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Awarded Projects

The projects below are for the current semester, Fall 2018, and Summer 2018. See previously awarded Faculty Innovation Grant Projects here.

A Professional Writing and Skills Development Program for Engineers in the Modern-Day Clinical Setting

Submitter: Keigo Kawaji, Assistant Professor
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Activity Themes: Research, Enhance IIT's industry network, Direct Student Professional Development, Skills Transfer.
Term: Summer 2018

Proposal Description

This is a pilot educational co-curricular program with focus on student skills development in a) academic writing, and b) professional conduct in the clinical hospital setting. Both skills are critical for effective collaboration with MD physicians. Accordingly, our goal is to help develop these highly marketable skills.

With institutional Faculty Innovation Program support, this pilot program is scaled to be accessible to all undergraduate and graduate students in BME at IIT, as well as other departments and colleges for the Summer and Fall of 2018. This program has the following professional development goals:

1) Systematic Academic Writing Training: participants will learn writing in the scientific format (i.e. Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussions). Through incorporation of student-provided examples, participants will receive specific coaching towards production of:

a. newspaper or newsletter article on science, internship activities, and student research.

b. peer-reviewed conference abstract/manuscript submissions from summer research,

c. Preparation of or scholarship applications (E.g. Goldwater Scholarship - goldwater.scholarsapply.org) and pre-doctoral fellowships from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the American Heart Association.

2) Invited Guest Speaker Sessions: Around 10 Chicago-area speaker experts  were invited to speak at IIT-BME on themes in: ‘BME in the Hospital’, ‘Working with Physicians’, and ‘Emerging use of AI in Medicine’.

a. 4 MD physician speakers from Chicago-area medical centers

b. 4 MS and PhD industry scientists (Label Insight, Philips, Bayer Healthcare) in data mining, AI applications, clinical research, etc., and

c. 2 PhD experts; a VMD PhD expert with animal studies; and deep learning researcher in medical imaging, natural language processing, and speech recognition.

3) Facilitate student organization and individual student interactions with the invited guest speakers; the primary program goal is to help facilitate guest speaker interactions directly with our program students outside of the hosting faculty offices.

The primary academic program over the summer will consist of weekly 90-minute workshops, and include guest speaker meeting + presentation events. Both program sessions will be held at the main campus, and open to all campus community members including all students in ACE and other colleges. The core curriculum on writing and professional development is designed for the general undergraduate and graduate programs.

We anticipate facilitating the following three specific milestones:

First, submission of original writing works to Fall 2018 newsletter publications from the BME Department, BMES IIT chapter newsletter, and SWE IIT chapter newsletter.

Second, grant-writing training for ENGR 499/599, previous and current ACE PURE and MIND Fellows, REU participants, and current BME graduate student researchers.

Third, dedicated visiting guest speaker interaction/networking sessions with pilot program participants through the fall semester.

This application is a joint submission on behalf of the BME faculty (PI: Kawaji, Co-Is: Vaicik, Papavasiliou, Kang-Mieler, Arfanakis, Haferkamp, Georgiadis) and with enthusiastic program support from undergraduate student organizations including Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES; key contributor – Jack Quirk) and the Society for Women Engineers (SWE; key contributors – Austeja Staneviciute and Shalee Shah).

AI in Regtech: Data Privacy and Regulatory Compliance Forum

Submitter: Matthew Dixon, Assistant Professor of Finance and Statistics
College: Stuart School of Business
Activity Theme: Enhancing IIT's Industry Network
Term: Fall 2018

Proposal Description

The regulatory environment for data privacy and compliance has recently culminated in the rollout of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This, together with other recent events concerning Facebook and other technology firms, has not only heightened consumer issues around privacy of their data but is also changing how firms use customer and client data and the skill-sets that employers seek. The changing privacy landscape is demanding that employers hire candidates who have some expertise in privacy and compliance. IIT, and the Stuart School of Business in particular, has significant expertise in the area and is poised to be a leader in training students for the field.

The purpose of the grant proposal is to host an AI in Regtech Forum Event at IIT. The event, held in forum format, will strategically place IIT as a world class center for technical and entrepreneurial innovation in Regtech, at a time as IIT develops its capacity for technical entrepreneurship. Leaders in Regtech and representatives for consumer facing technology companies with offices in Chicago will be invited to partake in the event, alongside our students and faculty.

An essential component of the event will be a *data science hackathon* in which multi-disciplinary teams of IIT students in CS/Math, with at least one student from the Stuart School of Business, will be given access to a curated dataset of public data policies and asked to *apply supervised machine learning* to automatically assign GDRP compliance scores to policies. The scoring will account for legal ambiguities (e.g. weak language such as 'may', 'could' etc), granularity of personal data collection, and other factors critical for compliance such as provisions for children. The team with the best AI method will be the winner and the top teams will present their work at the forum and receive a prize. The format of the hackathon with be similar to Kaggle.com - an open innovation platform for data science challenges founded by former faculty colleague, Jeremy Howard.

Negotiating I-deals: Career Management in the New Economy

Submitter: Smriti Anand, Associate Professor of Management and Priyanka Sharma, Assistant Professor of Economics
College: Stuart School of Business
Activity Theme: Direct Student Professional Development
Term: Fall 2018

Proposal Description

In this projects primary purpose is to create a “Negotiating I-deals” supplement to a graduate course MBA506 (Leadership in Knowledge-Intensive Organizations) and an undergraduate course BUS 382 (Managerial Economics and Strategy) offered at Illinois Tech. I-deals (idiosyncratic deals; Rousseau 2005) refer to person specific work arrangements designed to fulfill employee needs that cannot be met through traditional organizational policies and standard offerings.

I-deals are usually proposed by employees to fulfill their unique needs, and granted by an organizational agent –most commonly the immediate manager (Rosen et al., 2013)- to retain and motivate its human capital. I-deals can cover one or many components of one’s work arrangements to varying degrees: one employee may negotiate on-the-job special assignments facilitating a switch from one professional area to another (e.g., engineering to marketing), while another may ask for schedule flexibility to attain better work-life balance. Yet another i-deal may create a 4-day workweek, allowing the deal-seeker to pursue an executive MBA program in another city, or to take an ailing family member to weekly doctor appointments. I-deals allow employees to achieve increased job satisfaction and autonomy, and the employers to get higher employee commitment and productivity (e.g., Anand et al., 2010). In the new economy, idiosyncrasy of job components is on the rise worldwide (BLS, 2016; Eurostat, 2017), as the millennial and Z generations are not content with one-size-fits-all arrangements offered by most employers.

In such an environment, i-deals have the potential to become a critical mechanism for motivating and retaining the millennials and Gen Zs. Moreover, i-deals are even more likely to be relevant to non-traditional employment settings such as startups and other entrepreneurial ventures. Non-monetary compensation components are often needed to motivate employees working in a start-up (e.g. Van Yperen and Hagedoorn, 2003; Hopp and Stephan, 2012). Research asserts that i-deals boost one’s career progression and life satisfaction (Hornung et al., 2008); however, a large number of individuals are reluctant to negotiate i-deals. Therefore, in this innovation our goal is to teach Illinois Tech students how to successfully negotiate i-deals to facilitate their career growth.

Our team consists of Dr. Priyanka Sharma and Dr. Smriti Anand. Priyanka has expertise in teaching negotiation concepts (e.g., in BUS382 & MBA523), while Smriti has research and teaching experience in i-deals. Smriti has developed two experiential exercises (Anand, in press; Anand & Durango-Cohen, 2016; 2017) that have been widely appreciated by management educators at Management & Organizational Behavior Teaching Society and Midwest Academy of Management conferences. The “Negotiating I-deals” supplement will have four components.

First, we will use experiential exercises and short readings to introduce students to the steps involved in successful negotiations including identifying the Zone Of Possible Agreements (ZOPA) and Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). This will address students’ reluctance to initiate negotiations due to an ignorance of what is negotiable in the workplace and to what extent. We will use scenario based experiential exercises, which are a powerful pedagogical device for students to immerse themselves in the situation while evaluating and acting on the study material (Kolb & Kolb, 2005).

Second, we will use case studies to help students practice and enhance their negotiation skills. These case studies will be drawn from various reputable sources such as the Harvard Business Review and the Dispute Resolution Research Center. Thirdly, we will utilize our industry network to organize a panel discussion wherein practicing managers will discuss their experiences negotiating their own i-deals, granting or rejecting i-deals proposed by their subordinates, and managing i-deals on a day-to-day basis in a fair manner. Interacting with industry professionals will expand students’ professional network, enhance knowledge of i-deal practices in the industry, and cement the ideas discussed earlier.

Tentative panel list is as follows: Faculty Expert: Denise M. Rousseau (Carnegie Mellon University, PA) Practicing Managers: Alpesh Patel (DocuSign, CA), Deepak Somaya (University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, IL), Frank Belmonte (Aon Hewitt, IL) & Jim Gagnard (Entrepreneur & IIT Board Member). Finally, we will conduct a negotiation workshop, wherein students will learn and practice various negotiation strategies. This workshop will be open to all the students enrolled at Illinois Tech. In addition, we will invite external experts to provide a more enriched experience to the students. Our tentative list of speakers includes practicing human resource managers Cheryl Burkhalter (Quantitative Risk Management, Inc., IL) & Namrata Yadav (Bank of America, SC).

Previously Awarded Projects

Past Awarded Projects