Wedgwood Ceramics on MSU’s Historic Campus

Last week I spent some time in the CAP lab with Campus Archaeologist Lisa Bright resorting and accessioning artifacts from the 2008 and 2009 Saint’s Rest rescue excavation. This excavation uncovered many ceramic artifacts (among other items) including plates, bowls, and serving dishes. Among the many fragments of whiteware, Lisa showed me one fragment that …

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Independent streams (Week of January 30)

Our weekly roundup of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research Problems Michigan’s Stumbling Middle Class (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Charles Ballard, director of the State of the State Survey, discusses a stagnating economy and persistent income inequality in Michigan with Bridge Magazine. Teacher Applicants Not Meeting State Expectations (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Sarah Reckhow …

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Racial Bias in U.S. Soccer Culture?

Is there an implicit racial bias in Major League Soccer and other U.S. leagues? A piercing SB Nation story this week grappled with the implications of a recent study‘s disturbing findings “that black players are 14 percent more likely to be called for cautions than their non-black counterparts.” The study by Paste magazine also found that …

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Preparing Teachers for Middle School

Teachers must be prepared for the additional challenges of middle school. Photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks. Middle school is a challenging time for young people. Adolescents straddle the line between childhood and adulthood, struggling to assert their independence and form their identities while also still relying on parents and other adults. The brains of middle school …

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Independent Streams (week of January 23)

Our weekly roundup of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research Problems Betsy DeVos’ Accountability Problem (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate David Arsen comments on charter school organization in light of President Donald Trump’s pro-charter school education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos. Senate Hearing, DeVos Shows Ignorance Central Debate Over How To Measure Schools (link is external) IPPSR …

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Fischetti on Benders Decomposition

I just came across slides for a presentation that Matteo Fischetti (University of Padova) gave at the Lunteren Conference on the Mathematics of Operations Research a few days ago. Matteo is both expert at and dare I say an advocate of Benders decomposition. I use Benders decomposition (or variants of it) rather extensively in my …

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Ninth Circuit Holds Consumer Financial Protection Act Applies to Tribes

  Here is the opinion in Consumer Financial Protection Board v. Great Plains Lending. An excerpt: We have consistently held in our post-Stevens precedent that generally applicable laws apply to Native American tribes unless Congress expressly provides otherwise. In the Consumer Financial Protection Act, a generally applicable law, Congress did not expressly exclude tribes from …

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Attack of the Monster Syllabus

Image courtesy of Creative Commons By Jessica Landgraf While the syllabus is an important component of a college course at any level, over the last decade they have morphed into new beasts, made up of copious amounts of class specific information supplemented with institutional policies, personal preference statements, and living document clauses leading to a …

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Publication – The Economics of a Food Fraud Incident – Case Studies and Examples, Including Melamine in Wheat Gluten

We all know Food Fraud occurs for economic gain, but it is more complex than just “profit margin” or “commodity price swings.” Reviewing the incidents provides insight on exactly how and where bad guys are attacking… which is critical to prevention and selecting countermeasures. New Publication: The Economics of a Food Fraud Incident – Case …

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Oppenheimer on Bohr (1964 UCLA)

Oppenheimer on Bohr (1964 UCLA) I came across this 1964 UCLA talk by Oppenheimer, on his hero Niels Bohr. Oppenheimer: Mathematics is “an immense enlargement of language, an ability to talk about things which in words would be simply inaccessible.” I find it strange that psychometricians usually define “verbal ability” over a vocabulary set that …

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Independent Streams (week of January 16)

Our weekly roundup of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research Problems Which Michigan Counties Are Most Vulnerable If Obamacare Is Repealed (link is external) Recent analysis by Bridge Magazine highlights Michigan counties which would be most affected by repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Survey: Government Trust Levels Low (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Charles Ballard …

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Hope, Lies and Making Change

I was up early as usual yesterday morning to sneak in a little quiet reading time before heading off to set up for our local monthly recycling drive we’ve been operating for 28 years. It was chilly (14 degrees) and dark when I loaded up our 1999 Ford Ranger, 4-cylinder truck with our material before …

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Social Emotional Recognition

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons Thinking back to my own training as an elementary school preservice teacher, I remember the lack of preparation dedicated to handling classroom discipline or behavioral issues. It was clear to me then, as it is now, that understanding how to help students recognize and control their emotions and develop ways …

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Testing and Accountability for Public Power

Testing and accountability policy has consistently been held up as a way to empower parents, especially in poor neighborhoods. Give parents clear, objective information about how schools are doing, and schools, facing complaints from parents and shrinking enrollments as parents opt to send their children elsewhere, will be pressured to reform themselves. In essence, accountability …

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Pro Bono Analytics Is Growing Social

Pro Bono Analytics is a program by INFORMS (the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, for the acronym-averse), “the largest society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research (O.R.), management science, and analytics”. PBA “connects our members and other analytics professionals with nonprofit organizations working in underserved and developing communities”. …

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  WE CAN’T PUT IT TOGETHER. IT IS TOGETHER. Last semester a Lyman Briggs College class (LBC is a residential college here at MSU that bridges the humanities and the sciences with interdisciplinary teaching and research) used The Last Whole Earth Catalog as one of its texts. Students used an online version of the catalog, but …

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Are quanta particles or waves?

Are quanta particles or waves? The title of this post is an age-old question isn’t it? Particle or wave? Wave or particle? Many have rightly argued that the so-called “wave-particle duality” is at the very heart of quantum weirdness, and hence, of all of quantum mechanics. Einstein said it. Bohr said it. Feynman said it. …

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The Gulf is Deep (Heinlein)

  The novella Gulf predates almost all of Heinlein’s novels. Online version. The book Friday (1982) is a loose sequel. Wikipedia: Gulf is a novella by Robert A. Heinlein, originally published as a serial in the November and December 1949 issues of Astounding Science Fiction and later collected in Assignment in Eternity. It concerns a secret society …

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AlphaGo (BetaGo?) Returns

Rumors over the summer suggested that AlphaGo had some serious problems that needed to be fixed — i.e., whole lines of play that it pursued poorly, despite its thrashing of one of the world’s top players in a highly publicized match. But tuning a neural net is trickier than tuning, for example, an expert system …

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