UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering University of California San Diego
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New Program to Promote Service Learning and Team Engineering

EPICS student Brian Powell has designed toys for disabled children at the Wabash Center in Lafayette, Ind. EPICS, founded at Purdue in 1995, allows teams of undergraduates to earn academic credit for projects that solve technology problems for community organizations. (Photo courtesy of EPICS)

UCSD undergraduates will soon put their technical and creative skills to work for San Diego non-profit organizations through a new program being launched at the Jacobs School. UCSD Teams in Engineering Service (TIES) is part of the national Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program, now active at 15 universities nationwide. Through TIES, multi-disciplinary teams of UCSD students will design, build and deploy projects that solve technology-based problems for community organizations.

"Not only is this a valuable service for our community, but it is also an important way for us to enhance the education we deliver to our students," says Jeanne Ferrante, Jacobs School associate dean. "We want to offer students team engineering experiences that will help prepare them to be technology leaders and innovators. These projects will enable our students to hone their leadership and communications skills, apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world problems, and increase their customer and community awareness."

UCSD TIES will be supported initially through a new $165,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and matching funds totaling $180,000 from the Jacobs School, San Diego Supercomputer Center and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. AT&T Foundation has become the first corporate sponsor of the program with a gift of $40,000.

"AT&T is deeply committed to applying information technologies to all levels of education," said Rich Goldberg, network vice president for AT&T. "UCSD TIES is precisely the combination of technology, service and learning that ensures a commitment to community that benefits the students as well as the general public."

UCSD TIES will become part of the academic program of the Jacobs School, and student participants will earn class credit while volunteering their time for community organizations. All participants will be required to take a Team Engineering and Leadership course which covers topics ranging from project management and industrial compliance to proposal writing, ethics and communications. Project teams will include five to 10 people, and can consist of both engineering students and students from other disciplines at UCSD. Students from Sixth College, UCSD's newest residential college, can also fulfill their practicum requirement for a hands-on interdisciplinary education experience by participating in the program. Projects are expected to get underway in the Fall 2004 quarter.

For more information about sponsoring or participating in UCSD TIES, visit www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu or call Samira O'Brien (858) 822-4164.