I am an Electrical Engineer with a PhD in Applied Physics (Caltech 1975). Most of my career has been in the design of analog integrated circuits. I am now a Research Associate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Arizona.
I am disturbed by our nation's drift to mediocrity in technology. Education could be the key to recovery. While much of modern technology has become inaccessible and buried in complexity, computers offer one of the few opportunities for kids to get involved and excited. Instead of tinkering with car engines and electronic junk, kids can now play with computers, figure out how they work, and write their own programs. Powerful personal computers and modern, high-level languages are making this possible.
I believe that our high school curricula can be greatly improved by including computational thinking either in a class of its own, or as part of existing classes in science and math. The choice of language is critical. Java has been a disappointment. The complexity of this language distracts students from learning fundamentals. It has made teachers think of computer science as a "vocational" class, for students who will become full-time programmers. Python is a better choice for a broad range of students interested in science, engineering, business, and even law.
I am the Editor of PyWhip, the Python practice website at http://pywhip.appspot.com. I am also an Editor in the Computers Workgroup at Citizendium (http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/User:David_MacQuigg).
Home page: http://purl.net/macquigg