Liberating Education: Free Software in the STEM Classroom - Wulf Hofbauer - FOSSASIA Summit 2017

Published on: Sunday, 9 April 2017

Speaker(s): Wulf Hofbauer (Singapore)

Today, even low-end computers have resources once only found in supercomputers. Similarly, there is a huge selection of free professional-quality software, in particular (but not only) related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Yet all too often, students are only taught to use computers for basic word processing or presentations and never learn to tap the computer’s power as a versatile problem-solving tool, even if it could be readily applied at school, in their future careers, and at home.

In my presentation, I will demonstrate a few examples of free software we use routinely in our STEM teaching and research lab in areas such as computer-assisted mathematics, mechanical design, electronic circuit design, and data analysis.

The ultimate key to take control of the computer as a tool is the ability to program it. The Python programming language is rightfully popular in education, academia and industry alike as it is easy to learn, yet extremely expressive and powerful. I will show examples of how we/our students use Python to simulate engineering designs before prototyping, control experiments, and acquire and process data.

I will close by discussing why free software is not just about the money, and how some attractive-looking free-of-charge software or online service schemes can actually hurt students by taking their freedom away.

(Type: Workshop | Track: Internet, Society & Politics | Room: Einstein (Floor 2))

Event Page:

Produced by Engineers.SG