Kudos to Doonesbury.
A major problem in the United States is the drop in the number of
students studying engineering in college. Reportedly, we are graduating
fewer engineers than we used to and are falling far behind other
countries, such as China and Russia. This was one of the issues Ray
Kurzweil and I discussed with Mikhail Gorbachev last April, including how encouragement from leadership is important to increasing enrollment.
With this background, I was very pleased this morning to see Gary Trudeau take up the issue in his latest Doonesbury comic.
Mike Doonesbury's daughter Alex is applying to college, and her list
includes a variety of engineering schools, like MIT. Today's comic
included the following dialog: “J.J. [Alex's mother, a performance
artist]: And you're also considering R.I.T.? Alex, I know you've been
bitten by the science bug, but isn't this list a bit geek-heavy? I
mean, how do you know this engineering thing isn't just a phase? Alex:
Mom, I hold five patents.” I hope this story line continues with Alex
going to an engineering program and with a positive spin, satirizing
those that belittle such endeavors. [Dan Bricklin's Log]