Ee options for CS kids

· Tieandjeans:iX

It's EE seasons at IB schools. I threw together my best, current understanding of the differences between the three main options for students searching out Computer-philic EE topics - Computer Science, Digital Societies, Literature.

I'll try to identify a central boundary between CS and DS, which I would describe as "the proof domain," one of the many reasons that I struggle to explain these ideas to 17yo. Students get hung up thinking about "is Topic_X a CS topic or DS topic." I would like to show students that ANY topic of reasonable complexity could work for ANY of the EE options. What matters is the Research question.

Pere is my first student who's completed a Digital Societies EE. His Research Question was:

How has the increased robotic automation at SEAT impacted factory workers' health, safety, and job satisfaction? #

This is a big technological change, and his EE is looking for evidence of HOW this change is ACTUALLY affecting real world situations.

The broad outline of a DS EE is:

A DS EE has a Literature Review / Works Cited section full of studies from academic journals, reports on pilot projects, or broad economic impact surveys. DS EEs are concerned with how the Digital stuff effects the Society.

A Computer Science EE is very different

In a CS EE, you identify a computationally complex sub topic, but your experiment, study and analysis never touch the real world.

You have to build a CS EE around CS, not real world, evidence.

Part of the CS EE is being able to propose a question and produce an apparatus for presenting data

In CS, there's a fulcrum between the complexity of your RQ, and the coherence/presentation of your evidence. There's a ceiling on a certain level of "textbook" canonical examples of algorithmic comparison

The key difference is that CS EEs NEVER look into the Real World for evidence. CS EEs are concerned with how COMPUTATIONAL TOOLS and techniques, and only tangentially for WHAT the computation is being USED for.

You can see a bunch of sample CS EE's at this great archive

A Digital Societies EE about Artificial Intelligence might look at the social, economic, or environmental effects. You'll look for journals aticles and studies that desribe how HUMANS are using these technologies and what outcomes researchers have measured/observed.

Writing a CS EE about AI means BUILDING an AI system.

The last option for CS-Philic students is Lit.

Imagining HOW a technology might affect humans is a LIT EE. Wanting to talk about "how will humans manage truth claims in a world filled with AI bots and deepfakes" does NOT have a CS EE answer.

There is no technique to investigate and test, no scatter plots of computation time or memory usage to show. So it's not CS

For DS, you would need to find a way to measure REAL WORLD EFFECTS of these technologies in this particular domain. When you're interested in new / upcoming / developing technologies, you're often thinking of possible / speculative effects - what will happen WHEN this technology arrives.

If you can find REAL World studies and data, it might be a DS EE.

But if not, then you can find Speculative Fiction that future and write about that.

Science / Speculative Fiction that features these technologies and how the FICTIONAL, NON-EXISTENT technology affects humans, human behavior, and human choices.

Yeah, it's not real. That's OK. Because it's not real, that makes the language that describes those technologies a LITERARY TECHNIQUE.

Which means you can get a LIT EE out of it. Lit 1 is a single text. Lit 2 is a comparison between two literary texts. Lit 3 is a comparison between NON-Literary texts.

If there's a Computer-focused idea you're interested in, I (Mr. Carle) promise that I know:

.. ABOUT that technology or idea.

I know there's a reluctance to choose a Lit EE when you're interested in technology.

But the Lit EE is the EASIEST to write because it's closest to the writing style/structure you're already familiar with.

You focus on how the author/text DEPICTS how the technology affects humans. You're evaluated on how you identify and analyze those techniques. Not (like in CS) on your detailed technical understanding and implementation of those techniques NOT (like in DS) on your collection and analysis of Real World Data about the use / implementation of those technologies.

"I like VR" #

Computer Science EE #

### Digital Societies EE

Lit #