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   Accreditation of Computer Science Degree
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   Author  Topic: Accreditation of Computer Science Degree  (Read 5712 times)
BlueMikey
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Re: Accreditation of Computer Science Degree
« Reply #10 on: May 7th, 2007, 4:05pm »
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I guess its true that simply using the top schools as a measure of what is in a degree isn't good, but...
 
Google, Microsoft, all the big employers, they care more that the school teaches the most current technologies and methodologies, not that some accreditation service said they were good 10 years ago (can you imagine a CS department without an update in 10 years?).  It was my experience (I worked as a graduate lecturer at my school in computer science) that good schools didn't feel the need to get accredited because no one cares (well, almost no one obviously) whether the schools are or not.
 
What you said, plex, is true about any unaccredited program.
 
It just seems silly to me that you can:
 
1) Become a patent lawyer if you have a CS degree from St. Cloud State but not if you have a CS degree from Stanford.
2) Become a patent lawyer if you have a ME degree from an unaccredited program but not if you have a CS degree from an unaccredited program.
 
 
I guess I just find this upsetting because I'm just entering law school and what if I wanted to be in patent law?  I went to a top 40 undergraduate CS program with professors who have been published in everything, lecturers who have written textbooks in use and won national awards, and students who got picked up all over the country.   If I wanted to do patent law I'd be instantly disqualified because I didn't take two physics courses back to back 10 years before I'd even be taking the Patent Bar Exam. Sad  It's absurd how they devalue a great computer science degree.
« Last Edit: May 7th, 2007, 4:24pm by BlueMikey » IP Logged
Isaac
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Posts: 3472
Re: Accreditation of Computer Science Degree
« Reply #11 on: May 7th, 2007, 4:55pm »
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on May 7th, 2007, 4:05pm, BlueMikey wrote:
If I wanted to do patent law I'd be instantly disqualified because I didn't take two physics courses back to back 10 years before

 
I agree that the the two course sequence physics/chemistry sequence is a very questionable portion of the requirements, particularly when such study isn't required of students at accredited CS programs. Whatever the patent office hopes to accomplish by reviewing transcripts, I'm not sure that purpose is served by requiring the 2 course physics/chemistry sequence of CS students. There should be some other allowable combinations of coursework.
 
But all that said, requiring such a sequence of those with unaccredited engineering degrees including those mythological unaccredited ME students would screen out virtually noone. Essentially all engineering students take either two semesters of chemistry or two semester of physics if not both and all of them would easily have more than enough other qualifying course work. Reviewing their transcripts in the same way as transcripts from the CS students are reviewed might seem fair, but it would be entirely a waste of time for the patent office. Perhaps the lack of balance in the requirements simply reflects that.
 
« Last Edit: May 8th, 2007, 7:56am by Isaac » IP Logged

Isaac
confused_3l
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Re: Accreditation of Computer Science Degree
« Reply #12 on: May 14th, 2007, 6:11pm »
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My take on it? The USPTO freaked when State Street Bank came down and wanted to keep the patent bar "exclusive". Ever wonder why you can't take the exam with a business degree, even though business method patents are now accepted?
 
In my own case, I was more than a little shocked to find out that my CS degree from UChicago wasn't valid at face value, especially after working for a number of years.  Luckily, I have enough physics/chemistry/biology/etc. to qualify under Category B, but I still think it's somewhat of a cruel joke.  
 
On a side note, does anyone have a clue as to why the USPTO only accepts photocopies of course catalogs in order to qualify under category B? You'd think that an agency devoted to new technologies would have figured out by now that the majority of colleges have switched over electronic formats in lieu of killing trees. Printing off a webpage, complete with a verifiable link, doesn't seem to be good enough.
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Isaac
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Re: Accreditation of Computer Science Degree
« Reply #13 on: May 14th, 2007, 6:17pm »
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on May 14th, 2007, 6:11pm, confused_3l wrote:
On a side note, does anyone have a clue as to why the USPTO only accepts photocopies of course catalogs in order to qualify under category B?

 
One issue is that the PTO wants course descriptions that were applicable at the time you took the class.  I don't know that schools are doing anything more than putting up the current course catalog.
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Isaac
confused_3l
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Re: Accreditation of Computer Science Degree
« Reply #14 on: May 15th, 2007, 12:59pm »
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I can't speak for other schools, but UChicago has an online archive of their course catalogs for each academic year going back to 1995. It would take the USPTO all of 15 seconds with a computer to verify this.  
 
In my case, I didn't have the forethought to keep copies of the catalogs since I worked for a few years between undergrad and law school and had to contact the school to track down paper copies.  The library had them and generously offered to make the photocopies I needed: for a $100+ "research fee", of course....
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