Summer Social Picnic at Bonneville Dam

August 23, 2007

Last Saturday, August 18th, the Oregon Section had it’s 2007 Summer Social at Bonneville Dam.   We enjoyed a group tour of Power House One (see photos).  We had good weather and good company.  Afterwards, we all enjoyed a catered summer BBQ lunch on Robins Island.  Our thanks goes out to Dan Arnold who put on this wonderful event. –Jeffrey

Summer Social 2007 Summer Social 2007 (2) Power House One


IEEE Oregon and Education

August 22, 2007

Just thinking about Tony’s question at the last meeting about what the IEEE was doing about education.

What does IEEE Oregon define as education?  We can define our educational efforts operationally. You know, seminars, courses, publications, etc., which I think is what we did in our last meeting. More generally, we can talk about our goals, which we did a few meetings ago. You know, let’s think of ways to motivate young people to view engineering as a desirable and rewarding profession.

Let me talk about efforts first. Traditionally, we think of education as courses. Fill up a conference room, get a good speaker (even charge a nominal amount and put something in our budget), and then everyone goes home. Follow-up? Yes, we can distribute notes or a DVD (and again maybe even charge for it). And this is all good, but I wanted to submit that even with these efforts, we are still working a one-way street. We are imparting information, certainly doing our best to make it interesting and accessible, but essentially the interaction remains one-way.

Have we thought about (possibly we have before I became involved with the section?) educational efforts that have a more bi-directional nature? Like, well, starting and managing volunteer projects … either hardware or software. That rocket club at PSU is an excellent example of a collaborative project involving both hardware and software. There are a number of opensource and semi-opensource (those sponsored by Adobe, Intel, or Microsoft) that are examples of collaborative software projects. Is there an opportunity for Industry Relations here?

Have we considered being even more connected with local educational institutions? Could IEEE members volunteer to tutor engineering students? Or volunteer  to mentor student projects? Certainly teachers and professors do this sort of thing for a living, but I’m always hearing about how overloaded they are.

Should we get involved with such projects? Or even start some up on our own? Discussing these questions leads us to a discussion of want our goals should be. I’m making the case for IEEE Oregon to be a hands-on educational force in our community. I think we have the expertise and the time to be that.

This is the kind of discussion I’m hoping to start up on this blog. If some of the suggestions I’ve made are inappropriate to what IEEE Oregon should be, let’s discuss why. It’d give me (and others I’m sure) a better understanding of what roles IEEE Oregon should fill.


RSS and forums

August 15, 2007

What do IEEE readers use to collect RSS feeds. I use bloglines. If anyone is interested, I can figure out how to get an RRS feed from this blog … or you can figure it out and let us know!

At the ExecCom meeting Gary asked if we could provide a forum. I guess we can … I looked at freeforum

My opinion is that we should try to get some use out of the blog and wiki we have before setting up a forum. What do you think?

Executive Committee Meeting

August 13, 2007

Tuesday, August 14 around 6PM. In that PSU Engineering building on 4th Street (called the Fourth Avenue Building), Room 155.

MSDN in Portland

August 8, 2007

Microsoft is giving some free talks in Portland tomorrow at the Multnomah Theatre across from Lloyd Center. In the afternoon you can hear about Linq, Silverlight and Orcas. If you decide to go, you have to print out an admission ticket from

See you there!

Nerd Dinner on Tuesday 8/7/07

August 6, 2007

Ever go to the Nerd Dinners … eat crappy food and talk about tech stuff? We get together about once a month. Tomorrow is the August meeting.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor; typically, straight
out from Picture People
When: Tuesday, August 7, starting around 6:30 PM

Microsoft Connections for Small Business

August 6, 2007

Microsoft is giving a free presentation on how it supports small businesses. It’s just four hours … I’ve always found them useful. The next one in town is at the Lloyd Center Stadium 10 Cinema pn 8/9/07 sdtarting at 8AM. Go to to register. You have to print out an admission ticket and take it with you.