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March 02, 2015

"19 Things Every Academic Will Immediately Relate To"

#11: "We wish to thank Reviewer 2 for their critical feedback & sincerely apologize for not having written the manuscript they would have written."

Yes, I can relate.

February 24, 2015

"Same Performance, Better Grades"

"Academic achievement hasn't improved much, so why are college-goers getting higher GPAs than ever before?"

Clearly, the author needs to visit Lake Wobegon: all the students today are above average.

(More seriously, I'd speculate that a substantial part of the problem comes from poorly designed student evaluations of professors, which weren't around when I was a student.)

February 23, 2015

"The Time Everyone 'Corrected' the World’s Smartest Woman"

The short version of an amazing stain on the American professoriate.

(I think it's a terrific example to use in stat classes. There's even at least one entire book about it.)

February 16, 2015

"A small act of revenge against schools that didnt interview me"


February 03, 2015

"17 things I wish they taught in college"

Simply fabulous. I recommend the whole thing, but here are five of the ones I liked best:

An introduction to brevity: Student turns in an essay, professor deletes every other word and shows them how much better it sounds. . . . 

Things you were taught but should quickly forget: A group of business owners tells students what theories their business professors taught that are theoretical nonsense and should be disregarded as soon as possible. . . .

Statistics for real people: Regardless of major. And practical statistics, with real-world problems that you'd actually encounter and can solve with a calculator or Excel. . . .

An examination of the easiest ways to ruin your life: Course has three parts: debt, diet, and exercise. . . . 

Understanding compound interest 101: Students are given one homework assignment on the first day, two on the next day, four on the next, then eight, 16, 32. Once someone points out how absurd this is the professor says, "Yes, it's completely absurd. Now go invest your money."

"College basketball’s one-and-done rule must be done with immediately"

John Feinstein argues for a change that would help reduce the terrible "student-athlete" scandals in college basketball.

January 29, 2015

"Comedians on The College Experience"

For anybody who studied a foreign language in American schools, I recommend Tom Parks's bit. It describes my experience exactly.

January 27, 2015

"How do I become a data scientist?"

Seems like a useful set of recommendations.

January 26, 2015

"The Unappreciated Success Of Charter Schools"

Excellent short piece by economist Adam Ozimek on what the average obscures about charter school performance. (Link via Marginal Revolution.)

"The Real-Life Teachers of Spare Parts on What’s Wrong With US Schools"

I liked about half of this argument and disliked half. The part I liked:

WIRED: How did you come up with the idea of building complex robots at a school where kids need basic math and writing help?

Lajvardi: The kids were bored. That has far reaching implications. They dropped out or learned little because they weren’t finding anything interesting at school.

Cameron: Most kids think school is a lot of work, you get yelled at, it’s regimented. What Fredi and I did with the robotics club wasn’t school. We were just doing something that was a lot of fun.

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