A better title for this article might be "Laws of Physics Under Attack by Political Science." The economics of supporting STEM education are clear.
Since the early 2000s, the majority of physics PhD's granted by U.S. universities have been to students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. This is true even despite an overall decline in the number of international students in the post-September 11, 2001 era.
The majority of engineering PhD's granted by U.S. universities also go to students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Arguably, however, this has to do with the fact that engineers who are citizens or permanent residents can get jobs in industry with a bachellor's or master's degree, and only rarely stick around to get doctorates. International students have a harder time getting jobs in industry - many employers don't want to go through the paperwork and bureaucratic hassles required to sponsor a visa - so they tend to stay in academia and get doctorates, do post-doctoral research, etc.
Personally, I'm glad that so many international students come to the U.S. to study. Having classmates from many different countries made my educational experience better.
That being said, there are a lot of potentially talented kids in the U.S. who aren't getting the chance to develop their abilities. We like to believe that anyone can be successful in the U.S. with hard work, creativity, and talent. That statement is probably more true in the U.S. than it is in just about any other country - but there are still a lot of kids who have the cards stacked against them.
The fact is that many students, especially low-income and minority students, receive a sub-standard primary and secondary education which doesn't prepare them well for college. And as this article points out, for those who do manage to make it to college, the community colleges and universities which serve low-income and minority students are often the first to face budget cuts. This is the reality we live in.
The causes of this are complex, but the consequences are clear: an erosion of scientific and engineering talent, with troubling implications for economic growth and national security.
I would encourage any and all engineering professionals who are concerned about this to get involved in tutoring and mentoring programs. If you don't have time to tutor students every week, volunteer to give a career day presentation, judge a science fair, or speak to a science class. All of us are very fortunate to have benefited from an engineering education. Now is the time to pay it forward.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.