Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

Eternal data storage

A team of scientists from the University of Southampton have built a nanostructured glass device able to store 360 terabytes of data (approximately equivalent to the full-text of 5 billion books) for billions of years. The technology uses a femtosecond laser to write files on three layers of nanostructured dots on a quartz coin-sized disc. “As a very stable and safe form of portable memory, the technology could be highly useful for organizations with big archives, such as national archives, museums, and libraries to preserve their information and records.”

“Eternal 5D Data Storage Could Record the History of Humankind,” University of Southampton, February 18, 2016, (retrieved November 9, 2016).

High school graduation rate

The national graduation rate for public high school students rose to a new high of 83.2 percent in 2014–15. Graduation rates increased for all reported groups of students, including all racial and ethnic subgroups, low-income students, English learners, and students with disabilities. However, graduation rate gaps persist among the racial and ethnic subgroups.

“Public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR), by race/ethnicity and selected demographics for the United States, the 50 states, and the District of Columbia: School year 2014–15,” Common Core of Data, National Center for Education Statistics, (retrieved November 6, 2016).

Living arrangements of adults

“Nationally in 2015, 34.1 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds in households lived in their parents’ home. At the state level, New Jersey had the highest percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds in households living in their parents’ home (46.9 percent). Connecticut (41.6 percent) and New York (40.6 percent), which did not differ statistically from each other, had the next highest percentages. North Dakota had the lowest percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds in households living in their parents’ home (14.1 percent) followed by the District of Columbia (16.6 percent).”

“New 2015 American Community Survey Statistics Available,” United States Census Bureau, September 15, 2016, (retrieved November 6, 2016).

College student debt

“More than half (51 percent) of admissions directors at public universities said they believe they are losing applicants due to concerns about debt. And 87 percent of those in private higher education feel this way. At a time when average debt for a four-year degree is close to $30,000, a substantial minority of private college admissions directors think it is reasonable to expect students to borrow more than that. But there is a gap between public and private institutions. Asked a reasonable amount to borrow for a four-year degree, 35 percent of private college admissions directors gave figures of $30,000 and up, and 14 percent gave figures of $40,000 and up. In contrast, only 7 percent in public higher education viewed levels over $30,000 as reasonable, and no one in public higher education viewed $40,000 and up as reasonable.”

Scott Jaschik, “Pressure to Build the Class: 2016 Survey of Admissions Directors,” Inside Higher Ed, September 22, 2016, (retrieved November 9, 2016).

Google search volume

There are now more than 2 trillion searches per year (at a minimum) via Google. That works out to a minimum of 63,000 searches per second. In 1999, there were 1 billion searches per year.

Danny Sullivan, “Google now handles at least 2 trillion searches per year,” Search Engine Land, May 24, 2016, (retrieved November 9, 2016).

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