Murray’s Argument in the Bell Curve

The first cardinal sin in an intellectual debate is to criticize your opponent without understanding their view. Here are a set of propositions, not necessarily consistent or complete set, that seem to appear in Murray’s The Bell Curve. Which one’s represent Murray’s views? (P1) Intelligence is a meaningful scientific concept. (P2) Intelligence can be quantified. (P3) The whole of...

Charles Murray on Regression Analysis

I have questioned Murray on his description (and reach) of regression analysis. Here is the quote from the Bell Curve:   The basic tool for multivariate analysis in the social sciences is known as regression analysis. The many forms of regression analysis have a common structure. There is a result to explain, the dependent variable. There are some things that might be the causes, the independent...

On Adaptive Learning: A Partial Response to Audrey Watters

In “The Algorithmic Future of Education”  Audrey Watters offers a sweeping critique of adaptive learning, arguing that “robot tutors” (her phrase) don’t benefit learners, they are not anything new under the sun, and that, worst of all, they represent a cunning ploy by industry (in league with administrators and managers) to “subjugate labor” and to create “austerity”.  According...

The R Project for Statistical Computing

R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS. It is supported by the R Project. R is an ideal language for statistical computing and graphics. It provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modeling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, …)...

Blackboard to Go Private (Summary of Reactions and Commentary)

(Reuters) – Education software company Blackboard Inc (BBBB.O) said it would be bought by private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, a well-known investor in the education field, for $1.64 billion in cash. [READ MORE] Summary of Reactions and Commentary   Joshua Kim, BlogU (June 26, 2011) Joshua Kim, Director of Learning and Technology at Dartmouth College, suggests (“Providence...

Reprising The Joel Test: 12 Steps to Better Code

Joel Spolsky published this list in 2000 and it appeared again in the classic Joel on Software. It’s worth a reprise. If you are involved in software development I encourage you and your team to take The Joel Test. According to Spolsky (and I agree), “A score of 12 is perfect, 11 is tolerable, but score 10 or lower and you’ve got serious problems.  The truth is that most software...

Learn to Fail Elegantly

In this week’s video Joichi Ito, CEO of Creative Commons and serial entrepreneur, reminds us that “learning to fail” is at the heart of innovation. Building a culture of innovation means building an organizational culture which not only tolerates failure but encourages it. The art of innovation is how to learn from failure, which is just another name for play and experimentation.

Facebook Rolls out Full Session Encryption

Programs such as Firesheep have made it clear that Wi-Fi networks are highly insecure. It doesn’t take a sophisticated hacker to compromise your accounts over Wi-Fi networks. An important step is for sites to enforce HTTPS (encryption) for the entire session instead of just for passwords and credit card information. Facebook is to be commended for offering full HTTPS support. Although compatibility...

Gates Foundation’s New Program

Inside Higher Ed Gates Foundation’s New Program October 11, 2010 The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has become a major force in pushing for improvements in college completion rates, is now linking that goal to technological innovation. The foundation today announced a new grant program that will disburse about $20 million over two years, says Josh Jarrett, its senior program officer...

New LMS from Instructure Goes Open Source

Campus Technology New LMS from Instructure Goes Open Source February 1, 2011 By Dian Schaffhauser A Utah-based company has fired a warning shot across the bow of learning management system (LMS) companies, including market leader Blackboard, with the announcement that it’s turning its new LMS into open source.Instructure has publicly released the source code to its Canvas learning management...