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A new report from the Millennium Project at the University of Michigan offers a bold road map for the future of engineering. Among the report’s far-reaching recommendations: “the academic discipline of engineering (or, perhaps, more broadly, technology) should be included in the liberal arts canon undergirding a 21st-century undergraduate education for all students.”

This is a sentiment that Princeton has long embraced — and put into practice. When H. Vincent Poor, dean of Princeton’s School of Engineering, was invited in September to speak at the launch of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, he addressed the role of engineering in the liberal arts. You can listen to a podcast of Poor’s address here. Poor, the recipient of a National Science Foundation Director’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars, for several years taught “The Wireless Revolution” — one of Princeton’s most popular undergraduate classes and heralded as a model for teaching technology in the context of political, economic and social dimensions.

By the way, Princeton’s quantum cowboy Marlan Scully has been invited to be Harvard’s Morris Loeb Lecturer in Physics in the spring. He will deliver three lectures and is expected to talk about his efforts to unite all fields of science under the umbrella of quantum physics as well as his research into applications for quantum physics, including the use of lasers to detect anthrax. The Loeb Lectureship has a long and distinguished tradition. Past lecturers include Enrico Fermi, Murray Gell-Mann, Stephen Hawking, Edwin Land, and Edward Witten.

Cover reprint of “Engineering for a Changing World,” courtesy University of Michigan

 
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