January 31, 2005

Kevin Schofield's Weblog

Check it out here. He's not a librarian, he even appears to work for Microsoft Research, but his blog is nevertheless lively and interesting, with a lot of insights into the techie mind.

Recentish articles on declining CS enrollment

Here's a bunch of "sky is falling" type articles on the problems CS faculties are having these days. Most are 6-12 months old, but as far as I can tell, the problem persists and is worsening:

A couple of years ago, when the trend started, CS faculty were happy that the crush of more opportunistic applicants had subsided and that the reduced numbers were students that "really wanted to be in CS." Now, you have to wonder what that core number is, of students that really want to be in computer science. Is it only the hard core techies that still go into CS? Also, what fields are these former CS-bound students going into? Math, physics, biology, business department sponsored IT programs, chemistry, college-level programs on really specific techologies like internet or game programming, certificate programs like the MCSE. Will this trend lead to big shortages in a few years, which will in turn exacerbate the offshoring that everyone is so nervous about?

January 6, 2005

A few more from recent Prisms

  • "Above the fray" by Thomas K. Grose is about how engineering schools tend to use fewer part time faculty that other disciplines and tend to rely mostly on full time, tenure stream faculty. They seem to include CS in this grouping. November.

  • "Engineering for everyone" by Bethany Halford is about efforts to create "engineering for non-engineers" courses at various institutions (Princeton is the example here) to foster greater technical literacy and appreciation for engineers & engineering. December.

  • "Answering the call" by Robert Gardner is about efforts to get high school students interested in aerospace engineering. December.

Engineering master's degrees

An interesting bit in the November 2004 Prism. It's a list of the different engineering disciplines and the number of masters degrees awarded in the US in 2003:

  • comp sci (within engineering): 4997
  • electrical: 4125
  • electrical/Computer: 3998
  • mechanical: 3680
  • civil: 3606
  • other: 3310
  • industrial/manufacturing: 2792
  • computer: 1750
  • eng management: 1508
  • chemical: 1149
  • biomedical: 754
  • aerospace: 721
  • metalug. & materials: 618
  • general: 591
  • environmental: 457
  • eng science & eng physics: 401
  • nuclear: 217
  • petroleum: 200
  • argri: 111
  • mining: 27
  • computer science (outside eng): 956

I sure wish I knew what "other" included...

January 5, 2005

Renovations at my library

Finally, the news item on the renos at the library where I work is up. The story was to celebrate the grand opening we had in November. I'm the first on the left in the picture at the bottom.

Cool SF calendar for 2005

Over at the Website at the End of the Universe, they have a very cool calendar for 2005 using old sf paperback covers. I actually have a few of them in my collection. via Locusmag.

While we weren't looking, e-books have become the dominant form of text on the planet.

Huh? Cory Doctorow is one of the most techophilic of the wacko-utopian cyber elite (and hey, count me in too. I love Boing Boing), but even I am shocked by that statement. Read the interview exerpts here from the Locus Magazine interview. Basically, he seems to re define all writing on the web as ebook writing. Gee, and I thought it was all commercial catalogue writing... In any case, I can't wait to get my print copy of Locus so I can read the whole interview. Now back to our regularly scheduled ebook.

January 4, 2005

Reminder: 28 month Science Librarian position at York U.

The posting is here. I'm the chair of the search committee. Any and all applications welcome.

Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth

This little item by Roy F. Baumeister et al. from SciAm online is pretty interesting from an academic library point of view. I'm not sure I want to comment on it too much, but a lot of the points here really struck a chord.