Monthly Archives: January 2015

How we can each fight cybercrime with smarter habits

Hackers gain access to computers and networks by exploiting the weaknesses in our cyber behaviors. Many attacks use simple phishing schemes – the hacker sends an email that appears to come from a trusted source, encouraging the recipient to click a seemingly innocuous hyperlink or attachment. Clicking will launch malware and open backdoors that can […] … learn more→

Let there be light! Celebrating the theory of electromagnetism

It’s hard to imagine life without mobile phones, radio and television. Yet the discovery of the electromagnetic waves that underpin such technologies grew out of an abstract theory that’s 150 years old. Our knowledge of the existence of such waves is a direct result of James Clerk Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism which was first published […] … learn more→

The profits of College classes

Many times I’ve commented on the immense profit that college courses generate. I’ve naturally calculated things very crudely in a three step process. First, revenue for a class is tuition for a student, multiplied by the number of students. Next, cost is whatever is paid to the teacher. Third and last, subtract cost from revenue, […] … learn more→

Why Inside Higher Ed faces a dubious future

On January 19, David Halperin published a piece with the Huffington Post on the purchase of a controlling interest in Inside Higher Ed by the private-equity firm Quad Partners, which has invested heavily in for-profit colleges and educational consulting firms. Here are the opening paragraphs of Halperin’s article: “Quad Partners, a New York private equity […] … learn more→

Writing – a matter of planning and hunting

By its nature, thinking twists and turns, drifts and meanders. A hunter who followed a bee-line from a point of departure to a predetermined destination would never catch prey. To hunt you have to be alert for clues and ready to follow trails wherever they may lead. Thoughtful writers need to be good hunters. Tim […] … learn more→

Students are welcome to shop online during my lectures

I have a confession: I am writing this essay while attending a presentation. Normally, I give a speaker my full attention, but there are many people here, so it is easy to miss that I am doing something other than listening. Besides, I am still paying attention (for the most part). The speaker is giving […] … learn more→

Obama’s stupid Community College plan

Obama’s stupid Community College plan

Over the last year or more, I’ve documented extensive fraud and corruption in higher education. While universities totally have their share, when it comes to the truly awesome fraud, nothing beats community college. Much of the reason for this is because community colleges (and for-profit schools, a slightly larger source of fraud) are built practically […] … learn more→

A call to worship, and a call to educate

Duke University’s decision last week not to allow Muslim students to use the campus chapel’s bell tower for Friday afternoon call to prayer, or adhan, after announcing three days before that it would permit it, is more than a capitulation to the strident calls of critics. It is a missed, or at least transformed, opportunity […] … learn more→

Why students don’t attend office hours

More than 600 students answered 17 survey items about one of their courses in order to help researchers explore factors that influence students’ use of office hours. The research goal was to identify ways instructors could increase the use of office hours because so many students don’t take advantage of this opportunity to interact with […] … learn more→

The rules for essay exams

At my university the time has come (indeed, the deadline has come) for the process of grading the final exams from the fall semester. I started working on my stack of examination books speedily, accurately, and efficiently, deriving great satisfaction and enjoyment from the process of reading what my students have written. Oh, who the […] … learn more→