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Recapping this Summer’s Latest Intensive Certificate Course

After months of planning, JMU’s summer session, also known as “Maymester” kicked off at MAAP with a non-credit certificate course, designed for the student auto enthusiast. The 4-week intensive was hosted at MAAP and integrated topics covering automotive history, engineering, and the business of motorsport into one class called Analysis of Automotive Systems Applicable to Motorsport and Historic Automotive Restoration. The class was designed and taught by JMU professors Bill Ritchie, Dr. Kevin Borg, and Rob Prin.

Professor Borg presented the history of the automatable and the role it had in US culture as well as the impact of environmental factors on the cars being worked on by the students. Professor Prin demonstrated how all the mechanical aspects of the automobile and physics principles worked. For example, the engine, horsepower, torque, drag, and fuel efficiency. Professor Ritchie presented business strategies and discussed the highlights of each. One of the common themes of the class was focusing on automotive sensors such as exhaust sensors, fuel consumption, lidar, and radar sensors. Dr. Borg talked in terms of sensors that evaluated the pollution out of a car and how it affected the environment while Professor Ritchie discussed the manufacturing and marketing of the sensors. All three of the professors split the course and built each of their areas setting up automobile history as the foundation of the course.

Rave Reviews from Students

Students provided positive feedback on the Maymester course. Most responded that the class was informative, and the instructors were very engaging. Check out this comment from one of our students:

“I really enjoyed Dr. Borg’s content on the history of cars and how we, as a society, developed to have the infrastructure and sociocultural aspects of automobiles. That was the most interesting thing that I learned. Second most interesting was Dr. Prins’ content on kinematic speed analysis, as this is something that I have since personally used and was wanting to know how to do. I also found the analysis of forces that create knock as interesting and how different fuel factors impact it, with the analysis of flame fronts and everything. The 4th thing I really found interesting was Dr. Ritchie’s business simulation and all of the forces that impact a business and everything that needs to be kept in balance to proficiently run a business”.

Connecting to MAAP’s Mission

The integrative nature of MAAP has helped students understand how all things technical relate to society and business. MAAP reached out to the community by having a nontraditional student and provided a service to the public. This whole course was curated from professors at James Madison University and the content was made from scratch. Not only did MAAP promote community outreach through this course, but it also promoted the science and business of motorsport and teaching that to the community. Through this course students were able to learn more about the technical parts of cars and how it affects the world around us. Moving forward, MAAP will create a full certificate program and hopes to provide this class as a general elective in the future.

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