Santa Clara University

SCU Engineering News

Bridges to Infinity Conference Announced

Church

The School of Engineering is hosting a conference at Santa Clara University May 6-7, 2011, entitled, “Bridges to Infinity: Humankind, the Scientific Enterprise, and God,” announced Aleksandar Zecevic, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and professor of electrical engineering. The event will include participants from six Jesuit institutions, and will be opened by Fr. Ronald Anton, Secretary for Higher Education of the Society of Jesus.

“At this conference,” said Zecevic, “scholars from the United States, India, and South America will examine the different ways in which science and religion can be related in the curricula of Jesuit universities. The primary focus will be on how these two seemingly disparate areas of human understanding can be connected in the context of ‘the true, the good, and the beautiful.’” The role that technology and engineering play in society, particularly when it comes to improving the lives of the poor, will be a central topic of discussion as participants address how Jesuit institutions in different parts of the world apprise their students of technical innovations that are potentially beneficial to broad segments of the population, and share ideas for collaborative projects.”

“I am excited about the prospects that this conference affords,” said Zecevic, “particularly regarding how the nature of the science – religion dialogue varies across cultures. With such a globally diverse group of participants, we have an unprecedented opportunity for a comparative analysis of different pedagogical models, attitudes to technology and even aesthetic preferences.” One of the goals of the conference is to assess whether establishing a rational and broadly interdisciplinary framework for the dialogue between science and religion is something that could become a common programmatic goal for Jesuit institutions of higher education.

“There is tremendous potential for doing good in the world by calling this group together,” said Zecevic, who regularly brings the discussion of the intersection between science and religion to students and colleagues via presentations such as Teaching Science and Religion: The “Shock and Awe” Approach, and his unique offering for the undergraduate core curriculum, Chaos Theory, Metamathematics and the Limits of Knowledge: A Scientific Perspective on Religion. “I look forward to seeing where the discussion will lead us as a community of Jesuit educators.”