Category Archives: Online Learning

Why STEM Studies are the Future of Engineering

Florida Polytechnic University Director of Admissions Lauren Willison
Guest post by Florida Polytechnic University Director of Admissions Lauren Willison

Quality of life has significantly improved thanks to tools developed by leaders in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. These high-performing minds combine technical skill with innovative ideas to find improvements and alternative solutions to some of the world’s largest problems. Engineering, in particular, is one STEM field that can take credit for many of our greatest inventions. Engineers run through a step-by-step process of research, concept development, analytics, designing, and manufacturing to build prototypes and bring visualizations to life – all of which is studied extensively in a STEM curriculum. STEM education allows students to fine-tune their skills for each step of this process through engaging, project-based work. Here’s why future engineers will benefit from a quality education at one of the many STEM-focused top engineering colleges.

Let’s Talk About Engineering

Besides having one of the lowest unemployment rates of any profession, engineering offers many different fields for specialization. No matter the engineering field chosen, STEM-focused schools teach best practices for reducing energy consumption, minimizing environmental impact and increasing efficiency – three areas that will become more relevant across all engineering branches in the future.

Computer Engineering

Computer engineering is a hybrid of computer science and electrical engineering. Today, STEM students pursuing a computer engineering degree are trained in disciplines such as embedded system design, machine intelligence and digital logic design. They harness critical thinking skills to be applied to legal, ethical, environmental, private and social implications pertinent to computer engineering. All of these skills will prove crucial, particularly in software development, the fastest-growing branch of computer engineering. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 17 percent growth rate for software developers from 2014 to 2024.

Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering is unlike most other engineering fields because it isn’t exclusive to a specific industry. Instead, these engineers use their specific skill set to improve machines and systems for a wide range of businesses, from manufacturing companies to theme parks. A key part of what employers seek in industrial engineers is the ability to increase profits by reducing internal costs. Under a constant demand for excellence, the next generation of industrial engineers will find themselves in an arms race with peers to stand out for jobs. Intensive, highly elaborate work and STEM study programs, specifically industrial engineering degree programs, help these engineers master their craft. Industrial engineers are also judged by a set of unique personal attributes: candidates for employment must be detail-oriented, critical thinkers, excellent communicators (both verbally and on paper) and be self-starters.


Nanotechnology falls under the discipline of mechanical and industrial engineering, but focuses on manufacturing devices on the molecular and atomic level for custom applications. Nanotechnology engineers design these devices to reduce weight, volume and power demands to make them more durable. STEM-focused nanotechnology degree programs provide cutting-edge technology, allowing students to create these materials and find solutions for real-world problems. This prepares them for a career in a growing nanotechnology field such as the environmental industry. In this industry, nanotechnology engineers are researching pollutants in the world’s food supply on the cellular level, and searching for a solution to reduce these pollutants for a more sustainable future.

Engineering outlook for the future

A degree in engineering-related studies ensures a rewarding college experience and a profitable future. According to a study done by PayScale, degrees in engineering ranked ninth out of the top 10 paying majors in salary potential. With the help of a STEM education, engineers can apply best practices for reducing energy consumption, minimizing environmental impact and increasing efficiency. From computer engineering to nanotechnology, there’s no denying the future of engineering is bright and full of potential.

Lauren Willison
As the Director of Admissions at Florida Polytechnic University, Lauren Willison is responsible for supporting the Vice Provost of Enrollment in managing recruitment efforts. She develops and coordinates on- and off-campus events, as well as manages the campus visit experience.

University of Washington Machine Learning Classification Review

I’ve spent the last couple of months working through course three in the University of Washington’s Machine Learning Specialization on Coursera. Course two was regression (review); the topic of the third course is classification. As has been the case with previous courses, this specialization continues to be taught by Carlos Guestrin and Emily Fox. For… Continue Reading

Coursera Review–Machine Learning: Regression

Coursera Review–Machine Learning: Regression

I’ve recently completed the second course in the University of Washington Machine Learning Specialization on Coursera, “Machine Learning: Regression.” This comes on the heels of completing course 1, Machine Learning Foundations: A Case Study Approach. This course debuted right at the end of November and wrapped up 6 weeks later (my impression is that these… Continue Reading

NASA and Texas Instruments Team Up for STEM Education

NASA and Texas Instruments Team Up for STEM Education

  Today, Texas Instruments announced a new partnership with NASA for STEM education that they are calling mISSion imaginaTIon. The new initiative launched with an online quiz about manned space missions, and there will soon be TI-Nspire activities with mISSion imaginaTIon. A year long STEM design challenge encourages students to work on four space-related challenges, and the… Continue Reading

Teaching Graph Theory With Twitter

In a recent post, I displayed the social network graph that I created using the Twitter API and Plotly. There are a number of interesting applications here. Given my history with education, one that I think that shouldn’t be overlooked is as an interesting way to teach graph theory for an innovative teacher and school.… Continue Reading

#EdTechChat Social Network Graph

#EdTechChat Social Network Graph

Using the Twitter API and Plotly with Python, I created a visualization of a recent #EdTechChat on Twitter, held on December 14. If you aren’t familiar with graph theory, the dots in this visualization are referred to as nodes or vertices. They represent the Twitter users that participated in the chat. The line segments connecting… Continue Reading

Coursera Review: Social and Economic Networks

Because I just couldn’t get enough of the new Machine Learning Specialization from the University of Washington, I decided to fill fill my schedule to the brim with another Coursera class, Social and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis, from the University of Stanford. I took a graph theory course at the University of Illinois while… Continue Reading

Hour of Code 2015

We are just a couple of weeks away from the 2015 Hour of Code.  Last year, I did the Hour of Code with all of my students on my last day as a teacher after 13 years in the classroom, and they loved it. If you are a math, science, or computer teacher, or are a… Continue Reading

Why You Should Attend a Texas Instruments T3 Webinar

My wife was good enough to pick up extra bed time duty with our kids tonight so I could take in the latest Texas Instruments T3 webinar, Behind Health with TI Technology. As is always the case with these webinars, the content was excellent, incorporating interdisciplinary content from science and statistics. This particular webinar focused on TI’s Stem… Continue Reading