STEM Incubator

STEM

Incubator Courses

One-credit courses for creative exploration in computer science, engineering,
technology, and mathematics
CSC 192 and CSC 192hSTEM Incubator Courses

CSC 192 – for students with no experience in the application area of the particular STEM course section (called “apprentices” in the course)

CSC 192h – for students with previous CS courses or experience in the application area of the particular STEM course section (called “mentors” in the course)

(See course descriptions for each semester below.)

Benefits of joining the STEM Incubator team

  • Access to the STEM Lab along with its specialized hardware, software, and electronic devices
  • Involvement in collaborative, hands-on projects in a chosen area of interest
  • Faculty and student mentors to provide guidance on projects
  • Experience in computational problem solving, an essential skill that adds value to any academic portfolio

Course Overview
CSC 192 and 192 h are one-hour pass/fail courses connecting freshman, CS majors, and non-majors into small vertically integrated teams working on challenging problems and applications in computer science. During the semester, STEM Incubator students engage in peer-based learning through teamwork and collaboration, under the guidance of faculty mentors. Through CSC 192 and 192 h, the STEM Incubator fosters a maker type of learning where new students can experience the value of science before the theoretical principles.

Student Requirements
The ideal types of students for the STEM Incubator courses are:

  • for CSC 192 — underclassmen (undeclared freshman and sophomores) with no programming experience who are seeking hands-on exploration of technology, teamwork, and open-ended design.
  • for CSC 192 h — upperclassmen with CS or other science background interested in contributing with their knowledge and expertise and willing to lead the team in the challenges undertaken in the course.

Specific Problems and Application Areas
STEM Incubator courses are focused around research, teaching, and application interests of participating faculty and may change from one semester to another. Recent courses topics include robotics, 3D printing, bioinformatics, and wearable sensor design.

Grading
As a one-hour pass/fail course, CSC 192 and 192 h require 1 hour of regularly-scheduled class time supervised by the faculty mentor, and an additional 2 hours of independent team work each week for students to collaborate on their projects. To receive a pass, each student must submit (by the last day of class) a journal describing their work during the semester. The form of this journal (handwritten, online, webpage, etc.) is specified by each faculty mentor at the beginning of the semester.

Three sections of the STEM Incubator, CSC 192, and four sections of the STEM Incubator Honors, CSC 192H, will be offered in Fall 2016.

CSC 192 A and 192H A STEM Robotics

The challenge for this STEM section is to control a robot, under human control and then autonomously, to navigate a course from one wall to the other. Student will learn about simple robots and controls, computational problem solving, algorithm development, simple machine learning and AI, and basic Python programming. If the challenge is met, a friendly competition will be held to see which robot can navigate the course most quickly. While students will be provided considerable guidance and mentoring, the are free to be creative and to fail (failing often is a great way to learn). No experience is needed or is expected, and often it is exactly the least informed who come up with the most original ideas.

Pete Santago, PhD
ps@wfu.edu

Paul Whitener
whitenpm@wfu.edu

CSC192 B and CSC192H B CSC 192 Digital Sound and Music

In this course, student will be introduced to the science of digital sound and music, including the way in which sound is changed from analog to digital form so that it can be manipulated by a computer. As students record and edit their own music and sound effects, they will gain experience with the hardware and software used in music production. Tools and systems used in the course will include sound cards, microphones, MIDI keyboards, synthesizers, samplers, audio editing software, and MATLAB.

Jennifer Burg, PhD
burg@wfu.edu

CSC 192 C and 192H C STEM – Sensors and Drones

This STEM section seeks to explore and develop innovative technology that can help people with disabilities or the environment. Starting with specific challenges, students work in small teams exploring computing and sensor technology to design and implement solutions to these challenges. For disabilities, these solutions often take the form of wearable devices involving programmable Arduino boards, sonar sensors, bluetooth modules, etc. An example of such solution is the Human Echo Location Partner (H.E.L.P.) device developed by students to help visually impaired individuals sense proximity to nearby objects. For the environment, students work on developing or improving the capabilities of small aerial or underwater drones used for conservation purposes. Faculty mentors for this section include Profs. Pauca, Conner (Biology) and Silman (Biology).

Paúl Pauca, PhD
paucavp@wfu.edu

Three sections of the STEM Incubator, CSC 192, and four sections of the STEM Incubator Honors, CSC 192H, were offered in Spring 2016.

CSC 192 A and 192H A STEM Robotics

The challenge for this STEM section is to control a robot, under human control and then autonomously, to navigate a course from one wall to the other. Student will learn about simple robots and controls, computational problem solving, algorithm development, simple machine learning and AI, and basic Python programming. If the challenge is met, a friendly competition will be held to see which robot can navigate the course most quickly. While students will be provided considerable guidance and mentoring, the are free to be creative and to fail (failing often is a great way to learn). No experience is needed or is expected, and often it is exactly the least informed who come up with the most original ideas.

Pete Santago, PhD
ps@wfu.edu

Paul Whitener
whitenpm@wfu.edu

CSC192 B and CSC192H B Experimenting with 3D Printing of Dynamic Objects

In this course, students will learn how to model and print 3D objects. The specific software and hardware used in the course will be a 3D modeling program called Sketchup and a 3D printer made by Makerbot, the Replicator 2x. Students will begin by using models created by others. They will then learn how to model their own objects in Sketchup. They will explore interesting 3D objects that can be found on a website called Thingiverse, and they will use their own creativity modify some of these models in an original way. They will see how 3D objects can be made dynamic when they have electronic components integrated into them, like Arduino boards or Raspberry Pis. The final projects will be team projects (2 or 3 students per team) in which student compete to make the most interesting, original, dynamic projects possible.

Jennifer Burg, PhD
burg@wfu.edu

CSC 192 C and 192H C STEM – Sensors and Drones

This STEM section seeks to explore and develop innovative technology that can help people with disabilities or the environment. Starting with specific challenges, students work in small teams exploring computing and sensor technology to design and implement solutions to these challenges. For disabilities, these solutions often take the form of wearable devices involving programmable Arduino boards, sonar sensors, bluetooth modules, etc. An example of such solution is the Human Echo Location Partner (H.E.L.P.) device developed by students to help visually impaired individuals sense proximity to nearby objects. For the environment, students work on developing or improving the capabilities of small aerial or underwater drones used for conservation purposes. Faculty mentors for this section include Profs. Pauca, Conner (Biology) and Silman (Biology).

Paúl Pauca, PhD
paucavp@wfu.edu

Four sections of the STEM Incubator, CSC 192, and four sections of the STEM Incubator Honors, CSC 192H, will be offered in Fall 2015.

CSC 192 A and 192H A STEM Robotics

The challenge for this STEM section is to control a robot, under human control and then autonomously, to navigate a course from one wall to the other. Student will learn about simple robots and controls, computational problem solving, algorithm development, simple machine learning and AI, and basic Python programming. If the challenge is met, a friendly competition will be held to see which robot can navigate the course most quickly. While students will be provided considerable guidance and mentoring, the are free to be creative and to fail (failing often is a great way to learn). No experience is needed or is expected, and often it is exactly the least informed who come up with the most original ideas. See you in August!

Pete Santago, PhD
ps@wfu.edu

Paul Whitener
whitenpm@wfu.edu

CSC 192 B and 192H B  STEM Incubator in Bioinformatics

Computer algorithms are helping to expand the scientific boundaries of much of the field of biology. This incubator is designed to introduce the fields of bioinformatics and computational biology. Students will be exposed to computational tools that can help us answer fundamentally important questions about life (how close are humans to chimps? what genes are likely involved with cancers?) We’re starting with the basics, so no need for prior experience in biology or computer science!

William Turkett, PhD
turketwh@wfu.edu

CSC192 C and CSC192H C STEM-3D Printing

Students will explore the hardware and software involved in 3D printing. They will learn how to use the department’s 3D printer (MakerBot Replicator 2X). They will also become familiar with the use of 3D modeling software like Tinkercad, SketchUp, Autodesk 123D Design, and OpenSCAD. STEM incubator sections working on other projects will challenge the 3D printing group to print items needed for their work.

Jennifer Burg, PhD
burg@wfu.edu

CSC 192 D and 192H D STEM – Sensors and Human Computer Interaction

Data-collecting sensors are becoming ubiquitous across all aspects of society. Optical sensors collect image data remotely, GPS sensors track geographic location, accelerometers track motion, others can track heart rate and other such physiological data. This STEM course is an exploration of applications of these types of sensors for humanitarian purposes. Current and past projects include development of self-navigating drones, heart rate monitors for stress awareness, and translation of american sign language to voice. Students work in teams of three, along side an upper level computer science student, exploring such applications. Students are expected to work independently about three hours each week as a team. A final brief team presentation and demo will take place during our STEM fair at the end of the semester.

Article: Sonar-assisted human navigation:
Students and professors develop a novel way to help those with visual impairment

Paúl Pauca, PhD
paucavp@wfu.edu

STEM Sections from previous semesters