University Economics and the End of Large Classes

I’ve been stalled on a draft of this piece for some time, but Amy Bruckman’s recent post provided the catalyst I needed to finish it up. She hypothesizes that “the future of universities is excelling at everything a MOOC is not.” Clearly universities can excel at activities that require students to be near each other and […]

Economics of University Teaching

Today I wanted to ask a simple, specific question: How does my salary relate to the amount of teaching that I do? Let’s take a look: I’m paid $105,000 per year, so with benefits I probably cost $150,000. Sabbaticals increase my cost by about 13%. An in-state student will pay $6500 in tuition for 26 credit hours of […]

The PhD Grind, and Why Research Isn’t Like Sex

Phil Guo’s short online book, The PhD Grind, is the best description of the modern PhD experience in CS that I know of. People working on, or thinking about working on, a PhD in CS should read it. In this post I just want to comment on a few things. Phil vividly describes the sinking feeling that […]

Street Fighting Computer Science

One of my favorite recent books is Street Fighting Mathematics: a collection of techniques and heuristics for rapidly and roughly estimating the solutions to problems that may be very difficult to solve exactly. The book is important because estimation is incredibly useful for understanding the world and because our education system does not do a very […]