BLOSSOMS, interactive videos for high school students in math and science, was created by Richard C. Larson, Ph.D. (MA B ’65), and colleagues. The videos are viewed by the class in segments and then the “teacher takes over with some hands-on projects and discussions designed to fire up critical thinking skills and spark enthusiasm.”
Dr. Larson is a professor of engineering and the director of the Center for Engineering Systems Fundamentals at MIT. The goal of the video project is to create a passion for the topics and subject matter with the students. “I can’t imagine K-12 teachers being replaced by computers,” Dr. Larson said. “I think the role of the teacher is foremost. That’s why we designed BLOSSOMS the way we did, to support the in-class teacher.” Click here for the article
The Bloomberg News is reporting that the Ford Motor Co. plans to “hire 3,000 salaried employees this year… as it moves to fill positions in engineering and other technical areas.” The statement included this quote, “Engineers and technical professionals are in as much demand as our cars, trucks and SUVs,” said Felicia Fields, group VP for human resources. Read more here
Georgia Institute of Technology recent announced an offering of a new master’s degree in computer science. The degree is “delivered through a series of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, for $6,000. The school’s traditional on-campus computer science master’s degree costs about $45,000 in tuition for out-of-state students.” Read the article from Slate Magazine
This MOOC offering is one of the first online degree programs to charge less for a degree then the traditional on-campus program. Zvi Galil, Ph.D. (NY A ’70), is the head of Georgia Tech’s school of computing and is launching the new program. “This is uncharted territory,” he says. But, he warns, if Georgia Tech doesn’t do this someone else might come along and do it first—grabbing the notoriety, the students, and the revenue. “There is a revolution. I want to lead it, not follow it,” he says.