Dr. Stephen Shultz, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
The 2010 MEG funds were used to run the program that we call the Intensive Mentoring and Micro-Electronics Research for Students in Engineering (IMMERSE) program.
The various groups and projects of the IMMERSE program are focused primarily on research in micro-electronics engineering and bioengineering. As a result, a majority of the IMMERSE team are electrical engineering majors. Other majors are also needed, however, and some IMMERSE students are enrolled in other technical majors such as chemical engineering, physics, and computer engineering.
IMMERSE student researchers are often listed as the primary authors of archival journal papers and at conference presentations. Students are heavily involved in the writing and submission of technical publications, and are given the opportunity to present their research at various technical conferences. This experience of writing and publishing technical papers in peer-reviewed journals is a great opportunity for students to learn the nuts and bolts of scientific research.
In addition to the technical research aspects of the IMMERSE program, the participants are also involved in some form of outreach activity. The primary outreach activity is the development of on-line resources of fabrication processes, operating instructions for fabrication equipment, semiconductor and photonic resources, etc. There are also other outreach activities such as the development of exercises for the newly created New Student Seminar (ECE191), refinements in other classes like ECE490, ECE380, and ECE370, and involvement with BYU’s SOAR program for underrepresented minority students.
The academic objectives of the IMMERSE program are the following.
- Preparation for graduate school
- Learning about the graduate school application process
- Get research results for graduate school application (i.e. publications)
- Developing technical skill not easily attained in a classroom setting
- Effective oral communication
- The research process
- Technical writing
- The process of publishing in a technical journal
- Learning to give back
- Mentoring other students
- Perform outreach activities
The IMMERSE program is known for its “one-on-one” mentoring. Participating students have daily opportunities for close interaction with mentoring professors, where they are taught the essentials of good research and the scientific method. IMMERSE mentors give useful presentations on various topics, such as: writing a technical paper, presenting your research, and applying to graduate schools. Faculty mentors also help guide individual research projects by helping participating students to set weekly research goals. Basic web-design training is provided and students are given opportunities to practice giving various types of technical presentations.
Weekly IMMERSE Group Meetings
- Faculty instruction on speaking, writing, research process, grad school admissions, etc.
- Student technical presentations
Weekly Research Meetings
- Review and set research aims
- Coordinate technical training with other students
Weekly Online Documentation Meetings
- Faculty instruction on HTLM programming
- Review and set documentation aims
One-on-one Training from Faculty and Experienced Students
- Instruction on microfabrication processes
- Guidance on individual research projects
The mentoring environment has resulted in efficient student training. The objective is to have a sufficient number of returning IMMERSE students who can then perform as undergraduate student mentors. When the IMMERSE students get to mentor other students, they learn a whole new aspect of teamwork and the joy of learning. For the 2009 (Summer of 2010) program, we had 6 returning IMMERSE students that performed as IMMERSE mentors; thus, demonstrating the success of this mentoring environment.
2010 Students Participants (Summer of 2011)
1. Ahsan Javed
2. Paul Bartholomew
3. David Gulbransen
4. Andy Harris
5. John Campbell
6. Hyrum Griffin
7. Shiul Khadka
8. Jacob Van Wagoner
9. Brad Whitaker
10. James Badal
11. Sampo Hynynen
12. Bryan Blankenagel
13. John Stout
14. Ali Fredrick
15. Meagan Bracken
16. Sara Ehlert
17. Efren Cruz Cortez
18. Alisha Pulsipher