We prefer chromium Chromium chrome Chrome | support safari Safari firefox Firefox opera Opera | but NOT IE Internet Explorer < 10.0
Ali EftekhariAli EftekhariAli EftekhariAli EftekhariAli EftekhariAli EftekhariAli Eftekhari

Scientific Strategy

Let us consider some scientific theories, which are irrelevant but can light our way with better visualization. Any scientific theory has its significance in its own field, but some theories can be applied to other fields too. In rare cases, a scientific theory can have universal concept beyond its scientific significance. 

Darwin's Natural Selection: In addition to the importance of Darwin's theory in biology, it has a universal concept that everything is subject to evolution. The latter is far from controversial debates on biological aspects of Darwin's theory, as everyone believes in the essence of evolution. The critical point is that the driving forces for evolution are needs and possibilities. This way of thinking will reveal how a tradition has been evolved and how much important is their elements. For example, many modern universities tried to follow the architecture of ancient universities (e.g., in the UK). The architecture of old universities in UK has nothing to do with the essentials of higher educations. They built magnificent building suitable for education based on their needs (e.g., culture, weather, etc) and possibilities (e.g resources, geography, etc). If they were excellent architecture for the UK universities, it does not mean that they can be ideal for universities in other countries too. Except a few creative architecture designs in new universities, almost all of new universities followed a tradition: whether an old tradition (classical architecture) or a new tradition (modern architecture). For example, many new universities try to duplicate the modern architecture of top universities (like MIT) without considering the essence of creativity beyond this modern architecture. Living species try to find their own solution to survive. When intelligence is stronger in decision making, we expect to learn from other experiences, not to follow blindly. Within the communities of humankind, the home of intelligence is academia. As a matter of fact, academia is where intelligence should be born, evolved, and spread throughout the society. 

Maxwell's Law: In a scientific scene, Maxwell's Law just connect electricity to magnetism, but it was the starting point for a new way of thinking: the universe is more united than what we think. As later proposed that energy and matter can convert to each other, now we know that physical phenomena and processes have strong effects on each other. This is not limited to physical cases in a classical scene; instead, this is what we can see in our everyday life, and indeed, this is the key to success. Classical education is merely based on transferring knowledge, but effective education is only possible by considering different factors and driving forces. In a classical view, you need electricity to provide electricity, but Maxwell's theory thought us that sometimes it is better to use magnetism when you need electricity and vice versa. Instead of relying on classical one-way monologue for education, we can use more powerful driving forces such as a passion in an interactive system like game-based education. We are far from practical reality, as by the term of game-based education, most of readers are thinking about elementary education, and it seems irrelevant to higher education.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics: Although thermodynamics is a localized fields in physics and some areas of engineering, it is the most universal theory of science ever. When the Austrian Physicist, Ludwig Boltzmann proposed the concept of entropy (which was later developed by Max Planck) for gas molecules, he was thinking more than a theory in physics, but his philosophical view was not spread as well as the physical importance of his theory. Despite some works in biology, this universal theory skipped our everyday life scale to be extended from molecular scale to the universe at large scale. The universality of the second law of thermodynamics explicitly defines that the entropy, a measure of disorder, of the entire universe is always (with no exception) increasing. This has a vital impact on our everyday life, which could be understood from Boltzmann's philosophical writings but lost (or somehow ignored) in time. The problem is that entropy is about disorder and death (the universe dies on the maximum entropy), and nobody likes these concepts. The point ignored is that the flow of entropy provides rare opportunity for localized order and life. Negative entropy is a measure of order, which can be achieved in the flow of entropy. Consider a liquid and a solid. The entropy of a liquid is higher due to the mobility of molecules. Which state is better for constructing a statue? Lots of energy is needed to cut a rigid solid to build the desirable order, i.e., the statue. On the other hand, the extreme entropy of a liquid is far beyond our ability to keep the molecules in right place for building the desirable shape. The easiest solution is to use a paste, in which we have entropy as much as we can handle it. This is the most important lesson in management. A manager can be successful only if allowing maximum mobility he can handle in the system. Sadly unpopular, but a modern manager necessarily needs to visualize his system in terms of entropy, because is the most tangible measure to detect critical points and limits. 

This is not about the best or worse, instead, it deals with most suitable in a given situation. There should be other solutions too; for example, sometimes we prefer to freeze the liquid in a template to build the statue. A university like any other organization will reach the maximum energy only if reaching the maximum entropy which can be handled by the management system. If reducing the entropy for safety, we are losing opportunities (and recall the universal theory of Darwin: we are living in a competitive market and we must survive), and if increasing the entropy too much, it will lead us astray (nothing but chaos). What makes an exceptional manager is to reach this critical balance. To control the flow of entropy, we need energy, and Maxwell taught us that the energy we need is not limited to what we have.
University Failure
American system is utopia for higher education systems in other countries, but American higher edu...
Women in Higher Education Women in Higher Education
There are two different steps in this direction. First, it is necessarily needed to support the p...
Practical Project: Towards Real University Practical Project: Towards Real University
To move towards real universities for 21st centuries, we need practical plans....
Believe in Potentials Believe in Potentials
A human life is created by what his brain believes. Transition from a traditional university to m...
© 2015 Ali Eftekhari. All rights reserved.