RSS

Tag Archives: COmputer

Academic Steering and Black Students

The median pay for a person in my business with (and sometimes without) a Bachelors in Computer Science or Information Technology and with a Manufacturer certification such as a JCIE/CCIE, or a cyber-security cert such as a CISSP is $120,000- $140,000 a year. No PhD required.

So WTF are you taking a degree track in basket weaving?

That same sort of math applies across several STEM based fields, including the Medical Technology industry, Chemical Engineering, some Aerospace, and other Hi-Tech areas. And yes – you have to work your ass off to get there unless you are one of those natural-born geniuses.

So tell me again, why are you enrolled in a under-graduate program where the salary average is 1/3 of that. Despite the “Diversity problems” on the left coast, there are literally tens of thousands of other jobs in the rest of the country.

About 10 percent of black computer science professors and Ph.D. students nationwide are at Clemson, thanks in large part to the work of one professor. Click pic to link.

 

How US academia steers black students out of science

When the late Justice Antonin Scalia pointed out last year that “it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas [Austin] where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less — a slower-track school where they do well,” he was roundly criticized by the left as a racist.

He was alluding, of course, to the “mismatch” problem that occurs when black students who are less qualified are admitted to more selective schools but do not graduate or do well at them as a result. Two recent studies, though, suggest that his words are truer now than ever.

The first comes from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, which found that black students are less likely to pursue lucrative majors than their white peers. According to the report, “African Americans account for only 8 percent of general engineering majors, 7 percent of mathematics majors, and only 5 percent of computer engineering majors.”

But they’re overrepresented in fields that don’t have high salaries: “21 percent in health and medical administrative services, compared to only 6 percent in the higher-earning detailed major of pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and administration.”

Finally, it noted, “They are also highly represented in . . . [the low-paying fields of] human services and community organization (20%) and social work (19%).”

“There’s a huge inadequacy here in counseling,” Anthony Carnevale, director of the center and the lead author of the report, told the Atlantic.

This seems pretty unlikely. Who doesn’t realize computer engineers get paid well? The real problem is that too many black students are getting a hopelessly inadequate K-12 education and by the time they get to college, their best bet is to major in a subject whose exams have no wrong answers and whose professors engage in rampant grade inflation.

Carnevale also argues that’s because blacks are concentrated in open-access schools that have fewer choices of majors. But this, too, is questionable. Plenty of open-access universities offer courses and majors in STEM fields.

The implication is that black students at lower-tier universities are actually less likely to graduate in STEM majors than those at higher-tier ones. Which is patently false. Indeed, the historically black colleges and universities, many of which aren’t selective at all, tend to have among the highest rates of graduating STEM majors.

And if you want to get a job in a lucrative STEM field, your chances of completing your degree are much better at a lower-tier school. But here’s the real kicker: A recent survey by the Wall Street Journal found that in “fields like science, technology, engineering and math, it largely doesn’t matter whether students go to a prestigious, expensive school or a low-priced one — expected earnings turn out the same.”

For instance, if you go to Manhattan College, where the average SAT score is around 1620, and major in engineering, your mid-career median pay will be $140,000. If you go to Rice, where the average SAT score is 2180, and major in engineering, your pay will be $145,000.

In other words, there’s not much upside financially to going to the more elite schools. But there is a huge downside: Your chances of graduating with a degree in that major fall dramatically.

If you want to know why there’s still a big salary difference for kids majoring in humanities and social sciences between elite and non-elite schools, it probably has something to do with the substance of the major.

Since most employers have no idea what you learned in your sociology classes, they’ll just assume the kids who went to Harvard are smarter.

But they’ll know exactly what you learned in your math and science classes and so they’ll compensate you well if you did reasonably well no matter where you took them.

If liberal elites really were concerned about increasing the graduation rates and career earnings of minority students, they would realize that the Ivy League is not the answer.

And forget Scalia’s racism about elite schools (UT Austin ain’t an “elite school” on the level of MIT, Stanford, or Cal Tech – although it is a good school). Nobody gives a good damn about your GPA 3 years after you graduate – they care about “what can you do for me”. While graduation from an elite school gets you a higher starting salary, which really doesn’t disappear until late career (HR in many companies never corrects that fact, leading to higher turnover of top performers from “lesser schools” and can’t figure out why their best programmer Jimmy with a degree from Downstate U quit to take a new job, while Wilberforce form Big-Name U, an average performer, stays ) – you are still making money putting you in the top 2-3% of wage earners in the US. The folks that failed at that math are generally working in HR at less than half that – and all too often don’t have a clue.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Did Republicans Sabotage Obamacare System?

Back during the late Bush and early Clinton Administrations I owned a Government consulting company which develop specialized software for a variety of systems and computer platforms. we developed systems either directly for Government Agencies or for Prime Contractors who had contracts with the Government.

Every President comes to Washington with a list of things to do. Many of those things can be implemented within the vast Federal Systems he directly controls without Congress’ approval through the passage of laws. Things like improving the system which take care of veterans, or the procedures to assist home buyers. In some cases improving how these programs work involves upgrading the computer systems which make them go.

when President Clinton came to town, Republicans had controlled the Federal apparatus for 12 years. The vast majority of the positions which are politically appointed were held by Republicans. There is a level under the appointed officeholders called the Senior Executive Service, which is not supposed to be political. It is made up of Senior professional managers who are the folks who really make things function in the Federal Government. They work under whoever is President and typically make careers out of Federal Service. Some of these people are promoted from careers within the Government. With the pay for these position tied to the commercial market, many come from the commercial industry side to work for the Government.

Historically, while the selection process for these jobs is blind, when Republicans hold power they try and recruit fellow Republicans to make the jump. Ditto for the Democrats. which during the GW Bush Administration opened the door to outright politicization of these jobs through manipulating, and outright breaking the system. This assured that many of those jobs were taken by Bush sycophants…

During the Clinton Administration I witnessed many of the Bush/Raygun holdovers working to throw a monkey wrench in many of Clinton’s signature programs.

Obama, trying to appear magnanimous refused to flugh he Bushit filled toilet when he gained office.

Anyone who has worked with computers knows that the technology is exacting. It really doesn’t take much to make a million lines of code useless. A program can fail because of one single line of code being in error. Google spent many years and millions of dollars to make their search engine be able to handle common misspellings. The engines before Google were literal. If you searched for cheeese, you got only those results with the same typo.

Suggesting the reason the Obamacare programs failed so badly…

Was an inside job.

It would be nice if our computer whizzes at the NSA took a look at that instead of spending all their time snooping on everyone’s telephone.

The Obamacare sabotage campaign

To the undisputed reasons for Obamacare’s rocky rollout — a balky website, muddied White House messaging and sudden sticker shock for individuals forced to buy more expensive health insurance — add a less acknowledged cause: calculated sabotage by Republicans at every step.

That may sound like a left-wing conspiracy theory — and the Obama administration itself is so busy defending the indefensible early failings of its signature program that it has barely tried to make this case. But there is a strong factual basis for such a charge.

From the moment the bill was introduced, Republican leaders in both houses of Congress announced their intention to kill it. Republican troops pressed this cause all the way to the Supreme Court — which upheld the law, but weakened a key part of it by giving states the option to reject an expansion of Medicaid. The GOP faithful then kept up their crusade past the president’s reelection, in a pattern of “massive resistance” not seen since the Southern states’ defiance of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954.

The opposition was strategic from the start: Derail President Barack Obama’s biggest ambition, and derail Obama himself. Party leaders enforced discipline, withholding any support for the new law — which passed with only Democratic votes, thus undermining its acceptance. Partisan divisions also meant that Democrats could not pass legislation smoothing out some rough language in the draft bill that passed the Senate. That left the administration forced to fill far more gaps through regulation than it otherwise would have had to do, because attempts — usually routine — to re-open the bill for small changes could have led to wholesale debate in the Senate all over again.

But the bitter fight over passage was only the beginning of the war to stop Obamacare. Most Republican governors declined to create their own state insurance exchanges — an option inserted in the bill in the Senate to appeal to the classic conservative preference for local control — forcing the federal government to take at least partial responsibility for creating marketplaces serving 36 states — far more than ever intended.

Then congressional Republicans refused repeatedly to appropriate dedicated funds to do all that extra work, leaving the Health and Human Services Department and other agencies to cobble together HealthCare.gov by redirecting funds from existing programs. On top of that, nearly half of the states declined to expand their Medicaid programs using federal funds, as the law envisioned.

Then, in the months leading up to the program’s debut, some states refused to do anything at all to educate the public about the law. And congressional Republicans sent so many burdensome queries to local hospitals and nonprofits gearing up to help consumers navigate the new system face-to-face that at least two such groups returned their federal grants and gave up the effort. When the White House let it be known last summer that it was in talks with the National Football League to enlist star athletes to help promote the law, the Senate’s top two Republicans sent the league an ominous letter wondering why it would “risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand.” The NFL backed off.

The drama culminated on the eve of the open enrollment date of Oct. 1. Congressional Republicans shut down the government, disrupting last-minute planning and limiting the administration’s political ability to prepare the public for the likelihood of potential problems, because it was in a last-ditch fight to defend the president’s biggest legislative accomplishment.

“I think my Republican colleagues forget that a lot of people are enrolling through state exchanges, rather than the federal exchange,” Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) noted last week. “And if it wasn’t for the fact that many Republican governors, including my own,” failed to set up state exchanges, “then we wouldn’t be putting so much burden on the federal system.”

In fact, putting an excessive burden on the federal government was the explicit aim of the law’s opponents. “Congress authorized no funds for federal ‘fallback’ exchanges,” the Tea Party Patriots website noted as long ago as last December. “So Washington may not be able to impose exchanges on states at all.” The group went on to suggest that since Washington was not equipped to handle so many state exchanges, “both financially and otherwise — this means the entire law could implode on itself.” …more

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Even Artificial Intelligence Prefers Cats Over Dogs…

I’m sure my kitties are happy to know that the first thing Googles new Artificial Intelligence Computer picked out was cat pictures. After all, every cat knows it is the most superior, gorgeous creature in the world!

Which is why there are literally tens of thousands of “Cat Videos” on YouTube, which get millions of viewers.

Apparently it is not just humans who waste their time away checking out the feline antics…

My Boss Cat

Amazing technology!

Google creates ‘computer brain’ – and it immediately starts watching cat videos on YouTube

Google has created an ‘artificial brain’ from 16,000 computer processors, and sat it down with an internet connection.

There’s a certain grim inevitability to the fact that the YouTube company’s creation began watching stills from cat videos.

The team, led by Google’s Dr Jeff Dean, used the 16,000 processor array to create a brain-style ‘neural network’ with more than a billion connections.

The team then fed it random images culled from 10 million YouTube videos – and let it ‘learn’ by itself.

Unsurprisingly, the machine focused in on cats.

‘We never told it during the training, ‘This is a cat,” said Dr. Dean. ‘It basically invented the concept of a cat.’

‘Contrary to what appears to be a widely-held intuition, our experimental results reveal that it is possible to train a face detector without having to label images as containing a face or not,’ says the team in a paper published this week.

‘We also find that the same network is sensitive to other high-level concepts such as cat faces and human bodies. Starting with these learned features, we trained our network to obtain 15.8% accuracy in recognizing 20,000 object categories from ImageNet, a leap of 70% relative improvement over the previous state-of-the-art.

The ‘brain’ was a creation of the company’s ‘blue sky ideas’ lab, Google X

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Nawwwwww!

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 228 other followers

%d bloggers like this: