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06 August 2012



No Greg, you lost way back when you tried to do the equivalent of drafting all premed grads into teaching middle school science. Curiously enough, I have known M.D.'s who were able to quit their practices and teach high school full time, apparently being less greedy than computer science gurus. You do a marvelous job of defaming yourself, with no help from me, but as an ardent admirer of human extremes and contradictions, I thought I'd spread your fame to your former classmates.


"and the proof was the fact that Mudd took over from CalTech as the school with the percentage of graduates with PhD's very early on, now a bit behind CalTech but remaining ahead of MIT. " ~Posted by: Gregory | 12 August 2012 at 11:38 PM~

and never backed up. And, incidentally, a rather bizarre comparison. Not patents held, not wealth created, not Nobel prizes, not companies created, but something which reminds me of the baseball and football stats that are so popular among fans, kinda like the most strikeouts in the eighth inning on cloudy days west of the Okeefenokee Swamp.

Early PhD's? Let's see, those are the folks who are best at Lickspittling the faculty's work for them, how nice...


And I notice you never got one yourself, tsk, tsk...


Definition of MALICE
1: desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another

Thank you, Doug Keachie, for your clear statements of desire and intent.

"the equivalent of drafting all premed grads into teaching middle school science"

That's a bizarre characterization of the idea that computer science teachers should have a significant background in computer science, and I'm pleased (but not surprised) the AP Computer Science teacher at Lowell had an appropriate degree. Not sociology or anthropology.

George Rebane

TomK (nee DougK) & Gregory - You are at each other's throats again, and, as usual adding little to this comments stream. Your tete a tete on computer science education in high schools was a stretch, but did contribute some to the titled post. However, this new thread of mud slinging is boring and belongs on another blog (DougK don't you also have a blog?) that could use more attention.

As soon as I have some time, I will review and scrub this stream of your pure ad hominems.


Readers of this train wreck may be interested in the National Science Foundation's desire to characterize US baccalaureate institutions not just by the total number of alumni with Ph.D.'s in science and engineering, but by the fraction of alumni who do earn a doctorate. It's an interesting read:


"After normalizing for number of bachelor’s awarded 9 years earlier, more than half of the top 50 baccalaureate-origin institutions of 1997–2006 S&E doctorate recipients were baccalaureate colleges, and most of the rest were private research universities (table 2). The top 5 baccalaureate-origin institutions in terms of number of S&E doctorates per hundred bachelor’s awarded in all fields 9 years earlier were: California Institute of Technology, Harvey Mudd College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Reed College, and Swarthmore College."


Wrong as usual, I was the AP computer science teacher at Lowell from 1988 to 1998, and I had a B.A. degree, not in computer science, and my kids got plenty of 4's and 5's, on the AP exams they took. No one else taught C.S. while I was there, and Art Simon was the Low Man on the Totem Pole, so he got stuck with it, and all the learning of programming and hardware hassles that went along with it.

Go for it George, all copied already.


For all the pain he attempts to cause, Greg is remarkable sensitive to it himself, you'd think he'd learn.


After normalizing, I'm assuming that you mean as a percentage of graduates, and not sheer raw numbers, right?


That does seem to be the case.

"This finding contrasts sharply with the baccalaureate
origins of the absolute number of S&E PhDs. The top 50 known U.S. baccalaureate-origin institutions of 1997–2006 S&E doctorate recipients are almost all research institutions with very high research activity, and more than half are public institutions (table 3). Two (Brigham Young University and College of William
and Mary) have high research activity. None are baccalaureate colleges. The top 5 baccalaureate-origin institutions of 1997–2006 S&E doctorate recipients are: University of California Berkeley, Cornell University, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, University of Illinois
Urbana-Champaign, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

~ http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf08311/nsf08311.pdf ~

Them cherry picking days are over.


"After normalizing, I'm assuming that you mean as a percentage of graduates, and not sheer raw numbers, right?"

It's a *very* standard term, and while it's in my working vocabulary, they weren't my words, that was from an NSF publication.

Berkeley, as a fine and *huge* institution that I've never disparaged, has the largest number of science grads who earned Ph.D.'s. However, only one out of seventeen Cal science and engineering undergrads got a Ph.D. within the time constraints of the study. For CalTech, that's one out of three. Mudd, one out of four. MIT, one out of six. Reed, Swarthmore, 7 and 8. Harvard, one out of 10, Pomona College (another Claremont College), one out of 11.

Among public colleges and universities, for the top three we have New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
(one of eleven, #15 on the list), Cornell (one of thirteen and #22) and Berkeley, (one of eighteen, and #39).

Another way to look at it... A CalTech science student (nearly all of them) looks over their class of about 20 and can expect about seven classmates to end up with a Ph.D. Mudd might have about five. MIT, 3. Stanford, maybe two, barely. A Berkeley student in a science or engineering class of twenty can expect just one of them to earn the "union card" in a timely manner.

Birds of a feather comes to mind.

George, that NSF study, and especially Table 2, is worthy of inclusion somewhere in the SESF website. Local grads bound for the sciences should be aware of all of the best possibilities.


Regarding the AP Computer Science class, one of the tenets of the AP system is that classes are taught by someone qualified to teach an entry level college class in the subject. A BA in Anthropology and a supplemental authorization to hold general computer classes would seem to fall short of that measure.


Rather obviously the private schools who win after the normalization are generally attended by those with more financial resources backing them, and thus find it easier to go the whole distance quickly. A Berkeley student may only find 1 in 20, but he is looking at a legion, thus Berkeley comes out on top in sheer numbers. I appreciate your school spirit, and I'm sorry I was not as math or social illiterate as you had hoped for. Good try!


For someone who is forever promoting testing as a way to evaluate teacher performance, it seems obvious that this time around you are concentrating instead on the grass going in, instead of the milk coming out, in the form of successful performances on the AP exams.

Sad to say, the AP program nationwide has been dumbed down in recent years, with the demise of the AP Computer Science AB test in 2010 or so, and I don't know how you would feel about Javascript replacing C++. Art Simon is still teaching it at Lowell, and in the math departments list of progression of courses, Computer Science now has no progression, and it is listed as an elective. That's sad.


For a balanced overview of teacher computer science down through the years, I'd recommend:


Now that I'm beginning to rehash ancient history and see where things have gone, my interest is somewhat up for volunteering a few hours locally. Better doing that than playing this endless game of oneupsmanship. A least George may get a few ideas for his pet projects from the discussions we've had.


If one gathers satisfaction from being in a winning tribe, being in the biggest tribe is important. The Bears would also kill the Stags (CMC & Mudd) in football. But only 1 chance in 18 that you, the prospective science student, will be one to earn that Ph.D.

If one wants to be be many times more likely to be one who gets that Ph.D., you'd be better off choosing a school where *your* success is more likely. However, there's nothing wrong with having your sights set lower, or not wishing so much work to rise to the top.


So how many Nobel Laureates do the Claremont Colleges claim? Now I know they started back in 1956, because the name was bandied about the dining table as elder brother Stephen was looking at Stanford, and I don't know which was his first choice. I do know that many fine and civilized folks have gone there, many of whom have indeed risen to the top. But you make it sound like a lotto, and a game to be played. Perhaps you should review the following lyrics, and see if you can reclaim some of your older school charisma, which apparently through time, as been tarnished by too much dogma.

"There once was a sprinter in action
Who lost his last race by a fraction.
When he came to the tape
He had altered his shape
By the Fitzgerald-Lorentz Contraction.

The Fitzgerald-Lorentz Contraction
Should not be so partial in action.
If the loser was thinner,
Still more so the winner,
The greater the final contraction…"

I do hope you recognize this. Of course a quick Google will find it in a flash, even if you've forgotten your roots.


How many Cal *Baccalaureates* have won a Nobel Prize?


I count 5, how about you?


billy T

Most libbies can forgive Alfred Nobel for creating dynamite. What puzzles me is they named prizes after Mr.Dynamite and even accept the awards. Shameful. BS walks and money talks.


This from the guy who doesn't believe in tests that matter. Funny.

Since this is because Keach is looking for a reason to ignore an earned PhD rate among alumni nearly five times higher for Mudd graduates, we'll only look at Nobels in science since '59 when the first two Mudders graduated (both went on to earn PhD's and became professors).

Since the class of'59, there have been a total of two (2) Cal baccalaureate alumni who managed to be struck by Nobel lightning. One physics, one medicine (who was BA Math). No BA/BS chemists. Economics isn't a science and there really isn't a Nobel Prize in Economics, either, so we'll toss that one out.

Mudd currently graduates about 160 in the sciences in a year. Berkeley graduates about 39 times as many, so, let's wait and see if Mudd grads can pick up a couple of Nobels in the next four centuries to match Cal's rate. The numbers to estimate this are in the NSF report. Enjoy.

So, we're left with CalTech's BS graduates earning doctorates at six times the rate of Cal's alumni, and Mudd earning doctorates at about five times the rate of Cal's alumni. The NSF thinks that's significant.

The "Oberlin 50" graduate a significant number of scholars in math, science and engineering. Cal does a fine job for a huge institution, but they aren't that selective and it lacks a personal touch for most students. I'm happy my own son managed to take advantage of everything Cal had to offer, but it's easy to get lost when there are thousands like you.


I wasn't looking for a reason, I stated one. Wealthier backgrounds, better prep schools, and more staying power, makes for an earlier PhD. If you can get in, does it rub off, as you suggest? That sounds like Voodoo witchcraft. And what a surprise, Greg Goodknight comes out for smaller class sizes. I guess that only works for the elite, and the poor and middle class learn better in the herd/cram them all in mode?

I notice that you picked up on the Nobel prize, and quickly discounted three of them, because, even though you didn't establish the prizes (and neither did the Libs, BillyT, and Nobel supposedly left out math because his wife had an affair with a mathematician) you feel qualified to override Nobel's wishes. Have you notified the Committee in Sweden about your required changes?

I do think we need a Goodknight Prize, so it is up to you to make that money, fund that trust, and establish your own rules. Just think, you would be CEO, and thus put one more Harvey Grad in the CEO/company startup pile. I gather that you avoided the number of companies, and the number of patents, etc. because maybe poor Harvey's minions didn't do so hot there, and statistically the numbers would be much less statistically shaky (too high an uncertainty factor, given just a few cases from which to establish a trend, BA/BS to Nobel) than the few incidents of BA/BS to Nobel prize.

billy T

Gentlemen, may I suggest you are overlooking one small detail. Tiny Pomona College is the only team that has a winning football record against USC. Yep. They met on the gridiron one time in the early part of the last century and Pomonians won. Can Harvey-Mud or Cal or MIT make that claim? Answer me that, Batman.


"Wealthier backgrounds, better prep schools"

Keach, you just made that up. In fact, the only two really wealthy kids I remember transferred out after a year or two.


Billy T, the Buster Keaton movie "College" had a number of scenes at the original Pomona athletic field. Great school, #14 on that normalized list Keachie is doing his best to trash. And, as one of the Claremont Colleges, anyone at Mudd could sign up for any Pomona class, and vice versa, at their own registrar.


On average, Greg, ( Gregory | 13 August 2012 at 10:44 PM), on average.

For the 2011-2012 academic year, here are the components of an average COA :
Tuition and Fees: $42,140
Room: $7,282
Board (16 meal plan): $6,576
Student Body fee: $270
Personal Expenses: $900
Books & Supplies: $800
Average COA: $57,968

at Harvey Mudd. A wee bit higher than Berkeley, but if gas prices now were adjusted to match the fees I paid then at Cal to what today's students pay, you'd be paying $37 a gallon for gas.


That's only $2K less than the non-resident cost at Cal, Keach:

And middle class kids at Cal who aren't Regents and Chancellor's Scholars can expect very little aid besides student loans. It would have been cheaper for us for my son to attend Stanford, even with the Regents & Chancellor's deal.

Something else you seem confused about... science and engineering doctoral students generally get tuition and a salary as part of the deal, as they are considered staff. They help teach and work for the professor they attach to for their dissertation. There's generally not an issue of having 'staying power' because mom and dad can pay.


That last one was meant to read Mudd was only $2K more than Cal's non-resident budget. And in the '70's, full price at Mudd for 4 years was about $16K.

Sorry, but once again, the Keachie hysterical dialectic just isn't valid.


Tuition alone at Stanford is 13,750/quarter, three quarters per year, for $41,250, o fees included, just as expensive as Harvey Mudd. Since you claim out of state tuition is 2k less than Mudd for Berkeley, and your son was an in state student, how would have Stanford have been cheaper? Not to mention the extra hour each way to visit dear old dad? No, I guess you fly into San Carlos, so that would have been a plus for Stanford. Seem seemed not to have noticed that I made a point of how expensive UC's expenses have become. In 1964 Cal was $80 a semester. Now of course, aren't you just a little concerned GG Jr. will not get his PhD in a timely manner, as, after all, he ran with the masses, instead of mixing it up with the proper, smarter, speedier, Muddlians?

Or is who you are to begin with much more important than where you go?


" Seem seemed"

it's getting late, that should have been:

"you seemed"


"no fees included"


Stanford waives tuition for all poor and most middle class families, as of about 5 years ago.


The masses were also at Mudd and CalTech. Really smart ones. Many are also at Cal.

Keach, I realize you're trying to be an ass, but how you hallucinated "speedy" PhDs was somehow an issue in unfathomable. My kid's in a decent enough grad school :), the average 5 1/2 years to get a doctorate in his subject is well within the 9 years the NSF study budgeted, and the fellowship is adequate.



"After normalizing for number of bachelor’s awarded 9 years earlier, more than half of the top 50 baccalaureate-origin institutions of 1997–2006 S&E doctorate recipients were baccalaureate colleges, and most of the rest were private research universities (table 2). The top 5 baccalaureate-origin institutions in terms of number of S&E doctorates per hundred bachelor’s awarded in all fields 9 years earlier were: California Institute of Technology, Harvey Mudd College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Reed College, and Swarthmore College.""

~: Gregory | 13 August 2012 at 09:18 AM~

Speedy? Yep, speedy. I have a good friend now finishing up a 30 year teaching career as a college prof who took 13 years to go from the end of his BA to his PhD, in architecture. The rest of us were married, had full time jobs, and kids, and he was still plugging away at Wurster Hall.

While there may indeed be adequate working stipends in engineering and the sciences, due to outside donations and favorable treatment by the state, in many meathead fields, they do not exist. English, history and other Arts and Meathead fields are not so coddled. Your NSF study set up a timeline, which is not followed by all PhD recipients, who nonetheless go on to be productive citizens. So, in terms of doing a complete analysis of BA/BS folks going onto PhD's, they concentrated on the "speedy" ones who basically got paid to work on their doctorates, and left out those who maybe had to, say, teach high school for a number of years AND write their dissertations in the wee hours of the night.

By picking up on Harvey Mudd, an engineering school, and comparing it to UC Berkeley, an all around university with a full selection of humanities, you basically set out with a false comparison from the start. That would be Bad Science, Greg. If the study looked at just the UC College of Engineering, the numbers would be different, I rather suspect. On first reading of the document, I did not notice any such sub-selections, but maybe I missed it? Could you help me here?


"Stanford waives tuition for all poor and most middle class families, as of about 5 years ago."

~ Gregory | 14 August 2012 at 12:51 AM~

Nice to have big endowments.

"My kid's in a decent enough grad school :), the average 5 1/2 years to get a doctorate in his subject is well within the 9 years the NSF study budgeted, and the fellowship is adequate. "

~ Gregory | 14 August 2012 at 01:16 AM~

Our daughter's was a decent enough grad school, and the 11 years post BA/BS, the minimum needed for a neurosurgeon, last seven as a resident, seems excessive, but she says it is necessary, if not well paid, for the work and hours she puts in. Shall we argue of who is the more worthy individual? We haven't tried that one yet.


"By picking up on Harvey Mudd, an engineering school, and comparing it to UC Berkeley"

I didn't.

"an all around university with a full selection of humanities, you basically set out with a false comparison from the start. That would be Bad Science, Greg."

That "Bad Science" was from the NSF, whose statistics were purely regarding science and engineering baccalaureate programs, and Mudd remains part of the Claremont Colleges which, collectively *are* an all around university with a full selection of the humanities, in the Oxford model. In fact, it remains a requirement to take a minor in the humanities.

Harvey Mudd has a large engineering program but it isn't an "engineering school". It's also math, physics, chemistry, biology and computer science, and you're the one who kept making the comparisons. You've had that chip on your shoulder for years. Give it a rest.

billy T

I will now tread into dangerous territory. Standford and most private universities can be cheaper for the student with grants and scholarships private institutions bestow on their incoming freshmen than the UC system. Known fact for years. Yep, be true to your school and all that jazz. I have 2 nephews/nieces that are currently attending Cal and two that recently graduated from Cal. All have/will graduate after only two years there because they took courses in community college. They were all home schooled, "graduated" from HS at 16, took all college freshmen and sophomore college courses by the time they were 18 (except PE cause you got to be 18). Their parents never took one college course themselves. Cal is a good school. Harvey Mudd is a good school. Both are great. One of my nieces wanted to become a teacher of all things. She signed up for Teach America. They just don't take anyone. Teach America was founded by...Standford grads, lol. So, the niece is now teaching in the worse school in inner city Baltimore. Each year 10% of her college debt is forgiven. If she stays 4 years, they will pay for her Master's which she is enrolled in. Is Cal better than Stanford? I am a throw back to the Standford Indian days. Loved it when the "Cardinal" upset Michigan in the Rose Bowl. The Standford band members were wearing white sneakers and had long hair, unlike the crew cut Michigan band. I remember when the Cal boys were devising ways to make the A Bomb and had a hunk of plutonium in a cigar box laying on the classroom shelf, lol. Think they got some kind of Nobel prize for that. I went to Whitworth College when they had 1200 students and tuition was $1,200/year. Room and board (all you can eat) was 400 bucks a semester. Never paid with grants and scholarships. I went to Gonzaga U when they had 2,200 students with a 3 girls to every guy student body ratio. No scholarships. $1,800/year. Attended other schools. But, was one better than the other? Heck, I was young, 1200 miles from home, drinking like a fish and frankly I just can't remember. Carry on.


bT, congrats to your young relatives, especially that niece. Teach for America is a fine program that takes good students from good schools and gets them into the classroom the only practical way... cutting through the stultifying credentialing process that repels kids that are loathe to waste a year being indoctrinated into the current Ed culture, weeding them out if they don't swallow the koolaid.

I'd rather have not gotten dragged into a catfight with Keach again, but he'd gratuitously dropped my alma mater into the discussion three times before I started to defend myself and my son.

I had been convinced by a couple of folks, including a former Mudd physics professor of mine who was a Stanford grad, and a former boss who has hired a number of high powered engineers from both Stanford and Berkeley that Berkeley was a far better choice for a motivated student who wants a good education and to convince my son that it was a good thing he didn't have the choice (and it was fraudulent grades in Math from a mean spirited and incompetent math teacher at the local high school who was the palpable reason for that). The best part of being a Stanford undergrad is being admitted into the club and guess what? If your ancestry is Asian or Euro and you're a California resident, Stanford has plenty of your kind already. You'll be overrepresented at Cal or UCLA because by law the UC can't discriminate against you. Caltech and Mudd and the rest of the Oberlin 50, too, but by choice; they mostly just discriminate by grades, the SAT, the goals of the student and teacher recommendations.


Well finally, now we know where all the negative energy about high school teachers was coming from!

I reread the article and apparently I am correct. They didn't not obther to factor out all of the non Harvey Mudd type BA/BS degrees before marching forwards to their grandiose "normalized" conclusions.

I also researched the Oberlin 50 and have tracked it back to a bunch of folks (librarians no less, some of my best allies at SFUSD, BTW, when it came to computing) looking to get more money, yes more money, in part from that infamous source, the govmit teats. So basically, this NSF report appears to be possibly a part of that ongoing campaign. There is, BTW, nothing wrong with tooting your own horn, and celebrating the advantages of small class sized humanized education. See how nice the therapy here has been to Greg. And by the way, I can tell a few parent teacher math department horror stories myself, but none dealing with my immediate offspring.

"The idea for the Oberlin Group grew out of conferences of the presidents of 50 liberal arts colleges held at Oberlin in 1985 and 1986 to discuss the role of private colleges in educating the nation's scientists. The colleges represented had produced an exceptional number of graduates who later earned doctorates in scientific fields. One of the purposes of these conferences was to draw national attention to the importance of liberal arts colleges for scientific education and, in so doing, to garner more foundation and government support. Drawing on the science conferences model, the late Bill Moffett, then Director of Libraries at Oberlin, formed a steering committee to plan a meeting of 60 liberal arts college library directors. Members were Bill Moffett (Oberlin) chair, Will Bridegam (Amherst), John Sheridan (Colorado College), Kathy Spencer (Franklin and Marshall), Christopher McKee (Grinnell), Eleanor Pinkham (Kalamazoo), Becky Pollock (Reed), and Richard Werking (Trinity University).

The first meeting was held at Oberlin in November 1986. The group discussed issues of common concern, including the need for more library funding. Library directors from the 50 institutions represented at the science conferences were invited, as well as directors from a number of other selective liberal arts colleges. The first conference was a success and the directors decided to meet every year at a member institution. They became known as the 'Oberlin Group' because of the site of the first meeting.

Click here to see the colleges/universities that are part of the "Oberlin Group:



" Stanford has plenty of your kind already."

~ Gregory | 14 August 2012 at 11:11 AM~

Not true in med residency (graduate school if you will). I am personally acquainted with a blue eyed blond who was accepted, but changed her mind about what she wanted to do her residency in, and switched everything around for the umteenth time.

But why would you care? Seems to me MIT, Berkeley, Stanford and Cal Tech, as doctoral granting institutions, are probably all about the same rank, and that your area of specialization would be the most important factor in choosing between them.

BTW, would Greg still be able to get into Mudd at today's standards? Or maybe the SAT scores have lightened up in recent years? And given that the program includes what amounts to preliminary research training, is it any wonder that with small classes, and the real world for laboratories, it works? Wish the UC system could set up the equivalent, but it is not likely to happen. Now that I've becoming an unwitting shill for promoting Greg's alma mater, maybe we should call it quits. Being born and raised in Mudd's backyard probably didn't hurt in the admissions process, back when the school was about a third (I'm guessing, don't know exact when Greg attended) in size of what it is now.

wikipedia informs:

"The integration of research and education is an important component of the educational experience at Harvey Mudd; upon graduation, every student has experienced some kind of research, usually in the form of a senior thesis or a Clinic Program. The undergraduate focus of HMC means that, unlike many larger science and engineering institutions, undergraduates at HMC get unique access to research positions over the summer and during the school year.

A unique opportunity for HMC students is the Clinic Program, which focuses primarily on projects in the fields of engineering, computer science, physics, and math. In the Clinic Program, teams of students work for a year on a project suggested by a company. They are expected to make regular reports to the company and to deliver a product at the end of the year. The Clinic Program offers students a first-hand look at a particular industry and allows the sponsoring company to hire an inexpensive Clinic team of four students, whom they often try to recruit after graduation.

The middle 50% of entering SAT scores are 740–800 (out of 800) in mathematics, 690–760 in critical reading, and 680–760 in writing.[4] A third of the student body are National Merit Scholars, and at one point, about 40 percent of graduates were going on to earn a Ph.D. — the highest rate of any college or university in the nation.[5][6] Harvey Mudd today still maintains the highest rate of science and engineering Ph.D. production among all undergraduate colleges and second highest (Caltech ranks second and MIT third) compared to all universities and colleges, according to a 2008 report by the National Science Foundation.[7]"


Speaking of hockey sticks, how did Harvey Mudd do in the London Olympics/



Cal Tech apparently won this one, the Bill Gates toilet for the third world:



That would be Caltech, or more formally: http://www.caltech.edu/


Stanford has to compete for grad students. It's undergrads who are fighting to get in.

Let me translate the above missives from Doug Keachie, the retired 'Frisco public schooteacher (BA Anthropology, Cal) whose hate for me goes back a decade:
“To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee”

A prior Rebane thread that is apropos is

The NSF is in existence to promote the education of scientists and engineers, not to increase the number of meatheads. Imagine that.


Given Keachie's musings about whether a Gregory could still get admitted into HMC, I thought it might be interesting to see whether Keachie could get into today's Cal. Here's what a PBS story says about the Berkeley of the early '60's:

"The crown jewel of the University of California system, Berkeley is arguably one of the most selective public universities in the country. In 1999, it denied over 70 percent of its applicants. But the competition to get into the University of California's flagship campus wasn't always so steep. Before 1960, 15 percent of California's high school graduates were eligible to attend the school, and until 1964, the school admitted anyone who met its requirements."

So Keach, be honest, while you're flinging Mud into the fan, would you have made it into the Cal class of 2016? ANYONE in the top 15% of their school who had taken the required classes got admitted to Cal as late as 1964.

Yes, my SAT's remain appropriate for Mudd admissions. Cal, too. Nice try.


Since Greg, as near as I can tell, you had no lifetime handicaps, and did not go through school, never doing very well, but then surprising everyone at the end with 99% on every test taken SAT, 3 achievement tests, and NMSQT, and 76% on GRE, after partying the night before. If you wish to ask if I would do better now, the answer would be an unqualified YES. Today's hearing aids would have made me me a far more abled student. My grades and test scores would have been even better, no doubt. You can't go Back to the Future without taking into account the promises of the future.

If I recall correctly, you were the one who did the Ricardo Montalban quote, but maybe I did. I'm quite pleased to have finally learned of the source of your unbounded energy devoted to denigrating public school teachers in general, and their unions and myself in particular. As far having any real animosity, you are thoroughly mistaken. You are a good sparring partner, and I've learned a lot. Thanks!


BTW, I believe that it was the top 12% of their class plus a "B" average or better in all such classes, and I finished HS in 2 1/2 years, not 3. And BTW, where did you get the idea I was attacking your son? That was an accusation that leaves me bewildered. I have no idea what I said that would have led you to that conclusion. I'm looking forward to his time machine.


It's a Captain Ahab, quote, Keach, from one of the books assigned in the freshman year, though I preferred the Federalist Papers and John Locke's Treatises on Government. Mudd requires far more liberal arts study (about a third of the credits earned) than Cal does. That, and the fairly rare requirement that all Mudders in essence take the same lower division courses that everyone else takes makes for very little specialization. Even if your interest is pure math, you will take a bunch of applied math, chemistry, physics, biology and engineering. In fact, you'll probably graduate with more liberal arts credits than credits in your major.

You've heard the story of the fraudulent grades multiple times before (ask twaters for details) so I have reasonable expectations you'll forget again, but in any case my awakening concerning the current state of California public education was circa '95, finding whole language and math being the state wide affliction, and teachers like yourself in complete denial about the causes of the decline.

The Cal class entering this fall had only a 21% admittance rate, and only about 38% are white. It's ~45% Asian ancestry now, and I'm not sure your self declared "99%" on all your tests translates to the above 2000 SATs and 4.3 weighted GPA that Cal's entering class seems to have.


Well Greg, was it you or I that made the statement, which you attempted to ascribe to me in order to show how much I "hate" you?

Please cite the location of the proof.

Are you saying that Ricardo never said it? Well, maybe not, but the feeling is there, and I've heard rumors that it was based on Moby Dick:



As far as having heard the tale before, about you being ticked off at some NU math teacher giving fraudulent grades, thus blocking your son from getting into Stanford, you are incorrect. Just because you've published something, it doesn't mean I was there to read it. It's only been recently that I've spent much time on Rebane's blog. If today's schools are as bad as you say they are, compared to Berkeley High in the early Sixties, getting a 4.3 would be a piece of cake. Do you really think Cal would keep out a faculty member's son who otherwise qualified? In your dreams. Same place you must have made up your story me attacking your son. You need help. As I had nothing to do with either whole language or math, but rather was involved in upgrading and learning DOS 1.05 through DOS 6.2 and all the associated programs and IRQ's and finally the Joys of Win95, I take no blame for that. At Berkeley High, back in the day, we read Moby Dick in either 11th or 12th grade English, back when English was 9th grade, first semester, English I, through to 12th grade, 2nd semester, English VIII.


Minor detail.

You claim all around status for Harvey Mudd. How many BA/BS degree does it award outside it's six core physical science/engineering/biology areas as a percentage of total graduates? Any?


"It's a Captain Ahab, quote, Keach, from one of the books assigned in the freshman year, though I preferred the Federalist Papers and John Locke's Treatises on Government. Mudd requires far more liberal arts study (about a third of the credits earned) than Cal does."

I'm assuming you meant to say: "It's a Captain Ahab, quote, Keach, from one of the books assigned in the freshman year, though I preferred the Federalist Papers and John Locke's Treatises on Government. Mudd requires far more liberal arts study (about a third of the credits earned) than Cal' School of Engineering does."

And probably less than most College of Arts and Letters graduates earn at Cal.


Since Greg thinks I make things up, here's a dose of cold water totally from playing with the time machine called the internet:

"I’m not ranting, I’m just drop-jawwed in amazement… I grew up in two *fine* public school systems—San Francisco County's public education was no slouch in my time; and Berkeley High School was ranked in the national academic top 10 for at least the 2-3 years before I attended. By the time my 3 years was up, it had dropped during that ~6-year stretch, but it was still in the “top 15”. A very Jungian set of circumstances coincidentally contributed to those rankings—White flight had not yet occurred, and the Asian enrollment in both county systems was high—in grammar school, it was near a 95% Asian enrollment (pre-bussing), in Berkeley’s 7th-12th grades, Whites and Asians prolly ran to ~66%, even with integration. Peer pressure amongst Asian families kept study practices intense and 'artificially' buoys the collegian rate. Especially for the Berkeley school system, parents had a STRANGLEHOLD of an influence on the caliber of teachers/budgets and curriculum—a very significant number of parents were college professors or science professionals—UC Berkeley, SF, Hayward, and San Jose State(s), Livermore Lab, Lawrence Berkeley Lab—they had the political clout to demand and blackmail the state and county for public educational funds. Even if I hadn’t moved from SF to Berkeley, in that case I would have attended Lowell… “little Chinatown”—a legendarily-consistent powerhouse national-ranking high school. Soooo, that’s my experience and understanding about the “foreign” high school system."



The future beckons to STEM students who make the "right" choices:





George Rebane

TomK 1017pm - I think I mentioned this solution under an earlier post. Designer chemicals including tracer radioactive (very low level) isotopes can be injected with the fracking mud. They will permeate anywhere that CH4 does. If they show up in your sink where none had been observed before, you can make a case that it was due to fracking.

I'm sure that the energy companies have gone all around the territory and baselined the potable water sources. It would be foolish for them not to have done that, given the potential for subsequent legal costs. Anyone have any data on that?


That would be only if you ignored the law of gravity. are the tracer isotops as light as methane, and are they in a gaseous state? Yes, those folks probably do have such data. No, they are not giving it out until they have to in a court of law to prove their case, otherwise they'd be sharing it already to prove their innocence before it goes to court.

George Rebane

TomK 211pm - no gravity need be ignored; methane and other injectible gases can be made radioactive (some are so naturally). Remember, you are assuming here that methane is leaking out of the return path of the drill pipe, and not percolating upward through thousands of feet of rock into the water table, which percolation would have occurred without fracking.

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