Two qubits… (0) Why? (1) SCREAM jobs

4 May 2012

It’s May 4th and my last posting was five days ago on April 29th. Summer break is approaching and I don’t know how much time this blog is going to get. Only time will tell (Duh! I know).

[qubit::0]

It’s graduation season. I’m excited about the future is a frequently encountered phrase and everytime I hear it I’d like to ask Why? I use the phrase frequently because I am excited about the future. Why? Because I’m a futurist and that’s exciting.

[qubit::1]

ChangeTheEquation.org has a posting titled “STEM Help Wanted”. The posting was about jobs, but again the STEM acronym sent me on a STEM, CSTEM, STEAM, CSTEAM, SCREAM detour.

STEM help wanted? Heck, yeah. I want stem cells to come to my rescue on an as needed basis. When I see STEM, I see the stock symbol for StemCells, Inc. [Note: I a nanoiota-sized STEM shareholder.]

Switch STEM to SCREAM and the CTEq headline morphs into SCREAM Help Wanted. SCREAM includes ‘Computing’ and ‘Robotics’. Scream “Help Wanted” and it morphs into a HELP WANTED scream.

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The ‘C’ in SCREAMers

13 April 2012

The STEM and STEAM acronyms have become popular acronyms here in the early part of the 21st century. [If I’ve said this n times, I’ve seen it ++n times.]

I’ve never liked the STEM acronym. The first time I saw it I immediately asked “Where’s the Computing?” [And this is said out loud mimicking the way the old Wendy’s lady said “Where’s the Beef?” in those old Wendy’s commercials.] The same “Where’s the Computing?” question applies to the STEAM acronym. Sometime not that long ago I subjected the STEM and STEAM acronyms to the following question: “Where’s the Robotics?”

21st STEM and STEAM depend on Computing, so I originally proposed changing STEM and STEAM to CSTEM and CSTEAM, respectively. There three immediate problems: (0) CSTEM and CSTEAM are not really acronyms. (1) STEM and STEAM are too embedded in our society to change them (i.e. they’re immutable). (2) Where’s the Robotics?

Problem (1) might be impossible to repair, so I’m going to ignore that it exists. Problems (0) and (2) are eliminated with use of the SCREAM acronym. Let the Technology morph into technologies and bury it in the sciences (e.g. biotechnology and nanotechnology), the computing, the robotics, the engineering, the art and the mathematics.

I recently used STEMers and STEAMers to refer to scientists, technologists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians. SCREAMers include those plus roboticists and… oops… computerists? computists? compueers? computicians? computerologists? In those infamous grunts of Homer Simpson… D’oh! Hmm… It would be fun to be able to rewind to when there were no non-human computers and refer to the ‘C’ in SCREAMers as computers. SCREAMers are scientists, computers [humans], roboticists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians.

The ‘C’omputing in SCREAM includes both human and non-human computers. 21st century STEM, STEAM and SCREAM depend on all of us being “computers.”

The following was copied from Wikipedia.org…

The first use of the word “computer” was recorded in 1613, referring to a person who carried out calculations, or computations, and the word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century. From the end of the 19th century the word began to take on its more familiar meaning, a machine that carries out computations.


What If I Live To 93?

8 April 2012

I’ve enjoyed “60 Minutes” for more than half of my life and today (8 April 02012) I learned that Mike Wallace had died at age 93. I categorize 93 as “old”, and it’s nice that Mike Wallace lived a long life.

I was 54 on 8 April 02012. Hmm… Reverse the digits of Mike Wallace’s death age (digits of 93 reversed is 39) and add that number to my age (54) and you get Mike Wallace’s death age (93 = 39 + 54).

39 years is a long time. I’ll turn 93 in the year 02050. I think it’s possible that if I’m alive in 02050, then I could end up being alive in the years 02150, 02250, 02350, and so on.

39 years of SCREAM (Science, Computing, Robotics, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) enabled by Infinite Computing. I don’t have enough imagination to image what the info-, bio-, nano-, robo- advances are going to be over the span of the next 39 years.

These days I consider 93 an “old” age, but 39 years from now it’s possible I’ll consider 93 a “young” age.


I Continue To Support the Arizona Science Foundation

1 July 2010

On 28 June 02010, I read Report touts contribution of Science Foundation on page B7 of the Arizona Republic. In the article Ken Alltucker reported the following.

“Science Foundation Arizona has returned more than $3 for every $1 the state has invested in the group’s university and non-profit grant programs over the past three years, a new report indicates.”

I logged into my AzCentral.com account and posted the following comment to Alltucker’s article.

This story should be on page A1; not buried on B7. If the Arizona Republic was serious about helping Arizona be a leading CSTEM state, then this would be A1 news.

Side-bar: STEM is a buzz-acronym and I’m not a fan of using it. Observe that I use CSTEM instead of STEM because STEM advances don’t happen without computing and computing gets lost in the STEM.

On 30 June 02010 (two days later), State should back real moneymaker was one of the Arizona Republic’s editorials. The Republic’s editorial included the following.

“A new evaluation shows the payoff from this public-private partnership from fiscal 2007 to 2009: 1,151 new jobs, 16 new companies, 84 patents and 11 technology licenses. And this remarkable achievement occurred in a severe recession.”

Many people (mostly politicians) use the phrase “worst recession since the great depression” instead of the phrase “severe recession” and it has been in this environment that the Arizona Science Foundation has been able to help Arizona become a 21st century state.

[side-bar] These days I’ve seen people (mostly educators) using STEAM instead of STEM, where the ‘A’ stands for the arts. STEAM, if used, needs to be CSTEAM. In addition, some people (mostly educators) use iSTEM, where the ‘i’ stands for integrated (not iPhone-based STEM). iSTEM, if used, needs to be iCSTEM.


Snoop Dogg, Aristotle, Donald Knuth

21 November 2009

On back-to-back days I mined quotes by Calvin Broadus (Snoop Dogg)
and Aristotle. Dogg’s quote was about math and Aristotle’s quote was about teaching. The combination of math and teaching caused me to recall a quote by Donald Knuth about the importance of computing.

If you stop at general math, you’re only going to make general math money. — Snoop Dogg

I’m curious as to how Dogg defines “general math money.” Minimum wage? Less than six-figure salaries? Less than $1 million per year? I suspect Dogg makes abstract algebra money.

Teaching is the highest form of understanding. — Aristotle

The quotes by Dogg and Aristotle reminded me of the following quote by Donald Knuth.

It has often been said that a person does not really understand something until he teaches it to someone else. Actually a person does not really understand something until he can teach it to a computer, i. e., express it as an algorithm. The attempt to formalize things as algorithms leads to a much deeper understanding than if we simply try to comprehend things in the traditional way. — Donald Knuth [1]

Programming is how a person “teaches” a computer, yet students don’t have to learn about programming in K-12. And, many (majority of?) students get college degrees without ever learning a programming language. We are living in the CSTEM era and 21st century STEM depends on Computing, yet our educational systems seem to ignore this reality.

Aristotle might have been a dude in his day, but he didn’t have supercomputers at his finger tips. Knuth is a grossly unknown modern day polymath who would be quickly whatevered by most young people. But what about Snoop?

Snoop Dogg tells his fans to learn beyond general math. Kudos to Dogg. It would be nice if Mr. Dogg would rap about the importance of learning about the base-2 number system (i.e. the code).

[1] Donald Knuth is a “computer scientist and Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University.” [Wikipedia]