Researchers to examine ways students across globe can collaborate on STEM work


Dr. Shivakumar Sastry and three others will use a $240,000 National Science Foundation grant to investigate mobile apps and services that will allow students around the world to work together on STEM projects.

"Beyond the current ability to view lectures and videos, we will enable access to specialized laboratories in remote sites so student teams can get a hands-on polytechnic experience," says Sastry, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.

"The teams in their own environments will be able to conceive experiments, write and download programs on remote test beds, verify that their programs run as expected, collect data and carry out analyses," Sastry added.

The funding is part of a White House and NSF initiative to develop next-generation application prototypes for forthcoming gigabit networks — those capable of 1,000 megabits per second, or roughly 30 times faster than the networks commonly available today.

Sastry and his team are one of 11 nationally to be funded.

Sastry will work with Dr. Nghi Tran, assistant professor of computer and electrical engineering at Akron, and two researchers from Vanderbilt: Gautam Biswas, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and Anirüddhā Gokhālé, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science. 

Sastry says the prototype they'll develop could have applications beyond STEM education. "Such capabilities have the potential to fundamentally transform the service industry. Experts in the United States could work with factories across the globe and offer high-value services to design, operate and maintain these systems." 

Media contact: Dan Minnich, 330-972-6476 or 

Dr. Shivakumar Sastry

Dr. Shivakumar Sastry