TED Conversations

greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement


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What have you researched?

You can enjoy researching something, it can be tedious, or you might have other feelings. What have you researched? How did you do it? Did you enjoy it or not, and why?


Closing Statement from greg dahlen

well, I enjoyed hearing about people's different projects. The most useful abstractions I got from the conversation came from Fritzie Reisner, who clarified the difference between formal, academic research and informal home research, but also suggested they might not be so different; and Carolyn mcauley, who made me think about what is an experiment, and what experiments do I, and others, do in our personal lives.

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  • Jan 14 2014: Professionally, Computer Graphics, Computer/Human Interfaces, Computer Networks, System Design, and Computer Architecture.

    Personally: I have been studying the educational system.
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      Jan 16 2014: now you're retired, wayne? What is your interest in the educational system? When you were doing the different aspects of computers, how typically would you research to get a given answer?
      • Jan 19 2014: With computers, normal scientific method - come up with a hypothesis and create experiments to test the hypothesis. The problem came up when you are working on something that needs a large population for the experiment. Usually in that case, the true experiment is a beta test. You do smaller tests but they are usually indication but not proofs.

        Retired, I get to work on the problems I have not had the time to work on. Right now I am building my server farm up for a test of a distributed file system but along the way I am fixing some things I did not like in the basic server architecture.

        I got involved in education when my children tried out public education and we put them into private school. I started working on the district planning committees and ran for the school board several times.
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          Jan 19 2014: so what are you learning about education, is it a case where you're dissatisfied and looking for a way to make it better (something we see often on TED conversations), or.....?
      • Jan 20 2014: Yup found so many things wrong and the process seems to protect the bad teachers, the bad administrators, bad parents, bad practices
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          Jan 25 2014: what are the bad practices, are they real fundamentals in the education system, or more superficial aspects?
      • Jan 26 2014: Lets give an example that has been in the news a lot - Tenure and labor unions for teachers. Tenure came out of the universities to support academic freedom (i.e. the ability to take unpopular stand, especially in research). It has evolved and been applied to the lower levels of education due to the fact that early on when someone became a Principal of a school or a school superintendent, they would fire the teachers and hire people they liked. Many times these people were not good teachers. Labor unions came into the picture to protect teachers from bad practices by management and try to get a livable wage.

        Both started off with good intentions but today they are used to keep bad teachers on the job. What is needed is something that works on a case by case bases versus a broad brush approach. Think that is a problem with many laws, broad brush to fix a problem which eventually becomes a problem.

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