The new Ontario government recently released their plan to tackle carbon emissions and climate change. This comes after scrapping the previous government’s relatively new cap-and-trade scheme that was set up in collaboration with Quebec and California. Below I’ll give a detailed analysis of various parts of the plan, but here is my high level overview. There are some promising bits and pieces (without knowing a lot of details yet), but it is relatively unambitious and somewhat odd in its approach. This new government has generally focused on reducing regulation and taxpayer-funded spending, but this plan implements additional regulations and uses tax money to subsidize industry. This seems inconsistent. If you want to see the plan and comment, here is the link. Now for my detailed analysis… Continue reading
I noticed some student work posted on a wall recently, from our first 1A Architectural Engineering class. Here are just a couple of examples. They were all quite good, much better than I could do. I assume that all the students weren’t so naturally-talented, so they must have learned some useful drawing techniques during the Fall term. Nice work!
I was at a conference and missed the official E7 building opening, but below is a video showing some of the facility highlights. I walk through the building frequently, and I really like the environment. Nice open spaces, well lit, great and vibrant “energy”. There are always people around, talking, having events, and working together in one of the many gathering areas, drawing diagrams on the walls. Definitely seems like a pleasurable place to be.
Interesting research project in our Electrical and Computer Engineering department. Reduces the need for CT scans and their high radiation doses.
On this anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, remembering my great-uncle and all others who served in the Canadian forces and merchant marine during the wars of the past century.
“At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.” (R.L. Binyon)
As some people know, Canadian engineers usually choose to wear an Iron Ring, as illustrated in the picture, on the small finger of their “working” hand. Actually, it’s now usually stainless steel, and so about 72% iron, 18% chromium, 8% nickel and some other elements. It is originally a Canadian invention, so engineers in the U.S. and elsewhere are often unaware of it. What is its significance? Let’s start with what it is Not supposed to be about:
- It is not a reward from the university for finishing an engineering program.
- It is not a status symbol.
- It is not a sign of belonging to some prestigious or secret society.
- It is not an indicator of any competence or qualification.
So what is it all about? First, consider its history… Continue reading
The new Ontario government quickly trashed the beginnings of an approach to reducing carbon emissions and climate change, i.e. a “cap and trade” system in collaboration with California and other provinces and states.
Now the government is looking for input into their promised new and improved approach, which you can provide at https://www.ontario.ca/form/tell-us-your-ideas-climate-change . It’s open until November 16 2018.
A recent report has re-confirmed that we only have until about the year 2030 to substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions, before the goal of keeping the global average temperature increase to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius becomes physically impossible. (This is actually not surprising news since it’s been known for many years in the scientific literature, while the world at large continues to do nothing substantial).
Young people, and parents or grandparents of young people, should be commenting because these are the ones who will be inheriting the problem and all of its consequences over the next few decades.
There are various ways of starting in an Engineering program in Ontario universities. Some have a common first year, where everyone takes the same courses and then specializes in a discipline in second year. Others specialize right from the start, or some variant of that. Let’s look at a few examples: Continue reading
A group affiliated with the Stanford University Graduate School of Education has put out an interesting analysis and report “A ‘Fit’ Over Rankings: Why College Engagement Matters More Than Selectivity”. Basically it says that college rankings are not a useful indicator for quality or outcomes from a student’s perspective. Students and parents would be better off ignoring rankings when choosing a college or university. “Selectivity” (how hard it is to get an offer) is not a reliable indicator either.
What is important is “engagement” inside and outside the classroom. Opportunities for internships (or co-op), mentors, long-term projects (maybe like student design teams?) are all examples of “engagement” that they cite in the report. There are lots of other interesting details and observations, so I highly recommend having a look at it if you’re thinking about applying to university.
Around this time of year, some first year students (and others too) start to realize that they actually don’t know how to effectively study, learn material, and prepare for tests. The memorization and rote learning strategies that may have been OK for high school usually don’t work well at the university level. It’s not too late to change however, and there are various resources available to help, including at our Student Success Office. There are some that are more engineering-specific, such as the following one I found a few years ago. Continue reading