Feeds

US faces critical lack of (mad) computer scientists

Outreach project to teen tech dorks planned

Top three mobile application threats

Famed Pentagon wildcard boffinry outfit DARPA issued a stark message today. According to the military crazytech bureau, America faces a crippling shortage of mad scientists - in particular, of mad computer scientists - in the near future, and only drastic action in the US educational system can rectify this.

According to a DARPA solicitation issued yesterday:

The downward trend in college graduates with STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] majors is particularly pronounced in Computer Science (CS). While computers and internet connectivity become daily fixtures in the lives of Americans, we are steadily losing the engineering talent to project [?] these systems.

Far from gloomy employment prospects, DARPA reckons that IT types - especially computer scientists, particularly ones suited to military/DARPA style projects, that is mad computer scientists - are going to be increasingly in demand.

Our systems are becoming more complex, requiring more people with the software engineering talent to manage and maintain them. Finding the right people with increasingly specialized talent is becoming more difficult and will continue to add risk to a wide range of [military] systems that include software development.

Recent studies conducted by DARPA revealed that public perception is a critical issue. Study participants believed that the “dot-com bust” and “international outsourcing” have led to fewer computer science jobs. In fact, the opposite is true: the US Department of Labor lists “Computer Software Engineers, Applications” as the fourth fastest growing occupation in the country in November 2007. Verbal reports from industry partners, as well as the presence of constant job openings, indicate industry is having difficulty finding software engineering talent to develop and maintain their software systems.

DARPA by its very nature considers radical new technology and the people who develop/maintain it critically important, so this scenario - an America short of top-end, radical scientists, especially computing ones - is a doomsday one for the agency. But DARPA isn't taking this lying down.

DARPA is interested in proposals with innovative new ideas to encourage students to major in CS-STEM and pursue careers as engineers and scientists. Increasing the number of graduates in Computer Science is a key goal, but the project will also be considered a success if the number of graduates in the broader STEM community is increased.

DARPA envisages this being done by reaching out to American kids as early as middle school, somehow getting them hooked on technology, and then keeping them on the string until they finally finish college with a qualification useful for DARPA's purposes.

"In order to compel students to graduate with a CS-STEM related degree, it is important to maintain a positive, long term presence in a student’s education," note the military boffins.

There's much talk of projects and extracurricular activities, which all seems a bit mundane for DARPA - one might rather have expected a plan to equip junior tech dorks with powerful robot servants able to protect them from towel-snapping jocks, and/or crafty exclusive technologies able to attract the attentions of the opposite sex: flying/submarine cars, love-hormone body sprays etc.

Full details are here in pdf for those interested. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.