The Case For, and the Case Against, “The Case Against Education”

Four years ago, I read Bryan Caplan’s The Case against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money, a polemic about the form of education in the U.S. I disagreed strongly with a decent fraction of it, agreed strongly with a larger fraction of it, and overall found it stimulating — … Continue reading The Case For, and the Case Against, “The Case Against Education”

What’s the point of a first-year physics class?

What do I add to a first-year university physics class on simple harmonic motion? Anything? What’s the point of a class on simple harmonic motion? Why do first-year physics classes exist? I was thinking about these questions exactly six months ago, pre-pandemic, when I started writing a blog post that seems especially relevant now. I … Continue reading What’s the point of a first-year physics class?

Local trends in college majors (Or: Do Oregon students choose offbeat degrees?)

A remarkable graph I came across a few weeks ago, copied below, shows the changes in the numbers of students majoring in various topics between 2011 and 2017. Part of an insightful article by Benjamin Schmidt titled “The History BA Since the Great Recession”, it reports a sharp drop in history majors, a steep rise … Continue reading Local trends in college majors (Or: Do Oregon students choose offbeat degrees?)