Thursday, August 20, 2015


Academia is known for leading edge thinking, but how about leading edge lab space, class room space and computer resources. My experience is “not so much”.

We saw some pretty creative and leading edge student support areas, class rooms and labs when we were at Purdue a few weeks ago. Granted this was their newest building, with cutting edge building design, glass walls, white boards everywhere (even the horizontal work spaces), fully decked computer and projection resources in the class rooms, even social media enabled lectures, where the students could tweet questions or requests for greater explanation.
We later walked through the Chemical Engineer building where we saw the typical 50's architecture and less than cutting edge equipment. I know our tour was carefully crafted to put the best possible Purdue in front of the prospective student (and their parents).

But there were some ideas there that I'd love to implement in my work space.

On the way home the prospective students discussed some of these technologies, that just seemed second nature to them. This included free CAD software and grahpics rendering software.

One of the tour guides said they had a service where they would fix your Apple or Windows computer for free. I was impressed, but Reed has been fixing his own gear (and ours) for years only yawned and made a note to file.

I was reading the State Farm road atlas and the boys were navigating with an iphone. Only a three decade generation gap.

I did some texting to make up for my generational bias.

I'm not all that obsolete. I still know more about calculus than any of my children.

We went by the State Farm Headquarters in Bloomington, I figure my use of the Atlas was in honor of my trusted insurance company.

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