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Comic Sans has/had a purpose!

“‘A typeface is an answer to a question,’ he tells me later. ‘Everything I’ve ever done is a solution to somebody’s problem.’ The problem that Comic Sans solved concerned a short-lived Windows interface called Microsoft Bob. It featured a cartoon dog who spoke to computer users through speech bubbles.”

See the whole article here: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/shortcuts/2014/jun/04/comic-sans-creator-vincent-connare

comic sans fontWhy is this of interest to me?  Because when I teach about credibility and how to convey that in professional technical work, comic sans inevitably comes up. Students think this font is way to make technical information less intimidating. I don’t buy their argument, but I can see where they are coming from.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Slide Rules, update!

In early March 2014, the paperback version of our book Slide Rules: Design, Build, and Archive Presentations in the Engineering and Technical Fields became available for purchase. The e-book is available for download.

Slide Rules,--the bookSlide Rules is meant for engineers, technical specialists, and scientists–whether they are working for businesses, universities, research units, military sectors, or other areas. Professionals and students alike will benefit from this book because it provides specific avenues for improving and honing presentations in these specialized areas. Presentations in the technical fields are creatures of a different kinds, and the targeted needs for that work are duly addressed.

More info here:

http://techartsconsulting.com/sliderules/

ISBN-10: 1118002962
ISBN-13: 978-1118002964
240 pages
2014, Wiley-IEEE Press

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Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Heckuva semester!

This semester has been incredibly busy!  Several new items, all fantastic, were on my plate:

Elementary school teams compete with their creations. This year's theme was "Disaster Blaster!"

Elementary school teams compete with their creations. This year’s theme was “Disaster Blaster!”

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Slide Rules: Design, Build, and Archive Presentations in the Engineering and Technical Fields–AVAILABLE!

bookSRIn early March 2014, the paperback version of our book Slide Rules: Design, Build, and Archive Presentations in the Engineering and Technical Fields will be available for purchase.  At the moment, the e-book is available for download.

Slide Rules is meant for engineers, technical specialists, and scientists–whether they are working for businesses, universities, research units, military sectors, or other areas. Professionals and students alike will benefit from this book because it provides specific avenues for improving and honing presentations in these specialized areas. Presentations in the technical fields are creatures of a different kinds, and the targeted needs for that work are duly addressed.

More info here:

http://techartsconsulting.com/sliderules/

ISBN: 978-1-118-79612-2
240 pages
February 2014, Wiley-IEEE Press
 

New year, new opportunities in Engineering Communication

As January 2014 closes out, I find myself with many new exciting opportunities on my plate.  I began working with Cornell’s GameDesign Initiative this week, working with undergrads as they conceptualize, build, test, and deploy original games. I’ll be with the first class in the offerings:

http://gdiac.cis.cornell.edu/

I’ve also committed to working with Cornell’s ASCE teams, specifically with the Mead writing competition and with Concrete Canoe (CC).  It’s nice to get back to CC, after leaving the teams at U of Wisconsin-Madison. There’s a strong CC tradition at Madison and I have missed being a small part of that. So, go Cornell!

http://www.asce.org/concretecanoe/

http://www.engineering.cornell.edu/academics/undergraduate/special_programs/student_teams/teams/canoe.cfm

 

UW online engineering, at the top again!

Once again, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s online Masters of Engineering has earned a top three ranking in the US News listings! I couldn’t be more proud to teach in such a great program!

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/university-of-wisconsin-madison-OENG0236/engineering

 

SEFI…Belgium, Denmark, and the Professor Hotel

Last month, I had the great pleasure of doing a big work travel/trip. It began with me taking some time to talk to Dr. Annette Markham at Aaruhus University in Denmark.  Exploring the connections between internet theory, identity, and engineering communication, I was also able to think about ways that topics that I am interested in teaching could find a home in the euro way of providing information to students.

After that, it was on to Leuven, Belgium, where I attended the SEFI conference (the European Society for Engineering Education) with my colleague Christine Nicometo. We presented a talk called “Stop Slipping and Sliding: Methods to Reclaim Expert Engineering Space by Using Slides to Best Advantage” that was well received.

Another bonus was meeting up the the always-everywhere- Cheryl Ball.  The four of us (Markham, Ball, Nicometo, and Nathans-Kelly) had two intense days of talk about everything from the silos of information exchange in academics to the politics of MLA to identity within and without institutions…to the various qualities of chocolate. Along the way, we spied the “Professor Hotel” in Leuven, which I hope to post up in a photo soon.

 
 
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