UCL DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRONIC AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

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Michael Thomas Flanagan

M T Flanagan photo                               


Research interests

Dr Mick Flanagan, part-time Teaching Fellow in the Department of Electronic Engineering and part-time Senior Research Associate in the Department of Computer Science, is, since formally retiring, now mainly active in pedagogic research on teaching and learning concepts in higher education. He maintains a lower level activity in the use of object-oriented programming in science and engineering modelling:

  • Teaching and Learning Concepts

    Mick Flanagan's research is centred on the examination of the role of the Meyer and Land pedagogic Threshold Concept in the teaching of electrical engineering at the undergaduate level, teaching programming languages to electrical engineering students and in the development of technology-enhanced learning (TEL) environments for continual professional development.

    This research involves collaborations with Professor J H F Meyer, Professor of Education, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, University of Queensland, on several aspects of teaching across engineering and related sciences and with Dr Jan Smith, Centre for Academic Practice, School of Edcation, Durham University, on the teaching of programming languages.

    Mick Flanagan also is or has been a collaborator in:
    • The Royal Academy of Engineering / National HE STEM Programme Project, Uncovering threshold values in first year engineering courses and implications for curriculum design
      Collaborators: Artemis Stamboulis (University of Birmingham), Caroline Baillie (Open University) and Mick Flanagan (UCL).
    • The Royal Academy of Engineering / National HE STEM Programme Project, Engineering thresholds in engineering curriculum review
      Collaborators: Artemis Stamboulis (University of Birmingham), Mick Flanagan (UCL) and Caroline Baillie (Open University).
    • Birmingham University Centre for Learning and Academic Development (CLAD) Project, Threshold concept framework in engineering curriculum review and design and implicvation in enquiry based learning
      Principlal investigator: Artemis Stamboulis (University of Birmingham).
    • The European Commission Seventh Framework Information and Communication Technologies Digital Libraries Project TARGET (Transformative, Adaptive, Responsive and enGaging EnvironmenT). The main objective of TARGET is the development of a virtual world serious game that will support rapid competence development in project management and project innovation. Threshold Concepts studies centred on project and innovation management conducted both within undergraduate and postgraduate courses of the academic partners and within the training departments of the industrial partners will inform the development of serious game scenarios.


    Mick Flanagan was an overseas member of the reference panel for the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Project, Engineering thresholds: an approach to curriculum renewal, based at the University of Western Australia, Perth.

    See The Threshold Concept and Undergraduate Teaching for a brief introduction to pedagogic threshold concepts.

    Presentations and publications on the threshold concept
    • Flanagan, M.T., Ackermann, G., Zimmermann, M, Hokstad, L.M. Andersen, B. and Fradinho, M. (2013) A comparative academic/industrial professional development study in project management
      in Threshold Concepts: from personal practice to communities of practice. Proceedings of the National Academy’s Sixth Annual Conference and the Fourth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 27-29 June 2012, ISBN: 978-1-906642-58-7.
    • On Epistemes
      Meyer, J.H.F. and Flanagan, M.T.
      Featured Invited Lecture given at the Third Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium: Exploring transformative dimensions of threshold concepts, The University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 1-2 July 2010.
      Video of the lecture: http://tv.unsw.edu.au/video/professor-erik-meyer-and-dr-mick-flanagan

    • Transformational Learning and Serious Game Design
      Flanagan, M.T., Hokstad, L., Zimmerman, M., Ackermann, G., Fradinho, M. and Andersen, B.
      Paper presented at the Third Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium: Exploring transformative dimensions of threshold concepts, The University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 1-2 July 2010.

    • Rapid Competence Development in Serious Games using Case-Based Reasoning and Threshold Concepts
      Hulpus,I., Fradinho, M., Hayes, C., Hokstad, L., Seager, W. and Flanagan, M.
      Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU 2010), Valencia, Spain, 7-10 April 2010.

    • Compounded Thresholds in Electrical Engineering
      Flanagan, M. T., Taylor, P. and Meyer, J.H.F.
      In 'Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning' Meyer, J.H.F., Land, R., and Baillie, C., (eds), Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, 227−239 (2010)
      [Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice, Volume 42]

    • Some current perspectives on threshold concepts
      Introductory Workshop led by
      Flanagan, M.T. and Meyer, J.H.F.
      at Improving Student Learning - For the 21st Century Learner, The 17th Improving Student Learning Symposium, Imperial College London, UK, 7-9 September 2009.

    • The Threshold Concept
      J H F Meyer and M T Flanagan
      A workshop presented at
      National Acadamy for the Integration of Research and Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) 2nd Annual Conference - Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Challenging Assumptions, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland, 13th - 14th November 2008

    • Compounded Thresholds in Electrical Engineering
      M T Flanagan, P Taylor and J H F Meyer
      Presented at the Threshold Concepts Conference: from theory to practice
      Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 18th - 20th June 2008

    • From playing to understanding: the transformative potential of discourse versus syntax in learning to program
      Flanagan, M. T. and Smith, J.
      In 'Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines', Land, R., Meyer, J.H.F. and Smith, J., (eds), Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp 91-104, (2008), [Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice, Peters, M.A & Freeman-Moir, J. (Eds), volume 16] ISBN 978-90-8790-267-4 (paperback), ISBN 978-90-8790-268-1 (hardback)

    • The Threshold Concept in Electrical Engineering
      M T Flanagan
      Presented at
      6th Annual American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Global Colloquium on Engineering Education
      Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey, 1-4 October, 2007.

    • Thresholds, interdisciplinarity and enculturation across the engineering and science disciplines
      M T Flanagan and J H F Meyer
      Proceedings of the 2007 15th International Symposium Improving Student Learning − For What?, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 3−5 September 2007, Rust, C. (Ed), OCSLD, Oxford (2008), vol 15, pp 48-58.

    • Some thoughts on threshold concepts in electronic and electrical engineering:
      Reactive Power, Characteristic Impedance and Resonance?

      M T Flanagan
      1st Durham Threshold Concepts Symposium (Science and Engineering)
      University of Durham, 19 February 2007

    • Threshold concepts: troublesome topographies for the Google generation
      M T Flanagan and J Smith
      Presented at Beyond Boundaries: New Horizons for Research into Higher Education
      Annual Conference of the Society for Research into Higher Education
      Brighton: 12 - 14 December 2006

    • From playing to understanding: the transformative potential of discourse versus syntax in learning to program
      M T Flanagan and J Smith
      Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines Symposium
      University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, 30 August−1 September 2006
      Abstract of the presentation


      Transmission lines







      V Lombardi quote







      Three fold schema

  • Impedance Spectroscopy applied to Root Canal Diagnostics

    A collaboration initiated by Professor Kishor Gulabivala, Head of Endodontology, UCL Eastman Dental Institute, on the application of impedance spectroscopy to the detection of root canal apices and to the diagnostics of root canal infections.

    Tooth picture

    • Ardeshna,S.M., Flanagan,M., Ng,Y.L., Gulabivala,K. (2011) An ex vivo investigation of the relationship between apical root impedance and canal anatomy. International Endodontic Journal, 44 (6), 523-533.

    • Al-bulushi A, Levinkind M, Flanagan M, Ng Y-L, Gulabivala K (2008) Effect of canal preparation and residual root filling material on root impedance, International Endodontic Journal, 41(13), 892-904. ISSN: 0143-2885

    • Ardeshna,S.M., Flanagan,M., Ng,Y.L., Gulabivala,K. (2008) An investigation into the relationship between apical root impedance and canal anatomy. International Endodontic Journal 41(9), 814-814. ISSN: 1365-2591

    • Al-bulushi,A., Levinkind,M., Flanagan,M., Gulabivala,K. (2006) Effect of canal preparation and residual root filling material on root impedance. International Endodontic Journal 39(9), 739-739. ISSN: 0143-2885

    • Impedance Spectroscopy: Regression Program

    • Impedance Spectroscopy: Simulation Program



  • Immunobiosensors and immunoassay

    Error analysis of classical immunoassay formats, e.g. radioimmunoassay, has determined the most appropriate formats for a given application. However, it is not clear that the conclusions of classical immunoassay error analysis apply to all immunosensor formats. Models of immunosensors and Monte Carlo simulations of immunosensors have been developed to facilitate a rational design strategy and to determine the optimum immunoassay formats for immunosensor applications.

    Several of the underpinning base classes have been translated from their original C++ format to Java and are documented in Flanagan's Java Scientific library, e.g.
                             

    This library also contains a class, ImmunoAssay, providing methods for fitting immunoassay data to the standard fitting equations, e.g. five parameter logistic function, for comparing the fitting to different standard equations and for obtaining the concentration of an analyte for a given assay response.

    Immunoassay diagram

  • Object-Oriented Programming in Engineering and Science

    UML diagram A general Java engineering, scientific and numerical library

    may be made available within relevant colaborations.

Teaching




Personal details

Dr Mick Flanagan is a part-time Senior Reseach Associate in the UCL Department of Computer Science and a part-time Teaching Fellow in the UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. He retired in 2007 from his full time staff position in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

Dr Flanagan has moved across the disciplines as his career progressed. He started his research career as a biochemist (BSc and PhD from the Biochemistry Department, University of Sheffield, England). He developed an interest in the design of instrumentation for biomedical applications during his PhD in which he was involved in the building a fluorescence lifetime and fluorescence polarisation monitoring instruments in studying protein binding sites. He then moved to the Biophysics and Optics Division of the UK National Institute for Medical Research (MRC NIMR), London, where he continued to work on the application of advanced spectroscopic instrumentation to biomedical research, e.g. the structure of influenza virus haemagglutinin. In addition, he became a member of the programming group developing packages for the analysis of biomedical data, e.g. the determination of antibody affinity distributions.

He left the NIMR to join International Telephone and Telegraph's (ITT's) newly formed Biosciences Group in their then Corporate Laboratory, STL at Harlow, England (now Nortel). The brief of this group was to look, in the long term, at the overlap of biology and electronics and where this overlap leads in the development of new devices or systems, and, in the short term, to develop medical and environmental sensors in which a biological molecule is incorporated into an electronic device, e.g.chemFETs.

In 1982 he moved to the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at UCL where he continued both the bioelectronic research (e.g. spin-coated waveguides for immunosensors) and programming research (e.g. Markov processes in modelling complex immunochemical reactions). He also developed an interest in pedagogic research into teaching and learning concepts in higher education, especially in the value of the Meyer and Land threshold concept in analysing troublesome concepts in the teaching of programming languages and electronic engineering. He has taught courses on bionanotechnology, object-oriented programming languages, procedural programming languages, programming for systems and control engineering, control theory, instrumentation, electromagnetic theory, biophysics for engineers and physicists and introductory electronics for chemists and biochemists.

He will, as a Teaching Fellow of UCL, continue both his pedagogic and programming research and will continue to lecture on the MSc in Nanotechnology. He will deliver the module Nanotechnology and Health Care

He has served on several UK Research Council and the then UK Department of Trade and Industry (dti) committees concerned with molecular electronics, instrumentation and sensors.




Recent Publications and Conference Presentations

  • Flanagan, M.T., Ackermann, G., Zimmermann, M, Hokstad, L.M. Andersen, B. and Fradinho, M. (2014) A comparative academic/industrial professional development study in project management
    in Threshold Concepts: From Personal Practice to Communities of Practice, Proceedings of the National Academy's Sixth Annual Conference and the Fourth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference [e-publication], Editors: Catherine O'Mahony, Avril Buchanan, Mary O'Rourke and Bettie Higgs, January 2014, NAIRTL, Ireland, ISBN: 978-1-906642-59-4, pp 133-137.
    Full paper: http://www.nairtl.ie/documents/EPub_2012Proceedings.pdf#page=143

  • Ardeshna,S.M., Flanagan,M., Ng,Y.L., Gulabivala,K. (2011) An ex vivo investigation of the relationship between apical root impedance and canal anatomy. International Endodontic Journal, 44 (6), 523-533.

  • Meyer, J.H.F. and Flanagan, M. T. (2010) On Epistemes
    Featured Invited Lecture given at the Third Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium: Exploring transformative dimensions of threshold concepts, The University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 1-2 July 2010.
    Video of the lecture: http://tv.unsw.edu.au/video/professor-erik-meyer-and-dr-mick-flanagan

  • Flanagan, M.T., Hokstad, L., Zimmerman, M., Ackermann, G., Fradinho, M. and Andersen, B. (2010) Transformational Learning and Serious Game Design
    Paper presented at the Third Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium: Exploring transformative dimensions of threshold concepts, The University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 1-2 July 2010.

  • Hulpus, I., Fradinho, M., Hayes, C., Hokstad, L., Seager, W. and Flanagan, M. (2010) Rapid Competence Development in Serious Games using Case-Based Reasoning and Threshold Concepts
    Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU 2010), Valencia, Spain, 7-10 April 2010.

  • Flanagan, M. T., Taylor, P. and Meyer, J.H.F. (2010) Compounded Thresholds in Electrical Engineering
    In 'Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning' Meyer, J.H.F., Land, R., and Baillie, C., (eds), Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, 227−239, [Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice, Volume 42]

  • Flanagan, M. T. and Meyer, J.H.F. (2009) Some current perspectives on threshold concepts
    Introductory Workshop at Improving Student Learning - For the 21st Century Learner, The 17th Improving Student Learning Symposium, Imperial College London, UK, 7-9 September 2009.

  • Meyer, J. H. F. and Flanagan, M. T. (2008) The Threshold Concept
    A workshop presented at National Acadamy for the Integration of Research and Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) 2nd Annual Conference - Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Challenging Assumptions, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland, 13th - 14th November 2008

  • Flanagan, M. T., Taylor, P. and Meyer, J. H. F. (2008) Compounded Thresholds in Electrical Engineering
    Presented at the Threshold Concepts Conference: from theory to practice, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 18th - 20th June 2008

  • Flanagan, M. T. and Smith, J. (2008) From playing to understanding: the transformative potential of discourse versus syntax in learning to program
    In 'Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines', Land, R., Meyer, J.H.F. and Smith, J., (eds), Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp 91-104, (2008), [Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice, Peters, M.A & Freeman-Moir, J. (Eds), volume 16] ISBN 978-90-8790-267-4 (paperback), ISBN 978-90-8790-268-1 (hardback)

  • Al-bulushi A, Levinkind M, Flanagan M, Ng Y-L, Gulabivala K (2008) Effect of canal preparation and residual root filling material on root impedance
    International Endodontic Journal, 41(13), 892-904. ISSN: 0143-2885

  • Ardeshna, S. M., Flanagan, M., Ng, Y. L., Gulabivala, K. (2008) An investigation into the relationship between apical root impedance and canal anatomy
    International Endodontic Journal 41(9), 814-814. ISSN: 1365-2591

  • Flanagan, M. T. (2007) The Threshold Concept in Electrical Engineering
    Presented at the 6th Annual American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Global Colloquium on Engineering Education, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey, 1-4 October, 2007.

  • Flanagan, M. T. and Meyer, J. H. F. (2007) Thresholds, interdisciplinarity and enculturation across the engineering and science disciplines
    Proceedings of the 2007 15th International Symposium Improving Student Learning − For What?, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 3−5 September 2007, Rust, C. (Ed), OCSLD, Oxford (2008), vol 15, pp 48-58.

  • Flanagan, M. T. (2007) Some thoughts on threshold concepts in electronic and electrical engineering: Reactive Power, Characteristic Impedance and Resonance?
    1st Durham Threshold Concepts Symposium (Science and Engineering), University of Durham, 19 February 2007

  • Flanagan, M. T. and Smith, J. (2006) Threshold concepts: troublesome topographies for the Google generation
    Presented at Beyond Boundaries: New Horizons for Research into Higher Education, Annual Conference of the Society for Research into Higher Education, Brighton: 12 - 14 December 2006

  • Flanagan, M. T. and Smith, J. (2006) From playing to understanding: the transformative potential of discourse versus syntax in learning to program
    Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines Symposium, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, 30 August−1 September 2006
    Abstract of the presentation

  • Al-bulushi, A., Levinkind, M., Flanagan, M., Gulabivala, K. (2006) Effect of canal preparation and residual root filling material on root impedance
    International Endodontic Journal 39(9), 739-739. ISSN: 0143-2885



Contact details
Dr Michael Thomas Flanagan
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
UCL (University College London)
Torrington Place
London
WC1E 7JE
   
E-mail: m.flanagan@ucl.ac.uk
   
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