Defend your major (Computer Science)

As of right now I am currently undecided in my major, but I think I want to go into computer science. As computers and the internet become more prevalent in almost all aspects of society, having people who know how they work is becoming more and more important. Based off of this knowledge and some of my research before college, I know that the job market for computer science majors is in good condition, and will probably only get better as computers become more important in almost every field. Computer science is also a STEM job, which means that statistically I will earn more than people who have non-STEM jobs.

 

Not only are computers involved in my major, but my major revolves around them. As a computer scientist, my potential jobs can range from creating operating systems for computers to writing programs that are run on them. Computers are being used in more and more household devices every year, which means that my potential jobs are increasing as time goes on.

 

I predict that computers are going to continue to be used in a variety of fields, which means that computer science will continue to have work and new problems to solve.

 

 

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Aaron Swartz court case

Aaron Swartz was a computer programmer, responsible for many things including the creation of the social news site known as Reddit. He was an advocate of free flowing information via the internet, as well as freedom of knowledge in general. He was found dead on January 11th, 2013, the cause of death being self inflected hanging. The cause of Swartz’s suicide is not confirmed. but most people, including his ex-girlfriend, believe that his potential sentence of 35 years in prison and/or his potential one million dollar fine may have lead him to kill himself (Franceschi-Bicchierai, 2013). Swartz’s trouble with the law was based on the fact that he linked his computer to MIT’s computer system to download and share millions of articles on the paid database (Cohen, 2013). Aaron Swartz’s death was a national tragedy in my opinion, and hopefully the government will learn to handle information violations differently so that the world will not suffer the loss of future geniuses such as Swartz.

 

Franceschi-Bicchierai, L. (2013, February 5). Aaron Swartz’s Girlriend Explains Why Aaron Died. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2013/02/05/aaron-swartz-girlfriend-why-he-died/
 
Cohen, A. (2013, January 18). Was Aaron Swartz Really Killed by the Government. Time Ideas. Retrieved from http://ideas.time.com/2013/01/18/was-aaron-swartz-really-killed-by-the-government/

STEM Jobs

STEM jobs are any job that involve science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. It is statistically proven that STEM jobs pay higher than other jobs in different fields. While this doesn’t necessarily hold true across each occupation and individual circumstance, it tends to be true in most cases.Image

 

 

Lefton, R. (2011, August 9). Women Missing Out on High-Paying STEM Jobs – A New Report from the Department of Commerce Highlights Occupational Inequality. Science Progress. Retrieved from http://scienceprogress.org/2011/08/women-missing-out-on-high-paying-stem-jobs/

My opinion on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

The idea of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) seems to be a revolutionary one for higher education. The internet allows for ideas to be shared with relative ease almost immediately. Computer programs can handle tedious tasks such as grading papers and repeating information. These things allow for professors, teaching assistants and students to complete all necessary tasks that come with school in a much simpler way. However, I do not think that MOOCs are a sufficient alternative to the traditional classroom setting. For one thing, making something easier means that people are putting in less commitment. This makes dropping out much easier for people, and it shows. The dropout rates for students that join MOOCs can sometimes exceeed ninety percent. (Moore, Cengage Brain, 13) MOOCs would also cut out contact between professors and their students. (Acedeme Blog, 13) I believe that connection to be extremely important in learning, especially in specialized fields where expert testimony can be infinitely helpful for people looking to become a part of that field. On top of all of these things, cheating and distractions would be completely out of the hands of the teachers. MOOCs have been proven to be a cheap and effective alternative to traditional education methods (Newsom, News & Records, 13), I personally think that the negative effects outweigh the convenience. MOOC’s may be good for someone trying to learn something on there own or to review for a class, but I do not think they should ever replace college or a classroom setting. 

 

Newsom, J. (2013, October 13). MOOCs: Online courses might change face of higher education. News and Record. Retrieved from http://www.news-record.com/news/article_48f3fd9c-33b1-11e3-b180-0019bb30f31a.html

 

martinkinch. (2013, July 1). ONLINE EDUCATION IN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION. Acedeme Blog. Retrieved from http://academeblog.org/2013/09/28/online-education-in-california-public-higher-education/
 
Claire Moore. (2013, July 29). MOOCs online courses: Free and open online courses may change the future of higher education. Cengage Brain. Retrieved from http://www.cengagebrain.com/blog/2013/07/moocs-online-courses-free-and-open-online-courses-may-change-the-future-of-higher-education/

U.S. involvement in Syria

The United States has always tried to be an advocate for a few things that our own government was based off. One of these things is free speech. Over the course of the last few months in Syria, the government has not only been denying their people of free speech, but killing those who protest. Police brutality, snipers, and possibly chemical weapons have all been used against the protesters, leaving many people dead, including women and children. BBC news stated: “Mr Assad again denied claims that his troops had used chemical weapons, blaming the rebels instead.” (BBC , 2013) The reason that the United States was so against the idea of intervening is ultimately fear. Not necessarily that the United States army would have any trouble with the Syrian army, but that more people may die if Bashar Assad makes a drastic move. The idea that he may have possibly used chemical weapons on protesters leaves the United States government to believe that he may use similar tactics in defense of intervention.

 

BBC. (2013, October 6). Syria conflict: Assad hints at Germany mediation role. BBC. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24417767
Hersh, J. (2013, September 5). Syria Strike Plan Faces Shortcoming Over Unpredictability Of Assad’s Behavior. Huffington Post World. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/05/syria-strike-assad_n_3871339.html
– Zachary Jonas

The Government Shutdown ( With two citations )

The main cause of the government shutdown is congress not passing the appropriation bills. I think it is ridiculous that furlough workers are at risk or are currently having their pay checks compromised. This is especially frustrating given that Congress members receive upwards of 174,000$ annually. Despite the shutdown, the government will continue to spend on things that they consider to be “mandatory”. Because of this the idea that the shutdown will put off the eventual debt ceiling is not an accurate one.

 

Khadaroo, S. (2013, October 3). As government shutdown drags on, some in Congress see fit to donate their pay. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved from http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2013/1003/As-government-shutdown-drags-on-some-in-Congress-see-fit-to-donate-their-pay-video

 

Schwartz, N. (2013, October 2). Shutdown Savings and the Debt Ceiling. The New York Times Economix. Retrieved from http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/02/shutdown-savings-and-the-debt-ceiling/?_r=0

Computer Science citations

Topic: Java programming

 

Online Article;

Reynolds, M. C. (2013). Modeling the Java Bytecode Verifier. Science Of Computer Programming78(3), 327-342. doi:10.1016/j.scico.2011.03.008

 

Book;

Hyde, D. C., & Buyya, R. R. (1999). Java and different flavors of parallel programming models. In R. R. Buyya (Ed.) , High performance cluster computing: Programming and Applications, Vol.2 Place of Publication: Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA. Country of Publication: USA.: Prentice Hall PTR.

 

Academic Journal;

Ahrendt, W., Baar, T., Beckert, B., Bubel, R., Giese, M., Hähnle, R., Menzel, W., Mostowski, W., Roth, A., Schlager, S., and Schmitt, P. H. 2003. The KeY tool. Technical report in computing science no. 2003–5, Department of Computing Science, Chalmers University and Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden. February.