SAIL - Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning

The ACM-Mellon Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL) are new, intensive off-campus study experiences for ACM faculty that will allow them to explore salient topics in cross-disciplinary contexts. The seminars will immerse ACM faculty in a setting that encourages multiple perspectives and collaboration across disciplines and lay the foundation for the development of innovative, integrative advanced-level coursework.

Beginning in the summer of 2012, SAIL will:

  • Examine a broad, enduring topic in cross-disciplinary contexts for a 10-day seminar;
  • Travel to a site in the U.S. or abroad that would be propitious for exploring the topic from various disciplinary perspectives;
  • Engage 15 ACM faculty across all divisions — math and natural sciences, arts and humanities, and social sciences — as leaders and participants;
  • Generate ideas and tools for integrative curricular elements for upper-level students that will be developed and implemented in the ensuing academic year;
  • Enlist a faculty leadership team representing the three disciplinary divisions to design the intellectual content and direct the seminar;
  • Benefit individual faculty and the advanced students who study with them.

In effect, SAIL will establish temporary research centers at sites around the globe, challenging participants to leave their physical and intellectual comfort zones and explore big questions through new methodologies and perspectives.

Program Details

  • This program is funded by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation .
  • All travel, lodging, and meals will be provided.
  • Participants will receive honoraria upon completion of curricular development projects. (Read more about participant requirements and expectations.)
  • Members of the faculty leadership team will receive additional honoraria.
  • SAIL will take place annually over five summers, beginning in 2012 (Considering Animals in Washington D.C.). Seminars will alternate between U.S. and international sites.
  • The structure and participants for each seminar will be determined through separate calls to ACM faculty.
  • The year before each seminar takes place:
    • A call for pre-proposals in the spring will solicit first ideas about the topic, site, and leadership, and a follow-up process will lead to final selections.
    • A call for seminar participants will be issued in the fall.
  • The ACM office will provide administrative support and logistical coordination.
  • Conferences to gauge the impact of the seminars and curricular developments will take place after the second and fifth years of the project.
  • For additional information, check the seminar FAQ.

For more details, contact ACM Vice President John Ottenhoff or ACM Project Manager Cara Pickett.

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