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Dr. Norm Matloff: Follow-Up On Conference
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July 31, 2011, 01:42 AM
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Dr. Norm Matloff writes to his e-newsletter mailing list

Earlier I reported on a conference held on July 11 at Georgetown University on the science and engineering workforce, which included much discussion of H-1B and other foreign worker issues. One of the organizers of the conference, my UCD colleague Phil Martin, has placed some of the presentations and a summary of the conference on the WCPSEW Web page.I archive many of the posts I make to this e-newsletter, (here)  and my report on the conference is here I’m mentioning that here for two reasons:

1. I have added some new material to my report, consisting of various points that I recalled later after posting my analysis.

2. I have removed the names of agencies of participants.

As someone who has done research on security and privcacy in statistical databases, I am especially sensitive to the privacy issue. The conference operated under Chatham House Rules, meaning that one could quote what was said but not who said it. Actually, I learned later that those rules also exclude giving affiliations, which I didn’t realize at the time. I’ve thus removed affiliations from my updated e-newsletter report above; if you made a copy of my posting at the time, I’d appreciate your replacing it with the new one.

Of course, the above WCPSEW site now shows both names and affiliations of some of the speakers. Moreover, I’m aware of at least two participants who posted full lists of the speakers on their Web pages. However, I would note that there were a number of non-speaker participants at the conference as well. (All participants, speaker and non-speaker, sat around a table and listened to presentations and then discussed them.) In the case of government agencies there was typically more than one participant from a given agency, so one really can’t deduce who said the things quoted in Phil’s report or mine.

Named or not, the conference participants did include a number of people who are in very influential positions concerning H-1B and related issues. Thus Phil’s summary and mine, along with the selected presentations, give you, the reader, a rare window into just what these influential people are thinking on this topic.

Norm