New B.A. in computer science proposed

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By JACKSON NOLDE/Montana State News

The Montana State University Faculty Senate heard a proposal for a new bachelor of arts program in computer science Wednesday.

This program was met with concerns over what would require the capstone to be. Dean John Paxton suggested having students develop a prototype software and do a write-up on how the concentration contributed with the student inviting a B.A. supervisor to attend.

The B.A. in computer science would involve a year of modern language courses followed with more humanity core classes. This could allow a sociologist with a computer science degree to research with Facebook. expanding the job prospects greatly with this proposed major.  More

Faculty Senate looks at B.A. in computer science

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By SARAH SNEBOLD/Montana State News

A proposal for a new bachelor of arts program in computer science was presented to the Montana State University Faculty Senate Wednesday.

This program would consist of 40 computer science credits, a minor concentration in any bachelor of arts area and an additional year of modern languages and additional humanities classes.

This differs from the current computer science option of a major in a bachelor of arts and a minor in computer science, because the minor would only require 27 credits and would not include a capstone. With this program, it was argued that the students would be more marketable.

This new program has a variety of benefits, advocates for the programs said, especially for students interested in graphic design, music, sociology and political science. A senator from the music department said computer science is the first or second most popular double major or minor option for the students in this college, therefor this program would provide, “a great overlap.” More

UM enrollment dropped on heels of rape scandal

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By TIM STOVER and MICHELLE BURGER/Montana State News

The University of Montana student population has been on the decline since the 2011-2012 academic year.

The student population was 15,669 including both undergraduate and graduate as of 2012. However, graduate student population hasn’t suffered in the same way that undergraduate population has.

The graduate student population has fluctuated about 5 percent whereas the undergraduate student population has lost almost 20 percent to date. This 20 percent loss comes from losing roughly 3,000 students from the 2011-2012 academic year to the most recently reported 2015-2016 years.

During the same time period , MSU has grown a total of 12 percent, in undergraduate population. The graduate population at MSU has stayed around a 1 percent margin within the same time period.

Why has the undergraduate program at of U of M declined so much when compared to their counterparts at MSU? More

MSU’s male-gender bias explored

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By TYLER BARTON and VIRGINIA HOLST/Montana State News

The male-to-female ratio is skewed at Montana State University – and statistically, a woman’s application is marginally more likely to be rejected than a man’s.

Historically, acceptance rates for men and women at Montana State University have paralleled each other. However, since 2009, a marked difference between the two began, largely in favor of male students.

In the 2000s, an average of 75.8 percent of men were accepted into MSU, roughly equal to the 73.6 percent of women. However, a stark contrast in acceptance rates came in 2009, with 67.3 percent of men being accepted, compared to a mere 59.3 percent of women.

The numbers in 2009 set a precedent. Every year since then, with the exception of 2014, the acceptance rates at MSU have favored males by a large margin – anywhere from 5 to 12 percent.

This could be due to a variety of factors. Kaitlin Mulhere, a writer for Time Magazine, says, “Most colleges aim to maintain as much gender parity on campus as possible, as the ratio of men to women can dramatically affect campus culture. But that also means some colleges have significantly higher acceptance rates for men than for women, or vice versa.

“At schools with a strong engineering or hard science bent, men generally apply in much larger numbers than women, for example.” More

Iranian student’s options limited by status

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By RANIA AMPNTEL CHAFINT/Montana State News

Christmas and Fourth of July are his favorite holidays. In the winter, he loves to hunt; in the summer, he loves to shoot. For Spring Break, he plans to fly to Massachusetts for a Metallica concert. Some say he holds all the qualities of a typical Montanan, but there is only one catch: He’s Iranian.

Wearing a green down jacket and a gray beanie, Arash Akbari introduced himself, “I’m 27 years old. I study mechanical engineering with a minor in physics.” In 2015, Arash moved to Bozeman, where, almost instantly after he arrived, he felt at home.

Walking inside the MSU library with Akbari  is never a short affair, as he stops to chat with people he knows. “I haven’t seen you in so long, man,” he said to his friend. “Let’s play soccer sometime.”

About 20 minutes later, after having visited with three friends, he went back to introducing himself: “I plan to study astrophysics in the future; I love astronomy,” he said with a smile. Akbari is bound to teach you about a star or two if you spend some time with him after sundown. More

Visiting prof seeks to boost diversity at MSU

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By BAY STEPHENS/Montana State News

“Growing up, I thought only Mexicans were poor,” Eric Lopez told an  University Montana State Latino Texts and Cinema class, “because I only saw poor Mexicans.” With kind eyes and a smile that melts a bad attitude, Lopez, 48, is a huggable guy, even in a suit. Though he can talk about himself and tell his own story with humor and verve, it’s easy to see that Lopez doesn’t derive his joy from self-focus. He is an encourager and a team player, of which his life and work bear the evidence.

Growing up the son of Mexican-American migrant workers, privileges such as college were not exactly expected. Lopez’ parents worked hard to put him and his brother through Catholic school, instead of the less sterling public schools. Though it was strange at some points— he jokes that he was “raised by a wild pack of Irish nuns” who taught him and his brother to say Spanish names wrong—their educators were far more tolerant of difference than in his parents’ day.

Lopez was the first in his family to go to college, not to mention get a master’s and Ph.D. in school psychology. Today he is the dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M, San Antonio, his home city. More

Teacher embraces writing to ‘freak out less’

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By CULLAN STAACK/Montana State News 

Walking the famous John Muir Trail in the fantastic Sierra Nevada mountain range, Mark Schlenz cannot help but consider the beauty of it all. “I like to write about nature and ecology and try to put things in terms that can influence people to have more positive values towards preserving stuff like this,” he says.

Schelnz’s book on the hike, “Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail” is a microcosm of his beliefs about the world as well as his life story: chill out more and freak out less.

“Chill out! Keep writing! Write more, freak out less,” Schelnz says, while laughing at the thought of telling his younger self these words of advice, albeit with a hint of seriousness. “And you know what they say, ‘what goes around comes around,’ and to know it keeps going around and it keeps coming around.”

Despite his love of beautiful nature hikes, playing a variety of string instruments, Chinese martial arts and yoga, as well as writing music and about anything that comes to his mind, Schlenz, who has a doctoral degree in English, carries an unmistakable sense of urgency and motivation. As a conscientious objector and a firm Donald Trump critic, Schelnz is driven to use his vast knowledge of writing and discourse to teach a younger generation the right way to communicate and learn from each other. More

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