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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Information Age has Reached Academia

At the Escuela Superior de Ingeniería Mecánica y Eléctrica, ESIME for short, I got introduced to Control Theory.  Equally important were Computer Science, and Communication Theory. I decided to study Physics to become a scientist, as opposed to an engineer. I finally got my PhD in Theoretical Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, UCSB. After forty or so years, I finally have an idea that could be useful.

Recently Marc Andreessen  predicted that the next big thing will be software.

I believe we can automate some important parts of the teaching-learning process.

At Lucent together with Steve Plovich, and the creator, Joe Lennert, we patented a method to automatize software engineering processes, Joe called it, Robust Process Automation. I think we can use Joe's discovery to automate some processes I have used for over forty years now, to learn and teach mathematics and science. To accomplish this, I need a principle, the one I plan to use is called the Constructal Law, by its creator, professor Adrian Bejan, from Duke University.

Andreessen prediction is based on the observation, that the Internet put us, right on top, of the Information Age. Another thinker relevant for this note is Stephen Wolfram, with his "A New Kind of Science" proposal, which you can read in his book, which is free online.

In a nutshell, Information is a set of marks, used to guide motion. Professor Bejan, states that flow is such, to make flow easier, next time around. As the great Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, put it, Se Hace Camino al Andar, The Path Pursued.

"Wanderer, your footsteps are
the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road,
and upon glancing behind
one sees the path
that never will be trod again.
Wanderer, there is no road--
Only wakes upon the sea."

In the same way, flows facilitate future flows, and I will say that, that is how anything moves. According to Einstein, matter curves space, and the curvature directs matter's motion.

In this context, the role of software in the learning process, is to facilitate future learning. Making waves of knowledge between novice and expert.

What I need now, is actual software to give to facilitators of this new teaching method.

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