Sunday, April 24, 2005

Lagging CS Matriculation

Isn't that a weird word? People seem to use it much less than "enrollment", but it really means the same thing. Anyway, it turns out that there has been a very recent trend of lessening enrollment in CS programs from both sexes. Back in the mid to late 90s the size of CS programs were through the roof across the nation. At UT the introductory classes had somewhere around 1,000 students, whereas now there's less than half of that and we lose approximately 25% of our students every semester. Is this really such a bad thing? I think it's horrible that women are so deterred from it, but I'm glad that it's not a fad anymore. I do it because I like it and I think it's good that we have more people in it nowadays who are in it for the right reasons. There are several reasons why women are averse to majoring in CS, principally because it's such a male-dominated field. Is not this whole world male-dominated though? Why should they not be able to break into CS as well? The reason it's important is because only through diversity can we break barriers in fields.

The tech news this weekend is good for a weekend edition. If you find yourself frequently checking e-mail then you may be proving the point that it affects your IQ. Researchers believe that its role in diverting your attention easily and hence slowing down your brain hurts you, but I don't think the correlation is strong enough to really prove anything. I can see how it affects kids, but that's still not in a direct way or a generality. I love USB thumbdrives and so I have to post this article comparing ten of the newer devices, which I'm still casually reading actually because it's quite useful. Borland JBuilder was the first Java IDE I knew about when I learned Java, but I soon discovered that it was far too complicated. Now it's lending a portion of its core to the Eclipse project (an open-source, cross-platform, multiple-language IDE). Like all companies though they're in it for the money through possible improvements they can rake in and sell off of it.

The movie news for the weekend is lackluster as always, but there are a couple of gems. I'll start out though with the box office report. At the top this weekend was The Interpreter, a movie that I was looking forward to but got mixed reviews, and only managed to rake in $20 million. I was kind of surprised given the cast, but at least it beat The Amityville Horror, which came in second. If you love kung fu action then you've gotta check out this fight montage from Unleashed, and you can also see a newer trailer over here. I hope that movie turns out as good as I want it to. If you're a fan of the book and you want to see some character profiles from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a refresher you can now check those out. And if you're a die-hard Star Wars or George Lucas fan you'll want to read all about Star Wars Celebration III, which also had some information about Indiana Jones 4. Apparently he has the Indy 4 script and hasn't read it yet. He needs to get started! Anything from the mind of Tim Burton has to be totally sweet so I was glad to see a set visit for Corpse Bride at AICN replete with clarification of the teaser trailer among other things. Apparently, this dude Victor (Johnny Depp's voice) is trying to propose to this girl Victoria (convenient name) but ends up proposing to this dead girl instead and she tries to get him to honor it and more stuff ensues. It sounds even better than The Nightmare Before Christmas. Lastly, we finally have some shots from the set of Silent Hill (that movie being written by the awesome Roger Avary and Christophe Gans) and it looks pretty cool. It's taking place in a small town in Canada that looks creepy enough as it is where a woman desperate to save her dying child stumbles upon the alternate dimension known as Silent Hill.

Perfect location!

Not much randomness to leave you with. Since I was a fat kid I thought I'd share this revelation about how being overweight may not be as prominent a cause in death as previously believed. Nevertheless, I don't see the point in legitimizing eating the wrong way (for people who don't have a genetic problem). I hated being fat and I can't see any benefits to it.

And now some Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Detachment::Isolation
  2. Regard::Birthday cards
  3. Community::College
  4. Strike three::You're out
  5. Congregation::Protestant church
  6. Generous::Donations
  7. Pretention::Before detention =P
  8. Pregnant::Baby
  9. Drinking::Booze
  10. Brilliance::Genius

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