Major American companieslawmakers on both sides of the aisle, union leaders, and some big-name city superintendents agree: Expanding computer science education is critical to preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s careers.
Despite that sentiment—and billions of dollars in one-time federal money for new laptops, tablets, and internet connectivity—the number of students taking computer science education courses continues to rise at just a modest pace and stubborn gaps in access to courses persist, concludes a report released Sept. 21 by Code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to the subject.
A little more than half—53 percent—of US high schools offered foundational computer science classes in 2022. That’s just a small increase from 51 percent the previous year, but a significant jump from 35 percent several years ago. And across all states, 6 percent of high school students are enrolled in computer science courses, up from 4.7 percent last year.
Insurer’s second gift to CDS will support research into responsible data use
Fortune 500 life insurer MassMutual has given $3 million to BU’s Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences (CDS) to support research into the responsible uses of data.
The gift will also go towards the CDS endowment and long-term programming. It follows the company’s $1 million gift last year to the University’s newest academic unit.
“The [new] gift will be crucial in supporting translational research by faculty and students—work focused on how to integrate results from basic research in real-world products and systems,” says Azer Bestavros, BU associate provost for computing and data sciences. “This type of applied work is hard to fund through government-sponsored research, which tends to favor long-term basic
So much of our lives is reliant upon computing, and quantum computing has the potential to upend the encryption we rely upon, as well as scientific fields of study. This post explores this exciting, entirely new form of computing and how it stands to solve a variety of currently unsolvable problems.
I. Classical Computing: Where We Are Today
First, we should take a quick look back at “classical computing.” Classical computing covers every computer we interact with today, from our laptops to our smartphones. The history of classical computing is a story of human ingenuity, where we use anything at our fingertips to count and speed calculations.
And fingers are the perfect place to start. Our numerical system is Base-10, which means we use ten numerals (0-9) before we need a second numeral to describe the next number (10). We take it for granted that we count by tens, but
PROVIDENCE, RI [Brown University] — Mathematicians often toil in obscurity, and that’s likely because few people, apart from fellow mathematicians who share the same sub-specialty, understand what they do. Even when algorithms have practical applications, like helping drivers see approaching cars that the eye can’t discern, it’s the car manufacturer (or its software developer) that gets the credit.
This is especially true of cryptographers, the unsung heroes whose algorithms keep people’s communications and data secure when they use the internet — technology known as public key cryptography.
But sometimes, pure math impacts the real world. That happened this summer when the National Institute of Standards and Technologies selected four cryptography algorithms to serve as standards for public key security in the impending era of quantum computers, which will make current encryption systems quickly obsolete.
Three of the four chosen algorithms rest on work led by a team of mathematicians at