Virginia Tech Engineer Shares Cutting Edge Education Tools with Scholars From India

Blacksburg, VA

Joseph Tront, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech, was one of the lead presenters at the “2008 Indo¬–U.S. Engineering Faculty Leadership Institute” held in Mysore, India in June.

Tront taught “Selected Topics in Computer Engineering” for the Indo U.S. Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE). Tront focused his faculty development workshop on matching instructor teaching styles to student learning styles and on the use of computers in teaching engineering, –– specifically, the tablet PC.

Virginia Tech is known for its cutting edge work in the use of technology in the classroom. In 2007 it garnered a 2007 Laureate Medal at Computerworld’s Honors Program for the development of its Tablet PC-based learning environment. In 2006, the college became the first and largest public college of engineering to require all of its 1400 incoming freshmen to purchase tablet PCs.

After the announcement was made, the American Society of Engineering Education published an article in its December issue of Prism about the Virginia Tech decision, saying “tablet computers have the potential to redefine the way engineering is taught.”

Formed in January 2007 IUCEE hopes to improve the quality and global relevance of engineering education in the U.S. and in India through collaborations. The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE), International Federation for Engineering Education Societies (IFEES), Pan IIT and Indo US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) are the primary partners in this endeavor.

Tront said this collaboration is expected to increase the pool of better prepared engineering faculty and students with global experiences. It will also lead to more collaborative research relevant to the global as well local economies, including the development of entrepreneurship and business opportunities in emerging technologies. A third goal, he said, is to expand new markets for technological innovations in technical education.

Tront was among 21 U.S. faculty experts conducting individual week-long workshops, and the only one from Virginia Tech.

Lynn Nystrom