Monday, December 14, 2009

Link Salad, Analytics, and Pell

Some links of interest for the numerically inclined:
Also, in "Want a Job? Analytics is the Thing, Says IBM" we find that data mining and business analytics are the new plastic:
“In this world, intelligence is replacing intuition,” said Ambuj Goyal, a former IBM researcher who is now General Manager of IBM’s Business Analytics and Process Optimization Group. 35,000 people now report to Goyal, according to IBM.

Simoudis believes the demand for these jobs will only grow thanks to several big trends. One is the sheer data explosion. When Simoudis was working in the software business in the 1980s, he said data warehouses use to handle two terabytes of data. Today, just one small online ad network is generating 100 terabytes of data, while social network Facebook is spewing out 1.5 petabytes of data a year, or 1,500 terabytes. All those status updates and party photos consume massive amounts of data.
I see a new learning outcome for general education... At least it's an argument for requiring computer programming in addition to math.

Finally, the story you probably saw in InsideHigherEd "Pell Costs Explode":
Obama administration officials confirmed on Thursday that unexpectedly strong demand for Pell Grants would sharply increase government spending on its primary need-based student aid program, requiring an extra $18 billion over the next three years.
The article links the overage to the economic hard times, and this is likely valid. But I wonder how much of it is due to the cyberdons (i.e. online for-profits). Surely, with their burgeoning market share of the lesser-qualified student, they're creating more of a market for Pell grants. If so, this pressure will not abate, but force Pell grants to be capped eventually, hurting the traditional schools--an indirect effect of competition. There are, ultimately, a finite amount of resources.

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