math

Should We Charge Different Fees for Different Majors?

In the first couple weeks of any survey course in the principles of economics, students are taught that prices are determined by the interactions of consumers (demand) and producers (supply). Prices for many things, such as oil, or of common stocks, constantly change with the frequent shifts in the willingness of consumers and producers to […]

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The Perils of Student Choice

The release of SAT scores last week gives strong ammunition to proponents of a core curriculum. As reported in the Wall Street Journal , reading scores hit their lowest figure in four decades. Writing scores hit their lowest number since a writing component was added to the exam six years ago; in fact, writing scores […]

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About All Those STEM Dropouts…

The New York Times proclaimed recently that science educators and others are vitally concerned that high dropout rates of students studying math, science, and engineering (the “STEM” disciplines) will imperil our nation’s technological leadership. There is a shortage of people in these fields, it is argued, and efforts to increase numbers are thwarted by dropout rates […]

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Romance Hinders Women in STEM Courses?

Another day, another bunch of dollars thrown at studies lamenting “the gender gap in science and technology fields.” The most recent comes from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation. From its Executive Summary: Our science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce is crucial to America’s innovative capacity and […]

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Do Female Students Need ‘Stereotype Inoculation’?

Are you a female STEM student (or wannabe STEM student) suffering from a stereotype infection? Then, according to new research recently described in Inside Higher Ed (“Inoculation Against Stereotype”), you should take a course from a female instructor to inoculate yourself. The research, based on a study at U Mass Amherst by Nilanjana Dasgupta, associate professor of […]

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Woman’s Work

——————————————- This piece appeared originally in the June 2010 issue of Liberty ——————————————— Women can’t get any satisfaction these days. Yet another report, this by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), asks why there are so few women in the STEM professions. (For those outside the education community, this acronym refers to the prestigious […]

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The Misguided Push for STEM Diversity

Sometimes it seems as though the most heavily researched, richly funded area of American science today involves studies of why there aren’t more women in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and efforts to induce, recruit, and retain more of them. In her article for Minding the Campus, Susan Pinker deftly punctures the omissions […]

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College Students Who Can’t Do Math Or Read Well

By Sandra Stotsky and Ze’ev Wurman Every year seems to produce a burst of attention to a particular crisis in education. In 2009, the most publicized crisis is likely the staggering number of post-secondary students with severe debilities in reading and math. Estimates of those needing remedial classes before taking credit courses range from 30% […]

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Who’s Acing The GREs?

Who are the smartest graduate students? You’ve probably already guessed that one: physicists. Second down in the brains ranking are mathematicians, then computer scientists, then economists and practically any sort of engineer. Such are the results of an analysis made in 2004 by Christian Roessler, a lecturer in economics at the University of Queensland, in […]

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Crunching the Numbers

In a new report on elementary teacher preparation, the National Council on Teacher Quality finds that only 10 of 77 schools surveyed did an “adequate” job of preparing aspiring math teachers. Low expectations and standards, inconsistent guidance, insufficient grounding in algebra, and a nationwide inability to agree on what math teachers should know is effectively […]

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Down With Math

Those who have been operating the managerial levers of the financial system have failed embarassingly and massively to comprehend the processes for which they are responsible. They have loaned money avidly and recklessly to people who couldn’t pay it back. They fudged data to get loans approved and recalculated . Then they sausaged fragile figments […]

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