education is primarily a barrier to entry: true or false

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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 (five 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 (five 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 (five years ago) Permalink

which should go great w/ baseball, video games, etc

the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 19:51 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five 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 (five 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 (five 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 (five 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 (five years ago) Permalink

cost more? why?

the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:07 (five years ago) Permalink

i'm not following what you're saying iatee

the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:08 (five 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 (five 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 (five years ago) Permalink

not math faculty

Euler, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:11 (five 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 (five years ago) Permalink

well they do generally charge lab fees for the labs

the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:17 (five years ago) Permalink

trying to find a breakdown, I remember reading it somewhere

iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:20 (five 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 (five years ago) Permalink

yes, on the research level the opposite is true

iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:38 (five 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 (five years ago) Permalink

This seems quite salient here:

Masonic Boom, Sunday, 25 March 2012 09:33 (five years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

here's an interesting one

the late great, Friday, 3 August 2012 06:59 (five 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 (five years ago) Permalink

post secondary education facilitated entry ime ; )

buzza, Friday, 3 August 2012 07:14 (five years ago) Permalink

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