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Links 1 through 10 of 1057 by Chad Orzel tagged academia

A unique approach to increasing academic productivity.

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I wish more discussions of fraternities and sororities were conducted with this level of thoughtfulness and respect. Also, the application of these ideas to stuff like "What's the matter with Kansas?" is left as an exercise for the reader.

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I've had this open in a tab for a week now, but between my job and my family, I haven't been able to find time to blog about it. Irony sucks, sometimes.

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Entrepreneurial action can represent the best social and imaginative potential of modern liberal societies. It’s also a great way to focus and challenge any new initiative or project. Do you want to mobilize groups, sustain collective action? Then it’s totally fair to ask, “With what resources? With what costs or liabilities? With what kind of plan for organizational and financial sustainability?” Do you have a great creative vision, or some change in material practices you’d like to encourage? Thinking “entrepreneurially” is a great filter or structure for approaching those aspirations.

What I do not like about “entrepreneurship” is when it starts to collapse into itself, when it’s an alibi for a gold-rush approach to life and aspiration, when it’s part of a frenzy.

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I want to know WHY the percentage of women in physics going down. Right now there is a ton of support for women entering physics. We have conferences and mentorship programs all over the nation. But one crucial voice is missing: the women who dropped out of the physics major, and the women who majored in physics but chose to not go on to graduate school. I write this blog because I want to hear from the women who chose not to continue in physics. They are the ones who can shed the true insight! I also want to hear from women who did continue in physics. What made you pick physics, and what made you stay?

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The first writing assignment I give students in my writing courses involves plagiarism as a topic. I ask them to investigate and read resources on the Web assembled by experts on the subject such as Nick Carbone, a new-media consultant for Bedford/St. Martin's, and Bruce Leland, a professor emeritus at Western Illinois University. I ask students to take notes on the readings, especially on how both authors are unhappy with standard approaches to preventing plagiarism and academic dishonesty.[...]
Then I ask students to find a Web site that offers free essays for download. I provide a central source, such as "Cheating 101: Internet Paper Mills," available at www.coastal.edu/library/presentations/mills2.html, though there are many others. Each student has to download one paper (or as much of one as is permitted by the site) and analyze its strengths and weaknesses.

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A surprisingly sensible take on the question of whether to go to grad school in science.

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The ratio of jobs seeking experimentalists only to the jobs seeking theorists only is still above 3.

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How Kermit the Frog is the perfect model for an academic administrator.

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In traditional higher ed, there is neither a meaningful bottom line for most individuals, nor a credible threat of exit.  There’s an institutional bottom line, in the sense of a budget that has to be met, but the consequences for, say, an individual professor if the college fails to meet that line are usually independent of that professor’s performance.  A pay freeze hits the productive and the unproductive alike.  If Sanders and Patterson can’t stand the sight of each other, but they both have tenure at the same place, there’s usually neither a bottom line to settle the question nor a credible threat of exit for either.
[...]
Life tenure just makes matters that much worse. Neither can deal the other a real death blow, and they both know it. So instead of settling the question, they just get crabbier and crabbier, poisoning the working environment for their colleagues and the learning environment for their students.

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