LL NSF DUE#1544237 with UTEP #226100919

SMILES interface (launched June 2016): (as of July 2017, log in at: )

VOICES (Virtual Ongoing Interdisciplinary Conferences on Educating with Song) for (Wed-Thurs) Sept. 27-28 2017: (followup Oct. 26-28 in San Antonio, with joint mtg of College Music Society and Association for Technology in Music Instruction), chaired by Greg Crowther​ 206-290-8826(cell); (2nd best:; starting Jan. 2018, a tenure-track job at Everett Community College, teaching human anatomy & physiology (A&P).  and     (to see assessments,, with username:  Larry Lesser​) goes to all VOICES people who participated/opted in??? goes to Lesser, Pearl, Weber, Getty, Crowther goes to Lesser, Pearl, Weber goes to those in the volunteer/working group goes to Lesser & Pearl


SMILES Grant Group Meeting

             join from computer, tablet or smartphone:

If it doesn't work, then use:

             or dial in by phone:   United States (Long distance): +1 (872) 240-3212 Access Code: 368-100-381


Dennis Zoom:


Backup backup: zoom room at


MATH: EAGER: Collaborative proposal: SMILES: Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs  for Introductory Statistics



John J. Weber(Perimeter College at Georgia State University)


Dennis K. Pearl(PSU) 1544426

Irene Holguin

Tom Osteen

Maria Isela Hernandez

Jennifer Kaplan


Assoc. Prof. in Dept. of Math, CompSci & Engin. at Perimeter College at Georgia State University (Clarkston campus) ,

Professor, Dept. of Statistics,

Ohio State

Penn State


Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Statistics



First, try cell 404-396-9824 (before 10pm eastern);   678.561.JJW3, i.e, 678.561.5593

then try 678-891-3693(w)


Department of Mathematics, Computer Sciences, and Engineering,

555 North Indian Creek Drive

Perimeter College at Georgia State University

Clarkston, Georgia, 30021, USA

Math dept. 678-891-3710


Dennis office: (814)863-7395;

PSU Stats Dept. (814) 865-1348

CAUSE Webmaster: Kathy Smith, (814) 865-9442 (the new “Justin Slauson”); Bob Carey or

 (814) 865-9442  


Program Coordinator (the new “Jean Scott”) Laura (Lorey) Burghard  814-865-3513

Department of Statistics

326 Thomas Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, Pennsylvania, 16801, USA








Dennis Pearl (& Barbara Cohen) 113 Chippendale Lane

Landline: 814-308-8379





614-545-8408 cell;    814-863-7395h, 




email or



New one:  or


now Esmeralda Zazueta (“Esmi”) Contracts & Grants Specials IV - Ext. 7351  or 5680


PI of GPC part

PI of Ohio State part; OSU(then PSU) is lead institution


Independent evaluator

Time zone


eastern time


eastern time


Glenn A. Pfeifer, phone: 678-891-2528 fax:678-891-2763

Amanda E. Brown,, 814-865-3500






Work phone



Bob Carey

Penn State


 (814) 865-9442 or


Greg Crowther

Everett Comm. College


425-388-9480 ; Spring 2018 quarter OH (Pac.Time): M 2:30-4, W 10:30-12:30, Th 1-2:30

Co-chair next VOICES virtual conference; Compile and consolidate song-in-STEM resources into a single searchable, annotated online collection (w/Walter Smith)

Dominic Dousa





Tiffany Getty

Wellsboro HS; Wilkes U.


HS is 570-724-3547


Co-chair next VOICES virtual conference

Larry Lesser




Periodical/Newsletter/Blog as a communications vehicle for the field

Dennis Pearl

Penn State



Survey of lower div. college & AP teachers to see how songs are used in STEM

John Weber

Perimeter College at Georgia State



Survey (see DKP)

Denver 2018 meeting: June 29-30 (with July 1 for lead people)

Name (VOICES working group)

STEM field

(nearest) city

Email; URL

Eva Amsen (C)

biochemistry, science communication

London, UK

Bob Carey (L)

Tech master

State College, PA

Jon Chase (C)

freelance science writer

South Wales, UK,

Kristin Chavis (C)

HS biology

Shreveport, LA

Scott Crawford (S)


Laramie, WY

Greg Crowther (L;W)


Seattle, WA

John Dougherty

computer science

Philadelphia, PA

Tony Dumas (S)


Rochester, NY

Tiffany Getty (L;W)

HS chemistry & science education

Wellsboro, PA

Merryl Goldberg (L)


San Diego, CA

Lou Gross (C)


Knoxville, TN

Monty Harper (L)

Science music

Stillwater, OK

Larry Lesser (C;W)

Stat/math ed

El Paso, TX ,

Mary McLellan (C)

HS math/stat

Ft. Worth, TX

Jeff Moran (C)


Columbia, MO

Nyaradzo Mvududu (S)


Seattle, WA

Dennis Pearl (S;W)


State College, PA

Robby Ratan


East Lansing, MI

Paul Reinert (S;W)


Wilkes-Barre, PA

Walter Smith (L;W)


Philadelphia, PA

John Weber (S;W)


Atlanta, GA


W = (July 1, 2018) writing group


D = Digital Library

C = Communications

S = Survey

Greg Crowther*

Larry Lesser*

Dennis Pearl*

Walter Smith*

Eva Amsen

John Weber*

Bob Carey

Jon Chase

Scott Crawford

Monty Harper

Jeff Moran

Tony Dumas

Tiffany Getty

Lou Gross

Paul Reinert

Merryl Goldberg

Mary McLellan

Nyaradzo Mvududu


Kristin Chavis


* = facilitators

September 27-28, 2017 was the debut of VOICES (Virtual Ongoing Interdisciplinary Conferences on Educating with Song; ), the first-of-its-kind online conference on using music to teach college-level (including high school AP) STEM content.  The conference was funded as part of the NSF grant Project SMILES (Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs), whose PIs are Larry Lesser (The University of Texas at El Paso), Dennis Pearl (Penn State), and John Weber (Perimeter College at Georgia State University).  The inaugural conference chair was Greg Crowther, a college biology instructor who has written 100+ STEM songs, published several journal articles on teaching science with music, co-founded a science songwriters' association, and founded a curated database of 7000+ STEM songs. 

The conference featured two full days of (now-archived) programming over two days from the latest research, pedagogy, and practitioner perspectives, including interactive virtual poster sessions, interdisciplinary panels, and a keynote address by physics instructor and entertainer Lynda Williams ("The Physics Chanteuse"). The conference involved 71 registered attendees, 45 presenters, and 40 presentations.  Participants spanned 22 states across the US as well as Canada and the United Kingdom.   It was striking how almost all presentations applied to virtually all STEM disciplines, and participants spanned a very broad variety of disciplines, including all of the major STEM fields, as well as Education, English, Media & Information, and Performing Arts.


Next (virtual) VOICES is Sept. 26 (and maybe also 27), 2018



National Science Foundation’s Div. of Undergraduate Education       EAGER (Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research) proposal due May 1, 2015

From NSF 15-026 Dear Colleague Letter(DCL) on Dec. 4, 2014:  using GPG 15-1

Sept. 16, 2015 [FAIN #; proposal #] award ID 1544237  (UTEP: 226100919)!!!      Grant goes from Sept. 15, 2015- Aug. 31, 2019

(a $19,940 supplement award# 1544426 directed by PSU was awarded 7/25/17-8/31/19)

GSU # is 1544243)



Daniel Y Lopez x5170


My dept’s administrators:  Maria Salayandia, x5703, & Valerie Dominguez (x6754,

Accountant Yesenia Castaneda x 5698   Roberto Osegueda x 5680  

If you need training or additional support, please contact the Grants Support Center ( 





Senior Lecturer Stephen (Steve) A. Haddad, x7818, 915-479-2499 (cell),

Office: FFA  M139 

Professor (of Theory & Composition) Dominic Dousa, x7819, ,  cell/home: 497-5750

Office: FFA M337 (came to UTEP in fall 2004, just like me!)

Admin. Asst. I: Susie Hernandez x5606



In our increasingly data-centric world, statistical reasoning (reasoning about data in the context of uncertainty) has become central to the skills our nation needs students to develop.  Unfortunately, students’ first experience with statistical reasoning remains in classrooms dominated by lectures rather than active learning experiences and dominated by instructors relatively untrained in the field.  This is especially true at two-year colleges where adjunct instructors often find it difficult to take part in professional development opportunities, often perceive reform-based pedagogies as taking “extra work” when they already have an unreasonable workload, perceive new resources as being difficult to integrate into their current mode of instruction, and recognize the often severe “statistics anxiety” in their students.  SMILES (Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs) for Introductory Statistics will develop and field-test an innovation in online learning where students create a song by filling in key words associated with a learning objective. These interactive songs will challenge students to make conceptual connections and construct examples or context, thereby fostering statistical literacy and reasoning skills.  By reducing statistics anxiety (a key impediment to student success) and enhancing student learning, the potential impact is striking.


Interactive songs are a novel learning resource that holds great potential for teaching literacy and reasoning skills in statistics and other STEM disciplines. The web-based, machine-run, and auto-graded characteristic of this resource will provide easy access to students anywhere anytime, and will address instructor hesitations regarding in-class use. For instructors, interactive songs will be readily adoptable regardless of pedagogy (e.g., as easily incorporated in a flipped class as in an online class, or a lecture/lab course), and provide a simple bridge to the statistics education reform movement for groups like two-year college adjuncts who remain otherwise disconnected. Most importantly, for students, these professional-quality interactive songs will be designed to engage, lessen anxiety, and foster active learning that enhances statistical reasoning skills.


To enhance their value, the interactive songs developed by the SMILES project will involve a unique artist/scientist collaborative to create original high-quality musical resources. To evaluate their efficacy, we will conduct a randomized controlled field test involving twenty college level introductory statistics instructors  (15 will be from two-year colleges and most with predominately African American and Hispanic student populations) in order to assess the value of interactive songs in enhancing student learning and reducing student anxiety.




NSF EAGER conference call John Haddock invites you to attend this online meeting, 4/8/15
Topic: DCL 'Song' discussion    Time: 11:00 am, Eastern Daylight Time     Meeting Number: 744 940 975     Meeting Password: Kemo$abe22
To join the online meeting
1. Go to
2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: Kemo$abe22
4. Click "Join".
To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link:
To join the teleconference only:
Provide your phone number when you join the meeting to receive a call back.

Alternatively, you can call toll-free number (Verizon): 1-888-454-9425  (US)    Attendee access code: 997 926 6
For assistance:
Go to ,  On the left navigation bar, click "Support".

On the call with NSF(DUE) were:   Ann Austin-Beck,, 703-292-2058;  DUE program director John Haddock,, 703-292-4643 [his asst: Brent Driscoll]   TJ Murphy,


Summer 2017 new program officer for our grant became: Karen Keene (   703-292-2482(w), 219-628-0894(c) ; ;

Alejandra Sorto 703-292-2934w, 512-557-7042c     

Division of Grants and Agreements (DGA): Jamie Hart French 703-292-8644

Pamela Hawkins  703-292-4814


5-8 page EAGER (Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research) proposal through FastLane to NSF by May 1 using the solicitation GPG NSF 15-1 (choosing the organization DUE, and the program IUSE).  I’m 7577041; dennis is 7576726 


APS forms for consultants:


Outside songwriters:

Greg Crowther:​ 206-290-8826(cell); (2nd best:;

Amy Adler (formerly Amy Adler Williams):;;; ; 512-258-6637(w)

Monty Harper 405-762-9449(c); 624-3805(h);

Tom Toce​;  212-773-3000(w); 917-882-3485(h)


Overall timeline:

Fall 2015-spring 2016 develop intervention of interactive songs/poems, bouncing off 5 advisors as we go; Spring-summer 2016 informal field testing of interface

Fall 2016 collection of (1st batch of) data; Spring 2017 analysis of (1st batch of) data, collection of (2nd batch of) data; Summer 2017 analysis of (2nd batch of) data

SRO contacts    at Penn State:  Amanda E. Brown,, 814-865-3500

At GPC: Glenn A. Pfeifer, Director of Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs
Georgia Perimeter College  1975 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 300-A  Tucker, GA  30084
phone: 678-891-2528 fax:678-891-2763  email:


5 SMILES advisors:

Michael Posner (confirmed and will write supporting letter for commitments because of TANGO, ):

Lou Gross (confirmed):  and

 Ellen Gundlach (confirmed):

 Kim Bennett (participation confirmed - John to ask about advisory role): ;

Monica Dabos (invited, not yet confirmed):



200-word ABSTRACT (145 so far): Project SMILES (Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs) will develop and field-test an innovation in online learning based on a strategy discussed in Lesser (2014) where students create a song by filling in key words associated with a learning objective. These interactive songs will challenge students to construct examples thereby fostering statistical literacy and reasoning skills.  By reducing statistics anxiety (a key impediment to student success) and enhancing student learning, the potential impact is striking.  We believe a few minutes of online interaction can achieve learning gains normally seen only with activities taking most of a class period.  Importantly, project SMILES will target the teaching of college level introductory statistics to diverse students, especially in a two-year college environment. In particular, 15 of 20 schools participating in a randomized experimental evaluation will be two-year colleges, many of whom have majority African-American or Hispanic student populations.


Instruments:  Statistics Anxiety Measure ( – posttest version approved by Earp (in email of 6/21/13)


IRB (utep’s exemption request filed on july 14, 2015) Christina Ramirez(IRB coordinator) x7693  7th floor Kelly Hall east wing

Athena Fester(IRB regulatory assurance):  747-8841;; 7th floor Kelly Hall east wing; fax 747-5931;



The University of Texas at El Paso:

Walter A. Copenhaver (Enterprise Information Security Administrator),, 915-747-5637

Luis Hernandez (director of Enterprise Computing),, 915-747-5308

Guillermo(Willie)Castillo 747-5919 ( and Edgar O Luna (; 747-6395)

Ron Graham (Enterprise Information Security Administrator),,


Gerard Cochrane (Chief Information Security Officer),,


Blackboard help: (ACADEMIC TECHNOLOGIES Associate Director Didier Hernandez, 747-7903, )


Georgia Perimeter College:

John Weber (grant PI)  404-396-9824

Tracy Adkins (asst. director Instructional Technology)   678-891-2796


Admin. interface 





Year 1: ________ (Annual Project Report(APR) due _______ via, using FastLane userID & password: 

RESEARCH.GOV HelpDesk: 1-800-381-1532 7am-9pm Eastern M-F


Year 2:


UTEP HelpDesk (747-4357):

Contracts & Grants:,,

BIS (Business Information System):;  DEFINE (Departmental Financial Network, an application within BIS):




College Teaching 63(1), 16-26   2015  "Fun in the college classroom: examining its nature and relationship with student engagement"

the lead 3 authors are from PSU: 

Michael J. Tews

Kathy Jackson

Crystal Ramsay

John W. Michel

UTEP music faculty and facilities


Consider the challenge of having students create a song from a Mad Libs approach in which some words remain and only certain words are replaced, with no constraints on those replacements beyond part of speech.  If we had used to create a statistics version of the Beatles’ hit “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, it is unlikely it would make statistical sense and the number of syllables might make some of the lines very clunky and unsingable.  (This particular song has been successfully rewritten in the August 2016 Amstat News), in which the beginning of the opening lyrics of the Supertramp hit “Breakfast in America” can be replaced in several spots with new words and then played back all with one synthesized voice. (Using this interface, a creative statistics student might change “girlfriend” to “sample”, “she’s” to “it’s”, and change the last two rows to “can’t rely on just convenience for representativeness”.)

Alternatives to

Virtual singer #

Several users requested a virtual singer in MuseScore. This feature would make MuseScore sing the lyrics in a score. It's useful for singers in choir who likes to rehearse with actual synthesized lyrics.

There are several specialized (open source) software projects and libraries which do "sing synthesis".

·         See this message on the developer mailing list with several interesting links

·         Harmony Assistant has a virtual singer plugin

·         Vocaloid. The software is very popular in Japan, the virtual character on the software box, Hatsune Miko, one of the voice of the software even made large concerts.

·         A free competitor is Utau. The license of UTAU is unclear to me.

·         An attempt using a now closed web API named Canoris and MuseScore

An external tool that could process a MIDI or MusicXML file created by MuseScore and make an audio file would be good for singers to practise along.

Difficulty: Hard
Skills: C++/Qt
Possible mentor: Nicolas Froment (@lasconic)