The path to a better world is paved through Informatics: European Computer Science Conference 2009 Paris

It was a sunny day last Thursday in Paris after a very stormy night,  I was sitting in the sun filled conference room with 80 deans and Rectors of the top universities in Europe attending the European Computer Science Summit where the first Keynote speaker Dr. Mark Harris, Intel GMBh highlighted how science addresses many of the urgent global issues.  Examining global warming Mark talked about the effect of the increase in temperature, such as coastal flooding, increasing incidences of malaria and  hunger,  the effects of the changing age of world population,  increased water scarcity and how these issues will affect our future.     

The theme of this conference is ‘Informatics among the Sciences - Scientific principles in Informatics’  focusing on the multidisciplinary approach of combining research,  curricula and teaching.  By combining efforts of other engineering diciplines with Computer Science we can move forward on tackling  the global issues and challenges facing us today. 




Despite the many issues facing us in the Informatics domain,  including declining enrollments ,  demand for informatics skills is increasing and students who can understand and create solutions collaboratively with other engineering disciplines will be the new leaders and will solve the toughest challenges.   

The big challenge in ICT is the rapidly changing environment ,  new technologies such as the shift to massive computing parallelism in even commodity devices is one example.   Every year 1.3 million students complete their baccalaureate studies,  very few of these graduating students have studied the issues of concurrency and parallel programs during their courses,  a needed skill when every device runs parallel programs.   In addition to this huge gap every year,  you must also address the programmers already in the workforce who also were not  taught about concurrent systems during their studies. 

Educators must address the challenge of educating students that are successful in this new world with the needed skillsets which address the new technology of today.   Students who have worked accross have multiple competencies,  who delve into leading edge technology, and who are given the opportunity to excel with changing technology.  Those are the students that will be solving our global problems in the future. 

 

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