by James Bailey |

It was a little jarring to see multiple recent articles about "STEM" in the context of college majors. STEM is a K-12 thing, but apparently we have no other way to say "not the liberal arts." And we really, really want to say "not the liberal arts."

STEM remains a good term to describe the algebra and number science subjects that high school students have little use for, but are required to take. Placing subjects like deep learning in this STEM context, however, requires a stretch. The "T" in STEM stands for technology and computers are technology so the articles drill in there. Computer science includes software as well as hardware, and deep learning requires algorithms implemented in software, so if we go down three levels, we can say deep learning is STEM. And yet we keep far less fundamental subjects like algebra (the Latin of the 21st century) up at the top level. They define STEM; subjects like deep learning just get shoehorned in. It does seem odd.

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