Is the STEM crisis a myth?

This is what claims Robert N. Charette in the following article from 2013:

The STEM Crisis Is a Myth

Forget the dire predictions of a looming shortfall of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians

By Robert N. Charette

You must have seen the warning a thousand times: Too few young people study scientific or technical subjects, businesses can’t find enough workers in those fields, and the country’s competitive edge is threatened.

It pretty much doesn’t matter what country you’re talking about—the United States is facing this crisis, as is

, India…the list goes on. In many of these countries, the predicted shortfall of STEM (short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workers is supposed to number in the hundreds of thousands or even the millions. A 2012 report by President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, for instance, stated that over the next decade, 1 million additional STEM graduates will be needed. In the U.K., the Royal Academy of Engineering reported last year that the nation will have to graduate 100 000 STEM majors every year until 2020 just to stay even with demand. Germany, meanwhile, is sa to have a shortage of about 210 000 workers in what’s known there as the MINT disciplines—mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, and technology.

The situation is so dismal that governments everywhere are now pouring billions of dollars each year into myriad efforts designed to boost the ranks of STEM workers. President Obama has called for government and industry to train 10 000 new U.S. engineers every year as well as 100 000 additional STEM teachers by 2020. And until those new recruits enter the workforce, tech companies like Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft are lobbying to boost the number of H-1B visas—temporary immigration permits for skilled workers—from 65 000 per year to as many as 180 000. The European Union is similarly introducing the new Blue Card visa to bring in skilled workers from outside the EU. The government of India has said it needs to add 800 new universities, in part to avoid a shortfall of 1.6 million university-educated engineers by the end of the decade.

See the whole article at https://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/education/the-stem-crisis-is-a-myth

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Robots at UCLA RoMeLa

 

 

Some points I liked:

Around 21:00-22:00 “Sometimes we have a specific application in mind…
Sometimes you randomly have an interesting idea that has no purpose and no application… Then these ideas which had no values find an application.”

My comment: This is exactly what Mathematical research is about. You prove a theorem that has no application. Then you find an application.

Around 26:50 We have so many ideas that do not work.

and

Around 27:40 Failure is not necessarily a bad thing. If we can avoid failure, we do…
We have ten times more failures and all these failures gave us the chance to learn about things, and this lead to our successes.

My comment: This is exactly the same in Mathematical research too. Most ideas do not work, but you learn from them and modify them to work.

Around 29:40 Many times (the students) do not get to build the robots, but they do the Math!

 

 

 

 

 

Around 21:00-22:00 Sometimes we have a specific application in mind…
Sometimes you randomly have an interesting idea that has no purpose and no application…
Then these ideas which had no values find an application.

Around 26:50 We have so many ideas that do not work.

Around 27:40 Failure is not necessarily a bad thing. If we can avoid failur, we do…
We have ten times more failures and all these failures gave us the chance to learn about things, and this lead to our successes.

Around 29:40 Many times (the students) do not get to build the robots, but they do the Math!

 

 

Investigating the uncertain future of teaching profession

Read the full article at https://erc.europa.eu/projects-figures/stories/investigating-uncertain-future-teaching-profession

Investigating the uncertain future of teaching profession

Teaching is certainly one of the most important professions in our society, yet its status and attractiveness have been systematically diminishing in the last decades. At the Université catholique de Louvain, Prof. Xavier Dumay is using his ERC Starting Grant to investigate the cultural and institutional transformations that have led to this “teaching profession crisis”.

Over the last 20 years, the high rate of new teachers leaving the profession shortly after entering it and teachers shortages in general have constituted serious challenges in many education systems globally, not least in Europe. According to recent studies, this situation often reflects a relative decline in the economic and social status of the profession which started in the 1980s. It is also caused by increasing job responsibilities and less favourable employment conditions relative to other professions, in particular in terms of workload and salary scales.

This is paradoxical as teachers generally now have a higher average level of education and qualifications than they did in the past. Yet, education systems currently struggle to attract and retain the most qualified people. Many people turn to teaching only later in their careers or out of sheer need for a job, thus making the workforce ever more diverse in terms of entry pathways, level of qualifications and employment conditions.

These challenges appear common to many countries. As a result, an increasingly global space for education governance emerged since the end of World War II and was given extra momentum when education policies became linked to human capital and countries’ economic competitiveness.

Read the full article at https://erc.europa.eu/projects-figures/stories/investigating-uncertain-future-teaching-profession

Do not let failure stop you!- The story of Jack Ma

Parts of the Wikipedia article on Jack Ma. See full article at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Ma

Whos is Jack Ma?

Jack Ma (Chinese: 马云; pinyin: Ma Yun, [mà y̌n];[2] is a Chinese business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. As of August 2018, he is one of China‘s richest men with a net worth of US$38.6 billion, as well as one of the wealthiest people in the world.

Compare with how he started

Ma applied for 30 different jobs and got rejected by all. “I went for a job with the police; they said, ‘you’re no good,'” Ma told interviewer Charlie Rose. “I even went to KFC when it came to my city. Twenty-four people went for the job. Twenty-three were accepted. I was the only guy…”.[17] In addition to this, he applied ten times to Harvard Business School (HBS) and got rejected.[18]


Do not let failure stop you!

Teaching Eval Shake-Up

Read the full article at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/05/22/most-institutions-say-they-value-teaching-how-they-assess-it-tells-different-story

Teaching Eval Shake-Up

Most institutions say they value teaching. But how they assess it tells a different story. University of Southern California has stopped using student evaluations of teaching in promotion decisions in favor of peer-review model. Oregon seeks to end quantitative evaluations of teaching for holistic model.

ByColleen Flaherty

May 22, 2018

Research is reviewed in a rigorous manner, by expert peers. Yet teaching is often reviewed only or mostly by pedagogical non-experts: students. There’s also mounting evidence of bias in student evaluations of teaching, or SETs — against female and minority instructors in particular. And teacher ratings aren’t necessarily correlated with learning outcomes.

All that was enough for the University of Southern California to do away with SETs in tenure and promotion decisions this spring. Students will still evaluate their professors, with some adjustments — including a new focus on students’ own engagement in a course. But those ratings will not be used in high-stakes personnel decisions.

The changes took place earlier than the university expected. But study after recent study suggesting that SETs advantage faculty members of certain genders and backgrounds (namely white men) and disadvantage others was enough for Michael Quick, provost, to call it quits, effective immediately.

Read the full article at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/05/22/most-institutions-say-they-value-teaching-how-they-assess-it-tells-different-story