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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The cost of our Silos

Roger came to my Industrial Engineering Graduate Seminar class last Friday. He challenged them to consider their career and life choices, and to make theses choices consciously and with consideration of their mandate or goals in life. It was very thought provoking and many students were engaged with questions and with continuing discussions later in the hall.

But, that is not the point of this blog engry. The point is that my students are very smart successful engineers. Very close to 100% of them will get job offers upon graduation where they will start at $70,000 per year. With this backdrop, one student in class asked a question of Roger that knocked my sox off (in a bad way). Roger was saying that some people think the global and societal problems resulting form the anthropogenic era will be solved by technological or free market solutions. She raised her hand and asked "What do you mean by free market?" Roger was shocked, as was I, and asked someone in the class to explain it. Another grad students said, "I don't know, but I think it is open source or free items available on the web." Roger said that is interesting, but not right. Roger then explained briefly free market, and then everyone did remember learning this in econ....or somewhere.

But my question is how could these students in their 5th or 6th year of college not be able to integrate the concepts learned (probably several times)?

That is all I have to say.

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