New Year’s Resolutions for Academics

In six days, 2014 commences and people across the globe will make resolutions to change their habits in areas concerning health, wealth, family, and work.  I do not make such resolutions, but that minor detail will not stop me from providing some boilerplate resolutions for academics.  Here are a few ideas to kick off the resolution-making New Year.*   Research/Writing – I will collect one data point per day. – I will create one data point per day (perhaps per month if your data involves war onsets). – I will make sure my "thank you" section includes more genuine choices Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions for Academics

Gift List for Political Scientists, 2010

Mind Your Decisions has done an annual gift list for economists for the last few years, and Presh just put together his 2010 list.  Using his list as inspiration, I have compiled my own list of possible gifts for Political Scientists. Given my proclivity for strategic leisure, I believe I can construct this with some authority on the matter.   Board Games – We attempt to host a fortnightly game night, sometimes the evening is started with an appropriate movie, but often the board game will be the center of it all.  As political scientists, we have tried a few Continue reading Gift List for Political Scientists, 2010

Supplemental Learning Online

I am quite confident that many of you heard of Khan Academy previously.  The "one man university" was created and still maintained by a single individual that teaches various content in small, ten minute portions.  Various other sites in your regular blog reading has touched on it (The Bayesian Heresy and Boing Boing are the first two hits on my feed reader when searching for it).  However, if you do need an introduction, you can check out the site's extensive FAQ section or briefly browse the Wikipedia page on it.  Being intrigued by these alternative education videos, I have been devoting Continue reading Supplemental Learning Online

Faculty Salary, Compensation, and the Cost of Living.

Voir Dire posted a working paper yesterday that is worthy of reposting given its broad implications. The paper "University Rankings by Cost of Living Adjusted Faculty Compensation" by Terrance Jalbert, Mercedes Jalbert, and Karla Hayashi in the International Journal of Management and Marketing Research can be found at SSRN. The abstract can be viewed at either Voir Dire or SSRN, so I will save the space and not repost it here, but a bit more information can be found after the jump.  It is perhaps sufficient to say that the aggregated and averaged data can be tremendously interesting to any Continue reading Faculty Salary, Compensation, and the Cost of Living.

An Additional Benefit of Rapid Delivery

My teaching style, as well as my presentation style, is marked by a relatively rapid delivery.  I had favored such a style quite awhile ago for many public speaking formats as the general perception of the speaker by the audience is favorable (generally heighten perceptions of intelligence and mastery of the material).  However, now I can justify such approaches beyond my own perceived benefit and claim that I am doing my audience a favor.  That is, those who engage the presented material will tend to be happier thanks to my public service: In six experiments, researchers at Princeton and Harvard Continue reading An Additional Benefit of Rapid Delivery

Who would an economist vote for?

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, has commissioned and released the results of a survey of economists on a range of issues and candidates choice for the 2008 election.  This was partly prompted by earlier statements by Clinton and McCain that neither candidate would not throw their lot in with economists and Adams decided to see what economists really thought: We asked the economists which candidate for president would be best for the economy in the long run. Not surprisingly, 88 percent of Democratic economists think Democratic Sen. Barack Obama would be best, while 80 percent of Republican economists pick Republican Sen. Continue reading Who would an economist vote for?

Over 100 Places that May Fund Your Research

Academic Productivity has recently posted a great find from the Online Education Database: 100 places to find funding for your research: Whether you’re researching the habits of marine life, ancient texts or just a new way to market products, you’ll likely need some funding to get your studies underway. The Internet is a great place to start looking for sources of funding, and we’ve put together a list here of a hundred or so places where you can get some assistance for your next big research project.

Did Data Kill Theory?

Thanks to Geoff McGovern for pointing us toward a fascinating essay in Wired.  Chris Anderson posits that the accessibility of information has vaulted us into what he calls the Petrabyte Age, in which information is not a matter of simple three- and four-dimensional taxonomy and order but of dimensionally agnostic statistics. It calls for an entirely different approach, one that requires us to lose the tether of data as something that can be visualized in its totality. It forces us to view data mathematically first and establish a context for it later. Given how much data is readily available, Anderson Continue reading Did Data Kill Theory?

What are you reading this summer?

Summers are a good time to catch up on some literature that has taken a back seat to the work that needs to get done during the semester. A colleague (Paola Fajardo) and I are planning on a summer reading group starting in July.  The goal is to become more familiar with human rights or repression literature from a comparative institutional perspective.  We both have background in the literature that tackles this subject matter with global analysis, so we’d like to turn our attention this summer to the nuts and bolts of repressive policy outcomes and the decision-making processes that Continue reading What are you reading this summer?

When War and Academia Collide

Academics in all subfields of political science often lament that policy and military failures arise from the lack of communication between policy-makers and the academic community.  The recent tragic death of Michael Bhatia highlights some of the issues involved with the tenuous collaboration between those who analyze data and those who generate them, and the sometimes unfortunate consequences.  Bhatia was killed on May 7 in an explosion that targeted the American soldiers with whom he had been embedded in Afghanistan. Bhatia had been teaching at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies as well as working on a doctoral degree Continue reading When War and Academia Collide