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The 20 Most Innovative STEM College and Universities to Watch 2017

List of The 20 Most Innovative STEM College & Universities to Watch 2017 which made their own path of success

32 Eduventure

32 Eduventure Reinventing Society ─ One System at a Time s the Greek empire began to widen its sphere of Ainfluence into Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and beyond, their people were smart enough to accept and acclimate all the useful elements from the societies which they conquered. Have a brief look at the history. Ancient Greeks have made some significant contributions to the field of mathematics. During the time of the ancient Greek civilization, several of their arithmeticians became famous for their work. People like Pythagoras, Archimedes, Euclid, Posidonius, Hipparchus and Ptolemy brought new fundamentals of thinking to society, fostering the field of math, and building on the earlier work of Egyptian and Babylonian mathematicians. A few generations later, the Romans became the intellectually dominant society on the planet. But unfortunately, and surprisingly, the one characteristic that pulled-down the “intellectual” Roman society was the dearth of Roman mathematicians. Rest assured, very soon the scholarly members of Roman society came from a good gene pool and they were every bit as gifted and talented as the Greeks. But then, Romans were held hostage by their own learning systems, which restricted them from thinking innovatively. One of the primary culprits for the lack of Roman mathematicians was their renowned numbering system. Roman numerals and its lack of numeric positioning were actually a disaster. Romans were so engrossed in their numbering system that they had no clue that it was averting

them from doing even elementary mathematics such as simple multiplication or adding a column of numbers or division, a feat still handled by abacus. It’s easy for us to make a negative judgment about the Roman numerals, but the real fact is that it was just one of many inferior numbering systems used in ancient times. Distinctively, the feature that made Roman numerals so bad was the fact that each number lacked specific numeric positioning and was in fact an equation, and this extra layer of intricacy prevented people from attempting higher math. Roman numerals were a system problem, and a huge one at that, which prevented an entire civilization from advancing through the elemental field of math and science. Fast forward to today. We are living in a society where nigh on everything is different from the days of the Roman Empire. But the counterintuitive fact is that we are even more dependent today on our systems than the Romans ever were. Examples of such system that we take for granted ─ systems for accounting, banking, procurement, weights and measurement, traffic management, and so on. Much like the Romans, we are immersed in the use of these systems to a point where we hardly ever step back and question the reasoning and logic behind them. Believe it or not, our systems virtually govern every aspect of our lives. They determine how we live and where we live, where and when we travel, what we eat and where we work, how much money we will make, the job we do, the friends we have and even how long we will live. Nevertheless, though subconsciously aware of the fact, we seldom step back to fully understand the context of our existence. Quite similar to how a fish is unaware and disregarded of the existence of water. Our systems are what control the flow of commerce, govern our effectiveness as members of society, and create much of the stress we face on a daily basis. There are a number of restrictive systems that are preventing us from doing great things. One prominent example is the Keyboard – We use keyboards that were intended to slow the speed of typing by placing the most frequently used keys randomly across the face of the keyboard. Keyboards in any configuration are an extremely inept way to transfer knowledge from one person to another. After studying American systems and applying the “equivalency to Roman numerals” test, it is quite evident that we, as a society, are operating at somewhere around 5- 10% efficiency, or even less. Some of the other examples of restrictive systems include the Half-Implemented Metric System, Income Tax System, Laws etc. October | 2017 T H E NOWLEDGEREVIEW Education. Innovation. Success

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