Monthly Archives: December 2013

To measure a MOOC\’s value, just ask students

What\’s the value of my university\’s name on the \”statement of accomplishment\” that students just earned for passing my first massive open online course? Is it at all enhanced by the robo-signature of their new favorite MOOC professor? Or, as Samuel Goldwyn probably didn\’t say about verbal contracts, is it just not worth the paper […] … learn more→

How to beat overeating at all-you-can-eat buffets

Resisting the temptation to take the lure of an all-you-can-eat buffet as a personal challenge is enough to test the willpower of even the most nutrition-conscious person. Now scientists have found that the order you put food on your plate can influence the likelihood of what other foods you’ll follow up with. Buffets are a […] … learn more→

Google reads your emails?

Microsoft’s astonishingly scurrilous campaign to damage confidence in Gmail is still active after nearly 10 years. Large ads in magazines repeat content from the Google-baiting website, which is dedicated solely to promoting fear of privacy invasions: Think Google respects your privacy? Think again. Google goes through every Gmail that’s sent or received, looking for […] … learn more→

Looks like a comet but feels like an asteroid? That’s wild!

Comet ISON’s fate has left many sad. For the public, the comet could have made for a spectacular view in December. For scientists, it would have been a chance to learn more about these mysterious bodies. But why are comets mysterious? And what really are they? Some recent missions are beginning to answer that question […] … learn more→

Can a President Emeritus take a leave of absence?

Yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch included a report that Gordon Gee, President Emeritus of Ohio State University, has agreed to become Interim President at West Virginia University. There is a news conference scheduled at West Virginia University this morning of this afternoon, but I am assuming that the Dispatch would not have printed the story without feeling […] … learn more→

The beat on beetroot juice in sport

Beetroot juice is now high on the list of popular sports supplements. So why are athletes necking down this purple concoction and importantly, is it doing them any good? With more research coming out than ever before supporting its use, there may just be some merit to moving this sports supplement out of the ‘fad’ […] … learn more→

Bend, don\’t break, when students protest

In September, the New York City police arrested students at the City University of New York who were protesting CUNY\’s appointment of David Petraeus, a former director of the CIA, as a visiting professor. The officers were accused by some people of using excessive force. In October, students at Brown University, protesting the New York […] … learn more→

Not just tiger mums and rote learning: it’s time for a balanced view of Asian education

International test results on maths, reading and science literacies, released this week, continue to show one thing for sure: the outstanding performance of Asian education systems. Each time the results of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 are released, countries like Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Macao and Japan all appear […] … learn more→

Thailand on the brink of military intervention — again

For a country that has so much in its favour, Thailand seems to be locked in a historical cycle of elected governments and military coups. The current political turmoil wracking the country’s capital, Bangkok, looks to be bringing it back to the brink of military intervention. The political divides in Thailand that have led to […] … learn more→

In his own words: Louis Wozniak on his firing

On Nov. 14, 2013, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign engineering professor Louis Wozniak had his tenure revoked and was dismissed by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees. Illinois Academe invited him to tell his side of the story, and this essay is reprinted from the Fall issue. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ This is not about a […] … learn more→