Karl Smith

Initial Publication Date: March 20, 2009
Karl Smith

Professor, School of Engineering Education, Purdue University & Morse-Alumni Distinguished Professor, Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota
Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, Rm 1313
701 West Stadium Avenue
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2045 ksmith@umn.edu

Phone:612-210-7915 (cell)

Background Information

Karl A. Smith is Cooperative Learning Professor, School of Engineering Education, Purdue University. He has been at the University of Minnesota since 1972 and is in phased retirement as Morse-Alumni Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering. His research and development interests include building rigorous research capabilities in engineering education; the role of cooperation in learning and design; problem formulation, modeling, and knowledge engineering; and project and knowledge management and leadership. His bachelor's and master's degrees are in metallurgical engineering from Michigan Technological University and his Ph.D. is in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota.

He is currently co-PI on an NSF-CLT—Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE), and co-PI on a NSF-CCLI-ND—Rigorous Research in Engineering Education: Creating a Community of Practice, and the follow up project – Collaborative Research: Expanding and sustaining research capacity in engineering and technology education: Building on successful programs for faculty and graduate students. He serves on the National Advisory Boards for many research projects, including the NSF-CLT Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL); and the National Academy of Engineering's Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (CASEE). He is Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Research on Engineering Education.

Related Pedagogical Projects

Karl has published numerous articles on the active learning strategies of cooperative learning and structured controversy, knowledge representation and expert systems, and teamwork. He teaches graduate courses on engineering education at Purdue, and on project and knowledge management and leadership at Minnesota. He conducts workshops on building engineering education research capabilities, active and cooperative learning, problem formulation and modeling, and project management and teamwork. His workshops on cooperative learning have helped thousands of faculty build knowledge, skills and confidence for involving their students in more active, interactive, and cooperative learning both during class time and outside of class. The effects of the work are significant in terms of creating a sense of belonging and membership in a community, as well as much more engaged and deep learning.

Karl has written eight books including How to model it: Problem solving for the computer age (with Anthony Starfield and Andrew Bleloch), published by McGraw-Hill in 1990; Cooperative learning: Increasing college faculty instructional productivity (with David and Roger Johnson), published by ASHE-ERIC Reports on Higher Education in 1991; Strategies for energizing large classes: From small groups to learning communities (with James Cooper and Jean MacGregor) published in Jossey-Bass's New Direction for Teaching and Learning series in 2000; and Teamwork and project management, 3rd Ed. published in McGraw-Hill's BEST Series in 2007.