Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Receives UCLA Library Grant to Develop Affordable Course Materials

Jul 2, 2020

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Clarice Aiello, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been awarded a one-time $5,000 grant from the UCLA Library’s Affordable Course Materials Initiative to develop materials for her forthcoming course on quantum mechanics for engineers.

She is one of three professors to receive the award, which is made in conjunction with OpenUCLA, the UCLA Library’s Centennial Initiative. The awards program provides support to professors who create original, open educational resources that eliminate the need for students to purchase course textbooks.

“The library’s ACMI awards are meant to encourage faculty to create affordable course materials by compensating them for the time it takes to develop them,” said associate university librarian Alison Scott, who administers the program. “We have successfully collaborated with instructors to help them achieve their educational objectives, and we have eased the financial burden for thousands of UCLA students.”

Aiello, a quantum engineer at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, is interested in how quantum physics informs biology at the nanoscale. Through the support of the OpenUCLA ACMI, Aiello will create an open educational resource for her winter 2021 course, “Quantum Mechanics for Engineers.” Librarian Renee Romero will work with Aiello during the duration of her award period.

This work will serve to bridge a gap in quantum mechanics education, which has historically focused on physicists but left out engineers. Aiello hopes her resource will help build a workforce in the emerging field of quantum and be accessible to as many people as possible, both students and the broader public. 

“Free and open-source course materials benefit not only those students who are already obtaining a first-rate education at UCLA but also scientific-minded individuals who may not have the opportunity to attend formal classes,” Aiello said. “Our new course, in particular, will introduce quantum mechanics to engineers. Engineers — from electrical to computer and materials disciplines, for example — are in high demand to join the quantum workforce, while their training usually includes little quantum. We aim to start filling that gap.”

The full story, by Ben Alkaly, is posted at the UCLA Newsroom.

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