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An Interview: Dr. Spiros Pagiatakis

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Dr. Spiros Pagiatakis (Photo Credit: Lassonde School of Engineering)

 

What is your educational background?

I have a degree in Surveying Engineering (which is now called Geomatics Engineering) from Greece (Athens) and higher degrees (MScE and PhD) in Geodesy and Geodynamics from University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

What is your most memorable project?

I greatly enjoy all projects I work on, so it is difficult to choose… One of the most memorable ones is when I undertook the task to determine the post-glacial rebound signature using legacy gravity measurements, which were taken over 50 to 60 years period.

 If you could create any course at York, which course would you create?

I would create an open course, which would bring together science, engineering, arts, humanities, and social sciences,  to demonstrate that there are no boundaries among these disciplines.

Which part of teaching is most exciting to you?

It is definitely interactive teaching and “flipped classroom” concept, where the students take over the learning process. I simply don’t like monologues.

Can you tell us about blended learning?

Blended learning takes a step away from simple traditional teaching from the podium, which I consider a one-way communication. Learning has to be experienced through a variety of activities, such as projects, lectures, interactive and experiential learning, etc. These are all different learning modes, taken from our daily experiences – when we listen to seminars, interact with people, work on projects… basically, the way life teaches us on a daily basis.

What do you like/dislike about York the most?

Like:  The students and the diversity of cultures.

Dislike: Micromanagement and bureaucracy.

Favorite building at York?

Bergeron, because it is relatively open to interactive learning.

What’s your pet peeve?

Get off your cellphone and texting, be social and interact face-to-face! Turn it off  when in class, at a social gathering, at a restaurant, in meetings…

Favorite quote?

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” By Albert Einstein

Favorite Lassonde colour?

Blue, the colour of our department.

Favorite food? 

I love food in general!

Favorite movie?

I don’t watch many movies, but I prefer light ones, such as “Mama Mia”.

What do you do in your free time?

I normally work on cars or work at home building things.

If you could be any age, which age would you choose and why?

I would choose thirties, because this would give me enough time to do all the things I want to do.

Where would you like to travel to?

I’d like to go to exotic islands in the Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, etc.

Interesting fact about yourself?

I don’t need much sleep, I don’t get tired, and I can go for a long time without food.

 

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