With one of the top 10 computer science departments in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Tech had a reputation to uphold. So it made the online program as much like the residential program as possible.
Charles Isbell, a senior associate dean at the College of Computing, helped lead the effort. Mr. Isbell has a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence and machine learning from M.I.T., and he teaches those subjects at Georgia Tech. He translated his lectures into well-produced online videos while administering the same homework assignments, midterms and final exams. Tests are proctored by a company that locks down a student’s computer remotely and uses its camera to check for cheating.
In theory, on-campus programs offer direct access to professors and peers. Mr. Isbell began noticing differences in that respect between his residential and online students. He was interacting much more with students who had never set foot on the Atlanta campus.
“I never see students at my office hours,” he said. A few linger after class to ask scheduling questions, but that’s about it.
Many of the thousands of online students, by contrast, are constantly interacting on a website set up for that purpose, where Isbell can log on and help. “I can jump in and say: ‘No, you should be thinking about this,’ ” he said. “I spend more time helping them with assignments online than I ever do on campus. The experience for the students and for me is much richer online.”
A milestone in the fast changing business of education: Georgia Tech, one of the top computer science programs in the country, is offering an online masters degree in computer science for just $7,000. Unlike competitors who price their online degrees about the same as their residential ones, Georgia Tech decided to charge just enough to cover costs. From the New York Times article:
From her article in the New York Times:
The Great Enrichment began in 17th-century Holland. By the 18th century, it had moved to England, Scotland and the American colonies, and now it has spread to much of the rest of the world.
The Economist summarizes the worst of Trump (so far):
Because each additional Trumpism seems a bit less shocking than the one before, there is a danger of becoming desensitised to his outbursts. To recap, he has referred to Mexicans crossing the border as rapists; called enthusiastically for the use of torture; hinted that Antonin Scalia, a Supreme Court justice, was murdered; proposed banning all Muslims from visiting America; advocated killing the families of terrorists; and repeated, approvingly, a damaging fiction that a century ago American soldiers in the Philippines dipped their ammunition in pigs’ blood before executing Muslim rebels. At a recent rally he said he would like to punch a protester in the face. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
John Cochrane lays it out. Exactly right on all counts.
So easy and yet so hard...
Publication bias renders much of new research unreliable. Somebody needs to check if the results hold up. Thankfully, a team of psychologists have done just that. From the New York Times article on the the findings:
... a painstaking yearslong effort to reproduce 100 studies published in three leading psychology journals has found that more than half of the findings did not hold up when retested. The analysis was done by research psychologists, many of whom volunteered their time to double-check what they considered important work. Their conclusions, reported Thursday in the journal Science, have confirmed the worst fears of scientists who have long worried that the field needed a strong correction.
If reproducibility studies like this become widespread in all dsiciplines, it will be a game changer.
Greg Mankiw writes: A Common Error in Pedagogy
I happened to be flipping through another introductory economics textbook. (Yes, some people have the temerity to try to compete with my favorite textbook.) I noticed an error that is, unfortunately, all too common in how introductory economics is taught.
My book gets this right. In Chapter 12, in the section on price controls, I describe what happens when we put price controls on baseball bats. I then write:
There are two wrongs that were done here—two sources of inefficiencies. First, on the production side, too few bats got made. Second, on the consumption side, those few bats might have gone to the wrong people: a person who valued the bat at $70 might have gotten one while a person who valued it at $500 might have gone home empty-handed. [page 73]
My guess is that the second inefficiency--distributing the already scarce goods to the wrong people--is the bigger source of damage. It definitely should not be ignored when trying to assess the cost of price controls.
There is also a tertiary source of loss: time wasted in rent-seeking activities. This includes standing in lines, calling your contacts, etc. to find the artificially scarce good.
All told, price controls are the worst. Far worse than taxes.
Elon Musk says he wasn't happy with how his kids' school worked, so he designed his own.
Joey Alexander is a 11 year old Jazz prodigy. I don't know jazz well enough to tell good from great, but the experts say he's not your average run-of-the-mill prodigy--he's amazing.
Youtube: Joey Alexander, My Favorite Things (Behind the Scenes)
Besides the fact that a 11-year old can play like that, what's interesting to me is that he was born and brought up in Indonesia, far from the centers of the jazz scene. But he was still able to immerse himself in that world through CDs and YouTube videos. Yet another reminder of how technology has shrunk our world and expanded the boundaries of what's possible.
Richard Thaler on traditional economics:
Economists discount any factors that would not influence the thinking of a rational person. These things are supposedly irrelevant. But unfortunately for the theory, many supposedly irrelevant factors do matter.
Making good decisions is not easy. It requires time, effort, and brainpower. People mess up all the time, especially when it comes to highly complex choices like saving and investing. We are not econs, and it's great that behavioral economists catalog all the ways in which we fall short.
But, when it comes to policy prescriptions, here's what behavioral economists often forget: Us bumbling individuals making our imperfect choices in free markets make decisions more in keeping with our own self-interest than a government bureaucrat choosing for us would. That's why traditional economic theory gives roughly the right answers. Behavioralists are quick to point out flaws in individuals, but ascribe perfect benevolence and intelligence to government employees. They seem to think that the White House and Congress and the DMV and the local school board are all staffed by ... Econs! And these are not just your regular econs. They are perfectly knowledgeable, wise, and benevolent econs who are always acting in other people's interests. They are super-econs!
If you don't believe econs, how can you believe in super-econs?
Sociologist Orlando Patterson on the makeup of inner cities:
According to recent surveys, between 20 and 25 percent of their permanent residents are middle class; roughly 60 percent are solidly working class or working poor who labor incredibly hard, advocate fundamental American values and aspire to the American dream for their children. Their youth share their parents’ values, expend considerable social energy avoiding the violence around them and consume far fewer drugs than their white working- and middle-class counterparts, despite their disproportionate arrest and incarceration rates.
Author of Economics: The Remarkable Story of How the Economy Works