Symposium Agenda

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Comments from Dan Ross re: discussion 3.14.08

Here’s some thoughts related to some of the things alluded to in today’s CPATH meeting.

Engineering emerged as a defined discipline sometime in the 1800’s. However, it took till the 1950’s and the events of WWII and its aftermath for this country to fortify and enhance the institutions related to the production of engineers and the related scientific research and development institutions. In part, this delay is because it takes time for disciplines to mature to the point where the institutions that support them can be replicated on a larger scale – mass produced, in effect. Another reason for the time lag is that the infrastructure – the electricity, gasoline, steel, etc - took time to become commonly available, and this infrastructure is the soil in which this generation of technologies grew.

Today, we benefit from the investments foreseen by the leaders of this “greatest generation”, but in unforeseen ways. The computers, the Internet , and all the other technologies we sometimes take for granted today were created using the basic scientific and engineering principles spurred by the space race and the cold war aerospace and defense industries. We don’t live in cities on the moon, but nobody told me in 1975 that I’d be typing this email instead.

Today we are in an analogous situation. We are on the verge of great advancements in technology in a huge variety of disciplines, both existing and as yet to be created. We need people to do this – to create the next age of technology. The soil is fertile – interconnected computers of increasing power are almost ubiquitous. But we need the seeds – the people with the required skills – to grow this next wave of technology.

However, the computing discipline does not have the benefit of age. It is more amorphous and undefined. It is only 60 years old, not 150 like engineering was in 1950. Consequently, the breadth and depth of the computing discipline is not commonly recognized by the general public, which tends to associate computing with programming (This is analogous to associating any discipline, like Business for example, with the writing of English sentences, paragraphs, and, if you are really good, maybe even entire pages!!)

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Blog explains Blogs!

Just came across this, what else, blog that does a nice job of explaining how blogs are supposed to work... <3 minutes and this guy explains most of the basics with simple illustrations!

Video: Blogs in Plain English

Thanks to Phil Tierney, who brought this to our attention!

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Subject: Computer Science Course Enrollment Dips in U. S.

Listen to All things Considered on National Public Radio (3/12/08)

All Things Considered, March 12, 2008 · The number of students enrolled in computer science programs is at its lowest in at least a decade.

"Comp Sci" was one of the hottest majors during the dot-com boom of the late '90s, but the numbers dropped after the bust of 2001.

Now, despite a strong market for IT professionals and a resurgence in Web millionaires, college students just aren't interested in studying computing.

Larry Abramson talks to some students and professors to find out why.

Sent to us by:
Emir José Macari, Dean
College of Engineering and Computer Science
California State University, Sacramento

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Link to Registration for Symposium

Follow this link to register electronically for the Symposium on March 28th !

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Important Meeting Friday March 7, 2008

Hi, CPATH Participants,

If you are part of the advisory board for the CPATH Grant, please plan on attending the next two meetings, March 7th and March 14th at 10AM at Folsom Lake College, in Aspen Hall, Room 8, next to Gary’s office.

The Agenda for this Friday, March 7, is to finalize “Nuts & Bolts” for the March 28th Symposium, including reports on the Symposium activities thus far, e.g., attendees, security, event planning, and publicity through local media outlets. Scott Crow, our FLC PIO will be on hand for the latter. We will also discuss in detail our March 14th agenda, which will be centered on orientation for our speakers, panelists, group facilitators, recorders and event managers.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday.

Thanks for all your contributions!

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