Author Archives: lilengineerthatcould

About lilengineerthatcould

Nth year Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering officially studying Control Systems but in reality doing more software simulation than anything else, and thinks a lot about education system and how to make it better.

Move to the Dark Side

I have officially moved my blog away from to my own website:, which eventually will host not only my blog, but also my teaching philosophy, CV and other professional- related tidbits. I hope that everyone will follow me … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in ECE2524, GEDI, GRAD 5104, vtclis13

Making Space

How to go about creating a space that facilitates learning? As we learned from Morningstar and Farmer, there is a danger of over-designing the space and often the users don’t end up using the space in the way the designer … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in community, illich, virtual space, vtclis13

And Now You’re an Anstronaut: Open Source Treks to The Final Frontier

There have been a couple of blog posts recently referencing the recent switch NASA made from Windows to Debian 6, a GNU/Linux distribution, as the OS running on the laptops abord the International Space Station. It’s worth noting that Linux … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in *nix, ECE2524, ece2524s13, gpl, iss, linux, nasa, open source, technology, vtclis13

Something Funny about School (Part 1)

In the last “adult” class of the semester the reading du jour was Scott McCloud’s “Time Frames”, a comic about comics. Specifically, how the passage of time, including motion, are depicted in the medium. The discussion that started as we … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in comic, connections, learning, school, vtclis13, web

Not making this up: The Medium is the Message

I’ve been meaning to post something about the interesting interactions between the unix commands fortune and cowsay. This is not that post. Long story short, fortune prints a random tidbit to the terminal and cowsay takes an input string and … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in parataxis, the medium is the message, vtclis13

As Scholars are Wont to do: Poetry of the brachristochrone problem

Time is an important dimension to consider when tracing the path of a media-represented concept. This is a theme that has stuck with me since reading Brenda Laurel’s “The Six Elements and Causal Relations Among Them” and coming across this … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in brachristochrone, essence, large context problem, symbols, vtclis13

Nyquist frequency of a concept?

We get stories much faster than we can make sense of them, informed by cellphone pictures and eyewitnesses found on social networks and dubious official sources like police scanner streams. Real life moves much slower than these technologies. There’s a … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in concept, Nyquist, sampling, vtclis13

ToDo: Make ECE2524 Obsolete

Why would I want to eliminate the course that I’ve been teaching the past four semesters, that I have put so many hours into to update content, create new assignments, written (and re-written each semester… another topic altogether) a set … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in ece2524s13, engineering education, GEDI, programming, vtclis13

Both sides of auto-grading argument miss the point

A recent story in the New York Times covers a software program by nonprofit EdX that will soon be available for free to any institution that wants to use it. Using sophisticated machine learning algorithms to train its artificial intelligence, … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in education, GEDI, grading, technology, vtclis13

Cheating by the Rules

Is it still cheating if the rules are made up? Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue. Seneca During our discussion about Lucasfilm’s Habitat earlier in the week we talked a lot about how the lessons learned by the designers … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in reality, virtual worlds, vtclis13