New volume of University Traditions highlights Ateneo’s tradition of science and engineering for nation building

March 04, 2013

How is the science and engineering education offered by the Ateneo de Manila University different from that of other universities? A few of Ateneo's most distinguished professors offer answers to this question in a new book. According to Dr. Fabian Dayrit (Chemistry), the Ateneo teaches its students not only to be competent in doing things, but to be competent in doing the right things. As he puts it, "You want to be competent for a purpose."

This purpose is expressed in practical terms by Dr. Jose Marasigan (Mathematics), who notes that a successful math department should always be attuned to what is needed outside the university. "You cannot just… offer what you want," he says, "We have to look at what the country needs."

Today, a new generation of science and engineering students takes to heart the values espoused by these pioneering professors. A survey of student and faculty research today shows a diverse range of technologies being used and developed in order to address concerns in the areas of public health, environmental management, and sustainable development.

University Traditions: The Science and Engineering Interviews chronicles the history of the sciences in the University through the voices of fifteen outstanding faculty members and a few of their students. The book provides a unique, personal perspective on the scientific life in an academic institution such as the Ateneo.

The University Traditions series is edited by multi-awarded poet and editor Ramón C. Sunico. The first volume in the series, The Humanities Interviews, earned the National Book Award in Education in 2006. The second volume, The Social Sciences Interviews, was launched in 2010.

University Traditions: The Science and Engineering Interviews will be launched on Monday, March 11, 2013, 4:30pm, at the New Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University. The book will be available at a special price during the launch. For orders, please contact Chanda Policarpio at 4266001 local 4016, or email

Book cover image courtesy of Ramón C Sunico