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Allen School News

“The Cost of Engineering’s Capacity Problem”

UW’s Trend in Engineering interviews UW CSE’s Ed Lazowska and UW Dean of Engineering Matt O’Donnell regarding the impact on students and employers of the longstanding failure to invest in engineering capacity at the University of Washington.

“‘It’s heartbreaking,’ said Ed Lazowska, the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering.  ‘We are turning away outstanding students who would absolutely succeed in the program.  It’s depriving students of the preparation they need, and it’s depriving employers of the employees they need.’ …

“‘Engineering education is booming because of the preparation it gives students.  That preparation is teamwork, interdisciplinary projects and problem solving, and a connection to the real world.  Engineering education has become more hands on and experiential in recent years.  The value that we add is in the lab, and that pervades all engineering fields.  All the upper division courses have a significant lab component.’ …

“‘Our economy is creating great jobs and they are going to other people’s kids.  Every smart, motivated kid who grows up here ought to have the opportunity to become a first-tier participant in this new economy.  That is not the case today because of lack of capacity.’ …

“‘The nation’s great public universities provide socioeconomic upward mobility for the smart kids who grow up in their regions.  The UW enrolls more Pell-Grant-eligible (economically disadvantaged) students than the entire Ivy League combined.  We cannot sacrifice that mission.'”

Main article here.  Q&A here.

May 4, 2012