Olin College is pleased to announce the launch of a new program, which will devote time to exploring and documenting how to fuel curricular innovation. The Exploration Program will focus on bold and innovative academic ideas that have the potential to change undergraduate education at Olin and beyond.

Funded by Dr. Sunlin Chou, a retired Intel R&D leader and emeritus Olin Trustee, the Exploration Program has its sights set on big ideas and high-impact concepts that can create transformative learning experiences.

The faculty team of Associate Professor of Applied Physics Rebecca Christianson and Professor of Applied Mathematics John Geddes were the inaugural Exploration Fellows.

How Does the Exploration Program Work?

In May, 2018 the Exploration team asked 60 attendees at a retreat of Olin faculty, staff and students what the world might look like in 2050 and how Olin might shape and respond to that world. The attendees were also asked to travel back through time to imagine how Olin College might create that future state. The results of this and other similar workshops will be used as fuel for the work of the Exploration Program. The team also plans to:

  • run this activity again for other members of the Olin community, including those who could not attend, and other groups like alumni, etc.
  • explore the future of engineering education with a diverse group of people, both internal and external to the Olin community.
  • incorporate these results into an initial idea list that may fuel the next round of innovation at Olin.
  • encourage and facilitate action by members of the Olin community who are especially motivated by ideas, large and small, that emerged during the retreat.
  • design and deploy experiments over the next year to test possible ideas and examine value propositions.

Geddes and Christianson also are exploring effective ways to communicate the results of their efforts, solicit feedback and encourage others to make use of the acquired knowledge.

Get in Touch

The Exploration Program team is actively seeking input from the Olin community and beyond. If you wish to share your own curricular explorations, please email us at explorationprogram@olin.edu to continue the conversation!