Also this week: against free college, how insects made movie history, burning calculus in effigy, and more.
UC Davis and UC San Diego are experimenting with a new policy in which campus interview candidates for tenure-track faculty positions are asked to waive privacy and confidentiality on their personnel records going back 8-10 years. Anyone who refuses will not be considered further (no one has yet refused so far). UCD and UCSD are using this policy to prevent them from unwittingly hiring individuals who committed harassment or other bad behavior at previous employers. I was interested to read that UCSD’s new policy was adopted in response to a “false alarm” allegation of past harassment against a new hire.
Say you’re a new graduate student, and you tell “Dr. Doom” (a famous visiting speaker) about your research ideas. Dr. Doom tells you your ideas are rubbish, or words to that effect. How should you react? The answer is complicated, because it depends both on exactly why Dr. Doom thinks your idea is rubbish, and how Dr. Doom said it. Great post from Dan Bolnick, illustrated with concrete examples from his own experience. I love it because it goes way beyond vague generalities and simplistic imaginary scenarios.
Using value added models to estimate teacher effects on student…height. Which, alarmingly, are about as large as estimated teacher effects on student math and reading achievement. The point is not that teachers can’t affect student achievement (they can), but that you can’t reliably estimate those effects with the standard data and standard value added models. Had me thinking back to this old post on validating causal inference methods by asking whether they reject ridiculous causal hypotheses. (ht Marginal Revolution. Note that the link goes to an unreviewed preprint that sounds very interesting to me but that I haven’t read closely. Just passing along a summary in case any of your are interested and want to read further on your own.)
Remembering when Columbia students used to burn calculus in effigy.
Shots fired. 🙂
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but after reading this now I want someone to remake The Phantom Menace.