Friedman's "World Is Flat" Praises Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech Preparing Students for Global Reality of 21st Century
Posted April 18, 2006 | Atlanta
Thomas L. Friedman, renowned best-selling author and New York Times columnist, showcases Georgia Tech in the re-release of his most recent book, The World Is Flat, originally published in 2005. He has updated and expanded content with more than 100 pages of new reports and commentary, featuring Georgia Tech's approach to education in the 21st century in the chapter, "The Right Stuff."
"What the Georgia Tech model recognizes is that the world is increasingly going to be operating off the flat-world platform, with its tools for all kinds of horizontal collaboration," writes Friedman.
In The World Is Flat, Friedman demystifies the new flat world that technology, communication and increasing globalization are creating. In the chapter "The Right Stuff," Friedman extensively quotes Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough and describes how Tech has worked over the last 10 years to attract and retain more students with more wide-ranging interests such as music and film, with the thought that these students are more flexible and able to adapt and work across disciplines.
According to Friedman, "very few presidents of premier technology universities boast about their tubas as much as their test tubes. But Clough has reason to boast, because my guess is that by making Georgia Tech sing-and by making other user-friendly additions to the undergraduate teaching system, and by making education overseas easily available for Georgia Tech students - he is producing not just more engineers, but the right kind of engineers."
"Tom Friedman understands like few others how the world is changing around us and how important technologically savvy graduates have become to our nation. Georgia Tech shares his conviction and appreciates the validation he has given to our efforts to create an educational experience that prepares our students for success in an era that demands flexibility, creativity, experimentation, and teamwork across traditional boundaries," says Clough.
Friedman continues his observations, sharing conversations with Rich DeMillo, dean of the College of Computing, and Merrick Furst, associate dean of the College of Computing. Friedman highlights the College of Computing's re-design of the computer science major called Threads. The new curriculum features nine 'threads' which combine computing with another field such as media, information, or people, to produce graduates with broader knowledge and experiences than the traditional fixed set of computer science skills.
Friedman has won the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work at The New York Times, where he serves as the foreign affairs columnist. He is the author of three previous books, all of them best-sellers: From Beirut to Jerusalem, winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction; The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization; and Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11. In 2005, The World Is Flat was given the first Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, and Friedman was named one of America's Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report.