Archive for the 'news' Category

MIT Will Offer Certificates to Outside Students Who Take Its Online Courses

2011/12/21

“Millions of learners have enjoyed the free lecture videos and other course materials published online through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s OpenCourseWare project. Now MIT plans to release a fresh batch of open online courses—and, for the first time, to offer certificates to outside students who complete them.”

in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Students Shift to Computer Science

2011/12/21

“The increase follows a national trend: Computer science majors increased 7.6% across the country from 2009 to 2010, the most recent available data, according to the Computing Research Association.

“Computing now penetrates into just about every line of business and academic discipline,” said Zhigang Xiang, chair of Queens College’s Computer Science Department. “It’s hard to find one field where you don’t need it.”

“People certainly realize [computing] is now getting to be a basic skill in the 21st century,” Mr. Xiang said.”
in The Wall Street Journal

Government looks to make ICT education ‘essential’ to curriculum

2011/12/21

“The government has said that computer science education should be brought into the new National Curriculum as an essential discipline.

Formulating a response to Nesta’s Next Gen report on reforming the provision of ICT and computer science subjects in schools, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said that it recognises the importance of ICT.

It also agreed with Nesta that the UK’s ICT programme should be reformed to encourage more young people to study the subject and pursue IT careers.”
in Women in Technology

It Started Digital Wheels Turning

2011/11/09

“The machine on the drawing boards at the Science Museum in London is the Babbage Analytical Engine, a room-size mechanical behemoth that its inventor envisioned but never built.

The project follows the successful effort by a group at the museum to replicate a far less complicated Babbage invention: the Difference Engine No. 2, a calculating machine composed of roughly 8,000 mechanical components assembled with a watchmaker’s precision. That project was completed in 1991.”

in http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/science/computer-experts-building-1830s-babbage-analytical-engine.html?_r=1

Why Science Majors Change Their Minds (It’s Just So Darn Hard)

2011/11/07

“Professor Chang says that rather than losing mainly students from disadvantaged backgrounds or with lackluster records, the attrition rate can be higher at the most selective schools, where he believes the competition overwhelms even well-qualified students.

“You’d like to think that since these institutions are getting the best students, the students who go there would have the best chances to succeed,” he says. “But if you take two students who have the same high school grade-point average and SAT scores, and you put one in a highly selective school like Berkeley and the other in a school with lower average scores like Cal State, that Berkeley student is at least 13 percent less likely than the one at Cal State to finish a STEM degree.””

in The New York Times

Steve Jobs at Heaven’s Gate: The New Yorker Cover

2011/10/09

The cover of the October 17, 2011, issue of The New Yorker
in Open Culture

Schoolchildren to be taught how to write software – ComputerworldUK.com

2011/09/20

“Pre-GSCE students will be taught how to write software, in a trial aiming to transform IT education in schools, the government has revealed.”

in Schoolchildren to be taught how to write software – ComputerworldUK.com.

Sex, Lies and Data Mining

2011/07/31

“Ogas and Gaddam purport to have discovered in this data — with the aid of sex research, evolutionary psychology and comments posted on pornography hubs and other Web sites — “the finite set of sexual cues” (analogous to the five different taste cues our tongues can discern) hard-wired into our neural circuitry that “activate our desire software.”

Their breakdown is simple. Men like pornography. Women like romance novels. (…)”

in http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/31/books/review/a-billion-wicked-thoughts-by-ogi-ogas-and-sai-gaddam-book-review.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha26

Tech Executives See Paths for Women, Especially Geeks

2011/06/17

“All three say that despite the dearth of women in senior roles, the rise of social-media companies including Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. appear to be attracting more women to the field.”

in The Wall Street Journal

Computer Studies Made Cool, on Film and Now on Campus

2011/06/12

“The number of computer science degrees awarded in the United States began rising in 2010, and will reach 11,000 this year, after plummeting each year since the end of the dot-com bubble in 2004, according to the Computing Research Association, which tracks enrollment and degrees. Enrollment in the major peaked around 2000, with the most degrees — 21,000 — awarded four years later. The number of students who are pursuing the degree but have not yet declared their major increased by 50 percent last year.”

“Still, computer science graduates do not come close to filling the jobs available. Technology is one of the few bright spots in the economy, with jobs growing at double the rate of job growth over all, according to federal statistics. And colleges say they do not have enough resources or professors to teach interested students. Meanwhile, the programs woefully lag in attracting women and many minorities, though the share of computer science degrees granted to women climbed 2.5 percentage points last year to 14 percent.”

in The New York Times