Mani Mina, Iowa State University
Remembering Professor William (Bill) Sayle and The Interface
I remember the first time that I saw The Interface. I did not recognize its true value and dismissed the fact that I had received it for quite some time. Sometime later, Professor Ed Jones at Iowa State University saw some of the articles that I had written for our IEEE student section at Iowa State University, and suggested that I contact one of the education leaders, Bill Sayle. I had never met the professor, but I trusted Ed Jones, so I followed through with his suggestion. Bill requested to see my work and within a few days asked me to send him a picture as well. He told me that he was going to use one of the short articles
titled “Are You Being Educated?” in the next issue of The Interface. I sent him the picture and started to look to find out more about this publication. I definitely knew The Interface was interesting and important. I also realized I had several issues of it next to my copies of Spectrum and IEEE Transactions on Education, yet I had never really paid much attention to it. Before the next issue containing my article reached me, I managed to read more than a few articles of the collection that I had. After few hours of reading the articles I went to Ed Jones’s office and told him, “Wow, The Interface is fantastic! It is like an old friend that I needed and never knew I had!” Ed smiled and told me that when I meet Bill, I will say the same thing about him as well.
This statement was as true as anything Ed Jones had ever told me. I first met Bill on a Monday morning at an ASEE conference. I was a first-time attendee and did not know what I was doing. Bill and I talked; he listened to me and encouraged me to stay active and participate to shape our field for the better. Later he told me that he had not been feeling well but he hoped to see more of the members or ECE and educators. We had the privilege of getting to know Bill much better for a short time, a much too short amount of time, and then we all lost him forever.
Bill’s contributions in the IEEE Education Society and ECE Division have been unique and greatly valued by all of us. The Interface has been one of the legacies of his hard work, vision, hopes, and deep belief in an ongoing dialogue between all educators. Every time that I see any issues of The Interface, I begin to experience a deep melancholy in thought of our lost friend Bill, but memories of his vision and smile then begin to induce a feeling of great hope and energy to do better for our field. I believe I am not the only one who feels this way; there are more than a few of us.
The Interface: The pedagogical platform for ideas and discussions in engineering education
We owe it to Bill, and to many past, present, and future leaders of IEEE and ECE to continue our history of rigorous efforts to shape a new dialogue. The Interface should be the flagship that allows us to bring new ideas, hopes, visions, and pedagogical discussions forward. This publication is the medium in which we mold our efforts to confront diverse, exciting, new, and ever-changing challenges that are facing the future of Engineering Education. You may say, “There are many ongoing discussion groups, Facebook pages, sites, journals … why do we need a new one?” I agree that these all exist in many forms and in many places, but, there are many of us that believe The Interface is a unique and necessary piece to tackle future
The Interface has a rich history and a can have a hopeful, lasting, and visionary reach that could stand the test of time and the demands for constant change. So, everyone is invited to think, share, start constructive dialogues, participate with our ideas, and shape the future of The Interface. At this particular point in time, The Interface needs us more than we need The Interface. However, there are many of us who believe that with the ever-changing faces of engineering education in the near and distant future, we definitely have a need for The Interface. I hope that our enthusiasm, visions, hopes, and educated dialogues are the spark that leads to a bright future. Our goal with The Interface is to create a vivid, passionate, and
radiating platform for all engineering educators.
Shape the future with your ideas and participation!
With the goal of creating a short issue we invite everyone to provide ideas to the editorial board. We are looking for ideas, thoughts, and articles that initiate progressive and constructive discussions. We are seeking a new form/format for The Interface. This is simply the starting point. With everyone’s participation, and a more dynamic format for The Interface, we can and will be the leading flagship that is a serious, creative, innovative, and progressive fuel for the needed pedagogical dialogue in engineering education.