As of May 4 2007 the scripts will autodetect your timezone settings. Nothing here has to be changed, but there are a few things

Please follow this blog

Search this blog

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mathematics compared to Social Sciences

Comparing mathematics and social sciences? I wouldn't know where to begin. All I know is that they use math when they construct models of their problems. I came across the blog of an OU student in Social Sciences. I copied his comment on the reception of his marks on a first TMA:

Yesterday I got TMA01 back for DD101.
I’m not that pleased, to be honest. I got 70%, but I was expecting better than that. I was really pleased with what I wrote and I thought I would at least get into the 80s. Then again, this is my first assignment for my first course, so I had no idea what to expect. I have nothing to compare it to.
I’m also confused about the comments I got from my tutor.
They were all very positive, with praise for almost every element of the essay. The only negative comments were for minor technicalities, like having a full stop in the wrong place in a reference and not writing out a place name in full. If I’d read the comments and not looked at the grade, I would have expcted the grade to have been in the 90s!
Oh well, it was a solid pass, I guess. Onto the second assigment, which is due the first week of December!

That sort of frustration is unlikely in mathematics. When your score is 70 you know that you did not or incorrectly do problems worth 30/100. One of my ideals in life is the concept of a meritocracy. An organization form applicable to companies but also to countries I suppose where positions are granted based on 'the more you put in the more influence you get'. Some open source software projects are managed like that and are quite successful.

I wonder how close or how far away the world of mathematics is from being a meritocracy. Before one becomes eligible for any position a PhD is the bare minimum weight on your belt I suppose. But after that, I am not sure. I read a bio of a young, female professor. I don't recall her name. Asian but working in the US. I was impressed by the number of publications she had on her name in relation to her name. I then calculated the total number of hours she was given so far in her life. Presuming she was extremely efficient in everything she did, etc. I still found she could not have spend more then 40 hours ( or even less ) per paper. All the papers were collaborations. I then recalled a book I read once it was called 'The professor can't teach' or similar about how obsessed mathematicians are by publishing in volume. Have to read that book again some time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Welcome to The Bridge

Mathematics: is it the fabric of MEST?
This is my voyage
My continuous mission
To uncover hidden structures
To create new theorems and proofs
To boldly go where no man has gone before

(Raumpatrouille – Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion, colloquially aka Raumpatrouille Orion was the first German science fiction television series. Its seven episodes were broadcast by ARD beginning September 17, 1966. The series has since acquired cult status in Germany. Broadcast six years before Star Trek first aired in West Germany (in 1972), it became a huge success.)