Math’s PR Problem OR Changing our Educational System

I was listening to the BBC's Global News Podast this morning and found an interesting segment on the utility of mathematical modeling. Professor John Adam's book (which can be found here) looks at how one can model various aspects of urban life—pollution, traffic congestion, number of dentists offices, etc. I've not read the book, but Adam's message in his interview was something that I can sympathize with. In particular, Adam talks about the degree to which the educational process divorces math from any kind of applied usage. Learning math in this way, he goes on, is partially responsible for why Continue reading Math’s PR Problem OR Changing our Educational System

NSF Funding Amendment, Part II

Erik Voeten at the Monkey Cage with an update on the amendment that cuts NSF funding for political science programs. A version of the amendment passed the House with a vote of 218-208. You can see the breakdown of the votes here (thanks for Erik for so conveniently providing the link to the votes). Erik also notes a couple of important points: 1) This is not the end of the issue, and 2) No other discipline was singled out in the same way as political science.  Other interesting facts: Jeff Flake has a BA in International Relations (see his official House Continue reading NSF Funding Amendment, Part II

NSF Funding Amendment

Via Henry Farrell at the Monkey Cage: Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona may today introduce an amendment to cut NSF funding for political science. Both APSA and Farrell call for folks to contact their representatives, and I will echo that call. I've benefitted enormously from NSF funding during my time in grad school and it funds a lot of great programs. As the Monkey Cage has previously noted, even Senator Tom Coburn, who previously campaigned to cut NSF funding for political science, has reaped the benefits of political science research, exploiting that research for his own professional/quasi-public purposes. And beyond that, Continue reading NSF Funding Amendment