Linked by David Adams on Sun 8th May 2011 04:15 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Well-known game developer David Braben is a little bit fed up with the state of computer science education these days, which seems to have shifted away from learning programming to some sort of computer-oriented "life skills" class. As the father of eleven and nine year-old boys, I can attest that so far, despite a massive investment on the part of their school in computer equipment, their computer education has consisted mostly of "play this math game" and "don't be victimized by cyber-perverts." Braben's idea to stem this tide: a very, very cheap computer that students can learn to program on.
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RE[2]: The new magic
by chmckay on Mon 9th May 2011 07:47 UTC in reply to "RE: The new magic"
chmckay
Member since:
2010-05-03

Thankfully at the university I attended they required us to learn all of that. Just to get my degree I had to take linear algebra and discrete mathematics. I had to design and build a basic CPU. I also had to create my own OS (from scratch) and compiler. This is on top of the physics classes that dealt specifically with electrical design, particle flow and optics. Oh, and I just about forgot the networking class where we didn't just learn TCP/IP and UDP protocols. We learned how to design and build a network and create our own distributed computing software. And, finally, we had to make our projects work not on just Windows machines, but on Sun Sparc's and Linux boxes. And, these were just the required classes to graduate.

So, not all of comp-sci students are coming out with no knowledge of why things work the way they do. Some of us have learned how (and why) computers can do what they do. And this is being taught in the heart of Utah.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: The new magic
by WereCatf on Mon 9th May 2011 08:23 in reply to "RE[2]: The new magic"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Thankfully at the university I attended they required us to learn all of that. Just to get my degree I had to take linear algebra and discrete mathematics. I had to design and build a basic CPU. I also had to create my own OS (from scratch) and compiler. This is on top of the physics classes that dealt specifically with electrical design, particle flow and optics. Oh, and I just about forgot the networking class where we didn't just learn TCP/IP and UDP protocols. We learned how to design and build a network and create our own distributed computing software. And, finally, we had to make our projects work not on just Windows machines, but on Sun Sparc's and Linux boxes. And, these were just the required classes to graduate.


Damn. I would have seriously enjoyed myself there.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: The new magic
by Nth_Man on Mon 9th May 2011 13:07 in reply to "RE[2]: The new magic"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

I was also given similar lectures ( not in Utah :-) ), with some differences, about computer knowledge and experiments but...

particle flow

You had to rely on a lot of things that you were told. For example, they told you a lot of things about the working of electrons, matter, etc and you believed them. If I really *knew* in each case how time, energy and matter works, a Nobel prize would be awarded for me :-). Things happen, but I can't say I know *how* :-(

I had to design and build a basic CPU

Let's notice that it doesn't mean that you and me really *know* how computers work, the CPUs that you and me are using... are not basic ones. The same happens with most of the software, etc. The lectures are helpful in every day problems and developments, but don't allow us to claim that we *know* how computers work.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: The new magic
by chmckay on Mon 9th May 2011 20:04 in reply to "RE[3]: The new magic"
chmckay Member since:
2010-05-03

OK, I'll concede your point. But, we're now talking mere technicalities as this is true of anything unless you personally perform the experiments yourself.

Reply Parent Score: 2