Dr. David Anderson
Dr. David L. Anderson is founder and director of The Mind Project (http://www.mind.ilstu.edu) a research and curriculum project in the cognitive sciences. The cognitive sciences include a wide range of academic disciplines that contribute to the scientific study of the mind and brain, including neuroscience, cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy of mind, linguistics and anthropology. Dr. Anderson has had a lifetime commitment to working in innovative, interdisciplinary research teams. He has formal training in philosophy (Ph.D, Harvard University) but none in philosophy of mind nor any of the other disciplines of cognitive science. His expertise in cognitive science has come entirely from participation in informal interdisciplinary research teams – including faculty and students, both local and international – which he has organized and funded with $2 Million in federal grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Mind Project’s interdisciplinary teams have developed online curriculum modules to introduce undergraduates (with no previous background) to research methodologies in neuroscience (including virtual labs on cocaine, Parkinson’s, stroke, and EEG), AI & robotics (including virtual labs on both classic top-down and behavior-based robotic design), cognitive psychology (including visual search and change blindness) and cognitive linguistics (a field study of color terms in 10 cultures). Dr. Anderson worked with experts from around the world – together with undergraduates who became integral members of the interdisciplinary teams – to produce interactive virtual labs and hands-on research projects for undergraduates.
Today, the two tracks of the The Mind Project mission continue to thrive. First, the website (http://www.mind.ilstu.edu) consistently has over a quarter million annual visitors using the interactive online curriculum modules and the virtual science labs. Second, we are almost ready to launch our latest robotics project – the “Knight Rover” project using our new “Rook” robotics software kit – directed by Illinois State alum Eric Thill (see bio below). Both of these tracks contribute resources of potential value to a McLean County Innovation Center. The robotics division will soon provide resources that innovation groups can use to design and implement valuable products, especially for classroom use. The online curriculum modules offer dozens of modules which can be bundled with the newly designed robotics activities to provide K-12 teachers with comprehensive curriculum modules and research activities of both breadth and depth.
Dr. Nathan Hartman
Nathan Hartman holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Western Michigan University, an MBA from Averett University, and a PhD in Management from Virginia Commonwealth University. Currently he is an Associate Professor at Illinois State University and teaches courses in organizational behavior, staffing, strategic human resource management, and leader development. His research focuses in the areas of employee selection, leader development, and employee citizenship behaviors. Specifically, he is interested in developing employees who can contribute to innovation initiatives and take the lead of project teams within organizations. This follows the general trend of skills shortages in many industries where employees with project and team leadership skills are in high demand, but limited supply. Therefore, he hopes to determine individual and organizational characteristics that make it easier for organizations to select those employees who will best match the opportunities available within a particular organization or identify those applicants who are motivated to continually improve in the areas of team management, design thinking, project management, and collaborative leadership.
Nathan can assist teams with project management and self-initiated leader development.
Dr. Rishi Saripalle
Dr. Rishi Saripalle is currently an Assistant Professor at School of Information Technology, Illinois State University (ISU). Dr. Saripalle received his Ph.D. from University of Connecticut in Computer Science and Engineering, Masters from University of Massachusetts in Computer Engineering and Bachelors from Jawaharlal Technological University. Before joining ISU, Dr. Saripalle worked as a federal contractor at National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) in Information Access Division on biomedical device and data interoperability project. This project was in collaboration with other organization such as Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Saripalle’s research interests is primarily in finding solutions to issues related to the domain of biomedical and healthcare informatics by using fundamental principles of software engineering, software data modeling and meta-modeling, medical data standards, knowledge management frameworks, semantic web and ontologies. He also worked closely on multiple projects with University of Connecticut Health Center such as clinical translational systems (i2b2), healthcare databases, smart healthcare platforms, EHR’s, etc. He has also collaborated on applying various access control and security models to healthcare applications.
Using this experience, Rishi will be able to assist in software application (both mobile and web) design, and implementation for a given project/idea. Further, he can also provide help in establishing information technology infrastructure, algorithms, database design and management systems.
Dr. Avimanyu Datta
I am an Assistant Professor of Management at the College of Business in Illinois State University. Here I teach several courses including Organizational Strategy, Seminar in Innovation Management, and Entrepreneurship. I have received the Illinois State University Research Initiative Award (2015), had been the recipient of the University research Grant for three consecutive times (2013, 2014, 2015) and the recipient of the George R, and Martha Mean center for Entrepreneurial studies award in 2012. I serve as an ad hoc reviewer to many journals including Journal of Management, Technovation, Journal of Product innovation management and so forth. Core to my research interest is my curiosity that has evolved from my love of Art, Science and Technology.
While Dali and Picasso created new movements in Art, inventions like steam engine, electricity, Internet have changed the way we look at our World. History has witnessed innovations in science and technology, while making lives more comfortable for humans, did destroy existing jobs, while creating new ones, by overcoming the power of muscles. Today, we are seeing innovations that are overcoming the limitations of our mind. Algorithms, programs are taking away a lot of jobs for which humans were needed. Be it an application to write reports, or a complex set of instruction to drive a car, technological inventions now have impacts that are more enigmatic than ever. Scholars all over the world have divided themselves into two broad groups. One that imagines a dystopian future, where machines will rule the world, and the other that is the utopian group that sees technological innovations as a means to free the humans from repetitive work and enable them to chase and overcome bigger and complex problems like Poverty, attainment of World Peace, improvement of human health and so forth. I share the second view vehemently. At present, my research interest revolves around entrepreneurial activities surrounding sourcing and commercialization of radical innovations, especially in the IT and Hi-tech sectors. Some of my works have been published in elite journals like Technovation, R&D Management, Journal of International Management (JIM), International Journal of Innovation Management and Information Systems Research. Before starting my doctoral education, I was an Industry Analyst with Frost & Sullivan, where I estimated market sizes for Contact Centers, IT Service Management and so forth. I was also an analyst with Access Market International (AMI)-Partners where research work has been quoted in the top practitioner Business and IT magazines worldwide, including: Business Week, Transworld News, Yahoo Business, Network Magazine, CIO, CXO, CRN, DataQuest and so forth. I have analyzed IT adoption and spending trends among the following Verticals: Manufacturing, BFSI, Professional Services, Health Care, and Travel & Tourism across 40 countries. IT adoption and Spending Trends include from Basic PC adoption to hosted and installed ERP and CRM. In short, 50 categories of IT products and services.
Across my research and teaching, I try to import concepts that are outside the traditional boundaries of business into them. During my days as a consultant, I used to work with engineers, medical practitioners, financial analysts, marketing professionals and so forth.
Dr. Ted Coussens
I know as well as anyone the meaning – and value – of “cross-disciplinary.” I began my higher education career at ISU in the fall of ’99, eventually graduating with a Bachelor’s in Fine Art with a concentration in Woodworking, and later with a second Bachelor’s in Philosophy. It was during the second bachelors that I worked in, and developed a passion for, instructional technology. My 3-D arts background gave me skills to identify and develop appropriate materials and products for one-off projects and some small batch in-house manufacturing to keep costs down and improve instructors’ experiences in using the technology in the classroom. Critical thinking, developed in my Philosophy education, is a skill that arguably applies to, well, everything – not least of all as I work to complete my MBA. Over the years, the performance of our department has led to several manufacturers of audio/visual and control system equipment to seek out our department’s advice on upcoming products and product changes based on our detailed feedback. Learning Spaces at ISU provides upper-echelon instructional technology and service at a public university cost, one of many reasons ISU is climbing the charts, so to speak, and is faring as well as it is in the current economic climate.
Education makes society better – study after study shows that education correlates with better decision-making, better health, longevity, lower crime, more resource availability (often in terms of lifetime earnings), the list goes on, and goes on in future generations as well – children of university alums tend to become university alums themselves. Being a part of the machine that elevates and betters humanity is something I am both well aware and proud of, and makes it all the more exciting now that efforts are being made to bring a design-thinking/innovation lab to campus, as this plays directly to my strengths and interests. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the campus in a new way, incorporating instructional technology, aesthetic design, problem-solving, and fabrication tools and techniques in the classrooms for instructors, students, and clients. I get goosebumps from the thought of getting to help set up 3D print labs and 2D plotters and incorporating them into classrooms and consulting services that bring good ideas to life for students, ISU, and the community at large.
Dr. Melissa Nergard
Melissa has over two decades of experience in higher education and sustainability and serves as the Director of Sustainability at Illinois State University (ISU), an urban campus of over 20,000 students. Melissa builds collaborations of campus and community members to fulfill ISU’s inherent responsibility as an institution of higher education to address social equity and justice, the stewardship of natural resources, and the development of strong economies. Melissa practices her passion for responsible citizenry by serving on several community boards and advisory committees, and volunteering extensively with the Emergency Management Agency as a K9 Handler.
I am adept at building teams with diverse skillsets and passions to provide solutions to community issues. Beginning at concept initiation through plan implementation and ongoing maintenance, I have a competency for facilitating teams at all stages along the project management process. Specific contributions that I offer are:
- Through service on multiple community boards and committees, I am well-connected with major community entities (municipal governments, hospitals, not-for-profits, small businesses, educational institutions, and corporations).
- Talent management. I enjoy being able to mesh individual talents and passions with specific project needs, and I am good at it. This results in high performing teams and outputs.
- Positivity. One of my best skill sets is bringing out the best in others and helping them work through challenges and roadblocks. I firmly believe that failure is an opportunity, and there is no better place than a university to try, and try again.
- Projects. My role on campus and in the community puts me in a position to work with a very broad array of issues and programmatic needs. I have individuals from every college at ISU, as well as Heartland and IWU, working on a variety of teams. There’s a place for every person to contribute, and I can help find the right position for them.
Dr. Peter Kaufman
Peter has been actively engaged in interdisciplinary education at ISU. He has partnered with
Faculty in the Department of Technology, School of IT, College of Business, and School of COM. A few examples of experiential project based learning are as follows.
- Co-taught a New Product Design & Development course and partnered MBA students enrolled in a Marketing course with Technology students. Students identified and voted on new product ideas, assessed the marketplace for potential, interviewed users to understand their requirements, developed a financial model, and built and tested prototypes with users.
- Partnered with a School of IT professor to bring together undergraduate Marketing students and Information Technology / Systems students to work on common projects building new web and mobile applications. Students developed new app ideas, voted on them, identified important features, assessed the competitive environment, and built working prototypes and launch strategies.
- Partnered with a Technology Professor and his students to help Marketing students develop comprehensive Marketing plan for bio-based products. TEC students were used as outside consultants by the Marketing teams to understand the feature set of the bio-based inputs. The new products were provided by consultants interested in introducing them into Big Box retail and other venues (e.g., food service, cleaning supplies industry).
- Collaborated with Marketing, School of Communication faculty, and others to develop a Social Media Bootcamp. Teams of students from different academic backgrounds consult with organizations on their social media strategy.