Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

ARWU Ranking 2013

13»

Replies to: ARWU Ranking 2013

  • beyphybeyphy Registered User Posts: 2,237 Senior Member
    No, UCLA has a top 5 medical center (best in the west for like 30 years,) top 5 dentistry school, is about to have one of the world's leading medical school (via DGMSs,) has been associated with two Turing award winners, one Fields medalist, and has had big scientific breakthroughs like discovering HIV and did research which helped found the internet.

    UCLA is generally between the top 10 to the top 15 in international rankings; UCSD however is not, and I think there's a consensus that it's certainly a notch below Michigan, Penn, and JHU. Congrats to UCSD for doing well as it has however. I will admit that it's certainly accomplished a lot in its short history.
  • Sam LeeSam Lee Registered User Posts: 9,449 Senior Member
    In addition to this, historically, Northwestern and Duke have probably also been more pre-professionally oriented than JHU. Of the Nobel laureates that I mentioned earlier, 15are JHU alumni; Duke only has 2 NL alumni, and Northwestern only has 3.

    Most of those winners from JHU were heavily skewed toward medicine. When the school is consistently in the top-2 in one of the Nobel categories (medicine), it's going to produce at least a dozen winners, regardless of the orientation of the student body.

    In addition, Nobel is simply a very poor measure of anything. Most often, the work were done well after the winners left their undergrad/grad schools. The relationship is therefore tenuous at best. It's also way too elusive to establish a pattern. I'd think prestigious fellowships like Rhodes, Marshall, Gates Cambridge, Mitchell, Goldwater will be better indicators. You can debate their validity but they are far more indicative and related than Nobel.

    As far as which is more "pre-professional" goes, it really depends on what you mean by that. When you have almost 400 med school applicants out of a class of less than 1300, do you consider that pre-professional? That's JHU and I'd think that's just as pre-professional as anybody. To me, I don't consider, say, journalists, especially those that cover a wide range of issues, to be any less intellectual than typical doctors in the hospitals or clinics. By the way, JHU started offering business majors recently.
  • beyphybeyphy Registered User Posts: 2,237 Senior Member
    Perhaps we'll have to agree to disagree on Nobel laureates then. I think JHU's Nobel laureate alumni amount is impressive, especially if it's class size has stayed the same throughout its history.

    I suppose that you are right though on the pre-professional comment. But I would like to point out that even if you took away JHU's medicine Nobel laureates, it would still have more non-medical Nobel laureate alumni than Duke and NU. Perhaps that's only the case because we don't have a Nobel prize in journalism or something. I'm not really sure.
  • coureurcoureur Registered User Posts: 11,386 Senior Member
    >>No, UCLA has a top 5 medical center (best in the west for like 30 years,) top 5 dentistry school, is about to have one of the world's leading medical school (via DGMSs,) has been associated with two Turing award winners, one Fields medalist, and has had big scientific breakthroughs like discovering HIV and did research which helped found the internet.<<

    I agree that UCLA is a first-rate university, but nobody there discovered HIV. That virus was first discovered by Luc Montagnier at the Pasteur Institute and Robert Gallo at the National Cancer Institute.

    There was disagreement for years as to which one of those two discovered it first. And there was eventually a negotiated agreement between the governments of France and the US to give them equal credit as co-discoverers (and perhaps more importantly co-inventors on the patents). But later genetic analyses of the virus isolates involved showed that Gallo had probably not actually isolated the virus but has was actually working on a specimen of Montagnier's virus that had been shared with him earlier. Thus, among scientific community Luc Montagnier and his team are widely recognized today as the sole discoverers of HIV. And sure enough, when the Nobel prizes for the HIV work were awarded in 2008, Montagnier got one and Gallo did not.
  • beyphybeyphy Registered User Posts: 2,237 Senior Member
  • Sam LeeSam Lee Registered User Posts: 9,449 Senior Member
    beyphy,

    I never said the number wasn't impressive. I just don't think there's any basis to make any inference or generalization out of it. But if you are going to do that, then you need to explain why you can't do the same with the numbers for prestigious scholarships like Rhodes, Marshall, Gates Cambridge, NSF, Fulbright, etc.

    It just doesn't sound logical to me to say school X is more intellectual (or whatever adjective one may use, promote, or sell) than school Y simply because it has more Nobel winners (we are talking about a pretty small number vs an even smaller number) while totally ignoring the fact that school Y may have far more prestigious fellowship winners who were usually still in the school at the time of the awards were granted.

    It seems to be cherry-picking just for meaningless bragging to me.
  • Sam LeeSam Lee Registered User Posts: 9,449 Senior Member
    By the way, I wouldn't consider coming up with a fancy name to summarize the symptoms a "breakthrough discovery" (Initially, they even termed the disease Gay-Related Immune Deficiency). Finding and isolating HIV virus is, calling what HIV infection resulted as AIDS is not.
  • beyphybeyphy Registered User Posts: 2,237 Senior Member
    Perhaps it's a coincidence that the people who end up being Nobel laureates enroll in the same small number of universities. They're good schools, for example, where many people have won the prize previously. And perhaps these people would have won the prize if they'd gone to any other university. That's not something I can accurately comment on. I do think that having faculty capable of winning the prize brings in other strong faculty and graduate students that want to work with them. This in turn helps establish a strong program within the university (which winning the prize strengthens even more.) And eventually this also draws undergraduate students interested in those programs.

    I shouldn't have used the word 'pre-professional' as it doesn't get at exactly what I was trying to say. I was trying to say the pre-professional fields of Duke and NU seem less scientifically oriented. i.e. the students that go into these fields of business and law, for example, don't do these for the research aspects of the fields. I don't think that that makes NU or Duke students are 'less intellectual' than JHU students. All of these universities are amongst the best in the U.S. I do think that it shows that the universities students bodies have different interests. And there's nothing wrong with that.

    Furthermore, my original comment was qualified by 'historically' since students who get Nobel prizes attended these universities decades before they received their prize. For all I know, the students of all universities are equally intellectual now.

    The reason I brought up the Nobel prize is because there's no question that it and its equivalent prizes (Fields, Turing, etc.) are the most prestigious academic prizes awarded. My point was in response to Goldenboy's question. And unsurprisingly, an inspection of the ARWU's methodology reveals that the number of alumni and faculty who've won the Nobel prize/Fields medal is a large part of the ranking:

    Ranking Methodology of Academic Ranking of World Universities - 2013

    As you can see in the methodology, there's no criteria for 'Rhodes, Marshall, Gates Cambridge,' etc. I'm also unfamiliar with any international ranking that does include them in its methodology.

    With regard to my original comment, I'm no longer surprised by UCSD's placement. It's been associated with far more Nobel prize faculty than UCLA and has been associated with more Fields medalists as well (2 vs 1) While UCLA has had more alumni win the prize, that's weighted lower within the ranking.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,280 Senior Member
    Also, there is no way in hell that Minny, Wisconsin, and UCSD have stronger faculties than Duke.

    Oh, really? Let’s start with the assumption that graduate program rankings are a reasonable proxy for faculty strength. Here are the current US News graduate program rankings. I don’t have time to slog through the NRC rankings, but I am confident that they’re broadly similar.

    Economics: Minnesota #11, Wisconsin #13, UCSD #15, Duke#19
    Political Science: UCSD #8, Duke #10, Wisconsin #15, Minnesota #19
    Psychology: Minnesota #9, Wisconsin #9, UCSD #14, Duke #21
    Sociology: Wisconsin #1, Duke #14, Minnesota #20, UCSD #35
    History: Duke #14, Wisconsin #14, Minnesota #24, UCSD #30
    English: Duke #10, Wisconsin #17, Minnesota #36, UCSD #39
    Chemistry: Wisconsin #7, UCSD #21, Minnesota #21, Duke #45
    Physics: UCSD #14, Wisconsin #17, Minnesota #26, Duke #40
    Biology: Duke #13, UCSD #15, Wisconsin #15, Minnesota #32
    Math: Wisconsin #16, Minnesota #18, UCSD #20, Duke #24
    Computer Science: Wisconsin #11, UCSD #14, Duke #27, Minnesota #35
    Earth Science: Wisconsin #13, UCSD #17, Minnesota #28, Duke #45
    Engineering: UCSD #14, Wisconsin #18, Duke #28, Minnesota #29
    Medicine (research): Duke #8, UCSD #15, Wisconsin #29, Minnesota #38
    Law: Duke #11, Minnesota #19, Wisconsin #33, UCSD N/A
    Business: Duke #11, Minnesota #23, Wisconsin #34, UCSD #73
    Public Policy: Wisconsin #12, Minnesota #16, Duke #16, UCSD N/A

    Mean ranking: Wisconsin 16.1, Duke 20.9, Minnesota 22.5, UCSD 24.1
    Median ranking: Wisconsin 15, Duke 16, UCSD 17, Minnesota 21

    This suggests Wisconsin is the strongest of these four schools in overall faculty strength, with Duke arguably second but very close to UCSD and Minnesota. Duke’s strongest assets are its medical (#8), law (#11), and business (#11) schools, plus political science (#10) and English (#10). It is notably weaker than the other three schools in chemistry (#45), physics (#40), and earth science (#45).

    Wisconsin shows strength across the board in the arts and sciences, with every program in the top 20 and most in the top 15. It is somewhat weaker in its professional schools (#28 medicine, #33 law, #34 business). Minnesota and UCSD are spottier. UCSD is a less “complete” university, lacking a law school and a public policy school, and its business school (#73) brings down its average. Toss that one outlier and UCSD’s mean ranking would be slightly better than Duke’s. But UCSD is weaker in some social sciences and humanities (sociology #35, history #30, English #39). Minnesota has many top 25 programs but not as many top 15 programs as the others. On the other hand, its weakest programs (#35 computer science, #36 English and #38 medical school) are not as weak as Duke is in some basic sciences.

    On the whole then, the faculties of these four schools are quite comparable, with Wisconsin having a slight edge in these disciplines. Arguably Duke is second-strongest of the four, but by a small margin, and it's also the most uneven. It's close enough that by the time you added in all the disciplines not represented here--for example, agricultural sciences and natural resources where Wisconsin and Minnesota are globally renowned powerhouses--the relative rankings could change. I think most people in academia would say all four of these schools have very strong faculties, but I think most would give Wisconsin the edge overall.
  • Sam LeeSam Lee Registered User Posts: 9,449 Senior Member
    As you can see in the methodology, there's no criteria for 'Rhodes, Marshall, Gates Cambridge,' etc. I'm also unfamiliar with any international ranking that does include them in its methodology.
    Fair enough. And that's exactly where the weakest link is for the ranking, which says
    Quality of Education = ALUMNI of an institution winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals [REALLY????]
    How about this alternative instead:
    Quality of Education = STUDENTS of an institution winning Rhodes + Marshall + Gates Cambridge, etc.
    The alternative doesn't include graduate students. Other than that, I think it is far better for obvious reasons. That said, I don't mean I believe in it. I guess I should say the alternative is *less bad*.
  • Blah2009Blah2009 Registered User Posts: 1,337 Senior Member
    Not sure why you're questioning JHU's performance over Duke internationally, golden? International prestige is heavily driven by grad school quality (especially that of STEM fields). JHU physics, bio, chem, and engineering fields are stronger than Duke's. This also explains (already stated earlier in the thread) why a primarily science and grad school focused school like UCSF is highly ranked.

    Also Sam, a correction, JHU has recently begun offering a full time MBA. But there's still no undergrad business major on its main campus, so it hasn't become more pre-professional in that regard. http://carey.jhu.edu/academics/ugprogram/bs_business/index.html
    That Bachelor of Science in Business degree is not pursued by any full time Johns Hopkins undergrads admitted to the main campus. It's more akin to a Columbia general studies degree for community college transfers. Separate campus (the only difference from Columbia GS), separate admissions standards, and separate reputation.

    JHU is also heavily grad school focused. It's bad because it's a heavy deterrent to top tier consulting firms like McKinsey or BCG coming to campus and recruiting. McKinsey used to recruit at JHU, but stopped because of the lack of applicants and eventual number of business analysts. And as a soon to be engagement manager, I don't have much sway yet..=). See Caltech for a similar story (We exclusively interview grad students there), although BCG has finally returned to campus there to recruit undergrads.

    Also last I checked, less than 350 applicants applied to med schools from JHU (but this figure includes alums) out of a class of 1300 or so. It might be less pre-professional than you think.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,280 Senior Member
    The ARWU ranking is deeply flawed. It gives bigger universities an undue advantage over their smaller peers. This explains why schools like Cornell and UCLA are ranked in the top 15. It also explains why schools like Brown, Dartmouth and even Duke are very underrated. A ranking that focuses on the quality of research being produced at a university would be preferable to this one.

    I think you’re mistaken on the size question. Some small universities like Caltech (2,261 students grad + undergrad, #6 ARWU) and Princeton (7,641 students total, #7 ARWU ) are ranked very highly, while many mega-universities like Arizona State (72,254 students) and Ohio State (56,867) are nowhere near the top of the rankings.

    And why do you assume that schools like Brown, Dartmouth and Duke produce higher quality research than schools like Cornell and UCLA? The fact is, schools like Brown and Dartmouth are relatively minor players in the research world. Duke is a bigger player and top-notch in some fields, but it's got major gaps in its research profile in really fundamental areas like chemistry, physics, and earth science.

    Generally speaking, the best grad students flock to the programs where the best research in their field is being done, and the grad school rankings reflect that. Here are the current US News grad school rankings in core STEM fields (I’ll leave Dartmouth out of it because they don’t have a full array of grad programs):

    Chemistry: Cornell #10, UCLA #16, Duke #45, Brown #53
    Physics: Cornell #7, UCLA #19, Brown #30, Duke #40
    Biology: Cornell #11, Duke #13, UCLA #24, Brown #34
    Earth sciences: Cornell #13, UCLA #17, Brown #17, Duke #45
    Math: UCLA #8, Cornell #13, Brown #14, Duke #24
    Computer science: Cornell #5, UCLA #14, Brown #20, Duke #27
    Engineering: Cornell #13, UCLA #16, Duke #28, Brown #48
    Medicine (research): Duke #8, UCLA #13, Cornell #16, Brown #31

    Mean ranking (8 disciplines): Cornell 11, UCLA 15.9, Duke 28.8, Brown 30.9
    Median ranking (8 disciplines): Cornell 12, UCLA 16, Duke 27.5, Brown 30.5

    Fact is, Cornell and UCLA are just stronger research institutions than Duke and Brown across the array of STEM disciplines. That’s reflected in their STEM grad school rankings, in the quantity and quality of the STEM research they generate, in the degree to which their STEM faculty are cited, and in their international reputations.
  • rjkofnovirjkofnovi Registered User Posts: 10,015 Senior Member
    "It also explains why schools like Brown, Dartmouth and even Duke are very underrated."

    Did you ever consider that all or some of these schools are very overrated by USNWR in comparison?
  • goldenboy8784goldenboy8784 Registered User Posts: 1,698 Senior Member
    bclintonk, your post is littered with factual errors and generalizations. I'm going to slog through them and make some important corrections because I want to defend my alma mater's reputation and give Duke the fair treatment that it deserves.
    bclintonk wrote:
    Here are the current US News graduate program rankings.
    Why did you ignore the field of Statistics which USNWR includes as a core field in its Graduate School Rankings?
    Best Statistics Programs | Top Statistics Schools | US News Best Graduate Schools

    Statistics
    Duke: #10
    Wisconsin: #12
    Minnesota: #17
    UCSD: N/R
    bclintonk wrote:
    Physics: UCSD #14, Wisconsin #17, Minnesota #26, Duke #40
    Duke's ranking is #30 in Physics, not #40.
    bclintonk wrote:
    Public Policy: Wisconsin #12, Minnesota #16, Duke #16, UCSD N/A
    Huh, is this the overall "Public Affairs" ranking? Duke only has a Public Policy school and thus only offers a Public Policy bachelors degree to undergraduates and a M.P.P. to graduate students.

    Here is the Public Policy ranking:
    Best Public Policy Analysis Programs | Top Public Affairs Schools | US News Best Graduate Schools

    Duke: #6
    Wisconsin: #10
    Minnesota: #17
    UCSD: N/R

    Also why the omission of important fields of study like Anthropology, Classics, Comparative Literature, French, German, Philosophy, Religion, and Spanish just because UNSWR is too incompetent and lazy to poll academics in those areas bclintonk?

    I'm going to use the NRC rankings in these areas and count only the average of the high points of both the R-Rank and S-Rank for use in the final tabulation.

    http://chronicle.com/article/NRC-Rankings-Overview-/124743/

    Anthropology
    Duke: R-Rank 16, S-Rank 1, Mean 8.5
    Wisconsin: R-Rank 9, S-Rank 15, Mean 12
    UCSD: R-Rank 30, S-Rank 32, Mean 31
    Minnesota: R-Rank 78, S-Rank 74, Mean 76

    Classics
    Duke: R-Rank 2, S-Rank 2, Mean 2
    Wisconsin: R-Rank 13, S-Rank 20, Mean 16.5
    UCSD: R-Rank 15, S-Rank 21, Mean 18
    Minnesota: R-Rank 16, S-Rank 26, Mean 21

    Comparative Literature
    Duke: R-Rank 4, S-Rank 3, Mean 3.5
    UCSD: R-Rank 9, S-Rank 40, Mean 24.5
    Minnesota: R-Rank 29, S-Rank 35, Mean 32
    Wisconsin: R-Rank 34, S-Rank 37, Mean 35.5

    French
    Duke: R-Rank 1, S-Rank 1, Mean 1
    Wisconsin: R-Rank 5, S-Rank 7, Mean 6
    Minnesota: R-Rank 32, S-Rank 40, Mean 36
    UCSD: N/R

    German
    Minnesota: R-Rank 1, S-Rank 2, Mean 1.5
    Duke: R-Rank 8, S-Rank 2, Mean 5
    Wisconsin: R-Rank 2, S-Rank 20, Mean 11
    UCSD: N/R

    Philosophy
    Duke: R-Rank 5, S-Rank 8, Mean 6.5
    UCSD: R-Rank 15, S-Rank 9, Mean 12
    Wisconsin: R-Rank 34, S-Rank 21, Mean 27.5
    Minnesota: R-Rank 31, S-Rank 49, Mean 40

    Spanish
    Duke: R-Rank 16, S-Rank 14, Mean 15
    Minnesota: R-Rank 5, S-Rank 29, Mean 17
    Wisconsin: R-Rank 9, S-Rank 41, Mean 25
    UCSD: N/R

    After you account for some errors made in your initial analysis and count some vitals area of study that the UNSWR neglected to rank but the NRC did, here are the new final results:

    Mean Ranking for all 25 Fields: Duke 15.50, Wisconsin 16.56, UCSD: 22.61, Minnesota 25.82
    bclintonk wrote:
    It is notably weaker than the other three schools in chemistry (#45), physics (#40), and earth science (#45).
    According to the NRC, Duke is indeed weaker than the other three schools in these academic areas but the difference is not as great as those charlatan scholars that USNWR is surveying would have you believe.

    Using the same method I used to calculate the weighted average between the R-Rank and S-Rank for some of the graduate fields that USNWR didn't rank, here's how Duke stacked up to the competition in Chem, Earth Sci, and Phys.

    Chemistry: UCSD #11, Wisconsin #12, Minnesota #17.5, Duke #19.5
    Earth Sciences/Geology: Duke #18, Minnesota #21.5, Wisconsin #23, UCSD N/R
    Physics: Wisconsin #17, UCSD: #17, Duke #22, Minnesota #36.5

    Duke doesn't actually have a specific Earth Sciences/Geology department like the other three schools and instead has professors staffed in the Nicholas School of the Environment who do research in that field. I'm sure not having a full-fledged faculty dedicated to Geology rather than just the study of the Environment hurt Duke immensely in that graduate school ranking.
    bclintonk wrote:
    It's close enough that by the time you added in all the disciplines not represented here--for example, agricultural sciences and natural resources where Wisconsin and Minnesota are globally renowned powerhouses--the relative rankings could change.
    I agree. Alas, I didn't include Duke's #1 Religion department and Divinity School, fantastic Marine Biology program, Dance Program, Theater Program, Medical Specialties, etc. in my calculation.

    Overall, all these schools have very strong faculties but Duke is the clear winner here. Professional programs (Business, Law, Medicine) tend to be the greatest revenue generators and most highly profiled aspects of universities and in that regard, Duke is in a totally different league than Wisconsin, Minnesota, or UCSD.
13»
This discussion has been closed.