Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering


 PAASE President's Corner 
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Regarding very many ways that PAASE members can continue to help the Philippines

9June2013

Dear PAASE colleagues:

I hope this message finds you well. There seems to be a lack of news or activities from PAASE these days.  And so I would like to share with you (and reiterate) some of the very many ways PAASErs can continue to help the Philippines. 

In the PAASE website, there is already a lot of information and suggestions on what you can do. Pls. take time to examine the website closely. I would encourage our newer members (as well as our older members) to start (or continue) exploring ways to get involved in the advancement of higher education, R&D, S&T in your/our country of origin. If you haven't become active in PAASE yet, now is the time to do so, especially because the Philippines is on a roll and the Phil. needs your contributions!

1. I would like to point out the Starweek Magazine (20130609) feature article on UP which came out today:

http://www.philstar.com/starweek-magazine/2013/06/09/951692/great-21st-century-state-university

[Note: The printed copy has more pictures.]

UP, other HEIs (higher education institutions) and SUCs (state universities and colleges) need your help to improve and sustain over the long term higher education and scholarship in science and engineering, R&D, S&T, emerging knowledge-based industries, and also higher education and scholarship in the social sciences, arts, culture, letters and humanities (an inter-disciplinary and multi-faceted approach involving a deep understanding of human culture is required to address the complex problems in society). 

We need volunteers who are willing to give/sacrifice some of their time, effort, compensation, to help the country. We are trying our best to improve the support systems at UP and other universities. We offer support for visiting professors who are willing to (team) teach courses, co-mentor PhD and MS students, and collaborate in research.  If you have the spare/extra time, energy and resources, pls. help/continue to help. 


2. Videos

Kindly take a look at a new video "Entropy is what you don't remember" (http://youtu.be/K16yT-71vqsfeaturing Al Albano, former PAASE Chair, one of ~ a dozen PAASErs who are constantly, significantly contributing to Phil. science. The video was produced by the UP Diliman Interactive Learning Center (DILC). This the 3rd of 4 videos that have been supported through the UP OVPAA.

The first video "Wastefulness and Parsimony" by Ed Padlan, and the second video "Exploring Early Synapse Evolution" by Cecilia Conaco, can be viewed at the UPD Marine Science Institute website (http://www.msi.upd.edu.ph/). The fourth video by Alette Yniguez, also of MSI, will soon be ready for viewing. 

We are trying to produce a series of videos by themes, the first two themes being biology and physics. If you are willing to contribute an interesting and effective video on these two themes, or in chemistry which is the third theme, while you are in the Phil., pls. let me know and we will arrange it with UPD DILC. These videos would showcase Filipino scientists and be useful in teaching our courses. 


3. Star Science

I appeal to you, at the very least, to contribute popular articles about your work and related work to be featured in Star Science, a column which appears in the business section of the Philippine Star every Thursday. If you cannot (yet or no longer) help in other ways, at least help educate the rest of Phil. society about science. At present, I have run out of articles. We have been able to sustain Star Science for more than 8 years with contributions of many PAASE members and other Filipinos and for this I am  grateful. 

I am also happy to let you know that henceforth, Phil. NAST academicians will be contributing articles to Star Science. This Thursday, pls. take a look at the important article of NAST Acad. Angel Lazaro "Construction of a Vietnam Bridge Supervised by Filipino Consultants". Our construction/civil engineers have done excellent work abroad, yet our huge gov't projects on infrastructure development are more often awarded to foreign companies.

I encourage all those who have not contributed a single article to Star Science to send one soon. Leadership by example is always good, so can we perhaps request our current PAASE officials to be the first to send in articles? The article should be written in a language and style that can be understood by laymen, 750-1000 words long. Also send a short statement about yourself, a photo and email address.


4. Audios

Aside from videos, I would like to suggest that PAASE members contribute by producing e-learning audios. In the US, academics/educated people while travelling listen not only to music but to audio lectures on academic, business, technical, cultural or special interest topics. It is much easier and cheaper to produce audio materials than videos. It would also be much easier for the lecturer who does not have to perform 'live'. He could prepare his lecture before hand and practice his delivery several times before recording. He could even read his lecture while recording!

This is part of what we are launching in UP called PPP (Progressive Pervasive Pedagogy) where faculty are being encouraged to produce audio and video materials. Audios could help make learning 24/7. 

Further, it would be good to prepare power point presentations to go with the audio materials. Powerpoints are also cheaper and easier to prepare than videos. A student could look at the slides and  listen to the audio at the same time. In short, we would like to produce multimedia materials for our courses. These materials could/should be updated regularly and PPP would become dynamic.

What are the technical specifications of recording devices to produce good audio recordings? What kind of audio devices should our lecturers use? What kind of editing, improvement can we do at UPD DILC? DILC could help review and refine the audio materials. 

According to DILC Dir. Peter Sy, an audio output should be around 64 kbps bitrate for a short podcast. He recommends using a good USB microphone in the production of audio materials. Here's a list, but in his experience Samson is a good balance between quality and price. Editing can be done with the free software Audacity (mac or pc). For more information, pls. contact Peter at peter.sy@gmail.com.

I spoke about this project with Manny Uy when he visited OVPAA two months ago and he was very enthusiastic about it. We agreed that these materials should be built around themes. Could we pls. ask Manny to help take the lead in this project? Perhaps he could ask the newer PAASE members to take the lead for each discipline/theme/course and come up initially with ~5 audio materials on advanced topics per discipline from PAASE volunteers. 

While there are high quality MOOCS (massive online open courses) like Edex or Coursera from MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, etc., presently available to all, soon these will no longer be free access. So ultimately we need to rely on ourselves and Filipinos abroad to produce our advanced learning materials. 

Aside from contributing videos, audios, and popular articles, there are many other significant ways we continue to receive help and interest from Filipinos who live abroad. Thanks to all of them. 

Thanks for taking time to read this. I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions. 

Sincerely,
Giselle

  
Dr Gisela Padilla-Concepcion
PAASE 2011 President