As reported on Monday, July 6 (via NPR):
Foreign students attending U.S. colleges that will operate entirely online this fall semester cannot remain in the country to do so, according to new regulations released Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Aside from following the Trump administration standard MO of "unnecessarily cruel," this was also a targeted blow at "liberal" institutions that rely heavily on tuition fees from foreign students to subsidize other educational costs. Which is part of the reason that schools like Harvard and MIT are suing over the move. Also from NPR:
According to Harvard and MIT, the policy would effectively strand hundreds of thousands of international students studying in the U.S. and muddy plans for a return to class amid the coronavirus pandemic. They say the move "reflects an effort by the federal government to force universities to reopen in-person classes," regardless of what's best for community safety.
"The effect — and perhaps even the goal — is to create as much chaos for universities and international students as possible," the universities said.
I used to edit and ghostwrite fundraising letters for MIT. While I could complain at length from my first-hand experience about the financial functionality of colleges in general, I think that MIT has a pretty good system worked out within that system. A large part of that has to do with the income from foreign students, which helps to offset costs for lower income domestic students who rely on merit-based scholarships. This move is just an attempt to weaponize ICE and fuel Trump's anti-immigration base in order to further harm colleges that conservatives blame for indoctrinating the youth with the bare minimum ideals of Enlightenment Liberalism. Read the rest
Researchers at Harvard recently conducted an odd experiment in visual memory. They selected 21 Harvard undergrads and 21 6- to 8-year-old children, and pitted them all against an African grey parrot in an elaborate version of a shell game:
Tiny colored pom-poms were covered with cups and then shuffled, so participants had to track which object was under which cup. The experimenter then showed them a pom-pom that matched one of the same color hidden under one of the cups and asked them to point at the cup. (Griffin, of course, used his beak to point.) The participants were tested on tracking two, three, and four different-colored pom-poms. The position of the cups were swapped zero to four times for each of those combinations. Griffin and the students did 120 trials; the children did 36.
The game tests the brain’s ability to retain memory of items that are no longer in view, and then updating when faced with new information, like a change in location. This cognitive system is known as visual working memory and is the one of the foundations for intelligent behavior.
As the Harvard Gazette reports, Griffin the parrot kicked the all the little kids' asses, and "performed either as well as or slightly better" than the Harvard students in 12 of the 14 trial types.
Take from that what you will.
When a bird brain tops Harvard students on a test [Juan Siliezar / The Harvard Gazette] Read the rest
Harvard University told its 20,000 students not to return to campus after spring break concludes on March 23. They'll be given online classes instead.
From MIT Technology Review:
Harvard said the move to online classes is meant to avoid large gatherings and close contact between people. The campus will otherwise remain open and operating.
The move to online classes follows similar steps by west coast universities, including the University of Washington in Seattle.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash Read the rest
Anand Giridharadas (previously) is the Aspen Fellow/McKinsey consultant turned anticapitalist gadfly whose brilliant book Winners Take All exposes the "philanthrophy" of the ultra-rich as a form of reputation-laundering with the side benefit of allowing some of history's greatest monsters to look at themselves in the mirror.
Read the rest
A comically sycophantic outcome at Harvard.
Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell earlier Thursday announced his resignation as a senior fellow at Harvard over its decision to invite Manning. Mike Pompeo, the agency's current director, also canceled a speaking engagement there Thursday night.
"I now think that designating Chelsea Manning as a visiting fellow was a mistake, for which I accept responsibility," Kennedy School Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf said in a statement posted on the university's website early Friday
Manning: "The CIA determines what is said and is not taught at Harvard."
The contrast between the two is striking: Morell is an advocate of torture and extrajudicial killings; Manning exposed them. Read the rest
Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "Third year Harvard Law School student Kendra Albert did a very nice job on her powerful opinion piece in the Harvard Law Record, the student-run newspaper." Read the rest
Nathaniel from Harvard's Berkman Center writes, "Copyright X -- AKA 'The MOOC the New Yorker actually liked' and 'the butt-kickingest free copyright class you didn't even know you'd love' -- is gearing up and taking applications for its third run." Read the rest
Harvard University released video of this unnerving soft robot that can move untethered through punishing conditions, including snow and fire, yet will remain resilient. It looks a bit like reanimated sliced SPAM in the time-lapse crawling footage, and like SPAM, it retains its shape even when its appendages are run over by a car. Read the rest
Amanda writes, "Danger!awesome is an open-access laser cutting, laser engraving, and 3D printing workshop in the heart of Cambridge, tucked right between MIT and Harvard. Our mission is to democratize access and training to rapid prototyping resources, long reserved for academic institutions and multi-million dollar R&D labs. We want to teach anyone and everyone how to make, customize, and invent. Read the rest
Nathaniel writes, "Copyright X -- AKA 'The MOOC the New Yorker actually liked' -- is tooling up for a second run at it, expanding on its unusual, hybrid format. This year, in addition to the real-world classes attended by 100 Harvard Law students and online sections for 500 students -- taking the M out of MOOC -- the course is adding more 'satellites' and integrating them more with the other two course communities. The satellites are, for the most part, meat-space classes in about 10 locales around the world, each taught by an expert in copyright law. Apply here."
(Thanks, Nathaniel!) Read the rest
Henry sez, "Harvard Library's Faculty Advisory Council is telling faculty that it's financially 'untenable' for the university to keep on paying extortionate access fees for academic journals. It's suggesting that faculty make their research publicly available, switch to publishing in open access journals and consider resigning from the boards of journals that don't allow open access."
Read the rest
Harvard’s annual cost for journals from these providers now approaches $3.75M. In 2010, the comparable amount accounted for more than 20% of all periodical subscription costs and just under 10% of all collection costs for everything the Library acquires. Some journals cost as much as $40,000 per year, others in the tens of thousands. Prices for online content from two providers have increased by about 145% over the past six years, which far exceeds not only the consumer price index, but also the higher education and the library price indices. These journals therefore claim an ever-increasing share of our overall collection budget. Even though scholarly output continues to grow and publishing can be expensive, profit margins of 35% and more suggest that the prices we must pay do not solely result from an increasing supply of new articles.
The Library has never received anything close to full reimbursement for these expenditures from overhead collected by the University on grant and research funds.
The Faculty Advisory Council to the Library, representing university faculty in all schools and in consultation with the Harvard Library leadership, reached this conclusion: major periodical subscriptions, especially to electronic journals published by historically key providers, cannot be sustained: continuing these subscriptions on their current footing is financially untenable.
The Online Media Legal Network is a project from Harvard's cyberlaw center the Berkman Clinic that works with partners to hook up bloggers and other creates who are under legal threat with lawyers who can help them solve their problems.
The Online Media Legal Network (OMLN) is a network of law firms, law school clinics, in-house counsel, and individual lawyers throughout the United States willing to provide pro bono legal assistance to qualifying online journalism ventures and other digital media creators.
Online Media Legal Network
(via JoHo) Read the rest