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April 7, 2011
I ran into the chair of the Sociology department the other day as I came out of my Calculus class. He stopped me to ask me about a question that had come up in discussion in his class. He wanted to know why it seemed that women were still avoiding majors that were focused on math and the sciences, since he and his students, like one of the responders to my column a few weeks ago, realized that high pay is strongly correlated with the amount of math and science education one acquires in their educational journey.
April 7, 2011
It's too expensive.It would cost too many jobs.We don't have time.There isn't enough land on the planet.It's not reliable enough.The density (units of energy per unit of weight or volume) isn't high enough for transportation purposes.All of the above have been put forth as ostensibly rational reasons that the world can't convert to clean, renewable energy.
April 7, 2011
A returning correspondent writes:
April 7, 2011
It's about time a sociologist wrote an amazing and accessible book for a non-specialist audience. Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts is that amazing book. For too long, the economists, psychologists, historians and evolutionary psychologists have owned the popular non-fiction category. No longer. Sociology is back!
April 7, 2011
My friend Steve Lawson made an interesting discovery the other day as he did the kind of research one naturally does when working as a librarian at a liberal arts college.
April 7, 2011
As a relatively new tenure-track professor in journalism and media, I teach students skills and critical thinking for a profession that is in a state of redefinition. One of the ways journalism educators are trying to increase their students’ job opportunities is by encouraging them to develop a “personal brand,” through which they establish themselves as a rising professional with a unique voice and style. They then publicize that personal brand through multimedia blogging and social media, in hopes of impressing prospective employers with their initiative and distinctive qualities.
April 6, 2011
Ah, spring break! No school lunches to prepare, no early morning breakfasts to make, no lightning launches out the door to catch the bus, and no shuttling to piano and karate lessons. We joined the throngs of people crowding the airport for holidays in the sun. Our travel plans were less exotic, but we were just as excited to spend 10 days at my parents’ house.
April 5, 2011
How long does a search for a full-time faculty member take on your campus?I’ve been struck at the disconnect between urgent messages of “we need more full-timers right now!” and the lachrymose “the committee will meet when it gets around to it.” The cynical part of me thinks that if the first message were true, the second wouldn’t happen.
April 5, 2011
This month’s question regarding life balance—how we deal with writer’s block—started me thinking about how I feel about writing. It’s always been an important part of my life, but in my career as an academic, writing has become my biggest source of anxiety.
April 5, 2011
Does a list of computers we've owned tell us anything meaningful about technology, business, or education? Not sure. Could you reconstruct a lifetime of computer ownership? Would be interesting to compare higher ed folks with people in other professions.Here goes:1983 to 1987 - Kaypro 2 and Kaypro 4: High school. My first computer. About $1,500. Weighed about 30 pounds. The original portable, with an aluminum case, built in screen and floppy drives, and a detachable keyboard. MS-DOS (booted from the floppy) and WordStar.

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