Discovery Park

Discovery Park Faculty Research Fellows and Scholars Initiative

Congratulations to the 2012-2013 Discovery Park Faculty Research Fellows and Scholars

Program Overview

The Discovery Park (DP) Faculty Research Fellows and Scholars Initiative seeks to engage the campus in the core missions of the DP centers. A major goal of the program is to establish collaborative networks between Discovery Park and the academic units to create new opportunities to enable faculty to significantly advance Purdue research and technology through innovative ideas and novel approaches. The program focuses on faculty (tenure-track/tenured and clinical) at all academic ranks who wish to create new collaborations, which they envision will benefit from the interactive environment, facilities and personnel available in Discovery Park. Appointment to the Fellows program is for one calendar year, while appointment to the Scholars program is for two calendar years. Departments/units will receive $25,000/year for each fellow and scholar as compensation for the partial release from academic responsibilities of faculty serving as Discovery Park Research Fellows or Scholars. Each fellow and scholar may receive up to $10,000/year for use in Discovery Park core research facilities during their appointment. Fellows and Scholars will be chosen on a competitive basis following nomination by both their department/unit head/chair with approval of the college dean and the appropriate Discovery Park Center Director(s). The appointment period will begin January 1, 2013.

The Selected 2012-2013 Discovery Park Faculty Research Fellows and Scholars

Dr UkkusuraDiscovery Park Scholar: Dr. Satish Ukkusuri, Associate Professor, School of Civil Engineering

Project Title: "An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Study of Complex Interdependent Environmental Systems"

Dr. Ukkusuri's research will explore grand challenges in sustainability, specifically, research questions related to low carbon living issues related to (i) personal mobility credits and (ii) behavioral issues in disaster management. Both these issues are extremely important analyzing and designing sustainable and resilient interdependent infrastructure systems. The C4E provides an ideal platform to conduct this research with its refreshing focus on emerging environmental issues with a specific focus to engage interdisciplinary teams. Dr. Ukkusuri will develop modeling tools for determining emissions credits at an individual level using a game theoretic framework. He will explore unanswered questions related to determining optimal prices and user heterogeneity. Dr. Ukkusuri will create cross disciplinary interactions to tackle these pressing challenges using notions from social science, systems engineering, optimization, network science, economics and policy. His project will develop new synergies across Purdue and beyond, further solidifying Discovery Park's, particularly C4E and the Global Sustainability Institute's commitment to be leaders in solving global sustainability issues. Congratulations to Satish Ukkusuri as the 2012-2013 Discovery Park Research Scholar.

Dr Johnson-SheehanDiscovery Park Fellow: Dr. Richard Johnson-Sheehan,
Professor, College of Liberal Arts

Project Title: "Building a Curriculum in Medical, Scientific, and Environmental Leadership" 

Professor Johnson-Sheehan researches the many connections among science, technology, environment, and communications. He has written books on scientific and technical communication, composition, and proposals and grants. He is also one of the founding faculty members of the Cancer, Culture, and Community program, which is a collaboration between the Discovery Park’s Oncological Sciences Center and the College of Liberal Arts. His project will focus on developing a curricular basis for interdisciplinary studies in medical, scientific, and technical fields. It will use leadership and communications as core concepts that will help Purdue develop tomorrow’s innovators in science, medicine, and environmental studies. The project will build the infrastructure for developing an interdisciplinary curriculum that connects Discovery Park with the College of Liberal Arts, College of Science, College of Health and Human Sciences, and the Krannert School of Management. Congratulations to Richard Johnson-Sheehan as the 2012-2013 Discovery Park Research Fellow.

Dr MateiDiscovery Park Fellow: Dr. Sorin Adam Matei, Associate
Professor, Brian Lamb School of Communication

Project Title: "Mining social media for actionable knowledge to
build the next generation of informal learning tools."

Dr. Matei specializes in data mining of social media, particularly Wikipedia. Some of the research questions that he will explore as a Discovery Park fellow, include: How do spontaneous groups and leadership positions emerge in social media, especially Wikipedia? How do these groups produce usable knowledge? How do they foster informal learning? How can the answers to these questions be turned into practical advice for building the next generation of learning and knowledge management tools? He will work with colleagues from the Cyber Center and the Discovery Learning and Research Center to mine a dataset that includes editorial interactions between 3 million individuals over ten years, for a total of 250 million data points. The results will generate measures and tools that will enhance two existing scholarly collaboration and learning platforms, CRIS and Visible Effort (, which have the potential to shape an emerging informal learning platform, RIPPLE, for K-12 STEM education. The tools will help online groups self-moderate and their members better integrate in the collaborative flow. Using such tools, group members will know when the activity of their community is optimally structured, when leaders have emerged, and when output is of good quality. Congratulations to Sorin Matei as the 2012-2013 Discovery Park Research Fellow.

About Discovery Park

Discovery Park and its major centers lead Purdue's large-scale interdisciplinary research efforts.

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Discovery Park Faculty Research Fellows and Scholars

2013-2014 (Current)


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