NSF Funded Nano-Technology Classes Taking Shape Quickly

Utah Valley University students will soon be able to take advantage of a brand new Nano-Technology class thanks to the seven hundred thousand dollar grant received from the National Science Foundation.

A total of nine “learning modules” are currently being developed, with five already completed. Lecture materials, textbooks and other student-success oriented materials are also currently being prepared for what will be a rare opportunity for undergraduate computer engineering students.

The new program is being developed as a multi-disciplinary effort between UVU’s department of Computer Science, department of Digital Media, and department of Physics. For example, the department of Digital Media has been developing virtual reality games to be used in several of the learning modules. Early critiques of the games have been unanimously positive with many UVU students requesting downloads. This type of excitement is exactly what the thousands of hours of work has been designed to create.

“There is no other university worldwide who has virtual reality training for nano-technology”, said Dr. Reza Kamali, assistant professor of Computer Engineering. “This is the future of the world, and we are on the top of it.”

The new class is expected to be a three hour course, consisting of twelve lessons, with nine lab experiments and nine learning modules, along with six virtual reality games, all of which incorporate multimedia, interactive, and online elements.

“There is a big move toward online training and virtual reality is the best way to learn online,” said Kamali. “It’s something that can be hands on and include lab experiments. Here at UVU we are making this training better than current industry level training. ”

Local industry advisory board members have also been offering their assistance and expertise as the class development has proceeded. Board members represent Utah County companies including, IM Flash, Moxtek, Gooch Engineering, along with several nearby universities.

The NSF grant has also funded several student trips to present their research. One student, who turned out to be the only undergraduate invited to present, attended the International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS) in Florence, Italy this past summer. Another group of students also recently attended and presented papers at the recent American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) national conference held in Salt Lake City.

Classes in the Fundamentals of Semiconductors and Nano-Technology will begin Fall semester of 2019. The new classes will engage students on the emerging, and lucrative field of nano-micro fabrication.