In this blog students of the Magdeburg-Stendal University, who participated at the Virginia Expedition will report on the trip through Virginia, Washington DC, and the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Area.
We received an invitation from Old Dominion University (ODU) Norfolk, Virginia. Among others the Strome College of Business (Prof. Jeff Tanner, Prof. Ling X. Li), the Department of Electrical Engineering (Prof. Helmut Baumgart, Prof. Dimitri Popescu), and the Department of Computer Science (Prof. Michele Weigle, Prof. Tamer Nadeem, Prof. Michael L. Nelson, Prof. Mike Overstreet) participated at arranging our program. The visit was planned by our Business School under my direction. I have been working together with ODU since 2006 and spent five months working at the Department of Computer Science as a visiting professor last year. Therefore we had many possibilities for connecting with people and institutions there. We were accompanied at this trip by the Institute of Electrical Engineering, represented by Prof. Dr. Sebastian Hantscher, with whom we have been working together in the research group SPiRIT. This time the trip was organized in favor of four graduate students of Electrical Engineering as well as nine undergraduate students of Business Administration.
The purpose of the trip was doing research for exchanging possibilities for students and faculty, connecting with business companies for internships, research projects, enhancements of research and teaching cooperation with the Old Dominion University as well as working out cooperation agreements. Last but not least an important aim for all students was getting to know the american university and business company culture but also an authentic impression about some shaping events of US history, affecting the whole world, at original locations in the Historic Triangle.
While some tasks were distributed to students like project assistance, financial administration, and documentation of the journey, a larger, interdisciplinary group of electrical engineers and business managers was dedicated to a transfer project: Students of Electrical Engineering and Interaction Design were in charge of working on an interdisciplinary project in Winter 2015/2016 - developing a prototypic interactive solution for exhibitions and fairs. These projects were presented first at SINNFLUT and the CeBit trade show. The next steps will contain working on market analyses, strategies for launching those products on the market, and project development by the Department of Economics. The trip enabled many advantages because of the collaboration between those two departments, and partly because of the professional and structural connection possibilities with research partners in the US. Especially helpful was the possibility to adapt some of the interdisciplinary transferal environment to our university. Results of this project will be presented to the public on May 17th 2016 at our Stendal Campus.
In this Blog all of our participating students will share their personal experiences in how the existing collaboration in research issues was improved, expanded to other departments and how the exchange with students in two different study programs was expanded.
We thank all sponsors of this expedition, especially our Deans, the Senats Commission of International Affairs, and nevertheless our helpful host and advisor Mike Overstreet from ODU.
We especially thank our above mentioned hosts for the open doors and the immersing exchange in Virginia!
Have fun and new insights from our field trip report
Michael A. Herzog