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    « A short blogging break, back on Oct 15 | Main | A few tips and satellite imagery allows the curious to see bin Laden mock-up »
    Tuesday
    Oct092012

    Are Spatial Skills one of the under valued skills of a data center engineer?

    Designing a data center is a skill that you don't go to school for and learn from a book.  Book learning works for math, science, english and of course reading. So, what kind of skill is needed to design a data center.  One of the challenges is trade-off of getting things just right to reduce or eliminate the single point of failures.  Operations and maintenance costs are not hidden surprises.

    Here is an article on Spatial Intelligence to get you thinking of whether spatial skills are a different skill set to look for in a data center engineer.

    The last two paragraphs explain the value of engineers.

    I think we often don’t realize that engineers have invented so many things that we take for granted in our everyday lives. Consider this. The device you are reading this article from right now was invented by engineers who utilized their phenomenal spatial talents. There are many kids today who are spatially talented who have the potential to create amazing things that can improve our lives and society.  We need to learn to value these beautiful minds.

    We need to identify them.  We need to provide a tailored education for them.  And we need to place the tools in their hands so that they can help invent our future.

    A specific example the author uses is how two of the brightest kids were not found by established testing standards.

    Over 90 years ago, Lewis Terman attempted to identify the brightest kids in California. There were two young boys who took Terman’s test but who did not make the cutoff to be included in this study for geniuses. These boys were William Shockley and Luis Alvarez, who both went on to study physics, earn PhDs, and win the Nobel Prize. Why did they miss the cut? One explanation is that the Stanford-Binet, the test Terman used, simply did not include a spatial test.

    Considering the current push for STEM education and our need for more STEM innovators, shouldn’t we be trying to find these talented minds who have a spatial rather than a verbal or mathematical bent?

    Just because someone is good with words, numbers and going by the book doesn't make them the brightest.

    But what about that kid who is a mechanical genius; who can take apart and put back together just about anything; who is like Robert Downey Jr.’s character in Iron Man, but who really has little interest in words or numbers? Is there a place for this talented kid in our school system? Do we value the talent of this individual as much as the talents of students who can write compelling essays, who can solve complex equations, and who can read great works of literature?

    Robert Downey Jr. from Iron Man


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