Our Students Must Solve Problems

Computerworld magazine did a stellar interview of six professors asking them about the future of computer science programs and jobs. It is clear that more computer science jobs are being created in the U.S. than are being outsourced. The entire oursourcing fear mongering is unfounded, and is actually deterring talented students under false pretenses.

Why is this important? I think Professor Kenneth Birman from Cornell summed it up perfectly:

The importance of CS has never been greater. We’re discovering ways to build just about everything out of small, simple mechanisms glued together with software, so no matter what you do, CS tends to be inside. And the scope of this new CS is amazing: We’re at the center of the action in biology, nanotechnology, particle physics. If society is ever going to slash medical costs, CS will play the key role. I see CS as a sort of universal science. We’re beginning to pervade everything.

Some of the best points mentioned are about algorithms. We have huge speed of processing, that is great for menial tasks. But as we are living in a increasingly-complex world, there is a need for bigger and better algorithms. It is the real future of computer science and knowledge-based business. We need to be training our students to be problems solvers, not fact-repeaters. I advocate for computer science starting lower school and going all the way through college. The effect of technology on the world has been dramatic and it continues.

If your school does not have a computer science program, you must ask yourself why not? If your school does have a computer science program, you must ask yourself is it the right one? The professors in the article do a great job of explaining their vision for the upcoming computer science world, don’t miss it.

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arvind s. grover

I am a progressive educator, a podcaster (EdTechTalk.com/21cl), a blogger, and dean of faculty of JK-11 school (building a high school) in New York City.