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Modern Concepts in Engineering and Science: An Updating Program for Technical Managers and Staff

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2 Author(s)

This paper describes an updating educational program for mature, experienced engineers and scientists working for the Intemational Business Machines Corporation. The paper reviews the planning, execution, and evaluation of the program; and it highlights the problems entailed in meeting the needs of a special population. The experience gained suggests several areas that require special attention in order for programs of this type to be effective. The program was designed for engineers and scientists having significant work experience, who have been away from formal academic training for ten years or more. It is based on the premise that an obsolescence of knowledge does not imply the obsolescence of people. The objectives of the program include: 1) a conceptual understanding of the subject material; 2) an improved ability to communicate with subordinates and people in related work areas; 3) an improved ability to read and interpret technical communications; 4) stimulation for continued educational participation and self-development. IBM, in conjunction with the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, developed an eleven-week part-time/three-week full-time program, stressing recent developments in mathematics, modem physics, and materials sciences. During 1965 and 1966, about 100 participants were selected from the mid-Hudson Valley area in New York State and were formed into four equivalent groups. All groups were surveyed extensively after the full-time study phase to determine their response to the program. Overall favorability was high, and a majority of the participants felt that the program would be a benefit in their future careers.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 3 )