Archives for November 2013

“Content Deflation” Part II: University of Chicago Felt the Heat

(Part I is here: How Competition Leads to “Content Deflation” in One Anecdote.  I suggest reading it first.) What heat? the heat of what Chicago’s President Hugo F. Sonnenschein (in 1998), called “…the commodification and marketing of higher education…” He went on to say “…we can’t jolly dance along and not pay attention to them. One […]

How Competition Leads to “Content Deflation” in One Anecdote

In A Tale Out of School – A Case Study in Higher Education, I describe how, after pressuring me to change a course I was teaching, the Chairman of the Mathematics Department explained that the Math Department “…just wrested [a course] from [engineering]…and we don’t want to have to give up [this course]…” (For those who haven’t read A Tale Out […]

A Tale Out of School Update

I will be updating the story A Tale Out of School – A Case Study in Higher Education. Since the updates are so brief, I will post them here.  There are two news items, plus a couple of additional documents.  (The documents have already been posted.) (1) 6 of the 153 engineering students that started […]

Gina Kolata’s New York Times Article Gives Helpful Insight for Flawed Cholesterol Calculator

Gina Kolata wrote again today about the cholesterol calculator that exaggerates “…the true risk of a heart attack or stroke by an average of 100 percent…” This article gives more insight into the statistical/mathematical problems:  “…Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a medical professor at Dartmouth [says] the calculator, like many others used in medicine, is […]

The Economist Cover Story “How Science Goes Wrong” and NY Times “Risk Calculator for Cholesterol Appears Flawed”; Connected?

Both of these stories focus on what could be a failure of professionals to understand and utilize quantitative data and methods.  In the case of the cholesterol test, I have no way of knowing exactly how the failure occured.  But I am worried that it is symptomatic of our problems in higher education.  I posted […]

The Chonicle of Higher Education Headlines: The STEM Crisis: Reality or Myth? But…

Doesn’t it depend on whether you mean too many STEM grads or too many grads with STEM education.  The article talks about an Ohio State grad having trouble finding a job but I find that it may be that Ohio State students are having trouble finding an education.  I don’t know for sure but here is […]

More on The Atlantic’s Article on Teaching Math

(The article is here ) There were some interesting replies to my comment on the article.  I am posting my response to this one because it might be informative for some readers of this blog.  It states my view, and probably the view of many others, of two of the problems facing professors now.  The […]

Excellent Explanation of How to Teach Math in The Atlantic – But…

…as I commented on the site, where do we get the teachers?  (The article, which I recommend is at “I am a former math professor. I totally agree with the author about how math can best be learned.  There is a gigantic hurdle: where do we get the people (teachers) who themselves were taught […]

Compare “Feeder Schools”: Another Addendum to the Previous Post

Just posted a reply to Mel Murphy, who wrote, “Read your article. Having kids in the college selection mode, and having received mailings and invitations from WUSTL as well as other “prestigious” institutions, I am most appreciative and find it eye-opening. Caveat emptor, indeed” I think the following is useful advice for anyone looking at schools. “Maybe, […]