their desire is for their kids to "get into good schools and have the choice of pursuing science & tech careers"
those two things are contradictory
― the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 18:59 (3 years ago) Permalink
baseball stats are pretty much just ratios, right? things like independence and covariance and sampling error and fat-tailed distributions and whatever don't figure in like they do once you dive into the "real" stuff. On the other hand, I do think we could make real stats more widely taught and accessible, and it would be very useful to people in all walks of life.
― s.clover, Friday, 16 March 2012 19:03 (3 years ago) Permalink
even the popular scientific press likes these "guys! power laws!" stories when often it turns out there aren't power laws involved at all, but other, less sexy distributions.
― s.clover, Friday, 16 March 2012 19:05 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah but their desires are based on a misunderstanding of the nature of mathematics and my experience is based on many years of professional and personal engagement w the field
...their desire is for their kids to "get into good schools and have the choice of pursuing science & tech careers"
― the late great, Friday, March 16, 2012 11:59 AM (10 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
first line seems a bit presumptive, and i strongly disagree w the second. basically everyone i know that has a career in the sciences went to a "good school" (i.e., a high competitive one). and i know lots of people doing that kind of work.
― Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Friday, 16 March 2012 19:11 (3 years ago) Permalink
My brother's finishing up his PhD in computer engineering and he got his undergrad at BYU-ID. The only people who are competing to get into there are Mormons who couldn't get into regular BYU.
― Marilyn Hagerty: the terroir of tiny town (Abbbottt), Friday, 16 March 2012 19:16 (3 years ago) Permalink
Oh, one other thing I would say about law schools, is that for a large law firm (and maybe for a certain kind of smaller one too) it's partly a marketing thing to hire from "top" law schools, you know, so you can say to Citigroup "The associates we have working on your deal graduated from Harvard, Stanford, Columbia" etc. That said, I don't completely discount using law school as a proxy for ability. It's hardly a perfect proxy, but when you have to do a lot of hiring at once you go with the easiest measure that gives you the best odds of getting someone good. Someone from Brooklyn Law School might be smarter and harder working than someone from Harvard, but the odds are better that the opposite is true and how the hell are you going to choose otherwise? Interviews are notoriously bad determinants, and anything else would be too time-consuming. So you hire 20 kids from Harvard and one from Brooklyn rather than the other way around or 50/50. Yes, a few of the Harvard kids will turn out to be entitled little shits who don't want to do any work, and the BLS kid who just missed the cut might have been the dark horse who would have headed up a practice group one day, but they're still using the best and most cost-effective methods they have of choosing.
― the prurient pinterest (Hurting 2), Friday, 16 March 2012 19:36 (3 years ago) Permalink
basically everyone i know that has a career in the sciences went to a "good school" (i.e., a high competitive one)
many people i know who work in the sciences went to third or fourth tier schools (or even community colleges) for undergrad and elite schools for graduate school
in fact one guy i know who is now a prof at davis was a HS dropout who did not start at a community college until 23 or 24, when he got tired of getting high all day
― the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 19:49 (3 years ago) Permalink
things like independence and covariance and sampling error and fat-tailed distributions and whatever don't figure in like they do once you dive into the "real" stuff
in high school it's ratios, standard deviation and possibly chi-squared
― the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 19:51 (3 years ago) Permalink
which should go great w/ baseball, video games, etc
also contenderizer i don't think it's presumptuous at all
i don't presume to know what my parents want, i know what they want
i don't presume to understand the difference between "school mathematics" (based on memorizing and repeating procedures) and "real mathematics" (based on intuition, persistence, looking for patterns, approaching new questions, approximating, combining approaches, etc), i know the difference
― the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 19:53 (3 years ago) Permalink
i mean it may not be widely true but it is true where i work, and given that it's a large part of the national dialogue about what constitutes good math education (specific pieces of info vs specific skills vs specific practices and habits) i think it's probably true across many schools
― the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 19:55 (3 years ago) Permalink
newton wrote that
i can tell you that what parents want re: math is high SAT scores and good state test results
the fastest way to good results is to teach to a test (ask anyone who teaches or has taught an SAT prep course), memorizing shortcuts and learning tricks
the problem is when you get to college, you realize suddenly that you need to be able to "reason judiciously", something our students get very little preparation for, even the "elite" students
i have always thought this is why there are declining numbers of american students at every level of science and math education - fewer students finish science degrees than start them, even fewer get into graduate degrees, even fewer get into and finish post-doctoral studies, etc etc
― the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:01 (3 years ago) Permalink
also the other side is that in countries that routinely kick our ass on math and science tests, the students are actually asked to learn fewer things than in american schools and they learn them more slowly ... but somehow they kick our ass when those students come to american school
― the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:03 (3 years ago) Permalink
they are also generally going to cost more to train at the undergrad level, so universities have little reason to push people into the fields
― iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:05 (3 years ago) Permalink
cost more? why?
― the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:07 (3 years ago) Permalink
i'm not following what you're saying iatee
― the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:08 (3 years ago) Permalink
I teach in the humanities at a public uni & a few years back had a Vietnamese immigrant who struggled hard with written & oral English, didn't understand well the Western debates on monotheism, etc. She ended up kicking every other student's ass. The difference was partly that she actually came to office hours, unlike the others. But I don't really know what else it was: intrinsic smarts? work habits? I dunno, but it was eye opening.
― Euler, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:08 (3 years ago) Permalink
science students require expenive labs, interaction w/ higher-paid faculty, humanities students require chalkboards and grad student teacher who you're paying 15k a year
― iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:11 (3 years ago) Permalink
not math faculty
― Euler, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:11 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah I mean it's not true across the board but it's a partial explanation why there's not internal pressure to make science ed more accessible at any given university. it costs money and doesn't bring immediate benefits, unless your university is starting out w/ a surplus of science resources.
― iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:16 (3 years ago) Permalink
well they do generally charge lab fees for the labs
― the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:17 (3 years ago) Permalink
trying to find a breakdown, I remember reading it somewhere http://blogs.sciencemag.org/sciencecareers/2012/01/university-of-f.html
― iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:20 (3 years ago) Permalink
― iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:25 (3 years ago) Permalink
science research otoh can bring in defense $$$$$ (and also other industry $$$$) while good luck getting grants for your novel interpretation of milton.
― s.clover, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:36 (3 years ago) Permalink
yes, on the research level the opposite is true
― iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:38 (3 years ago) Permalink
My late father was a mechanical engineer by training, but it's amazing how the field hasn't changed. Sure, they use computers a lot more. My dad worked part-time up to the last month of his life, he adapted to the CAD programs just fine!
Engineers must maintain their math schools their entire life! My dad used to sit down at night with a math book! I envied him, people think math is hopelessly dry, it's interesting if you view it as an expression of spatial relationships! If you're into art or design or photography you might want to maintain some math skills.
My dad put a lot of pressure on me to learn math. It keeps your brain sharp and doesn't have any ideological bullshit in it. I like doing the odd math problem.
We had a math test in design school and I got a C! I got a high score on my math SAT but I hadn't practiced in a while.
Math and science don't discriminate based on background, but sometimes a student's social climate discourages them from learning math. i.e., if you struggle with math you are stupid! Conceptually, it is easier than philosophy or literature...doing the problems is difficult.
― โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Got Gym (Mount Cleaners), Friday, 16 March 2012 20:41 (3 years ago) Permalink
This seems quite salient here:
― Masonic Boom, Sunday, 25 March 2012 09:33 (3 years ago) Permalink
here's an interesting one
― the late great, Friday, 3 August 2012 06:59 (3 years ago) Permalink
i am pretty sure nobody really answers the final question in the comments but i didn't read all of them
― the late great, Friday, 3 August 2012 07:02 (3 years ago) Permalink
post secondary education facilitated entry ime ; )
― buzza, Friday, 3 August 2012 07:14 (3 years ago) Permalink