Composite MRI scan of my brain. Do computers cause brain damage? :-)

Who says computers cause brain damage?

Contact Info
428 S. Shaw Lane
1410 B Engineering
Michigan State University
East. Lansing, MI 48824


Futile attempt to thwart bots

Mark Urban-Lurain, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Interim Director
Center for Engineering Education Research
Undergraduate Studies Office
College of Engineering
Michigan State University

I am responsible for teaching, research and curriculum development, with emphasis on engineering education and, more broadly, STEM education.

My research interests are in theories of cognition, how these theories inform the design of instruction, how we might best design instructional technology within those frameworks, and how the research and development of instructional technologies can inform our theories of cognition.  I am also interested in preparing future STEM faculty for teaching, incorporating instructional technology as part of instructional design, and STEM education improvement and reform.

Some of my current research projects

  • Automated Analysis of Constructed Responses (AACR) Research Group
    We are exploring multiple approaches to using linguistic analysis software for extracting conceptual categories from student written responses and using that data to build statistical models of students’ understanding and application of those concepts in biology, chemistry and statistics.
  • EEES: Engaging Early Engineering Students to Expand Numbers of Degree Recipients
    The focus of EEES is to improve retention and completion rates among engineering students. To do so, EEES will develop: (a) cross linkages between basic math/science courses and first year engineering courses, (b) a suite of diagnostics-driven intervention methods to help first and second year engineering students survive and thrive in their early years, (c) a core of upper division students who will act to supply "Supplemental Instruction" to lower division students for key technical courses, and (d) sound and long term faculty connections with first and second year students. 
  • CPACE: A Collaborative Process to Align Computing Education with Engineering Workforce Needs
    CPACE is developing, implementing, and evaluating a process to create an academic/industry community as a lynchpin of curricular change. The specific project goal is to demonstrate the process in the context of meeting industrial needs for computational problem solving in engineering.

Teaching & Mentoring

I was part of a team that developed several introductory computer science courses for non-computer science students.  The most recent course is Computing Concepts and Competencies, offered as CSE 101 here at MSU.

About me

Recent Activities

  • September, 2014: PI NSF PRIME award $267K
  • August, 2014: Interim Director, CEER
  • September, 2013: PI NSF TUES 3 award $5M
  • June 2013: Invited talk, Gordon Research Conference -Chemistry Education Research and Practice
  • June 2013: Invited talks, Edbank Workshop - ETH, Zurich