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2) are you concerned about: "the future of computing as a viable field of study and work."
  • if yes: what are your major concerns?
  • did the report address your concerns?
My one concern towards the future of computing as "...field of study" is that C.S., or most C.S. programs, are ignoring many of the most important and influential developments with and around computers. They tend to celebrate old ideals and ideas of C.S. that are often not useful anymore. To my surprise, the study actually addressed this concern, namely in "There is a need for CS education to evolve, whether due to globalization or not." [p. 33, ShortV]

3) what are the issues in the report
  • you most strongly agree with?
Predictably, I most strongly agree with "There is a need for CS education to evolve, whether due to globalization or not." [p. 33, ShortV]. I agree that C.S. students should focus more on group work and things that are actually relevant to people and society and less on traditional ideals of techo-phine loners.
  • you most strongly disagree with?
I cannot say that I strongly disagree with any of the statements, especially as I don't have enough background knowledge and the authors tend to make well argued statement. However, point 4 of the Findings & Recommendations, "...Today, global competition in higher-end skills, such as research, is increasing...", does not seem to be a problem or a current trend to me. While I do agree that C.S. research can be done in places all over the world, I don't think that "globalisation" or "outsorcing" has too much of an influence on it. For most creative workers – like researchers –, the environment has a high priority when deciding for a job [see "The Rise of the Creative Class", R. Florida]. Although C.S. research can theoretically be done everywhere, the huge majority is still done in the US.

In addition, researchers tend to go to places where they find other good researchers. While, in theory, a huge number of high class researchers could "emigrate" from MIT and Berkeley to some places in India or China, it does not seem to likely as long as MIT/Berkeley don't give them good reason to do so; for example by cutting the money and time available for research or reducing the faculty size.

The only serious problem (from an American perspective) that I can see is the trend to close the US off of foreign influences. This could result in future generations of talented researches looking for alternative places to do research to avoid the hazzle with the DHS, American regulations, and an athmosphere of hostility. If enough young talented researchers decide to go to, say, Australia instead of to the US, a tipping point could possibly be reached and these new places could get the image (and the applications) that US universities still have.

4) name one action which our department should undertake to address your major concerns
Restructure the C.S. program -> get rid of the system and classification of breadth requirements -> open C.S. to new ideas, trends, and influences instead of allowing to "outsource" them to ATLAS or programs in Digital Media at other schools.

Last modified 22 October 2007 at 10:11 pm by hodie