News Roundup

Newspaper

The Conference Board this week released its latest data on the number of science and engineering job openings across the U.S., as well as the ratio of job openings to job-seekers. (The Conference Board updates these data monthly, and many see them as a marker of economic health for particular industry sectors.)

May 2010 saw an increase in the number of job openings for scientists and engineers, “led by computer science and mathematics specialists with more than 567,000 openings, a gain of 18,000 over April.” This number of job openings represents “the single largest number of ads for any occupational category recorded in May by the Conference Board.”  In addition, “Computer scientists and mathematicians continued in April to enjoy one of the most favorable job markets, with 0.4 job hunters per online ad, a ratio that has not changed since September 2009.”

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We want to give a shout out to Academic Alliance member Dr. Lakshmi Iyer at UNC Greensboro, for its workshop on June 5, “IT is for Girls”! The workshop is designed to reach out to young women at local high schools and use hands-on activities and mentorship to introduce them to information technology.

“'A New York Times story identified the 20 most important innovations in the past 30 years. Computer scientists played a primary role in a majority of the items and touched on all of them,' [Computer Science Department Chair, Dr. Stephen] Tate said. 'As high school girls consider the path to take in life, we want them to know that if they want to change the world, a career in computer science empowers them to do that.'”

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Do employees prefer male or female bosses?  When Forbes magazine polled its Facebook community recently, it found that respondents overwhelmingly preferred male bosses. This Forbes article presents research from Gallup and Harvard that addresses the question, Is this preference based on the fact that men are actually better bosses, or is it cultural bias?

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Most of us are all-too-familiar with the “brain drain” that occurs over the summer, when out-of-school kids aren’t using or remembering their knowledge from the previous year. One study even monetizes this phenomenon as a $670M loss to the national economy!

Some educators in Texas and Florida are now implementing game-based tools to teach and reinforce math concepts, help teachers and students meet state education standards, and prevent a STEM brain-drain.