Sunday, February 28, 2016


The last couple of weeks I have given lectures at local universities, both about 100 miles away:   Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. These colleges do perform research, but the weight of their activities lies closer to teaching. Both want to increase their research weight, though, so the question is how to do that best.

Tennessee Tech

TTU and UTC should use their two best assets  - their young enthusiastic faculty and their curious and bright students. These, and laptops, are all you need these days to perform first-class research. OK, some experimental equipment is useful too, but they have that of course.

I've always been of the opinion that research success is built from the grass roots upwards (this is why ORNL and UTK REALLY need to work together better to greatly increase the student participation in research at ORNL).  This means that the faculty need to integrate research into undergraduate curricula earlier than at present, and need to encourage materially faculty who are doing productive research. With a solid foundation of lively undergrads performing research under faculty supervision, TTU and UTC will quickly increase their research profiles, and everyone will benefit from it.

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