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In the midst of a protracted economic crisis, coupled with persistent and outsized trade deficits, there has been a growing sense of insecurity about the ability of the United States to compete in the global economy. The answer, according to many policy analysts, is supporting and reinvigorating the U.S. strength in "Breakthrough" innovation. Economic recovery, it is argued, will come from the types of innovation that delivered the Internet, the microchip, flat screen TVs, the iPod/Phone/Tablet, and more. To enhance its breakthrough innovation capability, many a policy report and social commentator argue, the United States needs to improve the level of math and science skills of its population.
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