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Gates testifies on "competitiveness"

“Competitiveness” means several things on Capitol Hill, but mostly it seems to be Congressional password for technology.

Bill Gates (M$oft’s Chairman and all around good guy) testified yesterday morning before the Senate. The full story is at the CRA’s Policy Blog, along with a link to the web cast of his testimony.

Here’s a quote:

Yet in 2004, just 11 percent of all higher education degrees awarded in the U.S. were in engineering, mathematics, and the physical sciences – a decline of about a third since 1960.

Recent declines are particularly pronounced in computer science. The percentage of college freshmen planning to major in computer science dropped by 70 percent between 2000 and 2005.3 In an economy in which computing has become central to innovation in nearly every sector, this decline poses a serious threat to American competitiveness. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that every significant technological innovation of the 21st century will require new software to make it happen.

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