Author Archives: Greg Foley

About Greg Foley

A lecturer in Biotechnology in Dublin City University for more than 25 years. Trained as a Chemical Engineer in UCD (BE and PhD) and Cornell (MS). Does research on analysis and design of membrane filtration systems.

Knowledge and problem solving

I experienced a really good example of why knowledge is an integral part of problem solving this morning.  One of my masters students comes to me with what seems to be an intractable programming (coding!) problem. He’s tearing his hair … Continue reading

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Are school-leavers rejecting science?

They are according to this article in the Examiner. However, let’s look at the data. The table below gives the number of first preferences for each ‘discipline’ after the February and July deadline. The % change is based on the … Continue reading

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Homework, Projects and Minecraft

We are all the product of our genes and life experiences and I suspect that my largely conservative views on education reflect the fact that traditional teacher-led, knowledge-rich education has had a transformational effect on my life. The fact that … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Computers in Education

Over at the World Conference on Computers in Education people are tweeting about change, innovation and transformation. David Putnam is saying things like “Should we fail to radically change our approach to education, the same cohort we’re trying to ‘protect’ … Continue reading

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Women in STEM

2015 data – enrollments in Irish Universities (Mater Dei and St. Pat’s included as they are now incorporated into DCU.) Note: gender balance in science reflects male dominance in physics and maths and female dominance in biology. Interestingly, there is … Continue reading

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Why we need to get rid of STEM

On the surface, ‘STEM’ is a harmless acronym, a handy and catchy way of promoting disciplines that, let’s face it, are pretty important in this technological age. But, to an engineer like me who has worked in a science faculty … Continue reading

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The road to STEAM

Mary gets a degree in a traditional discipline. Mary gets her first job and it’s right in the middle of her discipline. After a few years, Mary moves ‘sideways’ and starts to drift away from her discipline. Mary does a … Continue reading

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