Internet and email technology have led to an increase in teamwork among people in remote locations. Separated by geography, these "distributed teams" cannot rely on impromptu in-person meetings; instead, group distance requires efficient and effective online member communication to complete project work. Miscommunication can lead to missed deadlines, member conflict, and lost opportunities. A strong leader can help coordinate communication efforts; however it's difficult for one person to ensure the communication of an entire team.
In response to the need for effective distributed team communication, this E-Team developed Tasque, a web-based service that facilitates team collaboration through three complementary technologies:
Interactive email that enables team members to provide input on assignments, share ideas and submit updates
Step-by-Step Wizards to facilitate team building, project development, and progress report creation
"Personal Dashboards," which provide team members with an inclusive list of pending responsibilities, including invitations, tasks, open votes, status reports, and Gantt charts.
The Tasque E-Team consisted of two MBA students, an undergraduate in computer science and mathematics, and a PhD candidate in computer science. They worked with a software entrepreneur, the founder of two non-profit companies, and the Manager of New Venture Creation at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.
Over 400,000 premature births occur each year in the US, accounting for over $6 billion in annual health care spending. Statistics suggest that the number of premature births is rising, despite advances in prenatal care. Premature birth is associated with higher risk of maternal and infant death, and debilitating infant illnesses such as cerebral palsy, autism, mental retardation, and vision and hearing impairments. Currently, several tools on the market predict pre-term delivery, however the available diagnostic methods do not function early enough to safely and consistently administer labor-suppressing drugs.
This E-Team developed a cervical bioimpedance system that predicts the onset of birth early enough to safely administer preventative drugs. The system detects very subtle changes in cervical tissue composition, which indicate when the cervix is readying for childbirth. The system is composed of an electrode probe with a disposable sterile plastic tip containing the circuitry necessary to measure bioimpedance.
Update: the team has successfully licensed the technology (details not available).
This E-Team received an E-Team grant ti develop the X-CD, a system that integrates wirelessly updated messages with recorded music. The X-CD is a portable CD player that receives messages broadcast over FM sub-carrier, stores them in memory, and plays them back before, during, or after any CD played, as appropriate. Listeners receive the X-CD broadcasts, consisting of story capsules, interviews, reviews, and advertisements automatically when they use a properly equipped personal music player. Magazines, television shows and others who advertise to young adult audiences buy air time from X-CD and provide the broadcasts. X-CD players, branded by these sponsors, are offered to magazine subscribers or prospective subscribers. The sponsors, magazines like Rolling Stone or Teen People, or TV shows like MTV, gain access to the young adult market.
The X-CD E-Team created three successful prototypes and used this grant to develop a fourth generation prototype. While the first three prototypes were PC-based, the fourth was built around an embedded microcontroller.
The X-CD E-Team consisted of three computer science undergraduates. They worked with an electrical engineering faculty member and the founder and president of SixtySeven Kilohertz, Inc.
This E-Team developed Glow Friends, an electronic friendship bracelet and one of the few high-tech toys on the market targeted specifically at young girls ages seven to thirteen.
The Glow Friends bracelet, which features a heart-shaped rhinestone center that glows when the bracelet is on as well as six additional light-emitting rhinestones along the band, interacts with other bracelets -- it can be "synchronized" by its owner. When a synchronized friend gets within 300 feet of the bracelet wearer, a rhinestone on her bracelet glows every thirty seconds. As the friend grows closer, the rhinestone glows brighter. The six rhinestones can recognize up to six friends.
The Glow Friends E-Team consists of five undergraduates in marketing, computer engineering, business, electrical engineering and fine arts. They work with faculty in business, economics, and electrical engineering.
This E-Team received a previous Advanced E-Team grant for development of the X-CD system, a system that integrates wirelessly updated messages with recorded music. The X-CD is a portable CD player that receives messages broadcast over FM sub-carrier, stores them in memory, and plays them back before, during, or after any CD played, as appropriate. Listeners receive the X-CD broadcasts, consisting of story capsules, interviews, reviews, and advertisements, automatically when they use a properly equipped personal music player. Magazines, television shows and others who advertise to young adult audiences will buy air time from X-CD and provide the broadcasts. X-CD players, branded by these sponsors, and will be offered to magazine subscribers or prospective subscribers. The sponsors, magazines like Rolling Stone or Teen People, or TV shows like MTV, will then gain access to the young adult market.
To date, the X-CD E-Team has created three successful prototypes and is now ready to create a fourth generation prototype. While the first three prototypes have been PC-based, the fourth will be built around an embedded microcontroller. In the first phase of the work plan, each team member will design and build a major subsystem of the self-contained module. The end goal of this phase is that all key subsystems will function properly in isolation. In the second phase, the E-Team will integrate the subsystems into a whole. In the third phase, the team will conduct field testing, range measurements, system optimization, and concept/functionality refinement.
The X-CD E-Team consists of three computer science undergraduates. They work with an electrical engineering faculty member and the founder and president of SixtySeven Kilohertz, Inc.
An adverse effect of chemotherapy is that it lowers patients' white and red blood cell production as it attacks their rapidly dividing cancer cells. Progressive reduction in red blood cell counts leads to anemia, while reduction in white blood cells leaves an individual susceptible to infection. In the event of infection, mortality rates for chemotherapy patients can reach as high as 70% if the patients are not promptly treated with antibiotics. Thus, quick detection of infection is critical to maintaining chemotherapy patients' health. Because fever is an indicator of infection, chemotherapy patients and their caretakers must monitor patients' temperatures to ensure patient health. When fever is detected, patients require prompt medical attention.
The ChemoTemp E-Team has developed a fever monitoring and reporting device for chemotherapy patients. Although a variety of related technologies are available on the market to track fever, these products do not provide the comprehensive service offered by ChemoTemp. The device accurately measures patient temperature, identifies fever and risk of fever, and reports fever conditions to the patient and/or caregiver. Patients can wear ChemoTemp comfortably for long periods of time. The E-Team has nearly completed an alpha version of the device, and plan to finish circuit and algorithm developments in the next phase of the project. The E-Team has conducted a market and patent search and found that no like products exist on the market specifically for chemotherapy patients. The team consists of twenty-three undergraduate students from the Junior/Senior Engineering Clinic course, including students from electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and possibly life sciences students. These students work with a team of twelve graduate students and the clinic course professor.
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
The Picker Engineering Program is the first degree-granting engineering program at a women's college in the US. In its first year, the program attracted nineteen students; in 2002, twenty-one students declared Engineering majors. In the fall of 2002, fifty-three students enrolled in the Introduction to Engineering course, more than doubling the target number of enrollees.
The Picker Engineering Program strives to redesign engineering courses to make them more relevant to the challenges facing society today, to women, and to other underrepresented groups. The Engineering Design Clinic (EDC) is the program's senior capstone course. In EDC, student teams solve engineering problems posed by industry sponsors. While this is a valuable exercise, it does not introduce students to entrepreneurship.
With NCIIA funding, EDC E-Teams will have the option to pursue their own project ideas, rather than those posed by an industry sponsor. Teams of two to five students will be invited to submit proposals for a design clinic project based on an entrepreneurial idea in April of their junior year. The EDC Director will select teams to pursue their project ideas. EDC will offer entrepreneurship modules to help the entrepreneurial E-Teams progress through the stages of project development. In addition, E-Teams will work with faculty and advisors from the community, including local business leaders and entrepreneurs. The Picker Program will collaborate with the UMass Five Colleges Entreclub. EDC will offer an E-award to the entrepreneurial team that excels in innovation and entrepreneurship in their project work.
The ability to understand human disease at the molecular and cellular levels has blurred the boundaries between the basic biological and chemical sciences, engineering, and clinical investigation. Because of this, students from a variety of disciplines want to understand medical problems so that they can successfully translate their research into useful clinical outcomes. In response to this educational need, a team of faculty in Biosciences, Medicine, Bioinformatics, Engineering and Education at Stanford University created a new course in 2001, Introduction to Medicine for Graduate Students in Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, and Bioinformatics. The central activity of the course is interdisciplinary team project work. E-Teams composed of three PhD candidates (one each from electrical engineering, management science and engineering, and one NASA-Ames continuing education student from the Stanford Center for Professional Development) identify an unsolved problem in diabetes and conceptualize a novel solution. Teams develop and present concept papers.
This project supports development of an extension course, Applications of Bioengineering, Bioinformatics and Basic Biological Science to Current Problems in Diabetes. The Applications course will enable E-Teams from the introductory course to further develop their project concepts and obtain preliminary results on their solutions and/or develop early prototypes of medical devices