Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Study Advice from Top Students

Someone on has asked:

"How do top students study?
"If you went to or are going to a top school like MIT, Harvard, Columbia, IIT, Berkeley, Stanford, Cornell, Caltech, Princeton, Yale, Brown, what is your studying method?"

There are about 41 responses so far. Some of the responses contradict each other, and I would not be able to follow some of the advice that is offered myself. But maybe you're a student and could use at least some of it.

Here. (You might need to join quora, which is easy.)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Doreen Kimura, On Ada Lovelace Day

This is the day in the calendar year when one is supposed to write about a women in a STEM occupation whose contributions one admires—a woman who does or has done something admirable somewhere in Science, Technology, Mathematics, Engineering or Mathematics. The day is named for the first woman to write computer code, Ada Lovelace.

I'm going to write a tiny bit about Doreen Kimura who was a professor and neuroscientist at Simon Fraser University. She died in February at the age of about 80. Some of her research had to do with how cognitive abilities differed between the sexes. When I read about research like that I usually think how little it matters for individuals. Simply put, there's overlap in every ability between the sexes.

However, at least in the articles I've read about her on the 'net, Kimura is resolutely forthright and honest. She opposed affirmative action. In her wikipedia article it says that she thought this demeaning to women. In the article on I understand her to say that forcing people into unsuitable careers can make them miserable. (And career developers could hardly disagree.)

So, Kimura found differences but didn't think that this meant that society should try to make up the difference—or something like that!

I cannot say that I admire Kimura for the results of her research. I really don't care whether men are better at dealing with mathematics and three-dimensional shapes, or whether women are better at spatial arrangements for that matter. I have enjoyed reading about someone who seems to separate issues clearly and to speak their mind about them. (I would like people to have the freedom and the resources to pursue possibilities of their choosing.)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

OECD International Survey of Skills

If Canada is to do more than install machinery made in other OECD countries, drive cars made in other OECD countries or ship petroleum that we dig out of the ground in Alberta then we will need to do better by our own people. Here's a glimpse of how we stand in comparison with the other OECD countries. It includes OECD opinions favouring the provision of counselling and good information about career opportunities. Wouldn't that be nice?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Selecting a University? (MBA Schools)

This time from The Economist magazine, their opinion of the best 100.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Improving Your Mind Reading

David Kidd and Emanuele Castano of the New School for Social Research have evidence that reading literary fiction (not pop fiction and not nonfiction) can improve our ability to understand others by exercising our intellectual engagement and creative thought. See Reading Literary Fiction Improves 'Mind-Reading' Skills for an introduction.

Selecting a University? (Item II)

This time it's The Times Higher Education Rankings. There are rankings by continent and by subject area as well as of the world's top 100. Definitely of interest.