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Comment: Too many factors (Score 1) 298

by mctee155 (#36133204) Attached to: Western Washington Univ. Considers Cutting Computer Science

I work in higher ed and years ago I got an AAS in systems administration. When I graduated from the program I was the only person to graduate from that department in 5 years. I don't know how it survived that long but the degree was cut about a year ago when we merged with a larger university.

One thing I have learned about becoming a part of a large research university is that if you don't generate money or grants you get put on the chopping block. Especially when you depend on legislative funds that have been cut each year since the recession started. Its the nature of higher ed in lean times. Programs that could coast by on low enrollment numbers and graduation rates when times were good are now in serious trouble especially those who have a large amount of faculty and low program enrollment. The numbers from the article explain a lot too: 12 professors, 100 enrolled majors, and only 40 graduates a year? That is some serious fat to be trimmed and if some of those professors are tenured then its much harder to get rid of them. I can see the administration keeping the program if they generate revenue by other means such as grants or research projects but if they don't then if I were an administrator I would get rid of it too.

Comment: Re:Distractions (Score 1) 804

by mctee155 (#34711232) Attached to: Should Colleges Ban Classroom Laptop Use?
I had a Biology class a few years ago and the first day there I had to sit next to a girl with a very prominent tattoo of a naked lady in a martini glass on her arm and she was also quite attractive too. I persisted thinking that after a few days I wouldn't even notice her, never happend. After my first failed test I moved several rows back and did just fine in the class from then on. Now I work in higher education and there are a couple things that really annoy me when I have to visit a classroom. The volleyball players always wear those hot pants they play in and never seem to notice the throng of drooling guys who just happen to be always going to the same place they are. Put some pants on! Then there are the girls in early morning classes that roll out of bed ten minutes before class and stroll in wearing sleeper shorts and a skimpy tanktop. What kills me is they will wear either those fur boots or flip-flops to complete the ensemble. I wish students had to conform to a dress code just like employees.

Comment: Joking aside this works really well (Score 1) 50

by mctee155 (#32916478) Attached to: Telemedicine Comes Into Its Own

I work for a small mental health company in Utah that serves 3 counties. When we setup our telemedicine system we significantly reduced our costs. We no longer have to pay as much for travel and hotels for our doctors, they just see clients over telemed no matter which county they are in. Their workload hasn't increased much but now they spend less time traveling and more time with clients. Our clients aren't weirded out by fact they are talking to a tv and camera because the cameras are very high quality and that allows both sides to pick up on facial queues which goes along way for trust and understanding. Most clients say they are extremely happy that they can see their doctor and get the help they need.

The system was paid for, and is maintained, communication lines and all, with federal grants. I am amazed at how much we save just on the T1 lines alone which comes close to 100K a year.

This is something that the government got right, finally.

Comment: Hardware or software? (Score 1) 277

by mctee155 (#13748356) Attached to: ESA Cryosat Launch Reported Failure
This is a bit off-topic, the article does not say what happened but I remember in the 7th grade seeing a documentary about rockets and how when one rocket test went bad. The problem was the engineer or programmer forgot to end a line of code with a semicolon in the guidance software or something like that. This was some time ago but the mishap was dubbed "the most expensive semicolon in the world". How ironic would it be if the error was along the same lines.

I was surprised not to see a "In Soviet Russia..." joke, then again this article is pretty fresh.

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