Academic Poll: Correlation and Evaluation

The always fraught question of student course evaluations has come up again on campus. In discussions, the correlation between “expected grade” and “overall evaluation” has once again been noted– that is, students who report expecting a higher grade are more likely to give a good overall score to their professors than students who expect a […]

Poll: Top Physics Story of 2010?

It’s the last week of the (calendar) year, which means it’s a good time to recap the previous twelve months worth of scientific news. Typically, publications like Physics World will publish a list of top ten physics stories of 2010, but we’re all Web 2.0 these days, so it seems more appropriate to put this […]

Literary Interlude: Bearded Mentor Figures in the Literature of the Fantastic

It’s time now to talk about two of the greatest mentor figures in the literature of the fantastic. You know their stories well, I’m sure, but the parallels between them are eerie: Both are gruff but kindly mentor figures who provide crucial guidance for the young and naive protagonist of the story as he moves […]

Academic Poll: Lesser Evils

Over at Backreaction, Bee runs through the pros and cons of different presentation methods for academic talks. As she quite correctly notes, both PowerPoint presentations and chalk talks have strengths and weaknesses. You can give a good talk with either, and a bad talk with either. This does suggest a topic for a reader poll, […]