US losing its dominance in the sciences

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Ugg, May 2, 2004.

  1. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    Apr 7, 2003
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    #1
    NY Times article

    I've stated here before that the key to the US' success is continual innovation. gw & co. have chosen to rely on what is known rather than what is unknown. From massive subsidies to the oil industry rather than alternative sources to NASA, he is failing us. Whether you believe that it is a gw problem or not, the fact is that we are failing to continue to innovate and this can only lead to the death of the American experiment.
     
  2. IrishGold macrumors member

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    May 1, 2004
    #2
    Im suprized the Chinese have't caught up already. The values those parents have and the pressure they put on their kids is crazy, hehe.
     
  3. SlyHunter macrumors newbie

    SlyHunter

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    #3
    Standardize testing to make sure teachers are actually teaching what they are suppose to be teaching could be helpful.
     
  4. IrishGold macrumors member

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    May 1, 2004
    #4
    Already exist and doesn't help, hehe.
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #5
    i'll add that this is an inevitable result of the aversion people in this country seem to have to math and science. imo, it goes beyond education and to culture.

    certainly, there are some incrediby bright and clever americans who are great at tech. but my anecdotal experience shows a woeful lack of basic concepts of science and how numbers work.

    c.f. the silly uproar over the random number 666 being generated on ticket stubs for Last Temptation of Christ.
     
  6. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #6
    It is my understanding that the majority of those who seek degrees in the sciences and engineering are foreign born.

    I've recently read that China has some 500,000 graduates per year with degrees in science and engineering.

    Some 50,000 U.S. students are involved in science fairs each year. In China, it's some six million.

    Any questions?

    'Rat
     
  7. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I think standardized testing is the wrong way to go, far away from the right way, teachers just need to be given a basic idea of what they are supposed to be teaching and as long as they meet some requirements then fine, testing only screws up pupils, pupils are already taught the answers to questions instead of how to reason towards those answers. Personally, and I've said this before on here, but I believe kids should be taught to think right, they should be taught to be individuals which will in turn encourage them to learn something they are interested in, of course popular culture has a lot to answer for too!
     
  8. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #8
    Hear Hear! That's why we taught our kids at home :)
     
  9. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Well done skunk, that sounds like an achievement. I might have to think about doing that if I have the time when i have kids and if schools haven't changed dramatically by then! If you don't mind me asking and I know this is off topic, but how old are your kids? And how have you managed to teach them (and do you think you have done it well)?, and what about their peers (ie, how do they meet other kids if not at school)?
     
  10. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #10
    Not at all: son and daughter, 30 and 28! We taught them history, geography, latin(!), french, physics, maths, woodwork, ceramics, metalwork, art and much else, with some help from friends. I'm sure they had a much broader education than they would have at school. They socialised well, with friends' kids, and friends from the school they both attended before we went it alone (with their agreement, of course!).
    The local council can be a total pain about home education, depending where you are, but ours was supportive, if somewhat detached. A single inspection was all we got, but they were so impressed when the children engaged them in an in-depth discussion of fusion power that they hardly bothered us after that!
    It's great if you can find the time. :)
     
  11. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #11
    What are the rates per capita? China is home to some 1,200,000,000 people.
     
  12. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #12
    Well, very approximately, 5 times the population, 120 times the attendance (per capita)...

    (edited for crap math)
    (and clarity) :rolleyes:
     
  13. IrishGold macrumors member

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    May 1, 2004
    #13

    Yea, where did you find that number?

    Seems completely wrong.
     
  14. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

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    #14
    This doesn't surprise me. The large majority of the students in my graduate engineering program are not from the US, and are here on student visas. Most of them plan to return home after they get their degree.

    I feel like plenty of Americans are going to college but most are getting degrees in stuff other than engr, science, or math.

    Wildlife Management anyone?
     
  15. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #15
    It's worse than that, skunk. It's only four times the population, roughly. (U.S. is right at 300 million.) So, on a per capita basis for participation in science fairs, the Chinese are ahead by some 30:1. That's scary.

    My first wife was "den mother" to a bunch of grad students at a major university's computer science department. A large percentage of those seeking advanced degrees were from either India or Japan, but mostly from India. This was from mid-1970s onward. At that time, those from India who got PhDs stayed here--but this seems to have changed. SFAIK, most of the Japanese returned home.

    From various articles over the last several years, it is more common for the native-born to major in Liberal Arts than in the Sciences; the money-minded go into BusAd or Law.

    'Rat
     
  16. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #16
    Plenty of openings in the White House for that, I think...
     
  17. numediaman macrumors 6502a

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    Chicago (by way of SF)
    #17
    Why create scientists when what we really want are soldiers? I think we should shut down the universities right now and get these slackers off to boot camp. (Do you feel a "draft" comin' on?)
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #18
    I notice that the next generation of Intel processors are not only going to be fabbed in India, but designed there too.
     
  19. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #19
    Shut that door!
     
  20. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

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    #20

    That is correct, here is the article on that:
    New Xeon unearthed as Intel's first all-India chip
     
  21. pinto32 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 19, 2003
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    PA
    #21
    We could have been making a comeback in biotech right now, but the voices inside GW's head told him that stem cells are bad.......and to burn things :rolleyes:


    **The current Pentium M was designed in Jeruselum, and that is where the next low-power core is also be designed
     
  22. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

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    #22
    Too bad, I was looking forward to cloning an army of soliders to take over the world. :D

    Say what you want about Intel, but the Pentium M is a nice chip...now why couldn't we design something like that over here???
     
  23. IrishGold macrumors member

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    May 1, 2004
    #23

    We could, but I'm sure its all about the $$, outsourcing, ect.
     
  24. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #24
    1. In order to leave no child behind you have to slow the process down and teach to the bottom of the class.

    2. The tenure system sucks. Pay for performance is much better. How to measure performance is another matter...
     
  25. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Jul 4, 2003
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    Terlingua, Texas
    #25
    mac, you're dead on with your first point. My mother was a Teaching Assistant while she worked on her PhD in Psych, back in the '30s. (She got her doctorate in '42, teaching until her Fulbright Professorship in 1949.)

    She figured out that she could teach for a good while to the "average", without overly boring the bright ones or losing the slows. She'd vary the pace, sometimes teaching to the best students so she wouldn't lose them to boredom and create a lack of future interest. She'd not spend much time at the slowest pace, since, after all this was a university and Devil take the hindmost.

    In our public schools, K-12, teaching to the LCD means problems for the bright kids. Boredom leads to all manner of mischief, among other things. (Not that I'd know about that, of course. :D )

    Tenure at the college/university level makes sense, as to academic freedom in publishing one's opinions or otherwise being outspoken with respect to political issues. It seems to me that in the world of K-12, this sort of protection isn't really needed.

    In Texas, now, a teacher must have a degree in the subject which is taught. Merely an Education degree won't cut it. That's improved the quality of teachers quite a bit.

    'Rat
     

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