AE3 Council

These faculty members are committed to instructional innovation in the College of Engineering, and have over 20 teaching awards collectively. They actively support the efforts of AE3.

Geoffrey L. Herman, Computer Science
Dr. Geoffrey L. Herman is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science. His research focuses on how students learn engineering and computing concepts and studying processes for creating systemic change in how engineering and computer science are taught in college settings.
jennifer-amosJennifer Amos, Bioengineering
Jennifer’s background is in chemical engineering, with a specialization in bioreactor design and optimization. She has made numerous contributions to instructional efforts in the college, including interdisciplinary, project-based learning; international service-learning; and capstone design. Jenny is the ABET accreditation representative for the college.
brian-baileyBrian Bailey, Computer Science
Brian’s area of research is human-computer interaction, and he studies technologies for design innovation. He was recently awarded a NSF cyber-learning grant to investigate how social media and paid work platforms can be effectively leveraged to provide formative feedback in the classroom and enhance design learning and innovation.
Rohit BhargavaBioengineeringRohit Bhargava, Bioengineering
Rohit’s research areas include optical spectroscopic imaging, cancer pathology, 3D printing and big data methods for image processing. He has been an Education Innovation Fellow for AE3, and his Cancer Scholars program for undergraduate students represents a new model for channeling students’ passions into an integrated, interdisciplinary, real-world learning experience.
tim-bretlTim Bretl, Aerospace Engineering
Tim works in the area of robotics, with a focus on motion planning, control, and optimization. Applications include robotic manipulation, design of prosthetic hands, and automated construction monitoring. He is also involved in engineering education in prison through the Education Justice Project. Tim is part of AeroE’s SIIP team and is a peer observer for the Collins Scholar program.
scott-carneyP. Scott Carney, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Scott’s research background is in optical physics, and he studies problems in coherence theory, inverse-scattering, classification, and spectroscopy. A long-time instructor for ECE’s senior design class, he is interested in the principles and practice of project-based learning. Scott is also involved in Bioengineering’s Cancer Scholars program.
Jeff EricksonJeff Erickson, Computer Science
Jeff is a computational geometer/topologist with more general interests in algorithms, data structures, and lower bounds. He is the area chair for the CS department's theory group, and teaches mostly large algorithms classes.
Elif ErtekinElif Ertekin, Mechanical Science and Engineering
Elif’s research is centered on computational modeling and simulation of materials at atomistic, meso, and continuum scales. Applications include energy materials, shape memory alloys, and low-dimensional systems. She is the Director of the IRISE program, a community engagement program focused on establishing meaningful, long-lasting partnerships between University of Illinois researchers and local high schools and organizations. Elif is part of the MechSE SIIP team and a Co-Director of the annual mechanical engineering GAMES camp.
cinda-hereenCinda Heeren, Computer Science
Cinda specializes in data mining. She has helped develop new course infrastructure and data collection tools for early CS courses, and was the visionary for Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS), a camp for middle-school girls. Cinda was also the visionary for the college’s Teaching Professionals Program, a community of practice for specialized teaching faculty that focuses on career development and the sharing of ideas and best practices in teaching.
Jonathan MakelaJonathan Makela, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Jonathan studies Earth’s near-space environment in order to understand how it affects technological systems our society depends on. With his students, he designs and deploys optical and radio instruments around the world and develops algorithms to interpret the resulting large data streams to unravel the physics of the upper atmosphere. He teaches courses in design, instrumentation, satellite navigation, signal processing, and electromagnetics.
Jose MestrePhysicsJose Mestre, Physics and Educational Psychology
Jose was trained as a nuclear physicist, and went on to study questions of how students learn physics. His research focuses on the organization and deployment of physics knowledge by experts and novices. He is also a co-PI on the campus WIDER grant.
olsonLuke Olson, Computer Science
Luke specializes in in sparse matrix computations, finite elements, and high performance computing. He is engaged in efforts to improve student learning experiences in linear algebra and other math courses. Luke is also involved with the scalability of large lecture courses and on improving the in-class experience of large lectures through technical innovations.
Marcia Pool, Bioengineering
Marcia is a biomedical engineer, with a specialization in neural engineering, and is interested in improving educational opportunities for students. She has developed problem-based laboratories to enhance experimental design skills, mentored and guided capstone design teams (problem identification through translation), and is actively involved in outreach and educational programs, such as Discover Bioengineering summer camp, researcHStart, and the Cancer Scholars Program.
Jeff RoeslerJeff Roesler, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jeff’s research is in concrete materials and pavement engineering. His initiatives in project-based learning have been a model for other efforts in the college. The purpose of his project-based learning course is to develop critical thinking and engineering problem solving skills by exploring and proposing sustainable solutions to current civil and environmental engineering problems facing the University of Illinois campus community.
Chris Schmitz, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Chris serves as an undergraduate advisor and has a background in wireless communications. He currently guides a team of students on project “WaggleNet” to collect information from honeybee colonies for the long-term goal of improving bee survival rates. As a teacher, he has a special interest in improving intrinsic motivation of students with varying levels of experience joined in the same first-year course. His first SIIP grant allowed a team to apply a holistic approach to course design in ECE110 Introduction to Electronics.
tstelzerTim Stelzer, Physics
Tim specializes in both high-energy particle physics and physics education research. He has developed and implemented tools for assessing the effectiveness of educational innovations in the introductory physics courses and expanded the use of web technology in physics pedagogy. He was also instrumental in the development of the i-clicker and SmartPhysics. Tim has supported AE3 in multiple ways, including sharing ideas and innovations with other SIIP teams, and offering observations of his large lecture classes to the Collins Scholars and others in the college.
TrinkleDallas Trinkle, Materials Science and Engineering
Dallas researches both properties of defects in materials and chemical effects on mechanical properties of advanced structural metals. As a part of his SIIP project, he and his team have incorporated computational modeling into four different undergraduate classes. Additional course changes have included extensive use of i-clickers for active learning, electronic lecture capture, online course discussion forums, online homework, and team- and project-based learning.
matt_westMatthew West, Mechanical Science and Engineering
Matt’s research interests include asynchronous and structure-preserving integrators, stochastic simulation and uncertainty quantification, and multi-scale and multi-physics simulations. Matt’s SIIP projects have included an extensive revision of the introductory TAM course sequence, and the development of PrairieLearn, a web-based adaptive homework system. Matt also is a co-PI on the campus WIDER grant.
zillesCraig Zilles, Computer Science
Craig specializes in computer architecture, compilers, and parallel computing. He has contributed to several innovations in CS/engineering education, including concept inventories for CS topics, PrairieLearn (a web-based adaptive homework system), and a 50-seat computerized testing facility in Grainger that supports individualized exams, student freedom in scheduling a testing time, and machine grading. Craig is also interested in the benefits of peer classroom observations.
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