Message from the Chair


  • Mary A. Sadowski Arizona State University - East


One thing that remains a constant for those of us dealing with technology is change.  From the time the computer was introduced into our classroom, we have been faced with continual change.  The software companies continue to entice and amaze us with perpetual and almost yearly changes.  Often we are caught in a bind.  If we chose to not update to the newest software then we can't find textbooks for the older version and often our students are using the newest version on their home PCs.  The hardware capabilities continue to escalate beyond anything we thought might be possible back in 1984.  The amounts of electronic storage space on my hard drive and the RAM in my desk computer are almost mind-boggling.


At Purdue University the Technical Graphics Department has had a name change to Computer Graphics.  As I look back at my years at Purdue, I am constantly amazed at the changes that have happened since we purchased our first computer.  Now, all of our labs are computerized and the students begin working on computers on day one.


Mid-Year and Annual paper presentations have changed too.  We have passed through the phases of debating the merits of computers and how to introduce and integrate them into our classrooms.  We have discussed room set ups, hardware, and software.  We started the journey with CADD (Computer Aided Design and Drafting) and have moved on to CAD and solid modeling.  Many are looking at Web based learning, interactive multimedia, and virtual reality.  The discussions now center on the methods and media of teaching rather than what hardware we have and how to place it in the classroom.


Students are more savvy now too, or at least they think they are.  Many, and in some cases most or all of our students have computers at home which have the latest software and hardware.  The Internet has become a part of life for many of us.  It has given us the opportunity to connect more quickly and easily than was ever possible with mail and phone.  Student questions over email have become a way of life.  Now instead of a late night phone call from a student in distress about a test the next day, I get frantic email which I can open and respond to on my own timetable.


The major change in my life evolves around the process of packing up and moving lock stock and barrel to Arizona.  When the 1999 fall semester opens up, I will be a faculty member at Arizona State University East in Mesa, Arizona.  I will be leaving behind people, places, and many good memories as well as my snow shovel, winter coat, boots, and deicer.  I have been at Purdue a long time so needless to say, this is a big change.  I am looking forward to great things with the EDG Division, Arizona State, and life in the desert.



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