Monthly Archives: November 2015

Future of The University

I think that the main thing that all of us agree on is the fact that future universities will not be as centralized as they are now. They will be more globalized by means of being more accessible from other parts of the world. I think that it is obvious that more technology will be invented. However the most important factor is how this technology will be used to improve the learning experience for the students. As an example I have a grad level course this term which is broadcasted from Texas and I think that they are doing a good job in keeping the class interactive. There are about 10 other universities in this class and University of Texas has their in class exercises designed in a way to have each university contribute to a part of the exercise. However students are not encouraged to participate since you do not feel included or seen when you are being broadcasted. For this reason at some point almost all the students at least at Tech lose focus. I think that the only time that we feel the need to contribute is when they call our University and we feel the need to contribute something. I think it is best to have more in class exercises and make it even more interactive so that we do not lose focus. This class is also very long (4 hours!) so both the duration of this class and not having too many in class exercises has led to us losing focus half way through this class. At some point we just feel disconnected since generally is it not very easy to stay focused in classes which are broadcasted. Such examples might also exist in the future with respect to the future technology. I think that the pathway to a bright future can be constructed by making sure that technology is enhancing the learning process and is not just being used. I also think that there will be more interdisciplinary work and collaboration among various majors. An example of this is the building construction program here at Tech which I think is a brilliant idea since I always had in mind that it would be great to have Civil Engineers and Architects collaborate more. Such programs will exist even more in the future and even new majors may be developed. As we stand now, I think that we are working towards interdisciplinary for sure. The NSF project that I am working on is absolutely fascinating since it includes students and faculty members from Business Administration, Architecture, Construction Management, Structural Engineering, and Geo-technical engineering. This is great example of how we are working towards interdisciplinarity.



Filed under FutureofHigherEd, InteractiveBroadcating, Interdisciplinarity, PFP15F

Taking College Teaching Seriously!

I very much believe that we should take college teaching seriously. These students are the future generation of the world. I read an article on the INSIDE HIGHER ED which talked about the need of having a vast momentum for improving college completion rates and how good teaching has a critical role in improving student success. This article also talked about the fact that pedagogy is neglected in higher education and how colleges emphasis on “what is taught” rather than “how it’s taught”. Moreover students bring many complex issues into their learning environment. Faculty require teaching skills far beyond content expertise to deal with some of these issues. This does not need a standard teaching method. It requires self-reflection in practice for improvement. “Teaching is both art and science, and we are able to place technological tools in the hands of faculty that enable them to excel in both.” Some of the solutions presented for this problem included finding professional learning structures for doctors, architects or accountants which require constant upgrading and updating skills. In addition to understanding the fact that improving college teaching cannot be imposed on faculty. For this reason the best and most effective improvement initiatives must engage the faculty in design, implementation and assessment. Having scholarships for teaching will also positively impact this process. These scholarships can help in conducting research on technology and curriculum development. By these scholarships we can nurture the growth of excellent teaching faculty. Last is developing a data pool where we capture what is happening in each class with different faculties around the country. These faculties can work together to refine techniques, and question strategies.

Please see below for the link to this article:

Link to Article


Filed under CollegeTeaching, PFP15F, TeachingScholarship

Engineering Code of Ethics and Diversity!


I looked at the code of ethics for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The fundamental canons of their code of ethics is as follows:


  1. “Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and shall strive to comply with the principles of sustainable development in the performance of their professional duties.
  2. Engineers shall perform services only in areas of their competence.
  3. Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
  4. Engineers shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees, and shall avoid conflicts of interest.
  5. Engineers shall build their professional reputation on the merit of their services and shall not compete unfairly with others.
  6. Engineers shall act in such a manner as to uphold and enhance the honor, integrity, and dignity of the engineering profession and shall act with zero-tolerance for bribery, fraud, and corruption.
  7. Engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their careers, and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those engineers under their supervision.”

I also looked at the code of ethics for the American Society of Sociological Association (ASA). Their fundamentals principles were listed as:


  1. “Professional competence
  2. Integrity
  3. Professional and scientific responsibility
  4. Respect to people’s rights, dignity, and diversity
  5. Social responsibility”

The general principles for both organizations are the same. The term “diversity” which is one of the principals of the ASA organization cannot be implied from the ASCE code of ethics. My major is in Civil and Environmental Engineering and the main focus in Engineering is upholding integrity, honor, and dignity of the engineering profession by:


  1. “Using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare and the environment;
  2. Being honest and impartial and serving with fidelity the public, their employers and clients;
  3. Striving to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession; and
  4. Supporting the professional and technical societies of their disciplines.”


Although it makes since to have diversity as a core principle for the American Society of Sociological Association (ASA), I think that it is equally important to have similar guidelines for engineering based organizations.  The ASA clearly states that they do not discriminate based on  “age; gender; race; ethnicity; national origin; religion; sexual orientation; disability; health conditions; or marital, domestic, or parental status. They are sensitive to cultural, individual, and role differences in serving, teaching, and studying groups of people with distinctive characteristics.” It is understandable how sociologists need to acknowledge the rights of others to hold values, attitudes, and opinions. However, I think that is it equally important to have these values as principle guidelines in the Engineering code of ethics. Non-discrimination is important in all fields and organizations, and it should not be valued more in sociological organizations. All other fields, specially engineering highly impact the society and include the collaboration of diverse groups. I chose ASA intentionally to show how diversity and non-discrimination is an important part of such organizations and how it should also be listed as a cannon in all other majors and organizations specially in engineering which directly impacts the society. I am not sure about the job market for sociologists, however for Civil Engineers, I am certain that not having diversity as a principle in the engineering code of ethics has impacted the job market and how not all companies are obligated to hire new employees based on diversity and inclusion.


‘So we agree: having attained diversity, we must now categorize, coordinate and consolidate it.’

‘For some strange reason personnel want us to review our equal opportunities employment policies!’


'So we agree: having attained diversity, we must now categorize, coordinate and consolidate it.'

‘So we agree: having attained diversity, we must now categorize, coordinate and consolidate it.’

'For some strange reason personnel want us to review our equal opportunities employment policies!'

‘For some strange reason personnel want us to review our equal opportunities employment policies!’


Filed under PFP15F