The week in sci & ed (1/2/2012)
Flemish professor Jean Bourgain has won the prestigious Crafoord Prize for mathematics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences hands out the award, which has a similar allure to the Nobel Prize and a value of €445,000. Bourgain was rewarded for his pioneering work on number theory and differential equations. Born in Ostend in 1954, he became Doctor of Mathematics in 1977 at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), before moving to the United States and is currently one of eight permanent lecturers at the influential School of Mathematics at Princeton University.
The Erasmus University College Brussels is collaborating with Flemish tourist agencies Toerisme Vlaanderen and the Flanders-Brussels Convention Bureau to launch a training course for the meetings industry in Flanders and Brussels in March. The course focuses on the organisation of international meetings, congresses, seminars and business events.
As part of its Electric Vehicles in Action (EVA) project, the Flemish government will install a network of 71 charging points for electric vehicles by September. The infrastructure consists of parking spots and bicycle racks where several electric cars, vans, bikes and scooters can charge their batteries. EVA is one of five Flemish “living labs” on electric mobility that were founded last year in cooperation with the Agency for Innovation through Science and Technology.
More than half of all Flemish teachers in secondary schools still use chalk instead of a digital blackboard. Though 70% of Flemish teachers have a digital blackboard or interactive whiteboard at their disposal, only 44% use it during classes, according to research conducted by a professor at the University of Antwerp and published in the magazine iSCHOOL.
A work group of professors at the University of Leuven has made suggestions for the planned reform of the Flemish secondary education system. They recommend gradual reform, a broad and generally common curriculum until the third or fourth year, more technology in general education and timely intervention in cases of social inequality. The group questions the value of the B-certificate, currently administered to pupils with learning difficulties, which allows them to progress to the next school year but excludes several study options.