EppsNet Archive: Stanford

Big Fishes in Small Ponds

A colleague and I are discussing an article about too many kids quitting science because they don’t think they’re smart, in which Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford, says, among other things: Being a good parent has become synonymous with giving out ability praise. Parents still think this is the greatest gift they can give to their children, and as a child gets more and more insecure, they give more and more of it. And, by the way, a lot of employers and coaches have said, “My employees cannot get through the day without accolades and validation.” Even professional coaches have said they cannot give feedback without these people feeling that they’ve crushed them. We’ve created several generations now of very fragile individuals because they’ve been praised and hyped. And feel that anything but praise is devastating. My colleague mentions Malcolm Gladwell‘s book David and Goliath, in which Gladwell claims… Read more →

Humans Evolving to Become Less Intelligent?

Gerald Crabtree, a geneticist at Stanford University, suggests that humans are evolving to become less intelligent. Crabtree asserts that the safer life gets for humans, the less important it is for us to have good judgment for survival and mating. Thousands of years ago, human idiots were much more likely to be removed from the gene pool (i.e., die) as a result of their lack of intelligence and judgment. Nowadays, it’s rare for someone to die because they were unable to outwit a predator. Read more →

The World’s Greatest University

It’s move-in weekend at UC Berkeley, the world’s greatest university . . . Saul Perlmutter, who just won the Nobel Prize in Physics, is teaching an undergraduate seminar on physics and music this year. How many schools even have Nobel Laureates on the faculty? Of those that do, how many of them teach small classes for freshmen and sophomores? Ivy League schools, with the exception of Harvard, are coasting on their reputations. When’s the last time you heard of an enterpreneur from Dartmouth or Brown or Yale? Stanford is great in engineering and business but limited in other areas. Also, top professors at private schools would rather piss on a spark plug than traffic with undergrads. That said, the University of Southern California football season starts Sept. 1 against Hawaii. The Men of Troy! FIGHT ON FOR OLD ‘SC! OUR MEN FIGHT ON TO VICTORY! Read more →

Engineering is Serious Business, Says Engineering Major

The dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering expressed support today for a recommendation from a student group that the college create a recruitment and retention plan for women and underrepresented minority students. — California Watch It sounds like the dean might be up for lowering the engineering standards to meet diversity metrics. Bad idea. Engineering is serious business. Also: Preferential treatment by a public institution based on race, sex or ethnicity is prohibited by California law. I’ve got a better and more legal idea: How about if the women and “underrepresented” minority students suck it up and meet the same academic standards as everyone else? Or apply to a different school? If they can’t meet the standards at Berkeley, they might do fine at a less demanding institution like Stanford or UCLA. I’ve attended engineering school myself. We had diversity admits. After one semester, maybe two, they weren’t there… Read more →

Northwood 2011 College Decisions

Unlike highly recruited athletes, kids who are highly recruited academically don’t get to go on TV and turn over hats so everyone knows what college they’re going to. Northwood doesn’t have highly recruited athletes, so there’s a Facebook site where they can check in and state their college choice. Also unlike athletes, who are evaluated on a 5-star scale, Northwood students are evaluated on a 3-star scale, according to the commencement program that I have right here in front of me: *** = Highest honors (4.3 GPA or above)  ** = High honors (4.0 or above, but below 4.3)   * = Honors (Not sure; close to a 4.0 but not quite there) It looks like Cal got the best recruiting class this year with three 3-star prospects and no one lower than 2 stars. USC and Stanford each got one 3-star recruit, as did Harvard and Yale. To the kids… Read more →

Prom Night

The Irvine high schools — Northwood and University — have prom tonight. Our boy goes to Northwood but he’s attending the Uni prom with a girl from that fine institution. I met her. She seems nice. She’s going to Stanford in the fall. Our boy is going to Cal. Opposites attract. Today is also the girl’s birthday, so the boy is paying for dinner. “Did you see a birth certificate or a drivers license verifying that today is really her birthday?” I ask him. “Not to suggest that women are looking to take advantage of a man if he lets his guard down, but did you see the birth certificate or drivers license?” Woodbridge and Irvine High — the weak links in the Irvine chain of education — may have prom tonight too, I don’t know. Nobody cares about those schools. Read more →

My Kid is Going to Cal

I always kind of assumed that the boy would follow in his pappy’s footsteps at USC, but he just sent in his intent to register at Cal, thus ending (effectively) a journey that started on his first day of kindergarten last week. It wasn’t last week? It was 13 years ago? It seems like last week. I picked him up after school and he sat in the back seat of the car sipping a juice box while we talked about his day. I have a video of it. There are three schools in California that you could plausibly go to ahead of USC: Stanford, Cal Tech — two small, private schools with ultra-low admit rates — and Cal. Cal has a better academic reputation than USC. USC has cranked up the academics over the last 20 years, and especially over the last 10 years, to the point where if you… Read more →