Friday, December 17, 2010


  1. Razib Khan at Gene Expression: Verbal and Mathematical Aptitudes in Academics. A set of neat figures that show the average Quant and Verbal GRE scores of students (who intend to do grad studies) in different disciplines. Biggest surprise: Zero correlation between Quant and Verbal scores! [Link via Fabio Rojas at].

  2. Patrick McGeehan in NYTimes on New York city's plans to invite "universities around the world to create an engineering campus on city-owned land."

  3. Sokal hoax experiment repeated successfully. This time around, the victim is a field called "integrative medicine." Here's a taste of what the victims fell for:

    Intensive study of the development of early human embryos indicates that there is a reflexology style homunculus represented in the human body, over the area of the buttocks. This homunculus corresponds to areas of clonal expansion ... in which compartments of the body have clear ontological relationships with corresponding areas of the posterior flanks. [...] As with reflexology, the “map” responds to needling, as in acupuncture, and to gentle suction, such as cupping. [...]

  4. A video demo of an interesting way -- attributed to the Japanese -- to multiply two numbers.

  5. Onion educates the American public about the first Sikh prime minister of India ...

  6. Did you hear about the latest leak at Wikileaks?


  1. Anonymous said...

    The video of multiplying numbers is just a visual representation of whatever we do by hand. In terms of algorithmic complexity, the 'standard' way of multiplying is the same as this video. The best way to see it is, simultaneous to the video, take the same set of numbers and multiply them by hand. Also, all the multiplications (\sum_{i=1}^{m}{(x^i)10^i} \sum_{i=1}^{n}{(y^i)10^i}) have $x_i*y_j < 10$, i.e., there is no "carrying over" anywhere in any of the problems. This fact also contributes to making this method of multiplication look easier (not to mention different).

  2. MP said...

    Razib's data is borderline interesting, particularly the philosophy data point, in relation to the biology one. But his interpretation is just plain sloppy, as usual. Some training in philosophy would be really useful!

  3. Pavan Nuggehalli said...

    I am curious about the low verbal score of engineering applicants. Presumably many of these students are from China and India and it does seem a tad (OK, a lot) unfair to compare them against say domestic anthropology students.