The HHMI-Carleton Interdisciplinary Science and Math Initiative:
Preparing for Complexity, Mentoring for Access

The second phase of CISMI is now funded by Carleton's sixth HHMI grant. We seek to improve interdisciplinary collaboration at Carleton and increase the number of students in the sciences from groups underrepresented in science and math fields. The HHMI program encourages students and faculty to engage with complex systems and problems, such as computation, modeling, and visualization, and team-based learning. This HHMI grant consists of six components:

  1. Student research and broadening access to science
  2. New, current, and future faculty development
  3. Outreach
  4. Curriculum, laboratory and equipment development
  5. Program administration
  6. Program assessment and dissemination

HHMI funds support summer research grants for students and faculty, workshops for faculty development, one new postdoctoral position, new lab equipment, summer faculty stipends for curriculum development, faculty research programs, and a summer science program for high school students. Funding also supports two critical programs that broaden access to science: The HHMI Science Fellows and the FOCUS "cohort in the curriculum" for first- and second-year students. Finally, Carleton's Science Education Resource Center (SERC) is a key partner funded to manage assessment and dissemination of all project results.

See below for a detailed description of program goals and activities.

Student Research

Carleton's scientists understand how involvement in scientific research can enable an undergraduate scientist to develop skills with independent inquiry, expertise in designing and implementing research, and motivation and confidence regarding science careers. In this effort, CISMI-2 will fund 18 students to work with Carleton faculty each summer (70 students over a four year period), two new cohort programs (FOCUS and Carleton Science Fellows), and faculty development (retreats, speakers, conference travel funds, and external consultants).

Annual proposals for student summer research positions:

  1. Call for proposals February 1
  2. Application Due February 15
  3. Research Starts in June
  4. Reminder about poster session in early fall to students and faculty.

All Science and Math Poster Session will be planned for the end of October. HHMI participants are required to attend and Mary Drew will organize the event.

Broadening Access

Our goal is to increase the proportion of underrepresented students who will be highly successful in science gateway courses and majors. Through research position allocations to students of underrepresented groups (40% of positions) and cohort-based mentoring programs, we will increase access and build a permanent "culture of success" with motivated and better prepared students.

FOCUS will be administered by Deborah Gross:

  1. Recruiting will commence in the Spring Term
  2. There will be a colloquium each term. Deborah Grosswill organize this.
  3. A Freshman Seminar will be held in the Fall Term. (Need an organizer?)

The Science Fellows are students with academic promise, drawn from underrepresented groups. Debby Walser-Kuntz will select participants.

  1. Recruiting will begin in early Winter Term this year but will commence in the previous Spring Term in following years (6 students per year)
  2. Students will participate in summer research (at Carleton or elsewhere).
  3. Students will be invited to participate in cohort activities during the Academic Year. Debby Walser-Kuntz will design these activities.

Faculty Development and Curriculum

For Current Faculty Members

Faculty workshops related to complex systems and problems will provide an effective way to update, sustain, and develop scientific and pedagogical skills of new and current science faculty. We plan one major workshop yearly related to complex systems, interdisciplinary modeling, computation, visualization, and team-based learning. One annual workshop will be inter-institutional in collaboration with the Midstates Consortium for Math and Science. In addition, we propose workshops to conintue conversation, on campus and among partner institutions, regarding broadening access to science at selective liberal arts colleges.

An Assessment Consortium Project will be guided by Tricia Ferrett and David Lopatto and a planning meeting is scheduled for February 6. Tricia Ferrett will select 5-6 faculty to participate in a steering committee and meetings.

Faculty Development Workshops are being planned by Mary Drew and Fernan Jaramillo

  1. The Team-based Learning workshop with Larry Michaelson will be held on January 30-31 (Carleton College, St. Olaf, and Grinnell College co-sponsors).
  2. A website planning meeting was held in December. Mary Drew is in charge of workshop logistics.
  3. In the Fall Term, Arjendu Pattanayak and Fernan Jaramillo will plan one workshop per year related to interdisciplinary science-themes and pedagogies (2 1/2 days, for 20 participants).

For Future Faculty (postdoctorate)

A Postdoctoral Mentoring Consortium including Carleton, DePauw, Grinnell, Hope, and St. Olaf proposes to find, recruit, and mentor diverse future faculty by hiring five HHMI-funded postdoctoral fellows into mentored two-year teaching and research postdoctoral positions. This initiative will cooperate with the Consortium for Faculty Diversity (CFD), which places minority scholars into pre or postdoctoral fellowships at participating liberal arts colleges, but with little success in the natural sciences. The consortium program will include mentoring, research support, professional development opportunities, and support for teaching excellence.

Postdoctoral Mentoring Program will be designed to attract post-docs to Carleton College, DePauw, Hope, Grinnell, and other possible instititutions). Trish will head this program with help from the Consortium for Faculty Diversity, and the other colleges.

  1. Must decide who will represent CISMI-2 at the Consortium.
  2. Must also find out which faculty could oversee or make use of post-docs.
  3. The program can fund one post-doc at Carleton during its 3rd and 4th year.
  4. CISMI-2 will collaborate with Liberal Arts College Association for Faculty Inclusion (LACAFI) to recruit diverse faculty at such national meetings as SACNAS, ABRCMS, NSBP, NSHP and NOBCChE. Tricia Ferrettwill be the liason for this program.

Curriculum, Equipment, and Laboratory Development

Our curriculum development focuses on, first, development of new interdisciplinary courses in four departments and, second, on development of interdisciplinary programs in Neuroscience and Environmental Science, which are transitioning into new curricular configurations. Curriculum projects will advance the following goals: 1) increased ability to facilitate connections across different fields; 2) enhanced ability to move from simple to more complex, real-world scientific problems; and 3) effective use of visualization for complex, quantitative scientific problems.

This program is under faculty development with Mary Drew and and the CISMI-2 Board.

  1. Call for grant proposals March 1.
  2. Grant proposals due March 15.
  3. Reports (paragraph in length) due Fall Term.

Computational Modeling and Visualization

  1. Arjendu Pattanayak will guide collaboration meetings in computational research.
  2. Arjendu Pattanayak is considering attending the Midstates Consortium for Math and Science computational modeling meeting.

Precollege and Other Outreach

Recognizing that high school students will soon meet the same challenges our college students face, we are relying on our past HHMI experience and current planning to launch a program that introduces high school students to inquiry-based college science, with attention to quantitative skills, computation, modeling, and problem solving. We are in the midst of developing a Summer Science Institute (SSI) that aligns with our overall HHMI themes and will introduce students to exciting new opportunities in science.

In 2009, SSI will enroll 60 high school students in a three week program, with particular attention to encouraging applications from women and minority students. CISMI-2 will fund up to eight scholarships (fees, travel, stipend). CAM(?) and Jeremy Updike will administer this program.

  1. First group this summer (?)
  2. Working through summer programs (?)
  3. SERC will provide web pages on the summer programs (?)
  4. SERC will administer attitudinal assessment before and after the program.
  5. HHMI will fund only years 2-4 of the grant.