aiM Digital Learning Project goes to YouTube


We recently chatted with aiM’s newest affiliate member – Prajakta Prabhune (MEMS PhD candidate) – about her work in laying the foundation for aiM’s digital education initiative. Prajakta managed this project as part of her Bass Digital Education Fellowship, a program offered in partnership between Duke Learning Innovation and Duke Graduate School focused on PhD student professional development opportunities in the growing area of digital education and online college teaching.

The video project was conceived with the goal of creating engaging educational content at the nexus of data and materials science to enable cross-functional learning for incoming aiM program cohorts and made available to the general public. The aiM YouTube channel, born as a direct result of this project, is a platform for aiM trainees and affiliate members present their work in short-form videos. At the time of writing this article, the videos series includes Hao Zhang (CEE PhD candidate) presenting his work on modeling and uncertainty quantification of surface defects in 3-D printed parts, Bingyin Hu (MEMS PhD candidate) discussing his work with Natural Language Processing for NanoMine Curation, Mary Bastawrous  (former MEMS post-doc) sharing her work on phononic metamaterials along with a tutorial on calculating dispersion curves for a mass-spring unit cell. Thanks to this work, the aiM channel is distilling cutting-edge research and advancing science communication, one video at a time. Subscribe to the aiM Program at Duke University YouTube channel to access new videos as they become available.

Snippet of aiM YouTube Channel

In describing her experience with the project, Prajakta reflected that one of the key initial steps was to identify which key concepts to create videos on. To facilitate an equitable discussion among the diverse aiM community members, they convened a focus group and creatively brainstormed topic ideas. After identifying key topics for the videos, Prajakta worked with each presenter to distill the background knowledge necessary to understand the research along with highlighting the unique aspects of their work. Prajakta remarked that she enjoyed collaborating with everyone on this project and gained new knowledge in addition to her own research. Although her fellowship was a semester-long one, she created long-lasting impact for the aiM program. We wish Prajakta the very best in her future endeavors! 

Additional thanks to the many contributors to this project including Sophia Stone, Cate Brinson, Shana McAlexander, Lanyu Dong, Michael Blair, Mich Donovan, Nicholas Finan, and Peiyi Chen.

Here is a glimpse of the interactive notes from the team focus group and a behind-the-scenes action shots from the recording studio and Mary on the lightboard - 

Snippet of takeaways from focus group discussions
behind-the-scenes action shots from the recording studio and Mary on the lightboard