November 13, 2018

Boost Computer Science Education

Computer science, the science of studying computers and various phenomena and laws around them, contains a variety of systems disciplines related to computing and information processing topics, from abstract algorithm analysis to formal grammar. In fact, computer science is concerned not only to understand the nature of programs that implement software like games and browsers, but also to create new programs or to improve existing programs through existing knowledge.

The number of Arkansas high schoolers enrolled in computer science classes has boomed 620 percent since the state implemented its computer science education initiative in 2015. ”This dramatic increase in enrollment confirms my confidence that Arkansans would embrace my initiative to promote computer science education”. Hutchinson said in a statement last Wednesday. ”Since I took office in 2015, the initiative has moved Arkansas to the front of the pack nationally.” The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the number of jobs requiring computing skills on an upward slope, and by 2020, there are projected to be 1.4 million jobs related to computer science available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs. This urgent need for professionals with computing skills has generated a response from educators and industry professionals who are now trying to prepare students for careers in computer science.

Major concerns regarding computer science students include insufficient faculty, limited classroom space, and increased faculty workload due to increasing computer science enrollment, according to a 2017 Computing Research Association study. Arkansas, however, has seen its number of high school computer science teachers grow from just 20 in 2014 to 372 in 2018. The U.S. Department of Education has earmarked a minimum of $200 million for STEM and computer science annually, and recently reached $279 million in discretionary grant funding for 2018. In Arkansas, STEM challenges may not be resolved, but Gov. Hutchinson says the state is making headway in meeting demand for computer science positions.

”Students understand that a solid foundation in coding will lead to good paying jobs,” Hutchinson said. ”We are strengthening our workforce, which sharpens our competitive edge in recruiting industry, and as we successfully recruit new companies, we retain more of our homegrown talent. Arkansas will remain on the cutting edge of computer science education.”

Computer science encompasses many branching areas; some emphasize computations for specific outcomes, such as computer graphics; others explore the nature of computational problems, such as computational complexity theory; and some areas focus on how to implement computations, such as programming language theory is describe the method of calculation, which is to apply a specific programming language to solve specific computational problems. Human-computer interaction is focused on how to make computers and calculations useful and available anytime in anywhere.

The highest honor in the field of computer science is the Turing Award established by ACM, which is known as the Nobel Prize in computer science. Its winners are among the best scientists and pioneers in the field. The first Chinese to win the Turing Award is Mr. Yao Zhizhi. He won this high honor in 2000 for his many ”fundamental and significant” contributions to the theory of computation.

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