quote:"I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that 50 percent of Brown students are doing A-level work," she said.
How do you define "A-level work"? I'm used to thinking of your grade as reflective of your performance relative to the rest of the class, not necessarily related to how a student at another school might perform.
I've always assumed that my grades were based on my performance, rather than a comparison to anyone else. Obviously a lot of professors do curve, but my view on that is that they curve such that everyone who showed an excellent grasp of the material will get an A, those who showed a good grasp of the material will get a B, and so on. If a professor teaches two sections of the same class, with the same lecture schedule, same tests and quizzes, and same homework and one section shows a general trend for higher grades should one section get curved up? What about two semesters in a row of the same course? Assuming there aren't any obvious differences between the learning environments, I think they should be graded the same.
Posts: 1547 | Registered: Jan 2004
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quote:Originally posted by Glenn Arnold: Brown has the 16th lowest acceptance rate of any school in the U.S. It's incredibly tough to get in in the first place. U.S. News ranking currently places it at the 16th best university in the U.S. Given that Brown is accredited 5 different ways, Malanthrop's statement that it "Almost lost its accreditation" sounds like he pulled it out of you know where.
Ace: See my previous post. Grade inflation is only a problem if you define it to be so. As to Rivka's question, for small no-name colleges, grade inflation can make it difficult for graduate schools to make informed decisions, that's true. But for a school with Brown's reputation, it's hardly an issue.
IIRC M.I.T. has a policy of no pass/fail for freshman, which was initially instituted to combat the number of mental breakdowns and suicides due to the high academic pressures of the school. Still, a lot of MIT students wash out in their first year due to academic demand. Pass/fail may be a better solution to the problem than grade inflation, since it places emphasis on learning rather than grading, and also because it only affects the first year, so students still get a GPA based on their grades in the following years.
Johns Hopkins University (where I went) had a similar policy in the first semester of freshman year for similar reasons. You could also Pass/Fail 2 other courses, as long as they were not in your major, but you had to decide to do so by the normal class drop date. They eventually made Pass/Fail a little stricter by defining Pass as C or better, rather than D or better.
quote:Originally posted by Ace of Spades: He's Jewish? It's funny you should bring up his religion in a thread about academics.
You brought up his religion. Or was there some other reason you emphasized his last name?
I didn't know you could tell a person's religion just by their name. What if I assumed you were Hindu because of your name? While we're at it, do you think you could tell my religion just by looking at my name?
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It becomes work when you're discussing minute differences in different classes of, say, Na+ channel blockers in treating heart failure, and each of which can kill someone in interesting and different ways that have to do with slight conductivity differences.
I'm not sure if you missed my joke or not, but I was subtly hinting that you were taking 200 different drugs (as in, Colombian marijuana, Californian marijuana, ecstacy with additive A, B, C...), rather than memorising their properties. Not exactly work.
Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004
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quote:Originally posted by James Tiberius Kirk: I'd always thought that when graduate adcoms look at your resume, they take your undergraduate college's reputation into account.
If the grad school is at all competitive, of course they will.
So which becomes more important: undergraduate selectivity, or a average graduating GPA?
I have been told the most important thing [for math & EE grad schools] is actually letters of recommendation, particularly regarding who the recommenders are: the first thing done is to sort the letters into 2 piles by whether or not they recognize the author.
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