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septiembre 2022
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Leonardo da Vinci Medal 2022

Estoy enormemente orgulloso de haber sido reconocido con la Leonardo da Vinci Medal que otorga la European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI), que en sus palabras:
The Leonardo da Vinci Medal is the highest distinction SEFI can bestow. The Medal is awarded by the SEFI Board of Directors to living persons who have made an outstanding contribution to engineering education, which has had an international significance (www.sefi.be/activities/recognitions).

Espero ser digno merecedor de este reconocimiento, y seguiré trabajando para ello.

La he recibido en el marco de la SEFI Annual Conference celebrada del 19 al 22 de septiembre de 2022 en Barcelona (sefi2022.eu), organizada por el ICE de la Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya – Barcelona Tech (UPC).

Noticia SEFI:
https://www.sefi.be/2022/10/18/sefi-leonardo-da-vinci-medalist-2022

Laudatio de Marc Alier:

Discurso de agradecimiento:

Thank you very much.
Thank you very much to the European Society for Engineering Education. It is a great honour for me to receive this award, the Leonardo da Vinci Medal.

I és un enorme orgull rebre’l a Barcelona, ciutat a la que tant estime i a la qual ens escapem sempre que podem, i en el marc d’aquestes jornades celebrades en la Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, a la que tant admire i on tantes bones amigues i amics tinc.
Moltes gràcies Ariadna, tu has possible aquest reconeixement. Moltes gràcies Marc per la laudatio.

My two favourite hobbies are learning and solving problems.

That is why I’m particularly excited about this award, because it brings together these two passions, EDUCATION and ENGINEERING.

To briefly explain who I am in my social media profile, I say:
Profesor porque me gusta aprender,
informático porque no quiero perder el tiempo haciendo lo mismo que las máquinas.

Teacher because I like to learn,
informatic because I don’t want to waste my time doing the same as the machines.

You may think that I am wrong to talk about learning, since the award is for teaching.

But, no, I don’t.

I firmly believe that a good teacher is not one who boasts about how much he knows, who imparts it to his students and who learns it is not his problem.

For me, a good teacher is one who is always ready to learn.

Learning new things or different approaches to his subject, because, even if he is a specialist, the frontiers of knowledge are dynamic and constantly moving.

The good teacher is also ready to learn from his students, to experiment with new ways of engaging with them, to be attentive to how they explain the subject to each other and the resources they use found on internet.

Closely linked to this passion for learning is my curiosity.

I have always been, and still am, extremely curious about how things work, about the why of everything.

When I was a child, when my mother broke an artefact, instead of throwing it away, she gave it to me.

I would take it disassembled to see its secrets.

I always had a screw or a part left over when I reassembled it.

And sometimes (rarely) I was able to repair it.

But once I know how it works, I’m no fun anymore.

I’m more interested in finding the solution than in applying it repeatedly.

That’s why, when I finished my degree in education, I started studying mathematics, because I wanted to provide a formal solution that would always work.

And my total joy came when I discovered that I could write that solution in a programming language and a computer would do the repetitive work for me.

I graduated and later got a PhD in computer engineering.

And I am still captivated by learning, both human and machine learning.

I am interested in intelligence and how the human brain works, and I read everything I can get my hands on, thinking that machines will learn better and behave more humanely.

But the more I read, the more I realised that they are not the same thing, but can complement each other perfectly.

I am fascinated by what we are getting the machines to do.

And every day I am more and more amazed by the versatility of the human brain.

I’m captivated by teaching machines.

I love teaching people.

And I’m passionate about teaching people by supporting them with machines.

I am very lucky that, as a university professor of computer science, I have been able to live doing what I love the most: LEARNING.

I would like to conclude with the words attributed to Richard Feynman:
“If you want to master something, teach it.
The more you teach, the better you learn.
Teaching is a powerful tool to learning”.

Once again, I would like to thank European Society for Engineering Education for this recognition.

Pero quiero dedicar el premio a Belén.

I would like to dedicate it to Belén, for always being by my side and providing me with a loving, healthy and stable environment that has allowed me to become a better teacher and person.

Thanks, Gracias, Merci, Danke, Grazie, Obrigado

Moltíssimes gràcies

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