Archive for April 26, 2012

UFlorida maintains CISE research, but still merges departments

Sounds like the Dean gets her merger of CISE into ECE, but CISE gets to keep research.  Miami Herald ran a story on the UFlorida CISE department, and the comments were really insightful.  I see more clearly what the voters of Florida want, and why they elect officials who make these kinds of budgetary decisions.

As many of you know, the proposal has been met with overwhelming negative response, much of which I believe has been based on misunderstanding. Nonetheless, it is clear that the University of Florida must figure out a way to make it through these financially difficult times in a productive manner. I am optimistic we can do that.

This week, the chairmen of the departments of Computer and Information Science and Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering have come forward together with a framework of a new proposal that would help meet the college’s budget target. It also would address issues raised during recent discussions, namely, clarify and enhance degree offerings while preserving the research mission in both computer science and computer engineering, achieve efficiency in teaching and bring faculty workloads in line with other departments of the college.

“We are currently working on a plan for a joint organization of these two departments into a larger unit. I feel strongly that this is the best opportunity for the two departments moving forward,” said Gerhard Ritter, interim chair of CISE.

via University of Florida News – UF president issues statement to university community regarding budget.

April 26, 2012 at 10:21 am 3 comments

Computer Science is Essential for Everyone – Forbes

Nice piece in Forbes, building on the recent NYTimes article, that details how Northwestern blends CS with each of its colleges to create something new and valuable.

Indeed, we’ve also seen at Northwestern that combining students focused on computer science with other fields has yielded great dividends.   If you look at each of Northwestern’s colleges outside engineering—Journalism, Communications, Music, Education, Arts & Sciences—most disciplines are advancing by being infused with computer science.    We’ve had students from each of these schools in our experential NUvention classes  Indeed, in areas like journalism and communications, modern journalist can ignore computer science only at their peril.  Not only has the internet upended the business models of traditional publications; the tools of analysis and story composition will change from computer science as well.   My CS collegues Larry Birnbaum and Kris Hammand started a seminar 4 years ago in concert with the Medill School of Journalism.   Graduate Journalism students were paired to with computer scientists to look at new application areas in the evolving face of media.   One output of this class has become the company Narrative Science.   Narrative Science combines journalistic archetypes with statistical databases to compose stories for the long tail.   Narrative started with baseball and softball recaps from box scores and also does earnings reports for some internet financial sites.   I was fascinated at the backlash from traditional journalists; and to me this shows how essential it is that journalists get to know computer science as a tool, so it can be approached with understanding rather than fear.

via Computer Science is Essential for Everyone – Forbes.

April 26, 2012 at 8:39 am 1 comment

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