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jerryking : stem   27

US declining interest in history presents risk to democracy
May 2, 2019 | Financial Times | by Edward Luce.

America today has found a less bloodthirsty way of erasing its memory by losing interest in its past. From an already low base, the number of American students majoring in history has dropped by more than a third since 2008. Barely one in two hundred American undergraduates now specialise in history......Donald Trump is a fitting leader for such times. He had to be told who Andrew Jackson was.....He also seems to think that Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave and 19th century abolitionist, is among us still.....But America’s 45th president can hardly be blamed for history’s unpopularity. Culpability for that precedes Mr Trump and is spread evenly between liberals, conservatives, faculty and parents........Courses on intellectual, diplomatic and political history are being replaced at some of America’s best universities by culture studies that highlight grievances at the expense of breadth.......Then there is the drumbeat of STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Most US states now mandate tests only in maths and English, at the expense of history and civic education...... In a recent survey, only 26 per cent of Americans could identify all three branches of government. More than half could not name a single justice on the US Supreme Court.....
the biggest culprit is the widespread belief that “soft skills” — such as philosophy and English, which are both in similar decline to history — do not lead to well-paid jobs.....folk prejudice against history is hard to shake. In an ever more algorithmic world, people believe that humanities are irrelevant. The spread of automation should put a greater premium on qualities that computers lack, such as intuitive intelligence, management skills and critical reasoning. Properly taught that is what a humanities education provides.......People ought to be able to grasp the basic features of their democracy. [Abiding] Faith in a historic theory only fuels a false sense of certainty....What may work for individual careers poses a collective risk to US democracy. The demise of strong civics coincides with waning voter turnout, a decline in joining associations, fewer citizen’s initiatives — and other qualities once associated with American vigour......There is no scientific metric for gullibility. Nor can we quantitatively prove that civic ignorance imposes a political cost on society. These are questions of judgment. But if America’s origins tell us anything it is that a well-informed citizenry creates a stronger society.
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here is what robots can't do -- create art, deep meaning, move our souls, help us to understand and thus operate in the world, inspire deeper thought, care for one another, help the environment where we live.......The role of the human is not to be dispassionate, depersonalized or neutral. It is precisely the emotive traits that are rewarded: the voracious lust for understanding, the enthusiasm for work, the ability to grasp the gist, the empathetic sensitivity to what will attract attention and linger in the mind. Unable to compete when it comes to calculation, the best workers will come with heart in hand.
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algorithms  automation  citizen_engagement  civics  Colleges_&_Universities  critical_thinking  democracy  Donald_Trump  Edward_Luce  empathy  engaged_citizenry  false_sense_of_certainty  foundational  historians  history  historical_amnesia  humanities  ignorance  political_literacy  sense-making  soft_skills  STEM  threats  U.S.  vulnerabilities 
may 2019 by jerryking
We Need More Black People Rooting for Tech Entrepreneurs, Not Just Football Players
BY: ANDRE PERRY PH.D.
Posted: December 5, 2016

On a stage in a cold hotel room—a far cry from the more than 67,000 people who crowded the Superdome to watch the clash between football rivals and hear their mighty marching bands—technology teams representing each of the six historically black colleges and universities in Louisiana competed for $20,000 worth of prize money to show who could create the best “piece of technology that assists in the economic recovery of small businesses affected by natural disaster.”

Approximately 30 people watched these techie squads of primarily African-American students trying to impress four nonathletic judges (including me) with ideas like a post-disaster online marketplace for the BizTech Challenge.

We talk about the lack of diversity in technology and dearth of economic opportunities for black and Hispanic young people as a problem now. But in the future, it will be a major economic crisis once people of color become the majority of our workforce. If our K-12 and postsecondary institutions haven’t prepared this current generation of young students of color to compete for tech and engineering jobs, the whole nation will suffer.
Colleges_&_Universities  African-Americans  diversity  STEM  entrepreneurship  HBCUs  K-12  talent_pipelines 
december 2016 by jerryking
Donald Trump Voters, Just Hear Me Out
NOV. 2, 2016 | The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman.

No one knows for certain how we deal with this new race with and against machines, but I can assure you it’s not Trump’s way — build walls, restrict trade, give huge tax cuts to the rich. The best jobs in the future are going to be what I call “STEMpathy jobs — jobs that blend STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, math) with human empathy. We don’t know what many of them will look like yet.

The smartest thing we can do now is to keep our economy as open and flexible as possible — to get the change signals first and be able to quickly adapt; create the opportunity for every American to engage in lifelong learning, because whatever jobs emerge will require more knowledge; make sure that learning stresses as much of the humanities and human interactive skills as hard sciences; make sure we have an immigration policy that continues to attract the world’s most imaginative risk-takers; and strengthen our safety nets, because this era will leave more people behind.

This is the only true path to American greatness in the 21st century.
open_borders  Donald_Trump  Campaign_2016  Tom_Friedman  STEM  manufacturers  Hillary_Clinton  adaptability  empathy  life_long_learning  humanities  safety_nets  signals  warning_signs 
november 2016 by jerryking
Canada must fill three gaps to reach its high-growth future - The Globe and Mail
VICTOR DODIG
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 27, 2015

While Canada is roundly – and rightly – envied for its solid economy and how it withstood the financial crisis, we have three gaps to fill if we are going to continue to prosper and be leaders among the advanced economies.

First, I believe we need to do a better job of building the intellectual capital and skills necessary to fuel innovation and execute in a modern economy.

Second, we need to ensure our innovative entrepreneurs are able to attract both the formation and sustainability capital necessary to commercialize new ideas into valuable products and services.

Third, we need to ensure that we build an innovative ecosystem that effectively encourages and nurtures that development......Actually, some troubling issues lie behind those positive numbers:

* We have a much lower proportion of graduates in the all-important STEM sectors – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – than 22 other OECD countries.
* Only about 20 per cent of our graduates are from those disciplines.
* Postsecondary graduates rank 19th of 21 in numeracy, 18th of 21 in literacy and 14th of 18 in problem-solving skills.

We’re talking about the very people and very skills we need to need to lead Canada in innovation and create the high-value jobs for the future.

In effect, a postsecondary education is simply not enough in today’s modern economy. Our students, by and large, are choosing an educational path geared toward acquiring credentials rather than skills acquisition and what the labour market needs.

So, what do we need to do?....
(1) promote education choices that match the needs of the job market.
(2) promote policies and models to support emerging industries that focus on creating solutions in the global supply chain as opposed to just building products.

Canadians are no strangers to discovery and innovation, but today’s innovation ecosystem is highly complex. Far too many Canadian high-tech startups get bought out before they have a chance to grow. They often sell out before attaining their true potential.

When small and mid-sized startups are sold, the country is weaker for it.

Why? Because the really smart innovators never stop. After a successful sale, many are back the next day looking for the next opportunity and dreaming of the next big discovery. And retaining highly paid head-office jobs in Canada rather than seeing them farmed out elsewhere will help spread those benefits to the broader economy.
Canada  Canadian  future  CIBC  CEOs  high-growth  innovation  innovation_policies  policy  labour_markets  start_ups  sellout_culture  STEM  intellectual_capital  think_threes  smart_people  overambitious  policymaking  head_offices  ecosystems  digital_economy  Victor_Dodig 
may 2016 by jerryking
Degrees of separation - FT.com
February 26, 2016 | FT | Jonathan Derbyshire.

The best work is created within an interaction between two subjects. Take Zuckerberg - computer science + psychology = billionaire. Even having a broad knowledge of various subjects enables an entrepreneur to flourish.

Moral of the story............keep learning.

ReportShare6RecommendReply
apt-get 1 day ago
@Sunny spot on. Liberal arts, STEM...these are just starting points. Continual learning and diversity of knowledge are considerably more powerful.

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From David Brooks....Third, the age seems to reward procedural architects (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, etc. , people who can design an architecture/platform that allows other people to express ideas or to collaborate. Fourth, people who can organize a decentralized network around a clear question, without letting it dissipate or clump, will have enormous value. Fifth, essentialists will probably be rewarded--the ability to grasp the essence of one thing, and then the essence of some very different thing, and smash them together to create some entirely new thing. Sixth, the computer is the computer. The role of the human is not to be dispassionate, depersonalized or neutral. It is precisely the emotive traits that are rewarded: the voracious lust for understanding, the enthusiasm for work, the ability to grasp the gist, the empathetic sensitivity to what will attract attention and linger in the mind.
liberal_arts  STEM  billgates  Steve_Jobs  Colleges_&_Universities  CEOs  career_paths  cross-disciplinary  Vinod_Khosla  intellectual_diversity 
february 2016 by jerryking
We ignore the liberal arts at our peril - The Globe and Mail
ALAN WILDEMAN
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Sep. 07, 2015
uWindsor  Colleges_&_Universities  liberal_arts  humanities  STEM 
september 2015 by jerryking
14-Year-Olds Code App That Cleans Up India’s Streets - WSJ
By JEFF ELDER
June 25, 2015

The Bangalore teens are among 43 girls and young women, on 10 teams from around the world, competing for $20,000 in seed funding. Wednesday, they pitched their apps, and business plans, to a panel of five female tech executives....The goal of the competition, now in its sixth year and organized by the education nonprofit Iridescent, is to spark interest in tech entrepreneurship among pre-college girls. Nearly half of the girls who participate, organizers say, intend to major in computer-related studies. Over the six years, more than 5,000 girls from more than 30 countries have taken part....Organizers asked the girls to create a mobile app that addresses local challenges. Finalists took on childhood obesity, sports concussions, drunken driving, and water waste as well as waste disposal.
coding  software  girls  mobile_applications  Silicon_Valley  entrepreneurship  STEM  Junior_Achievement 
june 2015 by jerryking
Why tech giants are investing in STEM programs for students - The Globe and Mail
JENNIFER LEWINGTON
WATERLOO, ONT. — Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 28 2014, 5:00 AM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Oct. 30 2014,
STEM  uWaterloo  Google  Cisco  high_schools  outreach  coding  Lego  robotics  Kitchener-Waterloo 
november 2014 by jerryking
Why Imagination and Curiosity Matter More Than Ever - The CIO Report - WSJ
January 31, 2014 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

How can you foster imagination and curiosity? This was the subject of the 2011 book co-authored by JSB: A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. One of its key points is that learning has to evolve from something that only happens in the classroom to what that he calls connected learning, taking advantage of all the available resources, including tinkering with the system, playing games and perhaps most important, absorbing new ideas from your peers, from adjacent spaces and from other disciplines....How do you decide what problems to work on and try to solve? This second kind of innovation–which they call interpretation–is very different in nature from analysis. You are not solving a problem, but looking for a new insight about customers and the marketplace, a new idea for a product or a service, a new approach to producing and delivering them, a new business model. It requires the curiosity and imagination.
ideas  idea_generation  STEM  imagination  tacit_data  Roger_Martin  Rotman  critical_thinking  innovation  customer_insights  books  interpretation  curiosity  OPMA  organizational_culture  cross-pollination  second-order  new_businesses  learning  connected_learning  constant_change  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  worthwhile_problems  new_products  mental_dexterity  tinkerers  adjacencies 
february 2014 by jerryking
The damaging legacy of discovery learning - The Globe and Mail
Konrad Yakabuski

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Dec. 05 2013

The 2012 math rankings from the Programme for International Student Assessment, in which Canada slipped to 13th place, are based on average test scores..... it’s important to distinguish between what Canada’s notable drop in international student rankings can and can’t tell us about how our kids our doing.

First, some context: The two most damaging developments to hit public education have been the power of teaching fads and the proliferation of standardized testing. Fads are dangerous because they are often based on shaky hypotheses about how children learn, and are blindly embraced by impressionable teachers keen to make a difference but lacking in the experience and training needed to transmit knowledge or the talent to light the spark in their students.

Standardized testing is not bad in itself. But education policy has become hostage to testing data. The result is a disproportionate focus on raising the average scores of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and less emphasis on producing top students, regardless of income....As education historian and influential U.S. testing critic Diane Ravitch blogged after the latest PISA results were released, “what we cannot measure matters more. The scores tell us nothing about students’ imagination, their drive, their ability to ask good questions, their insight, their inventiveness, their creativity.”....[ Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.]. The decade-long drop in math scores among students outside Quebec corresponds with the spread of “discovery learning” in the classroom. The idea that students must be free to solve problems based on their unique learning styles popped up in the education literature in late 1960s and went mainstream in the 1990s. But there was a huge revolt when U.S. parents discovered Johnny couldn’t multiply; the pendulum has since swung back to teaching the basics.

Yet most English-Canadian school boards embraced some version of discovery learning even after it was being questioned south of the border. It fit with the “equity” mantra that permeated the jargon of education bureaucrats and ministers. “Reaching every student” became the theme of education policies aimed at bringing up the bottom with “student-centred learning.”
Konrad_Yakabuski  education  high_schools  rankings  PISA  STEM  mathematics  test-score_data  standardized_testing  metrics  students  imagination  drive  questions  insights  inventiveness  creativity  discoveries 
december 2013 by jerryking
‘Can You Make a Living After Studying English? Sure You Can’ - At Work - WSJ
June 6, 2013,| WSJ | By Robert Matz

Why study the humanities? For readers of The Wall Street Journal, here are two economic arguments.

...can you make a living after studying English? Sure you can. Students who major in English acquire skills in high demand in a knowledge and service economy: clear writing and communication, attention to detail, flexible and creative thinking.

First, there is the law of supply and demand. Blanket recommendations that college students study a STEM field are obviously self-defeating. If every student were to follow this advice, there would be too few jobs in STEM to support them. We have seen this kind of glut with the law degree.

Second, a humanities education creates a positive externality. You can’t meter the benefits of critical intelligence or imagination, but you wouldn’t want a populace that lacked them. Adam Smith, the author of Lectures On Rhetoric and Belles Lettres as well as of The Wealth of Nations, worried in the latter that the division of labor would make the laboring poor “incapable of relishing or bearing a part in any rational conversation . . . of conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment,” or of forming judgments regarding “the great and extensive interests of his country.” A nation with only technical expertise will similarly lack these virtues.

But can you make a living after studying English? Sure you can. Students who major in English acquire skills in high demand in a knowledge and service economy: clear writing and communication, attention to detail, flexible and creative thinking.

Still, not everyone should major in English. As a teacher in the field, I can tell you that some students couldn’t cut it. The deficits in their writing are too great to overcome, as are their difficulties in extrapolating from the particular to the general, or in thinking about problems in creative or original ways.

But students who can master the English major should feel confident that they are engaged in an enterprise that is valuable: personally, socially, and economically.

Robert Matz is chair of the George Mason English department.

This essay is part of a series on humanities studies and post-college employment.
humanities  STEM  career_paths  Colleges_&_Universities  Communicating_&_Connecting  liberal_arts  Adam_Smith  critical_thinking  English  self-defeating  externalities  detail_oriented  engaged_citizenry  extrapolations  writing 
june 2013 by jerryking
Fitting Education to Develop Minds and a Real Career
May 17, 2013, 3:27 p.m. ET | WSJ | CLINTON STALEY.

As a professor of Computer Science with an undergraduate major in Mathematics and English, I have deep respect for the humanities, and for "langua...
letters_to_the_editor  STEM  coding  Colleges_&_Universities  humanities  liberal_arts 
may 2013 by jerryking
How Best To Encourage Black 'Teenpreneurs'
May 17, 2013 | : NPR | African-American entrepreneurs from all over the country have gathered in Ohio this week. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Mike Green of the America21 Project about how to help black youth become more competitive in business. We also hear from teen entrepreneur Amber Liggett who started her own business, 'Amber's Amazing Animal Balloons.'
entrepreneurship  African-Americans  college_moguls  STEM  teenagers 
may 2013 by jerryking
SAGICOR Visionaries Challenge National Finals -
April 1, 2013 | Stabroek News |Dr. Maya Trotz is an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. She is currently on sabbatical with the Caribbean Science Foundation in Barbados.

Competitions feature teams of secondary school students who have come up with sustainable and innovative solutions to a challenge facing their school and/or community, solutions that use Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

By Maya Trotz
Caribbean  high_schools  contests  talent  science_&_technology  mathematics  STEM 
april 2013 by jerryking
If You’ve Got the Skills, She’s Got the Job - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: November 17, 2012

“The main reason the unemployment rate is higher today than it was in 2007, before the Great Recession, is because we have an ongoing cyclical unemployment problem — a lack of aggregate demand for labor — initiated by the financial crisis and persisting with continued housing market problems, consumers still deleveraging, the early cessation of fiscal stimulus compounded by cutbacks by state and local governments.” This is the main reason we went from around 5 percent to 8 percent unemployment.

Many community colleges and universities simply can’t keep pace and teach to the new skill requirements, especially with their budgets being cut. We need a new “Race to the Top” that will hugely incentivize businesses to embed workers in universities to teach — and universities to embed professors inside businesses to learn — so we get a much better match between schooling and the job markets.

“The world no longer cares about what you know; the world only cares about what you can do with what you know,” explains Tony Wagner of Harvard, the author of “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World.”
Tom_Friedman  skilled_trades  books  skills_shortage  STEM  welding  deleveraging  youth  young_people  high-impact 
november 2012 by jerryking
Fly Me to the Moon
December 5, 2004 | NYT | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN...."give me an America that is energy-independent and I will give you sharply reduced oil revenues for the worst governments in the world. I will give you political reform from Moscow to Riyadh to Tehran. Yes, deprive these regimes of the huge oil windfalls on which they depend and you will force them to reform by having to tap their people instead of oil wells. These regimes won't change when we tell them they should. They will change only when they tell themselves they must....If President Bush made energy independence his moon shot, he would dry up revenue for terrorism; force Iran, Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to take the path of reform - which they will never do with $45-a-barrel oil - strengthen the dollar; and improve his own standing in Europe, by doing something huge to reduce global warming. He would also create a magnet to inspire young people to contribute to the war on terrorism and America's future by becoming scientists, engineers and mathematicians. "This is not just a win-win," said the Johns Hopkins foreign policy expert Michael Mandelbaum. "This is a win-win-win-win-win."
career_paths  deprivations  energy  energy_independence  energy_security  engineering  mathematics  moonshots  NSF  oil_industry  petro-politics  SAIS  STEM  Tom_Friedman  win-win  youth  young_people 
january 2012 by jerryking
The Country Can Learn From These Students - NYTimes.com
December 6, 2010 | New York Times | By BRENT STAPLES. Send article to Frances Jeffers, Visions of Science.
education  African-Americans  science_&_technology  engineering  Colleges_&_Universities  STEM 
december 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - A Word From the Wise - NYTimes.com
March 2, 2010 By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. While America still has
the quality work force, political stability and natural resources a
company like Intel needs, said Otellini, the U.S. is badly lagging in
developing the next generation of scientific talent and incentives to
induce big multinationals to create lots more jobs here.
Tom_Friedman  Intel  competitiveness_of_nations  semiconductors  incentives  STEM  talent 
march 2010 by jerryking
New Programs Aim to Lure Young Into Digital Jobs
December 20, 2009 |New York Times | STEVE LOHR.Hybrid careers
like Dr. Halamka’s that combine computing with other fields will
increasingly be the new American jobs of the future, labor experts say.
In other words, the nation’s economy is going to need more cool nerds.
But not enough young people are embracing computing — often because they
are leery of being branded nerds.
Steve_Lohr  Colleges_&_Universities  students  career_paths  STEM  new_graduates  nerds  young_people 
december 2009 by jerryking

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