Tidbits on May 24, 2012
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

In pictures this week I feature
Churches and Chutters Near Our Cottage


More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories


Tidbits on May 24, 2012
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations   

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
"Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this


Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

In 2010 David Michael Walker was inducted into The Accounting Hall of Fame ---

"We've lost control of the Federal Budget"- The Honorable David Walker

The U.S. Economy is Unsustainable (David Walker on Sixty Minutes) ---

The Federal Fiscal Crisis (David Walker) ---
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjmCiDB_72g \

The Fiscal Wake-Up Tour Online (David Walker) ---

The London School of Economics and Political Science: Video and Audio (Invited Speaker Collection) ---

Five Historical Misconceptions Debunked --- Clicked Here

The History of Rome in 179 Podcasts --- Click Here

Space Time Travel: Relativity Visualized --- http://www.spacetimetravel.org/

Peabody Essex Museum: Videos --- http://www.pem.org/collections/video

Ken Burns on the Art of Storytelling: “It’s Lying Twenty-Four Times a Second” --- Click Here

What Goes on in a Garden? --- http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/xHkq1edcbk4?rel=0

British Council Film: British Council Film Collection ---

UCLA Film & Television Archive --- http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/

Cultural & Academic Films --- http://www.archive.org/details/culturalandacademicfilms

Free music downloads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Flash Mob Fun Part II: Copenhagen Philharmonic Plays Grieg’s Peer Gynt in the Subway --- Click Here

Duke Ellington Plays for Joan Miró in the South of France, 1966: Bassist John Lamb Looks Back on the Day --- Click Here

A Child’s Introduction to Jazz by Cannonball Adderley (with Louis Armstrong & Thelonious Monk) --- Click Here

Great Puppet Show --- http://www.youtube.com/embed/kPvciIdDZAE

Willie Nelson Sings Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe” (And We’re Taking a Deep Breath Too) --- Click Here

 Forwarded by Maureen
1)  Elvis Presley    2)  Roy Orbison    3)  Beatles    4)  Abba    5)  Bee Gees    6)  Michael Jackson    7)  John Lennon    8)  Celine Dion    9)  Frank Sinatra  10)  Creedence Clearwater Revival  11)  Julio Iglesias  12)  Queen  13) Neil Diamond  14)  Paul Mccartney  15)  Rolling Stones  16)  Pink Floyd  17)  Bruce Springsteen  18)  Elton John  19) U2  20)  George Harrison  21)  Cliff Richard  22)  Tina Turner  23)  Bob Marley  24)  Andrea Bocelli  25)  Dire Straits  26)  Barbra Streisand  27)  Eagles  28)  Madonna  29)  Simon & Garfunkel  30)  Ac/Dc  31)  Bob Dylan  32) Dean Martin  33)  Andr? Hazes  34)  Tom Jones  35)  Eric Clapton  36)  John Denver  37)  Eros Ramazzotti  38) Deep Purple  39)  Led Zeppelin  40)  Rod Stewart  41)  Status Quo  42)  Louis Armstrong  43)  Fleetwood Mac  44) Bryan Adams  45)  Jimi Hendrix  46)  Barry White  47)  Nat King Cole  48)  Santana  49)  Michael Buble  50)  Gipsy Kings  51)  David Bowie  52)  Adriano Celentano  53)  Robbie Williams  54)  Charles Aznavour  55)  Metallica  56) Doors  57)  Shakira  58)  Beach Boys  59)  Cat Stevens  60)  Bon Jovi  61)  Ub40  62)  Joe Cocker  63)  Whitney Houston  64)  Phil Collins  65)  Enrique Iglesias  66)  Ricky Martin  67)  Ray Charles  68)  K3  69)  Zz Top  70)  Van Morrison  71)  Ringo Starr  72)  Stevie Wonder  73)  Gloria Estefan  74)  Supertramp  75)  Jethro Tull  76)  Black Sabbath  77)  Marco Borsato  78)  Guns N? Roses  79)  Neil Young  80)  Chuck Berry  81)  Billy Joel  82)  Sting  83) Kinks  84)  R.e.m.  85)  Laura Pausini  86)  Genesis  87)  Who  88)  Monkees  89)  Animals  90)  Simple Minds  91) Prince  92)  Aretha Franklin  93)  B.b. King  94)  Iron Maiden  95)  Pearl Jam  96)  Christina Aguilera  97)  Alice Cooper  98)  Depeche Mode  99)  Nirvana100)  Gary Moore  Top 70 Songs:  1)  Always On My Mind - Elvis Presley   2)  Fernando - Abba   3)  Dancing Queen - Abba   4)  Oh Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison   5)  Spanish Eyes - Elvis Presley   6)  Are You Lonesome Tonight? - Elvis Presley   7)  Chiquitita - Abba   8)  Massachusetts - Bee Gees   9) Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley 10)  Imagine - John Len non 11)  Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley 12)  California Blue - Roy Orbison 13)  My Way - Elvis Presley 14)  Billie Jean - Michael Jackson 15)  In Dreams - Roy Orbison 16)  Blue Bayou - Roy Orbison 17)  Only The Lonely - Roy Orbison 18)  I Have A Dream - Abba 19)  Yesterday - Beatles 20) Mamma Mia - Abba 21)  Thriller - Michael Jackson 22)  Amazing Grace - Elvis Presley 23)  Unchained Melody - Roy Orbison 24)  Can?t Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley 25)  Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley 26)  Ave Maria - Celine Dion 27)  And I Love You So - Elvis Presley 28)  Blue Moon - Elvis Presley 29)  Hey Jude - Beatles 30)  I Started A Joke- Bee Gees 31)  My Way - Frank Sinatra 32)  Hotel California - Eagles 33)  A Big Hunk O? Love - Elvis Presley 34) Bridge Over Troubled Water  Elvis Presley 35)  The Winner Takes It All - Abba 36)  Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival 37)  Ben - Michael Jackson 38)  Waterloo - Abba 39)  Stayin? Alive - Bee Gees 40)  Words - Bee Gees 41)  How Deep Is Your Love - Bee Gees 42)  Crying - Roy Orbison 43)  Blue Suede Shoes - Elvis Presley 44) Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley 45)  Beat It - Michael Jackson 46)  A Day In The Life - Beatles 47)  Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen 48)  Let It Be - Beatles 49)  Only You - Roy Orbison 50)  Sweet Caroline - Roy Orbison 51)  A Hard Day?s Night - Beatles 52)  Bad - Michael Jackson 53)  Earth Song - Michael Jackson 54)  Woman - John Len non 55)  Imagine (live) - John Len non 56)  Heal The World - Michael Jackson 57)  Stand By Me - John Len non 58) Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond 59)  O Sole Mio - Andrea Bocelli 60)  Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel 61)  Man In The Mirror - Michael Jackson 62)  Strangers In The Night - Frank Sinatra 63)  Black Or White - Michael Jackson 64)  Only You - John Len non 65)  My Sweet Lord - George Harrison 66)  What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong 67)  24 Horas - Julio Iglesias 68)  Everybody Loves Somebody - Dean Martin 69)  I Just Can?t Stop Lovin You - Michael Jackson 70)  Smooth Criminal - Michael Jackson


Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---

TheRadio (my favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.theradio.com/
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.slacker.com/

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection --- http://songza.com/
Also try Jango --- http://www.jango.com/?r=342376581
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live --- http://www.army.mil/fieldband/pages/listening/bandstand.html
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings --- http://bands.army.mil/music/default.asp

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials) --- http://www.slacker.com/ 

Photographs and Art

NYC Photos from 100 Years Ago ---

Dinobase --- http://dinobase.gly.bris.ac.uk/

Russian Churches --- Click Here

Peabody Essex Museum: Videos --- http://www.pem.org/collections/video

Oregon Institute of Marine Biology Slides & Photographs --- http://oregondigital.org/digcol/oimb/

The Warhol: Time Capsule 21 --- http://www.warhol.org/tc21/main.html

Lalla Essaydi Revisions: Introduction (African Art) --- http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/revisions/index.html

Brooklyn Museum: Andy Warhol: The Last Decade --- http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/andy_warhol/index.php

The Warhol: Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross --- http://www.warhol.org/exhibitions/2011/heroesandvillains/

University of Florida Digital Collections: Florida Photograph Collections --- http://ufdc.ufl

Utah State University Digital Library: (Animal Bells) ---

TES: Resources: Art and design resources ---

Art Education 2.0 --- http://arted20.ning.com/

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Columbia Library Columns --- http://library.columbia.edu/content/libraryweb/indiv/rbml/digitalcollections/columns.html

The History of Rome in 179 Podcasts --- Click Here

Free Electronic Literature --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm
Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on May 24, 2012

The booked National Debt on January 1, 2012 was over $15 trillion ---
U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Also see http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Peter G. Peterson Website on Deficit/Debt Solutions ---

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

The generic safe things to tell a graduating class
Neil Gaiman Gives Graduates 10 Essential Tips for Working in the Arts --- Click Here

"Is America Philosophical?" by Carlin Romano, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 20, 2012 ---

The Unsafe things to tell a graduating class
"The Unabomber's Pen Pal," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 20, 2012 ---

Jensen Comment
This is a long and serious article about the philosophy of technology. Innovations nearly always have side effects and must be embraced at a price. As I read this is can appreciate the insights of George Orwell who saw much of this long before modern day philosophers. In many ways this is a philosophy of despair regarding the paradoxes of technology and innovation. I say "despair" because because like so many scholars who find fault, Ted Kaczynsk has no suggestions of hope and improvement. Everything seems so predetermined to fail.

It is important to read the comments that follow this article.

For example, I like cb's comment:

"So the question is, Can the ideas stand on their own merit regardless of who said them?" This assumes that a particular idea or set of ideas is unique to an individual. As Winner posits, the more rational of Kaczynski's are not. So, why give additional attention to an individual who has caused so much pain and threatened so many? The thrill of engaging a sociopath? Drawing off Kaczynski's infamy for attention-seeking? It's hard to find a noble or responsible answer to the question.

It should be added that the moral ambivalence found in Skrbina's approach, notwithstanding his understandable disclaimers rejecting Kaczynski's violence, is a sign of the real problem in human society. Technology will always be with us, whether the tool is a stick or a supercomputer. Whatever problems we have as humans are the result of our own fallibility, including the stubborn tendency towards moral pragmatism and relativity.

Resisting the technological advancements that have saved millions of lives through medicine, computers, robotics, and agriculture is not a sign of a moral superiority. Whatever evils have been accomplished through technology are evils of human behavior. Kaczynski's grievances became excuses to attack and kill defenseless civilians, but the Rosseauian temptation to turn back the clock to some romanticized natural state threatens the well being of billions while only indulging the moral hypocrisy that truly threatens us.


Gee Whiz!
"Highest-Paid Public-College Presidents, 2011 Fiscal Year," Chronicle of Higher Education, May 2012 ---
Note that you can click on any of the 50 states in order to access the data for that state.

OSU President Gordon Gee --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Gee

"Scrutiny of Gordon Gee's Travel Expenses," Inside Higher Ed, May 8, 2012 ---

Ohio State University has spent more than $800,000 on President Gordon Gee's travel expenses since 2007, including more than $550,000 in the last two years, The Dayton Daily News reported. Ohio State officials noted the value of Gee's travel, in reaching donors and others, and in spreading the word about Ohio State across the world. But the newspaper noted that Gee's travel expenses exceeded not only those of two Ohio governors, but also of the presidents of other big public universities with global ambitions and intense fund-raising efforts -- the Universities of Michigan, North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia.

How Public-College Presidents’ Pay Compares With Professors’ Salaries --- Click Here
Pass the mouse over a dot

Bob Jensen's threads on university CEO compensation ---

"What Does $1-Trillion in Student Debt Really Mean? Maybe Not That Much," by Beckie Supiano, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 16, 2012 ---

Student-loan debt is having a moment in the spotlight. An interest-rate hike planned for July 1 has become a hot political issue. New graduates, the majority carrying loans, are entering a still-weak job market. Through it all, near ly every public analysis on education debt now cites the same statistic: The total amount of outstanding student-loan debt is more than $1-trillion.

That milestone made headlines in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, tabloids, and blogs; it was on CBS and NPR. Pundits and interest groups have used the number to raise eyebrows about the high volume of education debt, sometimes suggesting a crisis.

A trillion is a big, round number. It has some shock value. But what does crossing the $1-trillion mark really tell us?

For one thing, that more people are going to college—and graduate school. The sum is an estimate of all outstanding education debt: private and federal student loans for undergraduates, parents, and graduate and professional-school students. And greater educational attainment is a goal the Obama administration and many nonprofit groups are pushing.

At the same time, in the wake of severe state budget cuts, tuition is rising, and students and their families are footing a larger share of the bill. A greater percentage of bachelor's-degree recipients have borrowed, and the average amount of debt per borrower has also risen. About two-thirds of graduates of public and private nonprofit colleges have loans, with the borrowers' average debt about $25,000, according to the most recent analysis, of the Class of 2010, by the Project on Student Debt. (The average debt for the Class of 2004 was under $19,000, according to the federal government, which counts somewhat differently.)

Total outstanding student-loan debt—even $1-trillion of it—may not have broad economic implications. It's still too small a sum to derail the economy, at least for now, says Mark Kantrowitz. He runs a well-known consumer Web site, FinAid, that displays a Student Loan Debt Clock, perpetually ticking up. But the clock is "intended for entertainment purposes only," the site says.

The student-loan market can't be viewed like the housing market, says Mr. Kantrowitz. No one speculates on the value of an education, artificially inflating its price.

Total annual student-loan payments, which come to $60- or $70-billion, now represent only about 0.4 percent of GDP, Mr. Kantrowitz says. And should a day come when the federal government—which makes most student loans—is too hard up to offer them, that will be the least of the nation's worries.

Besides, education debt is "good debt," says Anthony P. Carnevale, director of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. "This is exactly the kind of debt a society wants."

A homeowner might find himself underwater on a mortgage, but an education doesn't lose value. And the government's new "gainful employment" rules, which attempt to prevent borrowers from ending up with worthless degrees, should make student debt an even better bet, Mr. Carnevale says.

Still, student loans have been called the next bubble. That doesn't faze Judith Scott-Clayton, an assistant professor of economics and education at Columbia University's Teachers College. It is "not something that keeps me up at night," she says.

Parallels with the housing market, she says, are unconvincing. But rising debt levels could affect graduates' pursuits, potentially deterring them from careers in public service. The government does offer income-based repayment programs, but few borrowers take advantage of them, she says, a fact that puzzles economists.

Individual Impact

The $1-trillion total, which varies depending on where data come from and how interest is counted, didn't hit 13 digits suddenly. It has been climbing for years, and there's little reason to think it will stop now.

So today's tally doesn't necessarily matter, says Robert A. Sevier, senior vice president for strategy at the higher-education marketing company Stamats. "It's the trend line that's terrifying."

But pointing to an impressive number can be helpful to groups that want to raise awareness about student debt and what they see as its repercussions. "It represents the impact to the economy as a whole, not just to individuals," says Jen Mishory, deputy director of Young Invincibles, an advocacy group that has called itself the AARP for young people. Debt delays some recent graduates from buying homes or starting a family, she says, decisions that affect the economy. (The group conducted a poll last fall of about 900 people ages 18 to 34, finding that almost half had delayed purchasing a home, but because of the "current economy" in general, not student loans specifically.)

Meanwhile, the total student-loan debt now has enough zeros to get the attention of policy makers, who are used to thinking in trillions, says Andy MacCracken, associate director of the National Campus Leadership Council, a new student advocacy group. But students themselves are more concerned with the numbers that bear on them directly: how much they have borrowed, what their monthly payments are, and whether they can afford to make them.

Individual calculations, of course, have more impact on students and colleges. And the total amount of debt isn't inherently bad. "If it can be paid off the way it's supposed to be, it's not a problem," says Kathy Dawley, president of Maguire Associates, a higher-education consulting firm. What matters is who has borrowed, and if they can pay it back.

Someone who borrows a reasonable amount to help finance a good education, finds a well-paying job, and repays loans comfortably is evidence of the system's working. But if a borrower has either taken on too much debt, attended a subpar college, or failed to graduate or find work, that's a different story. Last week The New York Times posited that student loans are "weighing down a generation with heavy debt." Unemployment for recent college graduates stood at 8.9 percent at the end of 2011.

When the Institute for College Access & Success, an independent nonprofit, started the Project on Student Debt in 2005, its goal was to bring attention to an overlooked issue, says Lauren J. Asher, the group's president. Now, she says, it is no longer on the sidelines: "Student debt has touched more and more people's lives."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I'm a long-time advocate of having financial literacy somewhere in the general education core curriculum ---

What I found more interesting than Supiano's article (that I thought was naive) were some of the comments following her article. One in particular is quoted below:

Comment by thececinc
Thanks for the courage to critique without identifying yourself "11336405". That's very professional of you. With that approach I am certain you are held in the highest esteem by your colleagues. Good for you. 

For your reference the fee is $3,500, not $750 and it's not for a seminar, it's for a complete and comprehensive Financial Education program for a campus to implement. The program has the ability to scale to 500 students per semester. Now let's compare that price to the average amount of student loan debt today's college graduate has: $25,000. The program is priced in a fair & equitable range. (Also for your reference The Rich Grad Project is developed by Collegiate EmPowerment a 501c3 non profit educational organization)

So Dr. 11336405, let's get to the real heart of the matter. Currently there are over 4,813 degree granting colleges & universities in the US, enrolling approximately 18.3 million students. Based on the most current data from the CIRP Study from UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute The American Freshman, the #1 Lifetime Objective of today's college student is: To Be Very Well Off Financially (79.6%). 

Now here is the current economic reality of the Student Loan Crisis: 
1. We have a student loan debt amount exceeding $1 Trillion Dollars
2. The average student will graduate with over $25,000 in student loan debt
3. We have $67 Billion Dollars of student loan debt in DEFAULT 
4. In July of 2012, the interest rate on federal student loans will jump from 3.4% to 6.8%

Now put this in context with these two additional facts
5. The #1 lifetime objective of today's student is: To Be Very Well Off Financially (wether you agree with it our not)
6. Yet of the 4,813 degree granting institutions in the US, how many of them have Financial Education in the core curriculum? Take a guess....

ONLY 1 (Champlain College, Burlington, VT)

So let's forget that facts & economic indicators that show THE SKY IS FALLING when it comes to the student loan crisis. There is a much, much deeper problem here. It's the fact that we are graduating an entire generation of financial illiterates and then sticking them with a non-dischargable debt the size of mortgage. Not only does this hurt our students, not only does this hurt our industry of Higher Education bottom-line it hurts the future of our country. 

So keep the critiques rolling in Dr. 11336405 and maybe you can learn a thing or two. Then again you probably bought your condo at the height of the Real Estate bubble too. How's that working for you? 

Additional Jensen Comment
Among the comments

Ms. Sapaiano stated: "A homeowner might find himself underwater on a mortgage, but an education doesn't lose value. And the government's new "gainful employment" rules, which attempt to prevent borrowers from ending up with worthless degrees, should make student debt an even better bet, Mr. Carnevale says."

I find the real estate mortgage versus student loan debt comparison to be misleading. Firstly, the value of an education is only a heart beat away from having no future value. An insured house has future value that is far less risky since home ownership is easily transferred in full.

Secondly, the amount of mortgage is highly correlated with quality where usually a high quality house qualifies for a much larger mortgage than a low quality house. In the education market, the highest student loans are often going to the lowest quality education, especially some of those for-profit university scams. This begs the question of why students will opt to borrow more for a low quality education given the choice of higher quality education, including distance education degrees, from state universities?

The answer is that students are borrowing for grades rather than education. They are gaming the system for grades and are willing to borrow more for a low quality education as long as they can game for an A grade average ---

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

May 11, 2012 reply from Jagdish Gangolly

Hopefully this is my last post on this thread. I just could not resist posting this appeal to editors, chairs, directors, reviewers,... by Professor John Kruschke, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Statistics at Indiana University.

His book on " Doing Bayesian Data Analysis: A Tutorial with R and BUGS " is the best introductory textbook on statistics I have read.

Regards to all,


Here is the open letter: ___________________________________________________

An open letter to Editors of journals, Chairs of departments, Directors of funding programs, Directors of graduate training, Reviewers of grants and manuscripts, Researchers, Teachers, and Students:

Statistical methods have been evolving rapidly, and many people think it’s time to adopt modern Bayesian data analysis as standard procedure in our scientific practice and in our educational curriculum. Three reasons:

1. Scientific disciplines from astronomy to zoology are moving to Bayesian data analysis. We should be leaders of the move, not followers.

2. Modern Bayesian methods provide richer information, with greater flexibility and broader applicability than 20th century methods. Bayesian methods are intellectually coherent and intuitive. Bayesian analyses are readily computed with modern software and hardware.

3. Null-hypothesis significance testing (NHST), with its reliance on p values, has many problems. There is little reason to persist with NHST now that Bayesian methods are accessible to everyone.

My conclusion from those points is that we should do whatever we can to encourage the move to Bayesian data analysis. Journal editors could accept Bayesian data analyses, and encourage submissions with Bayesian data analyses. Department chairpersons could encourage their faculty to be leaders of the move to modern Bayesian methods. Funding agency directors could encourage applications using Bayesian data analysis. Reviewers could recommend Bayesian data analyses. Directors of training or curriculum could get courses in Bayesian data analysis incorporated into the standard curriculum. Teachers can teach Bayesian. Researchers can use Bayesian methods to analyze data and submit the analyses for publication. Students can get an advantage by learning and using Bayesian data analysis.

The goal is encouragement of Bayesian methods, not prohibition of NHST or other methods. Researchers will embrace Bayesian analysis once they learn about it and see its many practical and intellectual advantages. Nevertheless, change requires vision, courage, incentive, effort, and encouragement!

Now to expand on the three reasons stated above.

1. Scientific disciplines from astronomy to zoology are moving to Bayesian data analysis. We should be leaders of the move, not followers.

Bayesian methods are revolutionizing science. Notice the titles of these articles:

Bayesian computation: a statistical revolution. Brooks, S.P. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 361(1813), 2681, 2003.

The Bayesian revolution in genetics. Beaumont, M.A. and Rannala, B. Nature Reviews Genetics, 5(4), 251-261, 2004.

A Bayesian revolution in spectral analysis. Gregory, PC. AIP Conference Proceedings, 557-568, 2001.

The hierarchical Bayesian revolution: how Bayesian methods have changed the face of marketing research. Allenby, G.M. and Bakken, D.G. and Rossi, P.E. Marketing Research, 16, 20-25, 2004

The future of statistics: A Bayesian 21st century. Lindley, DV. Advances in Applied Probability, 7, 106-115, 1975.

There are many other articles that make analogous points in other fields, but with less pithy titles. If nothing else, the titles above suggest that the phrase “Bayesian revolution” is not an overstatement.

The Bayesian revolution spans many fields of science. Notice the titles of these articles:

Bayesian analysis of hierarchical models and its application in AGRICULTURE. Nazir, N., Khan, A.A., Shafi, S., Rashid, A. InterStat, 1, 2009.

The Bayesian approach to the interpretation of ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA. Litton, CD & Buck, CE. Archaeometry, 37(1), 1-24, 1995.

The promise of Bayesian inference for ASTROPHYSICS. Loredo TJ. In: Feigelson ED, Babu GJ, eds. Statistical Challenges in Modern Astronomy. New York: Springer-Verlag; 1992, 275–297.

Bayesian methods in the ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES. Berliner LM, Royle JA, Wikle CK, Milliff RF. In: Bernardo JM, Berger JO, Dawid AP, Smith AFM, eds. Bayesian Statistics 6: Proceedings of the sixth Valencia international meeting, June 6–10, 1998. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 1999, 83–100.

An introduction to Bayesian methods for analyzing CHEMISTRY data:: Part II: A review of applications of Bayesian methods in CHEMISTRY. Hibbert, DB and Armstrong, N. Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, 97(2), 211-220, 2009.

Bayesian methods in CONSERVATION BIOLOGY. Wade PR. Conservation Biology, 2000, 1308–1316.

Bayesian inference in ECOLOGY. Ellison AM. Ecol Biol 2004, 7:509–520.

The Bayesian approach to research in ECONOMIC EDUCATION. Kennedy, P. Journal of Economic Education, 17, 9-24, 1986.

The growth of Bayesian methods in statistics and ECONOMICS since 1970. Poirier, D.J. Bayesian Analysis, 1(4), 969-980, 2006.

Commentary: Practical advantages of Bayesian analysis of EPIDEMIOLOGIC DATA. Dunson DB. Am J Epidemiol 2001, 153:1222–1226.

Bayesian inference of phylogeny and its impact on EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY. Huelsenbeck JP, Ronquist F, Nielsen R, Bollback JP. Science 2001, 294:2310–2314.

Geoadditive Bayesian models for FORESTRY defoliation data: a case study. Musio, M. and Augustin, N.H. and von Wilpert, K. Environmetrics. 19(6), 630—642, 2008.

Bayesian statistics in GENETICS: a guide for the uninitiated. Shoemaker, J.S. and Painter, I.S. and Weir, B.S. Trends in Genetics, 15(9), 354-358, 1999.

Bayesian statistics in ONCOLOGY. Adamina, M. and Tomlinson, G. and Guller, U. Cancer, 115(23), 5371-5381, 2009.

Bayesian analysis in PLANT PATHOLOGY. Mila, AL and Carriquiry, AL. Phytopathology, 94(9), 1027-1030, 2004.

Bayesian analysis for POLITICAL RESEARCH. Jackman S. Annual Review of Political Science, 2004, 7:483–505.

The list above could go on and on. The point is simple: Bayesian methods are being adopted across the disciplines of science. We should not be laggards in utilizing Bayesian methods in our science, or in teaching Bayesian methods in our classrooms.

Why are Bayesian methods being adopted across science? Answer:

2. Bayesian methods provide richer information, with greater flexibility and broader applicability than 20th century methods. Bayesian methods are intellectually coherent and intuitive. Bayesian analyses are readily computed with modern software and hardware.

To explain this point adequately would take an entire textbook, but here are a few highlights.

* In NHST, the data collector must pretend to plan the sample size in advance and pretend not to let preliminary looks at the data influence the final sample size. Bayesian design, on the contrary, has no such pretenses because inference is not based on p values.

* In NHST, analysis of variance (ANOVA) has elaborate corrections for multiple comparisons based on the intentions of the analyst. Hierarchical Bayesian ANOVA uses no such corrections, instead rationally mitigating false alarms based on the data.

* Bayesian computational practice allows easy modification of models to properly accommodate the measurement scales and distributional needs of observed data.

* In many NHST analyses, missing data or otherwise unbalanced designs can produce computational problems. Bayesian models seamlessly handle unbalanced and small-sample designs.

* In many NHST analyses, individual differences are challenging to incorporate into the analysis. In hierarchical Bayesian approaches, individual differences can be flexibly and easily modeled, with hierarchical priors that provide rational “shrinkage” of individual estimates.

* In contingency table analysis, the traditional chi-square test suffers if expected values of cell frequencies are less than 5. There is no such issue in Bayesian analysis, which handles small or large frequencies seamlessly.

* In multiple regression analysis, traditional analyses break down when the predictors are perfectly (or very strongly) correlated, but Bayesian analysis proceeds as usual and reveals that the estimated regression coefficients are (anti-)correlated.

* In NHST, the power of an experiment, i.e., the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis, is based on a single alternative hypothesis. And the probability of replicating a significant outcome is “virtually unknowable” according to recent research. But in Bayesian analysis, both power and replication probability can be computed in straight forward manner, with the uncertainty of the hypothesis directly represented.

* Bayesian computational practice allows easy specification of domain-specific psychometric models in addition to generic models such as ANOVA and regression.

Some people may have the mistaken impression that the advantages of Bayesian methods are negated by the need to specify a prior distribution. In fact, the use of a prior is both appropriate for rational inference and advantageous in practical applications.

* It is inappropriate not to use a prior. Consider the well known example of random disease screening. A person is selected at random to be tested for a rare disease. The test result is positive. What is the probability that the person actually has the disease? It turns out, even if the test is highly accurate, the posterior probability of actually having the disease is surprisingly small. Why? Because the prior probability of the disease was so small. Thus, incorporating the prior is crucial for coming to the right conclusion.

* Priors are explicitly specified and must be agreeable to a skeptical scientific audience. Priors are not capricious and cannot be covertly manipulated to predetermine a conclusion. If skeptics disagree with the specification of the prior, then the robustness of the conclusion can be explicitly examined by considering other reasonable priors. In most applications, with moderately large data sets and reasonably informed priors, the conclusions are quite robust.

* Priors are useful for cumulative scientific knowledge and for leveraging inference from small-sample research. As an empirical domain matures, more and more data accumulate regarding particular procedures and outcomes. The accumulated results can inform the priors of subsequent research, yielding greater precision and firmer conclusions.

* When different groups of scientists have differing priors, stemming from differing theories and empirical emphases, then Bayesian methods provide rational means for comparing the conclusions from the different priors.

To summarize, priors are not a problematic nuisance to be avoided. Instead, priors should be embraced as appropriate in rational inference and advantageous in real research.

If those advantages of Bayesian methods are not enough to attract change, there is also a major reason to be repelled from the dominant method of the 20th century:

3. 20th century null-hypothesis significance testing (NHST), with its reliance on p values, has many severe problems. There is little reason to persist with NHST now that Bayesian methods are accessible to everyone.

Although there are many difficulties in using p values, the fundamental fatal flaw of p values is that they are ill defined, because any set of data has many different p values.

Consider the simple case of assessing whether an electorate prefers candidate A over candidate B. A quick random poll reveals that 8 people prefer candidate A out of 23 respondents. What is the p value of that outcome if the population were equally divided? There is no single answer! If the pollster intended to stop when N=23, then the p value is based on repeating an experiment in which N is fixed at 23. If the pollster intended to stop after the 8th respondent who preferred candidate A, then the p value is based on repeating an experiment in which N can be anything from 8 to infinity. If the pollster intended to poll for one hour, then the p value is based on repeating an experiment in which N can be anything from zero to infinity. There is a different p value for every possible intention of the pollster, even though the observed data are fixed, and even though the outcomes of the queries are carefully insulated from the intentions of the pollster.

The problem of ill-defined p values is magnified for realistic situations. In particular, consider the well-known issue of multiple comparisons in analysis of variance (ANOVA). When there are several groups, we usually are interested in a variety of comparisons among them: Is group A significantly different from group B? Is group C different from group D? Is the average of groups A and B different from the average of groups C and D? Every comparison presents another opportunity for a false alarm, i.e., rejecting the null hypothesis when it is true. Therefore the NHST literature is replete with recommendations for how to mitigate the “experimentwise” false alarm rate, using corrections such as Bonferroni, Tukey, Scheffe, etc. The bizarre part of this practice is that the p value for the single comparison of groups A and B depends on what other groups you intend to compare them with. The data in groups A and B are fixed, but merely intending to compare them with other groups enlarges the p value of the A vs B comparison. The p value grows because there is a different space of possible experimental outcomes when the intended experiment comprises more groups. Therefore it is trivial to make any comparison have a large p value and be nonsignificant; all you have to do is intend to compare the data with other groups in the future.

The literature is full of articles pointing out the many conceptual misunderstandings held by practitioners of NHST. For example, many people mistake the p value for the probability that the null hypothesis is true. Even if those misunderstandings could be eradicated, such that everyone clearly understood what p values really are, the p values would still be ill defined. Every fixed set of data would still have many different p values.

To recapitulate: Science is moving to Bayesian methods because of their many advantages, both practical and intellectual, over 20th century NHST. It is time that we convert our research and educational practices to Bayesian data analysis. I hope you will encourage the change. It’s the right thing to do.

John K. Kruschke, Revised 14 November 2010, http://www.indiana.edu/~kruschke/

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

When Research Gets it Wrong
"Something Does Not Add Up,"  by Joan O'Connell Hamilton, Stanford Magazine, May/June 2012 ---

Too much medicine relies on fatally flawed research. Epidemiologist John P.A. Ioannidis leads the charge to ensure health care you can count on.

Last June, Stanford orthopedic surgeon Eugene Carragee and his editorial team at the Spine Journal announced they had examined data that Medtronic Inc. presented a decade ago to get approval for the spinal bone graft product sold as Infuse.

Not only did the team find that evidence for Infuse's benefits over existing alternatives for most patients was questionable; they also discovered in a broad array of published research that risks of complications (including cancer, male sterility and other serious side effects) appeared to be 10 to 50 times higher than 13 industry-sponsored studies had shown. And they learned that authors of the early studies that found no complications had been paid between $1 million and $23 million annually by the company for consulting, royalties and other compensation. Carragee, MD '82, estimates Medtronic has sold several billion dollars' worth of Infuse for uses both approved and "off label." Medtronic issued a statement saying it believed the product was safe for approved use and gave a $2.5 million grant to Yale University researchers to review the data. Their analysis is expected this year.

Continued in article

In a 2010 AAA Plenary Session, what did Harvard's Bob Kaplan accuse accountics scientists of getting wrong?

What accountics scientists got wrong, according to Bob, is limiting the scope of their research to accountics epidemiology and not enough focus on the clinical side of accountancy.

Members of the AAA who have access to the AAA Commons can watch Bob's video at
Note that to watch the entire Kaplan video ---
I think the video is only available to AAA members.

"Accounting Scholarship that Advances Professional Knowledge and Practice," AAA Presidential Scholar Address by Robert S. Kaplan, The Accounting Review, March 2011, pp. 372-373 (emphasis added)

I am less pessimistic than Schön about whether rigorous research can inform professional practice (witness the important practical significance of the Ohlson accounting-based valuation model and the Black-Merton-Scholes options pricing model), but I concur with the general point that academic scholars spend too much time at the top of Roethlisberger’s knowledge tree and too little time performing systematic observation, description, and classification, which are at the foundation of knowledge creation. Henderson 1970, 67–68 echoes the benefits from a more balanced approach based on the experience of medical professionals:

both theory and practice are necessary conditions of understanding, and the method of Hippocrates is the only method that has ever succeeded widely and generally. The first element of that method is hard, persistent, intelligent, responsible, unremitting labor in the sick room, not in the library … The second element of that method is accurate observation of things and events, selection, guided by judgment born of familiarity and experience, of the salient and the recurrent phenomena, and their classification and methodical exploitation. The third element of that method is the judicious construction of a theory … and the use thereof … [T]he physician must have, first, intimate, habitual, intuitive familiarity with things, secondly, systematic knowledge of things, and thirdly an effective way of thinking about things.

 More recently, other observers of business school research have expressed concerns about the gap that has opened up in the past four decades between academic scholarship and professional practice.

Examples include: Historical role of business schools and their faculty is as evaluators of, but not creators or originators of, business practice. (Pfeffer 2007, 1335) Our journals are replete with an examination of issues that no manager would or should ever care about, while concerns that are important to practitioners are being ignored. (Miller et al. 2009, 273)

In summary, while much has been accomplished during the past four decades through the application of rigorous social science research methods to accounting issues, much has also been overlooked. As I will illustrate later in these remarks, we have missed big opportunities to both learn from innovative practice and to apply innovations from other disciplines to important accounting issues. By focusing on these opportunities, you will have the biggest potential for a highly successful and rewarding career.

Integrating Practice and Theory: The Experience of Other Professional Schools
Other professional schools, particularly medicine, do not disconnect scholarly activity from practice. Many scholars in medical and public health schools do perform large-scale statistical studies similar to those done by accounting scholars. They estimate reduced-form statistical models on cross-sectional and longitudinal data sets to discover correlations between behavior, nutrition, and health or sickness. Consider, for example, statistical research on the effects of smoking or obesity on health, and of the correlations between automobile accidents and drivers who have consumed significant quantities of alcoholic beverages. Such large-scale statistical studies are at the heart of the discipline of epidemiology.

Some scholars in public health schools also intervene in practice by conducting large-scale field experiments on real people in their natural habitats to assess the efficacy of new health and safety practices, such as the use of designated drivers to reduce alcohol-influenced accidents. Few academic accounting scholars, in contrast, conduct field experiments on real professionals working in their actual jobs (Hunton and Gold [2010] is an exception). The large-scale statistical studies and field experiments about health and sickness are invaluable, but, unlike in accounting scholarship, they represent only one component in the research repertoire of faculty employed in professional schools of medicine and health sciences.

Many faculty in medical schools (and also in schools of engineering and science) continually innovate. They develop new treatments, new surgeries, new drugs, new instruments, and new radiological procedures. Consider, for example, the angiogenesis innovation, now commercially represented by Genentech’s Avastin drug, done by Professor Judah Folkman at his laboratories in Boston Children’s Hospital (West et al. 2005). Consider also the dozens of commercial innovations and new companies that flowed from the laboratories of Robert Langer at MIT (Bowen et al. 2005) and George Whiteside at Harvard University (Bowen and Gino 2006). These academic scientists were intimately aware of gaps in practice that they could address and solve by applying contemporary engineering and science. They produced innovations that delivered better solutions in actual clinical practices. Beyond contributing through innovation, medical school faculty often become practice thought-leaders in their field of expertise. If you suffer from a serious, complex illness or injury, you will likely be referred to a physician with an appointment at a leading academic medical school. How often, other than for expert testimony, do leading accounting professors get asked for advice on difficult measurement and valuation issues arising in practice?

One study (Zucker and Darby 1996) found that life-science academics who partner with industry have higher academic productivity than scientists who work only in their laboratories in medical schools and universities. Those engaged in practice innovations work on more important problems and get more rapid feedback on where their ideas work or do not work.

These examples illustrate that some of the best academic faculty in schools of medicine, engineering, and science, attempt to improve practice, enabling their professionals to be more effective and valuable to society. Implications for Accounting Scholarship To my letter writer, just embarking on a career as an academic accounting professor, I hope you can contribute by attempting to become the accounting equivalent of an innovative, worldclass accounting surgeon, inventor, and thought-leader; someone capable of advancing professional practice, not just evaluating it. I do not want you to become a “JAE” Just Another Epidemiologist . My vision for the potential in your 40 year academic career at a professional school is to develop the knowledge, skills, and capabilities to be at the leading edge of practice. You, as an academic, can be more innovative than a consultant or a skilled practitioner. Unlike them, you can draw upon fundamental advances in your own and related disciplines and can integrate theory and generalizable conceptual frameworks with skilled practice. You can become the accounting practice leader, the “go-to” person, to whom others make referrals for answering a difficult accounting or measurement question arising in practice.

But enough preaching! My teaching is most effective when I illustrate ideas with actual cases, so let us explore several opportunities for academic scholarship that have the potential to make important and innovative contributions to professional practice.

Continued in article

Added Jensen Comment
Of course I'm not the first one to suggest that accountics science referees are inbred. This has been the theme of other AAA presidential scholars (especially Anthony Hopwood), Paul Williams, Steve Zeff, Joni Young, and many, many others that accountics scientists have refused to listen to over past decades.

"The Absence of Dissent," by Joni J. Young, Accounting and the Public Interest 9 (1), 2009 --- Click Here

The persistent malaise in accounting research continues to resist remedy. Hopwood (2007) argues that revitalizing academic accounting cannot be accomplished by simply working more diligently within current paradigms. Based on an analysis of articles published in Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, I show that this paradigm block is not confined to financial accounting research but extends beyond the work appearing in the so-called premier U.S. journals. Based on this demonstration I argue that accounting academics must tolerate (and even encourage) dissent for accounting to enjoy a vital research academy. ©2009 American Accounting Association

We could try to revitalize accountics scientists by expanding the gene pools of inbred referees.

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

“An Analysis of the Evolution of Research Contributions by The Accounting Review: 1926-2005,” (with Jean Heck), Accounting Historians Journal, Volume 34, No. 2, December 2007, pp. 109-142.

Bob Jensen's threads on what went wrong with accountics research are at

Ethics Education Library (and tutorials) --- http://ethics.iit.edu/eelibrary/

"Score One for the Robo-Tutors," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, May 22, 2012 ---

Without diminishing learning outcomes, automated teaching software can reduce the amount of time professors spend with students and could substantially reduce the cost of instruction, according to new research.

In experiments at six public universities, students assigned randomly to statistics courses that relied heavily on “machine-guided learning” software -- with reduced face time with instructors -- did just as well, in less time, as their counterparts in traditional, instructor-centric versions of the courses. This largely held true regardless of the race, gender, age, enrollment status and family background of the students.

The study comes at a time when “smart” teaching software is being increasingly included in conversations about redrawing the economics of higher education. Recent investments by high-profile universities in “massively open online courses,” or MOOCs, has elevated the notion that technology has reached a tipping point: with the right design, an online education platform, under the direction of a single professor, might be capable of delivering meaningful education to hundreds of thousands of students at once.

The new research from the nonprofit organization Ithaka was seeking to prove the viability of a less expansive application of “machine-guided learning” than the new MOOCs are attempting -- though one that nevertheless could have real implications for the costs of higher education.

The study, called “Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities,” involved students taking introductory statistics courses at six (unnamed) public universities. A total of 605 students were randomly assigned to take the course in a “hybrid” format: they met in person with their instructors for one hour a week; otherwise, they worked through lessons and exercises using an artificially intelligent learning platform developed by learning scientists at Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative.

Researchers compared these students against their peers in the traditional-format courses, for which students met with a live instructor for three hours per week, using several measuring sticks: whether they passed the course, their performance on a standardized test (the Comprehensive Assessment of Statistics), and the final exam for the course, which was the same for both sections of the course at each of the universities.

The results will provoke science-fiction doomsayers, and perhaps some higher-ed traditionalists. “Our results indicate that hybrid-format students took about one-quarter less time to achieve essentially the same learning outcomes as traditional-format students,” report the Ithaka researchers.

The robotic software did have disadvantages, the researchers found. For one, students found it duller than listening to a live instructor. Some felt as though they had learned less, even if they scored just as well on tests. Engaging students, such as professors might by sprinkling their lectures with personal anecdotes and entertaining asides, remains one area where humans have the upper hand.

But on straight teaching the machines were judged to be as effective, and more efficient, than their personality-having counterparts.

It is not the first time the software used in the experiment, developed over the last five years or so by Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative, has been proven capable of teaching students statistics in less time than a traditional course while maintaining learning outcomes. So far that research has failed to persuade many traditional institutions to deploy the software -- ostensibly for fear of shortchanging students and alienating faculty with what is liable to be seen as an attempt to use technology as a smokescreen for draconian personnel cuts.

But the authors of the new report, led by William G. Bowen, the former president of Princeton University, hope their study -- which is the largest and perhaps the most rigorous to date on the effectiveness of machine-guided learning -- will change minds.

“As several leaders of higher education made clear to us in preliminary conversations, absent real evidence about learning outcomes there is no possibility of persuading most traditional colleges and universities, and especially those regarded as thought leaders, to push hard for the introduction of [machine-guided] instruction” on their campuses.

Continued in article

"‘Free-Range Learners’: Study Opens Window Into How Students Hunt for Educational Content Online," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 25, 2012 --- Click Here

Concept Knowledge, Competency Testing, and Assessment of Deep Understanding ---

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade are at

Bob Jensen's threads on the explosion of distance education and training ---

"Textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin files Ch. 11 bankruptcy," Chicago Tribune, May 21, 2012 --- Click Here

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after the textbook publisher reached agreement with a majority of its creditors to cut about $3.1 billion of debt.

The Boston-based company and two dozen affiliates filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan. It said it had more than $1 billion in both assets and liabilities.

Houghton Mifflin has struggled as state and local governments cut spending, reducing demand for textbooks for students from kindergarten to 12th grade
, Moody's Investors Service has said.

On May 11, Houghton Mifflin said its agreement with more than 70 percent of its senior secured lenders and bondholders would permit a "pre-packaged" bankruptcy.

It said it expected to be able to emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of June.

The restructuring calls for Houghton Mifflin to convert its bank and bond debt into 100 percent of the equity of a reorganized company, saving $250 million in annual cash interest costs, according to the company. Trade creditors and unsecured creditors would be paid in full.

Houghton Mifflin has lined up $500 million in financing from
Citigroup Inc.

Boston University Libraries: Research Guide --- http://www.bu.edu/library/guides/index.html

Ask a Librarian
Cited References: How Do I Find Who Cited an Article or Book?
Citing Your Sources
Classes and Tutorials
Dissertations (Guide for Writers of Theses and Dissertations)
Information Literacy
Locate Full-Text Articles
Open Access
Primary Sources
Reference Services
RefWorks [About]
Research Process


Jensen Comment
There are 50 research guides in this resource, from accounting to zoology.
The Accounting and Auditing Link is at --- http://www.bu.edu/library/guides/pml/accounting.html

Business/Economics Research-
Pardee Library


General Research-
BU Libraries

Accounting researchers should not forget Jim Martin's great MAAW site ---

The London School of Economics and Political Science: Video and Audio (Invited Speaker Collection) ---

Tracking Ships at Sea
May 17, 2012 message from David Fordham

Hey, let's face it... it's fun.  A fiction writer named Orwell had a blast doing it, and made a boatload of money , plus he became famous while doing it.

I came across this blurb about watercraft a couple of minutes ago:


And if tracking navy subs, cruise ships, tug boats, and America's Cup yachts isn't your thing, well, you can always go back to tracking planes, cars, trucks, motorcycles, trains, and you can even track individual people, too, as long as they have a cell phone or GPS with them.  Once you figure out how to do it, you can have all kinds of fun.  Here's where I am right now, although I've modified my phone to only update periodically instead of the default every three minutes:


David Fordham
James Madison University

"Top Business Schools Look to Social Scientists to Enhance Research," by Michael Stratford, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 13, 2012 ---

As a doctoral student at Yale University's psychology department, George E. Newman became increasingly interested in applying the theories he studied to people's business decisions.

He began exploring, for instance, why people prefer buying original pieces of artwork over perfect duplicates and why they're willing to pay a lot for celebrity possessions.

"What we found is that a lot of those decisions have to do, importantly, with psychological essentialism," he said. "People believe the objects contain some essence of their previous owners or manufacturers."

Wanting to further pursue such application of his psychology training, Mr. Newman accepted a postdoctoral appointment at Yale's School of Management, and last year became an assistant professor there.

The career path he has followed, as a social scientist moving to a top-tier business school, is becoming relatively common, particularly for Ph.D.'s in psychology, economics, and sociology. As those institutions have sought to bolster and broaden their research, they've been looking to hire faculty with strong scholarship in disciplines outside of business. The prospect of teaching and researching at a business school can be alluring to scholars, too. And a rough academic job market in the social sciences has also helped push people with Ph.D.'s in that direction.

Focus on Research

Adam D. Galinsky, professor of ethics and decision in management at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, was trained as a social psychologist. Mr. Galinsky, who was hired by Kellogg more than a decade ago, says he was among the first wave of social scientists to join the faculties of top-tier business schools. The push to hire more psychologists and sociologists, he says, was motivated by the institutions' desire to improve the research they produced.

"There was a sense that the quality of research in business schools was inadequate," he says. "The idea was to hire strong discipline-based people and bring them into the business schools with their strong foundation of research skills."

That trend may have started to slow recently, Mr. Galinsky says, in part because of the improved training that business schools can now offer because they have hired social scientists. As a result, business-school graduates are more competitive when they apply for faculty positions at business-schools that trained psychologists and other social scientists are also seeking.

Many social scientists are attracted to business schools because they provide an opportunity to approach fields of study from more applied and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Victoria L. Brescoll, who completed her Ph.D. and held a postdoctoral appointment at Yale's psychology department, is an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Yale's School of Management. She says that moving from a psychology department to a business school was something she had always thought of doing, because her research on how people are perceived at work is at the intersection of various disciplines, including social psychology, women studies, communications, and organizational studies.

"The distinctions between disciplines can be somewhat artificial," she says. "Part of why I like being in the business school is that I can do that kind of interdisciplinary work."

Ms. Brescoll says she enjoys the challenge of considering an economic or business perspective to her work.

"You have to rethink what high-quality evidence is because you have to think about it from the perspective of someone from a totally different discipline," she says. "Things you might have taken for granted, you just can't."

Job-Market Pressures

For some Ph.D. candidates, the tight academic job market can be an incentive to explore faculty positions at a business school.

After completing his doctoral degree in social psychology at Princeton University in 1999, Mr. Galinsky says he applied to 50 psychology departments and three business schools. He barely received any responses from the psychology departments but heard back from two of the business schools. He accepted a postdoctoral appointment at Kellogg. "It was a path that was chosen for me," he says.

"For a lot of people interested in social psychology, there are just not a lot of jobs in that field in general," says Mr. Newman, the Yale professor who studies decision-making.

Moving from psychology to business is "not an expected path at this point, but it is a common path," says Elanor F. Williams, who completed her Ph.D. in social psychology at Cornell University in 2008 and then accepted a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Florida's Warrington College of Business. Her research focuses on how people think in a social or realized context.

Though she applied to some psychology departments, Ms. Williams says she focused her job search heavily on postdoctoral positions at business schools because of the transition they can offer. In her case, her postdoctoral appointment at Florida even paid for her to participate in an eight-week program to train nonbusiness Ph.D.'s to teach in business schools. The Post-Doctoral Bridge to Business Program was started in 2007 by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, an accrediting agency, as business schools faced a shortage of qualified professors to teach growing numbers of students.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
It's not clear why business professors would "look to the social sciences for research" since PhD programs focus mostly on graduating social scientists ---

"Business Education Under the Microscope:  Amid growing charges of irrelevancy, business schools launch a study of their impact on business,"
Business Week
, December 26, 2007 --- http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/dec2007/bs20071223_173004.htm 

The business-school world has been besieged by criticism in the past few months, with prominent professors and writers taking bold swipes at management education. Authors such as management expert Gary Hamel and Harvard Business School Professor Rakesh Khurana have published books this fall expressing skepticism about the direction in which business schools are headed and the purported value of an MBA degree. The December/January issue of the Academy of Management Journal includes a special section in which 10 scholars question the value of business-school research.

B-school deans may soon be able to counter that criticism, following the launch of an ambitious study that seeks to examine the overall impact of business schools on society. A new Impact of Business Schools task force convened by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)—the main organization of business schools—will mull over this question next year, conducting research that will look at management education through a variety of lenses, from examining the link between business schools and economic growth in the U.S. and other countries, to how management ideas stemming from business-school research have affected business practices. Most of the research will be new, though it will build upon the work of past AACSB studies, organizers said.

The committee is being chaired by Robert Sullivan of the University of California at San Diego's Rady School of Management, and includes a number of prominent business-school deans including Robert Dolan of the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business, Linda Livingstone of Pepperdine University's Graziado School of Business & Management, and AACSB Chair Judy Olian, who is also the dean of UCLA's Anderson School of Management. Representatives from Google (GOOG) and the Educational Testing Service will also participate. The committee, which was formed this summer, expects to have the report ready by January, 2009.

BusinessWeek.com reporter Alison Damast recently spoke with Olian about the committee and the potential impact of its findings on the business-school community.

There has been a rising tide of criticism against business schools recently, some of it from within the B-school world. For example, Professor Rakesh Khurana implied in his book From Higher Aims to Hired Hands (BusinessWeek.com, 11/5/07) that management education needs to reinvent itself. Did this have any effect on the AACSB's decision to create the Impact of Business Schools committee?

I think that is probably somewhere in the background, but I certainly don't view that as in any way the primary driver or particularly relevant to what we are thinking about here. What we are looking at is a variety of ways of commenting on what the impact of business schools is. The fact is, it hasn't been documented and as a field we haven't really asked those questions and we need to. I don't think a study like this has ever been done before.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the growing irrelevance of academic accounting research are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

The dearth of research findings replications --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#Replication

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

ComputerWorld's Spotlight on Cloud Storage ---

Bob Jensen's threads on storage ---

The New GMAT:  Part 1
"The New GMAT: Questions for a Data-Rich World,: by: Alison Damast, Business Week, May 14, 2012 ---

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a three-part series on the new GMAT, which makes its official debut on June 5. In this article, we examine the conceptual building blocks for the test’s new Integrated Reasoning section.

On a blustery day in February 2009, a group of nine deans and faculty members from U.S. and European business schools huddled together in a conference room in McLean, Va., at the Graduate Management Admission Council’s headquarters. They were there to discuss what would be some of the most radical changes to the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) in the exam’s nearly 60-year history.

Luis Palencia, then an associate dean at Spain’s IESE Business School, was eager to press his case for the skills he thought today’s MBAs needed to have at their fingertips. Business students must be able to nimbly interpret and play with data in graphs, spreadsheets, and charts, using the information to draw swift but informed conclusions, he told his colleagues.

“The GMAT was not becoming obsolete, but it was failing to identify the skills which might be important to warrant the success of our future candidates,” he said in a phone interview from Barcelona three years later.

By the time the faculty advisory group commenced two days later, they had come up with a set of recommendations that would serve as a framework for what would eventually become the new “Integrated Reasoning” section of the Next Generation GMAT, which has been in beta testing for two years and will be administered to applicants for the first time on June 5.

Until now, the B-school entrance exam, which was administered 258,192 times worldwide in 2011, was made up of verbal, quantitative, and two writing sections. The new section, which replaces one of the writing sections, is the biggest change to the GMAT since the shift to computer-adaptive testing 15 years ago, and one that has been in the works since 2006, when GMAC first decided to revisit the exam and the skills it was testing, says Dave Wilson, president and chief executive officer of GMAC.

“At that time, we got a pretty good handle that the GMAT was working, but we wanted to know if there was anything that we weren’t measuring that would provide real value to the schools,” Wilson says.

It turned out there was a whole slew of new skills business school faculty believed could be added to the exam. The recommendations put forth by Palencia and the rest of the committee that convened in 2009 served as the conceptual building blocks for what a new section might look like. Later that year, GMAC surveyed nearly 740 faculty members around the world, from business professors to admissions officers, who agreed with many of the committee’s findings and suggested that students needed certain proficiencies to succeed in today’s technologically advanced, data-driven workplaces.

For example, they gave “high importance” ratings to skills such as synthesizing data, evaluating data from different sources, and organizing and manipulating it to solve multiple, interrelated problems, according to the Next Generation GMAC Skills Survey report.

Those are all examples of skills that can now be found on the 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section, which GMAC has spent $12 million developing over the past few years, Wilson says. It will have 12 questions and include pie charts, graphs, diagrams, and data tables. The section employs four different types of questions that will allow students to flex their analytical muscles.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at

"Texas A&M Gathers Accountability Data on New Web Site," Chronicle of Higher Education, May 18, 2012 ---

Amid calls for more accountability, Texas A&M University has unveiled a website that makes data such as graduation rates, faculty workloads, demographics and student debt easily accessible.

The site — accountability.tamu.edu — is composed of data that already was publicly available, but administrators say the effort is an unprecedented step toward ensuring public trust.

“It is unfortunate that higher education faces new questions about its impact,” said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin in a news release. “We want to do everything in our power to ensure the public trust in all we do.”

Accountability was the subject of a public fight last year between the state’s two public research universities, A&M and UT-Austin, and the Gov. Rick Perry-backed conservative think tank, the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The group’s “seven breakthrough solutions” were a series of ideas with which the group aimed to address perceived accountability issues. The universities’ regents, all of whom are appointed by Perry, embraced some of the ideas and flirted with others until the schools pushed back following media attention.

One of the most criticized of the ideas was one that reduced a faculty member’s value to a “bottom line” financial figure, represented by a number in either red or black, by subtracting his or her salary and benefits from money brought in through teaching and research.

The document was taken down amid numerous complaints of inaccuracies in the data.

“I’m not opposed to accountability,” said Peter Hugill, a Texas A&M faculty member and state conference president of the American Association of University Professors. “I was opposed to that crazy red and black report.”

The new accountability website has no such measure.

The site provides large amounts of information in a compact format with real-time changes, said Joe Pettibon, associate vice president for academic services, in the news release.

“This is a bold step in transparency that holds the university to the highest standards regarding how we use our resources,” Pettibon said. “However, the site will always be a work in progress as information is added, updated, and improved to address what is happening in higher education and the university.”


The accountability site is at

Texas A&M University is committed to accountability in its pursuit of excellence. The university expects to be held to the highest standards in its use of resources and in the quality of the educational experience. In fact, this commitment is a part of the fabric of the institution from its founding and is a key component of its mission statement (as approved by the Board of Regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board), its aspirations found in Vision 2020 (approved by the Board of Regents in 1999), and its current strategic plan, Action 2015: Education First (approved by the Chancellor in December 2010).

Texas A&M Case on Computing the Cost of Professors and Academic Programs

Jensen Comment
In an advanced Cost/Managerial Accounting course this assignment could have two parts. First assign the case below. Then assign student teams to write a case on how to compute the cost of a given course, graduate in a given program, or a comparison of a the cost of a distance education section versus an onsite section of a given course taught by a tenured faculty member teaching three courses in general as well as conducting research, performing internal service, and performing external service in his/her discipline.

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on November 5, 2010

Putting a Price on Professors
by: Stephanie Simon and Stephanie Banchero
Oct 23, 2010
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Contribution Margin, Cost Management, Managerial Accounting

SUMMARY: The article describes a contribution margin review at Texas A&M University drilled all the way down to the faculty member level. Also described are review systems in place in California, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio and other locations.
CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Managerial concepts of efficiency, contribution margin, cost management, and the managerial dashboard in university settings are discussed in this article.

1. (Introductory) Summarize the reporting on Texas A&M University's Academic Financial Data Compilation. Would you describe this as putting a "price" on professors or would you use some other wording? Explain.

2. (Introductory) What is the difference between operational efficiency and "academic efficiency"?

3. (Advanced) Review the table entitled "Controversial Numbers: Cash Flow at Texas A&M." Why do you think that Chemistry, History, and English Departments are more likely to generate positive cash flows than are Oceanography, Physics and Astronomy, and Aerospace Engineering?

4. (Introductory) What source of funding for academics is excluded from the table review in answer to question 3 above? How do you think that funding source might change the scenario shown in the table?

5. (Advanced) On what managerial accounting technique do you think Minnesota's state college system has modeled its method of assessing campuses' performance?

6. (Advanced) Refer to the related article. A large part of cost increases in university education stem from dormitories, exercise facilities, and other building amenities on campuses. What is your reaction to this parent's statement that universities have "acquiesced to the kids' desire to go to school at luxury resorts"?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

Letters to the Editor: What Is It That We Want Our Universities to Be?
by Hank Wohltjen, David Roll, Jane S. Shaw, Edward Stephens
Oct 30, 2010
Page: A16

"Putting a Price on Professors," by Stephanie Simon and Stephanie Banchero, The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2010 ---

Carol Johnson took the podium of a lecture hall one recent morning to walk 79 students enrolled in an introductory biology course through diffusion, osmosis and the phospholipid bilayer of cell membranes.

A senior lecturer, Ms. Johnson has taught this class for years. Only recently, though, have administrators sought to quantify whether she is giving the taxpayers of Texas their money's worth.

A 265-page spreadsheet, released last month by the chancellor of the Texas A&M University system, amounted to a profit-and-loss statement for each faculty member, weighing annual salary against students taught, tuition generated, and research grants obtained.

Ms. Johnson came out very much in the black; in the period analyzed—fiscal year 2009—she netted the public university $279,617. Some of her colleagues weren't nearly so profitable. Newly hired assistant professor Charles Criscione, for instance, spent much of the year setting up a lab to research parasite genetics and ended up $45,305 in the red.

The balance sheet sparked an immediate uproar from faculty, who called it misleading, simplistic and crass—not to mention, riddled with errors. But the move here comes amid a national drive, backed by some on both the left and the right, to assess more rigorously what, exactly, public universities are doing with their students—and their tax dollars.

As budget pressures mount, legislators and governors are increasingly demanding data proving that money given to colleges is well spent. States spend about 11% of their general-fund budgets subsidizing higher education. That totaled more than $78 billion in fiscal year 2008, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.

The movement is driven as well by dismal educational statistics. Just over half of all freshmen entering four-year public colleges will earn a degree from that institution within six years, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

And among those with diplomas, just 31% could pass the most recent national prose literacy test, given in 2003; that's down from 40% a decade earlier, the department says.

"For years and years, universities got away with, 'Trust us—it'll be worth it,'" said F. King Alexander, president of California State University at Long Beach.

But no more: "Every conversation we have with these institutions now revolves around productivity," says Jason Bearce, associate commissioner for higher education in Indiana. He tells administrators it's not enough to find efficiencies in their operations; they must seek "academic efficiency" as well, graduating more students more quickly and with more demonstrable skills. The National Governors Association echoes that mantra; it just formed a commission focused on improving productivity in higher education.

This new emphasis has raised hackles in academia. Some professors express deep concern that the focus on serving student "customers" and delivering value to taxpayers will turn public colleges into factories. They worry that it will upend the essential nature of a university, where the Milton scholar who teaches a senior seminar to five English majors is valued as much as the engineering professor who lands a million-dollar research grant.

And they fear too much tinkering will destroy an educational system that, despite its acknowledged flaws, remains the envy of much of the world. "It's a reflection of a much more corporate model of running a university, and it's getting away from the idea of the university as public good," says John Curtis, research director for the American Association of University Professors.

Efforts to remake higher education generally fall into two categories. In some states, including Ohio and Indiana, public officials have ordered a new approach to funding, based not on how many students enroll but on what they accomplish.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
This case is one of the most difficult cases that managerial and cost accountants will ever face. It deals with ugly problems where joint and indirect costs are mind-boggling. For example, when producing mathematics graduates in undergraduate and graduate programs, the mathematics department plays an even bigger role in providing mathematics courses for other majors and minors on campus. Furthermore, the mathematics faculty provides resources for internal service to administration, external service to the mathematics profession and the community, applied research, basic research, and on and on and on. Faculty resources thus become joint product resources.

Furthermore costing faculty time is not exactly the same as costing the time of a worker that adds a bumper to each car in an assembly line. While at home in bed going to sleep or awakening in bed a mathematics professor might hit upon a Eureka moment where time spent is more valuable than the whole previous lifetime of that professor spent in working on campus. How do you factor in hours spent in bed in CVP analysis and Cost-Benefit analysis? Work sampling and time-motion studies used in factory systems just will not work well in academic systems.

In Cost-Profit-Volume analysis the multi-product CPV model is incomprehensible without making a totally unrealistic assumption that "sales mix" parameters are constant for changing levels of volume. Without this assumption for many "products" the solution to the CPV model blows our minds.

Another really complicating factor in CVP and C-B analysis are semi-fixed costs that are constant over a certain time frame (such as a semester or a year for adjunct  employees) but variable over a longer horizon. Of course over a very long horizon all fixed costs become variable, but this generally destroys the benefit of a CVP analysis in the first place. One problem is that faculty come in non-tenured adjunct, non-tenured tenure-track, and tenured varieties.

To complicate matters the sources of revenues in a university are complicated and interactive. Revenues come from tuition, state support (if any), gifts and endowment earnings, research grants, services such as surgeries in the medical school, etc. Allocation of these revenues among divisions and departments is generally quite arbitrary.

I could go on and on about why I would never attempt to do CVP or C-B research for one of the largest universities of the world. But somebody at Texas A&M has rushed in where angels fear to tread.

Bob Jensen's threads on managerial and cost accounting are at

Human Resource Accounting for Financial Statements

The value of human resource employees in a business is currently not booked and usually not even disclosed as an estimated amount in footnotes. In general a "value" is booked into the ledger only when cash or explicit contractual liabilities are transacted such as a bonus paid for a professional athlete or other employee. James Martin provides an excellent bibliography on the academic literature concerning human resource accounting ---

Bob Jensen's threads on human resource accounting are at

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---

Multivariate Data Visualization

May 18, 2012 message from Alfred Inselberg

Hello Bob,

I saw and enjoyed your very interesting site and believe that you will be interested in


which contains the recent breakthroughs in the field. It has a self-contained chapter in Data Mining with examples on real multivariate datasets (some with undreds of variables). Also there are other applications to Air Traffic, Process Control, Decision Support and elsewhere.

Among others the book was praised by Stephen Hawking. I hope that you will also enjoy it.

Best regards


Bob Jensen's threads on
Visualization of Multivariate Data (including faces) ---


"B-School Research Briefs," by: Francesca Di Meglio, Business Week, May 11, 2012 ---

B-School Culture: A Plea for Change," by Philip Delves, Business Week, May 14, 2012 ---

A guest post from Philip Delves Broughton, a former Paris bureau chief for Britain’s Daily Telegraph. Broughton graduated from Harvard Business School in 2006 and is the author of The Art of the Sale: Learning From the Masters About the Business of Life (Penguin Press, 2012).

In 2007, Rakesh Khurana, a professor at Harvard Business School, published a sharp critique of American B-schools called From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession.

He argued that MBA programs were flogging a product to students which did nothing to help them improve the business world once they graduated. They were given tools and equipped with skills but left with a gaping hole in the middle of their education where their morality was supposed to be.

The ruling class of American business, with its obsession with shareholder returns over any broader social good, was a direct reflection of the intellectual and spiritual poverty of business schools. Much of Khurana’s work at HBS is devoted to trying to fix this.

And now we have one of the intellectual lions of Harvard, Clay Christensen, publishing How Will You Measure Your Life?, a gripping personal story with lessons from business mixed in. Christensen’s decision to venture from innovation, the subject that made him famous, into the personal advice genre was provoked in part by seeing what happened to his peer group from Oxford University and Harvard Business School. (He was recently profiled in Bloomberg Businessweek and the New Yorker.)

“Something had gone wrong for some of them along the way: Their personal relationships had begun to deteriorate, even as their professional prospects blossomed,” he writes in the prologue of his new book. When his friends stopped even attending reunions, he sensed that they “felt embarrassed to explain to their friends the contrast in the trajectories of their personal and professional lives.”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---


UNESCO Working Paper Series on Mobile Learning ---

Virginia Tech: Study Skills Self Help Information ---

A Fully Online Philosophy Degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

"Virtual Philosophy," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, May 17, 2012 ---

Some assume that online education is not a suitable medium for courses that rely on the Socratic Method. But the philosophy professors at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro are skeptical.

The Greensboro philosophy department, which already offers online versions of eight of its courses, has adapted two additional ones, including a “capstone” seminar, for the Web. Pending the approval of the university system’s general administration, the new courses would make it possible to earn an undergraduate philosophy degree from Greensboro without setting foot on its campus.

That would make philosophy the first department at Greensboro’s undergraduate college to offer a fully online degree.

That might strike some observers as odd, given philosophy’s reputation as a discipline that relies on classroom exchanges and whose pedagogical model has hardly changed since ancient Greece. But philosophy and technology are more closely linked than some might assume, says Gary Rosenkrantz, the chair of the department.

“It’s not as ironic as it seems if you reflect on the fact that computers -- both hardware and software -- derive from logicians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” says Rosenkrantz. Threads of inquiry that use the “if-then” protocol of formal logic are the “foundation of both the computer chip and basic computer software functions,” he says.

In fact, the structured reasoning of philosophy makes it perhaps more amenable to adaptation than some other humanities disciplines. To help teach the online versions, Wade Maki, a lecturer at Greensboro, developed a computer program based on the choose-your-own-adventure books of his youth. Called “Virtual Philosopher,” the program poses ethical dilemmas and presents multiple-choice questions. Once a student answers, the program -- which features text as well as video of Maki -- interrogates her answer before offering her the opportunity to either change or reaffirm it.

By asking leading questions and restricting student answers, Virtual Philosopher seeks to give students some autonomy without letting them wander off-topic, says Maki. For a preformatted program, the similarity to a typical classroom exchange is remarkable, he says.

“It’s this classic tennis back and forth, intellectually,” says Maki, who has co-authored a paper on using Virtual Philosopher to replicate the Socratic Method online. “And if you’ve been teaching for a while … it becomes quite natural to find that they can be easily structured to give a student a good replica of what happens in the classroom.”

The online philosophy courses at Greensboro do not rely entirely on Maki’s Virtual Philosopher. The instructors also hold live video chats via Blackboard, where students can inquire about various ideas without having to color inside the lines, says Rosenkrantz.

But with the proposed fully online philosophy track comes a new challenge: holding an upper-level seminar online. Whereas the lower- and mid-level courses had only to match the level of interaction that students could reasonably expect from a traditional class of 40 or 50 students, Rosenkrantz will now have to try to replicate a much smaller, discussion-intensive course when it puts one of the department’s capstone courses, “Philosophy 494: Substance and Attribute,” on to the Web. “That needs to have a significant element of synchronous interaction between a professor and students,” he says.

Rosenkrantz, who is slated to teach the course if the online major gets approved, says he is planning to use Google+ Hangouts to hold live discussions. Instructors have for years resisted holding seminar discussions online because multiperson video chat platforms were viewed as unreliable. But, like some other institutions that are moving discussion-intensive pieces of their curriculums to the Web, the Greensboro oracles are seeing technological capabilities gaining on ambition in online education. “Certainly the technology is there to attempt it now,” says Rosenkrantz.

Continued in article

Leo Strauss: 15 Political Philosophy Courses Online --- Click Here

From Amherst College
Ask a Philosopher (a live philosopher will answer your questions) ---

Sample Question on April 19, 2012
Is it ethical to kill someone in self-defense? My instinct was yes at first, but upon further reflection, in a situation where it's "you or them", I can't seem to think of a reason to kill someone in self-defense, other than the fact that you simply want to live. After all, you're still taking a human life. (Also if you could explain why it is or isn't ethical would help me out a lot thanks!)

View the replies of several "philosophers" (who apparently never were faced with a life or death decision in real life)
I think one of the answers is either tongue-in-cheek or just plain dumb!

Gateway to Philosophy --- http://www.bu.edu/paideia/index.html

Philosophy Now: A Magazine of Ideas http://www.philosophynow.org/

Video course covers Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Tocqueville.
Introduction to Political Philosophy: A Free Yale Course"--- Click Here

Also see the BBC's "Big Thinker" Lecture Series --- Click Here

Teach Philosopy 101  --- http://www.teachphilosophy101.org/
This site presents strategies and resources for faculty members and graduate assistants who are teaching Introduction to Philosophy courses; it also includes material of interest to college faculty generally. The mission of TΦ101 is to provide free, user-friendly resources to the academic community. All of the materials are provided on an open source license. You may also print as many copies as you wish (please print in landscape). TΦ101 carries no advertising. I am deeply indebted to Villanova University for all of the support that has made this project possible.
John Immerwahr, Professor of Philosophy, Villanova University

Methodologies of Comparative Philosophy: The Pragmatist and Process Traditions by Robert W. Smid (State University of New York Press; 2009, 288 pages; $80). Evaluates the methodologies of William Ernest Hocking, F.S.C. Northrop, Robert Cummings Neville, and David L. Hall in collaboration with Roger T. Ames.

Philosophy Now: A Magazine of Ideas http://www.philosophynow.org/

Video course covers Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Tocqueville.
Introduction to Political Philosophy: A Free Yale Course"--- Click Here

Also see the BBC's "Big Thinker" Lecture Series --- Click Here

Rhapsody of Philosophy: Dialogues With Plato in Contemporary Thought by Max Statkiewicz (Penn State University Press; 2009. 216 pages; $60). Describes a "rhapsodic mode" in Plato's dialogues that is echoed by such thinkers as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Irigaray, Derrida, and Nancy.

Who Was Jacques Derrida? An Intellectual Biography by David Mikics (Yale University Press; 2009, 273 pages; $30). Topics include the French thinker's vision of philosophy as a realm that resists psychology.

Ask Philosophers --- http://www.amherst.edu/askphilosophers/


  • This site puts the talents and knowledge of philosophers at the service of the general public. Send in a question that you think might be related to philosophy and we will do our best to respond to it. To date, there have been 1375 questions posted and 1834 responses.

    Philosophy Talk (Audio) --- http://www.philosophytalk.org/

    Philosophy Now: A Magazine of Ideas http://www.philosophynow.org/

    The Secret Lives Of Philosophers
    "Are Philosophers Really Lovers Of Wisdom?" Simoleon Sense, February 2, 2009 ---

    I’ve always been interested in becoming an academic philosopher. My interest is so profound that I even majored as one during undergrad, only to quickly switch to Psychology & Neuroscience. Here’s an article brought to my attention by a friend and philosopher.
     Click Here To Read About The Secret Lives Of Philosphers

    Article Introduction (Via Philosopher’s Net)

    Although academics will hardly raise an eyebrow about this “open secret”, it comes as a surprise to many others to learn that many philosophers, in fact an increasing number by my lights, are little devoted to the love of wisdom. In only a merely “academic” way do they aspire to intellectual virtue. Even less often do they exhibit qualities of moral excellence. On the contrary, many philosophers, or what pass as philosophers, are, sadly, better described as petty social climbers, meretricious snobs, and acquisitive consumerists.

    I blush a bit now to confess that part of what drove me into philosophy in the first place was the naive conviction that among those who call themselves lovers of wisdom I would find something different in kind from the repugnant and shallow brutalism of the worlds of finance, business, and the law to which I had suffered some exposure in Ronald Reagan’s America.

    Article Excerpts (Via Philsopher’s Net)

    “Instead, I’ve found that the secret lives of philosophers are more often than not pre-occupied with status and acquisition.”

    “Like debutantes at the ball, philosophers now often spend much of their time dropping names, gossiping, promoting their connections, hawking their publications, passing out business cards and polishing their self-promotional web sites.”

    “Attitudes toward material consumption are not, I’m afraid much better. Philosophers seem to pepper their conversations more and more with remarks about the perks or bonuses they receive – how much money they have available for travel, what sort of computer allowances, how big their research grants are.”

    “All of this suggests a philosophical culture that imitates the business world not only in its emphasis on product (publication) but also in its adopting the criteria and trappings of professional success characteristic of commercial life.

    Conclusions (Via Philosopher’s Net)

    “One implication of this little secret is that professional philosophers have become less and less egalitarian in their view of education.”

    “Finding philosophers devoted principally to the love of wisdom and to sharing it broadly has become, as Spinoza said of all excellent things, as difficult as it is rare.”


    Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives around the world ---

    "Italian university switches to English," by Sean Coughlan, BBC News, May 16, 2012 ---
    Thank you Bob Overn for the heads up.

    From opera at La Scala to football at the San Siro stadium, from the catwalks of fashion week to the soaring architecture of the cathedral, Milan is crowded with Italian icons.

    Which makes it even more of a cultural earthquake that one of Italy's leading universities - the Politecnico di Milano - is going to switch to the English language.

    The university has announced that from 2014 most of its degree courses - including all its graduate courses - will be taught and assessed entirely in English rather than Italian.

    The waters of globalisation are rising around higher education - and the university believes that if it remains Italian-speaking it risks isolation and will be unable to compete as an international institution.

    "We strongly believe our classes should be international classes - and the only way to have international classes is to use the English language," says the university's rector, Giovanni Azzone.

    Italy might have been the cradle of the last great global language - Latin - but now this university is planning to adopt English as the new common language. 'Window of change'

    "Universities are in a more competitive world, if you want to stay with the other global universities - you have no other choice," says Professor Azzone.

    He says that his university's experiment will "open up a window of change for other universities", predicting that in five to 10 years other Italian universities with global ambitions will also switch to English.

    This is one of the oldest universities in Milan and a flagship institution for science, engineering and architecture, which lays claim to a Nobel prize winner. Almost one in three of all Italy's architects are claimed as graduates. So this is a significant step.

    But what is driving this cultural change? Is it the intellectual equivalent of pop bands like Abba singing in English to reach a wider market?

    Professor Azzone says a university wants to reach the widest market in ideas - and English has become the language of higher education, particularly in science and engineering.

    "I would have preferred if Italian was the common language, it would have been easier for me - but we have to accept real life," he says.

    When English is the language of international business, he also believes that learning in English will make his students more employable.

    These are the days of the curriculum vitae rather than the dolce vita.

    "It's very important for our students not only to have very good technical skills, but also to work in an international environment."

    Modern-age Latin

    The need to attract overseas students and researchers, including from the UK and non-English speaking countries, is another important reason for switching to English as the primary language.

    Continued in article

    Global Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 9, 2012 ---

    "Northern Arizona U. Overhauls Curriculum to Focus on 'Global Competence'," by Ian Wilhelm, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 20, 2012 ---

    "Purdue Kicks Off Global Online-Education Project," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 11, 2012 ---

    Purdue University today joined the group of universities that have recently announced plans to experiment with online courses aimed at a global audience.

    The new effort, called PurdueHUB-U, will serve up modular online courses with video lectures, interactive visualizations, and tools for students to interact with their peers and the professor. The project’s leaders hope it will improve face-to-face classes and bring in revenue by attracting students around the world.

    PurdueHUB-U grew out of a course taught this year on Purdue’s nanoHUB, a collaborative platform for nanotechnology research. The course, on the fundamentals of nanoelectronics, was broken into two parts that lasted a few weeks each. It attracted 900 students from 27 countries, most of whom paid $30 for the class and a certificate of completion. Students also had the option to turn their certificates into continuing-education credits for an additional $195.

    Timothy D. Sands, Purdue’s provost, called that pricing model a “low outer paywall” that was much cheaper than traditional credit-hour charges, but not quite free. He added that the project will first focus on developing online course materials to transform the university’s face-to-face classes. Mr. Sands said the course modules could also be offered to Purdue alumni, allowing them to continue their education after they graduate.

    Continued in article

    "‘Free-Range Learners’: Study Opens Window Into How Students Hunt for Educational Content Online," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 25, 2012 --- Click Here

    Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade are at

    Concept Knowledge, Competency Testing, and Assessment of Deep Understanding ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on the explosion of distance education and training ---

    The MOOC Model Revisited
    "Massive Open Online Courses: How: 'The Social” Alters the Relationship Between Learners and Facilitators'," by Bonnie Stewart, Inside Higher Ed, April 30, 2012 --- Click Here

    Bob Jensen's threads on MITx and other free courses, lectures, videos and course materials from prestigious universities ---

    Students learn just as much in a course that’s taught partly online as they would in a traditional classroom, but . . .
    "Study Shows Promise and Challenges of ‘Hybrid’ Courses," by Katie Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 22, 2012 --- Click Here

    Students learn just as much in a course that’s taught partly online as they would in a traditional classroom, but such courses won’t reach their potential until they are both easier for faculty members to customize and more fun for students, according to a report released today.

    The report, “Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence From Randomized Trials,” is based on a study conducted by Ithaka S+R, a consultancy on the use of technology in teaching.

    The finding that hybrid courses are no better or worse than traditional ones isn’t, as it might appear, “a bland result,” said one of the co-authors, William G. Bowen, president emeritus of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

    “One of the responses most frequently raised in efforts to experiment with this kind of teaching is that it will expose students to risk,” he said in an interview. “The results of this study show that such worries are overblown.”

    The results do indicate that such courses, as they exist today, “do no harm,” said Mr. Bowen, who serves as a senior adviser to the Ithaka group. “But surely these courses are going to improve dramatically as they become more customizable and more fun.”

    Some experts advocate online classes as a way to deliver courses more economically and effectively, particularly for members of minority groups and others who might be subject to stereotypes in a classroom setting. Meanwhile, skeptics suspect that online approaches depersonalize education and shortchange students.

    “We felt it was important to do a rigorous, randomized study so we could see if the extreme claims on either side of the divide are justified,” Mr. Bowen said.

    The study compared how much students at six public universities learned after taking a prototype introductory statistics course in the fall of 2011 in either a hybrid or a traditional format. The researchers randomly assigned a diverse group of 605 students to either a hybrid group, in which they learned with computer-guided instruction and one hour of face-to-face instruction each week, or a traditional format, usually with three or four hours of face-to-face instruction per week.

    The result? “We find that learning outcomes are essentially the same—that students in the hybrid format pay no ‘price’ for this mode of instruction in terms of pass rates, final exam scores, and performance on a standardized assessment of statistical literacy,” the report concluded.

    The authors also found that using the hybrid approach in large introductory courses “has the potential to significantly reduce instructor compensation costs in the long run.”

    The report emphasizes that its conclusions don’t apply to all online instruction, just a specific type of interactive online course in which computer-guided instruction substitutes for some face-to-face instruction.

    The findings were consistent among all groups and campuses, the authors said. Half of the students tested were from families earning less than $50,000, and half were first-generation college students.

    Large public universities that face growing pressures to cut costs and improve graduation rates stand the most to gain from refining the hybrid approach, particularly for large introductory courses, the authors note.

    Continued in article

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Asychronous Learning ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade are at

    Concept Knowledge, Competency Testing, and Assessment of Deep Understanding ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on the explosion of distance education and training ---

    The MOOC Model Revisited
    "Massive Open Online Courses: How: 'The Social” Alters the Relationship Between Learners and Facilitators'," by Bonnie Stewart, Inside Higher Ed, April 30, 2012 --- Click Here

    Bob Jensen's threads on MITx and other free courses, lectures, videos and course materials from prestigious universities ---

    "Stanford’s Credential Problem," by Kevin Carey, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 14, 2012 ---

    A couple of weeks ago, while discussing the announcement of the Harvard / MIT edX initiative, I included a brief recap of what’s been happening over the last six months in the land of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC’s), which began as follows:

    Throughout the fall 2011 semester, a group of well-known Stanford professors had been running an unorthodox experiment by letting over 100,000 students around the world take their courses, online, for free. Those who did well got a certificate from the professor saying so.

    Later than day, I received an email titled “error in your blog” from a person who works in communications for Stanford, which I’m reprinting with permission. The person said:

    Students who did well did not receive a certificate. Neither Stanford nor the professors issued a certificate. All students who completed the courses received a letter from the professor saying that they had completed the course. And that’s it.

    This is telling. I used the word “certificate” deliberately, because “letter” seemed inadequate. A letter is a vehicle for interpersonal correspondence, e.g. “Dear Mom, I am having fun at camp this summer, please send cookies,” or “Dear Sir, we regret to inform you that your manuscript does not meet our standards for publication.” A certificate is a document describing some kind of important characteristic of the bearer, as attested by the issuer. A college diploma is a kind of certificate, as is a teaching certificate issued by a state licensing board, as were the old-fashioned “letters of introduction” people once used to facilitate business and social interactions. As is, I would argue, the document that students received upon completing the Stanford MOOC in question. Here it is:


    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on MITx, EDX, and other credential programs from prestigious universities ---

    May 20, 2012 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Robert and Zane,

    I think MOOQ classes of 10,000+ students may have a similar fate as correspondence schools as far as the professions are concerned for licensing since professional schools of law, medicine, architecture, accounting, etc. offer so much more than can be put on licensing examinations.

    MOOQ certificates, however, will fill certain niche markets where students can get AP credit for what they learned in MOOQ courses. As example I use repeatedly is that a licensed engineer might get an added online set of courses in Bessel Functions. It's then up to the employer to verify that this licensed engineer really did master the Bessel Function courses.

    Similarly, a tax accountant CPA might take some distance education courses in insurance company taxation. Or a student might become a very competent C++ programer in MOOQ courses. Once again, the employer or graduate school must test for competency in added specialties.

    There will also be a role for MOOQ mass education in terms of general education courses where competencies can be examined on tests such as math tests, basic biology, basic state government, basic accounting, etc. But as we move up the ladder to advanced courses much more learning takes place than can be effectively and efficiently tested such as a case course at Harvard on business policy.

    Note there are also major differences in distance education itself. Small and intense advanced accounting and tax courses may actually be better than onsite courses in terms of student interaction, interaction with a professor, etc. See Amy Dunbar's account of this ---

    But I don't see MOOQ for the masses replacing advanced courses where so much learning takes place via onsite or online education that cannot be effectively and efficiently put into competency AP texts.

    Bob Jensen


    "How Compatible Are Rival E-Readers?" by David Pogue, The New York Times, May 10, 2012 ---

    The mail is still coming in about my review of Barnes & Noble’s latest e-book reader, the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.

    Very little of the mail is actually about the reader, though. Most of it challenges the statements I made when I characterized the state of the e-book world right now.

    Here’s a summary — and a few clarifications.

    • What I wrote: “When you buy an e-reader, you’re committing to that one company’s catalog of books forever, because their book formats are mutually incompatible.”

    Sample reader pushback: “Why do you write about things you don’t know anything about? Apparently, you haven’t heard of the free app called Calibre. It converts any e-book format into any other format. If I want to switch from a Kindle to a Nook, I just let Calibre convert my current Kindle library. It’s that simple.”

    My reply: It’s actually not, for one towering reason: Calibre can’t convert copy-protected books. It doesn’t even try. And that rules out most of the books people want to read these days: best sellers. Current, commercial fiction and nonfiction. Books by people who are still alive.

    I mean, if all you want to read is old, expired-copyright books like “Moby Dick” and “Little Women,” then — great! You don’t need Calibre at all, because these books are available free online in any format you like (or in formats that any reader can display, like text files or PDF files).

    But when it comes to more recent books, my statement still stands. If you buy a bunch of modern books for the Nook and then one day switch to the Kindle, you’ll have to kiss your entire investment goodbye.

    • What I wrote: “You can’t read a Kindle book on a Nook, or a Nook book on a Sony Reader, or a Sony book on an iPad.”

    Sample reader pushback: “Your remark about not being able to read various book types on rival readers is disingenuous at best. I can read all of my Kindle books and all of my Nook books on my laptop or my iPad, thanks to reader apps made by those companies.”

    My reply: Yes, that’s true. There are Kindle and Nook reading apps for tablets, phones and computers, so that you can read your purchased books without actually owning an e-book reader at all!

    To be technically complete, therefore, I could have written this: “You can’t read a Kindle book on a Nook or Sony Reader, or a Nook book on a Sony Reader or Kindle, or a Sony book on an iPad, Kindle or Nook, or an iBooks book on a Nook, Kindle or Sony Reader. With a special app, you can read a Kindle book or Nook book on an iPad, laptop, iPhone, iPod Touch or Android phone.”

    But my point was not to create a Wikipedia entry on e-book compatibility. I was just trying to make the point that if you are thinking of buying a dedicated e-book reader — and since this was a review of an e-book reader, I think that’s a reasonable assumption — then you’ll be locked into books from its manufacturer.

    • What I wrote: “Once you buy the gadget, you’ve just married its company forever. If you ever want to change brands, you have to give up all the books you’ve ever bought.”

    Sample reader pushback: “Your article contains an error. If you buy a Nook, you are not tied to Barnes & Noble’s bookstore. They use the ePub format, and accept the Adobe Digital Editions DRM [copy-protection] scheme, so you can buy books from a number of vendors. I have purchased books from B&N as well as Kobo, the Sony bookstore, and a couple other sites.”

    My reply: I’ve always known that the Sony, Nook and Kobo readers all read standard ePub files. But it was my impression that, here again, the only books you can exchange freely among readers are the old, public-domain ones — not the copy-protected modern best sellers that most people are interested in.

    It appears that I’m wrong. With some effort, you can, in fact, move copy-protected books among those three e-book readers. When I asked that reader how he does it, he sent along the instructions:

    Say I bought “My Man Jeeves” from Kobo. I copy it to my Kobo e-reader. Now, to copy it to my Sony reader, I must manually download the acsm file that controls my license for this book. Kobo allows this, but not through their desktop application — only on their Web site. I simply use my Kobo account credentials to log on to the site. I go to “My library.” Beside each of my purchases is a Download button (it may be called “Adobe DRM ePub/PDF”). I click this button, and the acsm file is downloaded.

    Now I “open” the acsm file using the Sony Reader desktop application. (On Windows, I do that by right-clicking the file, then selecting “Open with Sony eReader.”) My book is now copied-downloaded into my Sony Reader desktop app. I can then connect my Sony reader by its cable to my PC to copy that book as usual.

    Wow. I’m not entirely convinced that average consumers would be willing, or even able, to wade through all of that for every book in their libraries.

    But technically, I was wrong, and you’re right. If you’re technically adept, you can transfer your purchased books among Nook, Sony and Kobo readers — and any others that offer ePub compatibility.

    The only big-name reader that doesn’t is the Kindle. Once you buy a Kindle book, you really are stuck with Kindles and Kindle reading apps forever.

    Continued in article

    "Amazon Lights the Fire With Free BooksL  Today, Amazon unveiled something radical: the Kindle Lending Library," by David Pogue, The New York Times, November 2, 2011 ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at

    "Where the Fortune 500 CEOs Went to School:  These schools awarded at least 10 college and graduate degrees to America’s leading executives," by Menachem Wecker, US News, May 14, 2012 ---


    Institution Total degrees Undergraduate degrees MBAs Other graduate degrees US News undergraduate rank US News business school rank
    Harvard 65 11 40 14 1 1
    Stanford 27 11 10 6 5 1
    Pennsylvania 24 7 13 4 5 3
    Columbia 18 3 4 11 4 8
    Michigan 14 6 5 3 28 13
    Notre Dame 14 10 1 3 19 25
    Virginia 14 4 4 6 25 13
    Cornell 13 8 3 2 15 16
    Dartmouth 12 9 3 0 11 9
    Indiana 11 5 6 0 75 23
    Northwestern 11 2 6 3 12 4
    Rutgers 11 5 3 3 68 63
    MIT 10 3 0 7 5 4


    Jensen Comment
    For years I've preached that students seek prestigious universities for much more than book learning. The top universities provide networking opportunities and alumni relations that probably exceed most anything students learn from the books. Of course, networking experiences are highly variable.

    But there also is a well-known problem of correlation versus causation going on here. There may be underlying causal factors such as the attributes of students who gain admission to prestigious schools that a subset of those students may rise to the top irrespective of where they graduate.

    If you annually track the backgrounds of CPAs admitted into the Big Four partnerships in the United States you will be surprised the proportion that graduated as accounting majors for Podunk College. Cream rising to the top is a fundamental attribute of molecular chemistry.

    But we cannot deny the fact that a degree from a prestigious university is a key that unlocks doors. This is especially the case when it comes to PhD graduates seeking tenure track positions. A Podunk College PhD generally does not stack up well with a doctorate from Harvard, Stanford, and Penn. There are exceptions of course, but these are rare in the Academy.

    "Empathy: The Most Valuable Thing They Teach at HBS,"  by James Allworth, Harvard Business School Blog, May 15, 2012 --- Click Here

    These probably aren't words that you were expecting to see in the same sentence — Harvard Business School and empathy. But as I reflect back on my time as a student there, I've begun to realize that more than anything else, this is one of the the most valuable things that the school teaches.

    It starts on day one. You're put into a "section" with 90 incredibly smart folks, people with whom you quickly become good friends. Then the moment arrives when you step into class, prepared for a case discussion with what you're sure is the right answer — but just before you're able to stick your hand up and get in on the discussion, a good friend — someone who you deeply respect and admire — jumps in to the conversation with an opinion that's exactly the opposite of yours. And it begins to dawn on you...that what they've expressed is right.

    It's a humbling moment. It's valuable not just in reminding you that you're not always right (though that's always valuable), but also in teaching you to step out of your own shoes, and to put yourself into those of someone else.

    It's a trait that is sorely lacking at the moment. There's a case to be made that the American political system is suffering at present because empathy has been almost entirely exorcised from within its walls. Politicians are being elected on the back of their ability to vilify those with whom they don't agree. These are not people who come to office with questions, or who seek to understand; instead, many are dogmatists, able to see the world through their own eyes. Their interest in conversation runs only one way — many seem capable of only talking at, not with, those with a different point of view on the world. The jettisoning of compromise is a direct result of this state of affairs; why would you give an inch of your position to someone whose perspective you can't even bring yourself to entertain?

    The place for me, however, where an appreciation of empathy is most undervalued, is in business. The potential upside for those in business who are able to be empathetic is huge, and is eloquently described in Professor Clay Christensen's jobs-to-be-done theory. Understanding that people don't buy things because of their demographics — nobody buys something because they're a 25-30 year old white male with a college degree — but rather, because they go about living their life and some situation arises in which they need to solve a problem... and so they "hire" a product to do the job. This is a big "ah ha" to many folks when they first hear it; but when you really boil it down, the true power of this is in giving people in business a frame with which to exercise empathy. In fact, both Akio Morita of Sony and Steve Jobs were famous for never commissioning market research — instead, they'd just walk around the world watching what people did. They'd put themselves in the shoes of their customers.

    And for those businesses whose executives are incapable of it? Well, they are subject to the ultimate stick — disruption. No better example of this exists than the story of Blockbuster and its competitive tangle with Netflix.

    Blockbuster saw the rise of Netflix in the very early 2000s, and chose not to do anything about it. Why? Well, its management couldn't see the world from any perspective other than from the vantage point from which they sat: atop a $6 billion business with 60% margins, tens of thousands of employees and stores all across the country. Blockbuster's management couldn't bring itself to see Netflix's perspective: that while Netflix was only achieving 30% margins, Netflix wasn't comparing its 30% to Blockbuster's 60%. Netflix was comparing it to no profit at all. And Blockbuster's management certainly couldn't see the world from their customers' perspective: that late fees were driving folks up the wall, and that their range of movies eschewed anything that wasn't a new release. While Blockbuster knew it could invest to create a Netflix competitor, that would be an expensive proposition, it might not work, and even if it did, it would probably cannibalize its existing business. With that being their perspective, they saw two choices: creating a disruptive entrant with all the pitfalls of cost, and risk; or just continuing with the existing business. Thinking those were their options, continuing with the existing business looked like a pretty obvious choice.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

    In landmark ruling, federal judge rejects most arguments made by publishers in suit against Georgia State over e-reserves. But she also imposes some rules that could complicate life for librarians and professors.
    "Some Leeway, Some Limits," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, May 14, 2012 ---

    A federal judge on Friday outlined many ways colleges can continue to cite the doctrine of "fair use" to permit their making electronic copies of books and other materials for use in teaching and scholarship. In a landmark ruling over many issues not previously litigated to this degree in the digital era, the judge rejected many of the claims in a suit by three prominent publishers against Georgia State University. In 94 of the 99 instances cited by the publishers as copyright violations, the judge ruled that Georgia State and its professors were covered by fair use. And the judge also rejected the publishers' ideas about how to regulate e-reserves -- ideas that many academic librarians said would be unworkable.

    At the same time, however, the judge imposed a strict limit of 10 percent on the volume of a book that may be covered by fair use (a proportion that would cover much, but by no means all, of what was in e-reserves at Georgia State, and probably at many other colleges). And the judge ruled that publishers may have more claims against college and university e-reserves if the publishers offer convenient, reasonably priced systems for getting permission (at a price) to use book excerpts online. The lack of such systems today favored Georgia State, but librarians who were anxiously going through the decision were speculating that some publishers might be prompted now to create such systems, and to charge as much as the courts would permit.

    The 340-page decision by Judge Orinda D. Evans is a pivotal point in years of litigation brought by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Sage Publications -- with backing from the publishing industry. Many experts expect this case to assume a role that cases against Kinko's (decided in 1991) and Michigan Document Services (decided in 1996) played in defining copyright issues for printed coursepacks. But the Georgia State decision doesn't end the legal hearings (even if there isn't an appeal). Evans ordered the publishers to propose remedies for the violations she found, and new hearings will be held on those proposals.

    While some university librarians were so anxious about this case that they stayed up late Friday to tweet their reactions, some of the official reactions aren't coming until later today. The Association of American Publishers would say this weekend only that it was studying the decision. A Georgia State spokeswoman said that its officials were also reviewing the decision and couldn't say much more than "we're reviewing the judge's order but are pleased with our initial assessment." (As the decision notes, the publishers' group recruited the three plaintiffs in the case, and with the Copyright Clearinghouse Center split the legal costs of the three publishers who sued.)

    While the legal analysis may take time, both publishers and academic librarians have reacted strongly throughout the case. Publishers argued hat their system of promoting scholarship can't lose copyright benefits. Judge Evans in her decision noted that most book (and permission) sales for student use are by large for-profit companies, not by nonprofit university presses. But the Association of American University Presses has backed the suit by Cambridge and Oxford, saying that university presses "depend upon the income due them to continue to publish the specialized scholarly books required to educate students and to advance university research."

    Many librarians, meanwhile, have expressed shock that university presses would sue a university for using their works for teaching purposes. Barbara Fister, a librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College and an Inside Higher Ed blogger, tweeted Friday night: "It still boggles my mind that scholarly presses are suing scholars teaching works that were written to further knowledge."

    The reserve readings at the crux of the dispute are chapters, essays or portions of books that are assigned by Georgia State professors to their undergraduate and graduate students. (While the readers are frequently referred to as "supplemental," they are generally required; "supplemental" refers to readings supplementing texts that the professors tell students to buy.) E-reserves are similar to the way an earlier generation of students might have gone to the library for print materials on reserve. The decision in this case notes a number of steps taken by Georgia State (such as password protection) to prevent students from simply distributing the electronic passages to others.

    Sorting Out the Law

    Judge Evans spends much of the decision focused on whether Georgia State's use of e-reserves was consistent with the principles of fair use. She notes that the fair use exemption in federal law requires consideration of four factors (although the law is vague on exactly how the four factors should be weighed). The four factors are:

    1. "The purpose and character of the use," including whether the use is "for nonprofit educational purposes."

    2. "The nature of the copyrighted book."

    3. "The amount and substantiality of the portion used."

    4. The impact of the use on "the market" for sale of the book or other material.

    Evans found that the first two factors strongly favored Georgia State. The university is a nonprofit educational institution using the e-reserves for education, she notes. Further, she found for Georgia State on the second factor, noting that the works in question were nonfiction and "informational," categories she said were appropriately covered by fair use.

    The analysis of the third and fourth factors was less straightforward to Judge Evans. She starts by rejecting a claim of the publishers that a 1976 agreement between publishers and some education groups should govern fair use for e-reserves. That agreement was "very restrictive," she writes. For example, only work that did not exceed 2,500 words was covered. Still other limits were set on how many times an instructor could invoke fair use in a single course.

    While rejecting the 1976 agreement, Judge Evans writes that there are legitimate questions about how much material may be used. In a sign of just how complicated the issues are, she notes that the publishers asked her to base any percentages on only the text portion of a book (excluding introductory pages, footnotes and concluding tables) while Georgia State wanted everything counted. Evans based her percentages on Georgia State's view that the book is the entire book.

    Her challenge, she writes, is to determine what size excerpts are "small enough" to justify fair use. Here, after reviewing a range of decisions, Evans settles on 10 percent of a book (or one chapter of a book) as an appropriate measure, allowing professors enough substance to offer students, while not effectively making a large portion of the book available.

    On the fourth factor (market impact), Evans writes that there is a clear impact if and only if the publisher has a system for selling access to excerpts that are "reasonably available, at a reasonable price." The reason this prong did not help the publishers more in the case is evidence cited by the judge that much of the material in question was not available through an online licensing program. So Georgia State did not have the "reasonably available option."

    At various points in the decision, Evans also weighs the intent of both copyright protection and fair use in the context of this case, generally with an analysis that is sympathetic to Georgia State. "Because the unpaid use of small excerpts will not discourage academic authors from creating new works, will have no appreciable effect on plaintiffs' ability to publish scholarly works, and will promote the spread of knowledge," she writes.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on the DMCA and Fair Use ---

    "Tuck Brings Online Learning Into the MBA Classroom," by Alison Damast, Business Week, May 4, 2012 ---

    Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business is transforming the way it teaches many of its MBA core classes, delivering portions of them online via video lectures, and using online quizzes and discussion boards. About a dozen Tuck professors are participating in the effort, using videos to teach introductory material in classes such as Managerial Economics, Statistics for Managers, Corporate Finance, and Operations Management, the school said. Beyond the core classes, the school has experimented with using videos for two of its elective courses: Retail Pricing and Service Operations.

    Tuck Dean Paul Danos, who spearheaded the pilot program this school year, says he got the idea after doing an online tutorial with his granddaughter on Khan Academy, the nonprofit education website that offers thousands of free YouTube-based lessons.

    “I was doing the lesson with her and I thought, Why can’t we do something similar to the Khan Academy?” says Danos. “I told professors anything you can put up on a whiteboard should be put up in advance so you can have more time in the classroom for conversation and face-to-face interaction.”

    Praveen Kopalle, a Tuck marketing professor who teaches the Statistics for Managers course, a required class for first-year students, was the first professor who participated in the project. Kopalle liked the idea of exposing students to some of the concepts in class before they step into the lecture hall, he said. He also thought it would be especially helpful for the school’s international students and those who have not studied statistics before, as they could review the material at their own pace.

    For his introductory statistics course this fall, Kopalle produced nine videos using a tablet and Camtasia screen recording software, and he distributed them to students before the term started. Students don’t see his face during the video but hear his voice while he explains the concepts on the tablet, which functions as an online whiteboard. He asks students to study the video pertaining to the lesson he’s teaching before coming to class. He also asks them to take an online quiz where they can see instantly if they’d mastered the concepts; the quiz counts toward their class participation grade, he said. If students have questions about the material, they can post a comment on an online discussion board and receive an answer from either Kopalle or a fellow student.

    The videos have proved to be a success so far; in a survey of 134 first-year MBA students who took Kopalle’s class this fall, about 80 percent of students said they found the videos to be a useful part of their overall class experience and liked the technology, while 72 percent said it improved the way they learned the material. It also has proved to be a useful tool for Kopalle, who can monitor which of his 270 students took the quizzes, what scores they received, and how much time they spent watching the videos.

    “It gives me lots of diagnostic information that I can then link to class preparation,” he said. “The classroom experience is much richer because of the experience, because we can dig deeper into the material.”

    Professors from other schools are beginning to experiment with online courses, with some making them available to the public.  Back in February, we wrote about how several professors from top MBA programs were participating in The Faculty Project, a website that allows professors to upload free courses and supplementary course materials, as well as interact with students.

    For now, Tuck’s videos are only available to students, but the school is “discussing whether to make the course material public,” said Christopher Huston, Tuck’s digital specialist, in an e-mail.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    At Dartmouth's Tuck School and nearly all top MBA programs, most classes are not lectures. Instead they are case discussions where the true test of a top case teacher is to resist lecturing or even giving out his/her opinions as to the "best answers." Indeed many of the excellent cases used in these schools have no known "best answers."

    My question then is how to video a case class before it actually meets?

    Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing courses, lectures, videos, and other case materials from prestigious universities ---

    "A Real-Estate App When You're Buying or Just Nosy," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2012 ---

    Jensen Comment
    Walt is very upbeat about HomeSnap for the iPhone ---

    More traditional sites like Zillow are still popular ---

    Yahoo's helpers for buying real estate --- http://realestate.yahoo.com/

    However, if you want to see more listings and more photographs a leading local real estate company may have a more useful Website. For example, in my neck of the woods a leading real estate site is Peabody and Smith ---

    "Beware Fake or Unauthorized CPA Review Sellers," by Adrienne Gonzalez, Going Concern, May 14, 2012 ---

    Jensen Comment
    I generally prefer used copies to new copies of books and hope that the previous owners were both really smart and made valuable marginal comments that add value to subsequent readers. I've never had ethics worries about reselling books of my own that I paid full price for as a new copy or a used copy from resellers that I feel confident legitimately purchased the books. I don't think I've ever purchased stolen copies or copies that were downloaded or photocopied illegally.

    Adrienne is obviously correct that purchasing illegal pirated copies should be discouraged in every way possible.

    But I think she's on shaky grounds when advising against resale of legally-owned copies.

    Copyrights --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

    The first-sale doctrine and exhaustion of rights

    Copyright law does not restrict the owner of a copy from reselling legitimately obtained copies of copyrighted works, provided that those copies were originally produced by or with the permission of the copyright holder. It is therefore legal, for example, to resell a copyrighted book or CD. In the United States this is known as the first-sale doctrine, and was established by the courts to clarify the legality of reselling books in second-hand bookstores. Some countries may have parallel importation restrictions that allow the copyright holder to control the aftermarket. This may mean for example that a copy of a book that does not infringe copyright in the country where it was printed does infringe copyright in a country into which it is imported for retailing. The first-sale doctrine is known as exhaustion of rights in other countries and is a principle which also applies, though somewhat differently, to patent and trademark rights. It is important to note that the first-sale doctrine permits the transfer of the particular legitimate copy involved. It does not permit making or distributing additional copies.

    In addition, copyright, in most cases, does not prohibit one from acts such as modifying, defacing, or destroying his or her own legitimately obtained copy of a copyrighted work, so long as duplication is not involved. However, in countries that implement moral rights, a copyright holder can in some cases successfully prevent the mutilation or destruction of a work that is publicly visible.


    Added Jensen Comment
    I noticed that Amazon resells used copies of many types of CPA review courses. For example, the Wiley four-volume set sells for about half the new price. Becker used copies sell for more than 50% off.

    I see nothing illegal or unethical in buying and selling used copies that are legally purchased.

    I think it's highly unethical for professors to sell review copies that they receive free from publishers. I also think it's unethical to give those copes away free to poor students of accounting who are intending to take the CPA examination. I even think it's unethical to give those books and DVDs away to poor people in general who might in turn sell those things in a resale market. And I think it's unethical to put these review copies on library reserve for students.

    Of course the above restrictions can be reversed by written permissions from the publishers themselves.

    I went to college in the wrong generation. Can you imagine sitting on campus in 2025 and willing that any coed of your choosing will walk over and ask you for a date? Of course she might also, in her phantom mind, wish you would drop dead.

    "The Real Power of the Phantom Mind," by Josh Fischman, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 16, 2012 ---

     Jensen Question
    Will Joe Hoyle still be teaching when he can more effectively wish students prepare for class

    How to get students to prepare for class?
    "Now, That Is a Very Good Question," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, May 14, 2012 ---

    Jensen Comment
    As with most things in life, there are positive incentives and negative incentives. Sometimes it's hard to classify incentives on this binary scale. Is a pop quiz a positive or negative incentive? It's positive if it adds significant points toward a top grade in the course. It's negative if failure to earn pop quiz points can lower the final grade.

    Barry Rice used to pose questions in a lecture hall and then randomly flash a student's name and picture on a screen in front of the class. Presumably, a student who fumbles the answer is likely to spend more time preparing for the next class. A student who gives a great answer has, at a minimum, earns brownie points.

    Joe Hoyle has some other ideas about this chronic problem.

    "The Radical New Humanities Ph.D.," by Kaustuv Basu, Inside Higher Ed, May 16, 2012 ---

    The warning last year from Russell Berman, who at the time was president of the Modern Language Association, was apocalyptic: If doctoral programs in the humanities do not reduce the time taken to graduate, they will become unaffordable and face extinction.

    Now, Berman has taken his ideas home. At Stanford University, where he is a professor of comparative literature and directs the German studies program, he and five other professors at the university have produced a paper that calls for a major rethinking at Stanford -- a reduction in the time taken to graduate by Ph.D. candidates in the humanities, and preparing them for careers within and beyond the academy. The professors at Stanford aren't just talking about shaving a year or so off doctoral education, but cutting it down to four or five years -- roughly half the current time for many humanities students.

    The Stanford professors aren’t alone in pushing this kind of thinking. The Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, for example, is already testing some ideas, and so is the University of Minnesota. The initiatives at all three places, whether proposed or in its infancy, involve changing academic culture and university policies to refashion the humanities Ph.D. The University of Colorado at Boulder recently announced a four-year Ph.D. in German studies, consistent with the principles being discussed at Stanford, although the Colorado effort applies to one small program while the Stanford and Minnesota initiatives are much broader.

    The Stanford document proposes a scenario where students decide on a career plan -- academic or nonacademic -- they want to embark on by the end of their second-year of graduate study, file the plan with their department, and then prepare projects and dissertation work that would support that career. Similarly, departments have to help students make realistic career choices at the end of the second year of graduate study, and advise students regularly. “…[T]hey should aim to balance academic training in a particular discipline and field with the provision of broader professional perspectives that may extend beyond the traditional academic setting,” the document said.

    This would represent a dramatic shift from the current norm, whereby many humanities grad students say that their entire program is designed for an academic career, and that they only start to consider other options when they are going on the job market -- a bit late to shape their preparation for nonacademic options.

    According to the document, one way to speed up time to degree would be to include “four-quarter” support for students instead of unfunded summers, currently the standard for many humanities Ph.D. programs. Gabriella Safran, a professor of Slavic languages and literature at Stanford, who also worked with Berman to create the proposal, said the key might be to anticipate when Ph.D. candidates are getting bogged down and respond to the issue earlier. “A better use of time might be to use the summers more effectively. Right now, I think there are too many unfunded summers when students don’t make progress,” she said.

    Berman, who said that the recent document was mostly an effort directed at administrators to “reform degree trajectories," believes that time to degree can be reduced to four or five years. “The study of the humanities need to be accessible and cheap. And we have to become more transparent about our placement records,” he said.

    The document said that departments should have suitable plans in terms of curriculum, examination schedule, and dissertation that will help speed up time to degree. “Scholarly fields have widened, and added a lot of expectations,” Berman said.

    He emphasized the need to amplify success stories of students who have ventured beyond the academic world. “We should be telling all their stories,” said Berman, who is also chairing a MLA task-force on the future of the doctorate in the languages and literature.

    David Damrosch, a professor of comparative literature at Harvard University, said that Ph.D. students and professors in his department have been thinking more carefully about coursework. “Very often, students drift for extended periods,” he said. Frequent meetings with dissertation committee members are helpful, he said. “All this result in fewer incompletes in coursework … and more consistent progress in the dissertations,” said Damrosch.

    “In anthropological terms, academia is more of a shame culture than a guilt culture: you may feel some private guilt at letting a chapter go unread for two or three months, but a much stronger force would be the public shame you'd feel at coming unprepared to a meeting with two of your colleagues,” he said. “It’s also ultimately a labor-saving device for the faculty as well as the student, as the dissertation can proceed sooner to completion and with less wasted effort for all concerned….” With frequent meetings, the students doesn’t lose time on “unproductive lines of inquiry” or “tangential suggestions tossed out by a single adviser,” Damrosch said.

    A two-hour oral exam, meetings each semester with “dissertation-stage” students and their committee members, and clearer feedback for students are part of the graduate program in the comparative literature department now. “We also introduced a monthly forum for students to share and discuss their own work; and an ambitious series of professional development talks, on everything from article submission to dissertation planning to alternative careers,” Damrosch said.

    The University of Minnesota is also taking a fresh look at its Ph.D. programs. Henning Schroeder, vice provost and dean of the graduate school at the university, said that professors and administrators have been discussing how to give the Ph.D. a narrower focus. “How much coursework do students need before they engage in scholarly research?” he asked.

    Getting students into a “research mode” earlier helps save time, Schroeder said. “The question is also, what can we do at the administrative level?” he said. The university has promoted discussion on best practices on advising, and also how the “prelim-oral” -- a test students take before writing their dissertations – can delay research. The university now lets students get credit for research work before the oral examination, in an effort to allow for more flexibility in curriculums and to reduce time to degree.

    Debra Satz, senior associate dean for the humanities at Stanford and a professor of philosophy, said that too many students end up spending six to eight years in the Ph.D. program. “There is no correlation between taking a longer time to degree and getting a job in an academic humanities department,” she said. And ultimately, she said, how can the length of time taken by a Ph.D. be justified if the person has to reinvent or retool at the end to be employed?

    The discussions should not only be about new career paths and the time taken to graduate, but about how to implement change without affecting the quality of the programs, Satz said. “Many ideas have been floated: creating paths for our humanities Ph.D.s to high school teaching, creating paths to the high technology industry, thinking about careers in public history, and so on,” she said.

    And while it is too early to see definite results from these institutions, many believe that the timing is right.

    Anaïs Saint-Jude, director of the BiblioTech program – which seeks to bridge the gulf between doctoral humanities candidates at Stanford and jobs outside academe, including those in the tech world -- believes that all this is happening because this is a pivotal moment in higher education. “It was kindling that was ready to be ignited…. We started talking about it, and it created such momentum that we were able to create a veritable program,” Saint-Jude said, referring to the BiblioTech program that began in 2011. Part of the program’s vision includes trying to change the mindset of academics and non-academics alike. “It is about garnering the trust of industry leaders, and trying to break apart and think differently,” she said. The program’s annual conference last week included venture capitalists as well as executives from Google and Overstock.com.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    Suppose Karen Smith enters into a customized PhD program at XXXXX State University with a goal of getting into a history tenure track position in the Academy. Wishing it so just is not going to make it so. When she graduates with her PhD diploma in hand, there will probably be over 100 qualified applicants wherever she applies in North America. The competition is keen.

    Some Things to Ponder When Choosing Between an Accounting Versus History PhD ---

    "Projects Aims to Build Online Hub for Archival Materials," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 13, 2012 ---

    In death, as in life, people don't always leave their papers in order. Letters, manuscripts, and other pieces of evidence wind up scattered among different archives, leading researchers on a paper chase as they try to hunt down what they need for their work.

    "It can be hugely frustrating—especially when you make a journey cross-country to an archive, and then discover the piece you really wanted must be somewhere else (or, God forbid, rotting away in a landfill)," says Robert Townsend, deputy director of the American Historical Association, in an e-mail interview. Chasing after distributed historical records is so common that "any historian who has not suffered from that problem can't be working very hard," he wrote.

    The Internet has made the hunt easier, as more archives post finding aids for their collections online. "Scholars have at least gotten to the point where they can search over the Internet for these materials," says Daniel V. Pitti, the associate director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, or IATH, at the University of Virginia. But what he calls "hunting and gathering" persists for document-seekers, who "a priori have to have some idea, some hunch, of where to go, because the access systems are distinct and not integrated any way."

    Now imagine a central clearinghouse for those records, an online hub researchers could consult to find archival materials.

    That vision drives a project of Mr. Pitti's called the Social Networks and Archival Context Project, or SNAC. It's a collaboration between researchers and developers at IATH, the University of California at Berkeley's School of Information, and the California Digital Library. The project recently finished its pilot stage with the help of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Another grant, from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will support the project through another two years as it adds millions more records and begins beta testing with researchers.

    Some people have already found the prototype, which is up and running although not yet widely promoted. The site allows visitors to search for the names of individuals, corporate entities, or families to find "archival context records" for them.

    "So if I'm interested in a particular person," Mr. Pitti says, "I can find where all the records are that would be required to understand them." For instance, a search for Robert Oppenheimer turns up a link to a collection of the physicist's papers housed at the Library of Congress, plus links to other collections in which he is referenced, a biographical timeline, and a list of occupations and subjects related to his life and work.

    A researcher can explore a person's social and cultural environment with SNAC's radial-graph feature. It creates a web, which can be manipulated, of a subject's connections as revealed in archival records. The radial graph of Oppenheimer's network, for instance, includes George Kennan, Linus Pauling, Bertrand Russell, and Albert Schweitzer, among many other names represented as nodes on the graph.

    Not yet fully developed, the radial-graph feature supports one of the project's main goals: to visualize the social networks within which archival records were created. "What you're trying to do is put together the puzzle, the fabric of someone's life, the people that influenced them and the people they influenced," Mr. Pitti says. "One could certainly, in an analog context, piece this together, but it would take years and years of work. What we're demonstrating is that we can go out there and gather all that information and present it to you, which would liberate scholars." Connecting archival data can reveal patterns of association hidden in disparate collections.

    Data Quality Important

    To work well, SNAC requires good data. Its first phase drew on thousands of finding aids—encoded with a standard known as Encoded Archival Description, or EAD—from the Library of Congress, the Northwest Digital Archives, the Online Archive of California, and Virginia Heritage. A newer standard for encoding archival information, referred to as EAC-CPF, for Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families, was then applied to those records, making them easier to find and connect.

    Archives are idiosyncratic, and it's not always easy to tell whether a name refers to a particular individual or to different people with identical or similar names. One of Mr. Pitti's main collaborators is Ray R. Larson, a professor in the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley. He concentrates on what Mr. Pitti calls the "matching and merging" required to winnow out duplicate names, find variants of the same name, and so on. To do that Mr. Larson has tested several approaches, including machine learning, in which a computer is programmed to recognize, for example, common variations in spelling.

    The job is about to get much tougher, though, because SNAC is about to get much bigger. As part of the second phase of the project, supported by the Mellon grant, 13 state and regional archival consortia and more than 35 university and national repositories in the United States, Britain, and France will contribute records. The British Library "is giving me 300,000 names associated with their manuscript collections," going back to before the Christian era, says Mr. Pitti.

    The project will also ingest as many as 2 million standardized bibliographic records, in the widely used MARC format, from the online OCLC collaboration in which libraries exchange research and cataloging information. OCLC has its own centralized archival search function, called ArchiveGrid; Mr. Pitti describes it as complementary to SNAC. Unlike SNAC, though, "ArchiveGrid does not foreground the biographical-historical data, nor does it reveal the social networks that interrelate the archival resources," he says.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on archived databases ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on electronic literature ---

    The Religious Battle of Vanderbilt:  Booting Christian groups from campus—all in the name of 'nondiscrimination ---

    From the Scout Report on May 4, 2012

    Labguru --- http://www.labguru.com/

    Are you having problems keeping materials in your lab organized? LabGuru may be able to help. After signing up for a free personal account, users can take advantage of LabGuru's many features to store digital copies of papers and protocols, manage research timelines, and track samples and other materials. This version of LabGuru is compatible with all operating systems, and the website also offers a version for use with the iPad.  

    Mocku.ps --- http://mocku.ps 

    Mocku.ps is a tool created to help designers share their mockups quickly via the Internet. Visitors don't have to sign up to create an account, and they can get started by just uploading their images to the desktop. After this, they can annotate their mockup, and share the URL with other interested parties. First-time users can look at the example offered here and also look over the FAQ area. This version is compatible with all operating systems.


    From the Scout Report on May 18, 2012

    Select and Speak --- https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gfjopfpjmkcfgjpogepmdjmcnihfpokn

    What if you could have a website read to you? That would be handy in a
    number of situations, and with Select and Speak, this can be accomplished
    with relative ease. This extension for the Chrome browser uses iSpeech's
    human quality text-to-speech to make this possible. Visitors can configure
    the voice and speed option by changing the settings on the options page.
    It's free, fairly easily to use, and compatible with all operating systems.


    Stat My Web --- http://www.statmyweb.com/

    The helpful Stat My Web site gives visitors the ability to learn about the
    statistics and metrics associated with any specific site. Visitors can learn
    when a site was created, where it is hosted, and how much it is worth. The
    site has two dozen features, including IP Location, Server Status, and
    Reciprocal Link Checker. This particular version is compatible with all
    operating systems.

    As the city balances security concerns with the requests of protestors,
    Chicago prepares for the NATO summit
    Police, Protestors Prepare for NATO Summit

    NATO, Protests Getting Attention in Chicago-Area Classrooms

    Preparing for Battle in a War of Ideas at Protest Central

    Chicago NATO Summit 2012

    NATO History

    Parades, Protests and Politics


    Free online textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

    Education Tutorials

    Bowling Green State University: Resources from the Center for Teaching and Learning ---

    UCLA Film & Television Archive --- http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/

    Cultural & Academic Films --- http://www.archive.org/details/culturalandacademicfilms

    Boston University Libraries: Research Guide --- http://www.bu.edu/library/guides/index.html

    Ethics Education Library (and tutorials) --- http://ethics.iit.edu/eelibrary/

    TES: Resources: Art and design resources ---

    Art Education 2.0 --- http://arted20.ning.com/

    UNESCO Working Paper Series on Mobile Learning

    Virginia Tech: Study Skills Self Help Information ---

    Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation's Future --- 

    Columbia Library Columns --- http://library.columbia.edu/content/libraryweb/indiv/rbml/digitalcollections/columns.html

    Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

    Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

    NIST: Weights and Measures (standards) --- http://www.nist.gov/pml/wmd/

    NIST: A Walk Through Time (watches, clocks, timepieces) --- http://www.nist.gov/pml/general/time

    The National Global Change Research Plan: 2012-2021

    Space Time Travel: Relativity Visualized --- http://www.spacetimetravel.org/

    The Science of Speed --- http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/sos/

    North Carolina State Physics Demonstrations --- http://www.physics.ncsu.edu/demoroom/

    From Carleton College
    Teaching Petrology Using the Primary Scientific Literature

    Oregon Institute of Marine Biology Slides & Photographs --- http://oregondigital.org/digcol/oimb/

    Learning Radiology --- http://www.learningradiology.com/

    Radiology Education --- http://www.radiologyeducation.com/

    Earth Sciences Lesson Plans --- http://www.onlineschools.org/resources/earth-science-lesson-plans/

    Earth Science Teaching Plans and Classroom Activities --- http://geology.com/teacher/

    Marine Geology and Geophysics Educational Resources Page --- http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/education.html

    Nature Outlook: Malaria http://www.nature.com/nature/outlook/malaria_2012/

    NOAA Education Resources: Carbon Cycle Collection --- http://www.education.noaa.gov/Climate/Carbon_Cycle.html

    From the Scout Report on May 4,  2012

    New research indicates that asteroids barraged the Earth's surface for
    an additional two billion years
    Earth Was Longtime Asteroid Punching Bag

    Ancient asteroids kept on coming

    Dinosaurs were declining before asteroid struck, say scientists

    Triceratops was already on road to extinction before asteroid wiped out

    BBC Nature: Prehistoric Life: Dinosaurs


    Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

    Social Science and Economics Tutorials

    Ethics Education Library (and tutorials) --- http://ethics.iit.edu/eelibrary/

    The London School of Economics and Political Science: Video and Audio (Invited Speaker Collection) ---

    Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center --- http://policy.rutgers.edu/vtc/

    The Seattle Open Housing Campaign --- http://www.cityofseattle.net/CityArchives/Exhibits/Housing/

    The National Global Change Research Plan: 2012-2021

    The Mind: Teaching Modules (psychology) --- http://www.learner.org/resources/series150.html

    Fashion Institute of Technology: Teaching & Learning Resources --- http://www.fitnyc.edu/5966.asp

    City of Ideas: Reinventing Boston's Innovation Economy ---

    Salem's Polish Community --- http://www.nps.gov/sama/historyculture/polish.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

    Law and Legal Studies

    Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Law

    Math Tutorials

    Bates College Online Resources for Calculus and Linear Algebra --- http://abacus.bates.edu/~etowne/mathresources.html

    Get the Math (real world uses of math) --- http://www.thirteen.org/get-the-math/

    Virginia Tech: Study Skills Self Help Information ---

    Transition Mathematics Project (remedial) --- http://transitionmathproject.org

    Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics

    History Tutorials

    Peabody Essex Museum: Videos --- http://www.pem.org/collections/video

    UCLA Film & Television Archive --- http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/

    NYC Photos from 100 Years Ago ---

    Five Historical Misconceptions Debunked --- Clicked Here

    The Jack Rabin Collection of Alabama Civil Rights and Southern Activists --- http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/digital/rabin.html

    UCLA Film & Television Archive --- http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/

    Cultural & Academic Films --- http://www.archive.org/details/culturalandacademicfilms

    Columbia Library Columns --- http://library.columbia.edu/content/libraryweb/indiv/rbml/digitalcollections/columns.html

    National Water Trails System (rivers & canals) --- http://www.nps.gov/watertrails/

    The History of Rome in 179 Podcasts --- Click Here

    The Warhol: Time Capsule 21 --- http://www.warhol.org/tc21/main.html

    Brooklyn Museum: Andy Warhol: The Last Decade --- http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/andy_warhol/index.php

    The Warhol: Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross --- http://www.warhol.org/exhibitions/2011/heroesandvillains/

    University of Florida Digital Collections: Florida Photograph Collections --- http://ufdc.ufl.edu/foto

    City of Ideas: Reinventing Boston's Innovation Economy ---

    Boston Private Industry Council --- http://www.bost

    Jack Sheaffer Collection (Arizona) --- http://www.library.arizona.edu/contentdm/jsheaffer/

    Bicentennial of the War of 1812 --- http://1812.gc.ca

    Bates College Digital Library (Maine History) --- http://digilib.bates.edu/cgi-bin/library.cgi

    The Magic of America (buildings) --- http://www.artic.edu/magicofamerica/

    Fashion Institute of Technology: Teaching & Learning Resources --- http://www.fitnyc.edu/5966.asp

    Lalla Essaydi Revisions: Introduction (African Art) --- http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/revisions/index.h

    Early Washington Maps --- http://content.wsulibs.wsu.edu/cdm-maps/

    British Council Film: British Council Film Collection ---

    Utah State University Digital Library: (Animal Bells) ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History
    Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  

    Language Tutorials

    Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Languages

    Music Tutorials

    Flash Mob Fun Part II: Copenhagen Philharmonic Plays Grieg’s Peer Gynt in the Subway --- Click Here

    Duke Ellington Plays for Joan Miró in the South of France, 1966: Bassist John Lamb Looks Back on the Day --- Click Here

    Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

    Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

    Writing Tutorials

    Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

    Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

    May 10, 2012

    May 12, 2012

    May 14, 2012

    May 15, 2012

    May 16, 2012

    May 17, 2012

    May 18, 2012

    May 19, 2012

    May 21, 2012

    May 22, 2012

    May 23, 2012


    Authorities say a northern New York man had his friend shoot him in the leg with a rifle because he wanted to know what it feels like to be shot ---

    Jensen Comment
    Where I grew up among Norwegian immigrants it would come as no surprise that the dummy who asked to be shot in the leg lived in a a town called Stockholm

    An even dumber idea is believing that the best way to get out of debt is to spend more to get yourself out of debt ---

    Forwarded by Paula

    Absolutely Priceless

    A 1st grade (well maybe 8th grade) school teacher had twenty-six students in her class. She presented each child in her classroom the 1st half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. It's hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you. While reading, keep in mind that these are first-graders, 6-year-olds, because the last one is a classic!

    Don't change horses
    until they stop running.
    Strike while the
    bug is close.
    It's always darkest before
    Daylight Saving Time.
    Never underestimate the power of
    You can lead a horse to water but
    Don't bite the hand that
    looks dirty.
    No news is
    A miss is as good as a
    You can't teach an old dog new
    If you lie down with dogs, you'll
    stink in the morning.
    Love all, trust
    The pen is mightier than the
    An idle mind is
    the best way to relax.
    Where there's smoke there's
    Happy the bride who
    gets all the presents.
    A penny saved is
    not much.
    Two's company, three's
    the Musketeers.
    Don't put off till tomorrow what
    you put on to go to bed.
    Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and
    you have to blow your nose.
    There are none so blind as
    Stevie Wonder.
    Children should be seen and not
    spanked or grounded.
    If at first you don't succeed
    get new batteries.
    You get out of something only what you
    see in the picture on the box.
    When the blind lead the blind
    get out of the way.
    A bird in the hand
    is going to poop on you.
    And the WINNER (and last one!)
    Better late than


    Warren Buffett on How to Reform Congress and End the Deficit in Less Than One Year ---

    Forwarded by Maureen
    Just wanted to let you know - today I received my 2012 Social Security Stimulus Package. It contained two tomato seeds, cornbread mix, a prayer rug, a machine to blow smoke up my ass, 2 discount coupons to KFC, an "Obama Hope & Change" bumper sticker, and a "Blame it on Bush" poster for the front yard. The directions were in Spanish.

    The Jovers (Video) --- http://biggeekdad.com/2012/05/the-jovers/

    On the Other Side of 50 (video) --- http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/6dbBfXCMbH4?rel=0
    Being on the Green Side of the Grass

    Tidbits Archives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

    Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
    For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/

    Online Distance Education Training and Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
    For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

    Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

    The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

    How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
    "Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
    One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this

    What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

    The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

    Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

    Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---


    World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php
    Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/

    Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
    Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/
    Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) --- http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
             Also see http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Populations.html
    Facts about population growth (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
    Projected U.S. Population Growth --- http://www.carryingcapacity.org/projections75.html
    Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/ 
    Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons --- http://zipskinny.com/
    Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

    Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at

    CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination
    Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle --- http://cpareviewforfree.com/

    Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at http://iaed.wordpress.com/

    Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

    Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm 
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

    Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
    In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
    I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

    Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

    Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at http://www.accountingweb.com/news/college_news.html
    Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
    Any college may post a news item.

    Accounting  and Taxation News Sites ---


    For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
    AECM (Educators) http://listserv.aaahq.org/cgi-bin/wa.exe?HOME
    AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc.

    Over the years the AECM has become the worldwide forum for accounting educators on all issues of accountancy and accounting education, including debates on accounting standards, managerial accounting, careers, fraud, forensic accounting, auditing, doctoral programs, and critical debates on academic (accountics) research, publication, replication, and validity testing.


    CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/  (Closed Down)
    CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
    Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
    This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
    AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
    This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
    Business Valuation Group BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
    This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM
    FEI's Financial Reporting Blog
    Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, March 2008 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/mar2008/smart_stops.htm

    Find news highlights from the SEC, FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board on this financial reporting blog from Financial Executives International. The site, updated daily, compiles regulatory news, rulings and statements, comment letters on standards, and hot topics from the Web’s largest business and accounting publications and organizations. Look for continuing coverage of SOX requirements, fair value reporting and the Alternative Minimum Tax, plus emerging issues such as the subprime mortgage crisis, international convergence, and rules for tax return preparers.
    The CAlCPA Tax Listserv

    September 4, 2008 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@bonackers.com]
    Scott has been a long-time contributor to the AECM listserv (he's a techie as well as a practicing CPA)

    I found another listserve that is exceptional -

    CalCPA maintains http://groups.yahoo.com/taxtalk/  and they let almost anyone join it.
    Jim Counts, CPA is moderator.

    There are several highly capable people that make frequent answers to tax questions posted there, and the answers are often in depth.


    Scott forwarded the following message from Jim Counts

    Yes you may mention info on your listserve about TaxTalk. As part of what you say please say [... any CPA or attorney or a member of the Calif Society of CPAs may join. It is possible to join without having a free Yahoo account but then they will not have access to the files and other items posted.

    Once signed in on their Yahoo account go to http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TaxTalk/ and I believe in top right corner is Join Group. Click on it and answer the few questions and in the comment box say you are a CPA or attorney, whichever you are and I will get the request to join.

    Be aware that we run on the average 30 or move emails per day. I encourage people to set up a folder for just the emails from this listserve and then via a rule or filter send them to that folder instead of having them be in your inbox. Thus you can read them when you want and it will not fill up the inbox when you are looking for client emails etc.

    We currently have about 830 CPAs and attorneys nationwide but mainly in California.... ]

    Please encourage your members to join our listserve.

    If any questions let me know.

    Jim Counts CPA.CITP CTFA
    Hemet, CA
    Moderator TaxTalk





    Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) --- http://www.iasplus.com/links/links.htm


    Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

    Some Accounting History Sites

    Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory

    Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/accountancy/libraries.html
    The above libraries include international accounting history.
    The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

    MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting --- http://maaw.info/

    Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

    Sage Accounting History --- http://ach.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/11/3/269

    A nice timeline on the development of U.S. standards and the evolution of thinking about the income statement versus the balance sheet is provided at:
    "The Evolution of U.S. GAAP: The Political Forces Behind Professional Standards (1930-1973)," by Stephen A. Zeff, CPA Journal, January 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/105/infocus/p18.htm
    Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/205/index.htm 

    A nice timeline of accounting history --- http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2187711/A-HISTORY-OF-ACCOUNTING

    From Texas A&M University
    Accounting History Outline --- http://acct.tamu.edu/giroux/history.html

    Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

    History of Fraud in America --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm
    Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm

    Bob Jensen's Threads ---

    More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

    All my online pictures --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/


    Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
    190 Sunset Hill Road
    Sugar Hill, NH 03586
    Phone:  603-823-8482 
    Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu