ArchiveNovember 2014

“Get me off your fucking email list” academic paper finds publisher

Annoying, I was just about to publish a paper on the same topic: The original paper (selection above) was written by David Mazières and Eddie Kohler and is entitled “Get me off your f—–g mailing list.” It is available here. After receiving a spam email from the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology, Dr. Peter Vamplew of Federation University Australia’s School of Engineering and...

So can we stop talking about STEM? Please? Pretty please?

From Business Week: But scholars say there’s a problem with that argument: The tech worker shortage doesn’t actually exist. “There’s no evidence of any way, shape, or form that there’s a shortage in the conventional sense,” says Hal Salzman, a professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University. “They may not be able to find them at the price they want. But I’m not sure that qualifies...

Worst college majors: don’t study art history or the Bible

While I am skeptical of using the Payscale data to judge individual institutions, benchmarking majors across schools is much less problematic. The list fits with what you might suspect about a) the cognitive abilities of students in these majors and b) what these majors might earn in the marketplace.

Eyewitness testimonies, like student-self reports, are useless

Of all the tools at an investigator’s disposal — DNA analysis, forensic evidence, witness testimony — by far the least reliable are the recollections of witnesses, studies suggest. More often than not, they raise more questions than they answer and sometimes produce deeply flawed cases. “Surveys show that large proportions of people, at least in the United States, think that human memory works...

Peter Thiel: higher ed is a dysfunctional tournament

This tournament is obviously bad for the losers, who end up shut out of a self-satisfied “meritocratic” elite. But it’s bad for the winners, too, because it trains them to compete on old career tracks such as management consulting and investment banking instead of doing something new. And it’s worst of all for society at large because our economy stagnates when its leaders jockey to collect rents...

Thanks for ruining a cool feminist moment for us, bullies.

Sadly, the brouhaha over Taylor’s shirt overshadowed not only his accomplishments but also those of his female teammates, including one of the project’s lead researchers, Kathrin Allweg of the University of Bern in Switzerland. More spotlight on Allweg, Grady, Alexander and the other remarkable women of the Rosetta project would have been a true inspiration to girls thinking of a career in...

One measure of student selection effects : $2,000 flights to Guam

Big changes are coming to the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT, in 2015. Starting next spring, the MCAT will be overhauled for the first time since 1991. The revised exam will add sections on the social and behavioral sciences as well as more critical analysis and reasoning. The new, more “holistic” test is expected to take six and a half hours, as compared with its current...

Quants bring social justice to Durham

 Yet if it sounds as if Durham might have become a harbinger of Ferguson, Mo. — where the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer led to weeks of protests this summer — things took a very different turn. Rather than relying on demonstrations to force change, a coalition of ministers, lawyers and community and political activists turned instead to numbers. They used...

The god of skeptics

Great article on the Amazing Randi in the NY Times. I can’t believe he is still going strong at 86. After Wang left the stage, Randi, who is 86, told me he was glad it was all over. For almost 60 years, he has been offering up a cash reward to anyone who could demonstrate scientific evidence of paranormal activity, and no one had ever received a single penny. But he hates to see them lose...

About me

Stephen

Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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