Missing Basics, EF2009 version, Barcelona


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Missing basics presentation at EF2009, 12 November 2009, LaSalle Ramon Llull includes new discussion of iFoundry Fall 2009 results and organization as well as the Olin effect

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Missing Basics, EF2009 version, Barcelona

  1. 1. The Missing Basics:What Engineers Don’t Learn & Why They Don’t Learn Them<br />David E. GoldbergIllinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering EducationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana, IL 61801 USAdeg@illinois.edu<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  2. 2. Engineering Education Reform in the Air<br />Personal context: Transformation in a tough neighborhood.<br />Engineering education incomplete & many calls for reform.<br />Many lists the same: More “design,” “people” skills, “communication.” But little or local change. <br />Faculty resist “soft” skills as not “rigorous.”<br />Argue problem is in part philosophical and in part organizational:<br />Engineering does not understand itself well enough to cultivate its young.<br />School structure needs practical reform to permit kaizen and community.<br />Paint coherent systems picture of effective change. Change minds & organizations.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  3. 3. Roadmap<br />Industrial-sposored senior design: What don’t they know how to do?<br />7 qualitative thinking skills for unlocking the joy of engineering (JoE).<br />3 misconceptions that hold us back from JoE.<br />From JoE to joy of community (JoC) with iCommunity.<br />From old school teaching to joy of learning (JoL).<br />Academic change as a NIMBY problem.<br />iFoundry: Organizational change for educational innovation. <br />75 amazing freshmen and the Olin effect.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  4. 4. Begin with the End in Mind: Senior Design<br /><ul><li>Senior design as way to see the end.
  5. 5. Joined General Engineering at University of Illinois 20 years ago.
  6. 6. A key reason: Wanted to teach industrial-sponsored senior design.
  7. 7. Grinter report of 1955: more math & science, less design.
  8. 8. Illinois program started with Ford Foundation grant 1966.
  9. 9. Money ran out 1971 and industrial funding supports thereafter.</li></ul>Stephen R. Covey (b. 1932)<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  10. 10. A Special Moment: Ready, Set, Go<br /><ul><li>These are seniors.
  11. 11. Should be engineers on the threshold.
  12. 12. Top cold war engineering education.
  13. 13. Express preferences for projects.
  14. 14. Get assigned to a project: 3-member teams & faculty advisor.
  15. 15. Go on the plant trip.
  16. 16. Query: What don’t they know how to do?
  17. 17. 20 years of coaching, here’s my list.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  18. 18. Failure 1: Inability to Ask<br /><ul><li>Don’t know how to frame or ask good questions.
  19. 19. Difficulty probing the problem.
  20. 20. Trouble querying what has been tried.
  21. 21. Problem learning about vendors and sources of information.
  22. 22. Historical terms: Socrates 101.</li></ul>Socrates (470-399 BCE)<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  23. 23. Failure 2: Inability to Label<br /><ul><li>Don’t know names of common systems, assemblies, and components of technology.
  24. 24. Engineering graduates as technologically illiterate.
  25. 25. Worse: Difficulty labeling new artifact concepts or models.
  26. 26. Example: burnt flour problem.
  27. 27. Mainly comfortable with familiar categories and objects.
  28. 28. Historical terms: Aristotle 101. </li></ul>Aristotle (384-322 BCE)<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  29. 29. Failure 3: Inability to Model<br />Don’t know how to model conceptually:<br />As causal chain.<br />As categorical list of types or kinds.<br />Pavlovian dogs when it comes to equations.<br />Need to understand problem qualitatively in words and diagrams prior to quantitative modeling undertaking.<br />Historical terms: Hume 101 or Aristotle 102.<br />David Hume (1711-1776)<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  30. 30. Failure 4: Inability to Decompose<br /><ul><li>Don’t know how to decompose big problem into little problems.
  31. 31. Looking for magic bullets in equations of motion.
  32. 32. Most projects too hard: Companies don’t pay $9500 for plugging into Newton’s laws.
  33. 33. Historical terms: Descartes 101?</li></ul>René Descartes (1596-1650)<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  34. 34. Failure 5: Inability to Measure<br />Don’t know how to measure stuff or collect data.<br />Engineering taught as abstract math/science exercise.<br />Ignore benefit of direct measurement.<br />Historical terms: Locke 101 or Bacon 101?<br />John Locke (1632-1704)<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  35. 35. Failure 6: Inability to Visualize/Ideate<br />Don’t know how to draw sketches or diagrams when helpful.<br />Have trouble envisioning solutions.<br />Graphics education greatly diminished.<br />Historical terms: da Vinci or Monge 101.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  36. 36. Failure 7: Inability to Communicate<br />Finally finish the project.<br />Don’t know how to present or write for business.<br />“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”<br />Historical terms: Newman 101.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />Paul Newman (1925-2008)<br />
  37. 37. The Basics versus the Missing Basics<br /><ul><li>“The Basics:” math-science death march followed by engineering science.
  38. 38. Missing basics (MBs): questioning, labeling, modeling conceptually, decomposing, measuring, visualizing/ideating, & communicating.
  39. 39. MBs as more basic than “the basics.”
  40. 40. No surprise: 5th century BC in Athens as pivotal place & moment in human thinking.
  41. 41. Missing basics covers thinking skills critical to engineers: design, communications, people skills.
  42. 42. Complete engineering education leads to joy of engineering.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  43. 43. Do Engineers Need the Missing Basics?<br />Yes!! But why don’t they get them.<br />Three conceptual misunderstandings block joy of engineering:<br />Engineering is mainly math & science.<br />World is hierarchical & specialized. <br />Qualitative skills important for well roundedness, not engineering.<br />From joy of engineering to two more joys.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  44. 44. Engineering: Just Math & Science Applied?<br /><ul><li>Usual: Engineering is applied math & science.
  45. 45. Other views:
  46. 46. Von Karman: “A scientist discovers that which exists. An engineer creates that which never was.”
  47. 47. Koen: Engineering is heuristics.
  48. 48. Pitt: Technology is “humanity at work.”
  49. 49. Mesthene: Technology is “the organization of knowledge for achievement of practical purpose.”
  50. 50. Here: “Engineering is the social practice of conceiving, designing, implementing, producing, & sustainingfunctionallycomplex artifacts, processes, or systems appropriate to some recognized need.”</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  51. 51. Same Old World: Hierarchical & Specialized?<br />Usual: Engineer as narrow & specialized category enhancer in hierarchical, domestic organization. <br />Paradigm OK for WW2 & Cold War.<br />Now a creative era, a flat world. <br />Missed revolutions since WW2:<br />Quality revolution.<br />Entrepreneurial revolution.<br />IT revolution.<br />Here: engineer as interdisciplinary, integrative category creator inflat, global organization.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  52. 52. Qualitative Skills Needed to be Well-Rounded?<br />Usual: Qualitative skills developed in humanities & SS courses make “well-rounded” or “cultured” individuals.<br /><ul><li>Here: Missing basics essential to being a great engineer.
  53. 53. Seek qual-quant balance to make great engineers.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  54. 54. The Joy(s) of Engineering (JoE)<br />These misconceptions block achieving the joy of engineering qua engineering.<br />Engineering reduced to merely technical analysis vs. engineering as creative, integrative enterprise serving human needs. <br />3 iFoundry student aspirations:<br />Create cool technology (products & services)<br />Wannabe the next Max Levchin (entrepreneurial).<br />Want to create sustainable world & solve societal problems (service)<br />New class: ENG 100 ++, Intro to Missing Basics of Engineering.<br />
  55. 55. From JoE to JoC (Joy of Community)<br />Cliché of cold war engineering education.<br />Engin profs used to say the following:<br />“Look to your left. Look to your right.”<br />“One of the three of you won’t make it!”<br />Statistically correct: 50%-70% survive.<br />Pedagogically improper. <br />Why take pride in failure of capable students?<br />Assumption: “Rugged individuals” must survive selective “weed out” process to be successful.<br />
  56. 56. Research Shows Otherwise<br />Russ Korte’s work on transitions:<br />College to work<br />HS to College<br />Single most important variable in transition success social connectedness (SC).<br />Critical element of iFoundry is what we call iCommunity.<br />Russell Korte<br />
  57. 57. iCommunity<br />Student-run learning community.<br />iLaunch with team ropes course in Fall 2009.<br />75 students in 4 iTeams, elected iChairs. <br />Cooperate to perform 4 functions: academics, service, social/identity, world of work. <br />iCheckpoint/iExpo<br />Each team supported by iFA, iSA, and iCOA<br />4 iTeams aligned with student aspirations:<br />Art & engineering design (AED).<br />Services & systems engineering (SSE).<br />Entrepreneurship & innovation (EI).<br />Engineering in service of society (ESS).<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  58. 58. Look to Left & Right: iFoundry Version<br />Try it again:<br />Look to your left. Look to your right.<br />In iFoundry those two people crucial supporters to help you complete a challenging learning experience.<br />iLaunch is primarily about the joy of community.<br />Not an accident that we start with this.<br />iCommunity calculus: How can we form a supportive group and become great engineers together?<br />
  59. 59. What Needed for Joy of Community?<br />What skills necessary to become tight knit supportive community?<br />Need to probe and ask questions of others.<br />Need to label challenging people problems.<br />Need to create and communicate.<br />You need the missing basics!!!<br />Joy of community, teamwork, leadership, facilitated by mastery of the missing basics.<br />
  60. 60. Teaching: Another Blast from the Past <br />In old model, students were passive vessels.<br />Professors poured knowledge into their brains.<br />Assumes static world of engineers as category enhancers.<br />Three flavors of iStudent as category creators:<br />Cool new technology.<br />Entrepreneurs & innovators.<br />Working with developing cultures.<br />Common thread: Need to create new stuff & need to keep learning.<br />Learning in creative era is never ending enterprise.<br />
  61. 61. Research on Tech Visionaries as Clue<br />Helpful to look at extreme exemplars of success.<br />Price, Vojak, & Griffin have done work on tech visionaries (TVs).<br />TV creates bottom line revenue from new products & services.<br />T-shaped person both broad and deep.<br />TVs are dynamic Ts.<br />Do deep dive in unfamiliar area to make new products.<br />Ray Price<br />
  62. 62. How to Be a Joyful Lifelong Learner?<br />What skills do you need to be a dynamic T or lifelong learner?<br />Need to ask framing questions.<br />Need to learn lingo of new areas & connect to things understood.<br />Need to collect data in new situation.<br />Need to come up with creative solutions appropriate to situation.<br />You guessed it. The missing basics are the key.<br />
  63. 63. A Vision with Systemic Coherence<br />Taken together three joys—JoE, JoC, JoL—can help align engineering education with the times.<br />Missing basics tie all three together: Critical & creative thinking skills cut across joy of engineering, community & learning.<br />iCommunity provides social connectedness to provide student self-reliance and commitment.<br />So what’ holding us back? <br />
  64. 64. “We Have Met the Enemy & He is Us”<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />Famous Pogo cartoon.<br />Trash-strewn forrest.<br />“Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.”<br />Applies to engin ed.<br />Organizational dynamics & faculty as key obstacle to change.<br />
  65. 65. Academic Change is a NIMBY Problem<br /><ul><li>Academic NIMBY problem.
  66. 66. NIMBY = Not in my backyard.
  67. 67. “It is OK to change the curriculum…”
  68. 68. “….just don’t change MY course.”
  69. 69. Politics of logrolling: You support my not changing. I support your not changing.
  70. 70. Even though agreement for change is widespread, specific changes are resisted.</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  71. 71. Organizational Innovation for Change<br />Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education (iFoundry):<br />Curriculum change incubator. Permit change.<br />Collaboration. Large, key ugrad programs work together. Easier approval if shared. <br />Connections. Hook to depts, NAE, ABET (?), industry. <br />Volunteers. Enthusiasm for change among participants. <br />Existing authority. Use signatory authority for modification of curricula for immediate pilot. <br />Respect faculty governance. Get pilot permission from the dept. and go back to faculty for vote after pilot change<br />Assessment. Built-in assessment to overcome objections back home. <br />Scalability. Past attempts at change like Olin fail to scale at UIUC and other big schools. <br />www.ifoundry.illinois.edu<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  72. 72. iFoundry Institutional View<br />iFoundry components:<br />iSteering: Coordinate iFoundry & College leadership.<br />iCommunity: Student-run engineering learning community.<br />iFoundry Council: Coordinates iFoundry with academic departments.<br />Olin-Illinois Partnership: Coordinates Illinois with Olin College and engineering education establishment.<br />3SpaceStudios: Exposes iFoundry ideas and practices to general public.<br />
  73. 73. Admitted First iFoundry Freshmen 2009<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />iFoundry grassroots phase Summer 07.<br />College activity Fall 08.<br />75 freshmeniLaunch on August 22, 2009 with overnight retreat.<br />iTeam selections and iChair elections that week. <br />iCheckpoint October 14, 2009.<br />Socially connected.<br />Missing basics internalized.<br />Projects help establish engineering identity.<br />Calling shots on what iCommunity and iTeams do.<br />Surprising changes.<br />AED iChair: Claire Slupski<br />
  74. 74. Surprise!! Olin Effect on a Budget<br />Went to Franklin W. Olin College first time February 2008.<br />Moving experience: Talked to freshmen during heat-sink measurements.<br />Pride in engineering.<br />Confidence & boldness.<br />Seeing this “Olin Effect” in our freshmen.<br />Even though curriculum & pedagogy is still largely the same.<br />Can we get important change with small number of strategic moves?<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering<br />
  75. 75. Summary: Conceptual Shifts<br />
  76. 76. Summary: Organizational Shifts<br />
  77. 77. Bottom Line<br /><ul><li>Philosophical reflection key to
  78. 78. righting past errors
  79. 79. developing coherenttransformativevision
  80. 80. conceptual rigor for subjects otherwise rejected as “soft.”
  81. 81. Organizational reconfiguration necessary to
  82. 82. achieve social connectedness among students
  83. 83. permit ongoing pilot and change.</li></ul>To soon to be sure, but changes so far may be yielding boldness, confidence & engineering identity with fewer resources than previously thought.<br />Can make effective change in tough neighborhood.<br />© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  84. 84. More Information<br /><ul><li>iFoundry: http://ifoundry.illinois.edu
  85. 85. Talk: http://www.slideshare.net/deg511
  86. 86. EotF2.0: http://engineerofthefuture.olin.edu
  87. 87. iFoundryYouTube: http://www.youtube.com/illinoisfoundry
  88. 88. iFoundrySlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/ifoundry
  89. 89. TEE, the book. http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470007230.html
  90. 90. fPET-2010: www.philengtech.org or www.twitter.com/philengtech
  91. 91. Twitter: www.twitter.com/deg511, www.twitter.com/ifoundry</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />
  92. 92. fPET-2010: Philosophy & Engineering<br /><ul><li>2010 Forum on Philosophy, Engineering & Technology (fPET-2010), 9-10 May 2010, Sunday evening to Monday, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO.
  93. 93. One-day intensive event.
  94. 94. 50-50 philosophers and engineers.
  95. 95. Grows out of earlier events WPE-2007 & WPE-2008.
  96. 96. www.philengtech.org</li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2009<br />