Weeders Be Damned

<p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/education/edlife/why-science-majors-change-their-mind-its-just-so-darn-hard.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/education/edlife/why-science-majors-change-their-mind-its-just-so-darn-hard.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I like how they specifically talked about Berkeley in the beginning, lol xD But, reading on, what Worcester Polytechnic Institute did seems smart. Like one of the kids said, it wasn't about just "memorizing equations," but actually applying the knowledge to useful things early on, as opposed to waiting until your 3rd or 4th year of college. </p>

<p>In the beginning the article says it's <em>not</em> about education from k-12, but then it goes on to state that in India and China, they're excelling <em>because</em> of k-12 education? Ehhh. The whole US education is in need of serious reform.</p>

<p>EDIT: What MIT did (where they let students take up to 3 classes for no grade at all, if they get below a C) sounds like a friggin DREAM</p>

<p>except...you know...MIT is even harder than Berkeley.</p>

<p>
[Quote]
What MIT did (where they let students take up to 3 classes for no grade at all, if they get below a C) sounds like a friggin DREAM

[/Quote]

Lol at the MIT freshman grading system, aka freshman ego protection system. If anyone needs protection, it's the underprepared Cal kids.
Justice, however, is somewhat preserved, as they have to disclose their hidden grades when applying to professional schools.</p>

<p>In my experience M.I.T. tests are not anymore difficult than Cal's. You can check on open courseware.</p>

<p>^^ actually they are harder. Because people complain whenever professors pull questions from MIT tests. Things always seem easier when you're not doing it.</p>

<p>But I would agree that Cal students are more underprepared since Cal is so much less selective...</p>

<p>^^ I said "in my experience", and you try and correct me about my own opinion by citing "people complaining about professors pulling from MIT" as your empirical data? Stop putting MIT on some other worldly pedestal.</p>

<p>^^ Wow you are defensive. </p>

<p>I'm not putting MIT on a pedastal. Maybe profs only pull the hardest ones, so they feel hard. But that's just what me and my friends have experienced. I have never personally heard, "this material was pulled from MIT, it's easier", while I have heard the opposite. So take it as you will.</p>

<p>You are entitled to your own opinions. I have merely stated that I have differing ones. No need to get so fidgety...</p>

<p>sigh not another talk about prestige or which school is harder blah blah.....lol</p>

<p>PS: Honestly though I'd rather have 100 good engineers than 10000 crappy ones who graduated because the system was too easy and didn't prepare them for true high level critical thinking/ problem solving. Sorry to disagree with you Obama.</p>

<p>I'm afraid asking for an surge in STEM graduates mean people might want to start watering things down. Innovation comes from bright hard working minds, not by the number of STEM degrees given out. IMO anyway.</p>

<p>The best way to take care of weeder classes is to become a weed eater. YUM!</p>

<p>^ a lawn mower workers too.</p>

<p>For people talking about STEM:
Does Statistics count as Math?</p>

<p>Yes, it's a dumb question.</p>

<p>I'd say it does, but I will also say actuaries make me sad.....they're so depressing and have the facts to prove their depressing ideas...lol</p>

<p>Generation</a> Jobless: Students Pick Easier Majors Despite Less Pay - WSJ.com
At Cal, she would have come to her senses after the first midterm in the fall semester of her freshman year. Cal EECS rulez!</p>

<p>I just want to put it out there that I am <em>not</em> a math or science person. I'm more of a humanities person; I hate the straight-forward, one-solution-only answers that math has. I really enjoy reading and analyzing books, I like how everyone can walk away with a different interpretation of a piece of literature, I love the empowerment that comes from being able to write effectively and firmly, etc.</p>

<p>That being said, I would never really think of majoring in such humanities (I really wanted to major in Psychology of Sociology, but I didn't). I'm not dumb, and I know that although I really like the humanities, math and science is what dominates the job market. It's not like you either major in Engineering or you major in underwater basket-weaving...there are other majors that are important and in need, they don't necessarily have to be engineering. I chose to major in Econ/Stat (and I hope to God I'm right about what I said, lol. Econ better be a nice balance between Engineering and some semi-useless major...)</p>

<p>
[quote]
Lol at the MIT freshman grading system, aka freshman ego protection system. If anyone needs protection, it's the underprepared Cal kids.</p>

<p>Justice, however, is somewhat preserved, as they have to disclose their hidden grades when applying to professional schools.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Actually, that is mostly false. Other than MIT's own professional schools (read: the MIT Sloan MBA program), only a tiny handful of professional schools, notably Johns Hopkins Medical, will require that applicants from MIT disclose their 'hidden' grades. For example, I can think of numerous former MIT undergrads who were admitted to professional programs at that 'other' university in town, and none of them were required to disclose their hidden grades, nor did so. {The upshot is that some MIT premeds will surely find it easier to be admitted to HMS than to Johns Hopkins Med.}</p>

<p>
[quote]
EDIT: What MIT did (where they let students take up to 3 classes for no grade at all, if they get below a C) sounds like a friggin DREAM

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Actually, that's WPI. MIT allows students to take as many courses as they want during their freshman year and have those grades hidden if they get below a C.</p>

<p>
[quote]
In my experience M.I.T. tests are not anymore difficult than Cal's. You can check on open courseware.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>It's not how difficult the tests are that determines how difficult a school is, but rather how the tests are graded, and specifically, how test scores translate into letter grades.</p>

<p>I'll give you two examples. I knew a guy who scored a 30% on an exam...and celebrated. Why? Because the mean was a 25%, and the overall class score distribution exhibited such small variation that his 30% effectively translated into an A. I also know another guy who scored somewhere in the 80%'s, and was nearly in tears. Why? Because the mean was a 95%, and the resulting score distribution indicated that he earned no better than a D, and probably an F. </p>

<p>The upshot is that the difficulty of the exam alone tells you little, for what matters for grading purposes is your relative position on the class curve, which is a function of the capabilities of your classmates. In a class of 5 Einsteins, a harsh curve can dictate that one of them must fail. It doesn't matter that all 5 of them were geniuses; all that matters is that one of them must be relegated to last place.</p>

<p>
[quote]
EDIT: What MIT did (where they let students take up to 3 classes for no grade at all, if they get below a C) sounds like a friggin DREAM

[/quote]
</p>

<p>
[quote]
except...you know...MIT is even harder than Berkeley.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>
[quote]
Lol at the MIT freshman grading system, aka freshman ego protection system. If anyone needs protection, it's the underprepared Cal kids.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Like I said, it's actually WPI, not MIT, that provides grade-protection for up to 3 courses. </p>

<p>Natch, that raises the question: if WPI can provide that for its students, why can't Berkeley?</p>

<p>not can't, but won't.</p>