Tenured Professor Confused By Negative Cube Roots?

I received this comment on a previous post.  I thought it important enough to make it a post. “I routinely deal with college-level mathematics faculty that often have serious trouble with simple high-school mathematics. For example. I once had to explain that the domain of a cube root function is all reals and the faculty […]

Nationwide Test Shows Dip in Students’ Math Abilities (NY Times)  I Say,  It’s Not Going to Stop Until It’s Stopped

Education officials said the decline in scores was unexpected, but could be related to changes ushered in by the Common Core standards. Source: Nationwide Test Shows Dip in Students’ Math Abilities – The New York Times I commented as follows. The major reason for poor math performance is clear to me. It’s due to unscrupulous […]

What Was Intro PolSci Like in 1972 at U. of Houston?

U of H was mainly a commuter school back then.  I was working full time and took courses.  Two semesters of political science were required.  From my perspective, the first semester was fairly easy.  The second wasn’t so easy.  Keep that in mind.   Here are the required readings and a few of the assignments.  (The first page is there […]

Are You a College With a “Low-Performing” or “At-Risk” Teacher Preparation Program? Want a Grant For Programs with “High-Quality Teacher” Programs? No Problem.

I’m reading about the new proposed Federal Teacher Preparation Rules.  (They look ok to me, so far.)  In any case, I came across this.  It is reminiscent of the program I wrote about here. (See Note below.) “…a teacher preparation program must provide high-quality teacher preparation in order to be eligible to award TEACH Grants. […]

Research Indicates Even Top Departments Calling A No-Go For a PhD, a Guess What? A PhD!

Here is a link to the paper.  (I will make my point after quoting from the paper.) JEP (28,3) p. 205 – The Research Productivity of New PhDs in Economics: The Surprisingly High Non-success of the Successful. Here is an important conclusion quoted from the paper. “…At the majority of the departments ranked in the top […]

Teaching Effectiveness is NEGATIVELY Associated With Student Evaluations

That is a partial quote from an important new paper by Philip B. Stark and Richard Freishtat.  Here is a more complete version of the quote. These experiments found that teaching effectiveness, as measured by subsequent performance and career success, is negatively associated with [student evaluations]. (from page 12) This paper is important – especially for parents […]

Regional State School Stories – Some Brief Thoughts About How Did This Happen

(These thoughts have to be brief because (a) I’m here again, and, (b) the Hex hatch is on! ) Speaking of fly fishing, my next post will be about the connection between fly fishing and the fact that you can’t count on professors to change the system.  Now for the thoughts. First, a not very deep […]

Prof. Teaches Stats But Doesn’t Seem to Have a Clue About the Most Fundamental Notion

(At a regional public university) This is from a “teacher evalaution” (of me) by a tenured professor who regularly taught statistics. First, here is a little background about the class.  (Math now, then I will try to explain non-mathematically.)  I was talking to the class about the sample mean.  The previous day, I had showed them that […]

Ralph Had Trouble With Continuity – But Why?

Ralph was another full professor (and Chair of the Dept for a while).  He seemed reasonable and intelligent in any dealing I had with him.  But here is what I was told (by a reliable source) about his background. (All of this was related to me by a colleague who had worked with Ralph for […]