52 [Prism, May-June] you report that I received a very
prestigious award from the IEEE. You cannot imagine the surprise
it generated in me, since I had received no word of such an honor.
After checking the IEEE awards pages I see that the award actually
went to a consultant by the same name who resides in Dayton, Ohio.
I guess I'll just have to wait another year.
WHO SHOULD PAY?
I have just
returned from the 2001 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition
in Albuquerque. While there, I heard a number of presentations
which addressed a variety of issues related to assessment, particularly
implementation of EC2000. Being the ABET person for my department,
I am intimately aware of the new requirements and, more importantly,
their intent. Continuously assessing what we do (or don't do)
as educators is indeed an important part of our jobs. Clearly
it is a good thing that "educational assessment," previously
an academic area which was curiously largely "outside"
engineering education, is now becoming integrated into the engineering
these presentations addressed the problem (or challenge) of bringing
their respective departments into compliance with EC2000 with
a passing reference to the following concern: "Who is going
to pay for this?"
on this theme: "How can we write proposals to get money to
do this?" (and where are such funding sources?) In other
words, there was some expectation that: 1) ABET EC2000 activities
were somehow something above and beyond what the department normally
did; 2) as a result, someone outside the department should pay
for it; implying 3) this should somehow be a "fundable"
area of "research," or, in other words, there should
be pots of accessible money "out there" where departments
can get money to do ABET stuff. Implied, but not stated: No funding,
unlikely that any ABET activities will be done, at least in a
timely "enthusiastic" manner.
find this to be disturbing. Educational assessment is something
we as educators should be doing as part of our jobs. Period. This
is an unhealthy extension of the growing mind-set that everything
a faculty member does should be related to "funded"
activities (implying unfunded activities are not worth doing).
It (assessment) is not someone else's responsibility (financially,
ethically, etc.); it is our responsibility as a part of our commitment
to "do" engineering education to the best of our abilities.
True, assessment is a labor-intensive and resource-requiring activity;
but it is a part of our mission as educators and therefore a "built-in"
task for any department. "Assessment" is a meaningful
activity we are professionally bound to engage in, not an activity
contingent on successfully attracting outside funding.
William E. Lee III
Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering
University of South Florida
In the short
piece, "Hybrid Cars a Hit on the Hill" in the April 2001 issue
of Prism, the EPA city/highway mileage rate for the Toyota
Prius was stated as 45/52. It should be 52/45. The Prius is the
only production car that gets better mileage in the city than
on the highway. This is due to the advantage of the gasoline-electric
powertrain allowing each propulsion source to operate in its most
efficient domain. This is the primary reason for using HEV (Hybrid
Electric Vehicle) technology.
I have been
driving the first Prius delivered to a customer in Tulsa, Oklahoma,
since October and can vouch for its quality and efficiency. I
have been a faculty advisor to engineering student teams designing
and building HEVs for 10 years. Our HEV has one championship and
two seconds at the American Tour de Sol, which takes places annually
in the Northeast.
of Tulsa ParaDyne will be competing again in the Prototype HEV
class at the 2001 Tour de Sol. My personal Prius will be competing
in the Production HEV class http://www.nesea.org/transportation/index.html.
of Electrical Engineering
"A Chilling Effect," May-June issue] Years ago I worked at Sandia,
so I am familiar with the advantages that go with being a government
scientist. In return, you are supposed to be a talented brilliant
professional, totally unlike Wen Ho Lee. With someone this outrageous,
it is only natural to expect a few clumsy measures to come down
from up above.
your point, that the measures are indeed clumsy. However, why
not go on about what you seem to be thinking, that it is really
upper management that is inept.
of Electrical and Computer Engineering
State University at Northridge