Wow, it's the first day of spring, and I can't believe it's almost April! The beginning of April at Olin means it's time for
Big Conversations the Engineer of the Future 2.0 conference!
Usually (well, as usual as anything at Olin), we have Big Conversations on one of the first Wednesdays in April. Everyone likes Big Conversations - some, because Olin brings in a cool speaker and the whole Olin community comes together to talk about big ideas concerning technology, society, and education, while some just like it because classes are canceled :)
This year, we're kicking it up a notch and hosting a grassroots summit in conjunction with the University of Illinois to talk about how to improve undergraduate engineering education outside of Olin. Everyone's invited - industry professionals, professors from universities around the country and local college students are already registered to come. It's happening on April 1, 2009, and you should come check it out if you're around!
I've been working with the other UIUC ambassadors: Bryce ('10), Eddie ('11), James ('12), and Garrett ('10) to collaborate with the 13 Illinois students who will be flying out here and staying in Olin's residence halls for the event. We're also planning student breakout sessions for the summit which I'm really excited about. Yes, engineering students care about the state of engineering education and are willing to take a proactive stance and work to improve it!
I'm impressed by the Illinois students - they're currently working on creating iFoundry, an innovative curriculum program that will incorporate some Olinesque ideals. It's starting next fall for incoming freshman - the students working to create it won't be participating in it. The work I do is usually more selfish - I'm looking to improve my education and experience!
Hope to see you April 1st!