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General Discussion / Re: dental crowns
Last post by Hegemony - December 06, 2023, 07:08:59 PM
You could get a second opinion on whether you needed the crowns. My dentist was very convincing about mine, and much of the tooth had cracked off anyway. They are not painful to get, but it does take a while.
Research & Scholarship / Re: December Research Thread
Last post by Parasaurolophus - December 06, 2023, 05:24:35 PM
Quote from: Parasaurolophus on December 06, 2023, 08:53:58 AMProbably just the referee report today.

Bugger. My laptop somehow drained and died while I was in the world, so I didn't get to do anything at all.
The State of Higher Ed / Re: Grade Inflation at Yale
Last post by eigen - December 06, 2023, 03:29:08 PM
Quote from: marshwiggle on December 06, 2023, 07:42:21 AMI've heard a Dean of engineering say this to a student thinking of doing bio-med engineering before applying to med. school; since med. schools only care about GPA, not undergrad program (which is REALLY weird!!!???), it makes more sense to take basketweaving rather than bio-med eng., even though the latter is way more appropriate to medicine.

This is only partially true. There's core coursework you have to take regardless, and medical schools separate your "science GPA" from your "cumulative GPA" and really only pay close attention to the SGPA.

So while you aren't doing yourself favors taking super hard classes outside of those required, your performance on the core classes pertinent to medical school are important, and don't depend on what you major in. Also, your basketweaving grades don't cover up poor performance in physics, calculus, or organic chemistry.

And from a medical schools perspective, performance in the sciences outside of what's required to succeed in schools isn't necessarily more important for making someone a good doctor, especially not relative to communication skills, language skills, etc.
The State of Higher Ed / Re: Grade Inflation at Yale
Last post by Ruralguy - December 06, 2023, 01:56:27 PM
I can just imagine some professor  taking some paper out of the printer on his way home, buying a dozen eggs at the store, and then conducting some experiments.

Even with this though, you can imagine a version of this prof who says "30% of the grade is your effort in construction, monitored by the TA, 40% is success of the mission, and 30% is explaining what you did." So, in this second version, many previous failures are just barely passing at 60%, assuming the rest goes well.

There are a million ways to inflate grades. Its not all just about assigning A's to everyone on the first day. 
The State of Higher Ed / Re: Grade Inflation at Yale
Last post by dismalist - December 06, 2023, 01:19:21 PM
Grade compression cum inflation takes away egg sorting authority from faculty and gives it to administrators. It's becomes the school, not the course or the instructor's grade that attests quality. That means where one attended college rather what one studied becomes determinative for students' later prospects. I'm quite sure administrators are aware of this. Put briefly and bluntly, student success becomes determined by the admissions office!

Alas, this strategy cannot work in the quantitative subjects. I heard of a final exam in an aeronautical engineering class at MIT. Students were given paper, glue and an egg. One task only: Construct a gadget, into which you put the egg, that will land the egg safely on the ground after you throw it out the window!

Any college that can teach the material to the students it admits to make such construction possible will succeed.
The State of Higher Ed / Re: Grade Inflation at Yale
Last post by mythbuster - December 06, 2023, 01:02:11 PM
I would just be curious to see what qualifies as C level work in some of these courses. It's one type of problem is  the C at Yale is an A at SW Rural State U. But my guess is that's not really the case.

If you read the comments section of the NYTimes article, many Ivy profs write in about how no one ever fails because of how the admins intervene. At least for the well connected students.
The State of Higher Ed / Re: Grade Inflation at Yale
Last post by apl68 - December 06, 2023, 12:55:04 PM
Yale is a highly selective school, and for all the complaining about legacy students they probably no longer have a large contingent of fraternity doofuses who just seek a "gentleman's D" and trust that their family connections will take care of them when they hit the career world.  So it's plausible that their average student performance would be quite high. 

Should expectations at Yale be made higher and grading more rigorous to keep grades from creeping upward?  Beats me.
The State of Higher Ed / Re: Grade Inflation at Yale
Last post by Sun_Worshiper - December 06, 2023, 11:24:17 AM
Quote from: Ruralguy on December 06, 2023, 09:02:46 AMKeep in mind that some schools just genuinely have worse students. Its not even that they don't achieve as well on exams or papers, its an issue of skipping many assignments, not having much of any skills, missing a lot of class. Its hard to give a student an A when they skipped the final, or got a 40 on every paper or problem set. I get that this might happen at yale as well, bur probably more prevalent as you go down a few rungs. So, in a way, at lesser schools like mine, some students make fighting grade inflation easy: they don't do the work/and or can't.

I get that you can always adjust your scale to fit the skill level and behavior of your students, but it genuinely *can* be difficult in some classes if the differences are more nuanced.

Quote from: Caracal on December 06, 2023, 11:04:00 AM
Quote from: Wahoo Redux on December 06, 2023, 06:20:28 AMGrade inflation, why should Yale be any different?

I would assume it's much worse at Yale and other elite schools. I don't know what the average GPA is at my school, but the the average grade in my classes is in the 3.2, 3.3 range. I've never gotten the impression from evaluations or student feedback that I'm considered either particularly tough or particularly easy.

Some of this is because I imagine I have more students who just vanish at some point in the semester and fail themselves than at Yale. Even a few of those for every class can push down the mean GPA significantly. Then I have a lot of other students who have family and work obligations and are happy to just get a B. Some of these students are engaged and smart, but they just are being pulled in a lot of different directions and are making reasonable choices about where to put their energies.

The point is that as long as I have appropriate assessments and reasonable standards for grading them, it's easy to have a good grade distribution. I imagine what happens at Yale is that a larger proportion of students have a lot of their identity bound up in doing well, come in to college with a lot of skills and preparation and have fewer things to deal with in their lives. If you want to avoid giving everyone As, you're going to have to ask them to do more difficult things and have higher expectations-which is trickier to manage.

This lines up with my experience as well. If all my students showed up consistently, completed the assignments responsibly, and participated actively, as I assume most Yale students do, then the average grade for my class would be quite a bit higher - probably in the B+/A- range, which is about what it seems like Yale's is.

General Discussion / Re: NYT Spelling Bee
Last post by cathwen - December 06, 2023, 11:24:03 AM
Good afternoon!

QB yesterday, but needed a nudge to find paella, which I always seem to miss. Today I have one 6L word to go.

LB: I had the "official" bayou-uplifting. I found one today also.

Happy puzzling!
The State of Higher Ed / Re: Grade Inflation at Yale
Last post by onthefringe - December 06, 2023, 11:19:02 AM
Quote from: Wahoo Redux on December 06, 2023, 06:20:28 AMGrade inflation, why should Yale be any different?

True! A Harvard professor proposed the "A+ with garlands" over a decade ago!