Jiri Praus’s sculptures are beautiful and inspiring. For Mother’s Day I wanted to make my wife an LED heart that pulses to the holder’s heart beat. Unfortunately, I lack two things that Jiri has — skill and talent. Undaunted, I cobbled together a rough facsimile that required less complex electronics, more suited to my limited skill. And while my work wasn’t as pretty as Jiri’s work, I was able to build it. I made a few mistakes along the way, but here’s what I learned.

As a white male tech professor I’m not exactly the go-to demographic for creating a feeling of inclusion among marginalized students. But even a BOWG (bald old white guy) can create a more encouraging and inclusive classroom experience. Here are some very simple thoughts.

Showcase Diverse STEM Stars: Use your classroom or office wall space to highlight framed covers and articles with STEM stars that look like your students. Robotics star Jorvon Moss aka Odd_Jayy was recently on the cover of Make and is framed on my wall. So is an article on MIT grad Joy Buolamwini who researches fairness…

Several students have recently dropped by office hours or emailed me for internship and job search advice. While I’m writing this the week of the Spring career fair and a week before the Tech & Entrepreneurship Fair, I’m also posting this online to share this advice with future students.


Do be sure to show up at campus career events. Even if you don’t think you’re qualified for jobs, definitely check out what’s on offer and consider attending an event, at a minimum, as prep for future years. This’ll give you a chance to tell a future interviewer “I’ve been interested…

I’m a University Professor, and I teach an intro course in Swift for iOS Development. Students often ask me after our course is done, “How Can I Keep Learning?” Thanks to resources like YouTube, Udemy, Medium, and more, it’s easy to keep your skills current. Also note, many of the folks highlighted in one area, also have additional content (e.g. Sean Allen runs a podcast, offers a newsletter, and has paid course offerings) so do explore. If I overlooked some, so sorry. Feel free to share in the comments. Here are some thoughts on resources that I’ve found most helpful:

Project Description:
I’m a professor as well as proud alumnus at Boston College, so in preparation for the School’s appearance on ESPN College Gameday, I thought I’d create a “faux neon” team logo sign using electro-luminescent wire. EL wire looks great in the dark, but don’t expect to see the sign in bright light.

Skill Level:
Easy — no soldering or programming needed

About 2.5 hrs. depending on sign size and design complexity.

Parts List:
Most parts are available from Adafruit, Amazon, or if you’re near Boston College — YouDoIt Electronics in Needham, MA (fun fact for motivating STEMinists —…

Boston College Fulton Hall 460 has a haunted pumpkin. Touch the pumpkin if you dare. The pumpkin’s ghost will detect the presence of a member of “the living” and will mock your feigned courage.

UPDATE: While exercises used in this class are linked below, there are additional YouTube videos on both MakeCode as well as CircuitPython for the CircuitPlayground Express on my YouTube channel: Find this and more at: https://bit.ly/GallaugherYouTube

Our “Digital Technologies: Strategy & Use” core course for (mostly) freshmen business students combines the study of how technology influences competition with some hands-on skill (usually model building in Excel). This year I wanted to give students an experience that combined coding with some basic engineering. The low-cost Circuit Playground Express from Adafruit Industries is ideal. …

Difficulty Level : Easy


Circuit Playground Express (CPX): I suggest buying the $29.95 Base Kit, as it comes with a USB Mini to Standard USB cable that you’ll need to program your Circuit Playground Express, plus it also comes with a battery pack & batteries: https://www.adafruit.com/product/3517

A single test-lead alligator clip (it’s a wire with an alligator clip at each end). You can get a bunch of them inexpensively online — Adafruit sells a dozen for $3.95

VIDEO of the showcase is at: http://bit.ly/BCSwiftVideoFall2017. There was also an article in The Heights student newspaper.
Projects from the Fall 2017 Semester of the Boston College “Intro to Programing Using Swift for iOS Development.” Most students were in their first collegiate programming course. The course took students from zero programming knowledge through programming fundamentals, iOS development, and advanced concepts that included API calls, JSON parsing, and social, shared database and third-party login verification via Google’s Cloud Firestore. Want to give this opportunity to your students, or learn on your own? …

John Gallaugher

Boston College Prof. Tech/Business. YouTube.com/profgallaugher Advises student entrepreneurs, TechTreks (S.Valley/SEA/BOS/NY,/Ghana). Book gallaugher.com/book

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