Saturday, February 25, 2012

On transdisiciplinary education

One of my IBM colleagues, Jim Spohrer, the IBM University Relations Director,  has written about the need of students to receive transdisciplinary education.   Indeed we find more and more that doing things require not just multidisciplinary skills, of people from several disciplines working together, but also transdisciplinary skills, where people have good skills in several disciplines and a single person knows how to integrate these disciplines.  This is, of course, contrary to the academic tradition, where promotion processes for faculty members advocate the association with a single well-defined discipline.    We can see much more  transdisciplinary programs today then 20 years ago.  I believe that a program in which a student learns combination of computer science with another discipline (biology, business, mechanical engineering, cognitive psychology and more...),  not only at the intersection between the disciplines, but rather at the union, of having deep understanding in both disciplines as the type of skills required in the marketplace.  

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