Recommended reads #120

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Start the first day of class by telling your students an engaging story.

The Biology Department of San Francisco State wrote a detailed academic paper about a successful department-wide professional development plan to improve their teaching.

Scientific knowledge is drowning in a flood of research.

This explanation about how people perceive probability is important for scientists to read, especially those of us teaching and interacting with the public: “I’ve come to realize that I was wrong about a major aspect of probabilities. They are inherently hard to grasp. That’s especially true for an individual event, like a war or election. People understand that if they roll a die 100 times, they will get some 1’s. But when they see a probability for one event, they tend to think: Is this going to happen or not? They then effectively round to 0 or to 100 percent.”

How much do people remember while under anesthesia? Some of this is fascinating.

The comic Paper Girls is great, definitely worth checking out.

Having students create reverse outlines of their writing sounds like a great teaching tool.

A piece in Science about being a good mentor

I got around to reading Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction, an impressive and important read. The chapter about the perverse incentives resulting from the US News college ranking systems is beautifully spot on and had a number of points that had not occurred to me (in part, why “safety schools” aren’t so safe anymore).

This new translation of The Odyssey makes it sound a lot more interesting.

A sociologist looks at the data about hiring practices and confronts pervasive elitism: “In the final analysis, for a discipline which often sees understanding and overcoming inequality at its core, we have managed to create it rather well.”

Over-entitled students try to take advantage of women faculty more often than men.

What do you do when massive endangered birds are interfering with traffic in a busy area, messing around with traffic cones?? Build them a fun gym to play in.

Alvin Chang does it again, with a data-rich story about how school districts can draw school boundaries to minimize (or exacerbate) segregation. How does your district perform? Read the piece and find out.

Pew Research Center just released a detailed report on STEM workplace equity.

The University of Rochester, which has given faculty members a pass on egregious and chronic sexual misconduct, released a detailed self-study, saying that they were right to give these faculty members a pass to commit their harmful acts.

I didn’t realize how much money Uber was losing. It’s so cheap because they’re losing so much money. If they’re ever going to turn a profit, rides are going to be a lot more expensive. By the time that happens, how much will our public transit options have atrophied?