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Old 27 January 2019, 17:03
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The Technical Education Gap- Chickens are Roosting

The US has placed itself in a precarious position due to the fact that our children refuse to get technical educations (not a new topic). Much of the fundamental and applied research being done to address US national security gaps is done by foreigners, specifically Chinese nationals, and this has created a security predicament in America.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you view this) export controls in this country are about to become much more stringent and complex (as if they werenít already). Last year the 2018 NDAA had some new language in it addressing export controls and doing business/ collaborations with foreign nationals and entities. It is hitting my organization hard. In a nutshell, many new technologies are being flagged for additional controls and vetting before being introduced into the wild. Technologies that were in the past pretty straightforward to share/ export are now going to require export licenses. The Act has also placed stricter controls on financial partnerships/ transactions with organizations that may have a foreign interest/ nexus.

We are struggling to get our arms around this here at my Lab. As one would guess, most of the focus of this new legislation is based around preventing Chinese nationals from working on some of our most critical technologies to protect both economic competitiveness and security. This has the potential to shut down some of our most important R&D activities if we cannot secure export licenses for some of our heavy hitters and we suspect many will not be approved. We also know that these skill sets are almost impossible to find among the US citizenry, certainly in the volume we need.

So is this the right move at the right time? Or are we shooting ourselves in the foot and hamstringing our ability to quickly field new technologies? Iím a bit conflicted here because we know that this stuff is getting loose but will measures such as these wind up preventing us from leading in some of our critical areas?

I told my son the other day- do your math, there are starving Chinese kids out there.
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Old 27 January 2019, 17:23
DirtyDog0311 DirtyDog0311 is offline
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"B-but having dual citizenship is literally no security risk at all, you fucking bigot!" ---- certain Socnetters to me, in another thread.

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We are struggling to get our arms around this here at my Lab. As one would guess, most of the focus of this new legislation is based around preventing Chinese nationals from working on some of our most critical technologies to protect both economic competitiveness and security. This has the potential to shut down some of our most important R&D activities if we cannot secure export licenses for some of our heavy hitters and we suspect many will not be approved. We also know that these skill sets are almost impossible to find among the US citizenry, certainly in the volume we need.
But seriously, I see no problem with this move to prevent Chinese nationals from working on US-based critical tech. A temporary slow-roll is much better than having our tech outright stolen, as the ChiComs ALWAYS do. That's simply not worth the risk. Especially since, once addressed, any tech gap would be quickly filled.

As the IT world has proven -- if you pay well enough, the kids with 'the right stuff' will get the appropriate degrees/skills to meet the demand. Maybe if industry/etc would stop being a bunch of greedy fucking shysters and actually pay people what they're worth (and not spend that money lobbying Congress so they can commit H1B abuses) we wouldn't be in this predicament.

Just my off-the-cuff opinion, maybe there's something I'm missing that prevents this.
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Old 27 January 2019, 19:57
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The US has placed itself in a precarious position due to the fact that our children refuse to get technical educations (not a new topic).
For this discussion, would recommend people interested review the data here to get a baseline and peruse it for a while:

https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2018/nsb20181/figures

Data is interesting and while US Citizens are still in the majority (with Whites/Asians as the two leading groups in graduate programs), there is a clear increase in foreign nationals who in numbers are only second to the white demographic. Doctoral programs are where the gaps look the starkest.

Now, a factor to review would be how many ultimately wind up as US citizens through naturalization. For many, this is the cleanest and most legal path to naturalization into the United States - student visa, get a job after an American education, have the company sponsor a green card and US citizenship. The vast majority just get absorbed into the STEM job market where if anyone is half competent, a job is available. Not all areas pose the same risks to national security, either. Outside of the major recessions, jobs have been plentiful.

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So is this the right move at the right time?
Yes - it forces the hands of Universities to manage some risk at their level. The risk can be managed in a few different ways in terms of access, knowledge, compartmentalization, etc. There will be areas where we lose out in the short run, but it makes the gap clear and by seeing it more transparently, resources can be allocated to address it. It also challenges the Academic halo effect - many undergrads from smaller/lesser known schools apply but don't get in due to perceived pedigree and volume of competition when potential exists. Lastly, the focus on research needs to be balanced with teaching in graduate programs.

From a gap perspective - the biggest push needs to be enrolling more kids in STEM programs from US Highschools for undergraduate degrees which feed the pipeline for graduate programs. I'm hopeful that some of this will also be self-correcting in that with more decentralized technologies such as 3d printing and the maker movement with kids being more hands-on with tech, takes a lot of the fear away and creates a balanced sense of fun which was sorely missing in the last three decades of STEM education mostly focused on the book/theoretical side. Hands-on education making science/engineering enjoyable for tinkers is immensely valuable.

On our recent recruiting we're seeing a lot of creative undergrads. This isn't all too different than military training pipelines. Numbers and quality going through various boot camps have downstream effects. High school, undergrad, and graduate coaching and mentorship is where the adults have failed. This isn't all on children refusing to get a technical, or broadly sound liberal arts/science education (physics, chemistry, biology, etc. are still LAS).

I've had the opportunity to see this phenomenon through different lenses - as the son of an immigrant engineer who naturalized and voted Reagan, seen others perfectly assimilate in a similar manner without any negative fanfare; undergrad/grad engineering from some decent schools for myself; civil service in the DoD labs, and as a hiring manager looking for talent the last fifteen years. IMO, life doesn't ascribe to politically dogmatic views. We need both good students, educators, and mentors/coaches across the board for competitive national capabilities.

My 2 cents, YMMV.

Last edited by smp52; 27 January 2019 at 20:02.
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Old 27 January 2019, 23:13
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Yes - it forces the hands of Universities to manage some risk at their level. The risk can be managed in a few different ways in terms of access, knowledge, compartmentalization, etc.
I agree, Universities donít do export controls well because they apply the Fundamental Research Exclusion too generously. Many Universities believe that they literally cannot create EC information/ technology because of this. Of course that is not true and has recently landed at least one professor in the slammer.

My particular Lab is in the DOE national lab complex and even we struggle to understand where our research falls. We have a fairly robust EC program (we have a fairly experienced lawyer running the program and treat it as sensitive unclassified same as FOUO and PII) but we are preparing to double our EC staff and elevate our EC leadís position to management.

And per DDís comment- DOE is now cracking down on duel-citizens and adding additional vetting. Even Canadian/ American ones.

This is clearly an America-first policy spearheaded by President Trump but many of these new controls have been in the works going back to Obama.

Someone mentioned this years ago (maybe KidA?) but we have done a wonderful job in America at making STEM seem incredibly nerdy and useless and have done great at foisting up nonsense as something to aspire to. We are now reaping the rewards of that culture.

As an aside, if folks know anyone in this field looking for work, let me know as I am the hiring manager for this group. I will be posting those positions in the Jobs Forum.
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Old 28 January 2019, 18:22
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As an aside, for many inner city/ghetto schools, the counselors and teachers promote a liberal studies future for the high school student with an emphasis on social work, sociology, black studies, women's studies, latino studies etc. with the end goal of the college grad working for the government in some mediocre job and being well indoctrinated in the liberal mindset.

The closest they come to STEM is sociology (it ends in logy so it must be a science )

Where's Jaime Escalante when you need him?
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Old 28 January 2019, 20:57
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Montgomery schools suck and we have a couple car manufacturing plants in Alabama so they push the kids who actually want to learn to the STEM, Magnet, schools.
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Old 28 January 2019, 21:52
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IMO our tech should have been locked down 20 years ago, corporate as well as govt. Savvy folks could see China coming then.. of course, I, like most humans, have excellent hindsight.
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Old 28 January 2019, 22:20
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I believe some of the fault in also in the education system. They look for the international students for the funds. They also look at the out of state students for specialty degrees. At one time it was harder for an in state student to get in the Marine Biology program at Auburn than out of state enrolls.
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Old 28 January 2019, 22:23
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Why study when one can get gov't money to breed, to house, to eat, get disability and not work?
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Old 28 January 2019, 23:01
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You can get pell grants for school and all kinds of gobment funding for day care and food if yous in skool. Nobody said you had to use it after you graddate. There was a girl at Troy making more money from government programs than most graduates make two or three years after graduation. Four kids, different daddies and danced down near Dothan at night for extra cash.
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Old 29 January 2019, 01:08
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Why study when one can get gov't money to breed, to house, to eat, get disability and not work?
My Mom teaches at an inner city school. From the stories she's told me - this, verbatim, is the sentiment of several generations of kids.
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Old 29 January 2019, 01:24
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My Mom teaches at an inner city school. From the stories she's told me - this, verbatim, is the sentiment of several generations of kids.
Wish I could remember which documentary I saw this in. When asked why they weren't working, multiple folks in subsidized housing said in effect, I don't have time for a job, I have kids to take care of. With no sarcasm apparent in the delivery.
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Old 29 January 2019, 12:58
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The US has placed itself in a precarious position due to the fact that our children refuse to get technical educations (not a new topic). Much of the fundamental and applied research being done to address US national security gaps is done by foreigners, specifically Chinese nationals, and this has created a security predicament in America.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you view this) export controls in this country are about to become much more stringent and complex (as if they werenít already). Last year the 2018 NDAA had some new language in it addressing export controls and doing business/ collaborations with foreign nationals and entities. It is hitting my organization hard. In a nutshell, many new technologies are being flagged for additional controls and vetting before being introduced into the wild. Technologies that were in the past pretty straightforward to share/ export are now going to require export licenses. The Act has also placed stricter controls on financial partnerships/ transactions with organizations that may have a foreign interest/ nexus.

We are struggling to get our arms around this here at my Lab. As one would guess, most of the focus of this new legislation is based around preventing Chinese nationals from working on some of our most critical technologies to protect both economic competitiveness and security. This has the potential to shut down some of our most important R&D activities if we cannot secure export licenses for some of our heavy hitters and we suspect many will not be approved. We also know that these skill sets are almost impossible to find among the US citizenry, certainly in the volume we need.

So is this the right move at the right time? Or are we shooting ourselves in the foot and hamstringing our ability to quickly field new technologies? Iím a bit conflicted here because we know that this stuff is getting loose but will measures such as these wind up preventing us from leading in some of our critical areas?

I told my son the other day- do your math, there are starving Chinese kids out there.
Interesting topic DC.

About 2 years ago the ADF published a post of mine that covered off on the tectonic shift in total R&D from .MIL to .COM COTS:

https://www.cove.org.au/trenchline/article-the-v-twin-effect/

Itís amazing to think that proportional R&D between .MIL & .COM is like a big ďXĒ.

Post WWII approx 90% of total R&D was .MIL(easier to control access).

1989 .MIL & .COM hit rough parity

Today itís reversed with .COM approx 90%, and a lot of that .COM R&D having dual use potential.

Do you see export controls as a growing means of stemming the tide of dual use COTS to potential future adversaries?


I remember the Toshiba precision milling machine scandal in 1987.

https://www.upi.com/Archives/1987/07/20/Toshiba-apologizes-to-nation-for-sale-of-submarine-technology/8735553752000/

This reportedly allowed Soviet submarines to make a giant leap forward in noise reduction.

I canít imagune how much harder it must be to control export of bits instead of massive amounts of Toshiba precision milling machine atoms.
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Old 29 January 2019, 14:08
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Do you see export controls as a growing means of stemming the tide of dual use COTS to potential future adversaries?
Dept. of Commerce has an EC regime around dual-use. But commerce controls and other regulations always lag behind the times, sometimes by decades. It's even worse now with the lightning fast speed of innovation. So as of 2018 a lot of our best dual-use technologies were not subject to export controls. All of these wonderful dual-use technologies were free to go anywhere as long as stuff wasn't ITAR or encryption technologies until Commerce got around to controlling them, which was usually too late. The new regs are designed to stem that flow and be more agile. The critical tech list is now scheduled to be reviewed every 6 months.

Initial affected sectors include biotech, computing, artificial intelligence, positioning and navigation, data analytics, additive manufacturing, robotics, brain-machine interface, advanced materials, and surveillance.

Last edited by DC; 29 January 2019 at 14:19.
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Old 29 January 2019, 19:30
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Stop training our enemies, start treating education as a national defense asset(STEM, not 27 gender money vacuuming)

Make these educational bureaucrat enclaves choose between that sweet .gov handout money, and dealing with the endemic cheating, entitlement, and general shitholer attitudes of (overwhelmingly Asian) foreign students.

They're OUR schools, and OUR infrastructure; start being possessive, fuck the foreigners. Everyone is in conflict with everyone else, for everything, all the time.

Oh well, so Omni Consumer Products won't have limitless $20/hr slave coder labor. So what, the tech they develop, they might actually be able to keep. Since the souless globalist CEO's can't be trusted to act in America's interest(since they're rootless sociopaths) take the choice away from them. This is what government is legitimately for, not trying to overturn and subvert the will of the citizens.

And if they think that actual legitimate R&D will work great in India or China, let them try. There's a lot of businesses coming back to the first world all the time with their tails between their legs when they find out just how little loyalty and consideration their money buys. S/F....Ken M
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Old 29 January 2019, 20:27
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Let's not forget that other countries are tightening their technology exports. Namely China, Russia, India, Brazil, etc.


The advantage they have over us, IMO, is a robust STEM program for their students. Primitive, yes; but effective.
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Old 29 January 2019, 20:42
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Well, like the Great Leap forward, 1,000,000 little coal fired steel mills don't mean shit towards developing a 20M ton/yr steel program. A bunch of entry level STEM does them little good if the West stops educating their grad students and using US taxpayer money to fund THEIR researchers who just happen to be employed at US universities national labs, etc.

There's very little (ie basically none) original cutting edge R&D outside the US and Western Europe. 4000 yrs of selecting for conformity does that.

We shouldn't be trying to control what they do, we need to fix "us." And the first part of that is pounding home the point that "they" aren't "us", don't want to be "us" and never will be "us." They just want our stuff. S/F....Ken M
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Old 30 January 2019, 19:37
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Originally Posted by DC View Post
I agree, Universities don’t do export controls well because they apply the Fundamental Research Exclusion too generously. Many Universities believe that they literally cannot create EC information/ technology because of this. Of course that is not true and has recently landed at least one professor in the slammer.
IMO, the cold war made things easier back in the day to sort risk out; not so much through the 90s/00s. In some ways we are returning to a semi-cold war state with China, which isn't a bad thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Flagg View Post
About 2 years ago the ADF published a post of mine that covered off on the tectonic shift in total R&D from .MIL to .COM COTS:
https://www.cove.org.au/trenchline/a...v-twin-effect/
The NSF link has more data supporting your article.
https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2018/nsb20181/figures

Again, IMO post-cold war we've been bipolar about R&D. The pendulum swings between hopeless idealist positions of "only the govt should do R&D" to "outsource it all" as created too many starts and stops. We've got a national Jekyll and Hyde complex. Basic and Applied Research can move in spectrums, but between throwing too much money at it too fast vs. completely stopping research we're left in no man's land. A key area - Nuclear power. We're still operating old tech, didn't invest in inherently better/safer tech, and others were picking up the ball. That's lose-lose, especially with the future electrical demand driven by digitization cars, homes, etc.


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Originally Posted by Tracy View Post
The advantage they have over us, IMO, is a robust STEM program for their students. Primitive, yes; but effective.
Agreed - especially where it counts and ROI is high such as...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC
Initial affected sectors include biotech, computing, artificial intelligence, positioning and navigation, data analytics, additive manufacturing, robotics, brain-machine interface, advanced materials, and surveillance.
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Originally Posted by EchoFiveMike View Post
There's very little (ie basically none) original cutting edge R&D outside the US and Western Europe.
This may be true for basic research as its the deeper science (physics for example), but not on applied research and engineering. China's OODA loop from steal or idea, test, fail, build, learn is pretty fast. There are two major vectors of breakthroughs - one is the deeper science with the eureka moments, the other is information/technology brokerage by putting disparate pieces together creating novelty and doing it fast (Edison, Boyds snow mobile). The later is where we've slowed down.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/6...ilicon-valley/

Now, I'm still optimistic about the long run because the same tech that we unleashed upon the world through the internet and telecommunications that is giving others advantages, ironically, the reverse may happen with the additive/digital manufacturing business and other aspects of the next wave of tech which will drive decentralization - it shakes a core of China's export-oriented market. Why import when build/supply/design on demand is at your local fingertips?
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Old 30 January 2019, 20:25
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Originally Posted by DC View Post
Dept. of Commerce has an EC regime around dual-use. But commerce controls and other regulations always lag behind the times, sometimes by decades. It's even worse now with the lightning fast speed of innovation. So as of 2018 a lot of our best dual-use technologies were not subject to export controls. All of these wonderful dual-use technologies were free to go anywhere as long as stuff wasn't ITAR or encryption technologies until Commerce got around to controlling them, which was usually too late. The new regs are designed to stem that flow and be more agile. The critical tech list is now scheduled to be reviewed every 6 months.

Initial affected sectors include biotech, computing, artificial intelligence, positioning and navigation, data analytics, additive manufacturing, robotics, brain-machine interface, advanced materials, and surveillance.
Cheers for that.

This is a head scratcher of a problem, that's for sure.

Velocity of change/innovation...hard to keep up.
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Old 30 January 2019, 20:27
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The NSF link has more data supporting your article.
https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2018/nsb20181/figures

Again, IMO post-cold war we've been bipolar about R&D. The pendulum swings between hopeless idealist positions of "only the govt should do R&D" to "outsource it all" as created too many starts and stops. We've got a national Jekyll and Hyde complex. Basic and Applied Research can move in spectrums, but between throwing too much money at it too fast vs. completely stopping research we're left in no man's land. A key area - Nuclear power. We're still operating old tech, didn't invest in inherently better/safer tech, and others were picking up the ball. That's lose-lose, especially with the future electrical demand driven by digitization cars, homes, etc.
Cheers for that!
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