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  • Jun 16 2013: Vera, I think the distinction between computing and engineering is an interesting one. I'm getting a degree in computer science from an engineering school, rather than a liberal arts college, and I certainly benefit from having physics instead of French (pardonez moi). A number of my classmates want to go into social-local-mobile startups and build the next big app, instead of, say, finding better algorithms to optimize oil refineries.

    The problem is bigger than that, though. In the U.S., it's not just engineering but all of the STEM fields that are under attack, or perhaps neglect. We're dealing with the widespread denial of evolution or climate change, and a culture where it's acceptable to say "I never understood algebra" before looking back down at the smartphone. Consumer technology has advanced tremendously in the last 30 years on the back of Moore's law, but just about everything else has regressed. Manned space exploration is a good example: the U.S. is paying Russia to put astronauts on the ISS.

    The margin for error is much smaller in engineering than most other fields. "Right" and "wrong" are much more definitive in constructing an offshore drilling platform than writing an essay on Keats's use of symbolism. STEM also has a lot of delayed gratification, especially in today's world of video games an interactivity. Science requires patience and exactitude in a era where we hand babies iPads, where they tap everything and it all just works artificially. There are a lot of paths in STEM that do not work -- but it's so rewarding to find the ones that do.
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      Jun 16 2013: I'm immensely grateful for your comment. "The margin for error is much smaller in engineering than most other fields." I'd like to say, some of the problems are Beyond engineering fields themselves. I'd like to bring here some well known facts, for instance, in American Defense industry the majority of engineers are Chinese, though, who usually grew up in America. We can easily see this colossal difference between postmodern American and, for instance, traditional Asian mentality, the difference - in LEARNING PERSEVERANCE and staying close together as a cultural group. For the last part of this reason, my close relative who is a young blond man has refused to go to this great science college, because it was full of Asian students, to whom he could not relate. American engineering fields are filled by foreign employees, where American born engineers usually occupy only leading positions. One of the sad answers is that foreigners accept a much low pay,
      There is much more. As I have mentioned in my previous comment, the essence of this old profession is lost. The false values that the majority are buying
      are taking loud "popular" nonsense for real things. I only imagine that the very new institution needed to reestablish the values of the traditional professions, rooted in their fundamental values. They shall not be mixed together with entertaining and profit "building" industries servers. I would be happy if schools will start teaching Werner Heisenberg's superb philosophy - we shall not allow mindless industries to mass produce what inventor or a researcher discovered in their labs. We do make mistakes, most of the time, but the final correction comes from Nature itself. We cannot afford to make mistakes on a gigantic scale, it would not be possible to fix them. However, the diversity of smaller projects would teach us endlessly.
      With your ability to analyze you can change the outdated concepts - there are endless ways to do so

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