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Building a Better Tech School

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the better-option-than-certification-hell dept.

Education 62

An anonymous reader writes "In late 2011, Cornell University won a prize from NYC Mayor Bloomberg's contest to design a new science school. Google donated some space in Manhattan, and since January this year students have been enrolled in the school's 'beta class, a one-year master's program in computer science.' The beta curriculum is designed to equip the students with all the knowledge they need to jump right into a tech startup: there's a mandatory business class, the U.S. Commerce Department stationed a patent officer on-site, and mentors from the private sector are brought in to help with design. 'The curriculum will not be confined to standard disciplines, but will combine fields like electrical engineering, software development and social sciences, and professors will teach across those boundaries. In fact, no professor has an office, not even the dean, and Dr. Huttenlocher insists they will not when the campus moves to Roosevelt Island, either. Instead, each person has a desk with low dividers, and people can grab conference rooms as needed — much like the headquarters of a small tech company.' It's a long, interesting article about how they're trying to turn 'tech school' into something a lot more rigorous and innovative than something like ITT Tech."

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62 comments

Stop the Insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441705)

I am a slow learner but I figured out the point to all this insanity. Make sure the work space is as unproductive as possible so people not only work "at work" but to have any noticeable production at all they need to work and be in contact with the workplace full time at home as well. All this in a world where human labour is becoming less and less important to production.

Brilliant,

Well this sounds totally scalable (3, Interesting)

drsquare (530038) | about a year ago | (#43441709)

Will every other school be getting perks like a government bureaucrat working for you full time, and free expensive office space from a company?

Re:Well this sounds totally scalable (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43441759)

What difference does it make? For the students that graduate from there, it's great (assuming it really is a great school, which I have serious doubts).

The thing is to try a bunch of different things and find out what works. When you find something, then worry about scaling it up.

Re:Well this sounds totally scalable (1)

StandardDeviant (122674) | about a year ago | (#43442415)

(assuming it really is a great school, which I have serious doubts)

For what it's worth, Cornell is currently ranked something like fifth in the US(*) in terms of their computer science department, and the Technion is hardly a degree mill either. I don't know what their hybrid programs are going to be like, but at least the source departments seem solid. Admittedly, rankings are largely bullshit and the student guarantees far more of outcome than the institution, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that the "Stanford/MIT/CMU/UCB/Cornell" group is good-to-great.

(*) source: http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/computer-science-rankings [rankingsandreviews.com]

Re:Well this sounds totally scalable (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43442653)

What difference does it make?

The difference that it makes is that the success of a few model schools (backed by infusing huge amounts of cash, providing excellent facilities and top-notch staff) will be trumpeted to influence national policy decisions to roll out a new generation of privatized, for-profit schools (with plenty of tax money help pad investors' pockets). The mass-produced "copies" will be miserable corporate factories to churn out low-wage worker drones, without any of the advantages that the few super-subsidized model schools have.

Re:Well this sounds totally scalable (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43447889)

Experiment on lab rats rather than human beings. Don't we already have enough idiots walking around in corporations who really don't know the fundamentals of either science or business who somehow manage to have more influence than they deserve?

Re:Well this sounds totally scalable (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43448317)

How exactly do you experiment with new teaching methods on lab rats? Will the rats schedule the conference rooms too often, do you think?

Re:Well this sounds totally scalable (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year ago | (#43444453)

In Soviet Russia, government bureaucrats work for schools fulltime.

Oh wait, that's not the other way around, is it? I'm confused.

Re:Well this sounds totally scalable (1)

eyendall (953949) | about a year ago | (#43447511)

' a government bureaucrat working for you full time"

We call them teachers.

Re:Well this sounds totally scalable (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43447899)

A patent officer, in a school? This is stupid. It sounds like the government is believing all the false hype about startups and entrepreneurship. Patents are rare for individual engineers, and business classes just ruin students so that they won't be able to be engineers in the first place. Teach students to be citizens, rather than teaching them to follow get-rich-quick pipe dreams. Most of the money made in the economy comes from stable companies and not volatile start ups. Will they teach them that 9 out of 10 startups fail and that they'll likely end up in a divorce because they mortgaged the family home on a dream? Entrepreneurs should not be treated as the pinnacle of human evolution, we need to stop worshipping them. Recreating a tech company is the worst way to train future scientists and engineers, likely it will make them think that the end goal of science is to create a better way to monetize a phone app.

If we want to teach students about science and technology, then they should be taught to avoid the hucksters.

Why master's level? and not AA/AS and BA/BS level? (4, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43441743)

Why master's level? and not AA/AS and BA/BS level?

The devry and ITT Tech's are main at the AA/AS and BA/BS level.

At the AA/AS and BA/BS level is where need to rework and add in more of a apprenticeship like system and the older idea of it needing to be 2-4+ years also needs to be reworked as well.

at the NON devry and ITT schools it can very but some of them have to much theory and a lacking in real skills also they are some what loaded with fluff / filler classes as well lot's of required classes (some schools still have swim tests) Why should you be foreced to take PE at (college price levels).

Also about people who learn better hands on who may do very good at tech stuff but are not so good at other stuff at hurt the GPA / forced to retake classes in the forced art history classes and other NON core big lecture classes?

  The devry and ITT have smaller classes as well more teachers who are in the field and not people who have been in the school system most of there life.

Code monkeys vs Development of new tech. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441919)

That's all fine and dandy if your looking to increase the number of code monkeys - and there's plenty. Especially with all the H1-Bs.

What this looks like to do is to inspire new threads of technology, new levels of thinking (they're including the social sciences!), and who knows what ideas will come out of this. If I had the resources and the brains, I'd love to do something like this myself.

Then kill the guest worker program. (1, Troll)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43442049)

The H1-B's existence is the problem. They remove the necessary entry paths that citizens use to get in an industry.

BA/BS and AA/AS still deserving of the same treatment.

Re:Why master's level? and not AA/AS and BA/BS lev (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43442093)

The apprenticeship system never made it to the modern office environment because of insurance and bean counters. There's a lot of variability in apprenticeships, and it can't always be distilled down to paper and paper trails. In the end we've been taught in modern society that people that take apprenticeships are old fashioned and probably just not that smart, because they would have gone to college if they were smart...duh everyone goes to college because more money right?? This idea is fucking stupid, but prevalent. Universities and colleges have been marketing this schtick for decades now to great effect.

You know, there's a lot of room for theory and class room work, but not everything should take four fucking years of classroom work before you even begin to get work experience. Two years is MORE THAN enough for most things, and one year would be fine if you spent the next year apprenticing...then you'd go to the job and be somewhat competent in the field rather than just know the basics and theory.

I just watched a guy I know go through lineman's school and pass with flying colors. He's a smart kid, smart enough to get into colleges, but decided not to. Know where he's at now? Everyone wants to hire him because they've heard about him already. When he graduated he had people trying to hire him from every surrounding county, and now makes like $40k right out the door, with quarterly raises. That's better than most people in the US can say about their jobs...

IT is not all office environment and parts of it (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43442417)

IT is not all office environment and parts of it are more trades like.

Creating owners, not workers (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43444095)

To me it seems like the intent of this school (especially with the business classes and in-school patent office!) is to create a new class of startup owners, not just technical workers.

Also all of the lower level stuff can be pretty well learned online or at a lot of schools, this school can operate at a higher level by presuming a strong technical background in all candidates.

I've never thought about going back to school after graduating but this school is tempting.

Re:Why master's level? and not AA/AS and BA/BS lev (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43446707)

The purpose of a broad spectrum of classes as a part of college degree is to help give you a broad spectrum view of human knowledge. So it's not surprising that the ITT's of the world are going for the jugular in this overaccelerated, addicted, addled, narrow-minded, gimme-the-shortcut-to-everything world we're creating. Trouble is, we're living on the diminishing returns of investments laid generations ago cultivating a basic sense of ethics, broad curiosity, and cooperation in this culture. Those values are per-requisites to a functioning society. As they are whittled away in favor of short-cuts, and very little effort is made to maintain those investments, we're cannibalizing each other as we race to dystopia.

So yeah, those classes do have a purpose- not to say that they're always taught well or made into something more than a series of tests to be passed. That requires a cultivated professor.. as those are in shorter and shorter supply the process is accelerating.

but in the past we did not push college for all (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43446727)

but in the past we did not push college for all and that college for all push as dumb it down a bit as well pushing stuff that does not need to be in a 4+ year school in to college that is not really setup for while at the same makeing tech / trades schools look bad / roping them in to the college system.

Re:Why master's level? and not AA/AS and BA/BS lev (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year ago | (#43446721)

I refute the argument above by directing attention at the expression of the argument above.

Re:Why master's level? and not AA/AS and BA/BS lev (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43451173)

at the NON devry and ITT schools it can very but some of them have to much theory and a lacking in real skills also they are some what loaded with fluff / filler classes as well. lot's of required classes (some schools still have swim tests). Why should you be foreced to take PE at (college price levels). ?

Do any of these places offer remedial English?

And booked solid into eternity. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about a year ago | (#43441751)

Instead, each person has a desk with low dividers, and people can grab conference rooms as needed â" much like the headquarters of a small tech company.

I've seen attempts at that. It quickly turns into whomever has the highest status permanently booking a conference room. In effect, turning it into their own office.

I'd recommend focusing on teaching science and skip the gimmicks.

Not really (5, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#43441853)

Instead, each person has a desk with low dividers, and people can grab conference rooms as needed â" much like the headquarters of a small tech company.

I've seen attempts at that. It quickly turns into whomever has the highest status permanently booking a conference room. In effect, turning it into their own office.

I'd recommend focusing on teaching science and skip the gimmicks.

This is how the Google workplace is arranged, and I have zero doubt that this was heavily influenced by that. The "Open Plan" at Google was in turn influenced by Intel's Andy Grove, a hero of the Google executives.

Having spent some time teaching, and having worked at Google, I'd say that this is, as another poster called it, a gimmick.

The conference rooms tend to be booked for project meetings, which they will likely not have there, and interviews, which they will also likely not have there, and tend to have a smaller number than you'd like because of tearing down space to make labs and/or more room for new hires due to space pressure, which they don't have there. The conference rooms are more likely to also be 2-4 people sized, where you can jam in 4-5 people if you have to, rather than class-sized things.

The Patent Officer is clearly their way of saying "we expect great things of you, don't disappoint us", but is unlikely to have much work, as things do not go to a patent officer unless the patent has been proposed, approved, filed, and then after that, it goes to them -- this is unlikely to happen unless the persons there get patentable ideas in the first six to nine months. Unless, it occurs to me, that the Patent Officer is there as a benefit to the faculty?

The cross-disciplinary work isn't going to pan out, either, unless they only hire faculty who are already cross-disciplinary, since teaching is easier and more effective when you teach what you know. It's unlikely they are going to be able to hire James Burke to work in a cubicle farm, for example.

Re:And booked solid into eternity. (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43441947)

Yeah, I suspect the Dean has 40 individual repeating meetings scheduled in the largest conference room.

What part of "as needed" did you miss? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43442961)

I've seen attempts at that. It quickly turns into whomever has the highest status permanently booking a conference room.

Which is why you don't book a room, you use it AS NEEDED.

I have seen more than attempts at this, I have seen "this" as in a conference room or area that you do not book. You just use it. If someone else is using it already when you need it, you use the next one. It's not hard and it works just fine.

Re:What part of "as needed" did you miss? (1)

Kijori (897770) | about a year ago | (#43446441)

Where have you seen this used? It seems like it wouldn't work anywhere where you have external consultants or clients attending meetings, or meetings with more than a couple of people - in either case because it would be a big deal if you turned up and the conference room was being used.

Make it a apprenticeship system starter after HS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43441753)

Make it a apprenticeship system starter after HS and not after 4 years with loads of loans.

Re:Make it a apprenticeship system starter after H (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43442069)

Or just make it an extension of the K-12 system in terms of funding - except that you now have a choice of where to go - with no slot restrictions or payment requirements for US citizens. Then milk internationals for all they've got and then some, and put them below citizens on priority.

University of Cincinnati Co-op model (1)

catherder_finleyd (322974) | about a year ago | (#43442389)

I would suggest tech schools should follow the Co-op model pioneered by the University of Cincinnati (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative_education). It provides students experience in their fields of study, as well as extra funds.

"How many trends and buzzwords ... (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year ago | (#43441949)

... can we cram onto a single campus?"

"I don't know, but let's find out!"

Re:"How many trends and buzzwords ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43442589)

Shh you are going to anger the libertardians who all so desperately want to prove that formal education is worthless.

"want'? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43442993)

desperately want to prove that formal education is worthless.

Libertarians rely on time to prove their points, which works invariably since we understand how people actually function. It may not help win arguments in the moment but what it does do is give us lots of times later where we we get to point you how stupid you were.

If you want proof that TRADITIONAL (note that this new instance is quite formal) education is failing, you have only to look at average costs to students and employment results for graduates to find the unvarnished truth.

Re:"want'? (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#43443925)

Don't try to reason with the trolls...they won't exist long enough to learn from their errors.

Re:"want'? (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43446949)

Libertarians rely on time to prove their points, which works invariably since we understand how people actually function.

Yes, you understand that people have short attention spans, and by the time you have any results we've forgotten what you were testing, so you can turn round and tell us the market isn't "free" enough.

If you want proof that TRADITIONAL (note that this new instance is quite formal) education is failing, you have only to look at average costs to students and employment results for graduates to find the unvarnished truth.

Unfortunately, you can compare the costs in the US and elsewhere and see that the problem of costs is precisely due to libertarianism. Big private universities who are free to set their costs however the market decides -- now compare that with France where universities are public institutions, and fees are €150-€700 per year. The spiraling costs in the US are the result of a liberalised market.

There are many incremental improvements that can be made to education, and many of them are already in practice elsewhere. "Ripping up the rulebook" often results in "throwing the baby out with the bathwater".

The US system's prime pedagogical problem seems to be the "general education" requirement which results in students taking valueless, irrelevant, first-year level courses throughout their education, rather than really drilling down into their chosen subject. But general ed is generally criticised as being the result of academic ego, with faculties insisting that they were important, so it was originally the choice of the universities to institute it. How does this argue in favour of liberisation then?

This "new" university looks set to fall into the trap of 1960s "discovery learning", which failed miserably... so people just rebranded it "Inquiry Learning"... then "Problem-Based Learning", then "constructivism" and now, in one of its worst incarnations, it's called "connectivism". The idea is that we don't and can't learn from clear and unambiguous information and demonstration, but that we need to find the answers out for ourselves. Sadly, both theoretical and experimental psychology say this is bunk, but the learning guys don't like talking about that...

This particular school looks a lot like the sort of stuff done by Roger Schank, whose catchphrase is "learning by doing". He sets up programmes where students are essentially role-playing a real business, and claims that his students learn better because they're solving real problems. My problem with this is that this "real problems" focus reduces their exposure to the breadth of problems that may be encountered in a genuine environment. One of the characteristics of an operational expert in any field is that they don't evaluate all the possibilities -- they reduce the solution space to rule out any clearly inappropriate strategies, but they also narrow it down to familiar territory. In short, most experts repeat their past solutions. Why is this important? Because if you train someone through "learning by doing", you give them a narrower set of solutions than a student you teach by "learning by academic methods". Your new expert now has tunnel-vision.

Sigh (4, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | about a year ago | (#43441991)

3 things I almost never see mentioned in "let's make schools better!" articles:

  • Learning is hard, and not always pleasant.
  • If you're interested in a subject, it is generally more pleasant to spend time and effort learning it, but it's still work.
  • Some people are just naturally good at or well suited for certain things.

Making school fun, or like a game, or like a startup, or like an ice-cream parlour, or whatever, will help some people, but it's not a magic fix that will suddenly make everyone a successful learner.

Re:Sigh (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43442221)

Good points. It could also be added that working hard for something, and achieving it, or learning something worthwhile, feels a lot better than 'fun.' Fun becomes empty after a while, but some people aren't willing to put in the effort to go over the first humps.

Re:Sigh (2)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43446983)

Sorry, you're both wrong.

Question: What is fun?

Answer: "Fun" is the sensation experienced when the brain is focused on an absorbing and mentally stimulating task.

Question: What is "learning"?

Answer: Learning is the process of stimulating the brain to develop new connections.

Logically, then, we can conclude that all learning is fun. In fact, learning is the core of all fun. Whether you're barrelling down a steep hill with two planks tied to your feet or choosing a square of marble to stand your carved stylised queen on, you're not just repeating a familiar motion, you're refining your strategies to get better.

What does that mean for education? Simple: if it's boring, it's because the pupil/student isn't learning -- the material's either too easy or too hard.

Unfortunately, most teachers get the fun thing back to front, and try to add external "fun" to the lessons rather than trying to find the internal fun of the subject itself. This leads to the subject taking a back seat, and the actual learning becomes less and less fun, hence less well learned.

Re:Sigh (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43447049)

No, sometimes if you want to learn something, you need to work. Language learning is a good example, eventually you just have to learn a lot of vocabulary.

It's like lifting weights, you feel good after, but while you're doing it, there can be pain.

Re:Sigh (2)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43447097)

No, sometimes if you want to learn something, you need to work. Language learning is a good example, eventually you just have to learn a lot of vocabulary.

Do you say that as a polyglot fluent in 4 adult learned languages, conversationally capable in 3 others and knowing bits and pieces of another half-dozen, and currently working teaching your native language, having also taught 2 of your non-native languages in the past? Because as one of those, I say: yes, you need to learn a lot of vocabulary, but if the course is well structured and well taught, it's surprisingly easy. Sadly my courses aren't brilliantly structured or taught, but I'm working on it.

It's like lifting weights, you feel good after, but while you're doing it, there can be pain.

It's nothing like lifting weights. The pain you feel after lifting weights is caused in no small part by the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, as an after-effect of extended anaerobic exercise. Many believe that this pain is compounded by the tearing of muscle fibres, although this has not been verified in a lab. Regardless, either the pain or its source triggers the body to rebuild and repair after exercise, making the muscle stronger.

Synaptic reinforcement is physiologically non-analogous. Any strain in the brain is not caused by "working" the appropriate connections, but an inability for the brain to determine what the appropriate connections are. Efficient use of neurones and synaptic pathways is always effortless.

Re:Sigh (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43447421)

Well, I certainly admire your efforts to teach better. And if you have any tips on how to learn vocabulary more easily, I would be happy to hear them.

At the same time, if you are going to sit back and wait for someone to spoonfeed you all the time, then yeah, you might be able to have fun the entire time you learn things. Otherwise, if you want to progress beyond classes, to where you are teaching yourself things, and learning things no one has ever learned, then you're going to hit roadbloacks, pain, and need to work through hard times to reach your goal of knowledge.

Re:Sigh (2)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43449945)

At the same time, if you are going to sit back and wait for someone to spoonfeed you all the time, then yeah, you might be able to have fun the entire time you learn things. Otherwise, if you want to progress beyond classes, to where you are teaching yourself things, and learning things no one has ever learned, then you're going to hit roadbloacks, pain, and need to work through hard times to reach your goal of knowledge.

...aaaaand that's what we call "moving the goalposts".

We were talking about learning in schools.

Sootman said "Learning is hard, and not always pleasant." and criticised the idea of trying to make learning fun.

You agreed with him.

My point was that "making learning fun" is a natural consequence of "making teaching better", but that they generally do that the wrong way in modern teaching.

Yes, when you leave the classroom, you're on your own... but the fact that there's no teacher when you're genuinely dealing with new stuff doesn't mean we should be practicing "learning in the absence of a teacher" when there is actually a teacher present -- that would be stupid. Our ability to learn new things is in no small part governed by the amount of similar and/or analogous knowledge we already have. In learning new information, we develop schemata that we can generalise and reuse to learn and remember similarly structured knowledge. The more information and the more skills we learn during our school years, the better our capacity for learning in our adult years. So there's no excuse for teachers not to try to be better teachers each and every day.

Re:Sigh (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43449961)

lol so do you have an easy way to learn vocabulary or not?

Re:Sigh (2)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43450237)

lol so do you have an easy way to learn vocabulary or not?

Not really, because the logical structure behind vocabulary isn't visible to the learner -- it's the teacher's job to structure it in a way that takes advantage of this logic and teaches the logic to the learner.

The simplest tips I can give are:

Learn vocabulary that is of immediate relevance first, because it only sticks if you use it.

Read full-length novels. By page 150, you'll have encountered most of the vocabulary and phraseology that the author tends to use, and it will repeat again and again and again. The first few chapters will be hard going, but by the end, you should be reading fairly fluently...

Re:Sigh (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43453243)

The first few chapters will be hard going,

Yes, yes it is. I tried that with Chinese, brutal.

However, I will try it again, since you suggest it.

Re:Sigh (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43453839)

Try to learn to identify unimportant words from the sentence structure. EG. adverbs are not normally vital to understanding the meaning of a sentence, and the same can often be said of attributive adjectives (ones that sit right next to the noun -- eg "on the green table). Only look up the words you need to know to understand the sentence initially, but when a word you haven't looked up has appeared about 3 or 4 times, you'll start actively wondering what it means -- then it's time to look it up.

Re:Sigh (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43457837)

Hmmmm good tips, I'll try them out.

Here is my current attempt to aid the effort of language learning [github.com] , FWIW. I've been adjusting it to see how I can best review words to have them stick in my mind. I don't mind if it's boring though, as long as it gets me to the destination fastest.

I do remember when I've been in language classes, that each week I had to memorize 25 words or so. After time passed, I looked back on the words I learned, and it seemed I had only remembered 20% of them, maybe less. I thought, "if only I had focused on the words I would remember, then I could have learned faster." I'm not really sure what the answer is to that. Maybe a better ordering of the words that are memorized?

Or maybe, in addition to better ordering, more reading assignments, a lot more reading assignments, so I could use the words over and over again. That might be something worth looking into.

Re:Sigh (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43458993)

Here's an idea, imagine if someone wrote a book, that started in English, then began substituting foreign words and phrases, and by the end switched completely to the foreign language. Something like this [i18nguy.com] , but with languages instead of spelling. And novel length. Then by the end, you've learned a language.

Some of the basics of school / college are dated (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43442463)

Some of the basics of school / college are dated and some people learn better hands on.

If you're interested in a subject you should be able to take classes and get a cert / badge / ect that means something and not be tied down to getting a 2 year AA/AS 4 year BA/BS or even higher up. Not all stuff needs to take 2-4+ years and some things are on going learning / need learn more hands on. The college system / timetables are not really cut out for stuff like that. (The devry and ITT's do offer better time tables) and should also offer some kind of (certs / badges only plan as well) that lets you take classes on your time / only what you want with being tied down to the old college system.

Re:Sigh (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43443013)

The first two points are addressed in this new model. Because they is reward from the process (actual business or invention) you have much more motivation than simply doing something difficult to reach a result a million students before you have found.

The third point I totally agree with. But that's why this is a masters program; because anyone applying for a CS masters obviously knows they enjoy working with computers in some form. If it were just raw high school students I would say that was a huge issue.

Stop trying to shove down "startup mentality". (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43442043)

The beta curriculum is designed to equip the students with all the knowledge they need to jump right into a tech startup: there's a mandatory business class,

As long as it's understanding of the idea that not everyone is suited for a startup - and teaches the business course appropriately - then it's more than adequate for the job. Regular work with an established company is not out of date and pays the bills more reliably - unlike the startup.

Re:Stop trying to shove down "startup mentality". (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43442231)

Yes, one questions whether they teach the students that they will probably be ripped off working at a startup, and probably in multiple ways.

You misunderstand the intent (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43443029)

one questions whether they teach the students that they will probably be ripped off working at a startup

This school is not about teaching people to work AT a startup, it's there to teach them how to START the startup.

In other words, they train to be rippers, not rippees.

Ya know....... (1)

n3tm0nk (2725243) | about a year ago | (#43442239)

I do give them props for at least trying something differently. However, when there is govt. money tied to it, it is going to be changing real quick. And more than likely not for the better. With that govt. money comes a lot of govt. oversight. I don't believe the politicians and various other dumb-asses in our govt. can keep their hands/noses out of it and morphing it into just another mill. It is was all privately funded by corps, I think the odds would be a little more favorable, but not much. It's too bad we as a society always associate wealth as a sign of intelligence and wisdom.

We don't need tech schools... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43442425)

STEM is a waste of time because foreign talent is of a much higher caliber, far cheaper, and the fact that a H-1B's existence in this country is tied to how they perform, there are no morale or union issues. The stuff from tech skills are like meat packing or textiles, professions that at best pay minimum wage, but usually only go to those whom have no documentation.

Instead, we should train kids professions where they would be able to make a living at -- start teach them how to deal with legal issues, notable court cases, how the laws, civil, criminal, and other regulations apply to them, so when it is time for them to pass the bar exam and actually be productive citizens, it is a trivial thing.

Sorry to pop bubbles, but lets be realistic. The only college major that one can end up with a profession and not a job as a barista as the pinnacle of one's life is going to be either accounting or law. Pass that bar exam, and unless someone does something stupid enough to get disbarred or winds up with a felony, they can feed themselves for the rest of their life.

Lets not waste time with this stuff, because it just means more 20-somethings crying to the press that they can't pay back student loans, as the H-1Bs work far cheaper than they ever could, and the outsourced talent is far of a superior caliber.

Re:We don't need tech schools... (1)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#43442641)

Sorry to pop bubbles, but lets be realistic. The only college major that one can end up with a profession and not a job as a barista as the pinnacle of one's life is going to be either accounting or law.

It's not law. There's a glut of lawyers too.

Re:We don't need tech schools... (1)

Paperweight (865007) | about a year ago | (#43442749)

I don't understand why there is this glut of lawyers. Why even after law school can't people become lawyers? All the lawyers I've seen seem overworked and charge $200+ an hour. Can't they just pass the bar and open up shop? Why has the middle class been locked out of this profession?

Re:We don't need tech schools... (1)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#43443001)

I don't understand why there is this glut of lawyers. Why even after law school can't people become lawyers? All the lawyers I've seen seem overworked and charge $200+ an hour. Can't they just pass the bar and open up shop? Why has the middle class been locked out of this profession?

A good lawyer is priceless, a mediocre lawyer is worthless, and a poor lawyer is disastrous. And the prices paid by clients go accordingly.

They have not been locked out, they are there (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43443049)

All the lawyers I've seen seem overworked and charge $200+ an hour.

They don't get that much though, the firm gets a huge cut.

And they are overworked because the nature of law is that sometimes you have no work, sometimes you have a ton. So the law firm cannot hire too many people.

In fact most lawyers are very much middle class, they are not making nearly as much as you think from that $200/hour figure.

PLEASE read this about Bloomberg (0)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | about a year ago | (#43442517)

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/nyregion/justice-denied-bronx-court-system-mired-in-delays.html?hp&_r=0 [nytimes.com]

Truly unbelievable story about the total collapse of city gov't for the poor.

Yes, in the golden island of Manhattan, where the wealthy roam, Mayor Bloomberg has brought a sanitized, bowdlerized version of NYC that people seem to like.
(I mean anyone in NYC who would eat at chain resturant like macdonalds is scum)

The price , tho, has been high

Completely worthless (2)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#43443455)

You cannot even teach a classical master of any worth in a year. Now they want to do something like this in a year? This will be completely worthless, as it will have absolutely no depth. And the "no office" BS is going to make it worse. Thinking of any quality requires quiet and solitude and real communication between people much the same. Forcing everybody in a noisy, focus-preventing environment when doing knowledge work is just the height of stupidity.

This isn't computer science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43443713)

I wonder if the kids there will even know about Dijkstra's algorithm by the time they get their master's degree.

Something tells me they'll all be making worthless social media apps using PhoneGap.

elite school (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#43444069)

From what I have seen with elite schools, they have bright graduate, but this is because they hired bright students. That suggests elite schools are just a waste of resources for education. They are just there so that employers can hire the bright persons by just looking at what school they have graduated.

No offices for profs? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year ago | (#43444445)

I like this idea.

I spent some time in an Italian university once. A lot of profs there don't have offices either, or at best have to share with several other profs. It's really nice, because it makes them want to not hang around much beyond the minimum class times. Also, profs tend to have home offices with all their books and stuff, because there's no room at the university, and it's not like those shared offices are very safe for keeping valuables.

Overall, if you're a prof, it's really pretty good for preventing kids from disturbing you, if they have to drive across town just to knock on your door. And you can do the laundry while grading papers.

Recommended.

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