Tidbits on November 12, 2014
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

This week I feature photographs of
Blossoms That Made Our Cottage Smell Like a Death House With a Maggot-Infested Rotting Corpse

 Forwarded by James Hill at Trinity University

The Soldier's Poem
    I was that which others did not want to be.
I went where others feared to go, and did what others failed to do.
   I asked nothing, and reluctantly accepted the thought of eternal loneliness...should I fail.
   I have seen the face of terror; felt the stinging cold of fear; and enjoyed the sweet taste of a moment's love.
   I have cried, pained, and hoped...but most of all I have lived times others would say were best forgotten.
  At least someday I will be able to say that I was proud of what I was...
                   ....a soldier.



Tidbits on November 12,, 2014
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations   

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

A Quick Introduction to Literary Theory: Watch Animated Videos from the Open University ---

Azar Nafisi views American society through its literature (video from PBS news hour) ---

Maya Angelou Tells Studs Terkel How She Learned to Count Cards & Hustle in a New Animated Video ---

VW Advertisement --- https://www.youtube.com/embed/JHixeIr_6BM?rel=0&autoplay=1&iv_load_policy=3

This Video Will Make It Punishingly Clear How The Union Won The Civil War ---

Two Gigantic Bears Had A Violent Battle In The Middle Of A New Jersey Suburb ---

44 Essential Movies for the Student of Philosophy ---

Cosby Show Favorite Episode --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8nV81QWd4M

Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes ---

Free music downloads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Salut Salon - four German musicians - they're fantastic! --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKezUd_xw20

Lindy Hop Finals 2013 --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9xxeWRxSbA

Scientists Have Discovered The Catchiest Song Of All Time ---

Behold the Blistering Bass Solos of Cream Bassist and Singer, Jack Bruce (1943-2014) ---

Free: Stream Songs from Bob Dylan’s Upcoming Release, The Basement Tapes Complete ---

Man Hauls a Piano Up a Mountain in Thailand and Plays Beethoven for Injured Elephants ---

Argentine Tango --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ5R837rVPY

How to Clean Your Vinyl Records with Wood Glue ---

Turkish Musician Shows How to Play the Yaybahar, His Mesmerizing, Newly-Invented Instrument ---

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---

Pandora (my favorite online music station) --- www.pandora.com
(online music site) --- http://www.theradio.com/
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.slacker.com/

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection --- http://songza.com/
Also try Jango --- http://www.jango.com/?r=342376581
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live --- http://www.army.mil/fieldband/pages/listening/bandstand.html
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings --- http://bands.army.mil/music/default.asp

Bob Jensen's threads on nearly all types of free music selections online ---

Photographs and Art

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World ---

25 Maps to Help You Understand the World ---

The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever --- http://twistedsifter.com/2013/03/most-perfectly-timed-photos-ever/

50,000 Norman Rockwell Photographs Now Digitized and Available Online ---

Stunning Photos Show The Transformation Of Hong Kong Over 50 Years --- http://www.businessinsider.com/hong-kong-50-years-ago-and-today-2014-9

Here's How New York City's Subway System Looked 110 Years Ago ---

David Lynch’s Photographs of Old Factories ---

The Sistine Chapel Just Got A $2.3 Billion Revolutionary Makeover ---

Vintage Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, Taken Circa 1858 ---

Neil Gaiman Reimagines Hansel & Gretel, with Gorgeous Black-and-White Illustrations by Italian Graphic Artist Lorenzo Mattotti ---

Here's A Look Inside Abu Dhabi's 2017 Guggenheim Museum ---

These Stunning Hubble Images Show Us The Secrets Of The Universe ---

The 25 Best Resorts in Hawaii --- http://www.businessinsider.com/conde-nast-traveler-best-resorts-in-hawaii-2014-10

Stop the Emden: The day Australia’s fledgling navy defeated Germany’s most successful warship ---

Trending in Photography --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

The New Republic:  100 Years and 100 of Its Most Remarkable Articles ---

Download 110 Free Philosophy eBooks: From Aristotle to Nietzsche & Wittgenstein ---

Stephen King’s Top 10 All-Time Favorite Books ---

The Complete Ulysses: Alec Baldwin, Garrison Keillor, Bob Odenkirk & Others Read Joyce’s Opus Aloud ---

The Fall of the House of Usher: Poe’s Classic Tale Turned Into 1928 Avant Garde Film, Scripted by e.e. cummings  ---

Download the Complete Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Masterpiece ---

The Complete Sherlock Holmes Now Free on the Kindle ---

THE COMPLETE SHERLOCK HOLMES (includes drawings) --- http://www.bakerstreet221b.de/canon/
The Chronicles of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ---
Mystery Net ---

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: His Life, All His Works and More --- http://sirconandoyle.com/index.php

A Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) --- Click Here  

The Adventure Of The Sussex Vampire by Arthur Conan Doyle --- Click Here

The Adventures of Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) --- Click Here

The Adventure Of Charles Augustus Milverton by Arthur Conan Doyle --- Click Here

The Adventure Of The Dancing Men by Arthur Conan Doyle --- Click Here

The Hound Of The Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) --- Click Here

Round the Red Lamp by  Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) --- Click Here

The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle --- Click Here

The Adventure Of The Beryl Coronet by Arthur Conan Doyle --- Click Here

Tales of Terror and Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) --- Click Here

A Case of Identity by Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) --- Click Here

The Day Dylan Thomas's Poetic Brilliance Triumphed Over His Sad Alcohol Dependency He couldn't even pour a glass of water. Then, he began to read his poetry...

The Day Dylan Thomas's Poetic Brilliance Triumphed Over His Sad Alcohol Dependency He couldn't even pour a glass of water. Then, he began to read his poetry...

Dylan Thomas Poetry --- http://www.dylanthomas.com/

Anthony Hopkins Reads Dylan Thomas --- Click Here

J.K. Rowling Publishes New Harry Potter Story About the Malevolent Dolores Umbridge ---

John Keats's Passionate, Lusty Letters Are the Key to His Poems  ---

Dylan Thomas --- http://www.dylanthomas.com/
Not So Gentle Into That Good Night --- http://poetry.suite101.com/article.cfm/dylan_thomas___do_not_go_gentle_
Free Online Video



Free Electronic Literature --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm
Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on November 12, 2014

U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Also see http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Peter G. Peterson Website on Deficit/Debt Solutions ---

GAO: Fiscal Outlook & The Debt --- http://www.gao.gov/fiscal_outlook/overview 

Bob Jensen's threads on entitlements --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Entitlements.htm

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

"What Book Changed Your Mind?" Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, November 7, 2014 ---

The Chronicle Review asked 12 scholars what nonfiction book published in the last 30 years has most changed their minds—not merely inspired or influenced their thinking, but profoundly altered the way they regard themselves, their work, the world.

Continued in article
Click of the listing of scholars on the left side of the screen.

Jensen Comment

As usual when asked to name one thing such as my favorite book, my favorite movie, my favorite teacher, favorite cocktail, favorite wine, or my favorite whatever I cannot answer such a question out of context. Context means everything in terms of "favorites."

The same applies when asked to name a thing or event that changed my life because there are so many things that changed my life in certain contexts.  For example the thing that first changed my mind to major in accounting was a notice on the a bulletin board in the Placement Center at Iowa State University. I was only in my first year of college and not really seeking a job, but I went to the Placement Center out of some curiosity that I cannot recall. What I noticed was that if I were (hypothetically) a graduating senior one of the best things to be was an accounting major. The prompted me to sign up for an accounting course in my second year of college even though I was currently a General Science major. That course led me to take a second course in accounting and to discuss accountancy as a career with my professor. The rest is is a history of my life that led ultimately to a Ph.D. and academic career in accountancy. There were other events that changed by aspirations to be a professor instead of a practicing accountant, but I won't go into that here. It had to do with skiing!

Hence if I'm asked to name a book that "changed my life" I have to put it into context --- religion, love life, career, research, etc.

I will put my choice of a book that "changed my life" in the context of my research while I was an accounting faculty member at four different universities. Although I got a Ph.D. in accountancy at Stanford University in the late 1960s, this was a great transition period for accountancy and business schools in general. I entered Stanford's doctoral program as an MBA and CPA and was told focus over 90% of my time and effort learning outside the business school in such areas as mathematics, economics, statistics, and operations research.  The idea was to be on the vanguard of accounting professors who brought more science and mathematics and statistics into academic accounting research.

While at Stanford I stumbled upon a book in the campus library that changed my research life after graduation. The book is not well known but led me to years of conducting research and publishing papers in the area of "cluster analysis."

Cluster Analysis --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_analysis

The book is as follows:

Cluster analysis : correlation profile and orthometric (factor) analysis for the isolation of unities in mind and personality
by Robert Choate Tryon
Ann Arbor, Michigan : Edwards brothers, inc., 1939

I never had my own copy of this book, and the book itself was not nearly so important in my research as related books and academic papers on the topics of cluster analysis, numerical taxonomy, factor analysis, and related technical materials.

My point is that the book that changed my life was not necessarily the most important reference work in my changed life. There were far more important references and exposures to other researchers at academic conferences and workshops. But Robert Tryon changed my research life for years to come.

Later my research moved on from cluster analysis, but it was my publishing in cluster analysis that got me promotions, tenure, two years in a think tank at Stanford University, and three endowed chairs before I moved into other topical areas and research methodologies.

Bob Jensen

Replies from my friends

Richard Sansing (Dartmouth)
Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam.

Amy Dunbar (University of Connecticut)
Theory of Justice - John Rawls

The book made me realize that what I earn/accomplish is only in small part due to my effort. I finally started to grasp how endowments affect distributions and why a society that attempts to be just needs safety nets. I personally changed and became more willing to share, and as I look back on my life, that was one of the best decisions I ever made.

November 11, 2014 reply from Paul Williams

Interesting choice. Considering Bob's comment about context, Rawls' book was central in re-directing my academic career. I taught in the FSU London Program in the fall of 1983 and one Saturday was browsing in an Oxford U. bookstore. Picked up Rawls Theory of Justice, bought it and read it while I was teaching in London. The result was a paper "The Legitimate Concern with Fairness" that Anthony Hopwood published in AOS in 1987 (a paper that still picks up the occasional cite today). Changed the entire course of my academic life.

The paper by Paul Williams is available at

Testimony by Sylvia Manning President, Higher Learning Commission , North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Senate Committee o n Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
March 10, 2011

"No Surprise: Accrediting Agency Opts To Stunt Innovation," by Michael Horn, Forbes, August 8, 2013 ---

"Innovation vs. Gatekeeping," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, November 11, 2014 ---

The tension between promoting innovation and new approaches on the one hand and protecting academic quality and federal financial aid funds on the other is at the core of many major issues in higher education -- not the least of which is the accreditation system. The system of peer-reviewed quality assurance is frequently attacked as a brake on progress and competition in American higher education, even as others criticize it for going too soft on institutions in ways that cost taxpayers money.

Sylvia Manning does not pretend to have all the answers to all of the issues, and she took her share of guff when caught in the vise between the two competing pressures. But as the former head of the nation's largest regional accrediting body, Manning believes she has a possible answer to one of the dilemmas: how to get new degree-granting institutions off the ground without undermining the accreditors' traditional "gatekeeping" role.

In a paper published last week by the American Enterprise Institute, Manning begins (in ways that some critics might find predictable) by challenging assertions that accreditation, in and of itself, is a barrier to innovation.

Yes, Manning writes, accreditors depend heavily on "inputs" (credentials of the faculty, services provided to students, etc.) as proxies to judge whether an institution is likely to "continue to offer an acceptable level of quality in the education it provides."

But ultimately, an accrediting agency can't accurately assess an institution based only on its plans, she argues. "Accreditation demands evidence, and evidence must be based in accomplishment, not plans," she writes. Since the evidence revolves around how students perform and "what the institution does with students," the evidence can be developed only after students are enrolled.

So yes, she concedes, "the barrier to innovative new institutions is accreditation." But that is not, she quickly adds, "because accreditation cannot deal with innovation, but because it wants and needs time to assess innovation, if the innovation is actually new." But the institution needs accreditation -- or at least one of the key benefits to accreditation -- the ability to enroll students who receive federal financial aid -- right away.

That creates what Manning calls the "chicken or egg problem": fledgling degree-granting institutions needing accreditation so they can enroll students with federal funding, and accreditors not wanting to approve institutions until they've enrolled students and proven their performance with them.

What Happens Now

Most of the ways that accreditors and institutions have worked around this problem in recent years have, in one way or another, "perverted" the process, Manning said in an interview.

Throughout much of the decade of the 2000s, entrepreneurs purchased already-accredited institutions and essentially turned them into a different institution altogether. The Higher Learning Commission was at the forefront of such an approach before Manning became its president, and under her the accreditor largely shut off that pathway. (That didn't stop her from getting raked over the coals at a 2011 Senate hearing that focused on the exploits of the poster child for that type of transformation, Bridgepoint Education's 2005 purchase of a struggling Iowa college that became Ashford University.)

More recently, those trying to create new institutions have turned to what Manning calls "accreditation by association," in which an existing institution teams up with a new entity (often a for-profit company) to create a joint venture. Manning and the Higher Learning Commission were in the middle of that trend, too, with the much-contested 2013 implosion of Tiffin University's partnership with Altius Education, known as Ivy Bridge College. (Supporters of Ivy Bridge criticized her and AEI for the limitations of Manning's proposal and for failing, they said, to fully acknowledge her role in its demise.)

Essentially, Manning argues, there have not yet been good ways for the accreditation system to "handle these kinds of [new] institutions while remaining true to itself."

That disconnect has many policy makers calling for major changes in how accreditation works, although those discussions have largely revealed how little agreement there seems to be on what those changes might be. Manning is skeptical that shortening the time before an institution is accredited, as some have suggested, would work: "[I]t is not possible to both preserve the time test of accreditation and hurry up accreditation for new institutions. To drop the time test would be to drop the elements of an accreditation review that add up to some sort of proof," she writes.

Her alternative is creating something else entirely: a provisional approval to award federal financial aid that would act something like a building permit in facilities construction. This process would involve close study of the would-be new institution's plans (with, yes, a focus on "inputs"), and then once a prospective institution is given permission to recruit students who are eligible for federal aid, annual reviews (not unlike inspections for construction of a new building) to keep that approval. The institution would then need to earn regular accreditation within a specific period of time, say seven years. Students who chose to attend these institutions in the meantime -- and the federal government, to the extent it backed them with financial aid -- would still take on risk, since the students' credits might not transfer.

Some key elements of Manning's vision remain less than fully sketched. She offers several possibilities, for instance, for who might grant this provisional approval -- the Education Department, recognized accreditors, or new nongovernmental agencies.

And she acknowledges the problems that her solution does not deal with at all, most notably whether and how the federal government might recognize the growing number of institutions that do not have any intention of granting degrees. (The Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the Presidents' Forum released a paper last month exploring potential ways to ensure the quality of "non-institutional" providers of higher education.)

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The issues of innovation and elitism versus accreditation has been even more controversial in the AACSB International that accredits business schools worldwide ---

First came the reluctance/stubbornness of the AACSB to accredit graduate programs in some large corporations and elite consulting firms. These were often intended to be advanced-degree programs of employees, often extremely talented employees. To date I don't think any of these corporate business education programs have received the AACSB seal of approval in North America, thereby forcing firms like PwC and EY to partner with AACSB-accredited universities like Notre Dame, the University of Virginia, and the University of Georgia where the universities set up dedicated courses and degree programs for employees of the firms. Debates still rage over whether this is a quality issue or merely protectionism by deans of non-profit universities who virtually control the AACSB. There now are "universities" such as Deloitte University, but these are not accredited by the AACSB and are mainly for advanced technical and leadership training.

Second came the reluctance/stubbornness of the AACSB to accredit business schools in for-profit universities like the massive University of Phoenix.  To date I don't think the AACSB has accredited any business program in a for-profit universities in North America. Here the issue is more of a quality concern. For example, for-profit universities, even those with academic respect, tend to have virtually no admission standards.

Third came the reluctance/stubbornness of the AACSB to accredit stand-alone distance education programs. To date there are many AACSB-accredited distance education programs in North America, but all are part of traditional onsite business education programs that had prior AACSB accreditation.

Recently the AACSB was about to be put to a test that is common in regional accreditation programs. To obtain regional accreditation for-profit universities commonly purchased marginal, often bankrupt, colleges that still had their regional accreditations. Thereby the for-profit universities essentially bought their regional accreditations. This same ploy almost happened recently with the financially struggling Thunderbird School of Global Management, a nonprofit university with AACSB Accreditation. A deal was nearly completed for the international for-profit Laureate International Universities to purchase Thunderbird in a complicated leaseback agreement ---

I'm not certain how the AACSB would have handled the Thunderbird leaseback deal, but a horrific fight between Thunderbird and its alumni put an end to the deal before it was consummated.

One thing is certain. The issues of innovation and quality are not going away in the arena of accreditation. In an effort to obtain a foothold in Europe the AACSB made some concessions to corporate universities that it probably would not yet make in North America. For example, some AACSB-accredited corporate programs probably would not meet AACSB standards in North America. For example, in Europe it is common to have doctoral programs that do not have the research rigor and admission standards of North American business school doctoral programs.

Bob Jensen's threads on accreditation issues are at

Some leading graduate business schools have new one-year masters degrees in big data and business analytics.
So why don't schools of accountancy offer one-year masters degrees in accounting analytics?
So why don't law schools have new one-year masters degrees in big data and law analytics?

"Big Data Gets Master Treatment at B-Schools; One-Year Analytics Programs Cater to Shift in Students’ Ambitions," by Lindsay Gellman, The Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2014 ---

B-school students can’t get enough of big data. Neither can recruiters.

Interest in specialized, one-year master’s programs in business analytics, the discipline of using data to explore and solve business problems, has increased lately, prompting at least five business schools to roll out stand-alone programs in the past two years.

The growing interest in analytics comes amid a broader shift in students’ ambitions. No longer content with jobs at big financial and consulting firms, the most plum jobs for B-school grads are now in technology or in roles that combine business skills with data acumen, say school administrators.

But some faculty and school administrators remain unconvinced that the programs properly prepare students to work with analytics.

The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business began its Master of Business Analytics program this fall with 30 students. About 50 to 60 students are expected to enroll in the $47,000 program next year, the school said.

The program was the brainchild of Marshall’s corporate advisory board-executives at blue-chip firms like General Electric Co. , Boeing Co. and Walt Disney Co. who say they need more hires with analytics talent, said James Ellis, the school’s dean. The board also recommended that undergraduate students at Marshall be required to take a course in the subject.

“We find it invaluable to have people who can synthesize data” and suggest changes based on those insights, said Melissa Lora, president of Yum Brands Inc. ’s Taco Bell International, who serves on the school’s corporate-advisory board.

Business-analytics professionals, for instance, are needed at Taco Bell to sort data on restaurants’ service speed and product quality, as well as social-media metrics, Ms. Lora said.

Amy Hillman, dean at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, said interest in a year-old master’s program in business analytics has spread “like wildfire.” More than 300 people applied for 87 spots in this year’s class, according to the school.

Ayushi Agrawal, a current Carey student, said she left her job as a senior business analyst at a Bangalore, India, branch of a Chicago-based analytics firm to enroll in the program. As data become central to more business decisions, “I want to be at the forefront” of the emerging field, the 24-year-old student said.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology also has a new program in the works. Professors and administrators at its Sloan School of Management are developing a tentatively titled Masters in Analytics program to be offered jointly with the university’s Operations Research Center beginning in 2016, said Dimitris Bertsimas, co-director of the center. The program will enroll about 50 students, he said.

At General Motors Co. , business-analytics professionals “make sense of big data, mine vast quantities of information, and look for trends in customer and dealer behavior,” said Nate Bruin-Slot, a customer-experience manager at GM who has recruited students from analytics programs.

Starting salaries for 2013 grads of the M.S. Business Analytics program at Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business averaged $75,000, according to the school, while salaries for graduates of the two-year M.B.A. program averaged $90,000. Generally, the analytics students tend to have a strong background in computer programming and statistics, school officials say.

Yet others say it is smarter to deliver analytics training to all students, rather than a select few.

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management offers several courses in analytics, some of which are required for M.B.A.s. The school has no plans to offer a stand-alone business-analytics degree, said Florian Zettelmeyer, director of Kellogg’s Program on Data Analytics.

“These one-year masters programs are creating a type of person who is neither fish nor fowl,” Dr. Zettelmeyer said. “We fear they’re neither as competent with data as real data scientists, nor have the leadership skills that you really need to drive change in analytics,” he said.

Michael Rappa, founding director of the Institute for Advanced Analytics at North Carolina State University, said analytics is best studied in an interdisciplinary context, rather than only through a university’s business school.

“Analytics programs in a business school will always be in the shadow of the M.B.A. program,” said Dr. Rappa, architect of the Institute’s popular Master of Science in Analytics program, launched in 2007. “That’s how the school is ranked.”


"Should Law Schools Offer Degrees in Legal Analytics?" by Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, November 11, 2014

Jensen Comment
Business schools are a great place to experiment in these new masters degrees in analytics.

Schools of accountancy and law are probably not good places to experiment in these new masters degrees in analytics. Students entering accounting masters programs and law school JD programs are mainly focused on becoming licensed as CPAs and attorneys. Students expect these graduate programs to help them prepare for the tough licensure examinations, e.g., the Uniform CPA examination. Programs that focus on analytics rather than licensure exam preparation probably won't have much demand in accountancy and law. The same goes for nursing, pharmacy, medicine. etc.

The same does not go for general business where MBA prospects may instead give serious consideration to masters degrees in business analytics.

AACSB Standard A7 --- http://www.aacsb.edu/en/accreditation/standards/2013-accounting/learning-and-teaching-standards/standard7/

November 11, 2014 reply from Patricia Walters

Given that most of us are trying to determine how to accommodate the AACSB's new requirement on data analytics, one reason is that many schools don't have any accounting faculty who can teach it. We are working with other departments in the business school who do have the skills to design and teach this type of course.


Jensen Comment

Given the obsession of most accounting, finance, and other business doctoral programs with the General Linear Model (GLM) for data mining, Pat's comment begs the question of why virtually all new business school faculty cannot teach modules under the AACSB Standard A7. The reason is that meeting the A7 standard requires skills in MIS and AIS more than advanced skills in the GLM. Most new Ph.D.s in accounting, finance, and business in general do not have MIS and AIS skills. For example, in accounting there's an extreme shortage of new AIS doctoral graduates.

I seriously doubt that most new Ph.D. graduates in accounting, finance, and business in general are able to teach even the fundamentals of ERP systems that should be part and parcel to meeting the A7 standard much more than the GLM ---


From the wonderful Khan Academy
Resources on How to Apply for College --- Click Here
https://www.khanacademy.org/college-admissions?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=All Users&utm_campaign=College Admissions Announcement&utm_content=Final

Don't be fooled by scholarship offers
Bob Jensen's threads on student loans and financial net price calculators ---

At 3,100 Colleges and Universities
Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2013-14 ---

Think of a dubious tactic of doubling tuition and then giving all student prospects 50% scholarships to attract more applicants

"Net-Price Calculators Get the Kayak Treatment," by Beckie Supiano, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 9, 2012 ---

Did anybody in the Academy not see this lawsuit coming?

"Former Football Player Sues U. of North Carolina Over Sham Courses," by Charles Huckabee, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 10, 2014 ---

A former football player at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has filed a federal lawsuit against the university, saying it failed to provide him and other athletes with a quality education by steering them toward sham classes that never met and had no instruction, the Associated Press reports.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Charlotte, N.C., the former player, Michael McAdoo, says that the university promised him a good education but ultimately guided him and other athletes into a “shadow curriculum” of bogus courses in African-American studies, the curriculum at the heart of a long-running scandal over academic fraud at Chapel Hill. The latest investigation of that scandal, led by Kenneth L. Wainstein, a former federal prosecutor, found that more than 3,000 students—almost half of them athletes—had enrolled in and received artificially high grades for no-show classes in the African and Afro-American studies department.

Mr. McAdoo, who played football at Chapel Hill from 2008 through 2010, was ruled permanently ineligible in 2010 for academic violations related to work for a class in that department. His lawsuit is seeking class-action status.

Meanwhile, the News & Observer reports that, during the 2004-5 academic year, when the university’s men’s basketball team won the NCAA championship, members of the team accounted for 35 enrollments in the bogus classes.

According to documents accompanying the Wainstein report, the newspaper says, nine of those enrollments came during the fall semester of 2004, when eligibility for the spring was determined, and 26 were during the spring semester. One player, Rashad McCants, previously told ESPN that he took nothing but paper classes in the spring 2005 semester.

The concentration of players in the sham courses that semester raises questions about whether the team enjoyed a competitive advantage, the newspaper says, because players didn’t have to attend many classes and were guaranteed high grades. The NCAA has resumed its investigation of academic irregularities involving athletes at Chapel Hill.

Jensen Comment
Years ago five varsity basketball players who attended UCLA for four years sued the university because they could not read afterwards. I don't know how that lawsuit was resolved.

The reading instructor at UNC whose research showed that 10% of the athletes could not read above a third-grade level received death threads and was encouraged to resign by UNC leaders.

University of North Carolina learning specialist receives death threats after her research finds one in 10 college athletes have reading age of a THIRD GRADER," by Sara Malm, Daily Mail, January 10, 2014 ---

Mary Willingham exposed college athletes' lack of academic abilities

Continued in article

 Chapel Hill Researcher at Center of Turmoil Over Athletes’ Literacy Resigns ---

Jensen Comment
More often than not employers make it uncomfortable for whistleblowers who don't resign. UNC does not deny that for 20 years varsity athletes took fake courses and were "allowed" to change their grades. They just contend that these athletes did not suffer academically because they were in the wonderful learning environment of the University of North Carolina. Yeah Right!

Bob Jensen's threads on professors who let students to cheat, including the UNC 20-year scandal ---

What did Galileo Galilei claim was the language of the universe?

Pacioli wrote a book on this language and claimed it was the language of accounting ---

Fra Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli (sometimes Paccioli or Paciolo; 1445–1517) was an Italian mathematician, Franciscan friar, collaborator with Leonardo da Vinci, and seminal contributor to the field now known as accounting.

Answer from Khan Academy
https://www.khanacademy.org/math/algebra/introduction-to-algebra/overview_hist_alg/v/the-beauty-of-algebra?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Stuff You Might Like Test Cohort&utm_campaign=Highlighted Content 110914&utm_content=Final

The Jigsaw Classroom: A Cooperative Learning Technique --- http://www.jigsaw.org

Welcome to the official web site of the jigsaw classroom, a cooperative learning technique that reduces racial conflict among school children, promotes better learning, improves student motivation, and increases enjoyment of the learning experience. The jigsaw technique was first developed in the early 1970s by Elliot Aronson and his students at the University of Texas and the University of California. Since then, hundreds of schools have used the jigsaw classroom with great success. The jigsaw approach is considered to be a particularly valuable tool in averting tragic events such as the Columbine massacre.

Overview of the Technique
  History of the Jigsaw Classroom
  Jigsaw in 10 Easy Steps
  Tips on Implementation
  Books and Articles Related to the Jigsaw Technique
  Chapter 1 of Aronson's Book "Nobody Left to Hate: Teaching Compassion After Columbine"
  Links on Cooperative Learning and School Violence
  About Elliot Aronson and This Web Site

Bob Jensen's threads on tools and tricks of the trade ---

Why do you think the Texas Bar Examination performances of University of Texas Law School graduates differed so much between the February 2014 examination and the July 2014 examination?

Bob Jensen is clueless on this one.

Texas Bar Exam Results for July 2014:  Texas moves from dead last to Number 2 ---

  1. Baylor:  91.57% (#51 in U.S. News)
  2. Texas:  90.08%  (#15 in U.S. News)
  3. Houston:  86.29% (#58)
  4. SMU:  85.51% (#42)
  5. South Texas:  83.58% (#146)
  6. Texas Tech:  77.46% (#107)
  7. Texas A&M:  73.25% (Tier 2)
  8. St. Mary's:  70.45% (Tier 2)
  9. Texas Southern:  62.70% (Tier 2)

Jensen Comment
The previous explanation given was that Texas did poorly because it played more politics with admissions in the UT Law School, e.g., admitting students with lower LSAT scores who came from families connected to powerful alumni, judges, top law firms, etc.

"Cronyism Blamed for Half of Univ. of Texas Law School Grads’ Inability to Pass the Bar," by Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, May 23, 2014 ---
Raw Story ---

A mushrooming scandal at the University of Texas has exposed rampant favoritism in the admissions process of its nationally-respected School of Law.

According to Watchdog.org, Democratic and Republican elected officials stand accused of calling in favors and using their clout to obtain admission to the law school for less-than-qualified but well-connected applicants.

The prestigious program boasts a meager 59 percent of recent graduates who were able to pass the Texas bar exam. Those numbers rank UT “dead last among Texas’ nine law schools despite it being by far the most highly regarded school of the nine,” wrote Erik Telford at FoxNews.com.

“Every law school — even Harvard and Yale — turns out the occasional disappointing alum who cannot pass the bar,” said Telford. “In Texas, however, a disturbing number of these failed graduates are directly connected to the politicians who oversee the university’s source of funding.”

Telford singled out State Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D) and State House Speaker Joe Straus (R) as particularly egregious offenders. A series of Zaffirini emails showed that the state Senator was more than willing to pull strings in applicants’ favor. Another six recent graduates who failed the bar exam twice each have connections to Straus’ office.

“None of the emails published so far explicitly mention any sort of quid pro quo, but none need do so,” wrote Watchdog.org’s Jon Cassidy, “as the recipients all know Zaffirini is the most powerful voice on higher education funding in the Texas Legislature. Even so, in one of the emails, Zaffirini mentions how much funding she’s secured for the university before switching topics to the applicant.”

Furthermore, the children of three Texas lawmakers, including Zaffirini’s son, have graduated from UT Law School and failed the bar exam eight times between them. In addition to Zaffirini, State Sen. John Carona (R) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts (R) each sent their sons to the program, neither of whom has passed the bar to this day.

Continued in article


Feb. 2014 Texas Bar (1st Time Takers)




Pass Rate


Texas Tech








Texas A&M








South Texas








St. Mary’s




Texas Southern








Jensen Comment
Bill Powers became famous (some might argue infamous) while Dean at the UT Law School when he was also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Enron when Enron imploded. However, in my opinion Enron's top executives were adept at hiding their illegal and unethical behavior from the Board and the Audit Committee. Bill Powers commissioned the very long and informative Powers Report about the underhanded dealings of Enron executives, most of whom eventually served short prison terms ---

It seems unlikely that the UT Law School Law School turned this around in such a short period of time between February 2014 and July 2014 with a changed admissions policy.

My first thought in such instances is that this change in performance might be due to small sample variations where performances of a small number of exam takers vary due to sample sizes. But the number of exam takers in this instance is quite large each and every time the Texas Bar examination is given.

Go figure!

From the American Library Association
Advocacy: Online Learning --- http://www.ala.org/onlinelearning/issues/advocacy

The President of Northwestern University Predicts Online Learning … in 1934! ---
Only the medium was radio in those days --- the barrier then and now was inspiring people to want to sweat and endure pain to learn
Bob Jensen's threads for online education and training alternatives ---

Also see the following links from Bob Jensen

Growth Worldwide --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#DistanceEducation

Alternatives Worldwide --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm

Free online tutorials, videos, and courses from prestigious universities ---

"Competency, Texas-Style November 6, 2014," By Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, November 6, 2014 ---

The University of Texas System plans to make its first foray into competency-based education fittingly far-reaching.

The system’s forthcoming “personalized” credentials will be limited to the medical sciences, for now. But the new, competency-based curriculum will involve multiple institutions around the state, system officials said, with a track that eventually will stretch from high school, or even middle school, all the way to medical school.

Many details still need to be hashed out about the project, which the system announced this week. But several key elements are in place.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Competency-based college credits are now widely available from both non-profit and for-profit universities. However, the programs are very restricted to certain disciplines, often graduate studies. In Western Canada, for example, the Chartered Accountancy School of Business (CASB) has offered a competency-based masters degree for years. However, students do enroll in courses and have extensive internships on the job ---

Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based college credits ---

"The Real Student Debt Problem No One is Talking About," by Jon Marcus, Time Magazine, November 9, 2014 ---

Graduate students make up just 14% of university enrollment, but account for nearly 40% of student debt.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
It's important to put the graduate student distributional problem in context with other problems of student debt.

  1. A major problem of USA outstanding student debt is that it has become so huge --- over $1.2 trillion dollars. Much of this debt will be uncollectable.
  2. The cost of borrowing is a barrier to many students in deciding to go to college or stay in college.
  3. The cost of unpaid student debt has many externalities such as decisions to get married, have children, be independent financially from parents, etc. For example, many graduates are still living with their parents because they cannot afford their cars, student loan payments, and housing costs. Cars may sound like a luxury, but in most parts of the nation they are essential for jobs since there is no affordable public transportation available. Potential spouses are scared off by having to help pay off huge outstanding student loads of a "significant other."
  4. In some cases, some of the student debt is not paid off after reaching retirement age.

It's tempting to look at European nations like Germany where students can go to college for no tuition. However, the media sometimes overlooks the fact that the majority of high school graduates in these nations are not allowed into college. For example, in Germany only the top 25% of the high school graduates are allowed into college.

In the USA the feeling is that any high school graduate who chooses to go to college should be given a chance to go to college. And indeed, there is usually a college of some type nearby and ample opportunity these days for distance education degrees. But the alternatives are seldom free and room and board costs are prohibitive to many students without going into debt.

44 Essential Movies for the Student of Philosophy ---

Bob Jensen's threads on philosophy ---
Search on the word "philosophy"

The 20 Most Popular TED Talks Of All Time ---

10 Of The Most Ridiculous TED Talks ---

Benjamin Bratton Explains “What’s Wrong with TED Talks?” and Why They’re a “Recipe for Civilizational Disaster” ---
Jensen Comment
I don't quite agree, but in some of those talks I get irritated by the passing over of crucial underlying assumptions.

Under legislation signed by spendthrift President GW Bush who rarely vetoed any spending bills causing huge budget deficits
"Are We Forgiving Too Much Student-Loan Debt?" by Max Lewontin, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 7, 2014 ---

Back in 2007, Congress made a simple promise to student-loan borrowers: Stick with a public-service career for 10 years, making monthly payments along the way, and we’ll forgive the rest of your debt.

Now, as the bill gets closer to coming due, a growing chorus of analysts and observers is asking: Was that the right promise to make?

At issue is a program known as Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The program, included in the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, is an attempt to fight two problems at once: ballooning student-loan debt and a scarcity of graduates serving the public good.

At least, that’s the thinking. And it’s been the thinking behind loan forgiveness for quite a while. Since 1958, when Congress created the first such program—to forgive the loan debts of teachers—lawmakers have offered loan forgiveness to people working in a wide variety of fields, including military-service members, doctors working on American Indian reservations, even large-animal veterinarians and U.S. Capitol police officers.

All told, there are about 30 other loan-forgiveness programs now on the books. Millions of dollars in debt are scrubbed each year, some by the federal government, some by states.

Tearful Testimony

The large number of participants in some programs—particularly for teachers and health professionals—may indicate that loan forgiveness encourages people to pursue those low-paying but valuable careers. An administrator of one such plan describes some participants as growing tearful when they speak of the impact loan forgiveness has had on their careers.

"I wish I could bring Congress to this and let them see that this is one program that they put in place that really is doing what they want," says the administrator, who declines to be named because she is not authorized to speak for her agency.

But while advocates see the new plan as an extension of that goal, others see a program with several loopholes—one that could allow borrowers to forgo dangerously large amounts of debt while leaving taxpayers to pick up the tab.

What’s different this time around? Much of the controversy comes down to two key features of the program, which will begin forgiving loans in 2017. First, unlike its predecessors, it puts no cap on how much money can be forgiven. Second, its broader eligibility requirements could make forgiveness available to more people, in more jobs, than ever before.

Those features mean the plan could have a wide impact on legions of borrowers struggling with the burdens of student-loan debt. But they also raise questions about whether the program can be exploited.

With the first wave of payouts bearing down, lawmakers, think tanks, and even President Obama have recommended significant modifications. Their suggestions have stoked a broader question: What, exactly, is loan forgiveness meant to achieve?

To Cap or Not to Cap?

Much of the concern about Public Service Loan Forgiveness stems from a single source: the New America Foundation, a nonprofit public-policy institute that has been raising alarms about the program since 2012.

And on New America’s list of fears, the lack of a cap looms large. Nearly all other existing programs restrict the amount that can be forgiven—often holding it to around $40,000 to $60,000 total, sometimes less.

If the government doesn’t cap how much debt can be wiped clean, the group argues, the new program could simply encourage borrowers to take on unmanageable debt levels.

Overborrowing is a problem for everyone, not just the borrower, says Jason Delisle, a policy analyst at New America, because it could drive the cost of college further upward. "Public Service Loan Forgiveness tells the colleges, Yes, you can charge 60 grand, and tells the student, Yeah, you can borrow 60 grand."

New America’s predictions have had a far-reaching impact. In March, President Obama, traditionally a proponent of expanding federal programs that would reduce student debt, took a step back. His 2015 budget proposal includes a plan to limit the amount of individual debt forgiven under the public-service program to $57,500, which is the current limit that financially independent undergraduates can take out in federal loans.

Some student-loan administrators share the president’s concern.

"There’s a moral hazard for the student—whether it’s degree-hopping or whether it’s going too far into debt for any single program," says Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

In a recent report, the group also recommended limiting forgiveness to the $57,500 level. But it suggested that borrowers also have half of any additional loan debt forgiven, up to a total of $138,500.

Mr. Obama’s proposed cap has yet to be reviewed by lawmakers. But it has already raised its own set of concerns—chief among them that adding a cap amounts to neutering the program.

"Do we need to have some safeguards to prevent overborrowing?" asks David A. Bergeron, vice president for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, a public-policy group. "Maybe—but we’re a little early in that process to make that determination."

Mr. Bergeron, a former Education Department official, points out that the cost of Public Service Loan Forgiveness is built into the government’s loan program. Essentially, he says, the profits from other borrowers who go into default or forbearance on their federal loans subsidize loan forgiveness.

It’s difficult to assess how the lack of a cap will affect the new program, especially because it requires a much longer public-service commitment than most others of its kind. But a closer look at earlier loan-forgiveness programs serves as a reminder that not everyone takes advantage of the full benefits.

For example, the Government Employee Student Loan Repayment Program allows employees of nearly any federal agency to have up to $10,000 forgiven each year, up to a maximum of $60,000. In 2012, $70.3-million in debt was forgiven for 10,543 employees who participated. That works out to an average of $6,670 per person, about two-thirds of the amount available.

Who Counts as a Public Servant?

The new loan-forgiveness program covers several jobs traditionally thought of as rooted in public service—teacher, public defender, social worker, nurse. But the program also offers forgiveness to anyone working at tax-exempt nonprofit organizations for 10 years. That could open up forgiveness to policy analysts or public-relations officials, for example.

Analysts at New America think that might be a loophole. Here’s how that would work, according to Mr. Delisle. A borrower’s monthly loan payments would be based on his or her income, not on the amount of debt he or she had incurred. If someone gets an expensive degree and then enters into a low-paying job, the gap between the debt paid and the debt forgiven after 10 years can grow wide.

In one example presented by New America, a nurse who owes $75,000 in debt would make regular payments amounting to $36,000 in total over 10 years. Factor in high interest rates, and that nurse could end up with $67,000 in forgiven loans.

The think tank argues that it’s a real problem when that kind of money is spent to subsidize career choices that don’t seem underrepresented or vital to the public.

Analysts at New America have frequently singled out Georgetown University’s law school, which informs its students about the loan-forgiveness plan as part of its routine financial-aid counseling, as an example. Too many law students—who have among the largest amounts of debt of any student group—could take advantage of the program, New America says, because the expansive list of eligible jobs now goes beyond traditional public-service roles like public defenders or county prosecutors.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---

How to Clean Your Vinyl Records with Wood Glue ---

53 New York Times Videos Teach Essential Cooking Techniques: From Poaching Eggs to Shucking Oysters ---

100 MOOCs in November 2014 ---

Accountants might note the following:

Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination (VC$) – West Virginia University on Coursera – November 3 (5 weeks)

Introduction to financial and management accounting (NI) – Politecnico di Milano on Polimi OPEN KNOWLEDGE – November 10 (3 weeks)

An Introduction to Financial Accounting (VC/SA) – Penn on Coursera – September 5 (10 weeks)
An Introduction to Financial Accounting (SA) – Penn on Coursera – September 16 (10 weeks)

Intro to Accounting (NI) – BYU Hawaii on Canvas – January 13

Introduction to Business in Asia (SA) – Griffith University on Open2study – January 13 (4 weeks)

Accounting Cycle: The Foundation of Business Measurement and Reporting (NI) – Utah State on Canvas – August 5 (4 weeks)

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and free learning resources from prestigious universities ---

"Disruption Ahead: What MOOCs Will Mean for MBA Programs," Knowledge@wharton Blog, July 16, 2014 ---

In a new research paper, Christian Terwiesch, professor of operations and information management at Wharton, and Karl Ulrich, vice dean of innovation at the school, examine the impact that massive open online courses (MOOCs) will have on business schools and MBA programs. In their study — titled, “Will Video Kill the Classroom Star? The Threat and Opportunity of MOOCs for Full-time MBA Programs” — they identify three possible scenarios that business schools face not just as a result of MOOCs, but also because of the technology embedded in them. In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Terwiesch and Ulrich discuss their findings.

An edited transcript of the interview appears below.

Knowledge@Wharton: Christian, perhaps you could start us off by describing the main findings or takeaways from your research?

Terwiesch: Let me preface what we’re going to discuss about business schools by saying that Karl and I have been in the business school world for many, many years. We love this institution, and we really want to make sure that we find a sustainable path forward for business schools.

Continued in article

"What Georgia Tech’s Online Degree in Computer Science Means for Low-Cost Programs," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 6, 2014 ---

Among all recent inventions that have to do with MOOCs, the Georgia Institute of Technology’s online master’s program in computer science may have the best chance of changing how much students pay for a traditional degree.

The program, which started last winter, pairs MOOC-like course videos and assessments with a support system of course assistants who work directly with students. The goal is to create a low-cost master’s degree that is nonetheless "just as rigorous" as the on-campus equivalent—producing graduates who are "just as good," to quote one of the new program’s cheerleaders, President Obama. The price: less than $7,000 for the three-year program, a small fraction of the cost of the traditional program.

It’s too early yet for a graduating class. But researchers at Georgia Tech and Harvard University have studied the students who have enrolled in the program, in an effort to figure out "where the demand is coming from and what it’s substituting for educationally," says Joshua S. Goodman, an assistant professor of public policy at Harvard.

By understanding what kinds of students are drawn to the new program, Mr. Goodman and his fellow researchers think they can begin to understand what competitors it might threaten.

Here is what they found out about those students:

How They Are Different

The enrollees are numerous. The online program this year got as many applications as Georgia Tech’s traditional program did during two recent semesters. But while the traditional program accepted only about 15 percent of its applicants, the online program accepted 50 percent, enrolling about 1,800 in its first year. That might not qualify as large in light of the 50,000-students-per-course figures often quoted in reference to MOOCs, but it does make the online program three times as large as the largest traditional master’s programs in computer science, according to the researchers.

They’re older (and they already have jobs). The people enrolling in the online program are 35 years old, on average, and are far more likely to report that they are working rather than studying full time. (The average age of the students in Georgia Tech’s traditional program is 24, with only half indicating that they are employed.) That should not surprise anyone who has even a passing familiarity with online education. Online programs have pitched themselves to adults who are tethered to work and family, and who want to earn degrees without rearranging their lives around a course schedule.

They’re from the United States. Online education is supposed to make geographic borders matter less. But this online master’s program has drawn 80 percent of its students from within the country. By contrast, in the traditional program, 75 percent of the students are foreign, mostly from India and China.

Most of them did not study computer science in college. In the traditional graduate program, 62 percent of students have completed an undergraduate major in computer science. That is true of only 40 percent of the online students. The percentage of undergraduate engineering majors, 27 percent, remained constant.

How They Are Similar

They’re good at school. Unlike San Jose State University’s MOOC-related pilot program, which tried and failed to help underperforming students, Georgia Tech’s online program appeals to students with a proven academic track record, specifically those who earned bachelor’s degrees with a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. (The university told The Chronicle last year that its first group of applicants averaged a 3.58 GPA—about the same as the students in the traditional program.) They seem to be doing well so far: Courses held last spring and summer saw pass rates of about 88 percent, according to the university.

They’re mostly men. The online program had a lower rate of female applicants than the traditional program did, but there were precious few in either pool: 14 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Among American applicants, the rates were similar: 13 percent and 16 percent.

Over all, the first enrollees in Georgia Tech’s MOOC-like master’s program fit the profile of students who are applying to online graduate programs at institutions across the country.

Continued in article

"The 25 Best Universities In The World For Computer Science," by Melia Robinson, Business Insider, October 30, 2014 ---

Ranking Criteria ---

Jensen Comment
The ranking is heavily influenced by the overall prestige ranking of the university apart from computer science.

I would be inclined to put more emphasis on the quality of the students. For example, it may well be that a Russian university that graduates the hackers that upset world businesses and national intelligence agencies is really a better computer science university in terms of having some of the most gifted students in the world\. However, Russian Universities in general do not have stellar academic standards and tolerate a lot of cheating on the part of students and faculty.

The problem is that in the case of computer science and some other disciplines like art and music, "student quality" is very difficult to measure. The elusive component is creativity.

At a conference years ago an associate dean from MIT mentioned that MIT graduates on average will do wonderfully if the university does not get in their way.

Bob Jensen's threads on college ranking controversies ---

Dark Internet --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Internet

Deep Web --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Web

Dark Net (File Sharing) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darknet_%28file_sharing%29

"The Dark Net Is Thriving," The Economist via Business Insider, October 31, 2014 ---

The first ever e-commerce transaction, conducted by students from Stanford and MIT in the early 1970s, involved the sale of a small quantity of marijuana.

For decades afterwards, the online drugs trade was severely constrained by the ability of law enforcement to track IP addresses and the means of payment.

The trickle of transactions threatened to become a flood with the emergence a few years ago of Silk Road, a drug-dealing site on the “dark net”. These e-depths cannot be reached through a normal browser but only with anonymising software called Tor. Buyers and sellers transact there pseudonymously in bitcoin, a crypto-currency.

Silk Road was shut last year with the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, the 29-year-old American whom investigators believe to be Dread Pirate Roberts, the site’s founder. Mr Ulbricht is due to stand trial in New York next January on charges that include computer hacking and money laundering.

But law enforcers who predicted that Silk Road’s demise would mark the beginning of the end for online black-market bazaars were wrong. Instead, dozens of dark-net Amazons and eBays (also known as crypto-markets) have sprung up to fill the void. They are not only proving remarkably resilient but expanding their offerings and growing more sophisticated.

The number of for-sale listings in the 18 crypto-markets tracked by the Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA), an advocacy group, grew from 41,000 to 66,000 between January and August. The largest market until August, Silk Road 2.0 (whose logo, like its predecessor’s, features an Arab trader on a camel), has since been overtaken by two upstarts, Agora and Evolution, whose combined listings have grown by 20%, to 36,000 in the past two months. Each of these three has more listings than the original Silk Road ever did (see chart). It is unclear whether listings are a good measure of sales, which the markets do not disclose.

Vendors vary in size: the largest turn over several million dollars a month on a single site, the smallest a few hundred. They pay a fee to register and a commission per transaction, typically 3-6%. Buyers come from all over the world. Their purchases are sent by post—the vast majority appear to arrive undetected. Customer satisfaction is high.

Illegal and prescription drugs are the largest product category. (Some sellers are crooked pharmacists.) Silk Road 2.0, whose operators are avowedly libertarian, focuses almost exclusively on weed, powders and pills. Agora, whose mascot is an armed bandit, sells weapons, too. These are marketed mostly to Europeans, who face strict gun-control laws.

The fastest-growing of the big three, Evolution, is the least principled. Though, like the others, it bans child pornography, it hawks stolen credit-card, debit-card and medical information, guns and fake IDs and university diplomas. One-fifth of its listings are in its “Fraud” section or in “Guides and Tutorials”, which often explain how to commit crimes. Some see Evolution’s rapid growth as a worrying sign that cyber-criminals are looking to fuse their identity-theft operations with the “victimless” online drugs trade. (It is not, however, the most unsavoury corner of the dark net, where some make markets in contract killings.)

For drug buyers, online markets offer several advantages. They are less physically dangerous than street trades. This goes for dealers, too: a recent study found that a third or more of sales on Silk Road were to “a new breed of retail drug dealer”, a transformation of the wholesale market that “should reduce violence, intimidation and territorialism.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/illicit-e-commerce-the-amazons-of-the-dark-net-2014-10#ixzz3HqZGqLUe

Chicago Boys --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Boys

The (Former) Miracle of Chile --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_Chile

The “Miracle of Chile” was a term used by Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman to describe the reorientation of the Chilean economy in the 1980s and the benefits of the economic policies applied by a large group of Chilean economists who collectively came to be known as the Chicago Boys, having studied at the University of Chicago where Friedman taught. He said the “Chilean economy did very well, but more important, in the end the central government, the military junta, was replaced by a democratic society. So the really important thing about the Chilean business is that free markets did work their way in bringing about a free society.”[1] The junta to which Friedman refers was a military government that came to power in a 1973 coup d'état, which came to an end in 1990 after a democratic 1988 plebiscite removed Augusto Pinochet from the presidency.

In the early 1970s, Chile experienced chronic inflation, reaching highs of 140 percent per annum, under socialist President Salvador Allende, whose government implemented high protectionist barriers, resulting in a lack of foreign-exchange reserves and falling GDP.[2] The economic reforms implemented by the Chicago Boys had three main objectives: economic liberalization, privatization of state-owned companies, and stabilization of inflation. The first reforms were implemented in three rounds – 1974–83, 1985, and 1990.[2] The reforms were continued and strengthened after 1990 by the post-Pinochet center government of Patricio Aylwin's Christian Democrats.[3] However, the center-left government of Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle also made a commitment to poverty reduction. In 1988, 48% of Chileans lived below the poverty line. By 2000 this had been reduced to 20%. The 1990s center-left governments implemented a 17% increase in the minimum wage, a 210% increase in social spending targeted at the low-income sectors of the population, and across the board tax increases, reversing the Pinochet tax cuts of 1988 and taxing an additional 3% of the country's GDP into government coffers. Overall, economic growth stemming from the Chicago Boys' reforms accounted for 60% of the poverty reduction, whereas government programs aimed at poverty alleviation accounted for the rest.

Continued in article

Investment and growth are falling, and now the government targets private schools.
"The Chile ‘Miracle’ Goes in Reverse," by Mary Anastasia O’Grady, The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2014 ---

It’s nonsense to suggest that a free society can guarantee equal opportunity or equal economic outcomes. But that doesn’t stop elected politicians in modern democracies from promising both.

That’s why an A for honesty is in order for Chile’s education minister, Nicolás Eyzaguirre, who admitted in June that Socialist President Michelle Bachelet ’s campaign pledge to rid Chilean education of “inequality” requires withdrawing the freedom parents now have to choose their child’s school.

“What we have now is one competitor . . . with skates going at a high speed and the other barefoot,” he said. “The barefoot one is public education. I have been asked why not provide better training and more food to the one going barefoot? First, I have to take away the skates of the other.” (Emphasis added)

Welcome to Ms. Bachelet’s Chile, where freedom is a problem because it upends the Socialists’ brave new world of equality. Learning more now, or earning more later, are symptoms of unfairness in the eyes of la presidenta and her party militants.

To understand why the outlook for the Chilean “miracle” is so grim and investment is plummeting, look no further than this government’s obsession with holding back those who would skate ahead of the pack.

Ms. Bachelet has increased tax rates on everything from capital to consumption. One objective is to soak the investor class, making it poorer so that income inequality goes down. But it is more likely that income disparities will go up since the rich have ways to shelter income while the poor depend on job creation from investment to earn their daily bread and build wealth.

When policies are capital-friendly, as they have been in Chile since the 1980s, life on the lower economic rungs improves in absolute terms. Writing in the Chilean daily El Mercurio on Oct. 19, former finance minister Hernán Büchi noted that Chile tripled its real income in three decades “and as a consequence generated an enormous social transformation especially for the poorest.” A 2013 World Bank study showed that between 1992 and 2009 Chile was “the country with the greatest social mobility on the continent,” Mr. Büchi wrote.

Last month the International Monetary Fund reported that on a purchasing-power basis Chile’s annual GDP per capita is now equivalent to $23,165, putting it just behind Poland ($24,429) and well ahead of Mexico ($17,925).

This impressive performance is unlikely to continue now that Chile is becoming another high-tax jurisdiction. According to the most recent figures available from Chile’s central bank, investment dropped 12.3% in the last quarter of 2013, 5.5% in the first quarter of this year and 8.1% in the second quarter. Last year around this time, the forecast for 2014 GDP growth was 4.5%. Now it hovers around 2%, thanks to falling commodity prices and the rising uncertainty produced by Ms. Bachelet’s hostility toward competition and profits.

The higher tax rates are supposed to generate higher revenue which the government says will be spent to improve public schools. Yet in the unlikely event that tax revenues increase while investors are running for the exits, there is no correlation between spending increases in union-controlled classrooms and academic results. The intellectual authors of the plan seem to recognize this, and it’s why they want to destroy private-school competition.

Chile’s popular voucher program began in 1981. Today it allows students to get an education at nonunionized private schools with a combination of government resources and parental assistance. It also permits selective admissions. The program has been enormously successful, and according to the Santiago-based Institute for Liberty and Development (ILD) nearly 1.9 million children (54% of the K-12 population) now attend private schools using government vouchers. Of those, some 1.1 million (31% of all school children) attend “for-profit” schools using a voucher.

The new law, which passed the lower house last month and now goes to the senate, would prohibit students from using vouchers to attend for-profit schools and prohibit schools that receive public subsidies from charging parents a co-payment. What is more, schools will no longer be allowed to select students because, apparently, it is “unfair” for gifted children to learn at their own speed.

This is cruel. It won’t affect Chile’s wealthy families, but many lower-income children will lose out. According to ILD, enrollment at the public schools dropped by 545,000 students from 2004-13 while subsidized private schools have increased by 364,000 students. The fact that many parents make the sacrifice to make co-payments demonstrates how badly they want to avoid public schools.

Ms. Bachelet has the teachers unions on her side but is rapidly losing support from the public. Chileans are catching on that “fairness” is just a cover for special-interest politics. A government that wanted to truly help the disenfranchised would work to expand choice rather than deny children the right to skate as fast as they can.

Picking The Locks: Redefining Copyright Law In The Digital Age ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA ---

Are "independent" bookstores being crushed by eBook publishing?

Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong (so does the author)

October 30, 2014 - 12:41pm — Bibliofuture
"Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong"

October 27th, 2014 | Hugh C. Howey

Almost everything being said about publishing today is predicated on two facts that are dead wrong. The first is that publishers are somehow being hurt by ebook sales. The second is that independent bookstores are being crushed. The opposite is true in both cases, and without understanding this, most of what everyone says about publishing is complete bollocks.

Full post here: http://www.hughhowey.com/two-important-publishing-facts-everyone-gets-wr...

. . .

In the mid to late 90s, retail began moving online. Suddenly, the biggest strength of the big boxes — price and selection — paled before the power of “everything stores.” Borders bookstores went under in 2011. B&N has been showing quarterly losses, even as it closes stores and shrinks shelf space within existing stores. The advantage in one direction became a serious weakness in the other, as the big boxes couldn’t compete with online retailers:

At first, it appears that each of the three parties has an advantage that trumps one other. The problem here is that big box discounters don’t excel enough in either area (physical space or price/selection) to beat the others. In fact, what looks to be a balanced ecosystem between three retail paths will probably devolve into simply online and independent booksellers (the latter will form regional chains). There are enough people who will support independents and pay full price and enough who will shop online when they know what they need that the two will coexist.

So feel bad for hardbacks and paperbacks, but don’t feel bad for stories, storytellers, or readers. The latter trio is doing just fine. As are publishers.

And feel bad for big-box discounters if you want, but remember that they were far worse for mom-and-pop stores than online retail has been. In fact, since the advent of online retail, we’ve seen their numbers and their revenues rebound.

You can’t argue with either fact. Publishers and small bookshops are, on the whole, doing better now than they were in 2007, when the Kindle launched. That’s irrefutable. And so any conversation about the effect online retail and ebooks are having on the industry need to begin right here, rather than assume the opposite is true and then spread fear and doubt to generate clicks.

There are many replies to this article. Here are a few that I found the most informative

At first, it appears that each of the three parties has an advantage that trumps one other. The problem here is that big box discounters don’t excel enough in either area (physical space or price/selection) to beat the others. In fact, what looks to be a balanced ecosystem between three retail paths will probably devolve into simply online and independent booksellers (the latter will form regional chains). There are enough people who will support independents and pay full price and enough who will shop online when they know what they need that the two will coexist.

So feel bad for hardbacks and paperbacks, but don’t feel bad for stories, storytellers, or readers. The latter trio is doing just fine. As are publishers.

And feel bad for big-box discounters if you want, but remember that they were far worse for mom-and-pop stores than online retail has been. In fact, since the advent of online retail, we’ve seen their numbers and their revenues rebound.

You can’t argue with either fact. Publishers and small bookshops are, on the whole, doing better now than they were in 2007, when the Kindle launched. That’s irrefutable. And so any conversation about the effect online retail and ebooks are having on the industry need to begin right here, rather than assume the opposite is true and then spread fear and doubt to generate clicks.

Michael W. Perry
Quote: “Publishers and small bookshops are, on the whole, doing better now than they were in 2007, when the Kindle launched. That’s irrefutable,” Howey concludes. So Hachette and Authors United might as well give it up: They have nothing to fight for.

Where to start?

1. Hachete is not fighting about its present income. It’s fighting about its future against an aggressive and market-dominating Amazon that has its eyes on that added ebook income publishers are making. Amazon sees that money and wants it. To state the obvious, we are in the middle of a war over those ebook profits. In no way can this current struggle be interpreted as a win for the big publishers. It could very well end up a defeat.

2. Authors United isn’t in this for the currently up profits of large publishers. Its name is “Authors United.” They are in this because Amazon has been kicking them and their readers around like a football its battle with Hachette. That they don’t like. That they want to see stopped.

Author’s United has authors who know their business, having in some cases made millions from their writing. They know that they’re far more likely to benefit from having a publisher flush with profits than from having an Amazon pocketing that same money and using it to grow other areas of its business. What they’re doing in eminently sensible.

Jensen Comment
Parts of this article are long on hopes and weak on facts. For example, there's a high variance in the future of physical bookstores and their business models. Some considerations are as follows:

My point is that Hugh Howey tends to lump physical bookstores into one category when in fact the business models are highly variable with greatly different outlooks for the future.

InterOperability Laboratory --- https://www.iol.unh.edu
Networking and Communications Product Testing Lab at the University of New Hampshire

How to Mislead With Statistics:  Ignore the Variance and Ignore the Outliers (in this case graduates without law jobs)
"Why Huge Salaries Don't Necessarily Make Law Grads Rich," bv Akane Otani, Bloomberg Businessweek, October 22, 2014 ---

Graduates of Harvard Law School, among all the graduate schools in the U.S., make the most money, earning a median salary of $201,000 once they are 10 years out of school, according to a new report. Law schools rank higher than other graduate programs when it comes to salaries, yet skyrocketing debt and a thinning job market for law graduates may dampen the appeal of a J.D.

Harvard Law School, Emory University School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law topped salary rankings for graduate and professional programs in a study released Wednesday by compensation-tracking company PayScale. Of the top 20 schools, 12 were law schools. The rest were business schools.

Despite a few law schools dominating the rankings, law school graduates did not hold claim to the most lucrative degree on the market. The median midcareer salary for a law school graduate was $139,300—a far smaller sum than the figures boasted by the schools that topped PayScale’s rankings. Considering that the median debt load for law school graduates rose to $140,616 in 2012, even a six-figure salary doesn’t sound as glamorous.

What’s more, Payscale’s data didn’t factor in law school grads who don’t have jobs—and jobs are scarcer for lawyers now than they have been in years. The employment rate for law school graduates has dropped six years in a row. “Since 1985, there have only been two classes with an overall employment rate below [84.5 percent], and both of those occurred in the aftermath of the 1990-91 recession,” the National Association for Law Placement said in a report this summer. Over the past decade, at least 12 firms, accounting for more than 1,000 lawyers, have shut their doors. Others are eyeing cuts among partners.

One reason why a J.D. isn’t a get-rich-quick guarantee is the wide range of salaries within the field of law. A new graduate working as a public interest lawyer or for local government will make an average of $60,000 or less a year, according to the NALP.

“If you want to be a public defender vs. a corporate attorney, there is going to be a big difference in terms of ability to pay off your loans,” says Lydia Frank, editorial and marketing director for PayScale. “Because there’s such a wide variety in earnings potential, you can’t assume that any job you’re going to pursue with a J.D. is going to be equal.”

While the salary rankings may provide a good benchmark for what’s possible with an elite law degree, great job connections, and a lucrative specialty, the average would-be lawyer should think carefully about the return on an investment in legal education.

“If you’re going to take out ‘X’ amount in student loans, you really want to have a good understanding of the likelihood of being able to repay that loan in a timely fashion,” Frank says. “I think it still behooves everybody to really examine things other than salary potential, such as employment potential for JDs.”

Jensen Comment
Traditionally, accounting graduates who go to work for large CPA firms get great training and great client exposure. The bad news is that probabilities of attaining partnerships after 6-10 years are very low. The good news is that prospects of going to work for clients are high, and new graduates never wanted the pressures, travel, and time commitments of partnerships in CPA firms in the first place.

Among the least-wanted pressures are the pressures to obtain new clients via lots of night and weekend community volunteer work, golf outings that aren't all that much fun, and selling the firms' services over and over and over year after year Some of the things that discourage faculty from striving to be college presidents also discourage staff accountants and lawyers from seeking partnerships.

My point is that winnings of the  highest salaries as partners in both law and accounting firms are not all they're cracked up to be in terms of job stress, long hours, frequent travel, glad-handing, broken marriages, neglected children, etc. Most of the very good lawyers and accountants want no part of this partnership lifestyle even at much higher compensation. Men and women partners who are also parents are advised to have spouses who will take on the chores of child rearing and keeping the home fires burning.

A bummer for finance and marketing graduates is performance-based compensation. For example, landing that job on Wall Street sounds great until you realize that your pay is really based upon sales commissions. It's not a great life unless you really like to spend your days wooing customers to buy what you're selling (like bonds and derivatives) year after year after year.

Probabilities of becoming partners in the Big Four vary with domestic and international location where, in my viewpoint, it's sometimes easier to make partner in some foreign offices. For example, one of my students who had a low probability of becoming partner in a Texas office of a Big Four firm became a partners rather quickly in Moscow.

"The qualities of a Big Four partner:  Chris Carter, Crawford Spence and Claire Dambrin studied Big Four firms in three countries to find out what qualities make a partner," Economia, July 16, 2014 ---

The Big Four are quintessentially global organisations, their logos adorn major commercial centres and they are prominent players in most western economies. Unlike their corporate counterparts, their governance structures are more opaque. This is a consequence of the partnership model which gives a high degree of independence to each country in which the Big Four operates. Global organisations –in general – and the Big Four in particular invite the following question: to what extent is there convergence or divergence between their operations in different countries?

We set out to answer this question by researching partners in Canada, France and the UK. We were particularly interested in the types of people that became partner and the process of them actually getting there. Was this similar across the three countries or were there striking differences?

The broad career structure is much the same across the three contexts: following qualification, employees move into the manager position – during which time many tend to leave the firm – before proceeding to senior manager, director and ultimately partner. Only 2-3% of members of the Big Four will ever make partner; ascension to this position is to enter the elite of the accounting profession. In provincial cities, Big Four partners are well known “business celebrities”, while in capital cities they are players within their service lines. Partners are the pinnacle of the accounting profession for those that remain in private practice.

We started by looking at British and Canadian partners. What we found was remarkably similar: it takes most partners 15-17 years to become a partner after joining; 60 to 70 hour weeks are the norm; partners are more likely to be white and male; the process of becoming a partner has become far more formalised than it was in the past; most people who make partnership highlight the importance of “having a good mentor” to help them navigate the complex, Byzantine politics of a Big Four firm.

To add to this picture, interviewees emphasised the importance of trust: does the firm trust a candidate enough to make them a part-owner? All of this takes place against a broader economic backdrop which will determine whether a particular service is deemed worthy of supporting a further partner. The economic conditions can in boom times create more partnerships in a firm; recessionary times can preclude gifted candidates from making partner.

We talked to over 50 partners, ex-partners and people who didn’t make partner in Britain and Canada. The similarities far overshadowed any differences. Partners were very much “self-made men” and, save for a few exceptions, were drawn from modest social backgrounds. This meritocratic quality was deeply infused within the firms we visited, with a notable ‘can do’ ethos. The driven quality of the partners often extended to their leisure pursuits. Whereas the stereotype is of a partner playing a good deal of golf, they were much more likely to be competing in endurance cycle races or long distance running events. The participation in endurance sports is a fitting metaphor. Partners are driven, high energy people who exude self-confidence.

By midway through our research we were accustomed to partners recounting that “their career was different”. This statement surprised us as most of the partners spent most of their careers in one firm, something that is very unusual in the contemporary workplace, and we imagined that there was a distinct career path. The expression, however, spoke to the different ways in which the partners had proved themselves.

In every case, the accountant “proved themselves” through completing a difficult piece of work that gained praise from the firm. This demonstrated that the accountant had ability and could be trusted by the organisation. This building of reputation brought the accountant into new networks in the firm where more opportunities arose. Proving oneself as being very good at a complex job is generally enough to get a promotion to director. Beyond that, wannabe partners need to demonstrate that they can move effortlessly with senior executives in client firms and that they can generate revenue. It’s a cliché, but cash is king. The Big Four are packed full of extremely competent technical specialists – what makes someone stand out is their ability to generate fee income. Entrepreneurialism is a prime quality.

The similarities between British and Canadian partners were striking regarding this topic, in fact the only compelling difference was that British partners went for football and rugby metaphors, while their Canadian counterparts used ice hockey and NFL.

We travelled to France to find out about the French experience. Our intuition was that the capacity to generate new business would be crucial there too but that leverages to increase turnover might be of a different nature. In particular we expected that belonging to a cultural or social elite would be essential for partners to bring in new business in France. The Big Four are similarly prominent in France, although there are different rules around audit rotation. What became immediately clear was the Big Four are structured differently in France.

First, it was incredibly important where an employee had studied. In France, there are a number of Grandes Ecoles that are, in effect, elite Business Schools. The Big Four strive to recruit a quota from each of these schools. Unlike in Britain, where the Big Four recruit from a wide range of universities and where partners are pretty diverse in terms of their educational backgrounds, in France attending one of these Grande Ecoles will vastly increase your chances of getting recruited in the first instance, and is even more important in rising to partner grade in the second instance. One of our French partners explained: “We are worried when we don’t have enough ‘parisiennes’ [graduates of top Grandes Ecoles]. I find that daft but in this firm we always have the illusion that if you haven’t been to a ‘parisienne’ then you can’t be a partner. That said, given that the clients of tomorrow will have studied at the same place, it is better to have them.”

The quote reveals a great deal about how educational background is a determinant of future success in the Big Four in France. Simply put, having graduated from a top school (a parisienne) marks out an employee as special and puts them onto a different career trajectory from those who had attended more routine universities. In France Big Four firms agree with each other on starting salary grids depending on the school category of their recruits. High expectations are placed very early on their recruits from Grandes Ecoles and this has a very basic economic rationale.

It is through the process of offering parisiennes more varied and exciting work – projects that add value and generally “pampering” them – that their “specialness” becomes a reality in the French Big Four. Contrary to what we expected, educational pedigree actually becomes more important at the partner level: it is easier for graduates of the Grandes Ecoles to interact with each other and so future sources of revenue will come through the conversion of their educational background into social skills and new business for the firm. It is a fascinating contrast to the British and Canadian experiences where the treatment of recruits is much more homogeneous. More broadly, the French experience is suggestive of the grip that Grandes Ecoles have on elite careers within the French corporate sector.

The Grandes Ecoles cast a long shadow over the Big Four in France; this raises questions as to whether a different set of qualities are required to become partner. A key insight from our research study is that the pressures that French partners and aspirant partners face are much the same as in Britain and Canada: clients need to be kept happy; new business needs to be generated and delivered; new service lines need to be developed; for personal career strategies, aspirant partners need to be seen as less technical and more strategic.

In short, the descriptions of the Big Four in France were remarkably similar to their counterparts in Britain and Canada. What was particularly striking was the creed of commercialism that underpins the Big Four across the three countries. One partner in France explained: “The first thing we look at is [the candidate’s] commercial skills. Dilution [of profit-per-partner] is a real concern for us. If partners don’t bring in revenue, the partners’ committee will lose money because there is less to share in the end. So the capacity to make business grow obviously matters a lot.”

This quote could have come from any of the firms in any of the three countries. The ability to generate business and ‘grow the cake’ is an absolutely central skill for someone who wants to make partner. The central difference between Britain, Canada and France is that in the French case the assumption is that being a graduate of a Grandes Ecoles will help generate new business. In Britain and Canada it is demonstrably not the case that an elite degree will lead to these outcomes. In France, attendance at one of these schools has a huge bearing on an alumnus’s future career in the Big Four.

Our research emphasises that people skills – the ability to get on with people and build durable networks – are crucial to success in a Big Four career. These skills need to be converted into revenues. To put this in some sort of context, the following revenues were quoted to us. In Canada, one interviewee suggested that a partner needed to generate around $3m (Canadian) per annum (£1.63m), in France this figure was estimated at €3m (£2.4m), whereas in Britain, a figure of £2m was frequently cited. Partners are clearly under pressure to generate vast sums of fee income for the Big Four; the prospect of being able to generate such fees is crucial to ascending to a partnership.

Continued in article

See more at: http://economia.icaew.com/finance/july-2014/essay-the-qualities-of-a-big-four-partner#sthash.BukvhkPO.dpuf


Bob Jensen's threads on careers ---

Precursor to NCAA Scholarship

Did Bach’s Wife Compose Some of “His” Masterpieces? A New Documentary Says Yes

Linebacker's Wife Says She Wrote His Papers (and took two online courses for him)
The wife of a star University of South Florida linebacker says she wrote his academic papers and took two online classes for him. The accusations against Ben Moffitt, who had been promoted by the university to the news media as a family man, were made in e-mail messages to The Tampa Tribune, and followed Mr. Moffitt’s filing for divorce. Mr. Moffitt called the accusations “hearsay,” and a university spokesman said the matter was a “domestic issue.” If it is found that Mr. Moffitt committed academic fraud, the newspaper reported, the university could be subject to an NCAA investigation.
"Linebacker's Wife Says She Wrote His Papers," Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog, January 5, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/news/article/3707/linebackers-wife-says-she-wrote-his-papers?at

Cybernetics, --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybernetics

Video Tutorials
"'Getting Started' Guide to Cybernetics," by Paul Pangaro, Pangaro.com, October 2014 ---
Thank you Mohammad Raza for the heads up.

Eight Econometrics Multiple-Choice Quiz Sets from David Giles
You might have to go to his site to get the quizzes to work.
Note that there are multiple questions for each quiz set.
Click on the arrow button to go to a subsequent question.

Would You Like Some Hot Potatoes?

O.K., I know - that was a really cheap way of getting your attention.

However, it worked, and this post really is about Hot Potatoes - not the edible variety, but some teaching apps. from "Half-Baked Software" here at the University of Victoria.

To quote: 
"The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is freeware, and you may use it for any purpose or project you like."
I've included some Hot Potatoes multiple choice exercises on the web pages for several of my courses for some years now. Recently, some of the students in my introductory graduate econometrics course mentioned that these exercises were quite helpful. So, I thought I'd share the Hot Potatoes apps. for that course with readers of this blog.

There are eight multiple-choice exercise sets in total, and you can run  them from here:

Quiz 1 ; Quiz 2 ; Quiz 3 ; Quiz 4; Quiz 5 ; Quiz 6Quiz  7 ; Quiz 8 .

I've also put the HTML and associated PDF files on the code page for this blog. If you're going to download them and use them on your own computer or website, just make sure that the PDF files are located in the same folder (directory) as the HTML files.
I plan to extend and update these Hot Potatoes exercises in the near future, but hopefully some readers will find them useful in the meantime.
From my "Recently Read" list:

"Statistical Inference: The Big Picture," by Robert E. Kass, Statistical Science 2011, Vol. 26, No. 1, 1–9 DOI: 10.1214/10-STS337 © Institute of Mathematical Statistics ---

Statistics has moved beyond the frequentist-Bayesian controversies of the past. Where does this leave our ability to interpret results? I suggest that a philosophy compatible with statistical practice, labeled here statistical pragmatism , serves as a foundation for inference. Statistical pragmatism is inclusive and emphasizes the assumptions that connect statistical models with observed data. I argue that introductory courses often mischaracterize the process of statistical inference and I propose an alternative “big picture” depiction.

Common Accountics Science and Econometric Science Statistical Mistakes ---

Statistical Science Reading List for June 2014 Compiled by David Giles in Canada ---

Put away that novel! Here's some really fun June reading:

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

Common Accountics Science and Econometric Science Statistical Mistakes ---

November 7, 2014 posting by David Giles in his Econometrics Beat blog.

The Econometrics of Temporal Aggregation V - Testing for Normality

This post is one of a sequence of posts, the earlier members of which can be found here, here, here, and here. These posts are based on Giles (2014).

Some of the standard tests that we perform in econometrics can be affected by the level of aggregation of the data. Here, I'm concerned only with time-series data, and with temporal aggregation. I'm going to show you some preliminary results from work that I have in progress with
Ryan Godwin. Although these results relate to just one test, our work covers a range of testing problems.

I'm not supplying the EViews program code that was used to obtain the results below - at least, not for now. That's because what I'm reporting is based on work in progress. Sorry!

As in the earlier posts, let's suppose that the aggregation is over "m" high-frequency periods. A lower case symbol will represent a high-frequency observation on a variable of interest; and an upper-case symbol will denote the aggregated series.

               Yt = yt + yt - 1 + ......+ yt - m + 1 .

If we're aggregating monthly (flow) data to quarterly data, then m = 3. In the case of aggregation from quarterly to annual data, m = 4, etc.

Now, let's investigate how such aggregation affects the performance of the well-known Jarque-Bera (1987) (J-B) test for the normality of the errors in a regression model. I've discussed some of the limitations of this test in an
earlier post, and you might find it helpful to look at that post (and this oneat this point. However, the J-B test is very widely used by econometricians, and it warrants some further consideration.

Consider the following a small Monte Carlo experiment.

Continued at

Jensen Comment
Perhaps an even bigger problem in aggregation is the assumption of stationarity.

From Two Former Presidents of the AAA
"Some Methodological Deficiencies in Empirical Research Articles in Accounting." by Thomas R. Dyckman and Stephen A. Zeff , Accounting Horizons: September 2014, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 695-712 ---
http://aaajournals.org/doi/full/10.2308/acch-50818   (not free)

This paper uses a sample of the regression and behavioral papers published in The Accounting Review and the Journal of Accounting Research from September 2012 through May 2013. We argue first that the current research results reported in empirical regression papers fail adequately to justify the time period adopted for the study. Second, we maintain that the statistical analyses used in these papers as well as in the behavioral papers have produced flawed results. We further maintain that their tests of statistical significance are not appropriate and, more importantly, that these studies do not—and cannot—properly address the economic significance of the work. In other words, significance tests are not tests of the economic meaningfulness of the results. We suggest ways to avoid some but not all of these problems. We also argue that replication studies, which have been essentially abandoned by accounting researchers, can contribute to our search for truth, but few will be forthcoming unless the academic reward system is modified.

The free SSRN version of this paper is at

This Dyckman and Zeff paper is indirectly related to the following technical econometrics research:
"The Econometrics of Temporal Aggregation - IV - Cointegration," by David Giles, Econometrics Blog, September 13, 2014 ---

Common Accountics Science and Econometric Science Statistical Mistakes ---

David Johnstone asked me to write a paper on the following:
"A Scrapbook on What's Wrong with the Past, Present and Future of Accountics Science"
Bob Jensen
February 19, 2014
SSRN Download:  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2398296 

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

Common Accountics Science and Econometric Science Statistical Mistakes ---


Yet Another Job Stealer from Unskilled Workers
"Your Retirement May Include a Robot Helper:  As industrial robots become more capable, they could start helping out around the home," by Will Knight, MIT's Technology Review, October 27, 2014 ---

Youngsters aren’t the only ones who get the latest high-tech gadgets. Sometime in the next decade or two, homebound retirees could be early adopters of an important new technology: the home-help robot.

As robots become safer, smarter, and more capable, robotics companies are eyeing elder care as a huge potential market. A rapidly expanding elderly population could also necessitate other new forms of home-assistance technology.

“God help us if we don’t figure it out,” Colin Angle, CEO of Roomba maker iRobot, said during RoboBusiness, a robotics conference held in Boston this month. “Because over the next 20 years the ratio of people over the age of 65 to the number of people under 65 is going to change rather dramatically.”

Estimates from the United Nations suggest the population over 65 worldwide will increase 181 percent between 2010 and 2050, compared to a 33 percent increase in people aged 15 to 65. That shift will create a large incentive to automate at least some assistive work.

Some robots are already lending a mechanical hand. As part of an E.U.-funded research project, senior citizens in Italy, Spain, and Sweden have had their homes equipped with sensors to track their activity and health. Mobile telepresence robots—a wheeled videoconferencing system that can be piloted remotely—let relatives and doctors check in with them. Some nursing homes in Japan, Europe, and the U.S. give lonely residents a robotic seal called Paro as a companion. It responds to petting by cooing and purring and will cry if dropped or ignored.

As such machines become more sophisticated, robot helpers could assist people with everyday household chores and with dressing and bathing. Eventually robots may interact far more intelligently as entertainment or company.

iRobot doesn’t make anything that sophisticated, but Angle says the company is well positioned to develop such technology because it has thought so long about how to make robots work in the home. The company makes several telepresence robots, various robots for the military, and a range of home-cleaning robots, including the Roomba.

“The Roomba is the most successful elder-care robot ever created,” Angle said. “It helps people who can’t push a vacuum maintain a sense of control over the environment they live in.”

Robots seem to be converging on elder care from several directions. Robotic assistance systems that fit over arms or legs are emerging as a way to help those who have a hard time walking or picking up objects stay independent. Researchers in Denmark have adapted a robotic factory arm made by Universal Robots to see if it can be used to help people shower.

Some emerging robotic products can help with simple jobs. For instance, Yujin Robot, a Korean company, has a low-cost system that navigates around a hospital or elder-care facility and delivers meals. Other companies at RoboBusiness demonstrated sophisticated and low-cost robotic manipulators. While these robot hands are being developed primarily as a way to automate industrial tasks, they could also be put to use folding laundry, collecting dishes, or straightening neckties.

Having machines perform such tasks—and not only for the elderly—is “closer than people realize,” says Rich Mahoney, director of robotics at the research company SRI. “There are tons of opportunities: robots that can do dishes and can clean, and all the things people want in terms of folding laundry and cleaning bathrooms,” he says.

Still, there’s a long way to go to make robots user-friendly, especially for a set of users not known for being tech-savvy. Angle pointed to the latest version of one of the military robots iRobot makes, essentially a large metal claw on wheels. “Would you feel comfortable having this robot dress your mom?” he asked. “Probably not.”

No More Jobs on the Farms or Most Anywhere Else
"Get Ready for Robot Farmers,"  by Jodi Helmer, CNNMoney via Yahoo Tech, October 24, 2014 ---

"Patented Book Writing System Creates, Sells Hundreds Of Thousands Of Books On Amazon," by David J. Hull, Security Hub, December 13, 2012 ---

Philip M. Parker, Professor of Marketing at INSEAD Business School, has had a side project for over 10 years. He’s created a computer system that can write books about specific subjects in about 20 minutes. The patented algorithm has so far generated hundreds of thousands of books. In fact, Amazon lists over 100,000 books attributed to Parker, and over 700,000 works listed for his company, ICON Group International, Inc. This doesn’t include the private works, such as internal reports, created for companies or licensing of the system itself through a separate entity called EdgeMaven Media.

Parker is not so much an author as a compiler, but the end result is the same: boatloads of written works.

"Raytheon's Missiles Are Now Made by Robots," by Ashlee Vance, Bloomberg Business Week, December 11, 2012 ---

A World Without Work," by Dana Rousmaniere, Harvard Business Review Blog, January 27, 2013 --- Click Here

Jensen Comment
There's hope until robots are reading, comprehending, and writing reviews of books written by robots. 

"17% of Female MIT Students Say They Have Been Sexually Assaulted," Chronicle of Higher Education, October 28, 2014 ---

About 17 percent of undergraduate women who responded to a survey at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have been sexually assaulted, but only 5 percent say they ever reported the crime. Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart said the findings, detailed in a report released by the university on Monday, highlight a challenge in sexual assault prevention and education on campus. (The survey defined assault as
"unwanted sexual behaviors involving the use of force, physical threat, or incapacitation.") Students seem to have differing ideas on what might constitute an assault or how serious of a crime it is, Barnhart said. More than 70 percent of students who did not report the "unwanted sexual experiences" said they didn't believe the misconduct was serious enough to report. MIT began distributing its survey in April, prior to the U.S. Department of Education urging colleges to conduct similar "climate surveys." Legislation
announced by eight senators in July would require colleges to undertake such surveys.

"What we find from the survey is that we need more education in our community," Barnhart said in a press call. "That's exactly what we're positioning ourselves to do."

Jensen Comment
I wonder if the Columbia University woman still carries her mattress around the campus to protest the alleged ignoring of her rape by campus police and the NYPD?

Maybe MIT women should design robots to carry their mattresses! I'm serious.

Is Columbia University negligent on investigating three rapes by the same alleged perpetrator?
One of the victims carries her mattress around the campus.

There are at least four victims of this one Columbia University rapist (this is unbelievable) ---
"23 Students File Complaint Against Columbia for Mishandling Rape," by llie Beusman, jezebel ---

"Students Nationwide Carry Mattresses to Protest Campus Rape," by Andy Thomason, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 29, 2014 ---

From the Scout Report on October 31, 2014

Storehouse --- https://www.storehouse.co 

Storehouse won the 2014 Apple Design Award for good reason. This incredibly intuitive app lets you tell "visual stories" with the photos and videos you've amassed on your iPhone. So, instead of the boring click through of vacation photos, you get a sophisticated presentation of your fun times. This application is designed for iPhone and iPad running iOS 7.0+

Slack --- https://slack.com 

Launched by Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, Slack is a very slick, very fast communication app that allows teams to collaborate in real time as they develop complex projects. The tag line? "Be less busy." Well, we'll see about that. Available for iOS 7.0+ and Android 2.3+.

Yes Means Yes (Maybe)
Making Sense of "Yes Means Yes"

"Yes Means Yes" is a terrible law, and I completely support it

California's 'yes means yes' sexual standard has liberals divided

'Yes means yes' opposition: It's about due process, not misogyny

Rethink Harvard's sexual harassment policy

Consent Bro: Meet the guy who teaches frat brothers what 'yes means yes'


Free online textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

Education Tutorials

From the American Library Association
Advocacy: Online Learning --- http://www.ala.org/onlinelearning/issues/advocacy
Also see the following links from Bob Jensen

Growth Worldwide --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#DistanceEducation

Alternatives Worldwide --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm

Free online tutorials, videos, and courses from prestigious universities ---

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines ---

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

This Is How Planets Are Born ---

Planetary birth revealed in best image yet from world’s most powerful telescope --- Click Here

Future Climate Change  --- http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/future.html

American Chemical Society --- http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en.html 

National Science Foundation: Discoveries --- http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/

Search Discoveries
About Discoveries
Discoveries by Research Area
Arctic & Antarctic
Astronomy & Space
Chemistry & Materials
Earth & Environment
People & Society


The University of Akron: The Phineas Gage Information Page (mysteries of the human brain) --- http://www.uakron.edu/gage/

UNAIDS --- http://www.unaids.org/en

InterOperability Laboratory --- https://www.iol.unh.edu
Networking and Communications Product Testing Lab at the University of New Hampshire

Design Other 90% Network --- http://www.designother90.org/

Mysteries and Science: Exploring Aliens, Ghosts, Monsters, the end of the world, and other weird things --- http://sd4kids.skepdic.com

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at ---

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

British Academy - National Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences --- http://www.britac.ac.uk

Polarized We Govern?
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/05/27 polarized we govern binder/brookingscepm_polarized_figreplacedtextrevtablerev.pdf

The University of Akron: The Phineas Gage Information Page (mysteries of the human brain) --- http://www.uakron.edu/gage/

UNAIDS --- http://www.unaids.org/en

The Stanford Prison Experiment --- http://www.prisonexp.org
Stanley Milgram’s experiments were not so much about proving a hypothesis as about performing a play. Poor science, but great art ---
The psychology of torture The Milgram experiments showed that anybody could be capable of torture when obeying an authority. Are they still valid?

From the Scout Report on October 31, 2014

Yes Means Yes (Maybe)
Making Sense of "Yes Means Yes"

"Yes Means Yes" is a terrible law, and I completely support it

California's 'yes means yes' sexual standard has liberals divided

'Yes means yes' opposition: It's about due process, not misogyny

Rethink Harvard's sexual harassment policy

Consent Bro: Meet the guy who teaches frat brothers what 'yes means yes'

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at

Law and Legal Studies

Picking The Locks: Redefining Copyright Law In The Digital Age ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA ---

Polarized We Govern?
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/05/27 polarized we govern binder/brookingscepm_polarized_figreplacedtextrevtablerev.pdf

From the Scout Report on October 31, 2014

Yes Means Yes (Maybe)
Making Sense of "Yes Means Yes"

"Yes Means Yes" is a terrible law, and I completely support it

California's 'yes means yes' sexual standard has liberals divided

'Yes means yes' opposition: It's about due process, not misogyny

Rethink Harvard's sexual harassment policy

Consent Bro: Meet the guy who teaches frat brothers what 'yes means yes'

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at

Math Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at

History Tutorials

Polarized We Govern?
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/05/27 polarized we govern binder/brookingscepm_polarized_figreplacedtextrevtablerev.pdf

44 Essential Movies for the Student of Philosophy ---

Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes ---

Download 110 Free Philosophy eBooks: From Aristotle to Nietzsche & Wittgenstein ---

History of Halloween --- http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

Stop the Emden: The day Australia’s fledgling navy defeated Germany’s most successful warship ---

Vintage Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, Taken Circa 1858 ---

50,000 Norman Rockwell Photographs Now Digitized and Available Online ---

Stephen King’s Top 10 All-Time Favorite Books ---

Azar Nafisi views American society through its literature (video from PBS news hour) ---

Now on View at the Library of Congress, One of the Four Surviving Copies of the Magna Carta ---

The Day Dylan Thomas's Poetic Brilliance Triumphed Over His Sad Alcohol Dependency He couldn't even pour a glass of water. Then, he began to read his poetry...

Dylan Thomas Poetry --- http://www.dylanthomas.com/

Anthony Hopkins Reads Dylan Thomas --- Click Here

Wisconsin Gazetteer --- http://wisconsin.hometownlocator.com

Jefferson's Library --- http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/index.html

Dylan Thomas --- http://www.dylanthomas.com/
Not So Gentle Into That Good Night --- http://poetry.suite101.com/article.cfm/dylan_thomas___do_not_go_gentle_
Free Online Video



Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  

Language Tutorials

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm

Music Tutorials

Did Bach’s Wife Compose Some of “His” Masterpieces? A New Documentary Says Yes

How to Clean Your Vinyl Records with Wood Glue ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials and Software

From the Scout Report on November 7, 2014

1. National Novel Writing Month http://nanowrimo.org 

Freelance writer Chris Baty declared November as National Novel Writing Month in the fall of 2000. Since then, the number of participants has grown from 21 aspiring authors hacking away at manuscripts to over 300,000. The project's "No Plot? No problem" slogan tells it all. No perfectionistic haute culture here. Participants are simply encouraged to put at least 50,000 words on paper between 12:00 am on November 1 and 11:59:59 on November 30. Scout readers can explore this official website via section subheadings such as, About, How It Works, Press Information, and Testimonials to find out all about the process. Signing up to participate in the challenge is easy and free, and the website will help track your progress, link you to support in your geographical area, and provide platforms to meet fellow writers in person and online. NaNoWriMo, as it's called, is a great resource for encouraging novice and veteran writers alike to work through their writer's block and delve into their creativity. [CNH]

2. Writing and Publishing Solutions http://www.novel-writing-help.com 

Anyone who has ever tried to write a novel will agree on at least one basic fact: it's deceptively difficult. This site, from novelist Harvey Chapman, provides beginners with helpful step-by-step advice. He lays it all out in simple, digestible categories including, The Writing Process, Becoming a Writer, Elements of Fiction, and How to Write. Each category includes helpful, targeted articles designed to take some of the sting out of putting words on screen or paper. For instance, How to Write a Novel Step-by-Step breaks down the novel writing process into eleven linear stages. Prose Writing 101, found under How to Write, is another great feature of the site that details the importance of writing with a clear, concise, and uncluttered style. [CNH]

3. How Writers Write Fiction http://courses.writinguniversity.org/course/how-writers-write-fiction 

The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa is often considered the best fiction writing program in the United States. Not everyone can dedicate the blood, sweat, and two years it takes to complete the program, but this new MOOC series allows fiction writers to engages with the material over a few short weeks. The course is free and the teachers are extremely well known literary novelists. After signing up, access to videos, transcripts, assignments, and tools will be at your fingertips. Through video lectures and various writing assignments, the series is a great way to learn about the writing process and interact with other students/writers working on their craft. [CNH]

4. Fiction Writers Review http://fictionwritersreview.com 

If you want to write, read. And if you want to read about fiction writing, a good place to start is the Fiction Writers Review. Completely free and jam packed with writers writing about writing, this continually updated online periodical will fill you up with ideas and images. Start with the homepage, where you can explore numerous Features, ranging from interviews to essays. Then explore Popular Posts to see what other visitors have found valuable. There is a lot of fantastic stuff on this site, and author Philip Graham's praise is quite illuminating: "I no longer much bother reading The New York Times Book Review, and your site is one of the reasons- what great work you're doing for literature." [CNH]

5. The Official SCBWI Blog http://scbwi.blogspot.com 

There are many great resources for those who want to write stories for adults. But what if your market is more in the seven to twelve range? Well, then this site, the official blog of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), is for you. Continually updated, blog entries offer a variety of topics ranging from interviews with award winning children's book authors, editors, and publishers to advice on innovative marketing techniques, writing, and networking in children's literature. It is a must for anyone looking to engage in the wide world of writing and publishing for kids. [CNH]

===== Technical & Science Writing ===

6. Introduction to Technical Communication

What if you could take a technical communication class with a world class professor at a leading university? What if it was all laid out for you - the readings, the lectures, the assignments? And what if the only thing you had to pay for was a couple of books? That's exactly what Dr. Donald N.S. Unger and the MIT Open Courseware system are offering here. On this site, viewers can browse the syllabus, have a look at the required readings, and ponder the ten assignments that form the foundation of this writing intensive class. Self-directed learners who want to improve their technical and scientific writing need look no further than this web-based adaptation of an MIT classic. [CNH]

7. The Purdue OWL: Conducting Research  https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/8/ 

Good research and good writing go hand in hand. This site from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) introduces students to the principles of conducting good research. The clear and helpful information on the site is divided into six digestible categories: Research Overview, Conducting Primary Research, Evaluating Sources of Information, Searching the World Wide Web, Internet References, and Archival Research. Within each of these categories are numerous informative subcategories, such as Research Ethics and Searching with a Search Engine. This last area is a great tool for students learning how to conduct better searches, including information on Boolean operators. [CNH]

8. Scientific Reports - The Writing Center http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/scientific-reports/ 

Learning to write a good scientific report is no easy task. Thank goodness this handout from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center provides you with everything you need to get started. Beginning with Background and Pre-Writing and proceeding with explanations of the Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion sections of research reports, the site answers such burning questions as, "What should I do before drafting the lab report?" and "When should you use a figure?" In all, students new to the art of technical science writing will be much comforted by this detailed and user-friendly explanation of the entire report writing process. Also of interest, the Other Resources section links out to more useful resources around the web. [CNH]

9. National Association of Science Writers http://www.nasw.org 

Founded in 1934, the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) has always sought to "encourage conditions that promote good science writing." Today, the NASW boasts a roster of over 2,000 members, almost 300 of them students. The site itself is a panoply of bustling information. Featured articles (for instance, "Coming soon to this planet: More of us") touch into issues relevant to science writers and bloggers, but also will appeal to anyone with an interest in empirical research. A Twitter feed, ripe with science-y links and hashtags, is available on the homepage and more than a dozen writer resources are on bold display. If you think science writing might be in your future, look here for the latest on how it's done. [CNH]

10. Sentence Structure of Technical Writing http://web.mit.edu/me-ugoffice/communication/technical-writing.pdf 

This visually clear treatise outlines "Good Tech Writers Practice" in three pieces of sage advice: Plan your project, understand good technical writing, and know that writing is a habit that takes time to develop. Presented as lecture materials from Nicole Kelley at MIT, this 24-page PDF leads students of technical writing through seven steps (planning, clarity, brevity, simplicity, word choice, active voice, committing to writing as a process), and is ripe with graphs, charts, tables, and other compelling visuals. Adapted from The Craft of Scientific Writing by Michael Alley and "The Science of Scientific Writing" by Gopen and Swan, this is a great resource providing the basics of technical writing in an easily digestible format. [CNH]

11. LabWrite for Students http://www.ncsu.edu/labwrite/ 

This National Science Foundation funded site from North Carolina State University "guides you through the entire laboratory experience, from before you walk into the lab to after you get back your graded report." Start with How to Use LabWrite for a comprehensive Powerpoint overview of the program. Then, navigate slowly through the steps of PreLab, InLab, PostLab, and LabCheck, each of which provides careful instructions on everything from formulating a hypothesis to presenting results. Teachers will especially recognize this tool as a welcome supplement to in class discussions of best lab practices. [CNH]

===== Literary Greats ===

12. The Official Site for Alice Walker http://alicewalkersgarden.com 

Alice Walker, who has won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, is one of America's best known and well loved writers. Since publishing her first book of poems in the late 1960s, she has been churning out books of essays, novels, short stories, and poetry at a prodigious clip. Productivity, however, is not her real calling card; what Walker is known for, above all, is her compassion and clarity. This official site contains dozens of Walker's recent blog posts on a wide range of literary, artistic, and social issues, from her thoughts on books and paintings to her fierce musings on the state of the Palestine/Israel conflict. The About section provides a great biography of Walker and her work. Additionally, Books and New Books allows viewers to browse her ample collection of literary achievements. [CNH]

13. Faulkner Collection http://faulkner.lib.virginia.edu 

William Faulkner was born in 1897 in Oxford, Mississippi and toiled away in relative obscurity until unexpectedly winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949. His novels henceforth earned him two Pulitzer prizes, and several of them are almost always listed on "best of" lists for 20th century literature. This University of Virginia site is a Faulker treasure trove. From the homepage, visitors can navigate to Contexts for an overview of Faulkner and his times. Next, the Browse section provides a list of Faulkner's recorded lectures and classes at UVA - a rare and wonderful peek at a man from another era. Readers can also search the site by Tapes & Transcripts and Rest of Archive. Selected clips, organized by the author's novels, are also available. [CNH]

14. The Official Site of Richard Feynman http://www.richardfeynman.com 

The video on the homepage of the Official Site of Richard Feynman is reason enough to visit. It features Feynman, the theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize winner, and best selling author, lecturing to a group of undergraduates on the topic of scientific and unscientific understandings of nature. The talk is wildly entertaining, vivacious, and intellectually clear; viewers are left with a vivid sense of who this man was and why he so deeply impacted the popular imagination. A detailed About section provides information on Feynman and his work, as well as quotes and a small photo gallery. The Notable Works section lists his writings for scientific and popular audiences, though, sadly, none of them are available on the site. [CNH]

15. Charles Dickens at 200 http://www.themorgan.org/collection/Charles-Dickens-at-200 

The Christmas Carol, which Dickens wrote in the six weeks leading up to the Christmas of 1843, has continuously been in print ever since, spawning adaptations into the forms of plays, films, TV specials, mime performances, abstract performance art, and opera. This online exhibition, hosted by the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, features a leather bound manuscript of the author's first draft, presented to his friend and debtor, Thomas Mitton, just before it's publication. This excellent site allows viewers to visit half a dozen pages of the original document, replete with cross outs and scribbles, corrections and revisions. The accompanying essays cover topics such as Dickens at Work, which explains the sense of Dickens "writing at a fast pace, usually enacting second thoughts and changes of mind in the heat of original composition." [CNH]

16. Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 78, James Baldwin

Born in Harlem in 1924, James Baldwin moved to France in the late 1950s because he didn't want to be read as "merely a Negro; or, even, merely a Negro writer." He lived the rest of his life in Paris and the French Riviera, publishing fiction and essays that deeply influenced American literature from afar. This interview with Baldwin, published in the Paris Review a few years before the author's death, touches on such topics as his choice to permanently leave the United States for Europe, his writing process, and his thoughts on race and racial justice. It's a rare gift to find a freely available window into this revered writer's thoughts and feelings in his later years. [CNH]

===== Writing Tools ===

17. SelfControl http://selfcontrolapp.com 

Whether you're writing the Great American Novel or just trying to finish a term paper by tomorrow morning, the biggest threat to productivity is distraction. And the biggest progenitor of distraction is the very machine you are working on to write that novel or term paper. This open source app blocks access to distracting websites, as well as mail servers and everything else on the internet. Just set the timer, and write. [CNH]

18. Merriam-Webster http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary-apps/android-ipad-iphone-windows.htm 

Every writer needs a dictionary. The Merriam-Webster app provides "America's most useful and respected dictionary," plus synonyms, antonyms, example sentences, and many other bonus functions. It's free, it's easy, and it's available for iPhone and iPad (iOS 7.0+) as well as Android (2.3.3+). [CNH]


Other Suggestions From http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

"The Year's Best Books on Writing and Creativity," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, December 18, 2013 ---

After the year’s best books in photography, psychology and philosophy, art and design, history and biography, science and technology, “children’s” (though we all know what that means), and pets and animals, the season’s subjective selection of best-of reading lists concludes with the year’s best reads on writing and creativity.

The question of why writers write holds especial mesmerism, both as a piece of psychological voyeurism and as a beacon of self-conscious hope that if we got a glimpse of the innermost drivers of greats, maybe, just maybe, we might be able to replicate the workings of genius in our own work. So why do great writers write? George Orwell itemized four universal motives. Joan Didion saw it as access to her own mind. For David Foster Wallace, it was about fun. Joy Williams found in it a gateway from the darkness to the light. For Charles Bukowski, it sprang from the soul like a rocket. Italo Calvino found in writing the comfort of belonging to a collective enterprise.

Continued in a very long article

Eight Common Grammar Mistakes ---

English Grammar Lessons --- http://www.englishgrammar.org/

Grammar Girl Tips --- www.englishgrammar.org

Kurt Vonnegut Explains “How to Write With Style” ---

"Finding Joy in Writing," by Eva Lantsoght, Inside Higher Ed, June 11, 2012 ---
This is great advice to give on a syllabus for students in courses that have major writing components. The title maybe should be changed to "Finding Work in Writing."

Subtle Distinctions in Technical Terminology
Machine Learning, Big Data, Deep Learning, Data Mining, Statistics, Decision & Risk Analysis, Probability, Fuzzy Logic FAQ ---

"SAT Tip: Ignore Prepositional Phrases," Bloomberg Businessweek, December 5, 2012 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on business, finance, and accounting glossaries ---

Dictionary of Art Historians --- http://www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org/

Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers ---

Stephen King Creates a List of 96 Books for Aspiring Writers to Read ---

“Weird Al” Yankovic Releases “Word Crimes,” a Grammar Nerd Parody of “Blurred Lines” ---

5 Wonderfully Long Literary Sentences by Samuel Beckett, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald & Other Masters of the Run-On ---
But never Hemingway.

From the Scout Report on February 14, 2014

Vocabulary Notebook --- https://www.vocabularynotebook.com/

If you're looking for a fine way to get your vocabulary up to speed, you should definitely check out Vocabulary Notebook. Teachers can use the program to study words with their students in the classroom and individuals can use it to craft their own personalized vocabulary lists for reviewing while on the go. This version is compatible with all operating systems.

The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies (creative ideas in writing, art, and photography) ---  http://www.salt.edu/

John Steinbeck’s Six Tips for the Aspiring Writer and His Nobel Prize Speech --- Click Here

The James Merrill Digital Archive Lets You Explore the Creative Life of a Great American Poet ---

Jack Kerouac’s 30 Revelations for Writing Modern Prose ---

Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, and Anne Enright Give Ten Candid Pieces of Writing Advice Each --- Click Here

Tom Clancy's Advice To Writers --- http://www.businessinsider.com/tom-clancys-advice-to-writers-2013-10


Jensen Comment
Don't Forget Wikipedia's various writing modules.
Also check on the MOOCs focused on how to improve writing ---

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

October 28, 2014

October 29, 2014

October 30, 2014

October 31, 2014

November 1, 2014

November 3, 2014

November 4, 2014

November 5, 2014

November 6, 2014

November 7, 2014

November 8, 2014

November 11, 2014

UNAIDS --- http://www.unaids.org/en

Why Gluten Is Stumping Scientists ---

A Bit of Humor

I Love Lucy: An American Legend --- http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/ilovelucy/Pages/default.asp

Cosby Show Favorite Episode --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8nV81QWd4M

Paula says:  "I'll bet no one goes to sleep in her class!"
Sister Strikes Again!: Late Nite Catechism 2 - YouTube

Forwarded by Paula

"I've got problems. Every time I go to bed I think there's somebody under it.  I'm scared. I think I'm going crazy."
"Just put yourself in my hands for one year", said the shrink. "Come talk to me three times a week and we should be able to get rid of those fears."

"How much do you charge?"

"Eighty dollars per visit, replied the doctor."

"I'll sleep on it", I said.

Six months later the doctor met me on the street. "Why didn't you come to see me about those fears you were having?" he asked.

"Well, eighty bucks a visit, three times a week for a year, is $12,480.00.  
A bartender cured me for $10.00. I was so happy to have saved all that money that I went and bought me a new pickup truck."

"Is that so?" with a bit of an attitude he said, "and how, may I ask,
did a Bartender cure you?"

"He told me to cut the legs off the bed. Ain't nobody under there now."


Forwarded by Gene and Joan

You know you are too old to Trick or Treat when:

10. You keep knocking on your own front door. 9. You remove your false teeth to change your appearance.

8. You ask for soft high fiber candy only.

7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.

6. People say...'Great Boris Karloff Mask,' and you're not wearing a mask. . 5. When the door opens you yell, 'Trick or...' and you can't remember the rest.

4. By the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.

3. You have to carefully choose a costume that doesn't dislodge your hairpiece.

2. You're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker. And the number 1 reason Seniors should not go Trick or Treating ... * * * 1. You keep having to go home to pee.




Tidbits Archives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Update in 2014
20-Year Sugar Hill Master Plan --- http://www.nccouncil.org/images/NCC/file/wrkgdraftfeb142014.pdf

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/

Online Distance Education Training and Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
"Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---


World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php
Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) --- http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
         Also see http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Populations.html
Facts about population growth (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
Projected U.S. Population Growth --- http://www.carryingcapacity.org/projections75.html
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/ 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons --- http://zipskinny.com/
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination
Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle --- http://cpareviewforfree.com/

Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at http://iaed.wordpress.com/

Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm 
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at http://www.accountingweb.com/news/college_news.html
Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
Any college may post a news item.

Accounting  and Taxation News Sites ---


For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM (Educators) http://listserv.aaahq.org/cgi-bin/wa.exe?HOME
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc.

Over the years the AECM has become the worldwide forum for accounting educators on all issues of accountancy and accounting education, including debates on accounting standards, managerial accounting, careers, fraud, forensic accounting, auditing, doctoral programs, and critical debates on academic (accountics) research, publication, replication, and validity testing.


CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/  (Closed Down)
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM
FEI's Financial Reporting Blog
Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, March 2008 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/mar2008/smart_stops.htm

Find news highlights from the SEC, FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board on this financial reporting blog from Financial Executives International. The site, updated daily, compiles regulatory news, rulings and statements, comment letters on standards, and hot topics from the Web’s largest business and accounting publications and organizations. Look for continuing coverage of SOX requirements, fair value reporting and the Alternative Minimum Tax, plus emerging issues such as the subprime mortgage crisis, international convergence, and rules for tax return preparers.
The CAlCPA Tax Listserv

September 4, 2008 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@bonackers.com]
Scott has been a long-time contributor to the AECM listserv (he's a techie as well as a practicing CPA)

I found another listserve that is exceptional -

CalCPA maintains http://groups.yahoo.com/taxtalk/  and they let almost anyone join it.
Jim Counts, CPA is moderator.

There are several highly capable people that make frequent answers to tax questions posted there, and the answers are often in depth.


Scott forwarded the following message from Jim Counts

Yes you may mention info on your listserve about TaxTalk. As part of what you say please say [... any CPA or attorney or a member of the Calif Society of CPAs may join. It is possible to join without having a free Yahoo account but then they will not have access to the files and other items posted.

Once signed in on their Yahoo account go to http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TaxTalk/ and I believe in top right corner is Join Group. Click on it and answer the few questions and in the comment box say you are a CPA or attorney, whichever you are and I will get the request to join.

Be aware that we run on the average 30 or move emails per day. I encourage people to set up a folder for just the emails from this listserve and then via a rule or filter send them to that folder instead of having them be in your inbox. Thus you can read them when you want and it will not fill up the inbox when you are looking for client emails etc.

We currently have about 830 CPAs and attorneys nationwide but mainly in California.... ]

Please encourage your members to join our listserve.

If any questions let me know.

Hemet, CA
Moderator TaxTalk





Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) --- http://www.iasplus.com/links/links.htm


Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory

Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/accountancy/libraries.html
The above libraries include international accounting history.
The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting --- http://maaw.info/

Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

Sage Accounting History --- http://ach.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/11/3/269

A nice timeline on the development of U.S. standards and the evolution of thinking about the income statement versus the balance sheet is provided at:
"The Evolution of U.S. GAAP: The Political Forces Behind Professional Standards (1930-1973)," by Stephen A. Zeff, CPA Journal, January 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/105/infocus/p18.htm
Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/205/index.htm 

A nice timeline of accounting history --- http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2187711/A-HISTORY-OF-ACCOUNTING

From Texas A&M University
Accounting History Outline --- http://acct.tamu.edu/giroux/history.html

Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

History of Fraud in America --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

All my online pictures --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482 
Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu