|From left, Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Steve Cronin, Judith Mussel, Janet Owen Driggs and Murali Annavaram
Innovation Inside Awards Announced
January 31, 2008In an effort to enhance the teaching of innovation in the classroom, the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation has selected six faculty recipients for the first Innovation Inside curriculum awards.
At $2,000 each, these awards recognize selected faculty who are enhancing their existing undergraduate and/or graduate classes in experimental ways to best cultivate innovative traits and skills in USC students.
Developed as a pilot, this intentionally small and highly selective grant program is designed to establish a diverse cadre of faculty who emphasize innovation in their coursework and are interested in exploring different ways to teach the process.
At the end of the program, the awardees will deliver a short description of the key findings from their project and participate in a one-day summit to share their experiences and lessons learned.
Faculty from across USC were encouraged to apply and the recipients represent a diverse set of disciplines from technology and medicine to the arts and social sciences. The first recipients are:
%ue2%u20ac%ua2 Judith Mussel & Emily White Wild Structures (architecture): In architecture, innovation occurs when digital design methods are tested in real materials and real space at full scale. To help students understand the challenges of such innovation, this design studio will enable students to take their nature-inspired ideas from the abstract digital environment to physical prototypes.
%ue2%u20ac%ua2 Karen Halttunen The Freeman House Project (history): Students will learn about the process of broadening the impact of historical research by engaging in a multiyear, interdisciplinary undergraduate project on the 20th century historical environment of Frank Lloyd Wrights Freeman House (located in Hollywood and owned by the USC School of Architecture).
%ue2%u20ac%ua2 Krishna Nayak Commercialization of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (electrical engineering): As an enhancement to an existing course sequence on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), students will develop a sense of the marketplace for MRI and how novel ideas can turn into small businesses or be commercialized by major MRI vendors for further development.
%ue2%u20ac%ua2 Murali Annavaram & Bhaskar Krishnamachari Innovative Applications and Network Protocols for Mobile Wireless Devices (electrical engineering): Masters and Ph.D. students in electrical engineering and computer science will pursue hands-on design experience culminating in a design competition on mobile devices donated by Nokia.
%ue2%u20ac%ua2 Steve Cronin Innovation in Nanotechnology (electrical engineering): This course combines both technical and creative components in the emerging fields of nanotechnology. It will give students a practical understanding of nanotechnology and the basic mechanisms underlying nanoscale phenomena, and it will challenge students to brainstorm new applications that deploy the unique capabilities of the new nanotechnology.
%ue2%u20ac%ua2 Janet Owen Driggs Public Art/Public Innovation (USC Roski School of Fine Arts): This class will explore the process by which public art gets incorporated in the public sphere, and students will develop approaches for evaluating the impacts of public art projects.
The proposals were reviewed by a panel of faculty with diverse expertise in innovation. They considered specific criteria, including diversity across disciplines and approaches; effectiveness in developing the traits, skills and knowledge necessary to make greater societal impact; creative ideas for enhancing curriculum, with particular recognition for high risk and potential for reward; enthusiasm and commitment of faculty to participate and share their experiences; impact and potential future impact of the proposed project on students; and sustainability.
Through this award program, we look forward to partnering with our faculty to experiment, learn and create systematic methods for fostering both the creativity and the pragmatism that will be necessary for USC students to achieve broader impact in their careers, said Krisztina Holly, vice provost for innovation and executive director of USC Stevens. The common thread we all share is an eagerness to pioneer new approaches to teaching innovation.