We Are the World

There have been several posts to this Advocate Blog that chat about the lack of diversity in computer science classes and STEM related fields. Quoting from Deborah Seehorn’s blog post last October:
“There have been articles about Women in Computer Science, Computer Science in K-12 Education, Computer Science in STEM, Business and Industry Involvement in Computer Science, Interesting our Youth in Studying Computer Science, the Computer Science Employment Outlook, and the list keeps growing.” I’d like to add another resource to that list that appears in the October Blog.
Today, March 27, 2013, an interview with Ed Lazowska was posted in Science Careers from the Journal Science. Dr. Lazowska holds the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. The title of the article says it all: “We Are the World.”
It is best that you read the entire article as it refers to an interview done with Greg Andrews in 2004 and asks some of the same questions of Ed Lazowska now. The article focuses on careers in computer science, PhD degrees in computer science, and how numbers might be interpreted then and now.
Perhaps the most meaningful quote from the interview is Lazowska’s final remark:
“Science policy in this nation, and STEM education, is in the iron grip of chemists, physicists, astronomers, and biologists. They don’t want any interlopers. But increasingly, advances in these fields are being driven by computer science. There is no field that is more important to the future of the nation and the world.
All of our national and global challenges — education, health care, transportation, energy, national security, scientific discovery, you name it — rely on advances in computer science.
Let’s recognize this, and act accordingly.”
Fran Trees
CSTA Chapter Liaison