis. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 10 (111).:
   King CE, Wang PT, McCrimmon CM, Chou CCY, Do AH, Nenadic Z. The feasibility of a brain-computer interface functional electrical stimulation system for the restoration of overground walking after paraplegia. Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation 12 (1), 80.:
   Harrison RR, Watkins PT, Kier RJ, Lovejoy RO, Black DJ, Greger B, et al. A low--‐ power integrated circuit for a wireless 100--‐electrode neural recording system. Solid--‐State Circuits, IEEE Journal of. 2007;42(1):123–133.:
   Chang CW, Chiou JC. A Wireless and Batteryless Microsystem with Implantable Grid Electrode/3--‐ Dimensional Probe Array for ECoG and Extracellular Neural Recording in Rats. Sensors. 2013;13(4):4624– 4639.:
   Mollazadeh M, Greenwald E, Thakor N, Schieber M, Cauwenberghs G. Wireless micro--‐ECoG recording in primates during reach--‐to--‐grasp movements. In: Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS), 2011 IEEE. IEEE; 2011. p. 237–240.:
   Do AH, Wang PT, Abiri A, King CE, Nenadic Z. Brain--‐computer interface controlled functional electrical stimulation system for ankle movement. J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2011;8(49).:
   Wang PT, King CE, Chui LA, Do AH, Nenadic Z. Self--‐paced brain–computer interface control of ambulation in a virtual reality environment. Journal of Neural Engineering. 2012;9(5):056016.:
   King CE, Wang PT, Chui LA, Do AH, Nenadic Z. Operation of a brain-computer interface walking simulator for individuals with spinal cord injury. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation. 2013;10: 77(1).:
   Reference: Hochberg LR, Bacher D, Jarosiewicz B, Masse NY, Simeral JD, Vogel J, et al. Reach and grasp by people with tetraplegia using a neurally controlled robotic arm. Nature. 2012;485(7398):372– 375.:
   Reference: Collinger JL, Wodlinger B, Downey JE, Wang W, Tyler--‐Kabara EC, Weber DJ, et al. High--‐ performance neuroprosthetic control by an individual with tetraplegia. The Lancet. 2012:

 Project #3:  Design of a Water Distribution System and Educational Plan for Improving the Health of the Malagasy Living in Maventibao, Madagascar
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor AnneMarie ConleyEducation

Professor Oladele OgunseitanEnvironmental Health, Science, & Policy

Professor Diego RossoCivil & Environmental Engineering

Professor Russell L. DetwilerCivil & Environmental Engineering

Professor Andrew NoymerProgram in Public Health

Professor Richard A. MatthewPlanning, Policy, & Design

Ms. Dominique IngatoChemical Engineering & Materials Science

Description:  Student Mentors:
Dominique Ingato, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Project Description:
Health risks due to poor water quality are a top concern in developing countries. Engineers Without Borders @UCI recently began a collaboration with the Mada Clinic located in Maventibao, Madagascar, one such area where clean water is not always accessible. Currently, the Malagasy villagers must hike a local mountain to reach the spring that provides them with water. Additionally, studies by previous volunteers in the region have shown that this spring water has traces of bacterial contamination which most likely contribute to waterborne disease in the region.

The primary purpose of this project is to design a water distribution system with a purification component for the community while simultaneously producing an educational plan for motivating the villagers to utilize the new system to improve their health. The specific goals of this multidisciplinary Design Project are: to develop a culturally appropriate educational curriculum for use in Maventibao describing the importance of water purification, to improve current water distribution and purification system designs to fit specifications (cost, materials) in the region, and to create an appropriate protocol for maintaining the water distribution system.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
All students will be involved in both the engineering and public health/education aspects of the project. Students from different majors and backgrounds will work together to design an appropriate water distribution system and educational plan for implementation in Maventibao, Madagascar in Summer 2016. Project members will be eligible but not required to apply for a position with the Engineers Without Borders @UCI travel team.

Prerequisites: All undergraduate and graduate students at UC Irvine are eligible to apply for this project. Membership in Engineers Without Borders @UCI is not an application requirement. Some preferred majors include: civil and environmental engineering, public health, education, and related fields.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Garbley D, Reiner M, Wilson W. Water Resources Guidelines. Engineers Without Borders - USA. 2005.:
   Grady C, Weng S-C, Blatchley E. Global Potable Water: Current Status, Critical Problems, and Future Perspectives. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Switzerland: Springer, 2014.:
   Larson B, Minten B, Razafindralambo R. Unraveling the linkages between the Millenium Development Goals for Poverty, Education, Access to Water and Household Water Use in Developing Countries: Evidence from Madagascar. Journal of Development Studies 42(1): 22-40, 2006.:

 Project #4:  Incorporation of Nanopatterns onto Curved Artificial Cornea Devices and Testing of Durability
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Albert F. YeeChemical Engineering & Materials Science

Professor Marjan FaridOphthalmology

Ms. Mary Nora. DicksonChemical Engineering & Materials Science

Description:  Student Mentors:
Mary Nora Dickson, Chemical Engineering and Material Science

Project Description:
We are harnessing industrially scalable nanofabrication techniques to create the first totally synthetic (plastic) artificial cornea device. Current corneal devices may have to be explanted due to lack of host cell integration (stromal melt), over‐proliferation of host cells on the device (retroprosthetic membrane formation), as well as bacterial infection. Our unique nanopatterned structures can be fabricated over the corneal devices using nanoimprint lithography and dropcasting and have been shown to be effective in improving cell‐response.

We aim to eventually commercialize this technology, and indeed we plan to begin animal trials this year. Before we can begin, we want a student team to develop methodology for applying the nanostructured coating to the curved artificial cornea device. While there are robust methods for applying such coatings to flat polymer surfaces, this type of curved surface process has never (to our knowledge) been developed. Additionally, we need to verify the durability of these surfaces when handled by surgeons, and the durability of the coating when submerged in a warm, aqueous environment mimicking the eye. These studies will require extensive use of the BiON clean room fabrication facilities as well as the scanning electron microscope and atomic force microscope, both located in the IMRI facility in Calit2.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
We will train students on the techniques; however, they will develop their own protocols and adapt these techniques for the task at hand. Our lab has a strong focus on principle‐based experimental design rather than empirical methodology.

Students will be responsible for reading relevant literature and truly understanding the problem, and then applying this understanding to develop the novel protocol for applying a nanostructured coating to a curved surface. The tasks include experimental design, choosing and ordering materials, weighing and measuring precisely, spin‐coating, dropcasting, nanoimprinting, solvent‐assisted bonding, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, mechanical testing, and construction of an “in‐vivo” simulator for extended durability studies. We expect the students to communicate results regularly through oral and written reports. Overall, students will build familiarity with reading literature, designing and performing experiments, analyzing results, troubleshooting, and communication.

Prerequisites: 1. Senior standing
2. Majors & Preferred Majors: Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Pharmacological Sciences, Physics.
Students from other majors will be considered.

Time commitment:
10 hours per week of time

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Overview on cornea devices:
Keratoprosthesis (artificial cornea) Transplantation:
   Risks of current cornea device:
Risk factors for the development of retroprosthetic membranes with Boston keratoprosthesis type 1: multicenter study results.:
   Fungal colonization and infection in Boston keratoprosthesis.:
Reversal imprinting by transferring polymer from mold to substrate:
   An SU‐8 microlens array fabricated by soft replica molding for cell counting applications:

 Project #5:  Integration of Biofeedback into a Video Game to Improve Emotion Self-Regulation Skills in Children with Autism
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Yuqing GuoProgram in Nursing Science

Professor Robin Steinberg-EpsteinPediatrics

Description:  Clinical Problem:
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are characterized by social, emotional and communication problems. Of these core symptoms, emotion regulation has been quite challenging. For example, children with ASDs usually have trouble transitioning to a new routine. In other words, when there is a routine change, it often triggers tantrum outbursts in these children. Due to the delayed language capacity, it is hard for them to express their distress with words; furthermore, their lack of interest in people limits the impact of parent’s regulation. Currently, behavior and communication approaches are critical treatment components for training children with ASDs needing social skills. However, there is lack of effective intervention to promote emotion self-regulation acquisition in children with ASDs. The proposed project will address this gap.

Innovative Design:
The innovative design of this proposed project is to integrate a biofeedback technique to a video game for children with ASDs to improve emotion self-regulation skills. Biofeedback is a mind-body technique to promote regulation of physiological reactions in order to modify stressful emotions. The game includes 5 breathing challenge scenes coupled with an emotional scene where the child is taught by the character guide how to react to certain stressful situations such as transitioning to a new environment. This project will make use of a breathing monitor mechanism to provide feedback on the child’s breathing pattern. The child’s respiratory rate would then be measured against a model to determine their state of emotion, assuming that slower breathing equates a more composed child.

Specific Objectives and Significance:
There are two objectives: 1) to create a new intervention through applying biofeedback technique to a video game; and 2) to pilot the feasibility and acceptability of this novel intervention to improving emotion self-regulation in the children with autism. The significance of this proposed project is to create a cost-effective intervention modality to improve emotion self-regulation in children with ASDs.

Multidisciplinary Team:
Two disciplines are represented in this study. Dr. Robin Steinberg-Epstein, a developmentalbehavioral pediatrician and Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine, serves as the expert on clinical adaption and application. Dr. Yuqing Guo, an Assistant Professor from the Program in Nursing Science, who has expertise in the study of emotion regulation in typically developing children and children with autism, leads study design and evaluation.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
This project is expected to appeal to students from various majors, including engineering, computer science, nursing science, psychology and social behavior, and art. Students’ design experience will be gained through creating the video game, facilitating the integration of a biofeedback technique to a video game and evaluating the effect of this innovative intervention modality on emotion self-regulation in the child with autism. The proposed study requires the collaboration of all members and the contribution of individuals. Tasks will be assigned based on, but not restricted to, each individual’s major and field of study along with their specific interests within the study. Specific responsibilities include: designing the “assets” of video game, creating the scripts of video game, developing the computer code for video game, making a clinical protocol of a new intervention, recruiting subjects, implementing intervention.

Prerequisites: 1. Students who are interested in one or more following topics: human-computerhuman, biofeedback, parent-child interaction, emotion regulation, autism, and behavioral therapy.
2. Students who have video game coding experience are preferred, but it is not a requirement.
3. Students who have experience with designing and animating scenes for the video game is preferred, but it is not a requirement
4. Students who are self-motivated, responsible team-players.

 Project #6:  Making Plastic Printing Sustainable
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Jesse C. JacksonStudio Art

Professor Mark E. WalterMechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Description:  While additive layer manufacturing machines—3D printers—based on the fused deposition of polymer filament are not new, they are now readily available at various price-­‐points in the consumer market. This proliferation was initiated in the do-it-yourself community by the open‐source RepRap project in 2005, and further popularized by commercial enterprises such as Makerbot, a 2009 start-up famously purchased in 2013 by industry leader Stratasys for $403 million. A possible negative byproduct of more ubiquitous 3D printing would be an era of physical spam, marked by the production of "a large number of objects of infinitesimally small value."(1) Spam or not, these objects are creatively empowering, providing consumers with opportunities for personal expression previously only available to experts.

Though its publication predates the rise of these technologies, "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" by Michael Braungart and William McDonough provides a useful framework for considering how the deleterious effects of physical spam might be offset (2). Their concept of technical nutrients—materials that remain within closed loop cycles—is particularly pertinent here, given that the two most common materials used in consumer-­‐oriented additive manufacturing machines, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA), are each proven candidates for cradle-to-cradle processes—processes designed with upcycling, or the transformation of waste into useful products, in mind. Can consumers be provided with a user-friendly technical nutrient workflow, in which the objects they make are continually upcycled—physically and creatively—into new and improved objects?

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
This Multidisciplinary Design Program project is primarily a process design problem, incorporating smaller amounts of mechanical design and materials science. Ultimately, it is the quality of the user experience that is the most important design outcome.

There are four primary milestones:
1) Students will become familiar with the operation and maintenance of a fused-­‐deposition additive layer manufacturing machine. Specifically, the test bed machine—to be 'hacked' as necessary—is a Lulzbot TAZ 2, provided by Professor Jackson.

2) Students will design and build any necessary material and mechanical components of a closed loop polymer upcycling workflow. The primary requirement is a device that reduces existing printed plastic objects into input material of an appropriate shape and dimension, for use in a Filabot extruder provided by Professor Jackson.

3) Students will design, test, and refine a sustainable workflow suitable for consumer use. This workflow must be ecologically sound, in that all technical nutrients remain in a closed loop; economically accessible, in that any required equipment is inexpensive enough to be purchased by consumers; and socially viable, in that the upcycling procedure is clearly documented and easy to execute.

4) Students will make the research findings available to all additive layer manufacturing sites on campus (e.g. Rapidtech, Fabworks), with the goal of achieving more widespread local adoption of cradle-to-cradle procedures. Students will also consider the potential of commercialization opportunities, in partnership with UCI Applied Innovation.

Prerequisites: While there are no absolute requirements, the ideal student team will consist of a mix of specific technical expertise—in mechanical and environmental engineering, computer-aided design and manufacturing, user experience design, and polymer materials science—and a general inclination towards creativity and invention. All students should demonstrate a keen interest in additive layer manufacturing technology.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Institute for the Future, "Perils:A World of Crapjects," from The Future of Open Fabrication.:
   McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart. Cradle to Cradle:
Remaking the Way We Make Things. New York: North Point, 2002.

 Project #7:  MediCom: Comprehensive, Intuitive and Interactive View of Health Aspects to Improve Medication Compliance
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor John BillimekMedicine

Dr. Sergio Gago MasagueBiomedical Engineering

Mr. Anmol RajpurohitComputer Science

Description:  Additional Mentors:
Sergio Gago
Information Technology Specialist, Calit2

Student Mentors:
Anmol Rajpurohit, Computer Science

Project Description:
The United States of America (USA) has the highest health care cost inflation among leading developed nations.(1) Between 2006 and 2010, the healthcare costs in the USA increased by a staggering 19%.(2) Even more importantly, the overspending in healthcare in the USA due to overutilization is estimated to be $750 billion.(3) It is deeply perplexing to see such statistics for a nation whose talented healthcare providers and technology are among the world’s best. One of the most promising solutions is patient-centered healthcare. For that to succeed, patient-provider interaction has to play the most critical role. More than half of patients nationwide do not take their medications as prescribed, yet a very small minority of those patients discusses the concerns about their medication to the healthcare provider.

Internet of Things (IoT) provides a great opportunity to fix this problem through interconnected devices, continuous data collection and reporting, which can enable seamless automated health insights delivered anytime, anywhere, on any device.

MediCom is a web application that investigates the feasibility of n-of-1 trials, which are trials in which the patient is the main person that is tested with a certain medication. This will be done by tracking the user’s health while they take the medication. During the next medical visit, the patient and provider will view the data and use it to determine the best medication for the patient’s specific circumstances.

A simple, yet powerful design will enable to the improvement of patient-provider interaction through MediCom, without getting lost in the details or complexity of the medical terminology.

1. Wikipedia (
2. Health Care Transparency 101 - White Paper, Castlight Health
3. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, “Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America,” September 2012

Note: MediCom will be developed entirely based on Open Source software and utilities, in order to encourage collaboration from other universities as well as to offer this service to end users for free (by avoiding any licensing or subscription costs).

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
Student Activities:
· Design a multi-platform experience for users, through which users can access MediCom seamlessly over computer, tablets and smartphones
· Perform comprehensive usability assessment of the interface's features through focus groups and rigorous A/B testing
· Design creative elements for the interface to enable the delivery of healthcare information in an intuitive and engaging way

Expected Outcomes:
· A novel design for healthcare portal for patients and providers
· Innovative features that will engage users towards improving their health
· A one-portal solution to promote effective patient-provider communication

Specific Skills that Students will develop:
· Creative web design
· Usability testing
· Personalization to meet the diverse needs of end users
· Understanding of the US Healthcare ecosystem
· Applying technological innovation to meet patients' needs

Prerequisites: We are ideally looking for students with a good understanding and experience of interactive web design. We are looking for 3–5 experienced web designers and/or developers. Good knowledge of Database systems would be a huge plus. We will provide practical training about the U.S. Healthcare system and the challenges that patients face. Innovative thinkers with real-world experiences or relevant coursework are encouraged to apply.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Viswanathan, Hariharasudhan, Baozhi Chen, and Dario Pompili. "Research challenges in computation, communication, and context awareness for ubiquitous healthcare." Communications Magazine, IEEE 50.5 (2012): 92-99.:
   Weiner, S.J., A. Schwartz, G. Sharma, A. Binns-Calvey, N. Ashley, B. Kelly, A. Dayal, S. Patel, F.M. Weaver, and I. Harris. “Patient-Centered Decision Making and Health Care
Outcomes: An Observational Study.” Annals of Internal Medicine 158, no. 8 (2013):573–79.:
   Lillie, Elizabeth O, Bradley Patay, Joel Diamant, Brian Issell, Eric J Topol, and Nicholas J Schork. “The N-of-1 Clinical Trial: The Ultimate Strategy for Individualizing Medicine?” Personalized Medicine 8, no. 2 (March 2011): 161–73. doi:10.2217/pme.11.7.:
   Loh, Andreas, Rainer Leonhart, Celia E. Wills, Daniela Simon, and Martin Härter. “The Impact of Patient Participation on Adherence and Clinical Outcome in Primary Care of
Depression.” Patient Education and Counseling65, no. 1 (January 2007): 69–78. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2006.05.007.:
   Horne, Rob, Sarah C. E. Chapman, Rhian Parham, Nick Freemantle, Alastair Forbes, and Vanessa Cooper. “Understanding Patients’ Adherence-Related Beliefs about Medicines Prescribed for Long-Term Conditions: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Necessity-
Concerns Framework.” PLoS ONE 8, no. 12 (December 2, 2013).
   Osterberg, Lars, and Terrence Blaschke. “Adherence to Medication.” N Engl J Med 353 (August 4, 2005): 487–97. doi:10.1056/NEJMra050100.:
   Demiris, George, et al. "Patient-centered applications: use of information technology to promote disease management and wellness. A white paper by the AMIA knowledge in motion working group." Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 15.1 (2008): 8-13.:
   Chawla, Nitesh V., and Darcy A. Davis. "Bringing big data to personalized healthcare: a patient-centered framework." Journal of general internal medicine 28.3 (2013): 660-665.:

 Project #8:  Microfluidic Platform for Processing and Recovering Regenerative Cells from Fat
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Jered HaunBiomedical Engineering

Professor Alan David. WidgerowMedicine

Description:  We have developed a novel microfluidic device for dissociating tissue into smaller aggregates and single cells. The basic concept is to use a branching channel array to span millimeter to hundreds of micron size scales (see link below for figure). The channels also have repeating constriction and expansion regions that generate hydrodynamic fluid jets that apply well-defined shear forces to tissue and cell samples. The goal is to gradually break down tissue into smaller aggregates, and finally single cells that would be used for cell-based molecular diagnostics. We have shown that our microfluidic dissociation device can significantly decrease, and possibly eliminate, the need for enzymatic digestion of tumor tissue, while decreasing processing time and maintaining viability. Indeed, efficient dissociation can be obtained in <10 minutes total processing time, including under enzyme free conditions. We have recently begun testing fresh human tumor tissue specimens. In collaboration with Dr. Alan Widgerow and his Center for Tissue Engineering, we are interested in exploring an alternative application for our microfluidic dissociation device technology. Adipose tissue is well-known to contain regenerative cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), that facilitate fat grafting procedures and can even help heal wounds such as diabetic ulcers. Recently, it was shown that mechanical shear stress induced simply by passing adipose tissue between two syringes can dramatically improve MSC potency and clinical outcomes in patients. We are now interested in testing whether the well-defined, and possibly enhanced, shear stresses that we can generate in our microfluidic device can further improve MSC potency. An exciting feature to add onto the current device technology would be to incorporate filtration modules so that the processed fat specimens can be immediately injected into patients to enhance fat graft survival and achieve autologous therapies.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
Students will help redesign the dissociation device for the fat processing application. We believe that reducing the sample to a single cell suspension may be too extreme, and therefore the dimensions of the device should be increased. This could make 3D printing a reliable option for rapid prototyping and testing. We are also interested in the integration of filtering elements to remove aggregates and wash the sample.

Prerequisites: This study is open to any students in engineering, chemistry, biology, or physics.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Qiu X, De Jesus J, Pennell M, Troiani M, Haun JB. Microfluidic device for mechanical dissociation of cancer cell aggregates into single cells. Lab Chip 15, 339-350 (2015).
   Banyard DA, Salibian AA, Widgerow AD, Evans GR. Implications for human adipose-derived stem cells in plastic surgery. Journal of cellular and molecular medicine 19 (1), 21-30 (2015).:
   Tonnard P, Verpaele A, Peeters G, Hamdi M, Cornelissen M, Declercq H. Nanofat grafting: basic research and clinical applications. Plastic and reconstructive surgery 132 (4), 1017-1026 (2013).:
   Figure referenced in text above.:

 Project #9:  Modeling of the Vestibular System
Faculty Mentors:  
Dr. Hamid DjalilianOtolaryngology

Professor Andrei ShkelMechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Professor Harrison W. LinOtolaryngology

Mr. Sina AskariMechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Description:  Student Mentors:
Sina Askari, Biomedical Engineering
Alex Chang, Biomedical Engineering
Vasu Sharma, Biomedical Engineering

Project Description:
The vestibular system provides an organism with the ability to coordinate itself in terms of spatial orientation and balance. However, there are disorders where the natural system fails and leaves people severely disadvantaged. Since further work is needed in this field, we propose to create a model of the vestibular system using a 3axis gyroscope and accelerometer to account for all degrees of rotation. We are mainly interested in two algorithms where we can properly mirror the vestibular system: the Goldberg model and the GongMerfeld model.

Our research project will compare these two models in the process of creating a functional model of the vestibular system to analyze the long term effects of the algorithm chosen on device function. Since these two well known models approach the issue of modeling the vestibular system in different ways, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each model. Our overall directive is to be able to step towards a microelectromechanical system that can eventually replace damaged vestibular systems in patients.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
Students will be expected to actively research, code, and test the device in order to accomplish our goal. Students are to use the necessary coding program software such as MATLAB and Arduino to acquire the gyroscope readings and produce it onto a graph that we will be able to interpret. Once the device has been fully tested, the group will be able to create a new prototype that can be used as a vestibular implant for testing.

Prerequisites: Students must show efficiency in some engineering software/programs such as MATLAB and Arduino, and have an interest to improve upon the field of medicine. Additionally, there is a need to have some understanding of anatomy and biosensory systems. Each student needs to be self driven and motivated to further production and advancements in the project in order to accomplish our unified goal.

 Project #10:  Nurse and Parent Training in Postoperative Stress (NP-TIPS)
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Zeev KainAnesthesiology

Professor Michelle A. FortierAnesthesiology

Ms. Brooke Nicole. JenkinsPsychology & Social Behavior

Description:  Student Mentors:
Brooke Nicole Jenkins, Psychology & Social Behavior

Project Description:
A majority of children who recover from surgery suffer from pain in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) and upon arriving home. Poorly treated postoperative pain is detrimental due to impacts on children’s postoperative behavioral and clinical recovery and subsequent pain and medical care. Accordingly, it is important to develop methods that will alleviate child pain in the postoperative environment. Previous research from our Center on Stress and Health identified specific nurse and parent behaviors that influence children’s postoperative pain. Building on this line of research, the overall goal of this project is to develop and test the Nurse and Parent Training in Postoperative Stress (N/P-TIPS) intervention. The first goal of this study is to develop an intervention which will include a professional development program to teach PACU nurses to increase behaviors that alleviate child pain and decrease behaviors that elicit child pain and teach nurses how to train parents to alter their own behaviors in a similar way. The second aim of this study is to conduct a formative evaluation to examine the feasibility and acceptability of this newly developed intervention in a busy surgery center. Using focus groups, we will revise the intervention based on healthcare provider feedback. The third objective of this study is to conduct preliminary testing of the intervention’s ability to change parent and nurse behaviors leading to decreases in child postoperative pain.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
Students involved in this research project will get hands on experience designing an intervention and then implementing it in a hospital setting. They will work with nurses and parents to help improve the care that children receive following surgery. Specific involvement will be: 1. Review the nurse and parent training materials and makE updates according to nurse feedback, 2. Help run the nurse training seminars, 3. Provide parents with their training web module, 4. Contact
parents to participate in the study, 5. Collect data on postoperative outcomes, 6. Organize and analyze data, and 7. Present data.

Students will learn the following specific skills: 1. How to collaborate with healthcare providers, 2. How to inform the healthcare community on new ways to provide child care, 3. How to collect data in a hospital setting, and 4. How to analyze and present empirical findings.

Prerequisites: Undergraduate and graduate students interested in participating must apply to become a part of the UCI Center on Stress and Health. Eligibility is a 3.00 GPA and a commitment of 10 hours per week.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Chorney JM, Tan ET, Kain ZN: Adult-child interactions in the postanesthesia care unit: behavior matters. Anesthesiology 2013; 118: 834-41:
   Chorney JM, Tan ET, Martin SR, Fortier MA, Kain ZN: Children's behavior in the postanesthesia care unit: the development of the Child Behavior Coding System- PACU (CBCS-P). J Pediatr Psychol 2012; 37: 338-47:
   Kain ZN, Mayes LC, Caldwell-Andrews AA, Karas DE, McClain BC: Preoperative anxiety, postoperative pain, and behavioral recovery in young children undergoing
surgery. Pediatrics 2006; 118: 651-658:

 Project #11:  Orthogonal—Experimental Ocean Going Sailcraft Based on Micronesian Designs (Design and Build)
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Simon PennyStudio Art

Professor Russell L. DetwilerCivil & Environmental Engineering

Professor Lorenzo ValdevitMechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Description:  Orthogonal is a radically transdisciplinary research project involving anthropology, hydrodynamics and aerodynamics, design prototyping, experimental structures and materials science, traditional and contemporary artisanal practices, sustainability and ‘critical technical practice’ (Agre). The research will culminate in a unique experimental oceangoing sailcraft. For thousands of years, Micronesian and Polynesian peoples have sailed the vast Pacific using navigational techniques as effective as they were mysterious (Hutchins). Their sailing craft—outrigger canoes, called ‘proa’ (or ‘prao’ in French)—were recognized by 16th–18th century European explorers as being exceptionally fast.

Orthogonal is a project to build a modern proa, exploiting some of the special qualities of traditional proas—such as bilateral asymmetry and shunting—while using modern materials (aluminium, carbon fiber, stainless steel, Kevlar, epoxy, plywood), to produce a light, fast shallow draft, demountable and trailerable, coastal ocean sailing boat of about 30’. The design process involves heterogenous design decisions regarding materials, safety, usability, buildability and cost, along with more subtle decisions regarding the hybridization of well established western style sailing components and techniques with the novel dynamics of proa sailing.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
Students will be involved in a complete design/build/test cycle. A 25% scale radio controlled model will be completed for testing by end of winter 2016. Building of the fullscsale boat will begin by spring quarter 2016. Construction of prototype components and specialised jigs and armatures will be divided into subgroups for hull, foils, mast and rigging, sailmaking, mechanicals and electronics. Documentation tasks, including video production and website will also be required. Skills developed will include design practices (digital and old‐school), material realisation of plans and designs, precision carpentry, metalworking and use of synthetic

Funding and Budget:
The project has been supported by a CORCL grant (winter 2014).

The project has been assigned workspace in the ‘arts annex’ by the Dean of CTSA. This includes meeting room, storage space, woodshop and covered construction area. Harbor launching/testing space be negotiated with UCI sailing club.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with sailcraft and sailing would be an asset. Manual fabrication skills and an understanding of physical precision will be an asset. A willingness to do physical work and get dirty is expected.

Academic Credit will be available via 199s etc.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   The new ‐ Sailrocket world speed record (its a proa!):
   The old - "Flying Proa" of the Marianas Islands:
   A major study (in French): http://barreau‐
   History of Atlantic Proa
Cheers, Newicks’ famous original Atlantic Proa:
   historic 'Azulao' atlantic proa by Dick Newick:
   About Face – 1980s ocean going Australian Atlantic Proa:‐Face
   Samwise proa design by M Schecht:

 Project #12:  Physiological and Behavioral Regulation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Context of the Strange Situation: An Innovative Dynamic Systems Approach
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Yuqing GuoProgram in Nursing Science

Professor Wendy GoldbergPsychology & Social Behavior

Professor Kimberley D. LakesPediatrics

Description:  Background:
Attachment security within the parent-child relationship is proposed to influence the development of emotion regulation. The Strange Situation is a widely used assessment of toddler-parent and preschooler-parent attachment relationships. The Strange Situation consists of one pre-separation play episode, two separation episodes, and two reunion episodes. Since these separation episodes create stressful contexts in which to observe how dyads adjust after distress, they could give researchers a good opportunity to study emotion co-regulation. Children with autism typically have difficulties in social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. Despite the crucial role of emotion on social interaction, surprisingly relatively few studies have focused on emotion regulation in children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, little is known about how parents and children with ASD co-regulate in the context of the Strange Situation. The present project addresses these gaps.

The innovative aspect of the project lies in its novel application of a state-of-the-science technology called State Space Grid (SSG). SSG is a computer-based dynamic systems approach that can provide new insights into parent-child dynamics. For decades, measuring dyadic parent-child interactions has presented a methodological and analytic challenge for developmental psychologists. To address this challenge, SSG was created to allow researchers to quantify dyadic observation data as one unit. Using State Space Grid software, researchers can now describe mother and child emotional state simultaneously and can track movement between emotional states in real time. Another creative feature of this project is the collection and analysis of saliva, which provides data on stress reactivity and physiological regulatory processes.

Objectives and Significance:
The ultimate goal of this project is the novel expansion of the State Space Grid approach to emotion regulation research in children with ASD. The specific objectives are to: (a) pilot test whether an emotion regulation coding system designed for children with typically development can be reliably applied to children with ASD; and (b) examine associations between behavioral and physiological indicators of stress and emotion dysregulation in children with ASD. The findings will provide a better understanding of the moment-to-moment maladaptive emotion regulation processes found in social interactions of children with ASD. The knowledge generated from the current novel project may in turn lead to advances in assessing and monitoring emotion coregulation in interventions for children with ASD and their parents.

Multidisciplinary Team:
This research project engages three disciplines. Dr. Dr. Kimberly Lakes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine, and her research has focused on children with neurodevelopmental disorders and child assessments. Dr. Yuqing Guo, an Assistant Professor from the Program in Nursing Science, has applied the State Space Grid to a study co-regulation in secure child-mother vs. insecure child-mother dyads using a dataset of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Dr. Wendy Goldberg is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior in the School of Social Ecology and an expert on autism and family relationships.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
Students will be responsible for searching the literature, attending training on how to:
(1) apply an emotion regulation coding system in children with ASD
(2) conduct observation coding
(3) export observation data to the State Space Grid software
(4) integrate physiological data into SSG data
(5) create the final dataset for statistical analysis

An opportunity for a collaborative presentation of findings at professional meetings will be made available to highly motivated and active students.

Prerequisites: 1. Students who are interested in one or more following topics: parent-child interaction, attachment, emotion regulation, autism, stress, physiological data, observation research, and dynamic systems.
2. Students who have extensive computer experience and are detail oriented.
3. Students who are self-motivated, responsible team players.

 Project #13:  Playful Fabrication: Envisioning the Future of 3D Printing
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Jesse C. JacksonStudio Art

Professor Joshua G. TanenbaumInformatics

Description:  Additional Mentors:
Karen Tanenbaum
Assistant Project Scientist, Informatics

Project Description:
This MDP project invites students to imagine creative and playful uses for personal fabrication technology. Using a variety of design techniques, the student team will explore multiple imagined futures for personal fabrication and produce a prototype or demo intended to encourage reflection on and conversation about the range of applications and implications inherent in this technology.

Much of the conversation around 3D printers and other devices for small-scale personal fabrication has been mired in functionalist and utilitarian notions of these machines. In this sense it parallels the early days of the personal computer, where the emphasis was on technical uses for calculations and algorithms; or of the telephone, which was marketed in the 1920s as a business machine. As it became practical to put computers in the home, the driver for a consumer market shifted from the technological and functional to the experiential and creative: it wasn’t until computers could make music, create documents, and play games that there was a compelling narrative for a personal computer in the home. The subsequent proliferation of personal computers produced a public demand for computers that were more powerful and more usable, resulting in economic conditions that rewarded innovations in human-centered computing. The resulting virtuous cycle produced the radical changes in culture and in technology that have characterized the last half-century of human society. Core to this transformation was the shift away from command-line interfaces and applications designed for engineers and programmers, and towards programs that made the technology accessible to everyday computer users.

We now have the technological capability to put 3D printers and other small-scale CNC machines in our garages, but the vast majority of the use cases for them are utilitarian: creating one-off parts, repairing or replacing broken items, and designing new prototypes. The technologies that are used to create and communicate instructions to these devices are geared toward engineers rather than casual end-users and the tasks being imagined for these devices are similarly oriented towards engineers. Design and engineering firms tout their use of 3D printers to rapidly prototype new products in the same way that financial and marketing firms once touted the impact of their new mainframe computers. But there is currently no equivalent of desktop publishing or computer gaming to push fabrication technologies from the business and engineering world into the household market. Home fabrication technologies are still very much in the “command line” phase of their history, often requiring significant engineering expertise to operate successfully. Creative and thoughtful envisioning work is needed to explore the potential futures of this technology.

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
In order to push small‐scale fabrication technology forward, we need scenarios and use-cases that are expressive, communicative, and playful. We need to develop uses for these technologies that push the limits of their capabilities by envisioning them as material communicators. At their current speeds and resolutions, 3D printers are the material equivalent of the early desktop computers. As devices for communicating "tangible bits," they are barely even up to the level of the first dial-up modems. But we can imagine design scenarios and research prototypes that push these technologies to their limit as devices for transmitting and interacting with physical objects, potentially creating new interfaces and narratives for small-scale fabrication that can explode the horizons of material communication. What kind of expressive user interface is needed for creative and playful fabrication systems? What is the user experience of sending and receiving physical objects between networked printers?

For this MDP project, the student team will be invited to explore the current boundaries of fabrication technology and extrapolate into creative future uses. The exact shape of the project is left to the team to decide. Ideally they will produce a prototype or hands-on demo embodying one or more ideas for the future of "playful" fabrication technology. The faculty mentors will guide the students through an iterative design process of brainstorming, workshopping, prototyping and presenting their ideas. The final result will be documented and used to engage the public in a conversation about the potential creative and playful uses for 3D printers and other personal fabrication technologies.

Students will have access to a Lulzbot in the LUCI Studio within the Informatics Department in Donald Bren Hall and a MakerBot in the EVOKE Lab in Calit2. Access to additional fabrication platforms via FabWorks in Calit2 can also be arranged.

Prerequisites: There are no strict requirements. Students working on this project should be interested in modern fabrication technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills, etc. The ideal team will include students from ICS, the humanities, the social and natural sciences, and engineering who are eager to engage in interdisciplinary design thinking.

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Tanenbaum, Josh & Karen Tanenbaum (2015) Fabricating Futures: Envisioning Scenarios for Home
Fabrication Technology In N. Zagalo & P. Branco (Eds.), Creativity in the Digital Age (pp. 193–221).
Springer London.:

 Project #14:  Virtual Language Immersion in Foreign Language Courses through Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming Communities
Faculty Mentors:  
Professor Peter O. KrappFilm & Media Studies

Professor Mark WarschauerEducation

Professor Glenn S. LevineGerman

Ms. Kierstin BrehmGerman

Description:  Student Mentors:
Kierstin Brehm, German Studies

Project Description:
Technological communication is a ubiquitous fact of daily life outside the classroom. As second language (L2) teachers look toward future curricula they should take account of this fact and find ways to integrate computer mediated communication (CMC) into their courses, ones that articulate with the pedagogy and curricular structures of conventional courses, but that also move those pedagogies and curricula in new directions. One way to do so is to utilize existing gaming platforms like the MMORPG World of Warcraft to foster learning in an alternate setting to the conventional classroom environment. World of Warcraft's game system requires players to engage linguistically in many ways, from reading and writing to speech. Further, these interactions most often take place among native or advanced speakers of German, which would provide L2 learners a virtual, immersive environment rich in affordances for gaining knowledge in areas of cultural competency not feasible in the of the traditional classroom. Moreover, the benefits of using MMORPGs in L2 learning has been studied and established by numerous scholars, such as Gee (2007), Rama, Black, van Ens, and Warschauer (2012), Thorne, Black, and Sykes (2009), and Thorne and Fischer (2012).

To study/research whether utilizing an established MMORPG community in foreign language learning stimulates L2 learning beyond that of a traditional classroom, we propose to design and implement a pilot “virtual language immersion” module for a second year (2C level) German language course by utilizing a World of Warcraft community established on a German server. Students would participate in individual and group “learning quests” designed to foster their linguistic and (inter) cultural fluency. The pilot module would involve German 2C students, last approximately four weeks (alternating or consecutive weeks) and comprise substantial lab time in the Humanities Studio “immersed” within a German World of Warcraft 2 community. The module could be incorporated into an existing 2C course or be held concurrently with a group of volunteer student participants, depending on the outcome of the IRB process. The research component of the project would be facilitated through the capture of data in the form of screenplay, text chat and voice chat, student assessments of learning according to the stated goals of the module, and surveys and interviews conducted with the participants. These data would also allow us to evaluate the success of the pilot project. Subsequently we intend to share the findings of that research with language professionals and other interested scholarly fields through conference presentations and publication.

Instructional Goals:
Design learning quests which maximise the L2 learner’s interaction with the target language within the MMORPG. Quests facilitate communication (reading, writing, listening, speaking) on an individual, collaborative, learnerlearner and learnernative speaker basis. Provide guided exploration of and reflection on intercultural competence through scaffolded debriefing sessions.

Intended Learning Outcomes (SLOs):
By the end of the virtual language immersion module, L2 learners should be able to:
● Communicate with native/primary language (L1) speakers of German; negotiate meaning, i.e. make themselves understood in culturally appropriate ways
● Develop an awareness of intercultural competence by comparing/contrasting experiences within the online community with their own cultural frames, as well as those of the 'real' German speaking world
● Overcome inhibitions about speaking and/or writing in German
● Acquire and use new vocabulary in speaking and/or writing
● Apply a range of reading strategies for in-game texts, text chat and game-related blogs/websites
● Participate independently in a German/online community, whether in a game or other virtual environment
● Reflect critically about one’s own cultural frames and those of the German-speaking communities, and relate these to cultural contexts in the face-to-face world

Student Involvement and Expected Outcomes:
Pilot team members (students) will have the opportunity to become involved in an interdisciplinary research project bringing together the humanities, education and informatics. The pilot team, which will include at least one other graduate student, at least one undergraduate student, and myself, will be part of a research team designing and implementing the module for immersive L2 learning in the MMORPG focusing on exploring German/online culture through virtual language immersion. The student participants will gain exposure to research project design, project management, team building and conflict resolution. They will gain hands-on experience in the creation of learning modules and the implementation of digital learning strategies for L2 learners. Additionally, They will be involved in data collection and interpretation, and participate in the presentation of the project and/or research findings.

Prerequisites: Pilot team members:
Undergraduate or graduate student with advanced fluency in German to assist in capturing and processing data and translating relevant data into English. Additionally, this team member may assist in translating “learning quests” into German for the course website.

Graduate student with knowledge of digital learning strategies for online language learning, preferably with an interest in this area. Additionally, this team member would assist in the creation of assessment tools to measure the effect of "virtual language immersion" on 2C students learning within the WoW environment vs. their counterparts in traditional 2C courses. As it is anticipated that much of the data will be in German, fluency in German is required.

Graduate student or undergraduate student with the ability to set up the capture of data (screenplay/text chat/voice chat etc.) within game environment. Ability to implement autotranscription a plus.

As available:
Graduate student or undergraduate student with knowledge of MMORPG environments ( WoW preferred) in the roleplaying mode to help create enjoyable and stimulating "learning quests" for students (this task is not related to programming or game design). Additionally, this team member will create a "WoW primer" or reference materials (text and video formats) in English to assist in onboarding nongamers to the virtual realm.

Graduate student or undergraduate student with knowledge of and skills in statistics to design valid methods of data collection and interpretation. This team member would be asked to collaborate with the individuals implementing data capture. Graduate student preferred.

Undergraduate or graduate student comfortable working with blogs and the Canvas online course management platform to help create the course website. The website will house the course syllabus, the "WoW primer" materials and the instructions to daily learning "quests" and other materials related to the project. Knowledge of x/html preferred but not essential.

Language course participants:
1. German language proficiency (reading, writing, speaking) equivalent to the 2B level (by course grades or placement into 2C)
2. Enrollment in German 2C

Recommended Web sites and publications: 
   Gee, James Paul. What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy . New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.:
   Rama, Paul S., Rebecca W. Black, Elizabeth Van Es, and Mark Warschauer. "Affordances for Second Language Learning in World of Warcraft." ReCALL 24.03 (2012): 32238.:
   Thorne, Steven L., and Ingrid Fischer. “Online Gaming as Sociable Media.” Alsic: Apprentissage des Langues et Systemes d'Information et de Communication 15.1 (2012): 125.:
   Thorne, Steven L., Rebecca. W. Black, and Julie. M. Sykes. “Second Language Use, Socialization, and Learning in Internet Interest Communities and Online Gaming.” The Modern Language Journal 93 (2009): 802–821.: