A resting Greyhound.
The lessons listed in this blog link are good for students, and anyone for that matter. Plus it features a greyhound, one of my two favourite dogs.
I wasn’t always a dog lover. I used to be a dog-liker and most of the time a dog-tolerator. I never understood why people would get bumper stickers with their favorite dog breed and I …
Source: What Our Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Learning, and Creativity – John Spencer
The Ontario government recently announced a 10% reduction in tuition for the 2019-2020 academic year, followed by a tuition freeze the next year, and there are some other changes to student aid programs. (Note: the 10% reduction applies to Canadians, not international/visa students.) A blog by Alex Usher has a nice summary and analysis of the announced changes, and he concludes that for students the bottom line is that wealthier families will save some money, and less wealthy students will end up with more student loans.
Everyone likes a discount when they’re shopping. For the retailer, they give up a bit of a markup or profit margin but still generate some profit. However universities are non-profit institutions and have no big markup to give up. So, although I have no particular insider information about the effects on the universities, it’s not difficult to predict.
For engineering, if I recall correctly tuition makes up over 50% of the revenue stream for teaching so a 10% tuition cut is at least a 5% revenue cut. There might be some economies to be found here and there, but most of a university’s budget goes towards salaries. Over time there will likely have to be some shrinkage of staff and faculty numbers, and we’re already postponing some filling of vacant faculty positions. Students are unlikely to see or notice big changes, but there may eventually be fewer elective courses available, for example.
As Alex Usher’s blog points out, one way universities could respond is to admit more international students who pay a lot more tuition. Hopefully this would not be at the expense of admitting Canadian students, but when governments start applying shocks to the system there can be unintended consequences.
An interesting story from one of our Geological Engineering students…
Seismically monitoring an active volcano in Spain? That’s last thing I thought I was going to do when I first started at the University of Waterloo five years ago! Whenever the choice for a new opportunity crops up, I always ask which option scares me most. And that’s the one I choose. This has been the fundamental question I ask myself every term when choosing a co-op job, and it led me to my recent position as a seismology intern in Europe.
Source: Watching the earth move | Alumni | University of Waterloo
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.
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)
A typical Iron Ring.
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