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The Designated Dozen: Twelve Books Every Science and Engineering Professor Should Have on Their Shelf, or in Their Department Office

Message Number: 
39

Folks: 

Here is a recent list, prepared for a summer workshop on teaching and research, of twelve books that should be available to every begining faculty member in science and engineering. Your additional suggestions and comments are always welcome. 

Rick Reis 

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Twelve Books Every Science and Engineering Professor Should Have on Their Shelf, or in Their Department Office 

NOTE: Because of e-mail formatting difficulties, titles of books are not underlined, they are placed in [ ]. 

General References 

* Committee on Undergraduate Science Education, National Research Council, [Science Teaching Reconsidered: A Handbook.] Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997. 

* Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, [Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers,] Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1995. Seminal report on the status of graduate education in science and engineering with specific recommendations on how to improve the academic preparation and career success of graduate students and postdocs in these fields. 

* National Science Board, [Science and Engineering Indicators - 1998,] Washington, DC: US. Government Printing Office, 1998 THE source of quantitative information and analysis regarding science, engineering, research, and education in the United States. Available biennially in even numbered years.. 

Preparing for Academic Careers 

* P. J. Feibelman, [A Ph.D. Is Not Enough,] Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1993. A classic, this 110 page book, offers pithy and insightful advice on all aspects of a research career in science (and engineering). 

* R. Reis, [Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering,] Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 1997. Designed to help you prepare for, find, and succeed at academic careers in science and engineering. Looks at the full range of North American four-year academic institutions while featuring 30 vignettes and more than 50 individual stories that bring to life the principles and strategies outlined in the book. 

Succeeding as a Professor 

* C. I. Davidson and S. A. Ambrose, [The New Professor's Handbook: A Guide to Teaching and Research in Engineering and Science,] Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc., 1994. Quickly becoming a classic, this book is the right source for everyone making the transition to new faculty member in science and engineering. Covers both teaching and research. 

* M. L. Whicker, J. J. Kronenfeld, and R. A. Strickland, [Getting Tenure,] Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1996. A brief, practical guide on the tenure process with concrete advice (including the Ten Commandments of Tenure Success) for graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty on how to maximize their chances of getting tenure. 

* P. C. Wankat and F. S. Oreovicz, [Teaching Engineering,] San Francisco, CA: McGraw-Hill, 1993. "This is a fine compendium of >>>theoretical and practical information about engineering education. Nothing else like it has been published, either as a teaching resource or a guide to the literature, and it will be invaluable to anyone seriously interested in the profession." Richard Felder, North Carolina State University 

* E. L. Boyer, [Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate,] Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990. Arguably the most influential book on the work of the Professorate in the last decade, Boyer's classic lays the foundation for the four types of academic scholarship: research, integration, teaching, and application. 

* P.J. Frost and M. S. Taylor, [Rhythms of Academic Life: Personal Accounts of Careers in Academia,] Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1996. Offers support, guidance, and advice for those contemplating or already involved in academic careers. It is a comprehensive work that surveys important topics relevant to the world of academia, such as publishing, research, teaching, pedagogy, teamwork, sabbaticals, and tenure. Written by a diverse group of scholars mainly from the information and organizational sciences area, much of what is said has application to all engineering and science disciplines. 

Time-Life Balance 

* S. R. Covey, A. R. Merrill, and R. R. Merrill, [First Things First,] New York, NY: Simon & Shuster, 1994. Goes beyond the familiar reminders and lists, calendars and appointment books, and even planning and prioritizing, to adopting the "importance paradigm" of putting first things first by "doing what's important rather than simply responding to what's urgent." 

* W. H. Gmelch, [Coping With Faculty Stress,] London, SAGE Publications, 1993. Eighty-five pages packed with practical advice on how to deal with the whole range of academic pressures, including how to tackle the ten most troublesome stress traps for professors.