Brian Dean, Associate Professor of Computer Science, brought some of the smartest high school students in the United States to the Social Media Listening Center for a visit.
Our Olympians suffered through this fat old professor pontificating on how social media presents opportunities for computer science - to not only make a few bucks BUT also to extend understanding of the human condition.
The Olympians weathered a rapid fire discussion of how tools like Radian6 enabled analysts to glean meaning from big social data, listened as I rambled on about issues tied to aggregating data across multiple APIs, and feigned interest when I explained what real-time analytics means for business.
Then, I did the demo - and the Olympians really did get excited. For some reason - the kids really dig cows - maybe more than the US computing olympiad? - we built a search that included terms ranging from moo to bessie to where's the beef... cows ... cows ... and more cows ... I am still trying to figure that one out :) ...
The Olympians left happily chatting about social its connection to computer science. I was left feeling optimistic about the future of computing in the United States. Those kids are smart!
Later in the week, the Olympians used data pulled from that Radian6 API to visualize their own conversation cloud around computing - check it out!