Category Archives: College

Endowment $ per student

Source: Morss Global Finance website, Jan 2016

Above the Senior Wrangler – Phillipa Fawcett

Source: Mike Dash history website, Oct 2011

June 7, 1890, when—for the first and only time—a woman ranked first in the mathematical examinations held at the University of Cambridge. It was the day that Philippa Fawcett placed “above the Senior Wrangler.”

The most serious candidates invariably hired tutors and worked more or less round the clock for months. The historian Alex Craik notes that C.T. Simpson, who ranked as Second Wrangler in 1841, topped off his efforts by studying for 20 hours a day in the week before the exams and “almost broke down from over-exertion…

G.F. Browne, the secretary of the Cambridge exam board, was also concerned—because he feared that the women entered in the 1890 math exams might be so far below par that they would disgrace themselves. He worried that one might even place last, a position known at Cambridge as “the Wooden Spoon.” Late on the evening of June 6, the day before the results were to be announced, Browne received a visit from the senior examiner, W. Rouse Ball, who confided that he had come to discuss “an unforeseen situation” concerning the women’s rankings. Notes Siklos, citing Browne’s own account:

After a moment’s thought, I said: ‘Do you mean one of them is the Wooden Spoon?’

‘No, it’s the other end!’

‘Then you will have to say, when you read out the women’s list, “Above the Senior Wrangler”; and you won’t get beyond the word ‘above.’ “

By morning, word that something extraordinary was about to occur had electrified Cambridge. Newnham students made their way to the Senate House en masse, and Fawcett’s elderly grandfather drove a horse-drawn buggy 60 miles from the Suffolk coast with her cousins Marion and Christina. Marion reported what happened next:

It was a most exciting scene in the Senate… Christina and I got seats in the gallery and grandpapa remained below. The gallery was crowded with girls and a few men, and the floor of the building was thronged with undergraduates as tightly packed as they could be. The lists were read out from the gallery and we heard splendidly. All the men’s names were read first, the Senior Wrangler [G.T. Bennett of St John’s College] was much cheered.

At last the man who had been reading shouted “Women.”… A fearfully agitating moment for Philippa it must have been…. He signalled with his hand for the men to keep quiet, but had to wait some time. At last he read Philippa’s name, and announced that she was “above the Senior Wrangler.”

Pandemonium.

The male undergraduates responded to the announcement with loud cheers and repeated calls to “Read Miss Fawcett’s name again.” Back at the college, “all the bells and gongs which could be found were rung,” there was an impromptu feast, bonfires were lit on the field hockey pitch, and Philippa was carried shoulder-high into the main hall—”with characteristic calmness,” Siklos notes, “marking herself  ‘in’ on the board” as she swayed past. The men’s reaction was generous, particularly considering that when Cambridge voted against allowing women to become members of the university in 1921, the undergraduates of the day celebrated by battering down Newnham’s college gates.

The triumph was international news for days afterwards, the New York Times running a full column, headlined “Miss Fawcett’s honor: the kind of girl this lady Senior Wrangler is.” It soon emerged that Fawcett had scored 13 percent more points than had Bennett, the leading male, and a friendly examiner confided that “she was ahead on all the papers but two … her place had no element of accident in it.”

The Bright Future for College Graduates

Source: ZeroHedge, May 2017

East Asian Advantage for SAT Testing

Source: Inside Higher Ed, Jan 2012

A new study has found that East Asian American students (those whose families come from China, Japan or Korea) are significantly more likely than other Asian Americans and members of all other racial or ethnic groups to take SAT preparation courses, and to benefit from such extra coaching.

The new study focuses on racial and ethnic groups, rather than the student population as a whole, given concerns of many over racial gaps in the average scores.

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Succeeding by Traditional Metrics to Enter Harvad

Source: NYTimes, Dec 2016

“I would like my kids to find their passion, take risks and be curious, engaged, educated people,” said Joshua Henkin, the director of the graduate program in fiction writing at Brooklyn College and a 1987 graduate of Harvard. “Elite schools discourage kids from being that; they want them to build résumés, to build careers, to be cautious. The kinds of people who go to Harvard tend to be people who succeed by traditional metrics, and that continues after Harvard. I’d like my kids not to be so beholden to those metrics.”

Teaching Lies to University Students

Source: C2C Journal, Dec 2016
<read the source article, which is full of insights>

the psychology of belief. Partly religious belief, and ideology as a sub-category of religious belief. One of Jung’s propositions was that whatever a person values most highly is their god. If people think they are atheistic, it means is they are unconscious of their gods. In a sophisticated religious system, there is a positive and negative polarity. Ideologies simplify that polarity and, in doing so, demonize and oversimplify.

… particularly interested in what led people to commit atrocities in service of their belief. The motto of the Holocaust Museum in Washington is “we must never forget.” I’ve learned that you cannot remember what you don’t understand.

There have been lots of cases where free speech has come under attack, why did you choose this particular issue?

This is very compelled speech. The Supreme Court in the United States has held that compelled speech is unacceptable for two reasons. One is to protect the rights of the speaker, the other is to protect the rights of the listener. The listener has the right to be informed and instructed without being unduly influenced by hidden sources. If your speech is compelled, it isn’t YOU who is talking, it’s some other entity that’s compelling your speech. So I actually think that Bill C-16 is unconstitutional. I’m using American case law, but the principles apply. It just hasn’t been pushed to our Supreme Court yet.

Solzhenitsyn demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that the horrors [of the Soviet system] were a logical consequence of the doctrines embedded within Marxist thinking. I think Dostoyevsky saw what was coming and Nietzsche wrote about it extensively in the 1880s, laying out the propositions that are encapsulated in Marxist doctrine, and warning that millions of people would die in the 20th century because of it.

Social constructionism is the doctrine that all human roles are socially constructed. They’re detached from the underlying biology and from the underlying objective world.

Are you suggesting they’ve altered the rule of law as we traditionally understand it?

They have. They say ‘what you said hurt my feelings’ – and this is part of the assault on the objective world – your intent is irrelevant. My subjective response is the determining factor.

This stuff is not easy to understand. You might ask, ‘why can’t you just call people what they want to be called?’ Well, when someone questions your use of pronouns, it puts you on the spot. You don’t know why you use the pronouns you use. You use them because everyone else uses them – it’s a social convention. Then someone else says ‘it’s a mark of respect to use a pronoun, and it’s a mark of respect to use the pronoun of someone’s choice’. Those are large-scale philosophical assaults. If you’re not prepared for them, all you can do is stumble around, and your default is going to be ‘well, maybe we should be nice’.

So maybe some of them voted for it because they don’t understand the philosophical issues and just didn’t want to offend anybody?

That’s why I’m trying to take these arguments apart. First of all, “he” and “she” are not marks of respect. They’re the most casual terms possible. If I refer to someone as “he” or I refer to someone as “she,” it’s not a mark of respect, its just categorization of the most simple and obvious kind. There’s not anything about it that’s individual, or characteristic of respect. Second, you have no right to demand from me that I do anything with regards to you that’s respectful. The best you can hope for from me is sceptical neutrality and courageous trust. That’s it. That’s what you get from me.

The best you can hope for from me is sceptical neutrality and courageous trust. That’s it. That’s what you get from me.

Could you define those two terms?

Skeptical neutrality is ‘you’re a bucket of snakes, just like me. However, if you’re willing to abide by your word, and I’m willing to abide by my word, then we’re able to engage in mutually beneficial interactions, so that’s what we’re going to do’. The reason I said courageous trust is to distinguish it from naiveté.

Naive people think that everybody’s good. That’s false, everybody’s not good. But acting in a manner that’s hostile and sceptical and anti-social is completely counter-productive. So what you do if you’re a mature person is you say ‘well, yeah, you’ve got a dark side, so do I. That doesn’t mean we can’t engage in productive interactions’.

We do that by sticking to our damned word. Honesty simplifies us to the point where we can engage in mutually beneficial interactions. But you certainly don’t get my respect by demanding it. You have no right whatsoever to ask me to mark you out as special in any way whatsoever.

So we shouldn’t call someone ‘your majesty’ just because they ask for it?

Well that’s another problem that’s lurking under the subjectivity argument, once you divorce identity from an objective underpinning. These people [advocates for multiple gender identities and laws to protect them] claim that identity is a social construct, but even though that’s their fundamental philosophical claim, and they’ve built it into the law, they don’t abide by those principles. Instead, they go right to subjectivity. They say that your identity is nothing more than your subjective feeling of what you are. Well, that’s also a staggeringly impoverished idea of what constitutes identity. It’s like the claim of an egocentric two-year old, and I mean that technically. Your identity isn’t just how you feel about yourself. It’s also how you think about yourself, it’s what you know about yourself, it’s your educated judgement about yourself. It’s negotiated with other people if you’re even vaguely civilized because otherwise no one can stand you.

I think that what I did was make the general concrete and specific, and drew a line. Now the price you pay for drawing a line – especially with the politically correct material – is that you’re going to get tarred and feathered for bigotry. The social justice people are always on the side of compassion and ‘victim’s rights,’ so objecting to anything they do makes you instantly a perpetrator. There’s no place you can stand without being vilified, and that’s why it keeps creeping forward.

Bill Gates Skipped His Harvard Classes

Source: Business Insider, Mar 2016

One Redditor asked Gates what his fondest memory was from Harvard. Interestingly, Gates explained that he never actually attended a single class he signed up for, but “almost always” received A’s anyways.

I decided that I would be different and never attend any class I was signed up for, but always attend a class I wasn’t signed up for,” Gates said in his AMA. “This worked out in a funny way when the final exam for a Combinatorics class (which I signed up for) was given at the same table as my Brain studies class (which I attended and did not sign up for).

“My friends from Brain studies thought it was very strange that I sat on the wrong side of the table and took the Combinatorics exam even when I was the most vocal student in the Brain class,” he added.

As for how he managed to maintain his grade point average while attending completely different classes, Gates said he simply “studied super hard” during Harvard’s reading period, the time when students prepare for their exams.

Of course, it didn’t always go smoothly.

“The big exception was organic chemistry where the promised video tapes of the lectures sometimes had no sound or no video,” Gates said on Reddit. “That spooked me and I ended up getting a C+ in the course!”