Saturday, January 28, 2012

Is computer science a science or engineering?

I remember years ago a heated discussion in a conference whether computer science is a science or engineering, my daughter had a "science day" in the high school that she'll attend next year, and while they teach computer science they don't view it as a science, for them science consists of biology, chemistry, physics and some of their derivatives.   

Recently I came across an  article in "Scientific American",   about U.S. science degrees.   In this article, as you can see in the picture below,  computer science is neither classified as science nor as engineering,  it is actually classified as technology.   Interesting -- I think that computer science is not monolithic, and various sub-disciplines may be classified differently.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On presentation skills

Somebody attracted my attention today that ACM  Membernet Europe in its last issue,  has written about me in the section "feature ACM European distinguished speaker".     In fact, several months ago somebody from ACM approached me to ask what is the meaning for me of being recognized as ACM Distinguished Speaker, 
The truth is that I intended to use this program to tour some exotic places in the universe, but did not have time yet to pursue it,  thus I answered that my action after this recognition is to coach and mentor young people about presentation skills.  Indeed I have added to courses and seminars I am teaching a pitch about presentations (I am a fan of Steve Jobs' style of presentation), while this is a "soft skill", it is very important in today's world, as the picture above shows - sometimes more than what you say.   In Israel we have a tendency to underestimate it, and believe that good content will sell itself,  this is also true on product packaging.   While some people are naturally good presenters, presentation skills is something that can be learned, and it is very rewarding to see young people catching quickly and producing great presentations (last week a students in a seminar I supervise did very creative presentations).