Sunday, February 22, 2015

Liberal Arts Training Improves STEM Majors?

Skeptics wouldn't take it seriously if we were to suggest that Leonardo da Vinci is evidence that STEM majors can benefit from liberal arts training, but how about Steve Jobs: 
When introducing the iPad 2, Jobs, who dropped out of college but continued to audit calligraphy classes, declared: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.” (Indeed, one of Apple’s scientists, Steve Perlman, was inspired to invent the QuickTime multimedia program by an episode of “Star Trek.”)
Or Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, who 
credits her degree in philosophy and medieval history in helping her be the first woman to lead a high-tech Fortune 20 corporation. “If you go into a setting and everybody thinks alike, it’s easy,” she has said. “But you will probably get the wrong answer.”
Those quotes come from this article in the Washington Post by Loretta Jackson-Hayes.  See also "V is for Victorious," a story about Bing Chen in the UPenn Arts & Sciences Magazine, Fall/Winter 2014 (page 36).

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