UVSC BYU U of U etc was"Software Engineering

Levi Pearson levi at cold.org
Fri Feb 16 15:10:06 MST 2007

Mister E <Mister.Ed at AgoraCart.com> writes:
>   I think a lot of this conversation is silly.  I find it amusing
> reading comments from people patting themselves on the back for
> obtaining a degree and/or attending a particular institution of higher
> learning.  An institution can only "institutionalize" your patterns
> according to their preferred method set.

I don't think very many Universities are organized enough to brainwash
students in the way you describe.  Professors are a varied bunch, and
tend to like to do things their own way.  Students are also varied,
and are going to get different things out of interaction with
different professors.

> Being one that has attended BYU and UVSC, as well as other schools
> such as: SLCC, UTC -the precursor to UVSC, UCLA, UCR - UC Riverside,
> and MIT; I think you cannot claim BYU to be significantly better than
> UVSC, except in the matter of expressing pride in your Alma Mater.
> I've actually come away with more useful knowledge sets from UVSC than
> that of BY-ZoobieVille.

I did roughly the first half of my CS degree at BYU and I'm finishing
at UVSC.  Both have had good and bad classes, and I've learned a lot
in both places.  By far, the most important factor in the equation of
what a student will get out of a school is the student.  But I don't
think that makes all schools equivalent, either.

> Great thinkers can learn theory outside of the lab-rat environment,
> but it is all relative to the motivation of the individual.  Great
> thinking can be self-learned as well.  I have yet to find an
> institution that can truly make me think any better ... they can only
> "train" me in their methods or frames of reference in doing so.

One of the biggest reasons to go to a University, and this reason has
existed since the very first schools in ancient Greece, is to be able
to interact with the people who know the kinds of things you want to
know.  Secondarily would be the resources for study, and finally would
be the structure that helps to guide you in your learning.  I agree
that the thinking and learning MUST come from the student, but the
University environment is there to provide resources that are
extremely beneficial to self-learners, making them able to learn much,
much faster and more deeply than they would without them.

> I'll agree with some comments about the arrogance of some graduates
> locally, when they are seeking a position.  I prefer to interact and
> hire those with heart for the art, not with those folks grandstanding
> the presumption of intellectualism.  Nor will I waste my money on the
> later.  The science allows for the expression of the art, no matter
> how mundane the task... I believe we all take pride in seeing our work
> coming to life, no matter how small the project or code snippet (ie:
> hey I did that! or, hey, I helped on that!).

In my defense of Computer Science and theory, I did not mean to take
away from the art of programming, which certainly has the potential to
be a beautiful thing.  But taking pride in our work should motivate us
to learn more, and the University environment (at least in an
idealized sense; actual Universities may vary) is an excellent place
to do that learning.


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