Beads in May

some notes from AQLM

Thursday, May 25, 2006

AQLM in Repose

It's been about two weeks since the Spectral Conflict Finale and the whole AQLM experience. I suspect something special happened this year-- it seems a combined effort of both faculty and students produced something more, something new. We have a few emails from students, and even a couple from faculty that state this in various ways. Interestingly, noone articulates it perfectly-- as if we did something that we can't quite fathom.

We really tried really come to grips with quantitation in a microscope. Obviously, we didn't succeed-- it's just too hard to do so in a course with a limited period of time. But we made progress, and all seem to recognize that a joint effort was worth it and amounts to a significant achievement.

We also made a step along a path we've all discussed for some time-- a remodeling of a course that necessarily must address a very long and important history, but that also must include new methods, techniques, and approaches that are driving the field forward, and frankly, keep us passionately dedicated to this pursuit. This is a natural, probably unresolvable tension.

We're not there yet, and we are still defining where there is, but we are on our way.


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