Archive for January 19, 2010

University of Georgia gets Engineering

UGA students now can choose from five engineering majors, up from just two, after the University System Board of Regents approved majors in biochemical, environmental and computer systems engineering, in addition to the biological and agricultural engineering degrees already in place.

Administrators hope to get state approval for more majors to train students in mechanical, civil and electrical-electronic engineering, which would expand UGA offerings to cover most engineering fields.

via More students look to UGA engineering programs ||

For over 100 years, Georgia Tech held a monopoly on being the only publicly funded engineering school in the state.  People referred to the “Unique Mission” of Georgia Tech.  Because of that mission, Georgia Tech has not been allowed to have an Education unit — that belongs the University of Georgia and other schools, who do not have our “Unique Mission.”

Okay, UGa has Engineering.  When do we get to have Education?

January 19, 2010 at 10:25 am 5 comments

Engineers think with stuff

My colleague Nancy Nercessian has been studying how engineering scientists think, and the short form answer is, “With stuff.”  They use distributed cognition through the things in their lab in order to think through problems.

Nercessian began by posing the question, “How do engineering scientists think?” The resulting journal article in Topics in Cognitive Science quotes Daniel Dennett: “Just as you cannot do very much carpentry with your bare hands, there’s not much thinking you can do with your bare mind.”

via Are Engineers Creative Like We Are? | Psychology Today.

Famously, Edsger Dijkstra is quoted as having said “Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.” Nancy’s results suggest that, while Dijkstra may be right that computer science is not about computers, a computer scientist can’t think without a computer.

January 19, 2010 at 10:22 am 1 comment

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