Thursday, December 01, 2011

Charles Vest Seminar "The 21st century university: Purpose, problems & promise" wrap up

Here is a wrap up, via my twitter posts and responses to them, of the seminar yesterday by Charles M. Vest, ex head of MIT and current head of the National Academy of Engineering. I know it is a bit lazy not to rewrite a summary but I think the tweets do an OK job ...

UPDATE - some new links regarding the talk

Here are my tweets:



phylogenomics
Awaiting seminar by CHarles Vest, Pres. of US Natl. Acad. Engineering, past pres. of MIT #UCDavis
11/30/11 4:07 PM

phylogenomics
Vest seminar "The 21st Century Research University Purpose, Problems and Promise" #UCDavis
11/30/11 4:08 PM
phylogenomics
Charles Vest http://t.co/NlxrgeeE says Linda Katehi is an admired educational leader throughout the country #UCDavis
11/30/11 4:10 PM

phylogenomics
Charles Vest: two main challenges for universities now are globalization and access (i.e., access to education)
11/30/11 4:13 PM

phylogenomics
Charles Vest: currently trend to "brain interaction" across the globe, but need to work on how to connect people & computers better
11/30/11 4:14 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: FoldIt tool is evidence for "collective intelligence" - the researchers involved weren't just integrating computers but brains
11/30/11 4:15 PM

phylogenomics
Vest discussing book A New Culture of Learning by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown "www.newcultureoflearning.com/"
11/30/11 4:16 PM

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Vest says location of universities still matter for many reasons incl. people need to be together and universities are embedded in cultures
11/30/11 4:17 PM

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Vest: purpose of research universities is "to create opportunity" (1) for graduates, (2) for business/industry (3) nations/regions
11/30/11 4:19 PM

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Vest: though research universities have many purposes, must be patient b/c hard to predict when benefits will occur
11/30/11 4:20 PM

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Vest: MIT and Stanford work very well b/c research is side by side w/ applications
11/30/11 4:21 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: few people understand that research universities are central to innovation (e.g., computing, laser, internet, gennomics)
11/30/11 4:22 PM

phylogenomics
Note - I might disagree with Vest's claim that Universities drove genomic innovation
11/30/11 4:23 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: virtually every job in America depends on one or more university based innovations
11/30/11 4:23 PM

phylogenomics
Vest six lessons including (1) teaching and research must be intimately intertwined and are inseparable
11/30/11 4:24 PM

phylogenomics
Vest lesson 2: quality of research university is determined by quality of its faculty
11/30/11 4:25 PM

oldivory
@phylogenomics I've quit telling kids to interview the faculty when applying to colleges. Parents don't get it either. Ah, well.
11/30/11 4:29 PM

phylogenomics
@oldivory good idea ...
11/30/11 4:30 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: need in particular young faculty to grow up through rising w/in university
11/30/11 4:26 PM

phylogenomics
Vest lesson 3: science can flourish only in an open environment #herehere
11/30/11 4:26 PM

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Vest lesson 4: young faculty must be free to study and teach what they believe is important (e.g., should not be assistants to Sr. faculty)
11/30/11 4:27 PM

KSBruno9
@phylogenomics so not the European model.
11/30/11 5:11 PM

phylogenomics
Vest lesson 5: competition engenders excellence in universities (drives improvement in research, teaching, ideas, facilities, etc)
11/30/11 4:28 PM

rmtakata
@phylogenomics @carloshotta Mild competition. Wild competition could lead to cheating, forgery, distrust, sabotage...
11/30/11 4:32 PM

phylogenomics
@rmtakata @carloshotta he did not say it was perfect, just that it can be useful
11/30/11 4:34 PM

phylogenomics
Vest Lesson 6: fundamental scholarship and research must be equal w/ applied research and innovation
11/30/11 4:29 PM

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Vest: there is a danger in focus on applied issues that we ignore search for truth - must not be too utilitarian
11/30/11 4:30 PM

phylogenomics
Vest says "never in his lifetime has it been so hard to hang onto his optimism" b/c Washington is broken
11/30/11 4:32 PM

tjsharpton
As a young researcher, this concerns me RT @phylogenomics Vest says "never in his lifetime has it been so har… (cont) http://t.co/eZwvMurX
11/30/11 5:23 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: v. concerned w/ financial pressures on universities especially as it affects access & this started even before recent financial issues
11/30/11 4:33 PM

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Vest: in the last decade real per student state appropriations have dropped >20% while costs have risen
11/30/11 4:35 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: response to financial issues will be cut back on low demand classes, fewer low/middle $$ students, decr. in merit based aid & all bad
11/30/11 4:36 PM
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Vest: the favorite solution to State university financial problems is to seek out of state students; this spirals out of control
11/30/11 4:37 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: cites U. Michigan slogan from 19th century "an uncommon education for the common man"
11/30/11 4:37 PM

jim_croft
nice... but also woman? RT @phylogenomics: Vest: cites U. Michigan slogan from 19th century "an uncommon education for the common man"
11/30/11 4:43 PM

phylogenomics
@jim_croft I was not endorsing - just reporting
11/30/11 4:44 PM

jim_croft
@phylogenomics of course - the sentiment is perfect, the wording is excellent, for its time, just a little dated in some circles today.
11/30/11 4:49 PM

phylogenomics
Vest references Vannevar Bush's vision "Science The Endless Frontier" for research & for access http://t.co/9n1Q0LAF
11/30/11 4:39 PM

phylogenomics
Vest references Vannevar Bush Quote on education access http://t.co/LmE1bTF7
11/30/11 4:42 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: we must be good citizens of the world and contribute to and learn from increasing globalization of education
11/30/11 4:43 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: all regions of the world are more/more linked/integrated w/ shared environment, challenges, resources, knowledge, humanity
11/30/11 4:45 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: modern research universities concept was developed from Humboldt University in Germany in 1800s -> JHU in US -> others in US -> global
11/30/11 4:46 PM

phylogenomics
Vest says he has a hard time contemplating scale of educational expansion in China and India
11/30/11 4:46 PM

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Vest: the Yin and Yang of Universities are Competition and Collaboration
11/30/11 4:47 PM

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Vest: people everywhere need opportunity from universities and thus MIT developed "Open Courseware" for anyone to use anywhere/anytime
11/30/11 4:48 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: Open Courseware movement has spread globally - and it (and related initiatives) are a revolution
11/30/11 4:49 PM

mikedelic
@phylogenomics I've taken free courses from Stanford and MIT that imwoudlnt have been able to back in the day. Love open source education
11/30/11 5:07 PM

mikedelic
@phylogenomics my favorite was Robert sapolsky's behavioral biology course from Stanford
11/30/11 5:08 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: openness is the true spirit of education, democratization and empowerment
11/30/11 4:49 PM

phylogenomics
Vest refs: "Unlocking the Gates" and "Abelard to Apple" - books about open education
11/30/11 4:50 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: in 21st century we are observing the early emergence of a "Meta University" via open materials and platforms
11/30/11 4:51 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: must rekindle spirit of research university as provider of opportunity while also promoting openness
11/30/11 4:52 PM

phylogenomics
Here is more form Charles Vest on the "meta university" http://t.co/tJ0fNSqo
11/30/11 4:53 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: analog of Tip ONeil's "all politics is local" need outreach to get people locally to understand importance of research universities
11/30/11 5:03 PM

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Questioner asks Vest how to best export notion of democracy/ access
11/30/11 5:09 PM

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Vest in response to question expresses dismay at how anyone could support the "Dream Act" http://t.co/FpwekBzu
11/30/11 5:09 PM


(NOTE - I GOT THIS WRONG SOMEHOW - HE CLEARLY SEEMS LIKE THE TYPE WHO WOULD SUPPORT THE ACT). SEE OTHER POSTS ...)

lukedones
@phylogenomics Dismay that anyone would *support* the DREAM Act? Why?
11/30/11 5:12 PM

phylogenomics
@lukedones do you mean why would anyone be dismayed that some support the act?
11/30/11 5:15 PM

lukedones
@phylogenomics Yes. Just wondering whether he gave a reason.
11/30/11 5:21 PM

phylogenomics
@lukedones not that I remember
11/30/11 5:21 PM

phylogenomics
@lukedones sorry - in looking at the Dream Act I am wondering if he misspoke and meant he supported it ... no longer sure what he said
11/30/11 6:24 PM

VoteBothell
@phylogenomics why no support for Dream Act?
11/30/11 7:01 PM

phylogenomics
Sorry all; MAJOR error tweeting Charles Vest talk; I wrote he was against Dream Act; I think he/I got that backwards & must be for it
11/30/11 7:19 PM

phylogenomics
@VoteBothell sorry - I think he must be for it - so either he or I got it backwards
11/30/11 7:20 PM

VoteBothell
@phylogenomics Great, got it. Enjoy your tweets. I've been following you since the pepper spray. My support and thoughts are with UC Davis.
11/30/11 7:22 PM

lukedones
@phylogenomics Thanks - I expected an academic would be for the Dream Act.
11/30/11 7:26 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: we need more experimentation with how research is funded to try to find other ways
11/30/11 5:21 PM

phylogenomics
Vest: should keep systems at basic science agencies but should try new approaches like ARPA-E
11/30/11 5:22 PM

phylogenomics
Vest views Open Courseware as a new form of publication not really as "classes" per se, b/c not interactive
11/30/11 5:25 PM


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