From October 19-21, the third installment of the Maple T.A. and Möbius User Summit took place. Making the move back to Europe this year, the three-day conference was held at the beautiful Vienna University of Technology in the heart of Vienna, Austria. The scope of this year’s event expanded to include Maplesoft’s newest product, Möbius, an online courseware environment, which is designed to help academic institutions move their STEM courses online.
This year’s Summit brought together participants from 20 countries, including Australia, the Czech Republic, Poland, China, Norway, India, Egypt, Japan, the Netherlands, and many others. Needless to say, there is great interest in learning more about how Maple T.A. and Möbius can play a role in shaping the educational landscape.
Video recordings of each presentation will be made public soon, so keep an eye out for them!
Conference attendees take in the sights on the veranda at TU Wien
Getting Down to Business
Presentations were divided into 5 overarching themes as they relate to Maple T.A. and Möbius: Shaping Curriculum; Content Creation; Experiences Using Möbius; Integrating with your Technology; and The Future of Online Education. Presentations were given by representatives from schools across Europe, including DTU (Denmark), TH Köln (Germany), Imperial College of London and University of Birmingham (UK), Vienna UT (Austria), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Université de Lausanne (Switzerland), and others.
Many talks showcased the impressive versatility of Maple T.A. as a online assessment system, and Möbius to have practical applications in all STEM subjects, from Nuclear Engineering to Operations Management and many subjects in between.
Perhaps the discussion that gave Maplesoft the most feedback was led by Steve Furino from the University of Waterloo, who divided attendees up into groups to formulate a wish list of what they’d like to see in a courseware authoring environment. The list had over 40 items.
Linda Simonsen, Country Manager in the Nordic, records a group’s wish list
Many thought-provoking statements and questions were posed, but the following few stood out above the rest:
- “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could take the best course from the best instructor anywhere in the world?”
- “With Maple T.A., we can divert resources away from grading and over to tutoring.”
- “Möbius rescued us!”
Get the party started!
While each day was full of invigorating conference discussions, evenings provided ample opportunity to ditch the suit jacket and tie, and enjoy the lively Austrian atmosphere. The first evening at the Zwölf Apostelkeller was the perfect venue to break the ice while satisfying those taste buds longing for some traditional Viennese cuisine. Once Schnitzel, Käsespätzle (a delicious German version of Mac and Cheese), Strudel, Kaiserschmarren (shredded pancake), and a glass or two of wine hit the table, people soon forgot about the pouring rain outside.
The evening reception took place 3-4 levels under ground
Michael Pisapia, VP of Europe, serves digestifs to guests
It would have been hard to top the social in the Apostelkeller, but the next evening sure tried.
Day 2 finished with an impressive formal dining experience at the historic Gerstner Beletage in the Palace Todesco, built in 1864 and situated directly across from the Vienna State Opera House. The 500-room palace was home to Eduard Freiherr von Todesco, a well-known Viennese banker.
View from the palace of the Vienna State Opera House
Jonny Zivku, Maple T.A. Product Manager, gives opening remarks at the Gerstner Beletage im Palais Todesco
Jonathan Watkins from the University of Birmingham and Michael Pisapia - both dressed to impress
The skies finally cleared enough to take some photos, but only after most people had gone home. Thankfully Aron Pasieka, Möbius Project Manager, was still around to get some great shots of the city. Enjoy!
Before the skies cleared vs. after the skies cleared
From beginning to end, the entire Summit was very well received by everyone who attended.
We would be remiss if we did not thank our incredible hosts at the Vienna University of Technology. Stefanie Winkler, Professor Andreas Körner, and Professor Felix Breitenecker were beyond helpful in bringing many of the finer details together, as well as helping many people overcome the language barrier.
We can’t wait to do it all again in London, England in 2017, and hope to see just as many new faces as familiar ones.
Photo credits: A. Pasieka, A. French, H. Zunic, J. Cooper
Update: The conference presentation recordings are now available here on our website.