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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Jan 3 / Peter Hoffmann

What’s this all about?

My blog will be concerned with science and with education.

In science, humans are in the middle of our world, because this is our starting point and we reach from there in all directions: past and future, large and small, short and long time scales. In my research, I explore things at the nanoscale, but other scientists look at things much smaller, or much, much bigger things.  As scientists we are in the middle of a world that is getting smaller and bigger, faster and slower all the time. This is also a place where science and the humanities meet. We look at an alien world of the incredibly tiny, the stupendously large, the super-fast and the unimaginably slow from the vantage point of a human being, barely able to define his or her place in this giant cosmic theater. We are in the middle of exploring our incomprehensible world, and we are just scratching the surface.

I also see myself in the middle when it comes to education:

Currently, I find myself in the middle between being faculty member and an administrator. I am still teaching and doing research, but I am also part of the “dark side” of administration (which I really did not find as dark as people may think).

Higher education is undergoing some changes, which are either too rapid or too slow, exciting or  old hat, beneficial or harmful  – depending on one’s point of view . Whatever one thinks about these changes, from online learning to more government scrutiny, they are already happening and, for the foreseeable future, are here to stay and  most likely to intensify. I want to share and hear ideas how we can make education the best it could possibly be. How we cannot only “manage” the changes we face, but possibly turn them into opportunities…