On Jan. 31, The Daily Toreador's editorial board was made aware by a Texas Tech faculty member of an instance of plagiarism.
Columnist Ty McDonald took direct statements, ideas and content from "Plagiarism and intellectual loot," a post on Christiaan Briggs' Weblog located at http://last-straw.net for two of his articles: "A new way to think about thoughts" and "Plagiarism is not a sin."
I was amused by the opening of the June/July 2007 Scientific American Mind article "Seeing the Person in the Patient" by Siri Schubert:
On a Sunday morning in 1963 Theodore Millon woke up in a Pennsylvania hospital. He was in bed at a psychiatric ward shared by 30 patients. One of them thought he was Jesus Christ, another believed he was the pope, and a third claimed he was a corporate CEO who had been hospitalized by mistake. Millon began to fret. "I am wearing a hospital gown like all the other patients," he thought. "Am I really a professor of psychology? Or did I just imagine that?"
Apprehensive, he went to the nurses' station and called the head of the hospital. His anxiety finally eased when the director confirmed that he was, in fact, a clinical psychology professor at Lehigh University and chair of the board of trustees at Allentown State Hospital who was voluntarily spending the weekend in the psychiatric ward....
Q: You built a world-class mathematics department from scratch at the University of Warwick when it was founded in the 1960s. How?
A: I wrote to the six best topologists in the world asking them to join me. They all said no. So I wrote again saying the other five had agreed, and all replied to say yes.
From a Chronicle of Higher Education (May 11, 2007) article by Karin Fischer:
James E. McGreevey, the former New Jersey governor who resigned in a scandal over his affair with one of his staff members, is teaching ethics and leadership at Kean University.
Mr. McGreevey was hired as an "executive in residence" in November, although his appointment was not made public immediately. He earns $17,500 a year for the part-time job teaching at the public university's graduate business school.
Mr. McGreevey, who left office, and his wife, after admitting to the affair with a man he had appointed as homeland-security adviser, is also helping to broker a deal to allow Kean to open a campus in China. By being employed by a public university, he continues to earn credits for years of government service in the state pension system....
Women have become the majority of college students, but this hasn't resulted in a more female-friendly environment, at least socially. Via Chronicle of Higher Education, I found the Commonweal column "Role Reversals" by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead:
In the wake of last spring’s sex scandal involving the Duke University men’s lacrosse team, a Rolling Stone reporter named Janet Reitman went to Durham to interview current students. She returned with a revealing portrait of social life at Duke, and particularly of what it is like to be a female student at the school that ranks eighth on the latest U.S. News and World Report list of the nation’s top universities.
The women she met were hard-working superachievers. They had impressive GPAs, letters in sports, double majors, and high career ambitions. Almost to a one, they were fit, attractive, and stylish. They stood out as the very model of the independent-minded young woman of the twenty-first century. Yet in their social lives, Reitman discovered, they were abjectly dependent on winning the approval of the male students at Duke. This required going to bashes organized by men, matching them drink for drink, hooking up for sex and acting out men’s pornographic fantasies at theme parties like “Dress to Get Lei’d” and “Sex and Execs.” Moreover, these elite women couldn’t think of anything that might be wrong with this kind of behavior. To them, it was just the normal way that men and women socialized....
As recently as the early 1960s, there was a familiar gender divide on coed college campuses. Men dominated the classroom. They outnumbered women, were taught by male professors, and enjoyed the privileges of male sponsorship in their academic pursuits and future careers. Women dominated campus social life. They set and enforced the rules for dating and parties. They organized the rites and rituals of coed socializing-including such now-arcane courtship rituals as pinning ceremonies, formal dances, and male serenades-where men were obliged to defer to women’s fantasies and desires....
The Duke coeds don’t see their social condition as a form of servility, but they do experience it as a source of perplexity. On the one hand, they believe that their generation of women has achieved sexual equality. To them, that means that girls can get hammered and have sex with as much freedom and abandon as the guys. They’ve been taught that this represents progress from the old double standard and from the burden of female modesty. On the other hand, they don’t always feel good about themselves. Their participation in the booze-drenched party culture, they admit, is at odds with their own sense of dignity and self-worth. One Duke woman, who confessed to having sex with a popular guy in order not to lose him, said wistfully: “I have done things that are completely inconsistent with the type of person I am, and what I value.”
(Reading the full column requires free registration.)
I've been sheltered from these environments. I was a student at MIT, where the focus was on studying and there were few enough women (especially in computer science) that we didn't have to go out of our way to attract men. I'm a professor at Mills, a women's college, which has different social problems.
The song "I'd Rather Hear Lohengrin" was popular in Mills College's past. "Lohengrin" refers to the Bridal Chorus (better known as The Wedding March) in Wagner's opera.
I'd rather hear Lohengrin,
Than work my way through college.
I'd rather hear Lohengrin,
Than gather all this knowledge.
I'd rather walk down the aisle
In a fluffy, fluffy veil,
And wait there for his smile,
Than study to no avail.
History gets in my hair,
Econ is over my head,
Spring is in the air,
And I'd much rather be wed.
I'd rather hear Lohengrin
Than study all these books,
I'd rather hear Lohengrin
Than lose my darned good looks.
The song is from the 1950 Mills Song Book.
I'd love to hear from older graduates of Mills (and other colleges) if they've heard this song and how it was regarded in their era (seriously or sarcastically).
I was recently at a meeting representing Mills College to a large corporate foundation considering a proposal for a summer science camp for high schools girls at Mills.
Funder: And how would you track the girls after the program was complete?
Ellen: We were hoping you could provide us with RFID chips.
The winter 2006 issue of Journal of Economic Perspectives has an interesting article by Liran Einav and Leeat Yariv entitled What's in a Surname? The Effects of Surname Initials on Academic Success on "alphabetical discrimination" in academia. Among the findings summarized in The Chronicle of Higher Education was that "[a]t top-five programs, a person's probability of receiving tenure increased by 1 percent for each letter closer to the front of the alphabet that the beginning of their surname was."
In this paper, we focus on the effects of surname initials on professional outcomes in the academic labor market for economists. We begin our analysis with data on faculty in all top 35 U.S. economics departments. Faculty with earlier surname initials are significantly more likely to receive tenure at top ten economics departments, are significantly more likely to become fellows of the Econometric Society, and, to a lesser extent, are more likely to receive the Clark Medal and the Nobel Prize. These statistically significant differences remain the same even after we control for country of origin, ethnicity, religion or departmental fixed effects. As a test, we replicate our analysis for faculty in the top 35 U.S. psychology departments, for which coauthorships are not normatively ordered alphabetically. We find no relationship between alphabetical placement and tenure status in psychology. We suspect the "alphabetical discrimination" reported in this paper is linked to the norm in the economics profession prescribing alphabetical ordering of credits on coauthored publications. We also investigate the extent to which the effects of alphabetical placement are internalized by potential authors in their choices to work with different numbers of coauthors as well as in their willingness to follow the alphabetical ordering norm.
It's been a while since I posted anything. Here are some things that amused me around San Francisco.
AAA Battery Delivery and Installation
I saw a truck painted with "AAA Battery Delivery and Installation". I commented to Keith that I thought everyone knew how to install triple-A batteries themselves.
CafÃ© Gratitude is our expression of a world of plenty. Our food and people are a celebration of our aliveness. We select the finest organic ingredients to honor the earth and ourselves, as we are one and the same. We support local farmers, sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly products. Our food is prepared with love.
We invite you to step inside and enjoy being someone who chooses: loving your life, adoring yourself, accepting the world, being generous and grateful everyday, and experiencing being provided for. Have fun and enjoy being nourished. Welcome to CafÃ© Gratitude.
The dish names are all inspirational. I ordered "I AM SENSATIONAL" (pesto pizza) and "I AM EFFERVESCENT" (house ginger ale), which were affirmed back to me by the waiter ("You are sensational and effervescent"). The food was delicious, the service warm, and the prices reasonable, and I plan to return, but I also can't help laughing at myself and thinking: "Only in San Francisco".
I am currently sunburned, despite liberal application of sunscreen before yesterday's Commencement at Mills College. I always joke that the outdoor ceremony is an example of systemic discrimination against faculty not of color.