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 is no better time to invest in providing students with meaningful experiences at IIT than right now, during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. We have made plans to start during the 2020/21 academic year; starting now and admitting the first student cohort, however small, gives 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 for more IPROs that involve Chicago neighborhoods
Discussion of innovative research ideas at incubation stage
Connecting 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
Multidisciplinary advantage: supporting growth of ideas rooted in student projects to connect faculty research initiatives across campus
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