Saturday, October 15, 2005

Case 125th Anniversary Weekend

This weekend is the Case School of Engineering 125th Anniversary. Big deal? Apparently so - since I got to go to all sorts of spiffy events.

First of all, I attended Dean Kamen's lecture on Friday afternoon. Dean Kamen is probably best known as the inventor of the Segway scooter and the iBot wheel chair. He also founded DEKA Research & Development in the early 1980s which has churned out innovative, successful products regularly since its inception. He had some interesting words to say to the CSE - some witty, some acerbic, some insightful, some incredibly funny. But he had one driving message - that not enough Americans are becoming engineers and that this will be the downfall of our nation if not addressed soon.

Dean believes that our failure to produce engineers is not a failure in our educational system, but a failure in American culture. He noted that more degrees were awarded in Sports Management last year in the U.S. than in all engineering fields, combined. He believes that an ignorance of what engineers do and who engineers are in young people keeps them from setting their sights high enough to go to engineering school. To combat this ignorance, he founded a group called FIRST, which runs a large-scale science olympics every year with the goal of getting kids excited about learning. Check it out. All in all, it was a very thought-provoking lecture.

Then, I went to see Dennis Miller Live at Severance Hall on Friday night. I scored some free tickets about 30 minutes before showtime (excllent!) so I went to check him out. I am generally a fan of Dennis Miller, mostly because his comedy is so timely and relevant. However, he must have decided to recycle some old material for us... we heard quite a bit about his opinions of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky... and about global warming. Not very timely, if you ask me. Although he did get some quips in about the constitutional referendum in Iraq and Bush's abysmal approval rating... and even if he wasn't relevant, he was pretty funny. Anyway, for the cost, it was definitely worthwhile. :)

Finally, tonight, I went to the CSE Banquet downtown. The picture at the top of the post is of one of the banners at the event. Check out that hot girl at the bottom right. I could totally date her... Anyway, there were a lot of Case celebrities at the reception so it was a good time with some excellent conversation. The dinner speeches were not the best, but the food was delicious! Now, if only I had done some homework today...

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