We learn things at conferences! Here are some notes from the last one I attended (FIE, or Frontiers in Education, an engineering edu conference I attend most years).

I learned (via Margot Vigeant) that I'm not the only comic-drawing engineering education researcher. She's doing visual work in the discipline, as is Lucas Landherr (who, like Margot, is a chemical engineer).

Also via Margot was a heads-up about Project Hieroglyph, an initiative at ASU that paired sci-fi writers with researchers to "provide not just an idea for some specific technical innovation, but also to supply a coherent picture of that innovation being integrated into a society, into an economy, and into people’s lives." I couldn't think of a better framing example for what I'm trying to do with my "alternate universe engineering/tech/computing education cultures" work, which is still in those lovely early stages of "I have no idea what I'm doing with this." Stories. Stories are so important.

I got the opportunity to catch up with several friends, including James Huff (whose work on shame in engineering edu with Nikki Sochacka and Jo Walther is something I am so looking forward to) and Ana Rynearson (who is starting a new program at Campbell), and Allison Godwin (who has very good NSF CAREER award advice). And Rebecca Christianson and Siddharthan Govindasamy, who are wrapping up the 3rd year of the QEA experiment and have stories to tell, and and and and...

And meet new ones! It was a tremendous pleasure to meet Adam Masters, who is looking at makerspaces designed specifically for marginalized groups, and who I really want to collaborate with on the "alternate universe curricular cultures" thing at some point down the line. And Julianna Ge, who is pursuing the fascinating notion of "engineering thriving" (thesis: if you're successful in engineering academics and are thoroughly miserable, we're not doing a great job with engineering education for you yet). Which reminds me that I should introduce the two of them.

Oh, and I got to spend more time with the incomparable Tess Edmonds, which is always a great joy. She also was the third performer in the special session that Ian Smith, Samir Jain, and I did on an alternate-universe engineering culture where engineering is dominated by Deaf people, and hearing(ness) is seen as a disability... more on that later, I hope. But right now, conference happiness. And a lot of catching-up on email.