John Michalakes, CSCI 7900, Intro. to PhD Studies.

Responses to:

Aspray, W., Mayadas, F., & Vardi, M. Y. (2006) Globalization and Offshoring of Software - A Report of the ACM Job Migration Task Force

Am I concerned about: "the future of computing as a viable field of study and work?"

I have to admit, not particularly. At least as long as your information technology driven economy and culture continue, there is little change of computing as a field ceasing to be viable. I think, however, the questions raised and addressed by the report have to do with whether I should be concerned that my job or specialization might move somewhere else, potentially off-shore. In this case, certainly I am concerned. However, I'm reasonably assured by the statement, repeated several times in the report, that on balance the number of technology jobs increases even when certain jobs are lost offshore, because this frees up resources to devote to new advanced technology at the leading edge. That makes it incumbent on technologists to pay attention to trends and keep their skills current, but that's fair.

The issues in the report

I most strongly agree with?

I strongly agreed with the report's basic approach to looking at the problem from a global point of view, and not from the point of view of the U.S. or the developed world. I think that's particularly constructive in light of fostering global strategies that recognize that issues of social justice and economic fairness are global and dealing with these super-nationally is crucial to reducing pressures that surface in the forms of conflict and war.

I most strongly disagree with?

I did not find much to disagree with in the report. It was mostly objective and limited perhaps only by the size of the problem and the scope of the effort (for example, having to rely on other research much of it from consulting companies rather than being able to produce the report as "primary" research.)

What CU CS Dept can do.

Set up international exchanges and collaborations with institutions in developing countries. For example, IIT in India. There are NSF programs to support such activities.

The following was added after class discussion 10/24:

Also with regard to the idea of CU putting greater emphasis on international collaborations and exchanges, Prof. Fischer made a point during the class discussion today concerning the asymmetry that exists between the number of graduate students at U.S. universities who study abroad vs. the much larger number of students from foreign universities who study in the U.S. I would like to make the following point: depending on the country, the sociology of overseas graduate education – in particular, the professors/graduate student relationship – can be quite different from what U.S. students are accustomed to or would tolerate. I'll leave it at that, for now, but would be happy to elaborate if there were interest on the part of CU decision makers.