has just launched PhilPapers
, a directory of nearly 200,000 online papers in philosophy. This is a jawdropping and amazing resource for philosophical research. For evidence of the scope of this project and the care that has been given to it, see the taxonomy of philosophy
that was developed for the site.
posted by painquale
on Jan 28, 2009 -
A math professor
was explaining a particularly complicated calculus concept to his class when a frustrated pre-med student interrupts him. "Why do we have to learn this stuff?" the pre-med blurts out. The professor pauses, and answers matter-of-factly: "Because math saves lives." "How?" demanded the student. "How on Earth does calculus save lives?" "Because," replied the professor, "it keeps certain people out of medical school."
posted by cthuljew
on Nov 9, 2008 -
Bioculture critiques Cultural Critique Until literature departments take into account that humans are not just cultural or textual phenomena but something more complex, English and related disciplines will continue to be the laughingstock of the academic world that they have been for years because of their obscurantist dogmatism and their coddled and preening pseudo-radicalism. Until they listen to searching criticism of their doctrine, rather than dismissing it as the language of the devil, literature will continue to be betrayed in academe, and academic literary departments will continue to lose students and to isolate themselves from the intellectual advances of our time.
posted by jason's_planet
on Apr 7, 2008 -
is a pioneer in virtual reality
, a computer science professor
, a Disney Imagineer
, an innovative teacher
, and the co-founder of the best video game school in the world
. One year ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and after a long and difficult fight he's been given just a few more months to live
. This week he gave his powerful, funny, and life-affirming last lecture
to a packed auditorium at Carnegie Mellon University, entitled "How to Live Your Childhood Dreams". The WSJ's summary
, and a direct link to the complete video of the lecture
(2 hours, and unfortunately streaming WMV). Warning: hilarious jokes about dying.
posted by xthlc
on Sep 20, 2007 -
Silence in class.
"University professors denounced for anti-Americanism; schoolteachers suspended for their politics; students encouraged to report on their tutors. Are US campuses in the grip of a witch-hunt of progressives, or is academic life just too liberal?" From today's Guardian.
posted by jokeefe
on Apr 4, 2006 -
Camille Paglia: WHAT went wrong at Harvard?
"Over the past 40 years, there has been a radical expansion of administrative bureaucracies on American college campuses that has distorted the budget and turned education toward consumerism, a checkbook alliance with parents who are being bled dry by grotesquely exorbitant tuitions."
posted by semmi
on Mar 6, 2006 -
"Virtual Virus Sheds Light on Real-Life Behavior."
A researcher at Tufts University's Center for the Modelling of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Nina Fefferman,
is studying the behavior of World Of Warcraft players during the recent plague that broke out in Ironforge (discussed on Metafilter here
But Dr. Fefferman is not the first academic to study MMORPGs seriously. Edward Castronova
, an economist, arguably pioneered the field with his 2001 paper Virtual Worlds
, in which he argues that the economy in Everquest produced a GNP per capita somewhere between that of Russia and Bulgaria. (He has followed up that paper with many more
on similar subjects.)
posted by dersins
on Oct 5, 2005 -
Bloggers Need Not Apply
A pseudonymous faculty member, writing at the Chronicle of Higher Ed. website, says that when faculty search committees do their jobs--that is, when they look for new hires--they may well find candidates who blog automatically suspect. This is true even if the blogger/applicant has never mentioned any details about his or her workplace or fellow employees, employer or students online. It doesn't mean the candidate won't! It doesn't matter if the committee just found the blog via Google either.
posted by raysmj
on Jul 8, 2005 -
MIT students pull prank on conference.
"In a victory for pranksters at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a bunch of computer-generated gibberish masquerading as an academic paper has been accepted at a scientific conference." The paper's title? "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy."
posted by adrober
on Apr 14, 2005 -
, "a literary organ", is a new group blog devoted to literary studies and modelled on little magazines gone by.
posted by kenko
on Mar 31, 2005 -
A followup on the Ward Churchill controversy by fellow CU professor Paul Campos
alleges that in addition to research fraud
and plagiarism, Churchill is guilty of "bullying his way into academia" by fabricating the story of his Cherokee heritage--an idea corroborated by AIM
, who called him a "wannabee" Indian, and by IndianCountry.com
, which also questions Churchill's qualifications for chairing the Ethnic Studies program at CU.
Churchill's prior education began at the
now-defunct experimental Sangamon State University
which solicited educators with ads in Rolling Stone
. In his climb to tenure at CU, did Churchill's supposed Native American heritage & activism play a more important role than his academic record? Not long ago, CU was noted for its lopsided rules of dissent
Does the environment at CU embody Cass Sunstein’s "law of group polarization"
, ie, "when like-minded people deliberate as an organized group, the general opinion shifts toward extreme versions of their common beliefs"?
posted by jenleigh
on Feb 9, 2005 -
Hypothesis as thought-crime
...Now, however, a new brouhaha has erupted [at Harvard]and it seems impossible that Summers [the president]will emerge from this one without serious erosion of his moral authority. The trigger was a statement he made at a conference, suggesting that the reason there are more men than women in the mathematical sciences at top-flight institutions has to do with a small statistical difference in inate ability, which becomes a pretty large disparity when one looks at the 'high end' of the respective distribution curves...
The fatal words did not set forth his main theme, but merely constituted a brief aside, thoroughly hedged and qualified. Nonetheless, they touched off a firestorm of indignation, the most striking aspect of which was the intemperate response of a number of feminist scientists, who offered no counter-arguments, but simply declared the whole idea misogynistic and therefore forbidden intellectual territory.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 31, 2005 -
Laura L. Callahan was very proud of her Ph.D... and she never let her employees at the Labor Department, where she served as deputy chief information officer, forget it.To get her Ph.D., Callahan merely had to thumb through a workbook and take an open-book exam. The whole correspondence course-which includes instruction on business ethics-takes about five hours to complete. A 2,000-word paper (shorter than this article) counts as a dissertation.
posted by trharlan
on Jan 11, 2005 -
Rate My Professor!
A searchable database of student ratings of their college professors. In what must be a wonderful reflection of the current status of the American and Canadian higher education systems, the ratings include entries for how easy the professor is and, of course, how hot they are. So click around, visit your alma mater, and let that jerk who almost flunked you in freshman comp feel your wrath!
posted by robocop is bleeding
on Nov 22, 2004 -
' "Oh, you're going to the MLA?
What a riot. They're a bunch of sitting ducks." I hadn't been planning to shoot at them, I said'.
Lewis Kraus attends the 119th Annual MLA Conference, and asks what it means to be an English professor after the 'crisis of the humanities'.
posted by Sonny Jim
on Aug 23, 2004 -
HR 3077 - "unprecedented federally mandated intrusion into the content and conduct of university-based area studies programmes."
"There is a great deal at stake for American higher education and academic freedom. If HR 3077 becomes law - the Senate will review the bill next - it will create a board that monitors how closely universities reflect government policy. Since the legislation assumes that any flaw lies 'with the experts, not the policy', the government could be given the power to introduce politically sympathetic voices into the academic mainstream and to reshape the boundaries of academic inquiry. Institutional resistance would presumably be punished by the withdrawal of funds, which would be extremely damaging to Middle East centres especially."
you didn't have reason to call your congressperson tomorrow? you do now. frightening.
via the excellent openbrackets.com
posted by specialk420
on Apr 16, 2004 -
Anatoly Fomenko is one of a number of Russian academics advancing revisionist chronologies
which portray a greatly foreshortened view
of European history. He argues that mediaeval and classical histories as we know them today were fabricated in Renaissance times. In his book
'History: Fiction or Science
', he 'proves' that Jesus Christ was born in 1053 and crucified in 1086, and that the Old Testament refers to mediaeval events... Fomenko's theories have been debunked
, but his ideas have nevertheless gained some currency
in Russia: among his supporters is the former chess champion Garry Kasparov
. Of course, Fomenko is by no means the first
mathematician to grapple with the subject of chronology: indeed, any history must be founded in part on a calculus of dates... Are there any parallels, I wonder, between the spread of theories like Fomenko's and the renewed prevalence of Biblical chronologies
in the US, for example: is there some kind of psychological solace in perceiving history on a smaller scale than current academic orthodoxy allows? (more inside)
posted by misteraitch
on Mar 2, 2004 -
Affirmative Action Texas Style
Typically, anywhere from 1,650 to more than 2,000 A&M applicants a year receive legacy points, so called because they reward the grandchildren, children or siblings of A&M graduates. Such applicants receive 4 points on a 100-point scale that also takes into account such factors as class rank, test scores, extracurricular activities, community service and others.
Most A&M applicants admitted with legacy points don't need them to get in. But in 2003, 312 whites were admitted who wouldn't have been without their alumni ties. In 2002, that figure was 321.
The legacy program was the difference for six blacks and 27 Hispanics in 2003, and three blacks and 25 Hispanics in 2002.
I expect we will hear from the White House any day now about how wrong this is.
posted by nofundy
on Jan 6, 2004 -
Bad Writing = Good Writing?
The academic journal Philosophy and Literature used to hold a "Bad Writing Contest" to ridicule dense, unreadable academic prose... but a new book argues headache inducing sentences are necessary to express subtle theoretical points.
posted by gregb1007
on Oct 30, 2003 -