Mixture of courses, labs and research craft one-of-a-kind student experience
Whether teaching theory in the classroom, building technical proficiency in course labs, or providing real-world experience through working multidisciplinary research teams, the SSIM program's curricula is uniquely preparing its students to step off campus and into the workforce.
The program designed its educational curricula to follow the same systems approach that it has adopted for its diverse research projects. This approach, which has become the gold standard for innovative and productive research groups, brings together engineers, scientists and professionals from other fields to view a problem from all angles, communicate each disciplines requirements and capabilities, and ultimately generate a technological solution. The same approach in education through the SSIM program demands that the student acquires substantial depth in his or her thrust area while securing a broad appreciation for other disciplines and how they all must collaborate to solve complex problems.
Graduate students enroll in a comprehensive, multidisciplinary curriculum. Students can choose to take courses to augment master's and doctoral programs in physics, engineering or chemistry, or they can select a Ph.D. degree with a major in smart sensors and integrated microsystems. Course offerings, some of which were developed in conjunction with industry, include Nanostructure Sensor and Devices, Magnetic Sensors, Chemical Biosensors, Integration and Smart Sensor Design, Smart Sensors I and II, Smart Sensor Fabrication and Characterization Laboratory, Analog VLSI, Hybridization with Sensors and Devices, and others. Besides the cutting-edge topics covered in lectures and labs, the curriculum includes a team component in which students with different educational backgrounds and interests must cooperate to solve multifaceted problems on paper, and then actually design and fabricate their proposed solution.
In addition to the formal educational component, graduate students participate as members of the working research teams that are using highly advanced equipment, and developing novel materials and innovative technology to address real-world technological issues.
Undergraduates can also participate in the SSIM program through specially designed courses that combine labs and lectures, and by earning directed-study credit while building their technical skills in a functioning research laboratory. The hands-on opportunity is part of the National Science Foundation's initiative called Research Experiences for Undergraduates.
This combination of pioneering courses, real-world experience and teamwork skills is generating graduates who are not only prepared for the workforce, but highly marketable. Each year, numerous companies, as well as other universities, look to the SSIM program as a source of new recruits. At the same time, the SSIM program's strong connection to industry through its research projects ensures that its courses remain at the cutting edge, and continue to produce students with the depth and breadth industry demands.