Archive for October 20, 2014

The Growing Tide of Anti-Intellectualism

The issues raised about education are particularly relevant to this blog. State cutbacks of funding to universities send a message about what’s valued and what’s not. CS departments in state schools (and elsewhere) are facing enormous increases in enrollment, and without additional resources, are going to be imposing caps — which will serve to reduce the diversity of computing, as it did in the 1980’s. Where we place our resources indicates our values.

Spaf's Thoughts

There is an undeniable, politically-supported growth of denial — and even hatred — of learning, facts, and the educated. Greed (and, most likely, fear of minorities) feeds demagoguery. Demagoguery can lead to harmful policies and thereafter to mob actions.

I’ve written on this topic here before. I also have cited an excellent essay from Scientific American about how the rising tide of anti-intellectualism threatens our democracy and future (you should read it).

What prompts this post is a recent article about a thinly-veiled political probe of the National Science Foundation, combined with the pending national election in the US. (Some of these issues apply elsewhere in the world, but this is a US-centric post.)

This view is also reinforced by my current experience — I am on a combined speaking tour and family vacation in Poland. I recently visited a memorial to the Katyn massacre, remembering when Soviet…

View original post 1,026 more words

October 20, 2014 at 11:07 am 1 comment

Women computer science grads: Raw numbers went up as percentages went down

Fascinating analysis! It turns out that the number of women getting degrees in CS actually rose in the early 2000’s, but the percentage shared dropped because so many men women were taking CS, too.

Here’s the number of women getting CS degrees:

Here’s the percentage view:

The gains by women actually weren’t keeping up with the overall increase in the population of CS grads. More men were filling those seats than women. As a share of all CS bachelor’s degrees granted that year, females had slipped almost 10 points, from 37% in 1984/1985 to 27% in 2003. The overall trendline was clearly downward, as seen below.

via Women computer science grads: The bump before the decline | Computerworld.

October 20, 2014 at 8:25 am 2 comments


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