[plt-scheme] Great books on algorithms?

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 8 13:07:05 EST 2007

On Nov 8, 2007, at 11:55 AM, Marco Morazan wrote:

> On 11/8/07, Grant Rettke <grettke at acm.org> wrote:
>> On Nov 8, 2007 9:52 AM, Matthias Felleisen <matthias at ccs.neu.edu>  
>> wrote:
>>> So we compromise.
>> We were talking about this at work today, specifically why folks  
>> don't
>> want to take some time to learn to better understand that which they
>> are doing versus "just [barely] making it work".
> What fun is there in understanding that which we do? The answer of
> many 18-22 years old folk is likely to be none. More and more people
> attend college to get a credential

Shriram has nailed the answer but let me rephrase it in a modern

Universities and colleges are simply confronted with many more
students and a much higher percentage of the population than 50
years ago. Going from a college attendance of say 2-5% in 1945
to 50% in 2007 couldn't be achieved with bringing everyone to
the same level as back then. It was achieved with brutal pressure
from politicians to define standards down. In the US this
happened in two different ways from what I can tell (I was
around, I am not that old): the feds handed out money to
people to attend college and the state politicos gave money
to state universities but told them to accept more students.
I believe CAL is a particularly drastic example.

Let me add that I also think that some of the expansion is
good. Unlike god-like Shriram the Krishnamurthi, I would not
have attended college before the money flow. This has nothing
to do with standards in my case but with money. (My father
didn't go to 9th grade because it was too expensive.)

For professors, it was also a good thing. We get paid more.
Some more than others, and some more than they deserve. But
we no longer starve. (Yes, superstars like Einstein earned a
whole lot of money back then, too. I am talking about the

Overall everyone who finishes colleges brings more to the
economy because more training went into the person. So it is
also good for the economy overall. This is also why you can
observe this phenomenon in Germany and France as well as the US.
The politicos over there saw the writing on the wall. More
education meant a larger share of the wealth produced. Increasing
the top is one way but there is only so much to go for.
Increasing the training/education for the average person
is where the numbers are. Big numbers.

-- Matthias

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