Stanford, Olin College of Engineering to Collaborate on Curricula, Teaching Methods

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Memorandum of Understanding has been signed

Richard Miller, president of Olin College of Engineering, and James Plummer, dean of engineering at Stanford University, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that calls for faculty collaboration between the two schools for the purpose of designing new and innovative engineering curricula and teaching methods. Olin and Stanford will soon appoint a joint faculty committee to begin detailed discussions of the collaboration. It is expected that the initial focus of this effort will be in areas related to design and technology entrepreneurship.

"Olin is honored to be engaged with Stanford Engineering in this important work," said Miller. "We have the utmost admiration for the entire faculty at Stanford. We expect this collaboration will be mutually beneficial to both schools and for engineering education in general."

"We have carefully watched Olin create itself from scratch over the past 12 years and admired the innovative new curriculum and teaching methods that it has developed," said Plummer. "Both schools can learn from one another and, hopefully, this partnership will produce exciting new engineering courses that integrate design and entrepreneurship in a way that prepares engineering students to be productive leaders in an increasingly complex world."

Faculty from both schools will begin their collaborative work shortly. An announcement regarding the first project is expected early in 2011.

Stanford University and its School of Engineering are renowned for attracting some of the most talented faculty and students in the world, and for their contributions to technology development and transfer. Engineering’s nine departments deliver technically deep research-based education to students which is enhanced by programs such as the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and the Hasso Plattner Institute for Design – both designed to instill creativity, entrepreneurship and leadership skills in their students. Collaboration with industry, nonprofit, and government partners around the world bring real-world insights to both problems and their solutions. Located in the Silicon Valley, Stanford Engineering graduates approximately 400 undergraduates, 1000 masters, and 250 Ph.D. students each year. Through the Stanford Center for Professional Development, Engineering extends teaching and research to working professionals worldwide.

Olin College is a four-year undergraduate engineering institution that enrolled its first class in fall 2002. Established through a grant from the F. W. Olin Foundation, Olin has used its “clean slate” opportunity to develop an innovative engineering program with a mission to “prepare students to become exemplary engineering innovators.” Olin’s project-based curriculum incorporates engineering, entrepreneurship and liberal arts in a project-based environment that emphasizes creativity and design throughout the program of study. Located in Needham, Mass., Olin offers bachelor of science degrees in electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and engineering with concentrations in bioengineering, computing, design, materials science and systems. Olin currently enrolls 340 students, 44 percent of whom are women; every enrolled student receives a half-tuition merit scholarship.

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