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#1 alias120  Icon User is offline

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The next "Geek" generation

Posted 19 August 2011 - 08:27 PM

This is an article from techrepublic.com regarding the upcoming generation of IT. In short, the author believes that the next generation of students will be less likely to choose IT as a career path due to IT not appearing to be as rewarding as other fields. As an example, the author discusses how less emphasis should be put on students learning higher mathematics and more emphasis placed on problem solving in the hope that students will find this approach attractive.

Here is the entire article -> http://www.techrepub...vw-three;bos-i2

While I would agree with the author that there are many fields where advanced mathematics are not used daily, I believe there is a great benefit from learning mathematics. The problem is that many schools do not teach mathematics for what it is, a great exercise in problem solving. I will let this next article speak for itself. It is a long read, but if you get the chance it is well worth it. Thank you to Oler1s for sharing this originally.
http://www.maa.org/d...hartsLament.pdf

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#2 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: The next "Geek" generation

Posted 19 August 2011 - 08:45 PM

I don't really care if the IT field is not as rewarding as other fields, because I want to do what I love (as long as I can support myself and possibly a family). Maybe it's just me being naive but that's my two cents.

As for putting a student in math class to learn problem solving, I personally don't find the idea too grand. A lot of people are skilled with problem solving and computers but still suck at math. They would do much better learning in some computer-related course.
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#3 alias120  Icon User is offline

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Re: The next "Geek" generation

Posted 19 August 2011 - 09:02 PM

That is true, if one can work in a certain field and do it because it is what they truly enjoy then that is great. I don't believe the author is saying that IT is not as rewarding as other fields, but that the way IT is presented way not seem as attractive to a person trying to find their calling.

The second part of my post isn't really saying that math is required for one to be good at problem solving, but that it would only help one develop their problem solving skills. The problem is, most math curriculums suck. The author in that second article does a very good job of expanding upon the topic.
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#4 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: The next "Geek" generation

Posted 19 August 2011 - 09:03 PM

Our business has and always will be information. Mathematicians learn programming b/c it helps them. Same for Physicists, chemists, accountants, economists, etc. Even some English majors, as in the case of baavgai learn programming. :)

When computers were really coming into play, there was no formal "computer science" curriculum. Scientists, mathematicians, accountants, etc. learned programming b/c they needed to use it. This will never change. In a computer science curriculum, should there be a heavy math emphasis? Yes, this is theory. In an IT/IS curriculum, where less theory is covered, less math needs to be covered. This is how it should be to prepare students. People who love the field and have aptitude will succeed regardless. There are people who will be weeded out regardless. Perhaps more emphasis should be placed on weeding people out early on that don't have the aptitude or work ethic. I feel that a lot of colleges (India comes to mind, but there are numerous American colleges as well that do this) place more emphasis on passing along half-assed students who can't do the work. And it's usually the programming, not the math, that gives people more trouble (at least from my personal experiences). It's not about, or at least shouldn't be about, making curricula attractive. It's about using them to empower and prepare students to succeed in the field by imparting upon them relevant knowledge and more importantly, the ability to proceed farther into the field on their own. Be it research, work, etc.

Just my $0.02. :)
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#5 alias120  Icon User is offline

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Re: The next "Geek" generation

Posted 19 August 2011 - 09:13 PM

I agree that it shouldn't be about how attractive the curriculum is, as it is what's required of that field. If you want to excel in a particular field, you should be willing to put in the time and effort.

I am not sure that I agree with the author that the next generation of IT is going to be hard to come by. If anything, IT appears to be one of the fastest growing fields. Now, as macosx pointed out, there seems to be greater average of lazy and/or incompetent students aspiring to work in some field of IT. So while I do not believe the quantity of those willing to do IT will be a problem, I am not so sure of the quality.
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#6 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: The next "Geek" generation

Posted 20 August 2011 - 04:38 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 20 August 2011 - 12:03 AM, said:

Even some English majors, as in the case of baavgai learn programming.


Yes! I am the champion of the Liberal Arts programmer! Ancient Philosophers good, Logic rules, Newton meh. Unfortunately, Mac stole most of my shtick. :P

Sadly, I'm old enough to know where the writer is coming from. If you were into computers when they first hit the home (Apple, Commodore, etc), chances are you were some kind of untrustworthy social misfit If you were into them even before that, you were an "egghead." Either way, you were clearly never getting laid.

We wore our freak flags with honor as most of society marginalized us. Today, it feels like when you're favorite band, the one that no one has ever heard of, gets a number one hit on the radio. Somehow, the exclusivity of geek chic has Sold Out.

The elements of tech the writer thought were cool are no longer in play. Kids don't have those little radio shack electronics projects, or build computers from a kit, or even own an ammeter anymore. Therefore, the current generation of tech enthusiasts must be missing out. We also don't have vacuum tubes or punch cards.

Yes, things change, and if you can't deal with that you shouldn't choose computers as a profession. Chances are the stuff you think is real important now will be an historical footnote twenty years from now. You can either embrace that or bitch about it.
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#7 alias120  Icon User is offline

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Re: The next "Geek" generation

Posted 20 August 2011 - 05:51 PM

View Postbaavgai, on 20 August 2011 - 05:38 AM, said:

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 20 August 2011 - 12:03 AM, said:

Even some English majors, as in the case of baavgai learn programming.

Yes! I am the champion of the Liberal Arts programmer! Ancient Philosophers good, Logic rules, Newton meh. Unfortunately, Mac stole most of my shtick. :P


Come now, what is wrong with Newton? Sure he was an asshole, but hey some of the greatest thinkers were.

Great post though, I think you really explained the authors position well. I remember when I was in high school, which was really not that long ago, and joined the computer club. Even in the last six years it seems there has been a change in attitude towards the geek culture. We were such a small group, gathering after school in an office full of spare computer parts, cables and monitors everywhere one looked. Reading up on new technologies or discussing the upcoming E3 convention (which was almost entirely PC gaming at the time).

Like I said, not that long ago but it does seem things have changed even since then. It is not about the same thing as it used to be, especially that thing that was there before I was around. The "Hackers" at MIT engineering their train sets, or someone shooting off thier first model rocket and marveling at the simplicity that allows it to take flight.

Luckily that is not all gone, and I don't think it ever will be as long as there are those who aren't willing to believe that how everything works is "magic".
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#8 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: The next "Geek" generation

Posted 20 August 2011 - 05:53 PM

Quote

Luckily that is not all gone, and I don't think it ever will be as long as there are those who aren't willing to believe that how everything works is "magic".

Don't go bashing magic now. That's most of calculus. ;)

Posted Image
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#9 alias120  Icon User is offline

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Re: The next "Geek" generation

Posted 20 August 2011 - 05:57 PM

Lol, that is pretty good I will have to save that. I admit the first time I was reading through the axioms of integrating a function with rational exponents I got a little dizzy. Must have been the magic taking me over.

This post has been edited by alias120: 20 August 2011 - 05:57 PM

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