The Vertically-Integrated Projects (VIP) Program
The Vertically-Integrated Projects (VIP) Program is an undergraduate
education program that
operates in a research and development context. Undergraduate students
that join VIP teams
earn academic credit for their participation in design/discovery efforts that
assist faculty and graduate
students with research and development issues in their areas of
expertise. The teams
are: multidisciplinary - drawing students from all disciplines on
- maintaining a mix of sophomores through PhD students each semester;
- each undergraduate student may participate in a project for up to
three years and each
graduate student may participate for the duration of their graduate
career. The continuity,
technical depth, and disciplinary breadth of these teams are intended
- Provide the time and context necessary for students to learn and
practice many different
professional skills, make substantial technical contributions to the
project, and experience
many different roles on a large, multidisciplinary design/discovery team.
- Support long-term interaction between the graduate and
undergraduate students on the team.
The graduate students mentor the undergraduates as they work on the
embedded in the graduate students' research.
- Enable the completion of large-scale design/discovery projects that
are of significant benefit to faculty
members' research programs.
- Interested in VIP? To join VIP for the Fall 2014 semester: The VIP permit-application
site will be available starting Feb 1
for students wishing to apply for a
to join or rejoin a VIP team for Fall 2014.
- VIP in the News! The eStadium VIP team, which develops mobile web
applications and embedded wireless sensor networks for sports, has been recognized by
Texas Instruments for its work with their embedded systems. Please see the
about eStadium on the TI website.
- Entrepreneurs! The VIP Program is now listed as one of Goergia Tech's
Startup Programs for undergraduate students,
graduate students, and faculty interested in entrepreneurship.
(Note: gatech login credentials required.)
Teams are listed by name, with the registration section code and individual
team meeting time listed in ( ) after the team name.
Additionally, a common VIP meeting is held Friday 3:00-4:30;
the Friday lecture for Spring 2014 is in Klaus 2443.
Returning students with a time-conflict should discuss that
conflict with the team's faculty advisor.
Team (VP2, Tues. 1:30-3:00): Design and create applications, processes,
systems and policies for increasing and improving citizen participation in democracy.
Team (VP3, Thurs. 3:00-4:30): Design and deploy smartphone apps/games, websites, wireless
networks, and sensor networks to gather and deliver game and venue information to football fans in the stadium on gameday.
Tutoring System Team (VP4, Mon. 1:30-3:00): Design, test and use systems to enhance
student learning in Tech courses by applying techniques that include
video and data mining, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and
Transportation Systems (VP8, Tues. 10:00-11:30): Analyze the performance and energy
efficiency of existing transportation scheduling algorithms, and then
design and implement better ones, for the Tech Trolley and other
systems at and around Georgia Tech.
- I-Natural (VPA, Tues. 1:30-3:00):
Design, build, and test interfaces that enable humans to
naturally interact with robots (whether physical or virtual) in
performing activities of daily living.
- USLI Rocket Team (VPB, Thurs. 9:30-11:00):
Design, build and launch a reusable rocket with a scientific or engineering payload to one mile above ground level.
Beats Team (VPC, Tues. 8:00-9:30) To understand the neural basis
underlying the human ability (or lack thereof) to keep "rhythmic time,"
i.e., a constant cadence.
- GTRI Robotics Team (VPD, Thurs. 1:30-3:00):
Development of critical technologies and prototype robotic/unmanned systems.
- Aquabots: Maritime Robotics (VPE, Thurs, 1:30-3:00):
Aquabots will explore new research in maritime robotics including navigation of
underwater and surface vehicles, mapping and exploration underwater,
and other challenging maritime robotic technologies.
- Open Academic Enviroments Team (VPF, Thurs. 1:30-3:00, Clough 469):
Traditional Learning Management Systems like T-Square at Georgia Tech have become part of the problem rather than part of the solution, and we'll aim to move beyond them.
- RoboSense Team (VPG, Wed. 5:00-6:30):
To develop robotic sensing platforms for environmental monitoring tasks
such as oil spill survey and cleaning, and recovery of metal objects
in sediments. Develop autonomy solutions for mobile sensing networks.
- Physics MOOC Team (VPH, Tues. 11:00-12:30):
To develop course materials and software for teaching hands-on, inquiry-based introductory physics in a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC). We will use a novel combination of open-source software, calibrated peer review, and interactive online lectures to create a complete physics course, labs and all, available to anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection.
- BioBots Team (VPJ, Tues. 3:00-4:30):
To create autonomous microrobots that can traverse biological barriers within the body by mimicking microorganisms.
- Humor Genome Team (VPK, Wed. 1:30-3:00):
(Previously known as the Wikilaughs team) Creation and analysis of a repository of humor collected via crowdsourcing and social network integration.
- Energy Geotechnology Team (VPL, Mon. 4:00-5:30):
Predict soil and rock THCM behavior during heat and fluid injection and extraction,
design new geomaterials to optimize the fuel cycle, and recommend strategies for resource and
- Secure Hardware Team (VPM, Wed. 5:00-6:30):
To design digital hardware which is highly resistant to: (i) reverse engineering,
and (ii) attack by malicious hardware insertions (hardware Trojans).
- Intelligent Digital Communications Team (VPN, Fri. 1:30-3:00): To enhance spectrum utilization, enable improved use
of smart devices (smartphones, tablets), and create intelligent mechanisms for
debugging, monitoring, policing and enhancing all types of wireless communications
through the use of software defined radio techniques.
- New Team for Fall 2014! Airborne Measurement of Atmospheric Electricity Team (VPO, Tues. 9:30-11:00):
To build airborne observation platforms equipped with electric and/or magnetic field
sensors, and cameras, to observe natural electrical activity
like lightning, sprites, and meteor trails.
- New Team for Fall 2014! Constructacons Team (VPP, Wed. 3:00-4:30):
To bring modern research in industrial and robotic automation to
the construction site for the purposes of improving the
efficiency, safety, and monitoring of building construction.
- New Team for Fall 2014! Robotic Musicianship Team (VPQ, TBD):
Develop creative robots that can listen to, play and improvise music.
- New Team for Fall 2014! Technology for Healthy Aging (VPR,
Design and develop technology interventions for older adults in retirement communities.
- New Team for Fall 2014! Design Space Construction (VPS,
Develop and test design space exploration systems to support decisions like:
What massing for the Cancer Treatment Facility? What facade dimensions
for the Children's Hospital? What section and plan dimensions for the high rise?
- Undergraduate Students: Please go to the VIP
Site to apply for a permit to join or return to a VIP team.
- Graduate Students: To join a VIP team, please contact that team's faculty adviser(s).
- Faculty: To start your own VIP team, please contact Ed Coyle.
The VIP program supports large, multidisciplinary teams that work on joint research and education projects.
Students from the following disciplines have participated in VIP so far: AE, BIO, BME, CEE, ChE,
CS, CM, ECE, ISyE, ME, Phys, and Public Policy. The current set of VIP courses and the policies established
for how they contribute to a student's degree are:
For Students in the College of Science: VIP courses have
recently been created in Biology and Physics.
Please check with the undergraduate advising office in your
discipline to determine how participation in these VIP courses
will count toward your degree.
For Students in Other Disciplines: Please check with the undergraduate advising office in your
discipline to determine how participation in VIP will count toward your degree.
A Note on Registration for VIP: If you have a time conflict with the Friday, 3:00-4:30 VIP
lecture, a time-conflict permit can usually be issued for you. If you are returning to a VIP team
and have a time conflict with your team's meeting time, a time-confict permit can be created
for you. If you are a new VIP student and the meeting time of the team you want to join
conflicts with another course, then you must either choose another VIP team
or wait until the next semester.
- For All Students: The VIP courses are currently ECE 2811, 381X, 481X.
The first digit indicates the level: 2 = sophomore; 3 = junior; 4 = senior.
The last digit indicates the number of credits: X = 1 or 2.
Each school in CoE and CoC whose faculty and students
participate in VIP determines how VIP credits count toward their students'
degrees. In general, VIP credits will
at least count as free elective credits; see below for further information.
- For Students in the College of Architecture: Some potential VIP projects
are being identified in the College of Architecture. Please return to this site in
Spring 2014 for an update.
- For Students in the College of Computing:
- Starting with the Summer 2011 term and ending with the Summer 2013 term:
VIP can count for Senior Capstone Credit (CS 4911) when:
(a) There are at least three credit hours in the same VIP project;
(b) At least two of those credit hours are ECE-481X VIP; and,
(c) All three VIP credits used for capstone credit are at the ECE-381X/481X level.
Additional VIP credits taken beyond those meeting the criteria above
can count as free electives. NOTE: VIP credits acquired via CS-designated
VIP courses during or before Spring 2011 may also count toward capstone
credit -- for details, please check with the CoC Undergraduate Office.
- Starting Fall of 2013: The CoC will be implementing a new approach to a
design project course. The approach requires CS students to take a
two-semester “project” class that will be taken in conjunction with a
two-semester LMC class that will replace both CS 4911 and LCC 3403 requirements.
There are currently three options for this project class: a CS project class,
a CS research class, or a VIP project. To choose the VIP option, students will
sign up for a 1- or 2-hour VIP class and a 2-hour LMC class the first semester
and, for the second semester, sign up for a 1- or 2-hour VIP class and a
1-hour LMC class. The VIP credits must be at the junior (38xx) or senior
(48xx) level and must all be from the same project section. The total number
of VIP credits must be 3 or 4; 4 is preferred because you will both learn
more from and contribute more to the project. The VIP projects will also
be used as projects for the LMC class to provide a more realistic context.
For details, please check with the CoC Undergraduate Office.
- For Students in the College of Engineering
- For CEE and EnvE Students:
- For CEE Students: Up to 3 credits can be used as CEE Technical electives.
After earning those 3 credits, any additional VIP credits can be used only
as approved elective credits. Please check with the CEE undergrad office if you
have questions or need further information.
- For EnvE Students,: Up to 3 credits can be used as EnvE Technical Elective Focus Area.
After earning those 3 credits, any additional VIP credits can be used
only as approved elective credits. Please check with the CEE undergrad office
if you have questions or need further information.
- For ECE Students:
- VIP Independent of Senior Design: If a student takes six or more credits of VIP,
three can count as ECE elective credits and three can count as approved elective credits.
- VIP Incorporating Senior Design: Students may use their VIP participation towards
Senior Design II (ECE 4012 or ECE 4007) if: (a) their VIP project is suitable
for an EE or CmpE culminating design project, (b) they have previously registered
for the same VIP team in 3 successive semesters (semesters off for co-op allowed)
prior to taking Senior Design II; (c) during those semesters they take VIP for at
least 1 – 2 – 2 credits; (d) the last two credits are taken in their senior year;
and (e) they satisfy all other senior design requirements, including completion of
Senior Design I (e.g., ECE 4001 or 4011).
Then, in the 4th semester, students may register for Senior Design II instead
of VIP (ECE 481x). Specifically, VIP students register for the ECE 4012 VIP
(or ECE 4007 VIP) lecture section and the senior design project section
corresponding to their VIP team, ECE 4012 VPx (or ECE 4007 VPx).
- More Information: Please contact the ECE Undergraduate Affairs
Office for questions about VIP in the ECE Curriculum.
Contact Dr. Randal Abler to determine
if your VIP project is appropriate for ECE senior design credit.
- For ISyE Students: Up to 3 credits can be used as engineering or free
elective credit. After earning those 3 credits, another 4 can count as
Senior Design, subject to several constraints (see below), or as free
elective credit. Beyond those 7 credits, any additional VIP credits can be
used only as free elective credits. To use VIP credit for Senior Design, a
student should register for VIP in 4 successive semesters, for at least 1
- 2 - 2 - 2 credits in those semesters, with the last 4 credits being in
their senior year. At the end of the second semester, the student should
submit a proposal to ISyE's Senior Design coordinator for approval,
describing how the VIP project will fulfill the basic requirements of
Senior Design. If approved for Senior Design credit, the student will need
to submit interim and final reports and presentations to the Senior Design
coordinator at the end of the third and fourth semesters. The Senior
Design coordinator will assign the student's grade in consultation with
the student's VIP adviser. Please check with the ISyE undergrad office if
you have questions or need further information.
- For ME Students: Students can use either a maximum of 6
credits of VIP courses (ECE 2811, 381X, 481X) or a maximum of 6
credits of research / special problems courses (2699, 4699 & 4903)
as free electives. If doing both types of courses, a total of 9 credits is allowed.
The Helmsley Trust
The National Science Foundation, EHR Directorate, Division of Undergradaute Education
The Carter Center
Georgia Tech Global Fund for Innovation and Research in Education (FIRE)
The TI:GER Program at Georgia Tech
The Colleges of Engineering, Computing, Science, and Architecture at Georgia Tech
Cisco Systems, Inc
VIP at Georgia Tech is an effort of the Arbutus Center
The colleges and universities listed below are creating the VIP Consortium.
The goals of the consortium include collaborating to start/improve VIP at all sites,
achieving systemic reform of education at both the national and international levels, and seeking support
to enable all of these activities to be successful.
- Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA. Started in 2008.
- Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA, USA. Started in 2009.
- National Ilan University, Ilan, Taiwan. Started in 2011.
- Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA. Started in 2002.
- University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Started in 2011.
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Starting this year.
- University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA. Starting this year.
- Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA. Starting this year.
- University of California - Davis, Davis, California, USA. Starting this year.
- Howard University, Washingon DC, USA. Starting this year.
- Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA. Starting this year.
- Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA. Starting this year.
- University of Hawaii - Manoa, Honolulu, HI, USA. Starting this year.
- Indiana University, Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, IN, USA. Starting this year.
- Boise State University, Boise, ID, USA. Starting this year.
“Managing for the Triple Bottom Line in Project-Based Learning,"
42nd International Conference on Computers and Industrial Engineering,
Cape Town, South Africa, July 16-18, 2012.
J. Melkers, A. Kiopa, R.T. Abler, E.J. Coyle, J.M. Ernst, J.V. Krogmeier, and A. Johnson,
“The Social Web of Engineering Education: Knowledge Exchange in Integrated Project Teams,"
Proceedings of the 2012 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition,
San Antonio, TX, June 10-13, 2012.
R. Abler, E.J. Coyle, A. Kiopa, and J. Melkers,
“Team-based Software/System Development in a Vertically-Integrated, Project-Based Course,"
Proceedings of the 41'st Annual ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference,
Rapid City, SD, Oct. 12-15, 2011.
M. Baxter, B. Byun, E.J. Coyle, T. Dang, T. Dwyer, I. Kim, C.-H. Lee, R. Llewallyn, and N. Sephus,
“On Project-Based Learning through the Vertically-Integrated Projects Program,"
Proceedings of the 41'st Annual ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference,
Rapid City, SD, Oct. 12-15, 2011.
R. Abler, J.V. Krogmeier, A. Ault, J. Melkers, T. Clegg, and E.J.
Coyle, “Enabling and Evaluating Collaboration of Distributed Teams with
High Definition Collaboration Systems,” Proceedings of the 2010 ASEE
Annual Conference and Exposition, Louisville, KY, June 20-23, 2010.
E.J. Coyle, J.P. Allebach, and J. Garton Krueger, “The
Vertically-Integrated Projects (VIP) Program in ECE at Purdue: Fully
Integrating Undergraduate Education and Graduate Research,” Proceedings
of the 2006 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Chicago, IL, June