Did You Know: Quick Math, the Recruiting Honeypot, and Advocacy 101

Boys’ “Impulsiveness” May Result in Better Math Ability

You may be familiar with gender stereotypes that depict boys as impulsive and messy, and girls as cautious and detailed; but did you know that these characteristics can affect math scores? 

girl and abacus
In a study at the University of Missouri, researchers found that girls favored a slow, accurate approach to solving math problems, while boys were faster but more error-prone. Although girls did better at the beginning of grade school, by the end of sixth grade the boys out-performed the girls. The study also found that boys preferred to solve problems by recalling a memorized answer, whereas girls preferred to arrive at an answer through computing or counting. The researchers believe these findings could have application for both educators and parents in how math is taught. 
 
ASU and Intel Created a Degree Program
Did you know that Intel has partnered with Arizona State University to create an engineering degree program that trains students specifically for Intel’s workforce? ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation (CTI) will award students a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering degree after 24 months. “CTI’s new accelerated/flexible engineering degree options make one of the nation’s most innovative engineering programs available to students whose schedules aren’t aligned with a traditional academic calendar,” said Mitzi Montoya, vice provost and dean of the College of Technology and Innovation. “What CTI is doing here is unlocking the potential of Arizona’s existing workforce, creating more engineers and fostering an environment of innovation and economic dynamism.” What do you think: does your institution have, or would it consider, a program like this?
 
woman among men
The Story of Women at Samsung
Did you know that until as recently as 1995, South Korea’s Samsung used to require its female white-collar employees to wear uniforms, clean the desks of senior executives, and make coffee? In a fascinating story that begins with the 2012 promotion of Samsung’s first female president, Newsweek/The Daily Beast takes a look backwards at how the 210,000-person company has evolved from a sexist dinosaur to a leader in reforming South Korean corporate culture. Thanks in part to a visionary male executive, the company has implemented widespread, systemic changes over the last two decades -- from recruitment programs to daycare centers to quotas -- and cracked down on behaviors like heavy drinking and harassment. Though it still has a ways to go, Samsung has set some aggressive goals that may just pull South Korea’s gender-biased culture into the future,right along with it.
 
Startup Recruiting’s Dirty Little Secret 
Did you know the dirty little secret of recruiting at startups? Elaine Wherry, co-founder of meebo (recently acquired by Google), published a scintillating story on her blog about her attempt to bring on more java developers by hiring a really good recruiter. To find a really good recruiter, however, she found she had to deploy a honeypot. Not only does Elaine illustrate her story with data charts and funny drawings, she imparts eight important lessons every startup should know about recruiting tech talent.
 
CinC Gives You “Advocacy 101”
Did you know that Computing in the Core (CinC) offers a free “Advocacy 101” toolkit for talking about the issue of computer science education with legislators and policymakers? The toolkit provides instructions, resources, sample letters, talking points, scripts, and other tips for reaching out to legislators.
 
If you’re wondering why a toolkit like this might be useful to you, look no further than the recent, blistering article in TIME magazine, which suggests that the best way to “fix” computing education is to make it a national education mandate. As stated in a quote from Jane Margolis, “Unless you are going to have this knowledge be only accessible to a very narrow strata — which is mostly white and Asian males from comfortable backgrounds — it’s going to have to be part of our education system. We feel that having it in the schools and having a strong program is important if you’re going to democratize computer science knowledge.”
 
You Might Be Overlooking Good Resumes
Did you know that your automated resume-scanning program may be weeding out high-quality tech candidates? A recent piece at O’Reilly postulates that a talent shortage isn’t the only reason why companies are having trouble hiring technologists; rather, companies may be their own worst enemies when it comes to hiring. Here’s how:
 
Circular File
  • Unrealistic requirements. Some companies reject resumes with 5 years of java experience when their position description asks for 6, or require experience with obscure APIs or skillsets that are technically in-house.
  • Ruling out non-traditional paths. Tossing the resume of anyone without have a computer science or engineering degree ignores a broad swath of self-taught, perfectly capable candidates who may bring a range of other useful backgrounds.
  • Reticence to train. Many companies say that their people are their most valuable assets, yet hire with the expectation that candidates can “hit the ground running” without receiving any training or mentoring. 
Does your company rely on automated resume scans or human recommendations, or both?

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Did You Know? is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT's radar this week that we think might be of interest to you. Practices or content of the news presented here are not vetted or endorsed by NCWIT.

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