We are a network of faculty and professionals providing a framework for social responsibility to become a core value in research and education at Illinois Tech.
This initiative grew out of an idea that education, and specifically higher education, should help society. Much of the technical knowledge, and thereby also technical education, increases in value when it can be meaningfully applied to problems facing society today. We live in treacherous times and many students, particularly undergraduates, will likely gravitate toward those degrees and programs that allow them to “make a difference” in society. How does one make a difference? One way is to attend a program that is very hands-on, if you will, in daily life (e.g. nursing). Another is to pursue one’s passion, say, in computational mathematics, statistics, data science, or data-driven design, but then look for ways -- within that discipline -- to have an impact, make a difference, inspire change. The Socially Responsible Modeling, Computation, and Design Initiative fills the needs of students that fall into the latter type and operates under the paradigm of integration of data, statistics, analytics, design, and ethics in finding solutions to societal needs.
There was no better time to invest in providing students with meaningful experiences at IIT than during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. We had made plans to start during the 2020/21 academic year; starting in January 2021 and admitting the first student cohort, however small, gave students structure and another thing to look forward to in their undergraduate education and a more meaningful connection of their studies to their daily lives.
Here is a snapshot of what we do, support, and strive to cultivate and grow at Illinois Tech:
Support more projects and IPROs that involve Chicago neighborhoods
Discuss of innovative research ideas at incubation stage
Connect seed research ideas to faculty and professionals across campus and the city, through the multidisciplinary seminar
Enable students to share their passion
Connect students and faculty to industry and the city in a meaningful way
Focus on impact, presentation, and preservation
Strengthen and grow student projects by connecting to faculty research
Nurture neighborhood partnerships
Provide key multidisciplinary advantage: support growth of ideas rooted in student projects to connect faculty research initiatives across campus, otherwise unlikely to get in direct contact
Our in-house publication, hosted by Galvin Library, offers an overview of Fellows' work.
Our faculty come from the following academic units at Illinois Tech:
Applied Mathematics, College of Computing
Computer Science, College of Computing
Information Technology and Management, College of Computing
Humanities, Lewis College of Science and Letters
Chemistry, Lewis College of Science and Letters
Chemical and Biological Engineering, Armour College of Engineering
Why social responsibility?
Why modeling, computation, and design?
Horizontal view of how to put social responsibility in context of various majors at IIT.
Focus on data-driven disciplines at large: applied mathematics, statistics, computer science, data science, design, social sciences.
Get educated on how mathematical modeling, computation, data science, and design can join forces to make an impact.
No better time to:
Give students structure and another thing to look forward to in their education;
More meaningful connection of their studies to their daily lives;
Develop communication skills, focusing on multidisciplinarity, multimodal delivery.