All Posts Tagged With: "Yale university"
A Nicki Minaj t-shirt at Harvard, football & bike-sharing
1. As the deadly Israel-Gaza conflict continues, CNN has footage of Anderson Cooper ducking from rocket strikes on repeat while Maclean’s Michael Petrou explains what to watch for next and Nick Taylor-Vaisey analyzes the headlines.
2. Proving that Harvard is still a refuge for the world’s foremost intellectuals, the student-run clothing store Harvard State is selling t-shirts with singer Nicki Minaj’s likeness and the words “Yale You a Stupid Ho.” The photos have offended some (at Yale I assume), but they need not worry. Unlike the shirts that proclaim “Veri Drunk Since 1636,” these ones aren’t yet sold out online.
3. McMaster University’s Marauders football team beat the Calgary Dinos on Saturday at the Mitchell Bowl held at Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton in front of nearly 6,000 fans. That means the 48th Vanier Cup on Nov. 23 in Toronto will be a rematch of the 2011 final when McMaster barely beat Laval’s Rouge et Or. Read more in The Silhouette.
Bacon shortage. Study-space shortage. The #1 poker school.
1. In a Yale University study, 127 scientists were given information on supposed recent graduates applying for laboratory jobs. A fake applicant named John tended to be viewed as more competent than a fake applicant named Jennifer, despite identical qualifications. The conclusion is that women will find it harder to get science jobs than men. The anti-female bias wasn’t limited to male professors; women were just as biased.
2. Feist, the only nominee to have been on Sesame Street, sung at the Grammys and been in an Apple commercial, took home the $30,000 Polaris Music Prize last night for her album Metals. Feist gave a humble speech and toasted fellow nominees Cold Specks and Grimes. Ironically, the Polaris Prize is supposed to be a counterweight to sales-focused Juno’s, where Feist tends to clean up (she has eight).
3. Bacon fans, you may want to be sitting down for this one. “A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable,” according the National Pig Association in Britain.
Students turn to their laptops for free online courses from Ivy League scholars
Last year, I was obliged to take a course as part of my undergraduate political science degree. It was described as political game theory. I was thinking, “Like Russell Crowe doing John Nash in A Beautiful Mind?” But instead I got Victorian Britain and pre-Confederation Canada. As disappointments go, this was roughly equivalent to receiving coal for Christmas. But I needed to make it through the course, so I did what many others have done: I turned to the Internet. There, on a site called Academic Earth, I learned everything I was later tested on from Benjamin Polak, a professor of economics teaching at Yale, whose full course on game theory was videotaped and posted online, complete with worksheets and exams.
I used only Polak’s material for all my assignments and exams. And so I wondered: why was I paying for this class when I got a better education online and for free?
Sites like Academic Earth, Open Culture and iTunes U have immortalized lectures and debates of top academics from Yale, MIT and Harvard in the form of free, downloadable videos and podcasts, easily available on a laptop or iPhone. It’s instant Ivy League for the masses. “It may be a better resource for some students than a textbook,” says Polak, adding that he receives emails responding to his online course from all over the world.
Polak didn’t intend his course to be a substitution for real-life instruction at other universities. But students of general undergraduate courses like Poli 101 can and do turn to online resources like Academic Earth and even Wikipedia to learn much of their classwork. Classmate Geoff Costeloe studied solely for his upper-level political science exam this way. “I didn’t even buy a textbook,” he says.
It’s not just the proliferation of online information that encourages students to abandon their professors—it’s the structure of the classroom. “Clearly, to be effective you need face-to-face interaction and a more intimate environment than lecture halls with 300 to 400 students,” says David Robinson, associate executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. Robinson says that while university enrolments continue to rise, there isn’t the same increase in the number of professors, which means “we do need to look at the quality of education.”
In the United States, there are similar cracks in the instructional facade. Universities “have an obligation to get their heads out of the sand,” says Julio Ojeda-Zapata, technology journalist for Pioneer Press, publisher of a raft of suburban newspapers in Chicago. He believes academia should adopt an entrepreneurial spirit to equip students with tools that prepare them for the business world. “College campuses are clinging to an archaic method that is being discouraged everywhere else,” he says. “I’m a little concerned about sending my son to an expensive four-year education that may be of little value.”
Some educators are calling for a radical change. Since 2006, Carl Wieman, a Nobel physics laureate, has been working at UBC to reshape science education. Wieman has oriented teaching methods away from memorizing facts—a method that Wieman says was made “obsolete since the printing press”—and toward complex, problem-solving exercises with an expert approach, facilitated by the faculty. “Now, you look in the classes,” he says, “and instead of students sitting there text messaging, falling asleep or not showing up to class, they are engaged.”
Similarly, William Rankin, an associate professor of English at Abilene Christian University, has been a primary mover behind equipping students at the Texas university with iPod Touches and iPhones. The program began in 2008, and now nearly half the student body have the devices. Rankin says teachers, too, are better off for it. The faculty uses the devices to overcome time delays between tests and feedback, get immediate class input, and participate in ongoing online discussions via blogs. “The medieval apprentice model in which people learned in these very personalized ways is exactly the type of learning we can see in this initiative,” says Rankin. “I do think that in the next two or three years you will see a groundswell of these sorts of initiatives.”
So what role is left for the teacher? To be effective, Wieman says, they must be “cognitive coaches” rather than conduits of information. Rankin believes that the change in pedagogy will happen soon. “It’s comparable to the introduction of a light switch,” he adds. “It’s just going to take a while for people to figure out what this looks like and how it works.”
“Keep your hands off my Medicare” tops the list
The fierce debate over health care hasn’t led to a new law yet, but it’s produced some of this year’s top quotes, according to a Yale University librarian.
Fred Shapiro, associate librarian and lecturer in legal research at Yale Law School, is releasing his fourth annual list of The Yale Book of Quotations. His top quote: “Keep your government hands off my Medicare,” by a speaker at a town hall meeting in South Carolina in July. “That struck me as embodying the friction and polarization on the role of government,” Shapiro said.
The original Yale Book of Quotations was published in 2006. Since then, Shapiro releases an annual list of the top 10 quotes, which he said will be incorporated into the next edition of the book in a few years. Shapiro picks quotes that are famous, important or revealing of the spirit of the times.
The quotes aren’t necessarily the most eloquent or admirable. The health care debate sparked two other quotes that made the list: The shout of “You lie!” by Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., during President Barack Obama’s September speech on health care and Sarah Palin’s “death panel” allegation.
Here’s the list:
1. “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.” Speaker at health care reform town hall meeting in Simpsonville, S.C., commenting on the government-created Medicare program, quoted by The Washington Post on July 28.
2. “We’re going to be in the Hudson.” Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, responding to air traffic controllers asking on which runway he preferred to land US Airways Flight 1549 on Jan. 15 before he landed in the Hudson River.
3. “There’s an app for that.” Apple’s advertising slogan for the iPhone.
4. “You lie!” Wilson’s shouted retort to Obama’s address before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9.
5. “The Cambridge police acted stupidly.” Obama, commenting on a white police officer’s arrest of black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home in Cambridge, Mass., at a news conference July 22.
6. “I’m going to let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!” Kanye West, interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 13.
7. “Um, you guys said that we, um, did this for the show.” Falcon Heene, during an interview on CNN about his parents’ balloon hoax on Oct. 15.
8. “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel.”‘ Palin, posting on her Facebook page on Aug. 7.
9. “The governor is hiking the Appalachian Trail.” Spokesman for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford regarding Sanford’s disappearance on June 22.
10. “You give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.” Jesse Ventura, during a CNN interview May 11.
The Canadian Press
Descendant of painting’s former owner accuses university of “art laundering”
A descendant of the owner of a famous Vincent Van Gogh painting says Yale University should have known the painting was stolen when it acquired it, but instead “engaged in a policy of wilful ignorance” that amounted to “art laundering.”
The Ivy League university sued in March to assert its ownership rights over “The Night Cafe.”
Pierre Konowaloff of France is the purported great-grandson of industrialist and aristocrat Ivan Morozov, who bought the painting in 1908. Russia nationalized Morozov’s property during the Communist revolution.
Yale received the painting through a bequest.
Konowaloff’s lawyers say Russian authorities unlawfully confiscated the painting and he wants it back.
Yale says the Russian nationalization of property did not violate international law.
- The Canadian Press
Descendants of famous chieftain also sue President Obama, university over disputed remains
The federal lawsuit, which was filed on the 100th anniversary of the Apache chieftain’s death, claims the group stole the remains of the Apache leader and is demanding their return. The lawsuit has also named the university and President Barack Obama as plaintiffs in the case.
Harlyn Geronimo, the 61-year-old great grandson of Geronimo, and 19 other people are suing under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, a U.S. federal law that provides a process for museums and federal agencies to return human remains, funerary items and other objects to direct descendants or affiliated Native American tribes.
The lawsuit alleges members of Skull and Bones stole Geronimo’s skull, some bones and other items from his gravesite in 1918 or 1919 and transported them to the society’s headquarters in New Haven, New York. According to the Yale Daily News, that group is rumoured to have included Prescott Bush, the father of former President George H. W. Bush and grandfather to former President George W. Bush.
Skull and Bones has never said whether or not any of Geronimo’s remains are in its possession.
“I believe it’s a good cause because indigenous people over the century have been annihilated, removed from their homeland,” said Geronimo at a press conference in Washington, D.C. “If remains are not properly buried, the spirit is just wandering, wandering, until a proper burial has been performed.”
He says he wants the remains returned and reburied near his great grandfather’s birthplace in the Gila Wilderness, New Mexico.
Membership into Yale’s super-secret society is reserved for the “elite of the elite at the Ivy League school,” according to a report from the Associated Press. Only 15 Yale seniors are asked to join each year.
Members swear an oath of secrecy about the group and its strange rituals, which include devotion to the number “322,” and initiation rites such as confession of sexual secrets and kissing a skull, which is rumoured to be Geronimo’s.
Korean university sues Yale for mistake
A South Korean court has sentenced a disgraced former university professor to 18 months in jail for faking her Yale doctorate and embezzling official museum funds.
Court officials say 36-year-old Shin Jeong-ah was convicted for using her fake Yale degree to become an art history professor at the Buddhist-affiliated Dongguk University in Seoul. A court spokesman says she also acquired financial support from businesses for an art museum she was working for.
Dongguk University said last week it was suing Yale for at least $50 million in damages, saying the Ivy League school wrongly confirmed that Shin earned a degree.
Yale has called the matter an administrative error.
-with a report from CP