Treading Softly - Dean Mili's Blog

Fatma Mili

“…I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.” – William Butler Yeats

This blog was created to provide an additional channel for sharing our thoughts, reflections, and ideas, as well as inspire dialogue and discussion as we shape the CCI story together. The name, Treading Softly comes from the last line of Yeats’ poem, "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven,” which educational reformer Sir Ken Robinson used in his 2014 TED Talk as a call for a thoughtful reexamination of education and a reminder that we are working with our students' dreams.

For the sake of our students’ dreams, we must think boldly and tread softly.

Mili Blog

Computing Fast, Thinking Slow and Long Term

   May 31, 2021

Computing Fast, Thinking Slow & Long Term

From the landing on Mars, to political deepfakes, exponential advances in computing are expanding our world and confounding our sense of reality.  Progress in machine learning and artificial intelligence have swiftly outpaced expectations in terms of performance and potency.... is a Lake

Not a Pipeline, it is a Lake!

   November 18, 2019

In her essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education (Nov 6, 2019), Pamela Newkirk, from New York University, laments the failure of academia to diversify despite decades of declared commitment and considerable financial investment. This costly failure is another illustration of the non-intuitive nature of systemic problems. Our impulse is to address them using piecemeal solutions and...

Behold, Curiosity

   November 6, 2019

Three themes symbolize the 20 year history and continued growth of the College of Computing and Informatics (CCI): Curiosity, Action, and Care. It is a triad of interrelated elements, each feeding and recreating the other two. Here, I want to focus on Curiosity.

Curiosity is at the origin of everything. All knowledge...

Curiosity, Action and Care

Curiosity, Action and Care

   August 16, 2019

The College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) is celebrating 20 years of innovation in thinking, teaching, and engaging with the world. Twenty years ago, Chancellor James Woodward foresaw how computing was fundamentally transforming all key human enterprises: education, scientific inquiry and discovery, health care, communication, and transportation. This...

Brilliant Figures

   February 12, 2019

In Hidden Figures, four female African-American mathematicians and computer scientists used adding machines, pencils and slide rules to launch rockets into space. These remarkable women, known as “human computers,” were relegated to the background at NASA because of their race and gender. Each woman faced challenges and offenses while contributing to the success of space missions with...

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The Game of Being

   November 27, 2018

In the game of being, competition is a sideshow. 

Every day, we face seemingly exclusive choices. What do we value most? How do we prioritize? Shall we focus on excellent teaching or on excellent research? Do we emphasize competence or compassion? Do we invest in excellence or in equity? These choices are between values; the things that are most deeply enshrined in our identities; the...

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We Shall Graduate Giants

   October 29, 2018

We shall graduate giants! I discovered children literature when my kids were young and fell in love with its beauty, simplicity, and economy of expression. Take the example of the Grinch, who “puzzled [the concept of Christmas] until his puzzler was sore.” The answer, when it came to him, made “his small heart [grow] three sizes that day.” What a beautiful image to capture the process and...

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A Community, Not A Business

   September 29, 2018

We Are a beautiful, dynamic city - Not a Business

We are not a business. We are a community of higher learning. 

In recent years, it has become common to use business lingo and evaluate the concerns, activities, and outputs of higher education using corporate paradigms. These comparisons present a false equivalency, are generally lazy, and ignore the nuance of academia, which...

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Right Ship, Best Crew

   June 29, 2018

By the end of July, I will be wrapping up my first year at the helm of this great college, the College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte. I cannot feel more grateful or more enthusiastic about being here. I am in the right ship, with the best possible crew, and the wind is blowing at our backs.

Within UNC Charlotte, an Urban Research University, the College of Computing and...

alumni scholarship fund

The Alumni Gives Scholarship allows students to pursue their dreams and contribute to the technology community.  This needs-based scholarship empowers students to overcome financial hurdles while pursuing their education goals and gives preference to underrepresented populations within the CCI student body. 

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