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Comment Re:data (Score 3, Informative) 344

Here is the quick summary of the historical trends by major:
From 1970 until 2010, US population grew by about a third. However, the number of bachelor's degrees granted doubled. This is reasonable - we have a more knowledge driven economy.
There were about 52 thousand engineering and computer degrees per year around 1970. By 2010, this number is about 120 thousand - so that more then doubled. Much of this is related to computer science/information degrees (not surprising). Engineering increased but failed to double.

Math/statistics degrees decreased from about 25 thousand per year to 15 thousand per year. That might be concerning.

Physical science degrees (mostly chemistry, some geology and physics) were unchanged: about 21 thousand per year up to about 23 thousand per year. That might not sound great.

Education degrees fell from 176 thousand per year to 101 thousand per year. Ya, that is probably not good.

So what boomed? Business degrees. From 115 thousand per year in 1970 up to 358 thousand per year in 2010, which is about 22% of all degrees granted. And if you look at salary and unemployment, they do not do too bad - about on par with life science majors; better than most majors.

After business degrees, social science degrees are the next largest category, but the raw number granted per year (from 1970 to 2010) did not grow very much.

Health care related degrees, performing arts and psychology also more then doubled.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Two Currencies

When we hear horrible economic news, it causes suffering even in the wealthiest nations. Yet the proposed remedies, such as more generous welfare benefits, or perhaps less government regulation are questionable in their ability to address the real problems and politically nonviable.

I believe there is an alternative which will be palatable to most in the US and will preserve the best aspects of capitalism while mitigating the damages.

Comment data (Score 1) 344

You can find the breakdown of degrees by area in the US from:

You can find estimates of initial unemployment rates after getting a college degree, and expected earnings from:

If anyone knows more links to other data sets, I would be very interested. I want to provide my students with the best data available.

If you are interested in physics, the American Institute of Physics ( under "Physics Resources", "Statistical Research" has a huge amount of data - if anyone has similar data for other STEM majors (actually, for any major) I'm interested.

Comment Re:Part of the problem... (Score 1) 105

A few reasons.

First, there actually are such organizations.

For example:
Comparative Cognition and Behavior Reviews
a journal that is free, open web access, and still peer-reviewed by experts in the field.

I cannot find any such journal in physics or biophysics. I can either submit to a print journal where it will not be open (for at least some period of time) for free or an open access journal for a lot of money.

At my university, I can get away with going with a low profile publication but I know most people do not have that luxury.


Submission + - Drugs to Prevent Cell Suicide

MrErlenmeyer writes: Many injuries and diseases including heart attacks, stroke, and Parkinson's cause healthy cells to kill themselves. A group of scientists at Washington University in Saint Louis believe they have a lead on how to stop apoptosis, unwanted cell suicide, and thus minimize the tissue damage that occurs as a result of these injuries. They designed drugs that halt the actions of executioner caspases, proteins that as a molecular wrecking crew. Other scientists had found that a chemical called isatin could prevent tissue damage in rabbit hearts that were deprived of oxygen. This was the starting point for the team of researchers in Missouri. By making some changes to the molecule, they were able to develop an even more effective molecule. With some further refinement, this may lead to a new class of emergency medications.
User Journal

Journal Journal: MMORPG Outdoor Zone and Event Design

Many newer MMORPGs have no exact "zones" but they all have areas of some kind where players adventure: kill mobs, explore, sometimes buy and sell goods, sometimes start or end quests, etc.

Open, "outdoor" zones:

User Journal

Journal Journal: MMORPG Opinions

Just a few thoughts on MMORPGs before I forget them.

There will be a day when truly dynamic MMORPGs arive. Content will not change at a rate of 30 day patches which alter a tiny fraction of content. It will change minute by minute. It will be far more like playing D&D in person with a real DM then versus a static environment. And it will not be a PVP gankfest. If you want great PVP, go play counterstrike. Massive Role Playing is not that.

User Journal

Journal Journal: What is right with Everquest (Eq)

I just wrote a post about what is "wrong" with Everquest (Eq), and I felt rather guilty. I actually enjoyed Eq for quite some time now. I have played roughly 3 years so I have some perspective. I have introduced my wife, sister, mom, and two good friends to Eq. We all talk about it from time to time although sis didn't really take to it the rest of us played together quite a bit over the years. Actually, right now I have not played in some months and I can't really see playing further.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Setting Bad Precedence

In taking action it is wise to consider not only the direct results of the action, but what kind of precedence it sets for others to follow.

Section I: An Example

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