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U.S. Students Dominate in Computer Science, Study Says

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joyful students standing with U.S. flag

When it comes to computer science skills, U.S. students approaching graduation have a significant advantage over their peers at universities in other major economic and political powers.

That's the conclusion of "Computer Science Skills Across China, India, Russia, and the United States," a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The study was put together by a global team of researchers led by Prashant Loyalka, an assistant professor at Stanford University. The team constructed a careful sampling mechanism to select senior (typically fourth year) computer science or equivalent students in each of the four countries, making sure that both the educational institutions and students enrolled at those schools were statistically representative of schools and computer science students throughout the respective nations.

Once the students were selected, the researchers then administered the Major Field Test in Computer Science, an exam that was developed by the U.S. Educational Testing Service and is regularly updated. The exam was translated for the students in China and Russia.

When the researchers tabulated the results, the U.S. students came out ahead in every category. U.S. seniors outperformed their peers overall; students from elite U.S. schools outclassed their counterparts at the other countries' elite institutions; and the same was true for students at non-elite universities.  (The differences among the scores of students in China, India, and Russia were not statistically significant, the researchers indicated.)

From IEEE Spectrum
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