Tidbits on June 15, 2015
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Updated Pictures of my 2015 Springtime Flowers ---


Tidbits on June 15, 2015
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

The Absurd Philosophy of Albert Camus Presented in a Short Animated Film by Alain De Botton ---

Watch Alfred Hitchcock Make Cameo Appearances in 37 of His Films (Plus Free Hitchcock Films Online) ---

The Antarctic and the Arctic --- http://player.vimeo.com/video/41225777?badge=0

A photographer chased a storm for a week to capture this beautiful picture of twin tornadoes ---

BBC Radio 4: The World at One (50 years of programming) --- http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qptc

Watch War and Peace: The Splendid, Epic Film Adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Grand Novel (1969) ---

Model T Ford Video --- http://safeshare.tv/w/ShbgvwazCZ

How Fast the World is Changing --- http://safeshare.tv/w/ntjwDrwEwh
I did not validate the "facts" of this video but have no reason to doubt them (some of the speculations have wide margins of error)
Thank you Paula Ward for the heads up.

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

Global collaboration  --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es3Vsfzdr14

JS Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier Artistically Animated with Pulsing Neon Lights ---

Hear Friedrich Nietzsche’ Classical Piano Compositions --- 

Flash dance performance --- https://www.youtube.com/embed/0Y_VqqXphaQ?feature=player_embedded

Outstanding children's flash mob in France ---

American Pie --- http://youtu.be/VhX3b1h7GQw

Hear the Version of “Brown Sugar” Keith Richards Preferred, With Eric Clapton on Slide Guitar ---

Download the Complete Organ Works of J.S. Bach for Free ---

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Brought to Life in Sand Animations by the Hungarian Artist Ferenc Cakó ---

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

Smithsonian Digitizes & Lets You Download 40,000 Works of Asian and American Art ---

A stunning tour of the world via Google Maps Street View ---

Eugène Delacroix Illustrates Goethe’s Faust, “One of the Very Greatest of All Illustrated Books” ---

Hayao Miyazaki’s Beloved Characters Reimagined in the Style of 19th-Century Woodblock Prints ---

The Antarctic and the Arctic --- http://player.vimeo.com/video/41225777?badge=0

22 Stunning Aerial Photos of Cuba --- http://www.businessinsider.com/aerial-photos-of-cuba-2015-6

The Sketchbook Project Presents Online 17,000 Sketchbooks, Created by Artists from 135 Countries ---

A Visual History of Space Walks --- http://time.com/3904133/spacewalk-history-50-years/?xid=newsletter-brief

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Galleries --- http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/museum-map/galleries

artnet News --- http://news.artnet.com

Watch Lucian Freud’s Very Last Day of Painting (2011) ---

San Francisco Art Enthusiast --- http://sfartenthusiast.com/

Artsy --- https://www.artsy.net/

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

Damn Interesting (obscure true stories in history) --- http://www.damninteresting.com/

PEN/Faulkner Foundation (prizes for USA fiction) --- http://www.penfaulkner.org/

Hear Toni Morrison’s Poetic Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech on the Radical Power of Language (1993) ---

Watch War and Peace: The Splendid, Epic Film Adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Grand Novel (1969) ---

Eugène Delacroix Illustrates Goethe’s Faust, “One of the Very Greatest of All Illustrated Books” ---

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 June 15, 2015

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

Retiring Trinity University Professors (in June 2015) Share Some Memories --- Click Here

How Fast the World is Changing --- http://safeshare.tv/w/ntjwDrwEwh
I did not validate the "facts" of this video but have no reason to doubt them (some of the speculations have wide margins of error)
Thank you Paula Ward for the heads up.

What Kind of Bird Is That?: A Free App From Cornell Will Give You the Answer ---

Jensen Comment
My biggest bird-related thrill (I did not have a camera available) was when an exhausted golden eagle being chased by crows landed in front of the big rock in the lawn in front of my desk. The crows did not bother it while it rested on the ground for about 20 minutes. Fearing it was injured I was thinking about calling NH Fish and Game when it took off into the top of a tall tree. Then the crows commenced to dive bomb it once again until it soared high over the valley an flew toward Mt. Lafayette.

Some of Bob Jensen's bird pictures:
Birds   of the Mountains

Set 01 of my favorite bird pictures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Tidbits/Birds/Set01/BirdsSet01.htm 
Ducks on the Golf Course --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2009/tidbits090714.htm
Also see --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2009/tidbits090526.htm

Book Review
Keeping Hope for Libraries Alive in the Digital Age
, Published June 7, 2015 , by Michael Lieberman ---

June 9, 2015 reply from Glen Gray

Libraries are alive and well and here to stay. They provide two important community services. First, restroom facilities for the homeless; a place to wash up and shave (although one nearby facility has a no-shaving policy). Second, a place for the homeless to check their Facebook accounts and watch porn. When watching porn, they are asked to use computers that face away from open spaces so children don’t see the porn when walking by.

Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA
Dept. of Accounting & Information Systems
David Nazarian College of Business & Economics
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff ST Northridge, CA 91330-8372


This Cane for the Blind Recognizes Faces From 30 Feet Away ---

Jensen Comment
I'm not blind, but I might consider buying such a cane to take to conferences where I don't forget faces completely as a rule, but there's an embarrassing delay in my old brain when it comes to recognizing friends I only see once every several years.

I'm retired. But if I were teaching large classes this might be a useful aid for recognizing students whom I've recently met.

Bob Jensen's education technology helpers for teaching disabled students, including students who are sight impaired ---

Read John Nash’s Super Short PhD Thesis with 26 Pages & 2 Citations: The Beauty of Inventing a Field ---

Nobel Prize-Winner Tim Hunt Makes Asinine Comments About Women & Science; Loses His University Post ---

Jensen Comment
I agree that Hunt's remarks were asinine. But his firing also makes me wonder just how much freedom of speech in the Academy is protected by tenure. If Professor Hunt  had said conservative and liberal scientists should work in different labs he would still have his professorship. If he said politically conservative  women should be separated in their own labs he would probably still have a job. If he said lesbian or transgendered women should be separated from other scientists in labs he would would be fired for sure.

His firing just proves there are limits to tenure protections when it comes to freedom of speech. In decades past speech was pretty well protected by walls of tenure. The old saying was that only moral turpitude could get you fired. That probably is still the case. Only now we've expanded the scope of moral turpitude to include politically incorrect speech as well as immoral acts.

I must admit that I did not look into differences in tenure protections between the United Kingdom and the United States. Would Tim Hunt have been fired for this if he had been tenured at Harvard rather than University College London. I suspect so, but I'm not all together certain about this. This brings of memories of when Larry Summers was ousted from the presidency of Harvard for alleged sexist remarks. However, he did keep his tenured professorship.


Concerning President Summers at Harvard
His exit exposes deep fault lines in Harvard's faculty. Scientists, economists and some in the professional schools formed the core of Mr. Summers's support, while he was generally unpopular with humanities professors. Law professor Alan Dershowitz says he and other Harvard faculty are furious that the university's board, which is called the Corporation, apparently caved to pressure from the professors who led the ouster charge. "This is an academic coup d'etat by one small faction...the die-hard left of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences," he says.

Daniel golden and Steve Stecklow, "Facing War With His Faculty, Harvard's Summers Resigns:  President's Ideas, Manner Alienated Many Professors; Fault Lines on Campus A Record of Pushing Change," The Wall Street Journal,  February 22, 2006; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114054545222679220.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

People interviewed generally thought it would be a good thing for trustees to pay more attention to faculty members, but some doubted that it would happen — at least broadly. John Thelin, a professor at the University of Kentucky and author of A History of American Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004) said that the tensions at Harvard would be a warning to boards at places “where faculty values are strong and central to the institution.” But with fewer tenure-track faculty members in “an era of strong boards and presidents,” he said he worried that many trustees wouldn’t necessarily rush to renew the principles of shared governance. . . . To many observers of higher education, Summers stood out for his willingness to speak out on tough issues — and to take stands that might offend many on campus. “I think that Larry Summers was hired with the expressed interest of taking on some of the p.c. orthodoxies of the day,” said Anne D. Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. She said that Summers spoke out for numerous causes that are “central to quality in higher education” and that it was “deeply disturbing” to see him forced out.
Scott Jaschik, "Summers Postmortem, Beyond Cambridge," Inside Higher Ed, February 22, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/02/22/summers

Officials at Harvard University faced a divided campus yesterday along with fear that a search for a new president could put in limbo ambitious plans for an expansive new campus in Boston, an overhaul of undergraduate studies and a fund-raising campaign for $5 billion or more. "It's very hard to say where Harvard goes from here — it's an unprecedented situation," said Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology and a supporter of Dr. Summers. "I think all the major projects are in limbo right now, which can't be good. At the same time, Derek has given a great deal of thought to what works and what doesn't in education. That's exactly the kind of expertise we need for the ongoing curriculum reform, which a lot of us feel is a massive failure." In a brief interview yesterday, Dr. Bok said the corporation had asked him "only a few days ago" to become interim president.
Patrick D. Healy and Alan Finder, "At Harvard, Resignation Puts Big Plans," The New York Times, February 23, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/23/education/23harvard.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

"When you make a mistake, recognize that you've made a mistake, and try to turn heat into light," Mr. Summers said, according to an account in The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper. Perhaps not a bad insight. But "turn heat into light" just scratches the surface, really, of what he could have done to save his turbulent five-year reign. When it comes to case studies in failed management l'affaire Larry provides excellent pointers for once and future chief executives.
Patrick D. Healy, "Case Study: A Shake-Up at Harvard," The New York Times, February 26, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/26/weekinreview/26healy.html

"He was more bombastic than humble, more skeptical than complimentary, and so confident in his intelligence that he personalized issues," said Richard Chait, a professor at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. "He had a problem with grade inflation, but you don't start to deal with it by having a pitched battle against a prominent African-American member of the faculty, Cornel West. If you have questions about women in science, you respectfully gather information from people on campus for whom this is a lifelong effort. In a lot of ways he fought a one-man war."

More quotations at

Net Neutrality --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality

"Net Neutrality Goes Into Effect: What Consumers Should Expect," by Nelson Granados, Forbes, June 11, 2015 ---

As of Friday, June 12, the Internet is legally an open, unbiased network in the United States. Well, to be fair, it has been pretty open and unbiased, but now the net neutrality ruling is coming into effect.

Net neutrality rules were published by the Federal Communications Commission April 13, and the two-month waiting period for them to become effective ends today. The ruling is being appealed by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like AT&T T -0.66% and Verizon, which will likely take months if not years if it has to go to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, ISPs asked the courts to halt parts of the ruling until there is a verdict on the appeal (in legal terms, this halt request is called a stay request), but that request was denied today. So net neutrality now becomes enforceable by the FCC. Will consumers benefit?

I have read the 400-page document of the ruling and talked to expert lawyers, industry executives and academics, trying to piece the puzzle together to answer this question. So this is the first of several articles on this topic. I wish the answer was straightforward, but as in most major rulings, the answer is mixed. Consumers will benefit in some ways, but they will lose in other ways. Here’s how.

Continued in article

"Flawed (Teaching) Evaluations," by Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, June 10, 2015 ---

They’re almost universally loathed by professors as being too subjective and an unreliable indicator of performance. But beyond that, surprisingly little is known about student evaluations of faculty teaching. How many colleges require them, and what do they ask? How many students complete them, and what effect do they have on instructors’ careers?

A committee of the American Association of University Professors wanted to help answer some of the questions, and help stir discussions about a better way to rate professors in the classroom. Survey responses gathered by the committee from some 9,000 professors suggest diminishing student response rates for course evaluations, too much focus on such evaluations alone in personnel decisions -- especially for non-tenure-track faculty -- and a creep of the kinds of personal comments seen on teacher rating websites into formal evaluations.

But while the committee argues that whatever value student evaluations ever had is shrinking, it says student surveys can play an important role in a more holistic faculty evaluation system.

“I’m a department chair myself, and it matters to me to get some feedback from students about how their experience in the classroom was,” said Craig Vasey, who heads both the AAUP committee that conducted the study and the department of classics, philosophy and religion at the University of Mary Washington. “But [student evaluations] have to be supplemented by class visits by peers and reviews of syllabi, and participation in ongoing faculty development.”

Noting that one survey respondent had offered up what is a perhaps a more fitting name for student evaluations --student satisfaction surveys” -- Vasey added, “We’re not calling for them to be abolished, but there’s something dishonest about what they are and how they’re being used.”

Last fall, the AAUP’s Committee on Teaching, Research and Publication sent out 40,000 invitations to tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty members to participate in its online survey about teaching evaluations. It asked questions about institution type and required mechanisms for evaluating teaching -- such as student evaluations on paper or online, development of teaching portfolios, engagement with an on-campus center for teaching, and evaluation by peers or administrators. It asked about the existence of a faculty mentoring program, how student teaching evaluations are crafted and by whom, and faculty members’ feelings about them.

Continued in article

 Jensen Comment
If we rank the most significant thing teaching evaluations have done in recent decades the Number 1 impact has to be disastrous grade inflation ---

Grade inflation is the Number 1 disgrace in higher education.

"How to Talk About Assessment," by Melissa Dennihy, Inside Higher Ed, June 10, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment
Grade inflation is the Number 1 disgrace in higher education ---

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment ---

How to Mislead With Statistics
Five of the Best Computer Science Classes in the U.S. ---

Jensen Comment
These are not necessarily the "best computer science classes" per se. Because the students are so outstanding the worst teachers in the university could probably outcomes not statistically different from the best teachers of computer science. The misleading part is that if one of these "best class" teachers taught computer science in a Baltimore community college, his or her courses may be close to the "worst classes" in that college.

My point is that "best" is a relative term for both courses and teachers. I had some bad teachers at Stanford University, particularly one in psychology and another one in political science.

It's also a myth that top researchers are top teachers. Some certainly are great teachers. But I've had doctoral students from highly reputed researchers that were awful courses.

Education in Mexico
"A bad lesson The government sets a poor example by caving in to lawless teachers, The Economist, June 3, 2015 ---

AMID mounting protests by rebellious teachers the Mexican government has taken a risky gamble. On May 29th, just days before mid-term elections scheduled for June 7th, it “indefinitely suspended” the most important part of its landmark education reform. Officials whisper that they are just trying to ensure a trouble-free day of voting and that they will reverse the move later. If that is true, the government is being deeply cynical. If it is not, it is undermining what some consider its most important policy, and may be breaking the law to boot.

Acting like a guilty schoolboy, the education ministry issued a curt, 33-word statement saying it was suspending examinations of teachers. The exams were due to take place for the first time in July as part of the education reform approved by Congress in 2013. For two years, President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government has argued that the tests are the lynchpin of the constitutional reform, because they will eventually weed out bad teachers from Mexico’s woefully underperforming schools. The explanation for this sudden change? There were "new elements to consider", the statement said.

Officials later elaborated that the announcement was an attempt to placate teachers from the CNTE, their most radical union, who loathe the notion of testing, and have threatened to boycott the elections—to choose 500 congressmen, nine governors and hundreds of mayors—in the southern states where they hold sway. "It’s temporary," an official said, adding that there was a "99% chance" that the move would be reversed after the election.

But the CNTE saw straight through the ploy. Instead of quieting down, it has stepped up its protests. On June 1st it launched a indefinite strike that has kept more than 1m children out of school. Its members have occupied election offices in the southern state of Oaxaca, burnt tens of thousands of ballot papers and seized petrol stations and threatened airports. One of its main demands is that 43 teacher-trainees who went missing last year in the neighbouring state of Guerrero be returned alive to their families, though the government insists they are dead—murdered last year by police in the pay of drug traffickers. The union also wants the whole education reform abolished.

"We knew from the start that the promise about the evaluations was a temporary one," says Mohamed Otaqui, the teachers’ spokesman in Oaxaca, where the CNTE is most militant. He added that unless the government agreed to all their demands in the next few days (including the Lazarus-like return of the 43), "We will stop the elections from taking place in Oaxaca."

Continued in article

States With Highest Sales Tax Rates ---

Elizabeth Warren's Welcome Mat for Lake Wobegone

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday outlined a sweeping college affordability agenda to “dramatically reform” higher education.
"A Path to Debt-Free." by Michael Stratford, Inside Higher Ed, June 11, 2015 ---

Seeking to put some policy heft behind the progressive vision of debt-free college that is gaining steam on the campaign trail, Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday outlined a sweeping college affordability agenda to “dramatically reform” higher education.

“While not every college needs to graduate every student debt-free, every kid needs a debt-free option” at a public university, Warren said in remarks at the American Federation of Teachers.

Making college more affordable, she said, would require a boost in federal spending but also greater accountability for how colleges and states use that money -- a “one-two punch” that she said should have bipartisan appeal. Warren wants a new federal program that would provide funds to states that make some public higher education options so inexpensive that borrowing would not be required, and she wants more federal funding to come with more strings attached.

“We can do it if Republicans admit that we will never have affordable college without investing more resources in education,” she said. “And if Democrats admit that we will never have affordable college without demanding real accountability in exchange for those investments.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Senator Warren brags that Democrats want accountability for the colleges that will be getting more government funding. What she fails to mention is that Democrats historically resist accountability (read that rigorous competency testing) of students who benefit from that funding. Her proposal will get cheers from teachers unions and faculty unions in higher education, but I fear that it will be wasted money in an effort to get watered down diplomas to students who have neither the aptitude nor the intelligence for respected college diplomas.

Virtually all parts of the world outside the USA seem to realize this and restrict college education to less than half the K-12 students. For example, Germany only allows 25%-28% of the students into college. The others either drop out of the labor force or are highly trained for trade skills like mechanics, machinists, bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, etc.

I think we can do more to fund the top students in higher education, but costs of doing so should be controlled by limiting access. More funds should be available for training in the trades, but this is often easier to do since much of that training is on-the-job apprenticeships where customers pay for much of that training in product and service fee structures.

Only in the USA do we want everyone to have a college diploma even though those diplomas are becoming more and more worthless in the labor market. College graduates in the USA will be the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

Welcome to Lake Wobegone --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Wobegon

Less Than Honorable Academic Standards and Integrity at the University of Texas
"How Athletics and Academics Collided at One University," by Brad Wolverton, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 10, 2015 ---

Pamela G. Powell had a problem. As she administered a final exam in remedial math at the University of Texas at Austin, she reportedly spotted a high-profile basketball player cheating.

The player, Martez Walker, a freshman from Detroit, was allegedly snapping pictures of test questions with his phone and looking for answers from someone outside the classroom, according to two former academic advisers informed of the incident.

Ms. Powell, a mathematics instructor who had several athletes in her class that semester, the fall of 2013, contacted Adam Creasy, her liaison with the athletic department. The instructor asked what she should do, recalled Mr. Creasy, then an academic counselor for the football team. He spoke with Brian Davis, then head of academic support for football, who advised the instructor to talk with Randa Ryan, executive senior associate athletic director for student services.

What happened next is unclear.

But Mr. Walker passed the class, according to Mr. Creasy. Soon after, the player was named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, for earning at least a 3.0 grade-point average. That season Mr. Walker became a key contributor to the team, scoring in double figures seven times, including a season-high 16 points in an NCAA tournament win against Arizona State University.

Mr. Walker, who has since transferred to Oakland University, in Michigan, where he is expected to play basketball this season, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. He withdrew from Texas last fall, after he was arrested and suspended from the team following allegations that he had assaulted his girlfriend.

Ms. Powell declined to speak about the situation, citing student-privacy concerns.

The accusations against Mr. Walker, one of several new claims of academic misconduct involving Texas athletes, illustrate how the university has appeared to let academically deficient players push the limits of its policy on academic integrity as it has sought to improve its teams' academic records.

Continued in article

Jensen Question
Are there any NCAA Division 1 universities without academic scandals involving athletes? Perhaps BYU, some Ivy-type universities,  and the military academies. That's about it as far as I can tell. These universities have an edge. They require reading, writing, and arithmetic before admitting athletes. And yes, some athletic department majors are much easier than basket weaving.

"Incomplete Passes: College-Athlete Academic Scandals," Bloomberg Businessweek, February 27, 2014 ---

Academic irregularities related to athlete eligibility have haunted several U.S. colleges.

Auburn (2006)
Helped by academic advisers, football players padded their grade-point averages in “directed reading” classes.
Florida (2008)
Cam Newton, now quarterback of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, left Florida after facing potential expulsion for cheating, Fox Sports reported.
Florida State (2009)
Academic advisers participated in taking tests and in writing papers for basketball and football players.
Fresno State (2003)
The men’s basketball statistician and an academic adviser were caught in a paper-writing-for-athletes scheme.
Georgia (2003)
The university withdrew from postseason play after basketball players received inflated grades in a coaching class.
Memphis (2008)
The NCAA stripped the basketball team of its run to the finals after
Derrick Rose’s SAT scores were ruled invalid.
Michigan (2008)
The Ann Arbor News reported that from 2004 to 2007, 251 athletes took independent study classes with the same professor and received suspiciously high grades.
Minnesota (1999)
The basketball team had tournament victories erased after hundreds of assignments were completed for players.
Stanford (2011)
Academic advisers discontinued a list of classes recommended for years because they were easy and/or convenient.
Tennessee (2000)
ESPN profiled an English professor whose objections led the university to acknowledge that, on average, athletes received twice as many grade changes as other students.
USC (2001)
The NCAA issued sanctions against the football and women’s swimming teams after tutors were found to have written papers for athletes

Others ---

"Incomplete Passes: College-Athlete Academic Scandals," Bloomberg Businessweek, February 27, 2014 ---


Special Admission Students in Varsity Athletics
Many universities fill the spots on their football squads through the use of “special admits,” a phrase that means that these students didn’t meet regular admissions requirements, according to an article and survey in The Indianapolis Star. While most colleges have provisions for special admits, which in theory are for truly special applicants, very few non-athletes benefit. For example, the Star noted that 76 percent of the freshman football class at Indiana University at Bloomington is made up of special admits. Among all freshmen last year, only 2 percent are special admits. Some universities rely even more on special admits for football, the survey found: the University of California at Berkeley (95 percent of freshmen football players, compared to 2 percent for the student body), Texas A&M University (94 percent vs. 8 percent), the University of Oklahoma (81 percent vs. 2 percent). While some universities didn’t report any special admits, the Star article quoted athletics officials who are dubious of these claims. Myles Brand, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, told the newspaper he was surprised by the extent of special admits, but said the issue was whether universities provide appropriate help for these students to succeed academically.
Inside Higher Ed, September 8, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/09/08/qt

The New York Times Uncovers Schools Where the Only Meaningful Curriculum is Basketball
An investigation by The New York Times found more than a dozen of these institutions, some of which closed soon after opening. The Times found that at least 200 players had enrolled at such places in the past 10 years and that dozens had gone on to play at N.C.A.A. Division I universities like Mississippi State, George Washington, Georgetown and Texas-El Paso. "I would say that in my 21 years, the number of those schools has quadrupled, and I would put schools in quotation marks," Phil Martelli, the men's basketball coach at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, said. "They're not all academic institutions."
Pete Thamel, "Schools Where the Only Real Test Is Basketball," The New York Times, February 25, 2006 --- Click Here

The National Collegiate Athletic Association acknowledges that it has not acted as such places have proliferated. For years, its Clearinghouse has approved transcripts from these institutions without questioning them.

Until revelations last year about a diploma mill in Florida and concerns about other schools like it, the N.C.A.A. chose not to police high schools. Although the N.C.A.A. recently commissioned a task force charged with curbing academic abuse, it still faces the tricky task of separating the legitimate from the nonlegitimate schools.

The Times found several schools with curious student populations.

¶Genesis One Christian Academy in Mendenhall, Miss.: Two years ago, this kindergarten-to-Grade 8 school added a high school and a Grade 13, for basketball players who did not graduate to raise their grade-point averages. At least 33 of about 40 students at the unaccredited high school play basketball, and its stars have signed letters of intent to attend Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Alabama.

¶Boys to Men Academy in Chicago: The student body consists of 16 basketball players, who can earn credit for the equivalent of eight high school core courses in a year by studying online through an accredited correspondence school.

¶Rise Academy in Philadelphia: Opened last fall, it outsources lessons to others, including Lutheran Christian and two online high schools.

¶God's Academy in Irving, Tex.: A summer basketball coach started with three students in August. Now 40 students in Grades 6 to 12, all basketball players, meet with two full-time teachers four days a week at a recreation center. The curriculum is provided and graded by an education center 25 miles away. Its star player, Jeremy Mayfield, signed with Oklahoma.

Some of these institutions recently joined other private schools to form the National Elite Athletic Association. With more than two dozen teams from Los Angeles to Toronto, this conference is seeking a shoe contract and a television deal. Its teams sometimes travel thousands of miles to play in tournaments that often attract more college coaches than fans. Those coaches will pay $100 for booklets of information about the players.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
My question is how these students managed to qualify for admittance into universities. I seriously doubt that many, if any, graduated after playing four years of basket ball in "college."

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

Antioch Returns With Its Trademark Co-Op Program and Liberal Liberal Arts
Antioch College --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antioch_College

"4 Years After Reopening, a 162-Year-Old ‘Start-Up’ College Reaches a Milestone," by Lawrence Biemiller," Chronicle of Higher Education, June 12, 2015 ---

. . .

Now the college’s leaders are cautiously optimistic. They have retooled the "co-op"-based curriculum that Antioch adopted in the 1920s — after every two semesters on the campus, students spend a semester working at real jobs — so that it now accommodates global issues that today’s students care about (at least students in the progressive niche Antioch hopes to serve). They’re also working to create an innovative business model in which multiple revenue streams would lessen the college’s dependence on tuition.

Still, reopening has been far from easy. "There were a couple of occasions when we were almost dead in the water," says Mark Roosevelt, Antioch’s president.

For starters, alumni disagreed vehemently over whether members of the 2008 faculty should be welcomed back with open arms or forbidden to return. Mr. Roosevelt tried to split the difference, allowing former professors to apply for positions. And reopening long-neglected buildings on the campus proved much more costly than was projected. Many remain closed, including Antioch Hall, the iconic main building.

The toughest single shock may have occurred when the college’s initial application to its regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, was rejected. "We had not taken it seriously enough," says Mr. Roosevelt. Antioch subsequently reapplied and won fast-track candidate status, but the demands of the accreditation process — a whole college’s worth of policies have had to be hammered out in just a couple of years — put an extra burden on a tiny faculty trying to craft a coherent contemporary liberal-arts curriculum.

Trustees pledged to underwrite tuition for the first four classes — a promise that drew a lot of publicity. But even so it’s a challenge attracting good students to an unaccredited 162-year-old start-up whose future is still uncertain and whose past is memorably long-haired, tie-dyed, and strewn with protest posters. Seeking ‘Next-Phase People’

Now Mr. Roosevelt has announced he’ll leave office at the end of 2015, soon after an accreditation team visits, in November. A former superintendent of Pittsburgh’s public schools, he says he’s had a tough five years here, but has fulfilled the trustees’ expectations and leaves the college "much stronger" and in a position to attract good candidates to succeed him.

Continued in article

An investigation led by a former federal prosecutor, Kenneth L. Wainstein, found last fall that about 3,100 students in the department of African and Afro-American studies, over nearly 20 years, had taken advantage of a system of fake classes that was used to keep academically struggling athletes eligible to play.
"Accreditor Puts UNC-Chapel Hill on Probation in Fake-Classes Scandal," by Andy Thomason, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 11, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment
The most unbelievable part of this entire scandal is that it went on for 20 years at a prestigious university. Both faculty and administrators at the highest level at some point had to be aware of these fake courses and grade revisions by the students themselves for their own transcripts.

There must have been zero internal controls.

Bob Jensen's threads on this UNC scandal of scandals in the Academy ---

"The Admissions Gap for Big-Time Athletes," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, December 29, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/12/29/admit

Consider two would-be college basketball players. One scored 850 on his SATs and had a high school grade point average of 2.75; the other scored 975 and had a GPA of 3.2. But the former enrolls at a university where his SAT is within 150 points of the average for all students at the institution. The latter’s test score, though higher, puts him more than 300 points below those for the average freshman who will be sitting alongside him in class.

Which one is at more of a disadvantage academically in college? Are colleges doing a disservice to athletes if they have markedly different admissions standards for them than for other students? Or, as many sports officials argue, should colleges be held accountable more for the ultimate academic performance of their athletes on the way out (e.g., do they graduate?) than for their credentials on the way in?

Questions like those have arisen periodically about big-time college athletics, and they are likely to to be raised anew by an investigative report published Sunday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The package of articles is based on a year-long review of information submitted as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s accreditation-like “certification” process by more than 50 public universities that play big-time football or basketball. As part of that process, colleges provide a wide range of information and data, including, typically, on the admission of athletes.

The data collected by the Atlanta paper are difficult to compare from college to college, because they cover different years; institutions participate in the NCAA certification process only once a decade, and so admissions information for the 54 colleges range from the late 1990s through 2006.

Still, they offer an unusual glimpse at data that rarely see the light of day, and, taken together with recent investigative reports by USA Today (examining the clustering of athletes in certain academic majors), the Indianapolis Star (exploring the rates at which Division I colleges use “special” processes to admit athletes and other students), and the Associated Press (showing the significant sums that colleges are pouring into academic support for athletes), the Atlanta paper’s report draws attention to the tension inherent in a system in which major colleges increasingly provide sports as high-profile entertainment with athletes whom they argue are in many ways like regular students at their institutions.

The problem is that there are many ways in which athletes, especially in sports such as football and basketball, differ radically from average students. They spend dozens and dozens of hours a week on their sports, travel away from campus for days at a time and, in some cases, integrate little with other students on campus. Some of these same things can be said of students in other time-intensive activities, such as musicians or student newspaper editors.

But that’s where the question of academic preparation comes in: If athletes are entering college with significant lesser academic preparation than their peers (as measured, it should be said, by measures such as standardized test scores and high school grades that are admittedly imperfect, though widely used), does that put them at a major disadvantage, given the intense demands on them?

Athletes Lag

The Atlanta newspaper’s project puts those questions front and center for many colleges. It focused its research on colleges in the six major Bowl Championship Series conferences — those that play at the highest level of NCAA football — plus a few other institutions that were highly ranked in football or basketball polls in 2007-8. It sought access to the institutions’ NCAA certification reports, a process that the NCAA treats as confidential except for its ultimate result.

The newspaper did not bother to collect information from the private universities that compete in those conferences — prestigious and high-profile institutions such as Duke, Stanford and Northwestern Universities and the University of Notre Dame — because they are not subject to the state open-records laws on which the Journal-Constitution based its requests for information. (The newspaper did include data on one private institution, Syracuse University, that was contained in its certification report, which it made public on the athletics department’s Web site.) Most of those independent institutions tend to have academically selective student bodies but to recruit from the same population of athletes as other institutions, giving them wide gaps in qualifications between their athletes and other students.

Despite those laws, even some of the public universities did not provide the relevant information, the Journal-Constitution noted. “Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh refused to provide the information. The University of Kansas and West Virginia University said their most recent NCAA certification self-study did not include the information. Kansas State University deleted all of its sport-by-sport data,” the newspaper explained.

For those colleges that did report their information, the gaps in academic preparation between athletes and other students are wide. The average SAT for all freshmen at the colleges in question was 1161, while the average for all athletes was 1037, 124 points lower. The average SAT for football players was 941, and for male basketball players, 934.

The averages mask much wider variation among colleges. The University of Cincinnati, Clemson University, the University of California at Berkeley and Georgia Institute of Technology all had average SAT scores for their men’s basketball players of roughly 950. But at Cincinnati, the basketball players were within 124 points of the student body at the urban public university; at Clemson, the gap was 201 points; at California, a highly selective flagship, 350 points; and at Georgia Tech, one of the nation’s leading public institutions for science and particularly engineering, 396 points.

Similar gaps show up within conferences. To judge by the SAT scores of its freshmen, the University of Florida is the most selective institution in the Southeastern Conference, yet its football players had the lowest average SAT score, 346 points lower than the average for all students. Mississippi State’s football recruits had a roughly similar academic profile, within about 20 SAT points, yet its football players were much more in line with the qualifications of the general student body there.

Whether the data suggest a problem at any particular college — or for the powers-that-be in the NCAA — is open for debate. Officials at selective institutions with big gaps say such divergences are the price of competing with institutions with more open admissions policies, and tend to point to high graduation rates as evidence that they are helping to ensure that the athletes they admit succeed, regardless of their incoming credentials.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's archive on academic scandals in higher education athletics ---

"Haunting chalkboard drawings, frozen in time for 100 years, discovered in Oklahoma school," by Elahe Izadi, The Washington Post, June 6, 2015 ---

Teachers and students scribbled the lessons — multiplication tables, pilgrim history, how to be clean —  nearly 100 years ago. And they haven’t been touched since.

This week, contractors removing old chalkboards at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City made a startling discovery: Underneath them rested another set of chalkboards, untouched since 1917.

“The penmanship blows me away, because you don’t see a lot of that anymore,” Emerson High School Principal Sherry Kishore told the Oklahoman. “Some of the handwriting in some of these rooms is beautiful.”

Continued in article

Following Starbucks employee education benefits with Arizona State University,
Anthem Blue Cross offers education benefits with the University of Southern New Hampshire

"An Increasingly Popular Job Perk: Online Education," by Mary Ellen McIntire, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2, 2015 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on fee-based distance education ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free online education (most of which still offers free learning without college credits) ---

"14 facts about Wal-Mart that will blow your mind," by Ashley Lutz and Mike Nudelman, Business Insider, June 5, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment

I agree that Wal-Mart is no longer capitalism and is becoming close to a monopoly in many markets where Wal-Mart is allowed. However, Wal-Mart is now facing stiff competition from Amazon. If you don't count our pharmacy purchases Erika and I now make about 100 purchases from Amazon for every Wal-Mart purchase at the store about 10 miles from our cottage.

Amazon has a better business model. Wal-Mart also has an online store, but the selection seems like about 1% (or less) of what you can find online at Amazon --- and it now costs peanuts to get free shipping for a year from Amazon.

There are some markets where Wal-Mart is not allowed such as Boston and until recently Washington DC. The Mayor of Washington DC did not want to allow any new Wal-Mart stores but was pressured when there were more than ten applicants for every new job Wal-Mart would create in Washington DC.

Sadly over half the applicants for Wal-Mart jobs across the entire USA cannot pass drug tests --- they're the unemployed sorry workers who need welfare and other subsidies (like Medicaid) that Jagdish talked about. They would not be on Medicaid if they could sober up and get a job at Wal-Mart.

It's a fallacy that if Wal-Mart never existed that workers would be doing better in the USA. The mom and pop stores that still struggle to compete with Wal-Mart and those that folded never paid more than minimum wage. The fact of the matter is that Wal-Mart now expanded worker benefits to workers that show their worth after a year --- good health insurance benefits, free online college courses leading to associate and academic degrees, and steady employment in all seasons.

When I was growing up as a kid in the 1950s an adult could not work full time in a clothing store, shoe store, grocery store, etc. and support a family without extra income from working two jobs or having a working spouse. There were no worker benefits, although our small town Iowa Kossuth County hospital charged less than $50 per night. It probably charges over $1,000 per night these days.

As a high school lad,  working in the seed corn fields of Pioneer Seed Corn Company, I labored alongside adults making 85 cents per hour and zero benefits other than Social Security matching funds. They had no health insurance.

Our local old fashioned Franconia Hardware store in these NH mountains takes on part-time help at minimum wage without any worker benefits and then lets them go at the end of the summer season. By comparison Wal-Mart up here is flat out busy in all seasons --- especially with all the people from border states shopping at New Hampshire's Wal-Marts to beat the sales taxes on big ticket items like TVs, air conditioners, tires, computers, lawn tractors, wood splitters, snow throwers, etc.

My point is that, even though I think capitalism is better with lots of local stores, the fact of the matter is that Wal-Mart workers are probably better off locally than they would be in small local stores that tend to hire part-time at minimum wage with no benefits and no job security. Was in Karl Marx who said capitalism is not kind to workers of the world?

Bob Jensen


Thank you for the following link Jagdish Gangolly

Data Mining Case Studies --- http://dataminingcasestudies.com/DMCS_WorkshopProceedings25.pdf

Jensen Comment
My casual studies of accountics science articles suggests that over 90% of those studies rely exclusively on one or more public database whenever the studies use data. I find few accountics science research into bias and errors of those databases. Here's a short listing of research into these biases and errors, some of which were published by accountics scientists ---


This page provides references for articles that study specific aspects of CRSP, Compustat and other popular sources of data used by researchers at Kellogg. If you know of any additional references, please e-mail

What went wrong with accountics science?

"Rethinking Twitter in the Classroom," by Kelli Marshall, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 1, 2015 ---

When I first required my students in a large lecture course to use Twitter, many of the roughly 120 enrolled did not approve. And they voiced that opinion quite clearly on my evaluations. Their comments could be divided into two categories: helpful and unhelpful.

Here are a few of the helpful ones:

These comments are helpful because they express a concern (e.g., Twitter feeds are tough to follow) and then offer a solution (e.g., perhaps make Twitter optional). Unfortunately, most of my students’ comments regarding Twitter fell into the unhelpful category. (Note: Except for inserting single quote marks for clarity, none of the spelling, grammar, or wording below has been modified.) Among the unhelpful remarks:

See more at:

"The Best Teaching Resources on the Web," by David Goobler, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 22, 2014 ---

. . .

Often my first stop when I'm looking for a new idea for the classroom is Faculty Focus. It regularly publishes short articles with practical ideas for the college instructor. It’s a great resource -- well-designed, organized by topic, and searchable. It also boasts Maryellen Weimer and her Teaching Professor blog, an outgrowth of Weimer's much-loved newsletter of the same name. Weimer's articles are little jewels of concision, distilling practical advice from recent pedagogical research findings.

Another useful site is that of the IDEA Center, a nonprofit that you may know from its student feedback services. Over the years, IDEA has amassed a trove of pedagogy research, from short "Notes on Instruction" to longer, peer-reviewed "IDEA papers." Take a look; there's plenty there.

Speaking of peer-reviewed papers, it's now easier than ever to plug in to current pedagogy research. Alongside traditional, research-heavy articles, many pedagogy journals also feature shorter, more practical papers that offer easily usable ideas. Here's a good list of top pedagogy journals.

I often find new classroom ideas by visiting the web pages of campus teaching and learning centers. Many of those websites have evolved into excellent collections of teaching tips, as their sponsoring universities have become more attuned to faculty development. Some of my favorites are the ones at UT Austin, Berkeley, and BYU.

Closer to home, The Chronicle hosts a wide variety of good resources for instructors looking for ideas. James M. Lang has been writing a monthly column on teaching for years now, and if you're reading this, I probably don't need to tell you how useful his columns are. Although there doesn't seem to be a dedicated archive page for Lang's columns, you can find links to his most recent columns by clicking here and scrolling down to "On Course". In addition, The Chronicle’s ProfHacker blog, while it features posts about far more than just teaching, has a roster of experienced and personable academics frequently write about classroom strategies. The blog is a particularly good place to go to learn more about using new technologies in the classroom.

Finally, a promising new resource has just been launched right here at Vitae: a straightforward and easy-to-use syllabi database. It’s an obviously useful idea. Teachers have probably shared syllabi for as long as there has been syllabi; this just facilitates that sharing across great distances. I’m excited at the prospect of this database growing and providing a library of well-made syllabi, ready to consult the next time I’m putting together a new course. It will only be as good as its contributions, however. The folks at Vitae have made it very, very easy to upload a syllabus; I just put one up in about 60 seconds. Why not head over there now and share one of yours?

What web resources do you make use of for your teaching? I’m always eager to learn of more—add your favorite sites to the comments below.

- See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/770-the-best-teaching-resources-on-the-web?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en#sthash.04UAyWZs.dpuf

Often my first stop when I'm looking for a new idea for the classroom is Faculty Focus. It regularly publishes short articles with practical ideas for the college instructor. It’s a great resource -- well-designed, organized by topic, and searchable. It also boasts Maryellen Weimer and her Teaching Professor blog, an outgrowth of Weimer's much-loved newsletter of the same name. Weimer's articles are little jewels of concision, distilling practical advice from recent pedagogical research findings.

Another useful site is that of the IDEA Center, a nonprofit that you may know from its student feedback services. Over the years, IDEA has amassed a trove of pedagogy research, from short "Notes on Instruction" to longer, peer-reviewed "IDEA papers." Take a look; there's plenty there.

Speaking of peer-reviewed papers, it's now easier than ever to plug in to current pedagogy research. Alongside traditional, research-heavy articles, many pedagogy journals also feature shorter, more practical papers that offer easily usable ideas. Here's a good list of top pedagogy journals.

I often find new classroom ideas by visiting the web pages of campus teaching and learning centers. Many of those websites have evolved into excellent collections of teaching tips, as their sponsoring universities have become more attuned to faculty development. Some of my favorites are the ones at UT Austin, Berkeley, and BYU.

Closer to home, The Chronicle hosts a wide variety of good resources for instructors looking for ideas. James M. Lang has been writing a monthly column on teaching for years now, and if you're reading this, I probably don't need to tell you how useful his columns are. Although there doesn't seem to be a dedicated archive page for Lang's columns, you can find links to his most recent columns by clicking here and scrolling down to "On Course". In addition, The Chronicle’s ProfHacker blog, while it features posts about far more than just teaching, has a roster of experienced and personable academics frequently write about classroom strategies. The blog is a particularly good place to go to learn more about using new technologies in the classroom.

Finally, a promising new resource has just been launched right here at Vitae: a straightforward and easy-to-use syllabi database. It’s an obviously useful idea. Teachers have probably shared syllabi for as long as there has been syllabi; this just facilitates that sharing across great distances. I’m excited at the prospect of this database growing and providing a library of well-made syllabi, ready to consult the next time I’m putting together a new course. It will only be as good as its contributions, however. The folks at Vitae have made it very, very easy to upload a syllabus; I just put one up in about 60 seconds. Why not head over there now and share one of yours?

What web resources do you make use of for your teaching? I’m always eager to learn of more—add your favorite sites to the comments below.

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---

Bob Jensen's threads on education technologies ---

My threads on why it's so hard to teach critical thinking are at

"The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, January 3, 2014 ---

Carl Sagan was many things — a cosmic sage, voracious reader, hopeless romantic, and brilliant philosopher. But above all, he endures as our era’s greatest patron saint of reason and common sense, a master of the vital balance between skepticism and openness. In The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (public library) — the same indispensable volume that gave us Sagan’s timeless meditation on science and spirituality, published mere months before his death in 1996 — Sagan shares his secret to upholding the rites of reason, even in the face of society’s most shameless untruths and outrageous propaganda.

In a chapter titled “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,” Sagan reflects on the many types of deception to which we’re susceptible — from psychics to religious zealotry to paid product endorsements by scientists, which he held in especially low regard, noting that they “betray contempt for the intelligence of their customers” and “introduce an insidious corruption of popular attitudes about scientific objectivity.” (Cue in PBS’s Joe Hanson on how to read science news.) But rather than preaching from the ivory tower of self-righteousness, Sagan approaches the subject from the most vulnerable of places — having just lost both of his parents, he reflects on the all too human allure of promises of supernatural reunions in the afterlife, reminding us that falling for such fictions doesn’t make us stupid or bad people, but simply means that we need to equip ourselves with the right tools against them.

Continued in article

"How to Avoid Being a Helicopter Professor," by Berlin Fang, Faculty Focus, June 8, 2015 ---
Thank you Steve Markoff for the heads up.

Jensen Comment
This is close to the outlier pedagogy of the BAM model for intermediate accounting ---
I admire professors who pull off this type of "teaching." It is also common in Harvard Business and Law Schools and other prestigious universities where professors do not provide answers to realistic cases. Instead students teach themselves with the sometimes uncomfortable feeling of not knowing what is the "optimal" case solution. Sometimes the best Harvard teacher is not a fountain of answers --- only a fountain of very clever questions in Socratic method ---

Making students learn on their own often entails taking a heavy hit on teaching evaluations. This type of teaching takes guts and sometimes burns out professors who are masters of not giving out answers while taking heat from students who really want answers piled up on gorgeous silver platters. I never had the guts to resist what I thought were the best answers to very technical problems is such areas as accounting for derivative financial instruments and using AIS relational databases.

Concept Knowledge and Assessment of Deep Understanding ---

"The Week In Data: Inequality, Ignorance And Inboxes," by Mona Chalabi, Nate Silver's 5:38 Blog, May 31, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment
Especially note how Qatar became a huge outlier in terms of absolute numbers of migrant deaths. Especially look at the comparative charts.

Deep Learning --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_learning

"Deep Learning Catches On in New Industries, from Fashion to Finance," by Will Knight, MIT's Technology Review, May 31, 2015 --- Click Here

The machine-learning technique known as deep learning, which has shown impressive results in voice and image recognition, is finding new applications.

machine-learning technique that has already given computers an eerie ability to recognize speech and categorize images is now creeping into industries ranging from computer security to stock trading. If the technique works in those areas, it could create new opportunities but also displace some workers.

Deep learning, as the technique is known, involves applying layers of calculations to data, such as sound or images, to recognize key features and similarities. It offers a powerful way for machines to recognize similarities that would normally be abstruse to a computer: the same face seen from different angles, for instance, or a word spoken in different accents (see “10 Breakthrough Technologies 2013: Deep Learning”). The mathematical principles that underlie deep learning are relatively simple, but when combined with huge quantities of training data and computer systems capable of powerful parallel computations, the technique has resulted in dramatic progress in recent years, especially in voice and image recognition.

For example, Google uses deep learning for voice recognition on Android phones, while Facebook uses the technology to identify friends in users’ photographs (see “Facebook Creates Software That Matches Faces Almost as Well as You Do”).

Continued in article

"Why Robots and Humans Struggled with DARPA’s Challenge," MIT's Technology Review, June 9, 2015 --- Click Here

The falls and fumbles of robots in the DARPA Challenge point to the remaining hurdles for human-robot interfaces.

When some of the world’s most advanced rescue robots are foiled by nothing more complex than a doorknob, you get a good sense of the challenge of making our homes and workplaces more automated.

At the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a contest held over the weekend in California, two dozen extremely sophisticated robots did their best to perform a series of tasks on an outdoor course, including turning a valve, climbing some steps, and opening a door (see “A Transformer Wins DARPA’s $2 Million Robotics Challenge”). Although a couple of robots managed to complete the course, others grasped thin air, walked into walls, or simply toppled over as if overcome with the sheer impossibility of it all. At the same time, efforts by human controllers to help the robots through their tasks may offer clues as to how human-machine collaboration could be deployed in various other settings.

“I think this is an opportunity for everybody to see how hard robotics really is,” says Mark Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, now owned by Google, which produced an extremely sophisticated humanoid robot called Atlas (see “10 Breakthrough Technologies 2014: Agile Robots”). Several teams involved in the DARPA Robotics Challenge used Atlas robots to participate. Other teams brought robots they had built from scratch. 

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Winning the Dancing With the Stars competition is more of a challenge for a robot ---

A Success Case for the Inability to Replicate in Validation of Social Science Research
"The Unraveling of Michael LaCour," by Tom Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2, 2015 ---

By his own account, Michael J. LaCour has told big lies. He claimed to have received $793,000 in research grants. In fact, he admits now, there were no grants.

The researchers who attempted to replicate his widely lauded Science paper on persuasion instead exposed a brazen fabrication, one in which Mr. LaCour appears to have forged an email and invented a representative for a research firm. New York magazine’s Science of Us blog noted that Mr. LaCour claimed to have won a nonexistent teaching award, and then caught him trying to cover up that fiction.

As more facts emerge from one of the strangest research scandals in recent memory, it becomes clear that this wasn’t merely a flawed study performed by a researcher who cut a few corners. Instead it appears to have been an elaborate, years-long con that fooled several highly respected, senior professors and one of the nation’s most prestigious journals.

Commenters are doling out blame online. Who, if anyone, was supervising Mr. LaCour’s work? Considering how perfect his results seemed, shouldn’t colleagues have been more suspicious? Is this episode a sign of a deeper problem in the world of university research, or is it just an example of how a determined fabricator can manipulate those around him?

Those questions will be asked for some time to come. Meanwhile, though, investigators at the University of California at Los Angeles, where Mr. LaCour is a graduate student, are still figuring out exactly what happened.

It now appears that even after Mr. LaCour was confronted about accusations that his research was not on the level, he scrambled to create a digital trail that would support his rapidly crumbling narrative, according to sources connected to UCLA who asked to speak anonymously because of the university investigation. The picture they paint is of a young scholar who told an ever-shifting story and whose varied explanations repeatedly failed to add up.

An Absence of Evidence

On May 17, Mr. LaCour’s dissertation adviser, Lynn Vavreck, sent him an email asking that he meet her the next day. During that meeting, the sources say, Ms. Vavreck told Mr. LaCour that accusations had been made about his work and asked whether he could show her the raw data that underpinned his (now-retracted) paper, "When Contact Changes Minds: An Experiment on Transmission of Support for Gay Equality." The university needed proof that the study had actually been conducted. Surely there was some evidence: a file on his computer. An invoice from uSamp, the company that had supposedly provided the participants. Something.

That paper, written with Donald Green, a professor of political science at Columbia University who is well-known for pushing the field to become more experimental, had won an award and had been featured in major news outlets and in a segment on This American Life. It was the kind of home run graduate students dream about, and it had helped him secure an offer to become an assistant professor at Princeton University. It was his ticket to an academic career, and easily one of the most talked-about political-science papers in recent years. It was a big deal.


"What Social Science Can Learn From the LaCour Scandal," by Joseph K. Young and Nicole Janz, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 3, 2015 ---

. . .

So why don’t more researchers replicate? Because replication isn’t sexy. Our professional incentives are to come up with novel ideas and data, not confirm other people’s prior work. Replication is the yeoman’s work of social science. It is time-consuming, it is frustrating, and it does not gain any accolades for your CV. Worse, critics of students' doing replications state that they are amateurs, or that they may jeopardize their reputations by starting their scientific careers as "error hunters." The LaCour scandal shows that critics could not be more wrong. Scientific knowledge is built on the edifice of prior work. Before we get to a stage where we need more new ideas, we need to have a better sense of what works given the data.

Others have argued that the LaCour incident shows the weakness of the social sciences. Some have decided to make this some kind of steamy academic soap opera, even dubbing it LaCourGate, with daily revelations about fake awards and fake funding. While Americans love to shame, this episode is not about LaCour or Green or what is or was not the cause of the errors in the study. This is about openness, transparency, and replication.

The important lesson, however, is that replication works. It is a verification tool that improves science and our knowledge base. The takeaway is that we need to provide more incentives for such work. We need a new, highly respected journal that is just about replication. More funding sources are needed for replications. Each current journal in all of the social sciences should establish policies that require data, tools, and processes to be completely open-source upon publication.

The data given to Science provided the evidence needed to identify errors in LaCour and Green. What prevents this from occurring more often is an incentive for others to replicate. Students can be a crucial force, and colleges should start embedding replication in their courses more rigorously and systematically. And instructors should encourage students to publish their work; currently most replications done in class are an untapped resource.

In fact, LaCour and the uproar surrounding the scandal did supporters of replication and data transparency a big favor. The field of political science was already undergoing changes toward more reproducibility. Top journals — but not all journals in the field — have started to adopt strict replication policies requiring authors to provide their materials upon publication. The American Political Science Association released new guidelines on data access and research transparency.

Those new trends toward higher-quality research were not based on a crisis in political science itself. For example, there were hardly any retractions, accusations of fraud, plagiarism, or large-scale irreproducibility scandals in political science before this one. But there were scandals in psychology, economics, and cancer research that sparked a discussion in our discipline. In fact, political science has been feeding off crises in other fields without bleeding itself. We’ve often wondered: If there were more scandals in political science, could a change toward higher research quality be more rapid, and more profound? Enter LaCour.

Joseph K. Young is an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and the School of International Service at American University, and Nicole Janz is a political scientist and research-methods associate at the University of Cambridge.



Jensen Comment
Detection of fraud with inability to replicate is quite common in the physical sciences. It occasionally happens in the social sciences. More commonly, however, whistle blowers are the most common source of fraud detection, often whistle blowers that were insiders in the research process itself such as when insiders revealed the faked data of http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#ProfessorsWhoPlagiarize 

I know of zero instances where failure to replicate detected fraud in the entire history of accounting research.
One reason is that exacting replication itself is a rare event in academic accounting research ---
Academic accountants most likely consider themselves more honest than other academic researchers to a point where journal editors do not require replication and in most instances like The Accounting Review will not even publish critical commentaries about published articles ---

Whereas real scientists are a suspicious lot when it comes to published research, accounting researchers tend to be a polite and unsuspecting lot ---

Large-Scale Fake Data in Academe
"The Case of the Amazing Gay-Marriage Data: How a Graduate Student Reluctantly Uncovered a Huge Scientific Fraud," by Jesse Singal, New York Magazine, May 2015 ---

The exposure of one of the biggest scientific frauds in recent memory didn’t start with concerns about normally distributed data, or the test-retest reliability of feelings thermometers, or anonymous Stata output on shady message boards, or any of the other statistically complex details that would make it such a bizarre and explosive scandal. Rather, it started in the most unremarkable way possible: with a graduate student trying to figure out a money issue.

It was September of 2013, and David Broockman (pronounced “brock-man”), then a third-year political-science doctoral student at UC Berkeley, was blown away by some early results published by Michael LaCour, a political-science grad student at UCLA. On the first of the month, LaCour had invited Broockman, who is originally from Austin, Texas, to breakfast during the American Political Science Association’s annual meeting in Chicago. The pair met in a café called Freshii at the Palmer House Hilton, where the conference was taking place, and LaCour showed Broockman some early results on an iPad.

. . .

So when LaCour and Green’s research was eventually published in December 2014 in Science, one of the leading peer-reviewed research publications in the world, it resonated far and wide. “When contact changes minds: an expression of transmission of support for gay equality” garnered attention in the New York Times and a segment on "This American Life" in which a reporter tagged along with canvassers as they told heart-wrenching stories about being gay. It rerouted countless researchers’ agendas, inspired activists to change their approach to voter outreach, generated shifts in grant funding, and launched follow-up experiments.

But back in 2013, the now-26-year-old Broockman, a self-identifying “political science nerd,” was so impressed by LaCour’s study that he wanted to run his own version of it with his own canvassers and his own survey sample. First, the budget-conscious Broockman had to figure out how much such an enterprise might cost. He did some back-of-the-envelope calculations based on what he’d seen on LaCour’s iPad — specifically, that the survey involved about 10,000 respondents who were paid about $100 apiece —  and out popped an imposing number: $1 million. That can’t be right, he thought to himself. There’s no way LaCour — no way any grad student, save one who’s independently wealthy and self-funded — could possibly run a study that cost so much. He sent out a Request for Proposal to a bunch of polling firms, describing the survey he wanted to run and asking how much it would cost. Most of them said that they couldn’t pull off that sort of study at all, and definitely not for a cost that fell within a graduate researcher’s budget. It didn’t make sense. What was LaCour’s secret?

Eventually, Broockman’s answer to that question would take LaCour down.

June 2, 2015 reply from Patricia Walters

  I'm sure many of you received the announcement today of this new journal.  I added the emphasis (bold & purple) to the last sentence of the description that encourages (at least, IMHO) replications.  Only time will tell whether replications and eventual publication will occur.
The Financial Accounting and Reporting Section (FARS) of the AAA is excited to announce the official opening of submissions for its new journal:
The Journal of Financial Reporting
The Journal of Financial Reporting (JFR) is open to research on a broad spectrum of financial reporting issues related to the production, dissemination, and analysis of information produced by a firm's financial accounting and reporting system. JFR welcomes research that employs empirical archival, analytical, and experimental methods, and especially encourages less traditional approaches such as field studies, small sample studies, and analysis of survey data. JFR also especially encourages "innovative" research, defined as research that examines a novel question or develops new theory or evidence that challenges current paradigms, or research that reconciles, confirms, or refutes currently mixed or questionable results. 
Editors: Mary Barth, Anne Beatty, and Rick Lambert
See the complete Editorial Advisory Board and more details about the journal's background and submission guidelines at:
http://www2.aaahq.org/fars/JFR.cfm (includes a link to submit)


Added Jensen Comment
I don't think the following quotation is a whole lot different from the current policy of The Accounting Review. The supreme test is whether there will be evidence that The Journal of Financial Reporting lives up to its promise where The Accounting Review failed us in recent decades ---

. . .

Replications include a partial or comprehensive repeat of an experiment that sustains as many conditions as possible but uses a different sample. The sample employed in the replication should be at least as “strong” as the original sample. JFR also uses the term “Replication” to describe an archival empirical analysis that primarily performs the same analysis as an existing study but ad ds, for example, another control variable or additional sensitivity analysis, or uses a slightly different sample.

Replications are expected to be short. The Introduction should provide a limited review of the essential features of the analysis being replicated: the re search issue addressed, the contribution of the original article, and the key differences between the manuscript’s analysis and the replicated study. The remainder of the paper need only provide a limited summary of the analysis that restates the central theory and hypotheses or research questions addressed in the replicated study. Authors should provide more detail about the sample, if using a new sample is the purpose of the replication, or about any new variables. Sufficient results should be presented to support conclusions drawn regarding the comparison of the results of the current paper to the replicated study.

Comments on Previously Published Papers
Authors who wish to comment on previously published articles should first communicate directly with the author(s) of the original article to eliminate any misunderstandings or misconceptions. If substantive issues remain after the initial exchange of views with the author(s), the Commentator may submit the proposed Comment to the JFR . The correspondence between the Commentator and the author (s) of the original article should be submitted as a supplementary file. Comments will gene rally be reviewed by two reviewers, usually including an author of the original article to ensure that the Comment represents th e prior article accurately and an additional reviewer who is independent of the original article. If a Comment is accepted for publication, the original author will generally be invited to reply.

Continued article

Accountics scientists are not accustomed to such challenges of their research and their research findings. Time will tell if JFR can pull off what TAR seemingly cannot pull off.

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

More Retractions of Jim Hunton's Publications

March 28, 2015 message from XXXXX

Hi Bob,

I know you’ve been interested in the Hunton retractions. I thought you might want to know that he recently had his three publications in JAR retracted (bringing the total to six retractions). I think these are all his JAR publications.

If you post this or pass this along, I’d rather not be associated with the news.

Here is the link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1475-679X/earlyview 

Here is a document with the text from the retractions.

The third one is the most interesting in my opinion. Someone said it sounds like he got his excuse from a student!

March 28, 2015 reply from Bob Jensen

"Following Retraction, Bentley Professor Resigns," Inside Higher Ed, December 21, 2012 ---

James E. Hunton, a prominent accounting professor at Bentley University, has resigned amid an investigation of the retraction of an article of which he was the co-author, The Boston Globe reported. A spokeswoman cited "family and health reasons" for the departure, but it follows the retraction of an article he co-wrote in the journal Accounting Review. The university is investigating the circumstances that led to the journal's decision to retract the piece.

July 21, 2014 ---

Pursuant to the Bentley University Ethics Complaint Procedures (“Ethics Policy”), this report summarizes the results of an eighteen - month investigation into two separate allegations of research misconduct that were received by Bentley in November 2012 and January 2013 against James E. Hunton, a former Professor of Accountancy. The complainants – one a confidential reporter (as defined in the Ethics Policy) and the other a publisher – alleged that Dr. Hunton engaged in research misconduct in connection wit h two papers that he published while a faculty member at the University: “A Field Experiment Comparing the Outcomes of Three Fraud Brainstorming Procedures: Nominal Group, Round Robin, and Open Discussion,” The Accounting Review 85 (3): 911 - 935 (“Fraud Br barnstorming”) and “The Relationship between Perceived Tone at the Top and Earnings Quality,” Contemporary Accounting Research 28 (4): 1190 - 1224 (“Tone at the Top”).

Because of concerns regarding Fraud Brainstorming that the editors at The Accounting Review had been discussing with Dr. Hunton since May 2012, the editors withdrew that paper in November 2012. Bentley received the allegation of research misconduct from the confidential reporter later that month. The confidential reporter also raised questions about ten other articles that Dr. Hunton published or provided data for while he was at Bentley, which, the reporter alleged, raised similar questions of research integrity.

In my role as Ethics Officer, it was my duty to make the preliminary determination n about whether the allegations warranted a full investigation. To make that determination, I met with Dr. Hunton in person when Bentley received this allegation, after I first instructed Bentley IT to back up and preserve all of his electronic data store d on Bentley’s servers. During that meeting, we discussed the allegation, I explained the process that would be followed if I found an investigation was warranted, and I described the need for his cooperation, including the specific admonition that he pre serve, and make available to me, all relevant materials, including electronic and paper documents. This information and these instructions were confirmed in writing to Dr. Hunton. Dr. Hunton resigned shortly after that meeting, which coincided with my de termination that a full investigation was warranted.

In January 2013 as the investigation was just getting underway, Bentley received the second allegation of research misconduct from the editor of Contemporary Accounting Research. The editor had contacted ted Dr. Hunton directly in November 2012 with concerns about Tone at the Top after the Fraud Brainstorming paper was retracted. The journal brought the issue to Bentley’s attention after the response it received failed to resolve its concerns. When Bentley received this second allegation, I informed Dr. Hunton of it, as well.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The last paragraph of the article suggests that Professor Hunton did not cooperate in the investigation to the extent that it is unknown if his prior research papers were also based upon fabricated data. The last paragraph reads as follows:

Bentley cannot determine with confidence which other papers may be based on fabricated data. We will identify all of the co - authors on papers Dr. Hunton published while he was at Bentley that involve research data. We will inform them that, unless they have independent evidence of the validity of the data, we plan to ask the journals in which the papers they co - authored with Dr. Hunton were published to determine, with the assistance of the co - authors, whether the data analyzed in the papers were valid. The various journals will then have the discretion to decide whether any further action is warranted, including retracting or qualifying, with regard to an y of Dr. Hunton’s papers that they published

Years ago Les Livingstone was the first person to detect a plagiarized article in TAR (back in the 1960s when we were both doctoral students at Stanford). This was long before digital versions articles could be downloaded. The TAR editor published an apology to the original authors in the next edition of TAR. The article first appeared in Management Science and was plagiarized in total for TAR by a Norwegian (sigh).


November 28, 2012 forward from Dan Stone

Anna Gold sent me the following statement and also indicated that she had no objections to my posting it on AECM:

Explanation of Retraction (Hunton & Gold 2010)

On November 9, 2012, The Accounting Review published an early-view version of the voluntary retraction of Hunton & Gold (2010). The retraction will be printed in the January 2013 issue with the following wording:

“The authors confirmed a misstatement in the article and were unable to provide supporting information requested by the editor and publisher. Accordingly, the article has been retracted.”

The following statement explains the reason for the authors’ voluntary retraction. In the retracted article, the authors reported that the 150 offices of the participating CPA firm on which the study was based were located in the United States. In May 2012, the lead author learned from the coordinating partner of the participating CPA firm that the 150 offices included both domestic and international offices of the firm. The authors apologize for the inadvertently inaccurate description of the sample frame.

The Editor and the Chairperson of the Publications Committee of the American Accounting Association subsequently requested more information about the study and the participating CPA firm. Unfortunately, the information they requested is subject to a confidentiality agreement between the lead author and the participating firm; thus, the lead author has a contractual obligation not to disclose the information requested by the Editor and the Chairperson. The second author was neither involved in administering the experiment nor in receiving the data from the CPA firm. The second author does not know the identity of the CPA firm or the coordinating partner at the CPA firm. The second author is not a party to the confidentiality agreement between the lead author and the CPA firm.

The authors offered to print a correction of the inaccurate description of the sample frame; however, the Editor and the Chairperson rejected that offer. Consequently, in spite of the authors' belief that the inaccurate description of the sample does not materially impact either the internal validity of the study or the conclusions set forth in the Article, the authors consider it appropriate to voluntarily withdraw the Article from The Accounting Review at this time. Should the participating CPA firm change its position on releasing the requested information in the future, the authors will request that the Editor and the Chairperson consider reinstating the paper.


James Hunton Anna Gold

References: Hunton, J. E. and Gold, A. (2010), “A field experiment comprising the outcomes of three fraud brainstorming procedures: Nominal group, round robin, and open discussions,” The Accounting Review 85(3): 911-935.


December 1, 2012 reply from Harry Markopolos <notreallyharry@outlook.com

Harry Markopolos <notreallyharry@outlook.com>

The explanation provided by the Hunton and Gold regarding the recent TAR retraction seems to provide more questions than answers. Some of those questions raise serious concerns about the validity of the study.

1. In the paper, the audit clients are described as publically listed (p. 919), and since the paper describes SAS 99 as being applicable to these clients, they would presumably be listed in the U.S. However, according to Audit Analytics, for fiscal year 2007, the Big Four auditor with the greatest number of worldwide offices with at least one SEC registrant was PwC, with 134 offices (the remaining firms each had 130 offices). How can you take a random sample of 150 offices from a population of (at most) 134?

Further, the authors state that only clients from the retail, manufacturing, and service industries with at least $1 billion in gross revenues with a December 31, 2007 fiscal year-end were considered (p. 919). This restriction further limits the number of offices with eligible clients. For example, the Big Four auditor with the greatest number of offices with at least one SEC registrant with at least $1 billion in gross revenues with a December 31, 2007 fiscal year end was Ernst & Young, with 102 offices (followed by PwC, Deloitte and KPMG, with 94, 86, and 83 offices, respectively). Limiting by industry would further reduce the pool of offices with eligible clients (this would probably be the most limiting factor, since most industries tend to be concentrated primarily within a handful of offices).

2. Why the firm would use a random sample of their worldwide offices in the first place, especially a sample including foreign affiliates of the firm? Why not use every US office (or every worldwide office with SEC registrants)? The design further limited participation to one randomly selected client per office (p. 919). This design decision is especially odd. If the firm chose to sample from the applicable population of offices, why not use a smaller sample of offices and a greater number of clients per office? Also, why wouldn’t the firm just sample from the pool of eligible clients? Finally, would the firm really expect its foreign affiliates to be happy to participate just because the US firm is asking them to do so? Would it not be much simpler and more effective to focus on US offices and get large numbers of clients from the largest US Offices (e.g., New York, Chicago, LA) and fill in the remaining clients needed to reach 150 clients from smaller offices?

3. Given the current hesitancy of the Big Four to allow any meaningful access to data, why would the international offices be consistently willing to participate in the study, especially since each national affiliate of the Big Four is a distinct legal entity? The coordination of this study across the firm’s international offices seems like a herculean effort, at least. Further, even if the authors were not aware that the population of offices included international offices, the lead author was presumably aware of the identity of the partner coordinating the study for the firm. Footnote 4 of the paper and discussion on page 919 suggest that the US national office coordinated the study. It seems quite implausible that the US national office alone would be able to coordinate the study internationally.

4. In the statement that has been circulated among the accounting research community, the authors state:

“The second author was neither involved in administering the experiment nor in receiving the data from the CPA firm. The second author does not know the identity of the CPA firm or the coordinating partner at the CPA firm. The second author is not a party to the confidentiality agreement between the lead author and the CPA firm.”

However, this statement is inconsistent with language in the paper suggesting that both authors had access to the data and were involved in discussions with the firm regarding the design of the study (e.g. Footnote 17). Also, isn’t this kind of arrangement quite odd, at best? Not even the second author could verify the data. We are left with only the first author’s word that this study actually took place with no way for anyone (not even the second author or the journal editor) to obtain any kind of assurance on the matter. Why wouldn’t the firm be willing to allow Anna or Harry Evans to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to obtain some kind of independent verification? If the firm was willing to allow the study in the first place, it seems quite unreasonable for them to be unwilling to allow a reputable third party (e.g. Harry) to obtain verification of the legitimacy of the study. In addition, assuming the firm is this extremely vigilant in not allowing Harry or Anna to know about the firm, does it seem odd that the firm failed to read the paper before publication and, therefore, note the errors in the paper, including the claim that is made in multiple places in the paper that the data came from a random sample of the firm’s US offices?

5. Why do the authors state that the paper is being voluntarily withdrawn if the authors don’t believe that the validity of the paper is in any way questioned? The retraction doesn’t really seem voluntary. If the authors did actually offer to retract the study that implies that the errors in the paper are not simply innocent mistakes.

Given that most, if not all US offices would have had to be participants in the study (based on the discussion above), it wouldn’t be too hard to obtain some additional information from individuals at the firms to verify whether or not the study actually took place. In particular, if we were to locate a handful of partners from each of the Big Four who were office-managing partners in 2008, we could ask them if their office participated in the study. If none of those partners recall their office having participated in the study, the reported data would appear to be quite suspect.


Harry Markopolos

Jensen Comment
Thanks to the Ethics Officer at Bentley College on July 14, 2014 we now know more of the story.

I have no idea what happened to Professor Hunton after he resigned from Bentley University in 2012.

Accounting professor faked data for two studies, destroyed evidence: University report ---

Bob Jensen's threads on professors who plagiarized or otherwise cheated ---

Heteroscedasticity --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heteroscedasticity

Logit --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logit

Probit --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probit

Logit, Probit, & Heteroskedasticity
From Econometrics Beat by David Giles on June 4, 2015

More than once, I've been asked the following question:

"When estimating a Logit or Probit model, we set the scale parameter (variance) of the error term to the value one, because it's not actually identifiable. So, in what sense can we have heteroskedasticity in such models?"

This is a good question, and I thought that a short post would be justified. Let's take a look:

Continued in article

The disconnect between econometric teaching and practice
Or might we reword this as saying the disconnect between accountics science research and accounting practice?

"Why econometrics teaching needs an overhaul," by By Josh Angrist and Jorn-Steffen Pischke, World Economic Forum, May 21, 2015 ---

The Global Crisis provoked some to ask, “what’s the use of economics”?, a reference to the economics that most economists had studied in college. We’d pile on, adding, “what’s the use of econometrics… at least as currently taught”? Most of the undergraduates who major in economics take a course in econometrics. This course should be one of the more useful experiences a student can have. For decades, economics undergraduates have found jobs in sectors that make heavy use of quantitative skills. As data sets have grown bigger and more complex, the demand for new grads with data-analytic skills has accelerated rapidly. Econometrics courses promise to equip our students with the powerful tools economists use to understand the economic relationships hidden in data. It’s both remarkable and regrettable, therefore, that econometrics classes continue to transmit an abstract body of knowledge that’s largely irrelevant for economic policy analysis, business problems, and even for much of the econometric research undertaken by scholars.

After a brief discussion of curve fitting, Pindyck and Rubinfeld’s (1976) first edition book began with subsections titled ‘The Model’, ‘Statistical Properties of Estimators’, and ‘Best Linear Unbiased Estimation’. The second edition of Johnston (1972) similarly started with models, assumptions, and estimators. Johnston describes multivariate regression models as “fitting the regression plane” a technical extension of the two-variable model that fits a line. The undergraduate econometrics canon has evolved little in the decades since. Becker and Greene (2001) surveyed econometrics texts and teaching at the turn of the millennium, arguing that “econometrics and statistics are often taught as branches of mathematics, even when taught in business schools… the focus in the textbooks and teaching materials is on presenting and explaining theory and technical details with secondary attention given to applications, which are often manufactured to fit the procedure at hand… applications are rarely based on events reported in financial newspapers, business magazines or scholarly journals in economics”.

The disconnect between econometric teaching and practice

Hewing to the table of contents in legacy texts, today’s market leaders continue to feature models and assumptions at the expense of empirical applications. Core economic questions are mentioned in passing if at all, and empirical examples are still mostly contrived, as in Studenmund (2011), who introduces empirical regression with a fanciful analysis of the relationship between height and weight. The first empirical application in Hill, Griffiths, and Lim (2011: 49) explores the correlation between food expenditure and income. This potentially interesting relationship is presented without a hint of why or what for. Instead, the discussion here emphasises the fact that “we assume the data… satisfy assumptions SR1-SR5”. An isolated bright spot is Stock and Watson (2011), which opens with a chapter on ‘Economic Questions and Data’ and introduces regression with a discussion of the causal effect of class size on student performance. Alas, Stock and Watson also return repeatedly to more traditional model-based abstraction.

The disconnect between econometric teaching and econometric practice goes beyond questions of tone and illustration. The most disturbing gap here is conceptual. The ascendance of the five core econometric tools – experiments, matching and regression methods, instrumental variables, differences-in-differences and regression discontinuity designs – marks a paradigm shift in empirical economics. In the past, empirical research focused on the estimation of models, presented as tests of economic theories or simply because modelling is what econometrics was thought to be about. Contemporary applied research asks focussed questions about economic forces and economic policy.

Continued in article

"A Scrapbook on What’s Wrong with the Past, Present and Future of Accountics Science," by Bob Jensen, Working Paper 450.06, Date Fluid ---

The purpose of this paper is to make a case that the accountics science monopoly of our doctoral programs and publish ed research is seriously flawed, especially its lack of concern about replication and focus on simplified arti ficial worlds that differ too much from reality to creatively discover findings of greater relevance to teachers of accounting and practitioners of accounting. Accountics scientists themselves became a Cargo Cult.

"Harvard’s Chinese Exclusion Act:  An immigrant businessman explains his legal challenge to racial quotas that keep Asian-Americans out of elite colleges," by Kate Bachelder, The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2015 ---

Getting into Harvard is tough enough: Every year come the stories about applicants who built toilets in developing countries, performed groundbreaking lunar research, or won national fencing competitions, whatever it takes to edge out the competition. So you can imagine that the 52-year-old Florida businessman and author Yukong Zhao is incensed that gaining admission may be even harder for his children—because of their race.

“It’s not a political issue,” he says. “It’s a civil-rights issue.”

Mr. Zhao helped organize 64 groups that last month asked the Education Department to investigate Harvard University for discriminating against Asian-Americans in admissions. The allegation is that Harvard is holding Asian-Americans to higher standards to keep them from growing as a percentage of the student body. The complaint, filed also with the Justice Department, follows a lawsuit against the university last fall by the nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions.

First, a few facts. Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, and the share of college-age Asian-Americans climbed to 5.1% in 2011 from 3% in 1990. Yet according to independent research cited in the complaint, members of this 5% make up roughly 30% of National Merit semifinalists, a distinction earned by high-school students based on PSAT scores. Asian-American students seem to win a similar share of the Education Department’s Presidential Scholar awards, “one of the nation’s highest honors for high-school students,” as the website puts it. By any standard, Asian-Americans have made remarkable gains since 1950. They constituted 0.2% of the U.S. population then, due in part to the legacy of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

Harvard admissions do not reflect these changes or gains. The percentage of Asian-American students has held remarkably steady since the 1990s. This spring, 21% of the students admitted to Harvard were Asian-American; in 1993 it was about 20%. Harvard selects students based on criteria it calls “holistic,” taking into consideration subjective qualities such as, according to the university’s website, “interests,” “character” and “growth.”

Yet look how Harvard stacks up against schools that explicitly don’t consider ethnicity in admissions. At the California Institute of Technology, the share of Asian-American students hit 42.5% in 2013—double Harvard’s and a big jump from Caltech’s 26% in 1993. At the University of California-Berkeley it is more than 30%; the state’s voters banned the state schools from using racial preferences in a 1996 referendum. The trend is also observable at elite high schools with race-neutral admissions: New York City’s Hunter College High School was 49% Asian-American in 2013.

This disparity suggests “a de facto quota system” at Harvard, Mr. Zhao tells me over dinner at a restaurant near his home in Orlando, where he works for a large energy company. Racial quotas aren’t allowed thanks to a 1978 Supreme Court ruling, but in 2003 the court confirmed that colleges could use race as a “plus” factor.

Continued in article

Controversial Affirmative Action Bias in Higher Education Admissions and Academic Standards ---

Jensen Comment
Perhaps Asian-American applicants are just not playing the Harvard's admissions game properly. They prepare for and excel at taking the SAT examination. But are they building homes in Haiti and Baltimore during their summer high school breaks? Have they gone on repeated teaching missions to Africa and Latin America?

I really don't know if there are racial disparities in terms of public service efforts among top high school students. The article mentions that there are criteria above and beyond scholastic achievements  when being admitted to Harvard.

Bloomberg:  These Are Wall Street's Must-Read Books of the Summer of 2015 ---
This list was compiled in an interesting manner.

"Arts and Sciences Deficits," by Kellie Woodhouse, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 4, 2015 ---

Larry Singell saw the writing on the wall well before his college was hit with a possible $8 million deficit.

Though the College of Arts and Sciences is by far the largest college at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus, more and more students were enrolling with credits earned through high school programs and community colleges. Students, worrying about employability after college, were leaving majors like English and anthropology behind and picking professional colleges instead.

“There’s no one reason why this is happening. As usual, it’s complicated,” Singell, dean of the college for the past four years, said of Indiana's deficit, which he says is a symptom of larger problems faced by liberal arts divisions within universities. “The budgetary problems are not one-year problems. This is not something that’s going to be different next year.”

Trends present in Indiana are present in colleges of arts and sciences across the nation.

Tim Johnston, president of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s dean of Arts and Sciences, says enrollments in departments like English and history, which historically have been staples of humanities programs, are down nationally.

“That’s partly a result of the economic situation, and students being very focused on the question of employment immediately after graduation,” he said. “We are sensitive to, and affected by, shifts in student interest and the consequences of that interest on our programs.”

Ohio State University’s College of Arts and Sciences faces a $10 million deficit, a shortfall of about 4 percent of its $266 million operating budget. Administrators blame trends in enrollment. Department chairs, however, charge that administrators have placed a high priority on admitting students unlikely to be arts and sciences majors and are turning away students who could provide a better financial base for the college.

One in five students come to Ohio State having completed a full year's worth of course work, either through Advanced Placement courses or community colleges, eroding revenue from what has long been the bread and butter of colleges of arts and sciences: general education courses that are required of all students, no matter their major or college.

Meanwhile, Ohio State’s College of Arts and Sciences saw an 11 percent drop in credit hour enrollment over the past five years, according to university data. Yet the College of Engineering grew by 56 percent and the business school grew by 12 percent. 

During that same period, the number of students majoring in English and history dropped by a third.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I read where Stanford University is down to 47 undergraduate majors in political science out of nearly 7,000 undergraduates, and Stanford University has a graduate school of business but no undergraduate business program to lure away undergraduate majors ---

This begs the question regarding why the number of political science majors declined so heavily?
Opportunities for law school graduates are "anemic."
When times were better for law careers many political science majors went on to law schools. Not any more.
"Pop Goes the Law," by Steven J. Harper, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, March 11, 2013 ---


For arts and science majors in general I blame parents who seemingly have become more concerned about career opportunities for their children in an era greatly increased costs of a college education. Opportunities for four-year graduates in humanities and sciences from prestigious universities are bleak except in medical careers for biological science majors and professional majors such as nurses. The tide shifted over to majors in computer science, information technology, and engineering.

At the risk of sounding sexist, careers in marriage are also down. Marriage rates in the USA are nearly at an all-time low ---
In the 1950s it was a luxury to choose from the smorgasbord of college majors based upon intellectual interests without having to be as concerned about a  career as long as one's intended spouse was to be the bread winner in an era of low divorce rates. With marriage at a a low point and divorce rates at a high point most students are focused more heavily upon making their own way in world of money.

"How to Bash Bureaucracy," by Evan Kindley, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 26, 2015 ---

Nowadays, nobody talks much about bureaucracy," writes David Graeber at the outset of his new book, The Utopia of Rules. In the first half of the 20th century, he reminds us, the word was on everyone’s lips. In the wake of the pioneering work of Max Weber, who defined bureaucracy as the consummate form of modern social organization, interest in the phenomenon spiked among sociologists like C. Wright Mills, journalists like William H. Whyte, and novelists like Joseph Heller. Nor has this tradition died out completely: In the last few years, we’ve had books from Ben Kafka on the history of paperwork, Nikil Saval on the office, and David Foster Wallace’s unfinished IRS novel, The Pale King.

Still, Graeber argues that there have been fundamental changes in the way we talk — or don’t talk — about bureaucracy since the 1960s, when radical social movements encouraged "rebellions against the bureaucratic mind-set." For the past 40 years or so it has been mainly the libertarian and neoliberal right that have talked about bureaucracy, often as a synonym for "big government."

The right-wing critique of bureaucracy, grounded in the thinking of neoliberal economists like Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, was based on a sharp distinction between state administration, held to be slow-moving, sclerotic, and potentially tyrannical, and free-market capitalism, viewed as dynamic, efficient, and fundamentally fair.

. . .

At the same time, the anti-authoritarian-­left critique of bureaucracy began to wither away as leftists devoted themselves instead to justifying and reinforcing the institutions of the welfare state. "The Right, at least, has a critique of bureaucracy," Graeber writes. "It’s not a very good one. But at least it exists. The Left has none

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In my opinion one reason for reduced criticism of bureaucracy is that as the Academy tilted more to the left it was no longer politically correct for members of the Academy to bash bureaucracy ---

Do you know the difference between data and metadata?

Metadata --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metadata

"Take My Metadata," by Geoffrey Pullam, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2, 2015 ---

Are we giving Tolstoy too much credit for long novels in this era of monumental SEC 10K reports (not to suggest that 10K reports are entirely fiction)?

From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on June 2, 2015

Good morning. With page counts once reserved for epic novels, annual reports and other required corporate filings have grown substantially longer as regulatory burdens have increased, CFO Journal’s Vipal Monga and Emily Chasan report. That’s forcing companies to spend a growing amount of time on the lengthy filings. The average 10K has grown to about 42,000 words in 2013 from roughly 30,000 words in 2000.

General Electric Co. Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Bornstein was taken aback by the company’s 246-page report. “Not a retail investor on planet Earth could get through” it, let alone understand it, he said. Packed with text on the company’s internal controls, auditor statements and regulator-mandated boilerplate on “inflation, recession and currency volatility,” the 2013 annual report was 109,894 words long.

Part of the reason for the ballooning filings: More U.S. companies are operating internationally, exposing their investors to new geopolitical risks. In addition, many also use abstract financial instruments such as derivatives and sophisticated hedging tactics to protect themselves from swings in currency and commodities markets.

Jensen Comment
War and Pease in English has over 500,000 words, such that 10K reports are not yet competitive.

This begs the question of when robots will commence to seriously read long books and reports and analyze the outcomes in varying  contexts.

When will a neurotic Hal be followed by millions of readers in Fortune Magazine?

New Data Visualization Software Makes Humans Slightly Less Stupid ---

. . .

In this era of Big Data, we have data about everything. The data, though, is typically packed into hard-to-decode Excel spreadsheets or locked in databases that only pros can query. Tableau wants to change that by giving ordinary people data visualization software that’s as easy to use as Facebook, so we can make more decisions based on data instead of on our instincts, which are mostly terrible.

In a way, this is a new twist on an age-old story of human knowledge. Little by little, data has encroached on our cognitive biases. Depending on who’s counting, we have four or five dozen kinds of cognitive biases, including Confirmation Bias (we favor information that confirms our preconceptions, or, as some might call it, “the Fox News Effect”) and the Neglect-of-Probability Bias (we hear of a single dramatic event, like a child abduction, and believe it’s much more common than it is, and then force our kids to stay inside for months, making everyone in the household miserable).

In the absence of data, we believe our cognitive biases. Centuries ago, people looked at the sky and concluded that the Earth was the center of the universe. Data about the movement of planets, most famously collected by Galileo, eventually eroded that false belief—although cognitive bias was so powerful that instead of celebrating Galileo for his insight, officials put him under house arrest. In the fight against cognitive bias, data is the underdog.

Over time, we’ve collected data about more and more of our world, and invented tools like computers to make sense of it. Now data is exploding like never before. Cellphones and the Internet have a lot to do with this. We’re moving our lives online—shopping, socializing, dating, reading, making restaurant reservations, hailing cabs. That means more of our behavior is tracked and turned into data. We’re also deploying gazillions of sensors that record data about traffic, weather, chemicals in the air, water in the ground, thongs in Brazil or anything else we might want to measure. We’re even wearing sensors so personal, they turn our heart rates and sweat production into data.

Yet it’s amazing how relatively little of this data infiltrates our cognitive biases. Take one simple example. In May, an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight passengers. Since then, the media and politicians have focused on ways to make trains safer from derailments. But that’s the Neglect-of-Probability Bias at work—a dramatic incident made us fear that derailment is a common problem on Amtrak. It’s not. For Amtrak, the No. 1 cause of accidents and deaths since 2010 has been trains hitting cars or people at rail crossings. That’s where attention and solutions should be focused.

The Amtrak data is not affecting our thinking because it is buried in a Department of Transportation spreadsheet that would make most people’s eyes spasm. Ordinary people can’t use it. But Tableau’s software was able to suck data out of the complicated spreadsheet and present it as interactive pictures: maps and graphs that can reveal trends and patterns with a mouse click or two. That’s the promise of data visualization.

This is not trivial technology. Tableau grew out of Ph.D. research into data visualization at Stanford University. Nothing quite like it existed before, and a dozen years after Tableau was founded, it’s still a work in progress. The learning curve for Tableau’s tools is steeper than, say, learning PowerPoint. Tableau’s revenues have been doubling about every 18 months, and the company is now worth more than $8 billion. And yet, as CEO Christian Chabot tells me, “we probably have reached less than 1 percent of the people who can benefit from our products. We’ve barely made a dent so far.”

Chabot imagines a world where we check our cognitive biases with data all the time, simply and easily, much the way you look at the GPS map on your smartphone instead of guessing where you are. Think of all the decisions you now make in a data vacuum. If you have that next bourbon, what’s the relative trade-off between how much fun you’ll have tonight versus how much you’ll suffer in the morning? If you take this job, will you be happy in a year? If you drink a 5-Hour Energy, will you personally get five hours of energy?

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on multivariate data visualization ---

"Wesleyan’s 3-Year Degree: How It's Doing After 3 Years," by Beckie Supiano, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 5, 2015 ---

. . .

How do students rack up enough credits in three years?

The program is customizable. Some students enroll at Wesleyan with credits, perhaps from Advanced Placement, but the university caps the number they can bring in that way.

Students can accelerate their path by taking summer or winter classes, and by taking extra courses during the regular year.

Of the 15 students who graduated in three years this spring, 14 arrived with credits from high school. Seven took summer courses at Wesleyan, two took winter ones there, and three took classes at other colleges, according to Mr. Phillips.

And each three-year graduate put the options together a bit differently. Jacob Glickman, for instance, enrolled with Advanced Placement credit, earned summer credits at Rutgers University, and saw the credits he earned from science labs add up.

Tian Qiao also had Advanced Placement credits, and he also took course overloads during the year. Although he studied abroad one summer, Mr. Qiao says, he didn’t transfer those credits because he already had enough.

Do the students who graduate early have time to do anything other than study?

Yes. Mr. Qiao, who is from China, graduated early with two majors and a minor. But he also was chair of the Chinese Cultural Committee and performed with the Chinese Music Ensemble. On top of that, Mr. Qiao worked two jobs, as a resident adviser and for the university’s Instructional Media Services. Mr. Glickman was, among other things, a varsity athlete.

That said, students do make sacrifices to graduate early, Mr. Phillips says. For one thing, he says, they can’t spend a semester abroad and still meet the university’s six-semester residency requirement.

What’s ahead for the three-year degree?

The program is still pretty new, Mr. Roth says, and its small size helps the university keep tabs on students’ experience with it.

If the option became a lot more popular, that wouldn’t be a bad thing, Mr. Roth says. Should it hit a point where Wesleyan has excess capacity on the campus as a result, the university could always take in more students. After all, Wesleyan is turning away many applicants who would like to be there.

Wesleyan's  Three Year Option --- http://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/curriculum/3year.html
Links to Courses --- https://iasext.wesleyan.edu/regprod/!wesmaps_page.html

Jensen Comment
I don't think Wesleyan has an accounting program or even a business program. If it did, it would probably be difficult to fit off-campus internships into a three-year option. Off-campus internships for credit have become extremely important in the 150-hour requirement to sit for the CPA examination. These internships are a huge draw for students and generally take place in the senior year rather than at the masters level.

"The 10 Most Important Things Google Announced Yesterday," by Reed Stevenson,  Bloomberg News, May 29, 2015  ---

"What Google Just Announced Is a Bombshell:   Now on Tap could change everything about your phone," by Joshua Topolsky, Bloomberg News, May 28, 2015 ---

What Google just announced at its IO conference is a bombshell for the future of the company. For years the search giant has witnessed the chipping away of its core product — search — due to the rise of mobile applications and their siloed-off experiences. Users are engaging more and more with programs that have no attachment or often need for search on the broad web, and as a result Google's position as the owner of our habits, interests, and needs on the internet has looked increasingly at risk.

Today, Google might have just changed its trajectory.

The company demoed a new feature of its Android OS which allows its Now service (a dashboard of notifications focused on your life and interests) to plug in as a layer that essentially hovers above any app running on your phone or tablet. Activated by the home button, it's always there. This means that you can get contextual search information around almost anything you're doing, provided there is text and data that Google can pull from the app itself. And the best part is that developers won't have to make any changes to their existing software to allow the new service — dubbed Now on Tap — to bring search and context into the user's view.

For instance, while listening to music in Spotify you can search for more info on an artist, or if you're talking about a restaurant in WhatsApp, Google can pull up data on the place and even help you make reservations. And this is not a feature of the app itself, rather a helper that lives inside of the entire operating system.

This is a major move for two reasons. The first is that it really brings Google back to a place of dominance as the glue that holds your digital life together. The web has thrived and grown in no small part because of Google's ability to track, organize, and understand all of its disparate pieces. Now it's able to do the same thing with every app running on your phone. It allows Google to get back into the search game by speaking the common language of apps. It gives the company a second life with access to user behavior and needs.

But secondly, it starts to show how Google can be an interconnecting layer between the apps themselves — a kind of neutral staging ground between one action and another. This is a sea-change for how we use our mobile devices and how mobile apps interact with one another. Currently, we use OS-defined tools which let apps interact with each other (with rules defined by the OS-makers, not developers). But imagine if developers didn't have to think about how their work connects to the rest of your world? Imagine if Now on Tap is aware enough of the core functions of those apps that it can predict what you'd most likely want to do with them, and then execute on those needs?

That's the ultimate promise of Now on Tap — and it's a game changing one.

However, the technology has its limits. There's no chance a service like this will ever make its way to Apple's iOS given the closed nature of the operating system (and the fact that Apple will undoubtedly take a stab at the same concept). And Google also has to prove that this kind of natural language processing can work effectively enough to live up to the company's promise of a seamless experience.

Continued in a long article

Other Innovations Announced by Google ---

"Beware the Rise of the Pseudo-Intellectual: Tom Wolfe’s Boston University Commencement Address,"  by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, May 15, 2015 ---

Wolfe begins by putting in perspective the value — the gift — of an education:

As someone who grew up in the Great Depression of the 1930s, I know that a commencement is a family triumph. Forget money. Aside from love, the cardinal virtues, and time, there is no greater gift parents can give a child than an education.

And yet much of the true value of education, Wolfe argues, is being eclipsed by what he calls “pernicious enlightenment” — our idea-fetishism, continually fueled by the challenge of finding wisdom in the age of information, which leads us to mistake surface impressions for substantive understanding. Wolfe writes:

We live in an age in which ideas, important ideas, are worn like articles of fashion — and for precisely the same reason articles of fashion are worn, which is to make the wearer look better and to feel à la mode.

He examines the role of the middle class in the dissemination and uptake of ideas:

The truth is that there is a common bond among all cultures, among all peoples in this world … at least among those who have reached the level of the wheel, the shoe, and the toothbrush. And that common bond is that much-maligned class known as the bourgeoisie — the middle class… They are all over the world, in every continent, every nation, every society, every culture, everywhere you find the wheel, the shoe, and the toothbrush, and wherever they are, all of them believe in the same things. And what are those things? Peace, order, education, hard work, initiative, enterprise, creativity, cooperation, looking out for one another, looking out for the future of children, patriotism, fair play, and honesty. How much more do you want from the human beast? How much more can you possibly expect?

I say that the middle class around the world … is the highest form of evolution. The bourgeoisie! — the human beast doesn’t get any better! The worldwide bourgeoisie makes what passes today for aristocrats — people consumed by juvenility who hang loose upon society — look like shiftless children.

Perhaps with an eye to Virginia Woolf’s legendary rant against the malady of middlebrow, Wolfe notes:

We writers spent the entire twentieth century tearing down the bourgeoisie! … We in the arts have been complicit in the denigration of the best people on earth. Why? Because so many of the most influential ideas of our time are the product of a new creature of the twentieth century, a creature that did not exist until 1898 — and that creature is known as “the intellectual.”

The true enemy of the assimilation of substantive ideas, Wolfe argues, isn’t the middlebrow person but the pseudo-intellectual or, even, the “intellectual” — for anyone who describes himself as an “intellectual” (to say nothing of a “public intellectual”) already implies the “pseudo” by the very act of such self-description. (You know the type — perhaps he has an exaggerated “European accent” of unidentifiable Germanic origin, perhaps he quotes Voltaire excessively, perhaps he slips one too many French words into ordinary speech where a perfectly good English option exists.) Wolfe makes an important distinction:

We must be careful to make a distinction between the intellectual and the person of intellectual achievement. The two are very, very different animals. There are people of intellectual achievement who increase the sum of human knowledge, the powers of human insight, and analysis. And then there are the intellectuals. An intellectual is a person knowledgeable in one field who speaks out only in others. Starting in the early twentieth century, for the first time an ordinary storyteller, a novelist, a short story writer, a poet, a playwright, in certain cases a composer, an artist, or even an opera singer could achieve a tremendous eminence by becoming morally indignant about some public issue. It required no intellectual effort whatsoever. Suddenly he was elevated to a plane from which he could look down upon ordinary people. Conversely — this fascinates me — conversely, if you are merely a brilliant scholar, merely someone who has added immeasurably to the sum of human knowledge and the powers of human insight, that does not qualify you for the eminence of being an intellectual.


Way More than Luck: Commencement Speeches on Living with Bravery, Empathy, and Other Existential Skills ---

Legal Tech Firm UnitedLex Establishes Residency Programs With Emory, Miami, Ohio State & Vanderbilt ---

Recent law graduates who participate in the two-year UnitedLex residency program will learn to use cutting-edge legal technologies and processes to provide high-quality and efficient legal services to corporate legal departments and top law firms. Those selected for the residency program each year will receive rigorous classroom instruction provided by senior attorneys, will serve in a supervisory capacity, and will work directly with clients to deliver legal services in such practice areas as litigation management, e-discovery, cyber security, contract management, patent licensing, IP management and immigration law. At the end of the residency, some residents will continue on the UnitedLex legal staff, while others will join employers seeking experienced attorneys trained in the technologies and processes of 21st-century law practice. ...

The legal residency program is similar to a medical residency in that it provides both full-time employment and rigorous, hands-on training.

“There is much that we can learn from medicine, in particular, from the large teaching hospitals where teaching, research, and clinical work is fully integrated and undertaken under the one roof. Central to this teaching is offering students direct access to patients,” explains Richard Susskind, author of The End of Lawyers? and Tomorrow’s Lawyers, as well as the Larry Hoffman/Greenberg Traurig Distinguished Visiting Professor at Miami Law. “The contrast with the legal profession is profound. I welcome all efforts to encourage greater synergy—by analogy with teaching hospitals—between client service delivery, education and training, and academic research.”

“Our legal residency program was created to address challenges facing the legal industry, including the lack of training opportunities for recent graduates and the ever-increasing costs for both the providers and consumers of legal services,” said Daniel Reed, CEO of UnitedLex. “The program represents a novel and innovative way for law schools and the legal industry to tackle a challenging situation.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
All these are residency programs for the practice of law and legal research. However, this  made me think how top accounting doctoral programs might develop residency programs for academic researchers. It wouldn't do much good to develop practitioner residency programs since virtually all accountancy doctoral programs are about as removed from practice as they can get (the high ground so to speak). But for newly minted Ph.D. graduates seeking to publish in top accounting research journals and interact with some top academic researchers (not just in accounting) at places like Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, NYU, and Chicago thre may be some demand for residency programs.

"Millennial College Graduates: Young, Educated, Jobless," by Leah McGrath Goodman, Newsweek, May 27, 2015 ---

This spring, an estimated 2.8 million university graduates will enter the U.S. workforce with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees just as America’s unemployment rate hits its lowest level in nearly seven years. Cause for celebration, right? Not so fast.

The millennial generation is still lagging in the workplace, just as it did last year. It makes up about 40 percent of the unemployed in the U.S., says Anthony Carnevale, a director and research professor for Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

Generation Opportunity, a conservative nonprofit that advocates for millennials, releases a monthly “Millennial Jobs Report” that slices official labor data and tracks unemployment rates for younger workers. As of May, the data show 13.8 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds are out of work, an improvement over 14.2 percent in January and over the same time last year, when it was 15.4 percent. The trend is encouraging, but the number is still way above the national jobless rate of 5.4 percent.

“If you look at the numbers starting in 2009, we’ve been in the longest sustained period of unemployment since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began collecting their data following World War II,” says David Pasch, a spokesman for Generation Opportunity and a 26-year-old millennial. “This misconception that we don’t want jobs or that we’re lazy and entitled is nonsense.”

Continued in article

Robert De Niro's salty graduation speech for New York arts students 'You made it,' Oscar-winning actor tells NYU art school grads, but proceeds to prepare grads for real world ---

Tisch graduates, you made it," congratulated the two-time Academy Award winner and keynote speaker on Friday. "And, you're f--cked."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on careers ---

"Memorable Law School Graduation Speeches," by Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, May 27, 2015 ---

Jensen Comments

I liked the following quotation

Go play in traffic. Now you’re saying, “What’s wrong with the guy? He wants me to go get hit by a car!” That’s not what I want you to do. What I want you to do is engage. … Go out, play in traffic. Something’s gonna happen eventually

Jensen Comment
The reason I like the above quotation is that while you are playing in traffic you can wait for an ambulance to chase --- heh, heh.

This one is tough to answer.

What I want you to think about is how you might confront a harder question: what to do if you don’t love what you do.

Jensen Comment
Most of our parents and grandparents did not particularly like what they had to do for a living. They got up every morning and went to work --- often caught up in drudgery routines so they could put a roof over our heads, feed us, help us pay our car insurance, and to the extent possible help us pay for college.

I had the luxury in life of enjoying my career as a college professor --- enjoying almost every day when I went to work. This is why I keep doing many of the same things after I retired. But I think I'm an exception in the land of careers. And my career was not perfect. Most of the time when I was physically with my kids my mind was elsewhere.


It would be ironic if her name was "Eve"
Police: Woman Gets Fork in the Eye in Dispute Over Last Rib ---

Chinese Nationals Accused of Vast SAT Cheating Conspiracy ---
The Chinese Model
"Indicted for Cheating," by Elizabeth Redden and Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, May 29, 2015 ---

The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday announced the indictment of 15 Chinese nationals for what authorities called an elaborate scheme that allowed some people to fraudulently win admission to American colleges and to gain U.S. visas.

According to the indictment, some Chinese individuals took the SAT, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) while pretending to be other Chinese individuals, who had registered for the tests and wanted to attend college in the United States, or at least to get a visa permitting them to do so. Those taking the tests imported fake Chinese passports and inserted their photographs, but with the names of others, so it would appear that the person taking the test was the one seeking to enroll in the United States.

American testing companies regularly tighten security to prevent fraud, and this battle has been particularly intense in Asia. But Thursday's announcement stands out in that an investigation is leading not to some test scores being canceled, but to the indictment of 15 people. The investigation that led to the indictments involved the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State. The Educational Testing Service and the College Board were also involved.

“These students were not only cheating their way into the university, they were also cheating their way through our nation’s immigration system,” said John Kelleghan, special agent in charge for homeland security investigations.

Those who took a test fraudulently (but successfully) were paid up to $6,000 a test by those using their services.

The indictment names Northeastern University as one recipient of a false test score, and refers to other institutions without naming them. Northeastern officials were reached after business hours Thursday and said that they didn't know if the university had been made aware of the fraudulent report submitted by an applicant. "Northeastern receives approximately 50,000 applications each year. We thoroughly review all submissions for quality and veracity, but it's possible that an applicant could submit false test scores as a way to gain admission. We do not comment in the press on specific admissions decisions," said a spokesperson.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on students who cheat ---

"Bye, Bye, American History Professors and historians urged opposition to the College Board’s new curriculum for teaching AP U.S. History," by Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2015 ---

The memory hole, a creation of George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” was a mechanism for separating a society’s disapproved ideas from its dominant ideas. The unfavored ideas disappeared, Orwell wrote, “on a current of warm air” into furnaces.

In the U.S., the memory-sorting machine may be the College Board’s final revision of the Advanced Placement examination for U.S. history, to be released later this summer.

The people responsible for the new AP curriculum really, really hate it when anyone says what they are doing to U.S. history is tendentious and destructive. In April, the nine authors of the “curriculum framework” published a relatively brief open letter to rebut “uninformed criticisms” of the revision.

Last week, 56 professors and historians published a petition on the website of the National Association of Scholars, urging opposition to the College Board’s framework. Pushback against the new AP U.S. history curriculum has also emerged in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Georgia.

To one liberal newspaper columnist, doubts about the goodness of the new U.S. history curriculum are “claptrap.” New York magazine said a committee vote in Oklahoma’s legislature to defund AP history teaching sounded like something from “The Colbert Report.”

 . . .

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld got attention this week for saying he understood why other comics such as Chris Rock have stopped performing on campuses beset by political correctness, trigger warnings and “microaggressions.” He said young people cry “racism,” “sexism” or “prejudice” without any idea of what they’re talking about.

How did that happen? It happened because weak school administrators and academics empowered tireless activists who forced all of American history and life through the four prisms of class, gender, ethnicity and identity. What emerged at the other end was one idea—guilt. I exist, therefore I must be guilty. Of something.

The College Board promises that what it produces next month will be “balanced.” We await the event.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the rise of liberal bias in education ---

Bob Jensen's threads on political correctness ---

From MIT's Technology Review
Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending May 30, 2015) ---

"Quest to Mine Seawater for Lithium Advances:  Predicted lithium shortages are leading to novel technologies for recovering the element, now found mostly in salt lakes in South America." by Richard Martin, MIT's Technology Review,  June 8, 2015 ---

. . .

“I think we will see shortages,” says Simon Moores, head of the minerals and mining consultancy Benchmark Intelligence. “New supply is needed now, and it will be in the future, even if a fraction of the planned expansions in battery production happens.”

Benchmark’s tracking of lithium prices shows a steady rise over the last few years, and Moores doesn’t foresee prices falling anytime soon. That is fueling R&D at the most basic level, as with Hoshino’s work, and it’s driving new investment in salt lakes that could produce lithium—particularly in Nevada, where Tesla is building the Gigafactory. (See “Tesla’s Massive Nevada Factory Will Need Massive Results to Pay Off.”)

Vancouver-based Dajin Resources recently released lithium assay results from its Alkali Lake property in Esmeralda County, Nevada, showing promising concentrations of lithium. The company also owns acreage in the Teels Marsh region, in Mineral County. Dajin plans to recover the lithium using conventional methods, says president Brian Findlay.

“There are a number of different and interesting technologies, but they all start with high-concentration brine,” says Findlay. “And the simplest proven technology is evaporation.” Indeed, it’s hard to compete with a natural process.

That is not stopping entrepreneurs and researchers from trying. One of the more interesting methods is reverse osmosis, a technique that could, in theory, extract lithium much faster than the 18 to 24 months required for brine evaporation. (One of the structural problems of the current lithium production industry is that because of the long lag time needed for evaporation, it’s hard to ramp up production quickly in response to new demand.) Simbol Materials, based in Pleasanton, California, wants to use reverse osmosis to remove lithium from the wastewater coming from the Featherstone geothermal plant near California’s Salton Sea. It would be an elegant solution, combining clean power generation with lithium recovery for EV batteries. But Simbol is reportedly seeking a buyer, and in February it laid off the majority of its workers. (Simbol representatives did not respond to requests for comment for this article.) So far, at least, reverse osmosis looks like another promising technology that has failed to find traction.

That brings us back to the world’s largest repository of lithium: the sea. In recent years novel processes and materials, including graphene, have shown promise in making mining the sea a reality. Researchers at the University of North Carolina, for instance, designed a metal-organic framework to collect uranium-bearing ions from seawater. Hoshino believes his seawater dialysis cell for recovering lithium could be commercialized within five years.

It’s clear that as the advanced battery sector expands, these efforts will continue. For now, though, it’s still hard to compete with natural processes.


Capacity Accounting --- http://maaw.info/CapacityRelatedMain.htm

Electric Power Company Dilemma:  Those Pesky Capacity Costs
"Frank Wolak: How to Keep Green Policies from Crashing the Electricity Grid As California embarks on “cap and trade,” Stanford researchers employ advanced trading games to head off nasty surprises," by Edmund Andrews, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, May 13, 2015 --- Click Here

. . .

The games also highlight what is perhaps the biggest long-term conundrum tied to regulatory mandates for solar and wind power: a pricing dynamic that sends spot-market electricity prices crashing to almost zero at times when sunlight and wind are abundant, which can make it hard for other electricity providers that are essential during periods of peak demand to recover their fixed costs.

Price crashes have already become a serious issue in Germany, where government-supported mechanisms have propelled renewables to the point that, during a few hours of the year, renewables are the nation’s largest source of electricity. Germany has actually experienced negative spot prices on days in the summer when solar output is high and electricity demand is relatively low. Negative prices also occur in US electricity markets with substantial renewable energy shares, such as California and Texas.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
This topic should be great for student projects in both cost accounting and environmental accounting.

Taking Government Out of Political Science in an Effort to Attract More Majors
Students Don't Want Boring Government Courses --- So Give Them Political Activism and Data Science Courses
"Rethinking Poli-Sci," by Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, May 29, 2014 ---

. . .

Up until last year, Stanford’s undergraduate political science major was like most others across the country, which emphasize concentrations, or subfields. Rather than taking Poli-Sci 101 or the equivalent, students had to narrow their focus almost immediately in choosing an introductory course in one of the following, which in most cases became their concentration through subsequent course work: international relations, American government and politics, justice and comparative politics. (Stanford also required a secondary concentration.)

The model has long been subject to criticism from within and without the discipline, namely that it’s too specialized too early and that it doesn’t pay enough attention to diversity and non-American politics. But for a long time it worked for Stanford, at least as far as majors were concerned. The department traditionally graduated about 100 students annually. But then the numbers began to slip: 66 majors in 2009, 74 in 2011, 58 in 2013, 47 this year.

Other political science departments have reported declines in numbers of majors since the recession, and there was a 4.5 percent drop in political science and government degrees conferred between 2008 and 2013, according to data from the Education Department's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System provided by the American Political Science Association. But Stanford’s numbers seemed extreme. So faculty members staged an intervention, working for over a year to design a new introductory course to whet students’ appetites and rethinking their pathways to the major to retain them.

Grimmer said the new introductory course is based on four modules that represent “big, pressing political problems and how political scientists study those problems”: war, poverty and inequality, the environment, and collective decision making.

After that course, students may follow new tracks to a major. Four are roughly similar to the old concentrations: justice and law; international affairs; elections, representation and governance; and political economy and development. An entirely new track is based on data science. That’s mostly in response to student demand, Grimmer said, adding it’s been disappointing to tell computer science-minded students in the past that there are no good courses for them in the undergraduate major. Stanford’s most popular major is computer science, and its engineering heart has influenced other departments. Last year, for example, the English department launched a joint computer science degree.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
This probably does not solve the main problem with the decline in political science majors. My hunch is that the main problem is that political science majors in the past commonly tracked into law schools. Now enrollment in law schools is down across the USA over 30% because half the law school graduates cannot find careers in law. This problem back flushes all the way to choosing undergraduate majors. Political science is not a particularly popular degree when preparing for an MBA instead of law school.


Best oi the Scout Report for 2014-2015

As Reported in May 26, 2015
- Teaching History with 100 Objects
- Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures and Medical Prescriptions
- Interactives: Oceanus Magazine
- The Upshot
- Open Culture
- Neuropod Podcasts
- 40 maps that explain the Roman Empire
- Birds of North America
- Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet
- Made with Code



From the Scout Report on June 5, 2015

PrintFriendly --- http://www.printfriendly.com/ 

When printing pages from the Internet, it can often be a struggle to get rid of useless images that waste ink and page space. Enter PrintFriendly, a free, easy-to-use tool that cleans and formats web pages for printing. Simply copy and paste a URL into the website's "print preview" text box and PrintFriendly will remove ads as well as navigation and web images. A clean content-based copy will then be created that can be printed, emailed, or downloaded as a PDF.  

Yapp --- https://www.yapp.us/ 

Yapp presents a do-it-yourself advance into the world of mobile apps. The introductory service is free, and creating an app for a conference, a wedding, a sports team, or some other event or organization is surprisingly easy. First, select an app design from dozens of themes and then enter text, photos, and other personalizing content. Pressing Publish generates a link that can be shared with friends or coworkers so they can download and use the app you've created. From there updates and push notifications can be sent in real time. For most users, the process of creating and sharing an app can take less than ten minutes.

18th-Century Slave Ship Discovered Off of the South African Coast
Grim History Traced in Sunken Slave Ship Found Off South Africa

Wreck Of A 221-Year-Old Slave Ship Is Confirmed Off South Africa

S.Africa Shipwreck a ‘Milestone’ in Slave Trade Study

Smithsonian to Receive Artifacts From Sunken 18th-Century Slave Ship Found
Off the Coast of South Africa

South Africa beach service to honor slaves drowned in 1794 shipwreck

Smithsonian Newsdesk: Slave Wrecks Project

From the Scout Report on June 12, 2015

StudyBlue --- https://www.studyblue.com/ 

Tech-savvy educators are increasingly looking for more and better online tools to help their students learn. Enter StudyBlue, a free service that is designed to help students learn collaboratively. As a flashcard based resource, it allows users to create, share, and view the flashcards of others, using text, audio, and images. There are thousands of viewable flashcards already on the site that cover dozens of different subjects. In addition, teachers can create their own virtual classes, then add and track students as they access information, create or modify flashcards, and even take online quizzes. User accounts can be set up by using Facebook, Google, or an email address.  

Password --- https://agilebits.com/onepassword 

Between Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Paypal, three different email accounts, bank accounts, and a host of other password protected web sites, it’s often difficult to remember which password you used for which web service. 1Password has the answer; it secures passwords and saves them behind a locked browser extension. Users can access them easily, needing only a single password to open the treasure chest. Best of all, 1Password automatically creates new passwords for new sites, and fills in all passwords to known sites automatically. The 1Password extension and app are supported across a variety of platforms, including Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android.

Library of Congress Appoints Juan Felipe Herrera as 21st U.S. Poet
First Hispanic Poet Laureate Appointed by Library of Congress

Juan Felipe Herrera becomes first Mexican American U.S. poet laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera Appointed Poet Laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate With a Working-Class Voice Meant to Be

U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera on the art of poetry

Juan Felipe Herrera, Current Poet Laureate


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

Education Tutorials

250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives --- http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/250-plus-killer-digital-libraries-and-archives/

Mid-State Technical College: Career Coach ---  https://mstc.emsicareercoach.com/

Essential Science for Teachers: Earth & Space Science --- https://www.learner.org/courses/essential/earthspace/index.html

STEMblog --- http://blog.stemconnector.org

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

Zoo Atlanta: Animals http://www.zooatlanta.org/home/animals#u-ZE2

YaleNews: Business, Law, Society --- http://news.yale.edu/

Rich Schools, Poor Students: Tapping Large University Endowments to Improve Student Outcomes (PDF) ---  http://nexusresearch.org/reports/Rich_Schools_Poor_Students.pdf

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines ---

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

What Kind of Bird Is That?: A Free App From Cornell Will Give You the Answer ---

Essential Science for Teachers: Earth & Space Science --- https://www.learner.org/courses/essential/earthspace/index.html

STEMblog --- http://blog.stemconnector.org

Thirty Meter Telescope --- http://www.tmt.org/

Jet Propulsion Lab: Infographics --- http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/infographics/

A Visual History of Space Walks ---

Symmetry Magazine: Dimensions of Particle Physics --- http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/

StarTalk Radio Show --- http://www.startalkradio.net/

NASA: Magnetospheric Mission (MMS) --- http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mms/index.html#.VQrodWTF_K0

Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies: Research --- http://www.nelson.wisc.edu/research/index.php

Comprehensive Assessment of Mercury in Streams Explains Sources, Cycling, and Effects ---

Zoo Atlanta: Animals http://www.zooatlanta.org/home/animals#u-ZE2

HASTAC Blogs --- http://www.hastac.org/blogs

Pronounced HayStack
Nearly 13,000 humanists, artists, social scientists, scientists and technologists working to "transform the future of learning."

HASTAC’s mission is shaped by the active participation and interests of our members. Whether authoring one of your own blog entries, commenting on someone else’s, or just lurking and learning, blogs are one of the primary ways to interact with, strengthen, and fully engage the HASTAC network. Below you will find recent blog entries, as well as some curated entries selected by HASTAC staff. You can also easily track the latest comments and see what blog posts are generating the most discussion. Via the buttons in the sidebar, you will also find HASTAC’s own Cathy Davidson’s “Cat in the Stack” blog, as well as “Where are the Now” the official blog of the Digital Media and Learning Competition winners.

Bob Jensen's threads on listservs and blogs in higher education ---

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

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

Columbia Journalism Review: Innovations --- http://www.cjr.org/innovations/

Mid-State Technical College: Career Coach ---  https://mstc.emsicareercoach.com/

Guided to Safety (domestic violence and staying safe in society) ---  http://guidedtosafety.org/

Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies: Research --- http://www.nelson.wisc.edu/research/index.php

YaleNews: Business, Law, Society --- http://news.yale.edu/

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library --- http://www.reaganfoundation.org/

eHistory --- http://www.ehistory.org/

BBC Radio 4: The World at One (50 years of programming) --- http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qptc

Rich Schools, Poor Students: Tapping Large University Endowments to Improve Student Outcomes (PDF) ---  http://nexusresearch.org/reports/Rich_Schools_Poor_Students.pdf

White House Live (news on current happenings) --- https://www.whitehouse.gov/live

Urban Natural Resources Stewardship --- http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/urban/

Artsy --- https://www.artsy.net/

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

Law and Legal Studies

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

Stuff You Missed in History Class --- http://www.missedinhistory.com/

eHistory --- http://www.ehistory.org/

250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives --- http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/250-plus-killer-digital-libraries-and-archives/

Damn Interesting (obscure true stories in history) --- http://www.damninteresting.com/

An American Family Grows in Brooklyn (starting in 1661)  http://www.brooklynhistory.org/exhibitions/lefferts/

PEN/Faulkner Foundation (prizes for USA fiction) --- http://www.penfaulkner.org/

The Woodman Diary (Irish Soldier's World War I Diary) ---  http://dhprojects.maynoothuniversity.ie/woodman/

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Galleries --- http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/museum-map/galleries

San Francisco Art Enthusiast --- http://sfartenthusiast.com/

Smithsonian Digitizes & Lets You Download 40,000 Works of Asian and American Art ---

Model T Ford Video --- http://safeshare.tv/w/ShbgvwazCZ  

artnet News --- http://news.artnet.com

The Absurd Philosophy of Albert Camus Presented in a Short Animated Film by Alain De Botton ---

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library --- http://www.reaganfoundation.org/

Hear Toni Morrison’s Poetic Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech on the Radical Power of Language (1993) ---

Eugène Delacroix Illustrates Goethe’s Faust, “One of the Very Greatest of All Illustrated Books” ---

Hayao Miyazaki’s Beloved Characters Reimagined in the Style of 19th-Century Woodblock Prints ---

BBC Radio 4: The World at One (50 years of programming) --- http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qptc

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center: Nautical Charts --- http://maps.bpl.org/highlights/nautical/nautical-charts

From the Scout Report on June 5, 2015

18th-Century Slave Ship Discovered Off of the South African Coast
Grim History Traced in Sunken Slave Ship Found Off South Africa

Wreck Of A 221-Year-Old Slave Ship Is Confirmed Off South Africa

S.Africa Shipwreck a ‘Milestone’ in Slave Trade Study

Smithsonian to Receive Artifacts From Sunken 18th-Century Slave Ship Found
Off the Coast of South Africa

South Africa beach service to honor slaves drowned in 1794 shipwreck

Smithsonian Newsdesk: Slave Wrecks Project

From the Scout Report on June 12, 2015

Library of Congress Appoints Juan Felipe Herrera as 21st U.S. Poet
First Hispanic Poet Laureate Appointed by Library of Congress

Juan Felipe Herrera becomes first Mexican American U.S. poet laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera Appointed Poet Laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate With a Working-Class Voice Meant to Be

U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera on the art of poetry

Juan Felipe Herrera, Current Poet Laureate


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

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

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

Bob Jensen's threads on medicine ---

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

May 28, 2015

June 2, 2015

June 3, 2015

June 4, 2015

June 5, 2015

June 6, 2015

June 8, 2015

June 9, 2015

June 11, 2015

June 13, 2015

How 'Beautiful Mind' Mathematician John Nash's Schizophrenia 'Disappeared' ---

. . .

Some researchers have noted that patients with schizophrenia tend to get better as they age.

"We know, as a general rule, with exceptions, that as people with schizophrenia age, they have fewer symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations," Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, a psychiatrist who specializes in schizophrenia, said in an interview with "American Experience."

However, Moreno said that many patients will get worse over time if they don't have access to proper medical care and are not in a supportive environment.

"When you have a schizophrenic who has had the multiple psychotic breaks, there is a downward path," Moreno said. Patients suffer financially because they can't work, physically because they can't take care of themselves, and socially because their bizarre behaviors distance them from others, Moreno said.

It may be that the people who have supportive environments are the ones who are able to live to an older age, and have a better outcome, Moreno said.

Still, there is no guarantee that someone will recover from schizophrenia — a patient may have all the protective factors but not recover, Moreno said. Most patients cope with their symptoms for their entire lives, but many are also able to live rewarding lives, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Future research into the causes of the disease may lead to better ways to prevent and treat the illness, NIMH says.

Jensen Comment
There does not seem to be a magic pill or other medical treatment, although the odds seem to get better with a combination of aging, medical treatment, and a strong support group. It seems to be more difficult for people who succumbed to the disease at a young age. Nash's worst years were between age 30 and age 50.

It's sad when patients face this disease alone on the mean streets or are thrown into prisons for many years.

Zoonotic diseases are, and how to stop them ---

AN UNUSUAL outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, has occurred in South Korea, where a few dozen people have tested positive for the disease and two have reportedly died. Hundreds of South Korean schools have shut down as a safety precaution. The dramatic reaction to MERS (which is normally only seen in the Middle East, where it has killed a few hundred people) may reflect heightened anxiety about the dangers of epidemics in the wake of an abnormally expansive outbreak of Ebola fever, which has claimed more than 10,000 lives. New human pathogens arise in two ways. They may evolve from old ones, or they may jump to humanity from other species. The second, more common route, is the one taken by both Ebola and MERS. Infections that jump in this way are called zoonotic diseases, or zoonoses. How do they work, and what can be done to stop them?

Ebola is suspected of being bat-borne, though that has yet to be proved beyond doubt. Bats also look like the origin of MERS, a viral illness that appeared in 2012 in the Middle East, and SARS, another virus, which burst upon the world from southern China at the end of 2002. HIV, meanwhile, came from other primates. The pandemic version, HIV1, was once a chimpanzee virus. HIV2, largely restricted to west Africa, came from the sooty mangabey, a monkey. Some older human diseases, too, are constantly replenished from animals. Influenza is an infection of pigs and poultry that subsequently spreads to people. Not every crossover is successful from the virus’s point of view. HIV1, which has been researched intensively, is known to have spread many times to people and then petered out, before one strain of it got lucky. But it only takes one strain to make the leap successfully for trouble to start.

Zoonoses are particularly likely to develop when people and animals live in close proximity to each other. One reason southern China often spawns them (SARS was not unique; a lot of influenza begins there, too) is that the region has a plethora of small farms, in which many species of animal live in close quarters with each other and with human beings. The constant crossing of pathogens between the species involved makes it more likely that one will emerge that can thrive in people. Agriculture is not the only sort of proximity that can foster zoonotic disease. HIV1 is suspected to have started with a hunter who killed a chimpanzee in the forest. In this context, the extensive clearance of forests, at present a serious environmental issue in many poor countries, brings people into habitats they might previously not have visited. That, in turn, is suspected by some to be increasing the amount of zoonotic disease.

Continued in article

Here’s Why Skin Cancer Rates Are Up—and How to Protect Yourself ---

A new beverage line called Stubborn Soda will be made with natural flavors including black cherry with tarragon and orange hibiscus, and no high fructose corn syrup ---


A Bit of Humor

Forwarded by Paula
Humorous TV Commercial --- http://www.youtube.com/embed/AA56LgpFbSw?rel=0

Pat Venditte (Oakland) can pitch with either his left or his right arm.
Small-town newspaper claims switch pitcher Pat Venditte is also 'amphibious' ---

Man caught stuffing assault rifles down his pants at pawn shop ---
He might have gotten away with it if women did not keep asking him to dance.

Forwarded by Paula

Blonde on a plane

A plane is on its way to Chicago when a blonde in economy class gets up and moves to the first class Section and sits down.

The Flight Attendant watches her do this and asks to see her ticket.

She then tells the blonde that she paid for economy class and that she will have to sit in the back.

The blonde replies, “I’m blonde, I’m beautiful, I’m going to Chicago, and I’m staying right here.”

Another flight attendant tries to get her to move, but the blonde replies, “I’m blonde, I’m beautiful, I’m going to Chicago, and I’m staying right here.”

The head flight attendant goes to the cockpit and tells the pilot and the co-pilot that there is a blonde bimbo sitting in first class, that she belongs in economy and won’t move back to her seat.

The co-pilot goes back to the blonde and tries to explain that because she only paid for economy she will have to leave and return to her seat.

The blonde replies, “I’m blonde, I’m beautiful, I’m going to Chicago, and I’m staying right here.”

The co-pilot tells the pilot that he probably should have the police waiting when they land in Chicago, to arrest this blonde woman who won’t listen to reason.

The pilot says, “You say she’s a blonde? I’ll handle this, I’m married to a blonde. I speak ‘blonde.’”

He goes back to the blonde and whispers in her ear. She says, “Oh, I’m sorry,” gets up and goes back to her seat in economy.

The flight attendants and co-pilot are amazed and asked him what he said to make her move without any fuss.

“I told her ‘first class isn’t going to Chicago.’”

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

WELCOME to 2015: 
• Our Phones – Wireless
• Cooking – Fireless
• Cars – Keyless
• Food – Fatless
• Tires –Tubeless
• Dress – Sleeveless
• Youth – Jobless
• Leaders – Shameless
• Relationships – Meaningless
• Attitudes – Careless
• Babies – Fatherless
• Feelings – Heartless
• Education – Valueless
• Children – Mannerless
• Country – Godless
Government is CLUELESS, 
And our Politicians are WORTHLESS ! 
I'm scared – Shitless


This is "Priceless".


The earth revolves around the sun. Now a woman in Spain claims she owns the sun and is trying to sell it (the sun) ---



Humor on May 31,  2015 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book15q2.htm#Humor043015

Humor on April 30, 2015 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book15q2.htm#Humor043015

Humor on March 1-31, 2015 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book15q1.htm#Humor033115

Humor on February 1-28, 2015 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book15q1.htm#Humor022815

Humor on January 1-31, 2015 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book15q1.htm#Humor013115

Humor on December 1-31, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q4.htm#Humor123114

Humor on November 1-30, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q4.htm#Humor113014

Humor on October 1-31, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q4.htm#Humor103114

Humor on September 1-30, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q3.htm#Humor093014

Humor on August 1-31, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q3.htm#Humor083114

Humor on July 1-31, 2014--- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q3.htm#Humor073114

Humor on June 1-31, 2014 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book14q2.htm#Humor063014


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