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Frank Huband

World-Rattling Smarts

The dichotomy of North Korea surprises us. Here’s a country with problems that range from food and factory production to natural disasters that have included floods and famine. Yet North Koreans have shown enough engineering and science smarts to rattle the world with their nuclear tests and missile systems. Our cover story, “Hammer, Brush, and Sickle,” by Managing Editor Mark Matthews and writer Geoffrey Cain, reports on several of the technological successes of this tightly controlled country. Included is an interview with Siegfried Hecker, professor at Stanford’s science and engineering department, and former head of the Los Alamos National Lab. A frequent visitor to North Korea, Hecker has been impressed by the skills of the nuclear and chemical engineers he has gotten to know. North Korea has also demonstrated formidable tunnel construction, dam building, and mining skills. And, despite a paucity of personal computers and controlled Internet access, the country is making considerable strides in information technology. Indeed, I understand that Kim Jong Il, Korea’s de facto leader, refers to himself as an Internet expert.

As a learning disorder, ADHD -- attention deficit hyperactivity -- has gained enough currency to become a familiar acronym in our time. While some might not recognize that people so afflicted are coping with a disability, they’d be in error. Our second feature, “In Their Grasp,” looks at a great range of disabilities and students who must cope with such challenges. People with disabilities are the third-largest minority in the U.S., and they don’t often pursue engineering or science careers. Now, however, with the support of NSF-funded programs, a number of universities are adapting their engineering teaching practices to accommodate students with disabilities. By so doing, they are recovering a significant pool of talent.

Shape Shifters” invites you to view the new world of visionary architects and engineers who have abandoned symmetry and squares to let their designs soar and surprise us with new dimensions.

In closing, I again invite you to join us June 20-23 at ASEE’s Annual Conference in Louisville, the charming city and adopted hometown of our president, J.P. Mohsen. J.P. assures us that Louisville has the welcome mat out and that a good time is in store for one and all. Bring the family. I look forward to seeing you there.


Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher




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