Who I Am, and Why the New Blog

Hi, Norm Matloff here.  I’m a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, and formerly was a statistics professor at that university, but I also write about social issues.  As the saying goes, “My life is an open book”–you can read the details of my background in my online bio.

I’ve written op-eds for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Bloomberg View, CNN and so on.  Bloomberg gathers together its op-eds grouped by author; click here to see mine, and thus get an idea of my interests and views.  When there is a topic of national interest on which I know important aspects that are not getting reported, I like to speak out.  On the other end of the pen,  I have been quoted by virtually every major news outlet, both electronic and print.  I tend to be an iconoclast.

In this blog, my topics will often fall into one of these categories:

  • The tech industry labor market, especially regarding the H-1B work visa and age discrimination (starting at age 35!).
  • STEM education issues.
  • University admissions policies, particularly related to diversity.
  • China–culture, politics, language, relations with the U.S.
  • Economics.

People have been urging me to write blogs for years, but I resisted until a few months ago, when I began a blog called Mad (Data) Scientist, on statistics and the R programming language.  That seems to be working out, so it’s high time to start one on social issues.

My first post will be on the recent influx of children from South America into the U.S. without authorization.  Sadly, the kids’ parents have been deceived into thinking that U.S. policy allows them to stay. You will be surprised to find that this incident is something of an echo of events that took place more than 20 years ago.  Stay tuned for details!

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21 thoughts on “Who I Am, and Why the New Blog

  1. Hi Norm!

    Good luck with your new Blog!

    I have always found your comments and observations interesting and informative with an even tone.

    In past discussions I have noticed that you calmly talk about social issues the national news media often ignores and your opinions give fair consideration of others viewpoints.

    Sign me up for your Blog because I am ready to read it! How do I register for RSS feeds of your Blog to be sent to my personal email?

    Regards, Steve
    Cincinnati, OH

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  2. Great news!
    We look forward to reading this and will make sure to get others to do so.
    Terry and Mickey
    Complex Numbers

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  3. I’d forgotten about this amnesty. Thanks for reminding us. I’ve also read recently that Hillary Clinton came out for quickly repatriating these “children” (lots of adults among them) because she remembers the effect the Mariel boatlift had on Bill’s election in 1981. He lost, the only lost election in his career.

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    • Good point.

      In my post, I mentioned that during 1993-1996 there was a major political will to tighten up on immigration. I would add that a number of the politicians who were anxious to restrict immigration then are now very much in favor of an expansive policy.

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  4. Like to hear your views on “fast track trade (deficit) promotion authority”, TPP and how this relates to global labor arbitrage generally, H-1B included.

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  5. One area for blog-frastructural improvement, however: It Would Be Nice One area for blog-frastructural improvement, however: It Would Be Nice if one could either

    * preview one’s replies before committing
    * edit one’s replies after committing

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  6. As someone who has worked in hi tech, I find his articles refreshingly honest. I have a friend who was a QA professional making $80,000 per year, who was replaced by 2 H1B Visa workers at $40,000 each. (And he had to train them.) I witnessed, first hand, a 1st year college student write usable software code in 3 days. Zero Americans were hired for programming jobs over 4 years at one company, and I’m told the pattern has continued for years after, while these H1B Visa employees were required to work 6 to 7 days per week. Americans were frozen out of interviews, and the system was partly gamed by requiring a graduate degree, though most were simply doing vanilla programming (C++, Visual Basic, ISAPI, etc.).

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