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June 17, 2010 - 9:19pm
I was probably teaching statistics the second or third time around when I finally stumbled upon a good understanding the idea of "random." I had once thought that randomness meant a complete lack of predictability, that there was actually no pattern underlying outcomes. However, I eventually realized that predictability is exactly what randomness is about. If I flip a coin, I can expect it to come up "heads" half of the time, thus giving me a "random variable" that is actually quite predictable. For example, out of ten flips of a coin, one might expect five of them to come up heads.
June 17, 2010 - 7:44pm
I don't often read Cal Thomas's columns, but Mrs. R. does. I'm not sure why, unless it's to get her blood pressure up after a good night's sleep. Still, I'm occasionally glad she does. This morning was one of those occasions.
June 17, 2010 - 5:05pm
That which is portrayed
June 17, 2010 - 8:02am
For the next few weeks my two teenagers are with their dad and my contact with them is primarily digital. Unfortunately, I can't get Nick or Katie interested in ‘Skype-ing’ with me except when we 'chat’ virtually with their cousins who live in England. We take turns walking laptops around our houses, pointing them at children lounging in bed, or aiming it at the new pet — delighted with our free international communication. I love seeing that my sister’s house is messier than mine…
June 16, 2010 - 9:14pm
A few weeks ago, we went to a local photographer to get some family portraits done. Last night we went back to see the proofs. On the way back home:TW: I hope they can do something about my tooth. I hate the way it looks.DD: I didn’t notice it.TW: Well, I did.DD: Maybe I was distracted by my Incredible Growing Forehead. It’s a fivehead.TW: It’s not so bad.DD: I look like an alien.TW: TB, what did you think?TB: All I could see was my scar.DD: I didn’t see your scar!TW: It wasn’t even noticeable!TB: It was huge.
June 16, 2010 - 9:04pm
I agree with all of Arthur Levine's conclusions in "Digital Students, Industrial-Era Universities."Our course designs, teaching methods, and institutional structures need to embody:--24/7 (anytime)--Location-free--Consumer-driven--Active learning--Concrete--New media--Learning (interactive)--Group (collaboration)--Breadth / gatherers
June 16, 2010 - 8:25pm
If I tripped over a glass bottle and released a genii who would grant me a single wish, I might wish that climate change were not a Political issue in this country.
June 16, 2010 - 4:14pm
The globalization of higher education and research is associated with a wide variety of shifts and changes, many of which (e.g., branch campuses) are debated about in relatively intense fashion. Other aspects of this transition, though, receive little attention, including the temporal rhythm of academic life; a rhythm being simultaneously maintained, extended, reduced, and bracketed.
June 16, 2010 - 8:14am
I didn’t write last week because I was overwhelmed in getting ready for our annual migration west. We spend the summer months doing research, writing, traveling and visiting our west coast-located parents and extended family. Especially because we live so far from family, this summer flexibility is one of the greatest perks of an academic career, as far as I’m concerned (I’ve blogged about this before).
June 16, 2010 - 2:49am
An acquaintance who was a mid-level IT manager likes to remind me, every time I say I resist technology, that I tend to use it early and often. We met, for instance, working for a Fortune 1000 company, where I was the first employee to write and assemble digital pages in the production process. Before that, thousands of catalog pages each year were mocked-up and type-spec’d by graphic artists, the copy was sent out for typesetting, and finished boards were shot and stripped by a traditional pre-press department that made color-separated plates for the printing press from film.

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