Recommended reads #126


Three guidelines and two workarounds for tackling makeup exam policies

A better way to make tenure decisions

A major feature in The Chronicle about What It’s Like to Be a Woman in the Academy. The second piece — “we’re not even close” is so on point.

In search of belonging: first generation, low-income students navigating nancial, bureaucratic, and academic experiences

Invisible no more: How advising programs are finding new talent for top colleges

Why tweet?

Is 50:50 an appropriate null model for measuring gender bias?

Here is the full criminal complaint against MSU dean William Strampel, perhaps better known as the guy who enabled Larry Nassar’s horrific career of assault on gymnast girls under his care. The reports of what Strampel did here are disgusting and this puts his inaction regarding Nassar in context.

This story about community colleges is set in my own town. I’ve noticed a lot of high school students and parents talking about taking classes at PCC and then transferring — just because 4-year schools are becoming so absurdly expensive. Even folks who could find the money are asking, why would you when PCC has a great education? I think the social stigma of community college, among some folks who can afford otherwise, is dropping off, as this story suggests. Don’t get me wrong, rich folks still think community college is beneath their own kids in these parts, but we are seeing an evolution of thought, as the cost of college becomes absurd:

Computer science faces an ethics crisis

NSF Graduate Fellowships were announced, all 2000 recipients! Congratulations to every single one of you, all quite worthy of this support. How did your people and institutions fare? Check out the full list here. Natalie Telis has analyzed outcomes of NSF Graduate Research Fellowships over the years, looking a the frequency of the undergraduate institutions of recipients and related educational statistics from the Department of Education. She’s built an app in Shiny that you can use to explore these data yourself. Here are two new posts using these data, which have some surprising revelations:

The Price of a GRFP, Part 1

The Price of a GRFP, Part 2

One thing we can learn from her analysis is how the rule change from 2 years ago (allowing graduate students one submission, not two), which has just gone into full effect, impacted funding rates of undergraduates from different institutions. We don’t know whether NSF was successful with the intended effect, as those data are not available.

Oh and by the way, here is a big list of sample proposals for NSF Graduate Fellowships (along with some advice)

There are a lot of lessons and hard truths about science communication in here:

How ‘Little House on the Prairie’ built modern conservatism

It’s time to rethink school science fairs

“Academic allyship has to be focused on transforming institutions, overhauling their missions and methods, to make them worthy of the people they mobilize and claim to serve. We don’t need your admiration, your acclaim, your invitation. We don’t need you to feel bad. We need you to hire more of us; we need you to practice humility; we need you to take some instruction. There’s a collective endeavor underway, and we’re showing you this: step away from the center and you’ll learn how to do the work.”

I haven’t read this new collection of Zadie Smith’s essays, but I’d like to:

Meg Duffy’s nuggets from Merchants of Doubt will convince you that you really need to read the book, I expect.

“Don’t fix Facebook. Replace it.” (By the way, last week I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram accounts. There are a few things and people I miss there, such as some charming kids, some of whom I’ve never met, and vacation photos, and keeping up with folks who I might see only on the very rare occasion. I have no plans to reactivate, but also imagine how I might at some point in the future. We’ll see)

At the moment I’m reading A Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn. It’s interesting and though written a few years ago, presages conversations that are happening now about privacy, identity, and and also how we build a mental construct of our own reality.

In case you’re curious about the particular neighborhood I live in, this very short essay captures it well. Have a nice weekend.