This week started out with the Dies Natalis of our university. We celebrated the 40th anniversary of the founding of the university. I can still remember how I ran around the lines on the ground where the university was to be built.
We all met in the Auditorium and it was nice to see all my colleagues and wish them a happy new year. The Rector Magnificus/ university director, Dr. Francis de Lanoy, addressed us and then we went to have a delicious brunch in our Mensa.
During the evening there was an official program to celebrate. They started the evening with a throwback of 40 years ago. As the majority of the people present was over 40, we had a good time remembering.
The minister of culture, education of sports held a speech. She referred to a convention in Belgium she just returned from and talked a lot about sustainable education. Sustainability education (SE), Education for Sustainability (EfS), and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) are often used interchangeably to describe the practice of teaching for sustainability. (https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/education-sustainable-development-0. www.heacademy.ac.uk. Retrieved 2018-07-04)
Our Rector Magnificus spoke about the latest developments at our university. He also mentioned that we have 2000 students from 16 countries.
He is the vice-president of the Caribbean Universities and he told us that the universities will be working more closely together. The first thing that popped into my mind was that a stronger bond between the universities would be beneficial for the challenges with Math, Curacao and the other island are facing.
After our Rector Magnificus, we had the keynote speech of Martin White Professor Mike Savage. When I read the invitation for the first time, I thought that there would be two speakers, but then again they only spoke of one keynote speech. It helped that they explained that senior professors get to be a Martin White professor at the university where Dr. Mike Savage is employed.
I am learning every day.
Dr. Savage spoke about the inequality in the world. That is the difference between the rich and the poor. From a study of the World Economic Forum, Davos 2017, the published that 8 billionaires earn the same amount of money as 5.6 billion people do together! Can you imagine that? From the books of Robert Kiyosaki, we know that 10% of the people of the world have 90% of all the money of the world.
Some countries have been working hard to lower their inequality rate, like Finland. After the military regimes in South America, a lot of countries in South America established more inclusive policies. The consequence is that they have a fairly good inequality rate.
One part of Spain, the Basque Country, that are fighting for their independence from Spain has a rule about the inequality rate. The rate is established at 1 : 9, which means that nobody can earn more than 9 times the poorest. The people of Basque Country are happy with this. The crowd reacted. Dr. Savage asked if we knew the rate in the USA. Well, it is 1: 300 with no boundaries. So 1 : 9 is good. What is it in your country?
The inequality rate is considered a big global challenge.
After all the speeches, some people got awarded. One of them was the current Miss Universe Curaçao, Akisha Albert.
Some weeks ago she managed to finish in the last 10 at the Miss Universe International. She is studying English at our university.
The best part for me was the informal part where I got the chance to speak to Dr. David Alvarez. He could tell me a lot about the developments around math that are taken place in the Dominican Republic. One of the things I was not aware of, was the arrangement that some countries made to make it possible for a person to be 100% dedicated to research on math. Something like that would be for me a dream come true.
Here a picture of me and Dr. Alvarez.
On Wednesday I sent Dr. Alvarez an email to see how we can work together. He himself is not working in de department where everything is happening, so he got me the names of some colleagues of him. Hopefully, I will hear from them soon.
Click here for more pictures of the Dies Natalis of the University of Curaçao, Dr. Moises da Costa Gomez.
This week I read the thesis of two bachelor students I am guiding. One of them realized that the structure she chose didn’t serve her well, so she rewrote a part of it. Now it reads better.
The other one has a problem for showing me all she has at once in one document. So she makes it difficult for me to give good aligned comments. Her thesis is different from the other one. She will be writing a manual.
As part of my social task at the university, I work with Fundashon Tur Ta Konta. Fundashon Tur Ta Konta is a volunteer organization that tutors Math to children, whose parents can not afford to pay for this. On Wednesday we met with some school boards and board members of the institution of refreshment courses for teachers. We had a brainstorming session about which Math refreshment courses would fit the teachers.
On Friday Fundashon Tur Ta Konta had a New Year get together at the office where everything started.