Enrollment in computer science programs may have
leveled off after the dot-com downturn, but that leveling happened only after the number of bachelor’s
degree graduates hit a trough, reports Computerworld.
In the latest statistics from the Computing Research
Association ( www.cra.org), which follows year-over-year enrollment and graduate trends from 170 Ph.D.-granting institutions, only 8,021 students graduated
with computer science degrees from these schools in
the 2006–2007 academic year. By contrast, in
2003–2004—the high point of this decade— 14,185
students were awarded bachelor’s degrees in computer
science. The sharp decline in graduates may be about
to level off, according to CRA’s latest trend analysis. In
the fall of 2006, new CS enrollments topped out at
7,840; new enrollments for fall 2007 were at 7,915.
While it’s too early to declare a turnaround, CRA analysts say the students should be able to find job opportunities based on the last projections from the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (see box on page 8).
NEW YORK’S GLOBAL LINKS
Bottom: Jeremy Levy
MIT researchers have been collecting the electronic
communications of millions of New Yorkers since last
January. The round-the-clock effort has nothing to do
with national security or covert eavesdropping. Rather
it is to build a census that shows, neighborhood by
neighborhood, the phone and Internet links
New Yorkers have to other cities across the
planet and how these connections change over
time. “Our cities and the globe are blanketed
with flowing bits of digital data, and looking
at this data, we’re able to better understand the
physical world,” says Carlo Ratti, director of
MIT’s SENSEable City Lab. The Associated
Press reports that no information about individuals or actual conversations is being collected. AT&T gives MIT only aggregate data
from its switches throughout the city.
Researchers found New Yorkers who engage in global
gab tend to be international business professionals or
poor immigrants. Moreover, communication between
Manhattan and the world surges each morning
after the New York Stock Exchange opens. The
most-called city is London (8% of all overseas
calls), followed by Santo Domingo (5%). Half of
all calls from Manhattan are to Canada, Great
Britain, the Dominican Republic, Germany, and
Japan. Visualizations from the New York Talk
Exchange ( sensible.mit.edu/nyte) project are now
part of an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art
called “Design and the Elastic Mind,” which is
open through May and examines how designers
use technology in ways that change lives.
Researchers have demonstrated a new technique
inspired by the classic
Etch-a-Sketch drawing toy
that could be used to create rewritable logic circuits
and denser computer
Review reports that
researchers, using an
atomic force microscope
(AFM), were able to draw nano-size wires and
dots that could be repeatedly erased and written.
The researchers used an AFM tip like a pencil,