Archive for February 21, 2013

First PhD in CS in US went to a Sister

An interesting excursion into the history of computing.  One of the first two PhD’s in Computer Science in the United States went to a female and a member of a religious order!  I would never have guessed.

But at virtually the same time in June 1965, two other degrees were completed: Sister Mary Kenneth Keller, BVM, earned a Ph.D. from the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin, and Irving C. Tang earned a D.Sc. from the Applied Mathematics and Computer Science Department at Washington University in St. Louis. The purpose of this article is to show that in the United States, Keller and Tang were not just earlier but also first, thereby providing a more accurate historical record.

via Who Earned First Computer Science Ph.D.? | blog@CACM | Communications of the ACM.

February 21, 2013 at 10:18 am 2 comments

U.K. (just like US) Students Not Lining Up To Study IT

I hear all the time about the decline of interest in computing among high school students in the US.  Not surprising, but still disappointing, to see that the problem is also in the UK.

Between now and 2020, according to an October report from the Royal Academy of Engineering, the U.K. will need 10,000 more new graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) each year just to fill current employment needs.

It’s difficult to see where they’re going to come from, especially in tech, judging from January data from the U.K Department for Education. Only 3,420 British students, or 0.4%, took a computer science A-level (similar to a U.S. high school diploma) in 2011-12, compared to a high of 12,529 in 1998.

The gender gap is another concern here, as a mere 7% — 255 total — of computing A-level students were female in the 2011-12 school year.

via U.K. Students Not Lining Up To Study IT – Education – K-12 –.

February 21, 2013 at 5:52 am 3 comments


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