Reminder and Notice

When I first posted A Tale Out of School, along with the highly revealing emails from administrators and others, it got a lot of hits. I’m posting this “reminder and notice” for new visitors who may not be aware of the article  and want to read it – or even read just the accompanying emails. I think […]

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 […]

Time Magazine Writes That Americans Have Feelings About Online Education?

Unfortunately, “feelings” is probably the right word.  Here is a link. Here is my view which I put in my comment. “Let’s see. Jon Meacham recently wrote, “…barely half [of college graduates] knew that the U.S. Constitution ­establishes the separation of powers. Forty-­three percent failed to identify John Roberts as Chief Justice; 62% didn’t […]

How Much Do Universities and Administrators Really Care About Education? New Article on Higher Ed

I believe that this article is the most enlightening addition that I can make to the debate on higher education.  I hope all of you have time to read it. Here is the link to the page with the article It is also on the top menu. Here is a direct link to the paper ATaleOutofSchool

Need for Math to Study Econ – Excellent Description – But…

The post, , in The Atlantic gives a careful description of how much math is needed in econimics, except for one flaw.  The authors conflate “course” with “content”.  I discussed that in my comment, which I copied below.  Still, I think it is an excellent and enlightening article. ” I am a math professor who […]

Worried they “just don’t get it”

Before I post a link to the most recent instant of this, an explanation is justified.  Here is my worry.  Too many newspapers, radio shows, tv commentators talk about a college “degree”.  When someone points out that not all degrees represent an education, I worry that the authors, etc… think, “Everyone knows that not all […]

Two sides to the “online course coin”

There is an article in today’s Wall Street Journal titled “Web Courses Woo Professors: Online Firm Opens Way for More Educators to Create Their Own Internet Classes” I commented about my worries after reading these two paragraphs that I think show both sides of the coin.  First, the good side, “I think that what […]

How does your course compare?

Let’s say you are taking a course in Calculus (or Differential Equations, or whatever) and you want to know if it is up to snuff.  I suggest that students go to the MIT OCW (OpenCourseWare) site ( and look up the same course there.  You can find the course description, homework problems, old exams and a list of […]