Tag Archives: georgia tech

Wednesday morning links

Update: Welcome, readers from The FIRE! I’ve got more articles about free speech on campus and academic freedom which you might like to browse. Also take a walk through the Top 12 Posts retrospective page if you like.

  • The importance of teaching kids to pay attention, over against the phenomenon of “multitasking”. Lord knows I’m trying to do this with my 2- and 4-year olds. [h/t Joanne Jacobs]
  • What college administrators think about college faculty. The short version: Some admins think that faculty play too little of a role in campus administration, some think too much, but most think that faculty focus too much on their own territory and lack perspective.
  • On the innumeracy of intellectuals. This is a juicy article and I will try to have more to say about it later. But I distinctly remember several colleagues in the humanities who at one time or another openly embraced their having no knowledge or enjoyment of math or science, often in full view of students whom we were trying to teach a lifelong love of learning. Intellectuals, if you prize education so highly, get a well-rounded one yourself!
  • Some student journalists have earned themselves a bad reputation around this blog, but here’s a great example of a student journalist at IU-South Bend who is blowing the lid off an embarassing speech code case at IUPUI.
  • Speaking of speech codes, here’s a piece on the death of parody on campus.
  • Richard DeMillo is stepping down as dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Computing. I’ve blogged about Georgia Tech’s interesting new approach to the computer science major before, which was instituted on DeMillo’s watch, and its seemingly positive impact on computer science major enrollments. The interview at the link gives the strong impression that DeMillo’s resignation comes as a result of political struggles with the Provost, which is disheartening if true.
  • India is developing its own $100 laptop, and this time it might not actually end up costing $200.
  • According to a recent report, starting salaries for electrical engineers are up 13% from 2007, and starting salaries average around $56,000 per year — not including signing bonuses, which are more and more common and are reaching levels of around $4500. And that’s for a EE with just one degree; imagine what you could do with two!

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Filed under Education, Life in academia, Links, Teaching, Technology

Computer science on the rebound?

Back in September 2006, I wrote about a new and innovative approach that Georgia Tech was taking towards its computer science curriculum. It appears that this approach, plus an improved job market for computing professionals, is helping turn around a fairly gloomy period for the field:

The Georgia Institute of Technology has revised its computer science curriculum to move away from a traditional hardware-software approach to much more emphasis on the creative process and the roles computer science majors go on to assume in their careers.

Giselle Martin, who directs student recruitment for the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, said that undergraduate applications are up 15 percent this year — in part due to new approaches to explaining the field. One key audience is parents, Martin said. Many remember the horror stories of the job market a few years back and Georgia Tech believes that it can break through that out-of-date mindset most directly with actual employers. So in April, when the college holds a series of events for accepted applicants, there is a panel for parents featuring employers who recruit at Georgia Tech talking about the jobs available and how much demand there is for new graduates.

And there’s this from Virginia Tech:

A new course focuses on problem solving, and several courses are being shifted to focus more on “how to think like a computer scientist,” he said. “We are thinking about how we portray ourselves and what we do,” [Cal] Ribbens [associate department head in computer science] said. “We do not want to be seen as just offering a bunch of programming classes.”

Indeed. There’s a lot of talk going around our campus and at the ICTCM about offering intro courses that focus on problem-solving and the methodology of the discipline, rather than just one little (but deep) slice of content. That certainly seems to make the front door of a major easier to get into. Right now, at least in math, it seems like many students who might do well in a math-related major are either turned off to the subject, or even shut out of it, because their first introduction to math is a technical calculus course, which is almost nothing like what the discipline of mathematics is actually about.

[h/t Inside Higher Ed]


Filed under Education, Higher ed