Archive for December 6, 2010

U.S. tech lead at risk, says Obama’s top scientist

I suspect that this is going to become the most pressing argument for increasing the number of students pursuing CS-STEM degrees.  CS enrollment is rising again, but still with a big gap from where it was and where the Bureau of Labor Statistics says it needs to be.  However, that’s not a compelling story when there are so many out-of-work IT workers. The issue about innovation and competitiveness is more pressing. Losing our CS-STEM workers also means losing our edge, losing our ability to innovate and compete.  It’s also bad news for the rest of the world — US innovation has done the whole world a lot of good (Internet, anyone?).  As that engine slows, the pace of innovation for the whole world slows.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, the only member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet with a degree in a hard science, believes the U.S. is at risk of losing its leadership in technology as the nation’s competitiveness deteriorates.

Chu, co-winner of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1997, used statistics and blunt language in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington Monday to point out that the U.S. lead in technology is declining and is in need of turnaround. He characterized the current situation as a “Sputnik moment” for the U.S.

via U.S. tech lead at risk, says Obama’s top scientist – Computerworld.

December 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm 5 comments

Celebrating Admiral Hopper and CSed Week

Thursday December 9th would have been Grace Murray Hopper’s 104th Birthday.  Grace Hopper Hopper was described as a “mathematician, computer scientist, social scientist, corporate politician, marketing whiz, systems designer, and programmer,” and, always, a “visionary.” The week of her birthday is chosen as CSEd Week.

Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) December 5-11, 2010 aims to:

  • Eliminate misperceptions about computer science
  • Communicate the endless opportunities for which computer science education prepares students in K-12, higher education and careers
  • Provide information and activities for students, educators, parents, and corporations to advocate for computer science education at all levels.

    Tomorrow, Georgia Tech is hosting a Cool Computing Day (organized by Barbara Ericson). We’ve got kids bussing in from all over the Atlanta Metropolitan area. Best part about it: When the call went out for faculty to speak to the students about their research, we got more faculty offering talks than we had slots!

    More information on CSEdWeek:

    Why Computer Science?
    Computing plays a critical role in society by driving economic growth and creating today’s most exciting innovations. Computer science education prepares students for careers that are plentiful and financially rewarding, and exposes them to vital critical thinking skills. Yet, issues with curricula, standards, diversity, professional development and certification prevent many students and teachers from engaging in computer science education.

    Join In! Everyone can participate:

  • Pledge your support and share your plans to celebrate at
  • Follow CSEdWeek on Facebook and Twitter; share information through your networks
  • Celebrate CSEdWeek in your school, club, or workplace

    Sponsors and Partners
    CSEdWeek is a collaborative effort of the Association for Computing Machinery, Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology, Computing Research Association, Computer Science Teachers Association, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Google, Intel, Microsoft, the National Center for Women & IT, National Science Foundation, SAS, and WGBH. CSEdWeek is an activity of Computing in the Core, a non-partisan advocacy coalition of associations, corporations, scientific societies, and other non-profits that strive to elevate computer science education to a core academic subject in K-12 education.

  • December 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

    High School class programs robots–differently

    There are lots of “high school kids program robots” story out there.  What I liked about this one was that (alright, they’re using IPRE robots, or I wouldn’t have even found it 🙂 the examples weren’t the traditional maze-following or battle bots.  Making robots synchronize to play “Carol of the Bells” or follow anything blue is fun and different — and particularly cool for being high school.

    It wasn’t hard to tell what time of year it was in Vern Ceder’s computer programming class Wednesday. Canterbury students were busy programming robots, and two of three belonging to junior Ginger Hoade were playing “Carol of the Bells.” Over and over again. At slightly different octaves. At slightly different times.

    via Canterbury class programs robots | The Journal Gazette | Fort Wayne, IN.

    December 6, 2010 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

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