IT/Computer Education - A New Hope?


log in

Advanced search

Message boards : Politics : IT/Computer Education - A New Hope?

Previous · 1 · 2 · 3 · Next
Author Message

Send message
Joined: 3 Apr 99
Posts: 2082
Credit: 43,473,022
RAC: 174,769
Message 1403100 - Posted: 14 Aug 2013, 15:47:18 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 20:45:55 UTC

--

Profile ML1
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 25 Nov 01
Posts: 8452
Credit: 4,153,306
RAC: 1,779
United Kingdom
Message 1403123 - Posted: 14 Aug 2013, 17:29:15 UTC - in response to Message 1403082.
Last modified: 14 Aug 2013, 17:35:02 UTC

It's difficult to say what's needed in the computer industry these days and what might be needed in the near future. And those of us whose first computer they learned to "find the bad transistor or diode keeping the output of an AND GATE stuck by checking logic levels on the backplane of a computer "system" that had an IMP with a 100 mhz o'scope" may be at a disadvantage when trying to predict the future in IT needs today.

... It's difficult to find teachers who start from zero and work their way up to what's happening today. On the other hand, is it absolutely necessary to teach what an AND/OR/NOT gate is and how PN junctions can be connected together to form those three logic functions of a computer? And how those three logic functions are put together for the XOR gate, registers, encoders, decoders, and control logic?

On the other hand, how do you teach how to allocate memory to instantiate an object in a computer these days that has more than a billion PN junctions in a single integrated circuit chip?...

Starting from the 'ground up' is a very good way to build interest and enthusiasm rather than getting bogged down with a gazillion new bewildering terms by parachuting into dusty 'reference' text books...


So... My crash course introduction into computing and programming would run through in less than a day's teaching of:

(A few YouTube vids)

Our ancients predicting the seasons and the movement of the moon:

Stonehenge and celestial mechanics
Stonehenge solstice reconstruction


The Greek computer for all of the then known Astronomy and Astrology:

The Antikythera Mechanism from about 2000 years ago

Virtual model of the Antikythera Mechanism

2010AD: Lego Antikythera Mechanism


So that Victorian's didn't get their maths wrong and suffer the Royal Navy losing ships due to navigation errors due to poor maths tables:

Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2


Fast forward to using electricity and telephone relays:

Konrad Zuse's computing machine Z3


And so on to introduce the use of valve electronics with Colossus, transistors and then silicon chips and their use in calculators, computers, and now most electronic systems.

The final message being that there is an awful lot that can and is done with programming and programmable devices.

Also note that "programming" does not necessarily mean using a computer language. Examples being programming your washing machine through to CNC machines for their precision machining to follow a preset sequence of operations...

Anyone not wowed need not continue for the rest of the course!


Aside: A quick scan through YouTube and why is there so very much conspiracy crap?! Also, why are the presenters for history so impossibly boring?!!

Short inspired 5 minute segments without any of the mysticism or Media hype should work well...


Class dismissed!
Martin
____________
See new freedom: Mageia4
Linux Voice See & try out your OS Freedom!
The Future is what We make IT (GPLv3)

Profile ML1
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 25 Nov 01
Posts: 8452
Credit: 4,153,306
RAC: 1,779
United Kingdom
Message 1403129 - Posted: 14 Aug 2013, 17:39:45 UTC - in response to Message 1403095.

Oh, APL will make you old and grumpy ... :)

Then there's B.

Thankfully, I've been able to stay above C ;-)


IT is what we make it...
Martin

____________
See new freedom: Mageia4
Linux Voice See & try out your OS Freedom!
The Future is what We make IT (GPLv3)

Profile Gary CharpentierProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 12585
Credit: 6,892,352
RAC: 6,994
United States
Message 1403137 - Posted: 14 Aug 2013, 18:03:21 UTC - in response to Message 1403129.

Oh, APL will make you old and grumpy ... :)

Then there's B.

Thankfully, I've been able to stay above C ;-)

You have forgotten D.

____________

Profile ML1
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 25 Nov 01
Posts: 8452
Credit: 4,153,306
RAC: 1,779
United Kingdom
Message 1403156 - Posted: 14 Aug 2013, 19:23:41 UTC - in response to Message 1403137.
Last modified: 14 Aug 2013, 19:36:48 UTC

Oh, APL will make you old and grumpy ... :)

Then there's B.

Thankfully, I've been able to stay above C ;-)

You have forgotten D.

Very good...

I went over to C++ before then diving headlong into a blind alley with MSVC++ (ok, so Microsoft Windows 3.11WfW was a good idea at the time...).

I'll admit, never looked at D.


Which comes back round to ensuring programmers are at least aware of a number of different programming languages that have different philosophies and the pros/cons to go with them...

For a possible list for the different ways of programming, perhaps:


ATMEGA assembler
ARM assembler
x86_64 assembler

logo
postscript
C
C++
python
prolog
haskel
java
php
ada (especially for parallelism)
OpenCL


I think the best format would be to run through all of them in three parts: Brief introduction to the respective philosophies for how to use the languages; Brief demo of use for real world examples; More extensive use to show off strengths.


Any glaring omissions?


IT is what we make it,
Martin
____________
See new freedom: Mageia4
Linux Voice See & try out your OS Freedom!
The Future is what We make IT (GPLv3)

Profile tullioProject donor
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 04
Posts: 3732
Credit: 386,392
RAC: 443
Italy
Message 1403293 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 3:02:15 UTC - in response to Message 1403156.

You forgot FORTRAN. Scientists are still using it.
Tullio
____________

Profile James Sotherden
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 16 May 99
Posts: 8835
Credit: 34,939,083
RAC: 56,492
United States
Message 1403314 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 5:00:33 UTC - in response to Message 1403123.

It's difficult to say what's needed in the computer industry these days and what might be needed in the near future. And those of us whose first computer they learned to "find the bad transistor or diode keeping the output of an AND GATE stuck by checking logic levels on the backplane of a computer "system" that had an IMP with a 100 mhz o'scope" may be at a disadvantage when trying to predict the future in IT needs today.

... It's difficult to find teachers who start from zero and work their way up to what's happening today. On the other hand, is it absolutely necessary to teach what an AND/OR/NOT gate is and how PN junctions can be connected together to form those three logic functions of a computer? And how those three logic functions are put together for the XOR gate, registers, encoders, decoders, and control logic?

On the other hand, how do you teach how to allocate memory to instantiate an object in a computer these days that has more than a billion PN junctions in a single integrated circuit chip?...

Starting from the 'ground up' is a very good way to build interest and enthusiasm rather than getting bogged down with a gazillion new bewildering terms by parachuting into dusty 'reference' text books...


So... My crash course introduction into computing and programming would run through in less than a day's teaching of:

(A few YouTube vids)

Our ancients predicting the seasons and the movement of the moon:

Stonehenge and celestial mechanics
Stonehenge solstice reconstruction


The Greek computer for all of the then known Astronomy and Astrology:

The Antikythera Mechanism from about 2000 years ago

Virtual model of the Antikythera Mechanism

2010AD: Lego Antikythera Mechanism


So that Victorian's didn't get their maths wrong and suffer the Royal Navy losing ships due to navigation errors due to poor maths tables:

Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2


Fast forward to using electricity and telephone relays:

Konrad Zuse's computing machine Z3


And so on to introduce the use of valve electronics with Colossus, transistors and then silicon chips and their use in calculators, computers, and now most electronic systems.

The final message being that there is an awful lot that can and is done with programming and programmable devices.

Also note that "programming" does not necessarily mean using a computer language. Examples being programming your washing machine through to CNC machines for their precision machining to follow a preset sequence of operations...

Anyone not wowed need not continue for the rest of the course!


Aside: A quick scan through YouTube and why is there so very much conspiracy crap?! Also, why are the presenters for history so impossibly boring?!!

Short inspired 5 minute segments without any of the mysticism or Media hype should work well...


Class dismissed!
Martin

I knew CNC was programming but I never put it into context that it was computer programming. As I operate a CNC machines I do use code. Only setup men can change code,(They have the key) But In MDI mode I can enter code and move the turret to where I want it when a bar change fault accurs. I hit the MDI button the screen pops up and I enter G0G54;T0101;Z0.03; then hit the insert button and the turret moves. in this case it goes to the work face with tool 0101 and is 30 thousands of an inch from the stock.

It is an advantage if you can read code. There are times when a programmer has a spindle speed to fast when drilling a work piece.
____________

Old James

Profile Gary CharpentierProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 12585
Credit: 6,892,352
RAC: 6,994
United States
Message 1403335 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 6:47:20 UTC

I see everyone is giving short shift to the required full set of knowledge to program effectively.

While a basic history of computing devices should be included, it is not required to learn how to program. What most of you are suggesting is a curriculum to learn how to hack, not program. Perhaps you are confining to high school elective semester class, where that may be appropriate.

On the math side of the house you need classes in Boolean algebra, linear algebra, statistics, and numerical analysis, and of course their prerequisites, algebra and introductory calculus. An engineering calculus class by graduation if possible.

It also helps if the student has some good language skills, in whatever is their language is, as well as a couple years of high school level foreign language to help understand the concepts in different languages.

In their first semester they should be taught how to write some hello world programs and extend them to do some simple functions and be taught some simple flow control. The second semester be taught the advanced concepts in that programming language and be introduced to a couple of other languages. Next should be a good long bit about data structures and how to design them. Such concepts and queues, decks, trees, and linked lists and how those concepts are expressed in several different computer languages. This is where they should be doing work in both procedural and object oriented languages. The lab portions by now should have taught them all about using a run time debugger and even thrown them some buggy code and a data set to find the several errors. Next a good bit on databases, both flat and relational. By now lab classes should be covering error handling, process control, signaling and all the tools available, preferably on at least two architectures to compare and contrast the differences. Somewhere they must learn text handling, perhaps by having them write a simple macro processor. Next should come projects to write a simple unix like shell, and incorporate that macro processor and then having them write a compiler for a simple language, which necessitates learning lexical and semantic analysis and will put all about data structures to use, with a good second lesson to put that macro processor on the compiler to teach them to write their code to be reusable. It then is time to teach parallel processing and GPU processing and redo that shell and compiler to be parallel. Before they graduate some about how to write mulch-platform code and the tools available and a fairly decent size real world lab project.

It is a lot to cover and this is for a pure programming track, not even touching on system administration. Obviously that needs some attention as well as coding and scripting for website construction, and a good bit about UI design. Somewhere you have to make a line between undergraduate and graduate classes where you can get into things like system programming.

Frankly with all the specialization today, a Uni should be offering enough classes that a student could take two to three times the required number of units to graduate with a BS before getting into post graduate classes.

____________

Profile Chris SProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 31771
Credit: 13,200,703
RAC: 36,373
United Kingdom
Message 1403382 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 9:49:15 UTC

You all seem to be banging on about your own technical knowledge, rather then seeing the real situation. OK you are all clever chaps, happy now???

Schools and FE Colleges are there to educate people to the level necessary to get an ordinary basic job. In the 21C it is expected that, that job in an average office environment will require end user knowledge of a suite of general office sofware programs at L2. We all know what the industry standard software suite is, just because some don't like that in principle is their problem. 90% of offices run it, and you learn to use what everyone else does, else you are unemployable.

I suggest 90% of the world are end users of software 10% are programmers and application writers that provide that software. It is not necessary for the 90% to need to know what the 10% know. You want to take a degree in designing microprocessors, OK fine, you need to know about Boolean logic and gates, you need to know about clock rates and data buses etc. 90% of the world DOES NOT WANT TO KNOW AND DOESN'T CARE!!! So they do not need to be taught about it in school.

I think we have to many wanna be uni lecturers here ;-)))

Profile ML1
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 25 Nov 01
Posts: 8452
Credit: 4,153,306
RAC: 1,779
United Kingdom
Message 1403402 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 10:57:44 UTC - in response to Message 1403382.
Last modified: 15 Aug 2013, 10:58:52 UTC

... 90% of the world DOES NOT WANT TO KNOW AND DOESN'T CARE!!! So they do not need to be taught about it in school...

And so your other condemned 10% don't get to be inspired or to find out either?


For 90% to "not care" suggests the present schooling system is itself a failure.

Unfortunately my own experiences saw that, although not as badly as 90% fail...


IT is very much what we make it for ourselves,
Martin
____________
See new freedom: Mageia4
Linux Voice See & try out your OS Freedom!
The Future is what We make IT (GPLv3)

Profile tullioProject donor
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 04
Posts: 3732
Credit: 386,392
RAC: 443
Italy
Message 1403415 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 12:09:02 UTC
Last modified: 15 Aug 2013, 12:09:48 UTC

There was a project by the Italian Ministry of Education to teach computer programming using LOGO to primary school students (scuole elementari, 6 to 12). Texas Instruments was to provide the HW, the TI99/4A home computer, Mondadori would provide books in Italian and the Ministry the software on cassette tapes. I still have some of the books.Then TI killed the TI99/4A and the project fell.
Tullio
____________

WinterKnight
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 18 May 99
Posts: 8644
Credit: 24,405,883
RAC: 24,936
United Kingdom
Message 1403416 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 12:15:25 UTC

Another thing that needs to be pointed out is "who writes the code to run projects that work under BOINC?"

And don't forget not all BOINC projects are open to the public. I know personally of two projects at UK universities that use BOINC to run limited projects on the departments computers during the night and at w/ends. The people running both of these projects are not Computer Science students one set are biologists, the others are a mixture of post grads from chemistry, physics and maths studying fluid flows.

Studying Computer science at school would probably assist a lot, probably more than you realise, of those going on to university.

Profile Gary CharpentierProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 12585
Credit: 6,892,352
RAC: 6,994
United States
Message 1403464 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 15:23:37 UTC

Chris, you seem to be suggesting classes that should have replaced typing in the business department. That is not computer science. Yes it must be taught and some of it needs to be mandatory, but these days some word processing and spread sheets essentially should be required in the general curriculum for all students.


____________

Profile Gary CharpentierProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 12585
Credit: 6,892,352
RAC: 6,994
United States
Message 1403524 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 17:36:05 UTC

hummmmmmm ...........
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/08/15/laptop-losers-tech-actually-hindering-kids-grades-in-classrooms/

"We really didn't think the effects would be this huge," explained McMaster University researcher Faria Sana, who co-authored the study with fellow doctoral student Tina Weston. "It can change your grade from a B+ to a B-."


____________

Profile Chris SProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 31771
Credit: 13,200,703
RAC: 36,373
United Kingdom
Message 1403530 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 17:44:47 UTC

Ok, for starters if is Faux news, so no-one should take any real notice. They are the USA equivalent of the UK Daily Mail.

It can change your grade from a B+ to a B-.'

Oh I see, so using computer aided learning doesn't even get you an A+ or A- then? High time all laptops were dumped in the nearest dustbin.


Profile Gary CharpentierProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 12585
Credit: 6,892,352
RAC: 6,994
United States
Message 1403544 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 17:58:39 UTC - in response to Message 1403530.

Ok, for starters if is Faux news, so no-one should take any real notice. They are the USA equivalent of the UK Daily Mail.

I suggest you notice the article has attributions and links. Faux, when presenting political opinion disguised as news is worse than the Daily Mail, but when running general news they are unfortunately reputable as they don't use their own staff for general news and are forced to use wire service articles.

____________


Send message
Joined: 3 Apr 99
Posts: 2082
Credit: 43,473,022
RAC: 174,769
Message 1403651 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 21:17:54 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 20:45:37 UTC

--

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13620
Credit: 30,562,094
RAC: 21,089
United States
Message 1403660 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 21:33:24 UTC - in response to Message 1403651.

Fox (AKA "Faux" from the statists) is the number one viewed news network in America. Why? Because their news is more believable than any other news network in America.


Really? Are you sure it isn't for the same reason as The Kardashians and other crap "reality" TV score high in the Nielson ratings? Because most Americans like drama and fiction and mindless garbage? Popular almost never equates directly with better (or even "believable" in this case).


Send message
Joined: 3 Apr 99
Posts: 2082
Credit: 43,473,022
RAC: 174,769
Message 1403661 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 21:38:03 UTC - in response to Message 1403660.
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 20:45:24 UTC

--

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13620
Credit: 30,562,094
RAC: 21,089
United States
Message 1403689 - Posted: 15 Aug 2013, 22:56:20 UTC - in response to Message 1403661.

Fox (AKA "Faux" from the statists) is the number one viewed news network in America. Why? Because their news is more believable than any other news network in America.


Really? Are you sure it isn't for the same reason as The Kardashians and other crap "reality" TV score high in the Nielson ratings? Because most Americans like drama and fiction and mindless garbage? Popular almost never equates directly with better (or even "believable" in this case).


If you compare the numbers you'll see there's no reasonable way to come to that conclusion.


Can you provide data that directly correlates with your conclusion? Or do you only have numbers (i.e. statistics; damned lies)? Because data provides reason, otherwise numbers are just an abstract.

Previous · 1 · 2 · 3 · Next

Message boards : Politics : IT/Computer Education - A New Hope?

Copyright © 2014 University of California