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Wednesday, March 15, 2006
That’s Familiar
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 11:05 am

Sadly, I do have student who fret about which font takes up more space or who spend more time worrying about margins and such rather than just writing the darn paper.

Filed under: General, Academia | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
A Paper Writing Tip
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:24 pm

If one is going to write a BS research paper, pick a topic that isn’t something that your professor studies for a living.

Just a little tip from me to whomever might need it.

Filed under: General, Academia | Comments (4) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Thursday, March 2, 2006
Attack of the Sea Sponge
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:31 pm

Fun with spell-check typos: Solo’s Errant Spell-Check Causes ‘Sea Sponge’ Invasion.

This reminds me of two spell-check related errors from school, which I have mentioned before (I think-too lazy to look): the student who turned in a paper on Federalist #10 wherein everywhere the word “factions” should have been, he has substituted “fascists” and the student of James Joyner’s who turned in a paper entitled: “Federalism: the Sensual Choice” (instead of “Sensible”).

Then, of course, there are just plain ol’ non-spell-check typos.

Filed under: Academia | Comments (3) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Congrats
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 3:22 pm

Congratulations to Jacob T. Levy for his new position at McGill University.

Given that I still get a steady stream of people searching for information on Jacob’s tenure situation at Chicago, I figure that there are folks out there interested in this news.

h/t: Chris Lawrence.

Filed under: Academia | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Another Tip
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:08 pm

It would probably be wise to read the readings before answering the take-home exam questions.

Again, just a little tip.

Filed under: Academia | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
A Little Tip for the Students Out There
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:06 pm

If you are ever writing an essay or answering a take-home test and the object of your reponse has “Saint” as his honorific, then it might be wise to mention God at least once in your response. It might just be relevant.

Just a little tip.

Filed under: General, Academia | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Friday, February 24, 2006
Love for Larry
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 4:27 pm

Via the LAT: Students Hail Harvard President

If Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers was worried about how the undergraduates would greet him Wednesday night at his first scheduled event since announcing his resignation, those fears quickly were put to rest.

He got a standing ovation after he walked in. He got a standing ovation before he left. A row of students with red letters painted on their chests spelled out “Larry.”

On one level: how nice; on another: it’s just plain odd that students at any school would care that much about their school’s President. That’s the stuff of tv commericals, John Madden commentary and Seinfeld episodes…

So, run Larry! Escape while you can!

In all seriousness, I remember that the Chancellor (I think that was his title, rather than President) of the University of California, Irvine (my undergraduate institution) was Jack Peltason. I suppose I remember that because he was a political scientist by trade and co-authored some American Government text books.

I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the President (indeed, I think it was Presidents) during my time at the University of Texas (although the name “Cunningham” seems right).

Although, one of my dissertation co-supervisors was named Larry….

Filed under: Academia | Comments (2) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Crud: The NSA is Watching Me
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:31 am

Via the Reuters: Americans work more, seem to accomplish less.

What? The article isn’tabout my book…?

Filed under: Academia | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Summers to Leave Harvard Presidency
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 1:30 pm

Via Reuters: Summers to quit as Harvard president:

Two people familiar with the situation told the newspaper that the former U.S. Treasury secretary was expected to announce his resignation in advance of a second faculty vote on a motion of no confidence in his leadership on February 28.

Summers, whose abrupt style has won praise and contempt since he became president in 2001, sparked controversy last year when he said innate differences between men and women may help explain why so few women work in the academic sciences.

I really can’t say if this is a good thing or a bad thing for Harvard (I will say that I thought the whole “women in science” business was overblown). I will confess to a certain soft spot in my faculty-biased heart at the notion of that the facultry at Harvard having the ultimate say over the direction of the school and of the top slot of the university.

Andrew Seal points to the official word on the subject.

Filed under: Academia | Comments (3) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
The Joys of Compare and Contrast Essays
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 1:07 pm

A study in the fine art of the compare and contrast essay.

It is, sadly, strangely familiar.

h/t: the bow-tie and tweed guy.

Filed under: Academia | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Lunchbreak Quizzness II
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:36 pm

The question on everyone’s mind: Are You Normal?

My Normalcy Quotient is: 56 out of 100.

This makes me a Wonderful Eccentric:

You’ve earned the title of wonderful eccentric, and while you’re not a wild, gun slinging maverick, you certainly like to follow your own way. Of course, you probably don’t think of yourself as eccentric. As Einstein might say, “It’s all relative.”

I certainly rarely think of myself as “normal”…

(And I am sure that my Political Theory class thought I wasn’t normal when I tossed everyone out who didn’t have the readings for class yesterday…)

h/t: The Quirky Jan Cooper

Filed under: Blogging, Academia | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Monday, February 20, 2006
Zot!
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 11:09 am

UCI to Celebrate National Engineers Week

(Ok, not very exciting, but my undergrad alma mater is so rarely in the news that I thought I would go ahead and post this)

Filed under: Academia | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Friday, February 17, 2006
In Honor of Richard Cohen
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:36 pm

And to continue the ‘toon theme:


For the lowdown on Cohen’s WaPo piece today, surf over to OTB.

Filed under: Academia | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Saturday, February 11, 2006
One of My Favorite Quotes
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:29 pm

The prior post, and specifically the stuff I linked to from Althouse, made me think of my favorite moment from Black Adder, the second series:

Blackadder (to Baldrick): […] Try to have a thought of your own, Baldrick, thinking is so important. What do you think?

Baldrick (his servant): I think thinking is so important my Lord.

The whole dialog is here.

Filed under: Pop Culture, Academia | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Thursday, February 9, 2006
Answer: Probably Not
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:19 pm

The question (via the CSM): Can Bush make America more competitive in math and science?

I can’t deny that we aren’t as well educated as we could be, or perhaps as we should be, but there is a certain amount of crying wolf here, it would seem. The idea that we are falling behind in math and science is hardly a new one. Indeed, the article notes this:

Americans have heard the warnings for decades: The nation is in danger of falling behind other technological powerhouses in the world, posing a threat to its way of life. In the 1950s, it was the Soviet Union; in the 1980s, Japan. Now the big competitors are India and China.

Perhaps we have finally hit that place where the clarion call is correct, but I have my doubts.

I also have my doubts that the solution is federal funds, and if it is that the amount of money in question will make that much of a difference.

The main issue, it would seem, is the “want to” of students to study math in particular. It isn’t that we lack math teacher, programs or professors (as the funding-as-solution thesis goes), but a question of people wanting those degrees (the story notes the decline of math BAs in particular since the early 1970s).

Of course, I must confess to serious skepticism when it comes to the notion that the Presidency can be used to effectively micro-manage issues such as math and science education.

Filed under: US Politics, Academia | Comments (3) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
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