June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Electrical and Computer
22.547.1 - 22.547.8
ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING PROGRAMS IN TWO COUNTRIES: A NEW PARADIGM FOR COOPERATIONIn the past, cooperation between faculty working in electrical and computer engineering (ECE)programs in the U.S. and those in the developing world has mainly involved the sharing of thestrengths of U.S. programs with programs in the partner country. Today Brazil has arrived onthe world stage with many ECE faculty and programs functioning at the same level as in typicalprograms in the U.S. So today there is a new paradigm for cooperation between programs in thetwo countries.Global standards have developed over the past half century to promote similarities in programcontent in both electrical and computer engineering. ECE has experienced rapid growth all overBrazil. In one program, the number of graduate students (several hundred) is only slightly lessthan the number of daytime undergraduates while a significant evening program in ECE exists aswell. The present quality of programs in Brazil allows partners in the two countries to benefitboth technically and pedagogically from collaborations involving both countries.Programs in each country have to deal with the cultural and financial situations peculiar to each.Political and economic stability exists in both countries. There are differences to be sure, butengineering education is stable or growing in both countries. Programs in both countries faceproblems in assimilation of foreign faculty and graduate students into the mainstream of teachingand research. Institutions in Brazil have had active programs to promote proficiency inPortuguese. Students are admitted to engineering programs in Brazil by competitiveexaminations. At the best Brazilian universities, laboratory facilities are on a par with or betterthan those in many U.S. institutions.Career paths for faculty might differ in both countries, but the goal of continuing growth incompetence is the same. In Brazilian institutions the faculty career involves acquiring themaster’s and doctoral degrees and a formal procedure for progress through full professor bycompetitive examination. The established university in Brazil typically functions with greaterself-governance than its American counterpart. Chairs, deans, and even the university presidentcan be elected by a weighted average of votes from the institution’s faculty, technical and administrativestaff, and students.The educational experience and technical expertise of Brazilian ECE faculty present manyopportunities to ECE programs in the U.S. Brazil continues to be a rich source of Ph.D. studentsfor U.S. ECE programs, and the U.S. continues to be a logical place for post-doctoral studies.However, many institutions such as the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp) and theUniversidade de São Paulo (USP) are logical places for graduate study, post-doctoral study, andcareer experiences and options for U.S. students and faculty. A recent article in the Chronicle ofHigher Education (Sept. 4, 2010) documents Brazilian efforts to enter into this arena.A new era of cooperation has arrived for ECE programs in Brazil and in the U.S. The programs,faculty, and students in both countries will be the beneficiaries of the opportunities presented.
Baiocchi, O. R., & Rogers, D. A., & Costa, M. H. M. (2011, June), Electrical and Computer Engineering Programs in Two Countries: A New Paradigm for Cooperation Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17828
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