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A Key Ingredient for Global Competition

Do you use the internet? Do you stream television shows? Send emails? Then you benefit from the work created by computer scientists, yet we often take their innovations for granted. 

Educators from the elementary to the collegiate level have stamped history by laying the foundation of every great computer scientist. In early December, we celebrate National Computer Science Education Day, and note the importance of teaching the next generation of computer scientists.  

The younger the student, the easier it is to understand and grasp the complexities of computer science. Just as we teach English and other languages in schools, we must encourage students to also learn the language of coding. This small but mighty step will change our country in bounds.  

Take Larry Page for example. He is responsible for something that changed the way the world works: he created Google. Every time someone says “Google it”, Page is to thank. He allowed the average person to have the answer to any question.  

What was the genesis of this world-altering innovation? Page’s computer science education at Stanford University. Before this, he dabbled in computer science, however, once he started researching the internet, he wanted to pursue linking all pages into one database. From there, Google was born.  

Page credits the encouragement of taking this small idea to reality to none other than his computer science professor, Terry Winograd. Page once said it was the greatest single piece of advice he had ever received. From a small town in Michigan, to creating something that would change the world forever, Page’s journey started with his education in computer science.  

From search engines to the MRI machine, computer science education is at the core of innovative technology. While the country has made strides in computer science education, it is still in its infancy. We must use what we know, grow upon it, and create the next generation of computer scientists. This is one of the ingredients to competitiveness at the global level. It’s key to our nation’s path forward.