Copyright © 2007 World Expertise LLC – All rights reserved
A periodic electronic newsletter for engineering education leaders,
edited by Russel C. Jones, Ph.D., P.E., and Bethany S. Jones, Ph.D.
5 - Employment,
6 – Journals
Higher education in Iraq continues to bleed – The
Chronicle of Higher Education published a set of four articles written by
Zvika Krieger in its May 18 issue on higher education in Iraq, all painting a
picture of a system decimated by violence and no longer functioning.
Since 2003 it is estimated that as many as 1000 professors may have been
killed, 78 at the
Emirati leader pledges $10 billion in support of Arab education –
Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab
Emirates, has pledged $10 billion of his own money to promote improvement in
education in the Arab world, reports Mark MacKinnion in the May 21 on-line
edition of The Globe and Mail.
Arab leaders gathered in
The decaying of African universities – In days gone by,
African countries such as
Australian university abandons its
French scientists watch Sarkozy’s new education and research policies
– French scientists and educators have differing views of the future
under newly elected President Nicolas Sarkozy, reports Martin Enserink in the
May 11 edition of Science. Some,
such as Jean-Robert Pitte, president of the Université Paris-Sorbonne, look
forward to the reforms Sarkozy has announced, and hope he will go even further,
giving universities more autonomy including control over admissions.
Others, such as Bertrand Monthubert, president of Sauvons la Recherche, a
group of French researchers, believe that Sarkozy’s plan to turn research
bodies such as the
Arab states promote spending on research and development – The
Arab League, meeting in
Tony Blair’s legacy of support for science – Tony Blair’s
ten year tenure as prime minister of the
ACS reinstates Iranian members, partially – The American
Chemical Society conferred with the US Department of Treasury’s Office of
Foreign Assets Control, the agency which determines how to implement US
sanctions against countries such as
MIT admissions director quits over misstated academic credentials –
MIT’s well-known dean of admissions, Marilee Jones, resigned after admitting
that she misstated her academic credentials when she first was employed by MIT
almost thirty years ago, and never corrected those facts.
The New York Times on April 27 featured this story covered by
Tamar Lewin, Christy McKerney and Sara Rimer.
Ms. Jones was well known in her field for attempting to insert some calm
into the frequently frenzied world of college admissions, and was the co-author
(along with Kenneth R. Ginsberg) of a book entitled Less Stress, More
Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and
Beyond. Since 1979 when she was
first hired by MIT Ms. Jones had indicated that she held degrees from three
Researchers told: don’t look to feds to increase funding – US presidential science advisor John Marburger has told US researchers to start looking farther afield for funding, because Congress and the White House were not able to keep up with budget needs. Pointing out that for the last 40 years science has received a constant portion of available federal funds, Marburger said he didn’t see any reason to think that it would grow larger. He said that the large increases that the NIH enjoyed in previous years has resulted in the creation of a research infrastructure that the government is unable to sustain, and spoke enthusiastically about the private funding for research that has become available more recently, writes Jeffrey Mervis in the May 11 edition of Science. (See http://www.sciencemag.org)
New handbook describes
Non-engineer takes on questions about ubiquitous computing – A
non-engineer has been attracting favorable attention of engineers with the ideas
in his book Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing.
Adam Greenfield, the author, claims the challenge of today is for a
broader array of people to think about how items such as wired toilets and
systems capable of tracking employees’ whereabouts at every moment impact
“personal agency, civil liberty, and simple sanity,” writes Andrea L. Foster
in the May 18 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The next steps in greening American campuses – In 1998, Greening the Ivory Tower: Improving the Environmental Track Record of Universities, Colleges, and Other Institution, was published by Sarah Hammond Creighton. Now Creighton and Ann Rappaport have published a new book, Degrees That Matter: Climate Change and the University. In an interview conducted by Elia Powers for Inside Higher Ed, the authors argue for colleges and universities to move beyond small projects that have high PR potential and instead engage in transforming their operations in a comprehensive effort to combat climate change. Institutions are in a good position to effect change because they often own and operate their own buildings. Also needed are new governmental policies and incentives. (See http://insidehighered.com/news/2007/05/01/climate)
This inventor lights up their lives, literally – When he
learned in 2005 that almost two billion people around the world do not have an
affordable source of light, Mark Bent, a former foreign service officer who
works now in the Houston oil industry, invested a quarter of a million US
dollars into developing a solar powered flashlight. These flashlights, which use
LEDs, can be charged daily and
provide about seven hours of light. The
three AA batteries need replacing only about every three years and cost $.80.
Partnering with Bent on this project have been the Department of Energy,
NASA and some
Astrophysicist Hawkings does zero gravity – Zero Gravity Corp.
offered Stephen Hawking an opportunity to experience simulated space flight, and
a occasion to express his profound conviction that the human race must go into
space, given the strong potential for global doom.
Flying out of
Is Motorola’s razor-thin lead gone? – After only a year of basking in the success of its Razr phone, Motorola has seen its lead in cell phone design outdone by rivals, write Christopher Rhoads and Li Yuan in a substantial article appearing in the April 27 edition of The Wall Street Journal. Adding to its struggles were challenges to the corporate leadership of Ed Zander, who came from outside the industry to lead the company starting in January 2004. The success of the Razr diverted attention from developing 3G networks which were the focus of competitors. (See http://www.wsj.com)
Re-attracting women into computer science – Georgia Tech and
Little evidence about what works in promoting STEM in schools –
The Academic Competitiveness Council, created by the US Congress two years ago,
has concluded from its study that there is virtually no evidence to decide
whether the money spent by the federal government on improving engineering,
science and math education is doing any good, reports Burton Bollag in the May
18 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The council was chaired by Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and
included representatives from 13 agencies that fund initiatives in the STEM
areas. The report – found at http://www.ed.gov
– examined projects whose support totaled $3.12 billion in fiscal 2006.
Each project was asked to provide the best evidence it had about the
success of its outcomes. Of the 115
evaluations submitted, only 10 were considered scientifically rigorous.
And only 4 of the 10 came to the conclusion that the project activity had
“meaningful positive impact.” The report concludes with six recommendations
which do not call for reduced spending, but for a halt to expansion and for
better assessment and coordination. (See http://chronicle.com;
see also “Report Urges More Coordination To Improve Science and Math,” Science,
Models for studies abroad for engineering students – The University of Rhode Island, Worcester Polytechnic and Purdue were featured in a June 1 Chronicle of Higher Education article about giving engineering students international experience. Advocates for study abroad for engineering students say that the profession has become globalized and students need to learn how to solve problems within complex constraints such as those presented in developing countries. The URI program is focused on teaching students a foreign language, then sending them to use that language in studying and working abroad. Worcester Poly has designed seven week programs abroad which fit well into the quarter system of the home campus. Purdue’s program is subsidized by industry, thus reducing financial barriers to participation. Still, writes Scott Carlson, these programs are making only slow progress, due to factors such as the rigidity of the engineering curriculum which makes it difficult to participate in study abroad without adding a fifth year to the undergraduate program. (See http://www.chronicle.com; see also “Cream of the Crop,” in Prism, Summer 2007, pp. 28 – 32, http://www.prism-magazine.org)
College ranking systems go global – While the debate about
college rankings continues in the
Colleges join to protest shortcomings of reputational rankings – A movement to change the U.S. News & World Report college ranking system begun by a group of college presidents is slowly gaining momentum. The presidents are calling upon colleges not to participate in the reputation part of the surveys, and not to use rankings in their advertising. Among the colleges which joined the movement is Philander Smith, an historically black college whose president, Walter Kimbrough, says that the rankings do not take into account the mission of his college and other similar institutions which aim at educating students who may not score well on SATs, and which do not have a lot of money to spend on special programs and services, reports Scott Jaschik in Inside Higher Ed.(See http://insidehighered.com/news/2007/05/18/usnews)
Puppies and kittens vs. microchips? – Rachel Maines, a scholar
of science and technology, wrote a piece in the May 25 edition of The
Chronicle of Higher Education asking “Why Women Become Veterinarians but
Not Engineers.” She points out
that schools of veterinary medicine are dominated by women, with 77% of the
students in doctoral veterinary-medicine being women, and up to 99% of
undergraduates, as compared with 18% of engineering undergraduates being women.
What is striking is that this shift toward women’s participation in the
profession has been extremely rapid and apparently spontaneous.
In response to questions about why this has happened, some have cited
Title VII, the publication of Herriot’s All
Creatures Great and Small, and the low pay associated with veterinary
Campus visits outscore FaceBook in search for colleges – Despite being tech-savvy, today’s high school students rely mostly on traditional sources of information when looking into college, reports Elyse Ashburn in the May 14 on-line edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Using Web-based surveys of 7,867 students, plus 12 focus sessions, “College Search and the Millennial Generation,” published by Eduventures Inc., says that 84% of the students used college websites most heavily in the search-for-college process, 75% relied on personal recommendations, and 64% relied on campus visits. MySpace, YouTube and the like did not feature prominently as sources of information. Overall, 71% of the respondents said they began their college search before junior year in high school. (See http://chornicle.com/daily/2007/05/2007051406n.htm)
Cheating viewed in a global context – Academic misconduct, in
the form of student cheating, was again in the headlines when
5 - Employment,
Competitiveness: focus of graduate school report and Congressional actions – The US Council of Graduate Schools has released a new report, “Graduate Education: The Backbone of American Competitiveness and Innovation,” and in it points out that other countries are now increasing their investment in graduate education in engineering and science, reports Andy Guess in Inside Higher Ed. The report says that more collaboration between government, industry and universities is needed to focus US efforts on enrollment of under-represented minorities, attraction of the best foreign students, interdisciplinary work, and growth in overall quality of programs. At the same time, the Senate passed the America COMPETES Act, which calls for NSF funding to double in five years, and the House of Representatives passed bills in support of new researchers and the preparation of science teachers. (See http://insidehighered.com/news/2007/04/27/gradschools; see also “Congress Gives Rousing Support To Cluster of Innovation Bills, Science, 4 May 2007, pp. 672-673, http://www.sciencemag.org)
A primer on branch overseas branch campuses – The American
Council on Education has published a guide to institutions which aspire to
expand into cross-border education. Venturing
6 – Journals
International Journal of Engineering Education – Volume 23 Number 2 contains a focused section on Educating Students in Sustainable Engineering, with guest editors Lynn Katz and John Sutherland. Some 12 papers in this section explore strategies for educating for sustainability in the engineering curriculum. A second section of the journal contains ten additional papers on a variety of engineering education topics. (See http://www.ijee.dit.ie)
Global Journal of Engineering Education – Volume 11 Number 1 contains ten papers on a variety of engineering education topics, including learning efficiency, balance of research and practice, performance-based evaluation, cross-disciplinary cooperation, and communication skills. (See http://www.eng.monash.edu.au/uicee)
Chemical Engineering Education – The Spring 2007 contains a
testimony to an outstanding faculty member, Duncan Fraser of
IEEE Transactions on Education – The May 2007 issue includes some seven regular papers on topics including collaborative teaching, web-based assessment, and learner satisfaction outcomes. 2006 IEEE Education Society Awards are also noted. (See http://www.ewh.ieee.org/soc.es)
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